My Planted Aquarium

Please forgive me that this post is reading backwards. I am still trying to figure out all these new-fangled tools. A few friends of mine have been buying plants for their tanks, and I thought I would toss in my 2 cents worth. I have had a planted tank for about 3 years now maybe? It is a 29 gallon tank that I had traded a 20 gallon tank for. The 29 had split a seem, and I knew I could fix it.

I did a lot of research on aquaculter when I set my newly repaired tank up. I have about 4 inches of substrate at the bottom of the tank. I know this is about 2 times what people suggest, but, hey, I got the 2 different sizes of rock on sale when I got the bigger bags. I mixed the 40 pounds of rock with a clay product called Laterite (sp?). The Laterite gives the plant roots something to cozy up to besides all that cold, hard rock. Actually, it provides the roots with a steady source of chiliated iron, which makes for healthy plants.

I am also doing something new (for me) with the tank. I am treating the tank with a “black water” additive. I happen to really like the nice, warm feeling of my “dirty” tea colored water. It probably has something to do with working on the St. Croix River for many years. I am just fond of nice, clean, brown water. I think the fish look better in it. I think the plants grow better in it. I think YOUR planted tank looks so…. Hospital Waiting Room, with it’s crystal clear water. Oh, speaking of crystal clear planted tank water, you don’t want to charcoal filter your planted tank. This removes all the nutrients and such that your plants need to stay healthy.

The proof is in the pudding as they say. Here you can see the Amazon sword plant that I bought over 2 years ago (I think it now numbers 7 or 8). I have to trim back the plant every month or so or it completely dominates the tank. I have recently moved to a new place, and heavily pruned the plant back. I had taken the plant out and devided it. I then put all my new, little plants in a bucket. I moved the tank and left the bucket at the old place. The plants where NOT happy about spending 3 days in the bucket hotel. They died back about 50% after I got them into their new home. Another heavy pruning, a little TLC, and my CO2 injecting system has them in good health after a few months.Posted by Picasa

Here is where I run the hose from my CO2 bottles into my Eheim canister filter. The canister filter holds the CO2 in the water for a lot longer than any other way I know of. This greatly helps getting the CO2 to diffuse into the water. I used one of the nipples that come with the really thin air hose to splice it with the thicker hoses. I drilled a small hole in the center ot the green plastic sheild and stuck the nipple into the filter pickup. The canister filter pump breaks up the bubbles into tiny little bubbles that stay in the tank for a while even after they are pumped back into it. Posted by Picasa

These are the 2 CO2 bottles that I use for injecting the gas into my planted fishtank. They contain water, about a half cup of sugar, and bread yeast. I have to so I can alternate which one I change every weekend and get a more even flow of carbon dioxide into the tank. I have the little orange bread tag to tell me what one I changed last. Each bottle is good for about 2 weeks, but they peter out nearer the end, so it works out well to have both of them going. I used the juice bottles because I read somewhere that people have had their pumps suck the sugar water right out of soda bottles, collapsing the thinner plastic. Posted by Picasa


I was sorting through my photos as I copied them off the old webserver that I have been using as a desktop computer for the last few months and came across this photo from my flight back to Florida after Christmas.

I have about 120 photos of the sunset with this airplane wing. I wasn’t about to ask the pilot to stop and take the wing off so I can get a better shot of the sunset (I figured I had a better chance of that then trying a different seat). This particular shot really caught my eye. I liked the rich colors and the shape of the wing. We where flying above the clouds, so they looked like waves on the ocean or something like that. Posted by Picasa

Blogging, just a fad?

I have 7 or 8 domain names, free hosting with several different webhosts, and I can write my own blogging software in PHP, Do you THINK I have a blog yet.

Google has a new tool Google Pack. They seem to make things so dang easy, that I was just compelled to give it a try.

I have been using Gmail for a while now, over a year! My first message was sent 11/10/04.

I have been using google talk (well, not the cleint, just the jabber server) for a few months now.

I bought myself a new computer for my birthday, and decided to take the plunge.

Google Pack Here I come.
Gmail, Google Talk, Picassa, Blogger, Hello, the whole nine yards.