Tank 30cm x 30cm x 30cm
  • Phyllanthus fluitans
  • Blyxa japonica
  • Staurogyne repens
  • Cryptocoryne parva
  • Microsorum pteropus
  • Micranthemum tweediei Monte Carlo
  • Anubias barteri nana
  • Anubias barteri nana mini
  • Bucephalandra Kedagang
  • Bucephalandra Velvet
  • Eleocharis acicularis
  • Caridina multidentata
  • Rasbora brigittae
  • Clithon corona
Filtration Tetra EX 600 plus.
Lighting Twinstar Light III 300EC.
  • Tropica Premium Nutrition
  • Tropica Specialized Nutrition
  • Seachem Flourish Potassium
  • EasyLife EasyCarbo
Substrate Tropica Aquarium Soil.
CO2 A CO2 bottle with an inline diffuser, comes on 2h before the light.

2023-03-06 (Day 124)

2023-02-28 (Day 117)

Raised the back a bit so that it is more interesting.

2023-02-14 (Day 103)

2023-02-09 (Day 98)

After minor changes in the foreground.

2023-01-18 (Day 76)

The same area yesterday and today after the snails had their way with it.

2023-01-17 (Day 75)

Added Clithon corona so that they can fight algae that is on the rocks and limit the food supply for other snails that appeared in the tank. The shop only had very small ones.

2023-01-15 (Day 73)

2023-01-09 (Day 67)

I was gone for a couple of weeks and the tank needs a bit of maintenance. When I came back the entire surface was covered with floating plants but sadly I didn't take a picture.

2022-11-27 (Day 24)

2022-11-25 (Day 22)

Trimmed things slightly during a water change today.

2022-11-20 (Day 17)

One of the leaves of Cryptocoryne parva went completely yellow which worries me a bit. I dosed a tiny bit of Tropica Specialized Nutrition in case this is a problem with nutrients but I don't think it should be since the soil should still be releasing a lot of them.

2022-11-18 (Day 15)

Got back from the holidays. Everything is developing nicely. I removed a tiny bit of what looked like black brush algae. I also had to remove a bit of mold that often appears on wood after starting the tank. A couple of epiphyte plants decided to float up during the water change so I had to replant them on the rocks.

The floating plants are covering a large portion of the water surface. I may have to remove some of them soon.

The tank has new inhabitats! I added Rasbora brigittae earlier today however the shop only had 7 of them so I will have to buy more next week. I also increased the number of Caridina multidentata.

2022-11-10 (Day 7)

Going on holidays but this is what things look like now. It seems like it is developing nicely.

I see some progress from this angle as well.

Surface plants are growing new leaves. I really like the plants sticking out of the water. I just temporarily attatched them there but I think I may just leave them there permanently.

2022-11-09 (Day 6)

I can already see some clear growth! I didn't like the anubiases in the center so I replaced them with Microsorum pteropus and moved them. I also added more Blyxa japonica as the pot I got was in a pretty bad shape.

2022-11-07 (Day 4)

Cleaned up the cabinet because things were constantly falling over. Used IKEA SKÅDIS to organize everything and it works pretty well.

2022-11-04 (Day 1)

The water has cleared up!

2022-11-03 (Day 0)

Rescaping the tank! I built the hardscape outside of the tank and then moved it as once piece into the tank. I then filled the gaps in the stones with filter wool, poured the soil in and added the details. I found that to be way easier than trying to build the whole thing inside of the small tank.

In this picture I already planted Blyxa japonica, Staurogyne repens and Cryptocoryne parva in the substrate. I still have to plant Micranthemum tweediei Monte Carlo, Anubias barteri nana, Anubias barteri nana mini, Bucephalandra Kedagang and Bucephalandra Velvet on the rocks as well as Eleocharis acicularis in the sand at the front of the tank to add some detail to it.

View from the front after planting. The water is still cloudy. You can see Phyllanthus fluitans on the surface.

And this is the view from the side. The tank has to have a composition that looks good from both sides due to its positioning.

2022-11-02 (Day 351)

The last picture before taken rescaping the tank. The tank was unmaintained for about 4 weeks as I was traveling so it is not looking as good as I would like it to sadly.

