—Post for aquarium people—
When I first started up this 15 gallon I went for what the guides say, black substrate and heavy planting because it makes your fish look better and easier to maintain, since the plants absorb a lot.
After having this tank developing with that for over a year, the plants had grown and the carpet looked great. The downsides were many though. I only ever saw a few of my fish cause of the heavy planting. And because of the heavy planting some of my plants had nutrition deficiency, and if i added nutrients I ended up with algae, a battle I always seemed to be fighting. Eventually I had just low demanding plants. The black sand I added eventually turned blue as well. Bah.
Most importantly though, the gunk that came out of this tank every week was killing me. It was never ending and when a bacteria developed even though water changes were upped and my test kit told me the tank was good and it looked clean… I just had enough.
I already have white sand in my Betta tank and really enjoy it there and seeing it looking clean after every week (neat freak alert) I decided to go for that in this tank too. And to keep the plants spread and pruned enough so I can clean in between.
Here is the process and outcome!
I removed most of my overgrown plants. I will probably continue developing this project as time passes. Possibly the shrimp will need a bit more coverage, but I’ll see.
Plants: Amazon swords, java fern, java fern mini, crypt. balansae, A. reineckii ‘Mini’ and Micranthemum ‘monte carlo’.
Fish: Pygmy Cory, Venezuelan Cory, otocinclus affinis, balloon mollies, a guppy, thick lip gourami, danios erythromicron and cherry shrimp.
I’m currently in the process of re-homing the mollies and guppies and gonna add more Red Cherry shrimp and when they have established I’ll add a large Ember Tetra school
Thanks for looking!