Wes's First Post And First Tank

Wesley H

New Member
Mar 1, 2020
San Francisco
Hey guys I have recently decided to get my first tank after playing around with my friends' for awhile.

Tank: 20 gal long 30'*10'*10'
Light: two Senzeal X5 (anyone know the par rating for 10')
Substrate: Used organic soil and eco-complete for substrate (might add white sand in between the rice fields)

Callicostella Prabaktiana
Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis
Pogostemon Helferi
Staurogyne Repens
Hydrocotyle Verticillata
Rotala Macrandra sp mini butterfly
Cryptocoryne sp. Pink panther - last one available and was marked down. The original seal been opened and reseal. Plant looks unhealthy. I hope it makes it....
Was hoping for Ludwigia Repens Super Red and Eleocharis Vivipara...sold out...

I decided to try the dry start method and I am on day 2 now.
Having a hard time to keep the moss on the rock and coconut moist while not making the tank too wet, so i have been leaving the cover half open mostly.
Wish me luck.

Does anyone know if placing a banana/avocado(ethylene) in the tank to boost plant grow is a good idea?

Pictures are available in my rice field tank album.
Thank you for reading

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WEEK 1 update ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Day 1-4, I have not been fully cover the tank because eco complete came wet so it's pretty moist in here but at the same time I have a hard time to keep the moss on the coconut and rock moist.
I added a DIY LED light background.

Day 5, I decided to cover it fully with few poked holes and it was a mistake. Fungus all over just within a night. I removed the cover and use H2O2 on q-tip for spot treatment.
Considering to look for springtail for next level treatment, and flood the tank as last resort.

Day 6, fungus reduced significantly but my moss and some plants at higher elevation turned yellow...
I suspect it was lack of water in addition to highlighting.
Since, I can't keep it moist, I decided to reduce light intensity, changhe 12 hours schedule to 2 x 6 hours schedule to allow misting in between.

Day 7, few fungus and continue H2O2 spot treatment. Plants slightly improved.

- Removing the rock and coconut and just submerge them in water until the tank is ready to put it back.
- DIY a filter with water output on the top of the rocks. The tank is probably going to be with shrimp, so thinking sponge with powerhead.. mmmmm...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WEEK 2-3 update ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Removed coconut shell + Callicostella Prabaktiana in and submerged it in a bowel
Spot treatment did not help with the fungus
Pogostemon Helferi seems to be dying from the fungus
Decided to flood the tank and removed Pogostemon Helferi into a separate container with soil
White hairy fungus particles flowing everywhere for a few days
Added 5 Otocinclus affinis dwarf catfish and they cleared the mess within a week
Returned to 12 hours light a day
Added in jungle val
Started DIY Co2 system and 1 bubble/sec and slowly increased to 3 within 2 weeks.
Used a metal diffuser but seems too ineffective and switch to this surface skimmer + CO2 diffuser
Still see a little fungus at hard to reach area and a little algae

Plant overview:
Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis - did well the whole process
Staurogyne Repens - a little die back after flood but it is thriving again
Hydrocotyle Verticillata - was doing ok but even better after flood
Rotala Macrandra sp mini butterfly - great before flood but lost 90% after flood
Cryptocoryne sp. Pink panther - seems dead before flood and thriving after flood
Pogostemon Helferi - dead and replaced (waiting to see how it goes)
Callicostella Prabaktiana on coconut shell - dead and replaced. Tied with net instead of glue this time.
Jungle val - about a week in and no obvious change yet

1. relocate fish and add shrimp then replace filter with sponge filter
2. add sand in the front between rice fields

Last edited:

Wesley H

New Member
Mar 1, 2020
San Francisco
week 3 updated. starting to feel like i'll have a hard time to get those Otocinclus affinis dwarf catfish out when I want to add in Crystal red shrimp