A One-Year Evolution After Jumping Back Into the Hobby 30 Years Later

Russ S

New Member
Jan 5, 2022
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3
Austin, TX
INTRO:
Since this is a journal, and I have pictures going back to when I started (this time), I thought it would be fun to start from the beginning (December 2020). I will add to this as I have time to bring the story to the present.


As alluded to in my bio, I was heavily into planted tanks in the late 80s. There was a book (translated from German I believe) called, "The Optimum Aquarium" that I tried to mimic. I used heavy lighting, CO2 and chelated fertilizers. It was fun having 3' radican swords growing out of 65 gallon tank and I was pretty proud of my Rotala Macranda. However, it was much more of a black art than a real science. Once I finished graduate school, I got rid of everything and moved to another state.

Fast forward 30 years...

My wife had been getting more an more into raising bettas over the last couple of years, so after COVID shut down a lot of social activities, I decided to get back into it. I started with a 5 gallon tank that was lying around, threw a power sponge filter on it and after some weeks, added sand. Was shooting for simple and cheap and had always wanted to try a solar powered tank. This is where I was at Dec 14, 2020.
(more to come).
 

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Russ S

New Member
Jan 5, 2022
6
2
3
Austin, TX
Busted already! ;)
December 26, 2020:
So within a week, the above accomplishment was feeling a bit underwhelming. After watching a youtube video where the author was using multiple colors of gravel to achieve some cool affects. I thought....
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I thought this was pretty cool. But as you can see, keeping the white and black substrate separate was already becoming difficult. Picking up the UNS Controsoil with a pair of tongs is a bit risky. Sometimes the granuals shatter into miniscule pieces. The easiest solution was to simply push the granules into the sand and bury them out of sight.
As for plants, probably pulled these from other tanks. (No CO2 at this point). (clockwise from from left corner) Monte Carlo, A. Reneckii or Broadleaf, Bolbitus H., Bacopa C., a tiny twig of Hirsulata, and Lud Splendens Super Red. I think there is a strand of Java Moss up front.
(Lots more to come...)
 
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Russ S

New Member
Jan 5, 2022
6
2
3
Austin, TX
A few weeks later (Jan 12, 2021):
I started to run CO2 at this point and ditched the sunlight. The cold air coming off the window was an issue as well (hence the cardboard background).
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