Aquarium: Re-scaping my 15 gallon/60 L tank

Aquarium: Re-scaping my 15 gallon/60 L tank

—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!

Before re-scape
Completely emptied
Adding poly filling to keep the rocks off the glass
Rocks and sand has been added and water is added and planting starts
Planting done
After the water cleared, the shrimp and fish were added back
Close up
Close up: RCS
I decided to add a red plant
..and eventually decided to add ‘monte carlo’ carpet back around a shrimp cave

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!



How I got here & Where I am at


When I first arrived here in The Netherlands, I had gotten a job at horse stable down south in the country. Over time I learnt that the family I worked for clearly had issues I didn’t want to get involved with. For my own sanity I had to find something else and after a few months I applied to university, and when I was accepted I lived close enough to move in with my boyfriend.

This study wasn’t really for me, too theoretical for someone who generally needs space, dialogue and use my hands. I got bored and I got exhausted from trying to be something I wasn’t.

Conveniently enough I got the opportunity to work in my moms accounting firm. I was now learning the same things I had tried studying, but while working with it, not just listening and reading. This was a completely different world in this way. To learn about how companies work, finance and the way of working start-to-finish, was something I enjoyed, for awhile.

I started up a web shop in February 2015. I had several trial and fails on the way, but by summer 2016 I was selling quite well. However when I got pregnant, and I was very sick I had to close it down. It never really got back up there again after, as with many other shops on this page, demand has gone elsewhere.

In 2016 my mom sold her company which left me unemployed. And while the lack of an extra income was something we needed to adjust to, I am happy that it allows me to spend all my time with our girls.

I have spent many days thinking and worrying about what I should do next, that I need a plan and been feeling rather restless since I at times feel stuck without a finished education nor a job, and there is no perfect plan to follow at this point.

However the conclusion I’ve some to is this: there is no point trying to FIND the perfect plan. If you expose yourself and show interest and keep an eye open and grab any opportunity that comes your  way, the plan will find you.  I’ve come so far in my life by doing just that. It might not have been a linear “perfect path” that so many dream of, where you get an education, job and the whole family package in one go. But my path has so far made me who I am today, and I think I am a kinder, more compassionate person now than if I had stuck around with my initial decisions. You grow when you take the chance to make a change.

At the end of the day, I truly believe that the most important is just to keep moving forward.

Don’t stress. Believe in yourself.

Draw your own perfectly imperfect life.



“Don’t wait for the right answer and the golden path to present themselves.

This is precisely why you’re stuck. Starting without seeing the end is difficult, so we often wait until we see the end, scanning relentlessly for the right way, the best way and the perfect way.

The way to get unstuck is to start down the wrong path, right now. […] You might not end up with perfect, but it’s significantly more valuable than being stuck. Don’t just start. Continue. Ship. Repeat.”

-Seth Godin


“When it feels scary to jump, that’s exactly when you jump. Otherwise you end up staying the same place your whole life. And that I can’t do”

– A Most Violent Year, J.C. Chandor

So much to say, so little time…

So much to say, so little time…

…the general reason for that is the two smurfs on the picture. My little girls are very easy going and generally stick to their napping schedule which is anywhere between 0,5 – 1,5 hours of time, twice a day, which gives me some time to get something done. I do consider myself lucky though as some parents get no time off until past bedtime. Still, when you have thousands of ideas swarming your mind and the have-to’s are piling up, 1 hour goes by sooo fast.

We all have this; the dish washer needs to be emptied, the never ending laundry pile needs to be folded and put away, another laundry needs to be put on, the trash can is full and items are scattered over the place. This hour, along with the hours between the girls bedtime and my own, is when I also get to squeeze in some time for one of my small projects. That being aquarium related, redecoration or moving furniture around, but it just takes time. And time is precious. Time goes by faster and faster every year, and specially now when we have kids. Can I just hit ‘Pause’ for awhile? To catch up a bit?

What I will say thought, is that I am a happier person after we got children. Not that I was unhappy, but I do feel like I have a path now, a purpose for myself simply because someone needs me. And that, feels good. I might be on a never ending path of duties and I don’t get the time to do other things as fast as I’d wish I could. However, I’m certain the amount of laughter and smiles have quadrupled in this apartment ever since, and that makes the hurried time race so worth it. Simply because we adapted to the new lifestyle and this is the kind of parents we decided to be. Comfortable. Confident. Happy.