2022-02-21 (Day 98)

Between the updates I added more Caridina multidentata as I decided to only keep one species of animals in the tank. I also hope that they will help combat algae. I increased the CO2 dosage and changed the fertilization - I started dosing iron and potassium. I removed floating plants as they were constantly getting stuck in various places due to strong water current.

The foreground was changed a bit - I removed some of the rocks to add more space and had to replant Staurogyne repens which lost a lot of lower leaves due to fertilization problems.

2021-12-12 (Day 26)

After a 50% water change, replanting Rotala rotundifolia and trimming as well as moving some other plants.

2021-12-03 (Day 17)

I cleaned the glass, did a 50% water change and dosed 1ml of Tropica Specialized Nutrition. Noticed a couple of snails and removed them.

2021-12-02 (Day 16)

I introduced six Caridina multidentata into the tank. They are quite small but I read that they can reach up to 4 cm and are in general larger than other shrimp so we will see how quickly they grow. This is why I didn't decide to get more of them. I am going to keep the water level slightly lower than normally today as I read that they like to jump out of the tank.

Since I started the tank CO2 was on between 12:00 and 20:00. I adjusted the timer so that it is injected between 11:00 and 21:00. This means that now it comes on two hours before the light does and shuts down together with the light.

I spotted more Brown Algae and Green Thread Algae. I did my best to clean up the Anubias nana mini which was getting covered in Brown Algae using a toothbrush, clean up the rocks and roots and remove as much decomposing plant matter as possible.

Some of the Bucephalandra Velvet are producing more flowers. I don't know why they are doing that.

2021-12-01 (Day 15)

I added back a smaller number of Phyllanthus fluitans. Lemna minor is gone as it was too annoying.

2021-11-30 (Day 14)

Two full weeks have passed. I cleaned the glass, did a 50% water change and dosed 1ml of Tropica Specialized Nutrition. Again I spotted one snail but failed to catch it. One Anubias nana mini looks a bit sad, I think because algae is growing on its leaves.

2021-11-28 (Day 12)

Did some tank maintenance. I attempted to remove some algae using a toothbrush. I finally decided to trim Micranthemum Monte Carlo so that it starts growing sideways and not up. During this process I found Staurogyne repens that got stuck in it after getting dislodged from the substrate and reattatched it behind the wood. I improved the moss situation a bit by trimming it and then attatching the resulting bits in empty spots using glue.

The fact that the wood is so close to the glass is annoying as it makes cleaning the glass difficult. I thought that this will not be a problem but now I understand why people tell you to avoid doing this. Another annoying thing is that if the moss is so close to the surface in a strong water flow then small plant bits constantly get stuck in it and are hard to remove.

I temporarily removed the floating plants. They keep going all over the tank after sinking somehow, shade the carpet, get stuck in the moss and so on. I thought that it will be cool to have them but I think this doesn't really work in such a tiny tank, strong flow and small surface area.

After all of this I did a 50% water change and dosed 1 ml of Tropica Specialized Nutrition.

2021-11-26 (Day 10)

Algae situation remains the same. Did a 50% water change. Dosed 1 ml of Tropica Specialized Nutrition. Removed as much of floating around plant bits as possible. I did my best to remove as much of dead Hydrocotyle tripartita as possible as well leaving only the healthy parts. There isn't much of it left to be honest. I think that I will be able to trim Micranthemum Monte Carlo soon as it looks healthy. I got the floating plants under control attempting to better contain them within the floating ring. If they get out they eventually get thrown into other plants by the filter outlet which gets them stuck under the water which is quite annoying.

I found a couple of snails and removed them. They were most likely stowaways that came with the plants.

It also appears that it is time to add Lemna minor to the plant list as it is growing quickly (as is its custom). It was in the packaging together with Phyllanthus fluitans.

In other news the flower is opening up.

2021-11-25 (Day 9)

Flower! I am guessing that it comes from the time when the plant was being grown emersed.

2021-11-24 (Day 8)

Small amounts of Green Spot Algae and Green Thread Algae as well as something that looks like possible beginnings of Black Brush Algae. Did a 50% water change. Dosed 1 ml of Tropica Specialized Nutrition. The plants were perling slightly during the day, possibly because they are responding to the nutrients.

