8.22.2004: The new joy in my life. A 125 gallon tank (72x18x22).

8.22.2004: Newly planted with bits and pieces from my 40g tank and a 29g that I had initially set up for my kids, but eventually planted. That tank was torn down when I set the 125g up.

Lighting in this picture is from a dual 40W AGA strip light, and the two 65W CoraLife Aqualight that were on the 29. Lighting was upgraded to four 96W Freshwater Aqualights (6700K) about a week after this pic was taken.

Filtration is done with a Eheim 2026 and a Fluval 304. A CoraLife TurboTwist 3X is run inline with the Eheim, and a DIY CO2 reactor is inline with the Fluval. CO2 is fed in through a 5# tank.

9.11.2004: The observant viewer will recognize that this is no longer the same 125g tank from the previous picture.

On Labor Day weekend, while doing my weekly water change, I was adjusting the wood canopy (that came with the tank) when I heard a sickening crack. Walking around the front of the tank I saw that in adjusting the canopy, it had twisted the tank causing a 12" long crack from the top rim down the middle of the front pane. Arghhhh!!! Crisis management mode immediately went into effect with the removal of all my newly planted plants and fish to holding buckets and bins. After three hours of siphoning water and scooping out gravel I was able to locate a replacement tank at a not quite local LFS. Two hours later I was back home trying to put it all together again.

Additional plants were given to me by a friend, including some H. polysperma, Watersprite, and Ammania gracilis. An assortment of Crypts and additional Java Fern was purchased from AquaBotanic.com.

By this time I had joined the San Francisco Bay Area Aquatic Plant Society (SFBAAPS) so I was able to attend a couple of open house/plant swaps to further fill in the tank with some H. umbrosium, Ludwigia glandulosa, and C. spiralis. What a great group of dedicated and generous hobbiests!

10.20.2004: At about seven weeks...

I swapped out the 6700K bulbs for some 10000K and 8800K bulbs I had bought as spares for my 40g tank. It wasn't as dramatic a difference over this tank than it was over the 40g. Whether it's the added height or the thicker glass this tank does not take on the clean-whiteness like the smaller 40g.

12.01.2004: At three months...

Sorry for the washed out picture. The left side was cleared out of the Ludwigia (repens broad and narrow leaf) and the R. rotundifolia was severely cut back. A hobbiest in Florida was generous enough to send me a Blyxa auberti (back left corner). The C. spiralis and Java Ferns are filling in the right side nicely. The glosso foreground is doing well, too.

12.23.2004: The newest addition...

Some Sparkling Gouramis, ten to be precise. They're still rather shy and venture out of the plants very cautiously. They have very striking blue eyes (that this pictures fails to capture) and their croaking is straight out of the movie Predator...very eerie.

01.26.2005: Updated tank pics...

Left side....


Right side....

02.15.2005: Updated tank pics...

Did some clean-up on the left side by pulling the Ludwigia brevipes from the back and layering the stellata from back to front in its place. The brevipes was doing the typical Ludwigia 'lower leaf drop' so I salvaged what stems I could and placed them in front (you can just make them out in the pic below in front of the Crypts, between the 'cuba' and stellata).

Also added recently are some Rotala macrandra and Ludwigia 'cuba', both of which I got from a recent SFBAAPS plant swap. They've been in the tank for a week and a half and are putting out new growth so I'm very pleased...especially since my first attempt with 'cuba' was a total failure.

The next two picture clearly show how big a regular Java Fern can get...

04.15.2005: Updated tank pics...

The R. macrandra and L. 'cuba' both stalled and had to be pulled out. I did the same with the last of my L. brevipes after I got tired of it constantly dropping its lower leaves.

The good news is that I'm again able to grow dwarf Lobelia...

Java Ferns grow really well under good light, with CO2 and nutrient Rich water.

04.16.2005: Unhidden treasures...

Pulling out the massive Java Fern revealed plants I had forgotten were in the tank...specifically the A. coffeefolia and 'petite' nana. Not to mention the driftwood. :^)

Also uncovered were a couple of C. parva that I had thought was overrun by the Marselia long ago. The amazing thing about finding this plant still alive is the fact that it was totally under the shadow of the head of Java Fern.

05.11.05: Time for another update...




And some close ups of the flora...

Dwarf Lobelia
Blyxa japonica
Blyxa aubertii
Pogostemon stellatys (broad leaf)
Anubias coffeefolia

12.22.2005: Update...

So the "no stem plant" phase has ended as a series of SFBAAPS plant swaps was too much temptation to resist. :^)

The left side—again—is the stem plant side. New plants added since November are: Rotala macrandra (again), Polygonum sp. 'Kawagoeanum' and muricatum, Alternanthera reineckii "rosaefolia", Ludwigia ovalis and inclinata, Rotal sp. 'green', Hygrophila sp 'red', Hemigraphis traian, Utricularia sp, and finally some Juncus repens.

1.1.2006: Happy New Year!

Here's a panoramic shot to open the new year.

