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!


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