I can see some green leaves in the rotting blob that once was Hydrocotyle tripartita. Because of this I am still hoping that it will recover and I've not removed it from the tank. The only question is if those leaves are Hydrocotyle tripartita or something else that managed to land on it.

I can see that every single plant in the tank is producing new leaves which is a very nice sight.

I got a new thermomether which is showing a more realistic temperature of 23°C which also matches what my new heater is displaying. The old thermomether is basically showing a temperature 6°C too low. That means that when I listened to it in confusion for one day and turned the old leaking heater up the temperature must have went up all the way to about 29°C.

2021-11-23 (Day 7)

I see no difference after dosing a small amount of Tropica Specialized Nutrition yesterday.

2021-11-22 (Day 6)

Minor algae that I would identify as Green Spot Algae. Did a 50% water change. Light intensity increased to 80%. Dosed 1 ml of Tropica Specialized Nutrition to see how the plants will respond. This was all performed 2 hours after the lights came on which is not ideal.

Hydrocotyle tripartita has nearly completly decomposed. I believe that this plant wasn't healthy when it was planted and there was nothing I could have done to save it. When planting I could see that the roots were basically black and it seemed that something bad had happened to it. It was an in vitro plant so it was sealed and theoretically it should be fine to store it for a long time. I am going to leave it in as I have some hopes for it still, there is a little part of it that seems partially fine so hopefully it survives and comes back from this somehow.

I looked into the filter out of curiosity. Lesson for the future: rinse Seachem Matrix better as the filter was full of small bits of it even though I rinsed it. I changed the filtration wool.

2021-11-20 (Day 4)

Did a 50% water change. Hydrocotyle tripartita doesn't look very healthy.

My new external heater claims that the temperature in the tank is about 23°C while while my thermometer claims it is around 17°C. I think the latter is impossible after all.

2021-11-19 (Day 3)

Did a 50% water change. I can definietly see some algae appear. Reduced light strength to 70%. Moss needs to be attached better. CO2 seems to be at the right level judging by the indicator.

2021-11-18 (Day 2)

Did a 50% water change and finally planted Hydrocotyle tripartita. I also replanted some of the Staurogyne repens that decided to start floating around the tank. I finally started delivering CO2 into the tank as I replaced the precision valve. I observed some new growth especially of Rotala rotundifolia. I noticed that Bucephalandra Velvet started producing flowers, I have no idea what that means.

Oddly enough I noticed that the temperature in the tank sits at arount 17°C so I put a heater in to get it up to 20°C. I can see that some condensation appeared inside of the heater enclosure so if I get electrocuted tomorrow you will know what got me.

2021-11-17 (Day 1)

I discovered that my CO2 system has failed due to a really weird loss of pressure on the precision valve, which means that CO2 wasn't on at all today. That entire element will have to be replaced. On top of that I didn't have the time to do a water change which obviously isn't great. On top of that some of Staurogyne repens decided to float up during the night.

2021-11-16 (Day 0)

I managed to set up the tank today as my plants were finally ready to be picked up. I was unable to plant Hydrocotyle tripartita as a piece of the hardscape hidden under the substrate was stopping me from doing so and it was already extremly late in the evening. I will have to touch up that part of the tank in the future.


Twinstar Light III 300EC, 8h a day initially at 80% power with a sunrise/sunset duration of 30 minutes. I hope that reducing the intensity initially will slow down the algae.


Tetra EX 600 plus with sponge, wool and Seachem Matrix. I decided to use glass inlets and outlets to try to reduce the visual noise in the tank this time around.


A CO2 bottle with NEO Special M diffusor. I also decided to put an indicator in this time around as I belive that in the past my CO2 levels may have been too low. My indicator fluid is supposedly calibrated to 30mg/l.


Initially no fertilization.


  • Micranthemum Monte Carlo
  • Hydrocotyle tripartita
  • Staurogyne repens
  • Anubias nana mini
  • Bucephalandra Velvet
  • Taxiphyllum barbieri
  • Rotala rotundifolia
  • Phyllanthus fluitans


Tropica Aquarium Soil.


Red moor wood and seiryu stones.

2021-11-15 (Day -1)