The center piece of Fern covered wood was removed to open up more area for the stem plants I've been collecting. At this point, from left to right, I have: Ludwigia inclinata, L. inclinata 'green', L. ovalis, Polygonum sp ‘Kawagoeanum’, Rotala macrandra, Dwarf Lobelia, Didiplis diandra, Aternanthera reineckii, Hemmigraphis traian, P. muricatum, Bylxa aubertii, B. japonica, L. inclinata var. verticillata 'Cuba', L. arcuata, Limnophila aromatica, R. rotundifolia, Hygrophila sp. 'Red', and finally some Juncas repens. Oh, and there is a small patch of Marselia started from bits I found back behind all the Crypts in the right side of the tank.

Along with all the new stem plants there are some new finned inhabitants…five wild Angelfish from Albany Aquarium. They're all late juvis with bodies about 1.25" in diameter.

Unfortunately, the Gold Veil Angelfish I had passed away a few days ago, so these guys were brought in to fill the void.

They join a pair of Gold (white?) Blush Angelfish babies from Family Pets. Both have bodies about 3/4" in diameter, but the one on the right has spectacular fins.

So now there are a lot of Angelfish in this tank. We'll see how it plays out when/if they start to pair off.


Well, a lot has changed since the last update, both in the tank's flora and fauna. Gone is nearly all the plants shown in the previous update.

Instead it has transformed into a haven for low maintenance plantings of needle leaf Java Fern and Anubias. A few Crypts and dwarf swords round out the flora. As for fauna, only one of the angelfish remains, and it probably won't last much longer as it had worms and the deworming treatment has left its digestive tract pretty messed up.

The big addition are the turquoise Discus given to me by my fellow sfbaaps member, David. What can't be seen in this pic are the multitude of Corys that swarm the bottom of the tank. Having Discus means that the bottom feeders never want for food.

I've also upgraded the lighting to a pair of 4x39w T-5 Tek fixtures. They're clipped together and hung off of conduit in a similar configuration to the light over the 120g tank.



So over three years have gone by since my last post here. Plant wise, the tank looks pretty much identical to how it did in 2008. As for inhabitants, the addition of four Altum Angelfish (adopted from a friend who tore down his last planted tank in 2010) and six Roseline Sharks (from PetSmart during thier $6 "sale") are the notable change. I did lose two of the discus to unknown causes.

Over the course of three years I've had my Eheim 2026 develop an unfixable leak. It was replaced with an Eheim Pro 3 2075 which lasted about 18 months before it too developed a leak. But far worse was the failure of the quick disconnect lever which resulted in the tube block being stuck in the filter head. I ended up having to cut the hoses to get the filter out from under the tank. In the end I replaced it with a Fluval 305. Amazingly the Eheim 2028 which I bought with the original 125g tank back in 2004 is still running fine.


This afternoon I attended mt fisrt SFBAAPs open house since I left the club in 2008 and picked up this Downoi plant from SFBAAPS member Nick, who grows it successfully in hard water. I thought I'd give it a whirl. Picked up some additional downoi from my buddy Boun today. It looks like I'm raising baby greens for a salad. haha

Now some beauty shots.


The downoi seems to be holding their own. And although that first plant has had the original leaves melt it is putting out some new growth.

I hope these are sterbai eggs that I'm protecting. I'm not too keen on increasing my albino cory population. lol


I restarted this tank last month. After four years of near zero maintenance it degenerated to this...

It was actually worse as this pic includes some Java Fern and Anubias Nana that I purchased for the restart. The Altums and Roselines made it through the hardship no worse for wear. Also surviving were a Yoyo loach and rubberlip pleco. But I lost all but three Corys.

With only a single Eheim 2028 running, and minimal water changes over the years there was a lot of silt that has needed to be removed. I didn't want to do a full gravel vac as there were still a lot of Crypts hybernating down there. So there was a lot of fanning the silt up during the recent water changes and running the diatom filter for days at a time.

The biggest set back was a BBA outbreak that overran the substrate and hardscape. I've been beating it back with daily doses of glutaraldehyde. The branches and rocks are nearly clean and the gravel is slowly becoming visible again. :)

Three weeks ago a friend sent me some Crypt nurii which I planted in the front left corner. Growth has been slow but steady. New leaves have been showing up weekly...

About the same time I planted the new Crypts I bought 30 Ruby tetras thinking that a high-bodied tetra would be safe from the Altums. Wrong! The juvenile tetras have become late night snacks. I'm down to three. :(

I also added four juvenile Yoyo loaches which do not amuse the 6+ year old Yoyo.


Here's the tank as it looks today...

A lot more Crypts sprouting up in the middle (I should have took the pic before feeding the fish)...

I had to add a few more rocks to the tank to give the baby loaches somewhere to hide. They don't match the existing rocks, but I'm hoping that they'll eventually be blocked from view by the plants.


Fish pics...Altums

Altum Angelfsih

Altum Angelfish

Corydoras paleatus

Corydoras paleatus

Corydoras schwartzii

Corydoras schwartzii

Corydoras sterbai

Corydoras sterbai

Rubberlip pleco

Rubberlip pleco



Better yet, Roselines eating dying BBA.


Overall tank update...

The wendtii in this tank are filling in a lot faster than in the 120. I like the full, low growth as opposed to the the tall, sword-like growth I used to get under the HO T5s

The Java ferns (back right corner) are steadily losing their store-bought leaves but putting out a lot of clean new growth as well.


Another update...

All the altums have since passed away as have the roselines. The angelfish pictured is a transplant from my 120g tank. New inhabitants include three dwarf gouramis, three blue gouramis, and four fancy angelfish.

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