90 gal. "Fixer Upper" Rainbow Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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90 gal. "Fixer Upper" Rainbow Tank

I've been meaning to get around to making a journal for quite a while now, but a continuous series of unfortunate events led me to keep putting it off. At this point I'm worried that if I wait for everything to get "back to normal" that I'll never end up posting so here we go, imperfections and all! I'll try to format this so people can see the basics of the set-up without having to wade through the novel of a background story.

Current Full Tank Shot [December 27th, 2016]:


EI Dosing, CO2, lights on 7 hours, 50% weekly water change
Ph out of tap: 9.4
- Degassed: 7.4
- Peak CO2: 6.4
GH: 9 / KH: 3
Equipment
90 gallon tank (48L x 18W x 24H) and stand
Filters: Fluval 406; Hydor Professional 350; Eheim 2215
Lighting: Finnex Ray 2; Finnex Planted+
Co2: Victor 450D Dual Stage Regulator; 10lb Tank; GLA Inline Diffuser
Substrate: Black Diamond Blasting Sand 20/40 (100lbs)
Misc: 300W Eheim Heater; (2) Hydor Koralia 240 Circulation Pumps; 18 watt Inline UV Sterilizer; Driftwood on slate

Plants
Alternanthera reineckii “mini”
DHG belem
Fissidens fox
Hedyotis Sp. Borneo Orange
Lindernia Rotundifolia variegated
Lobelia Cardinalis Small Form
Ludwigia inclinata Cuba
Ludwigia sp. Red
Ludwigia senelgalensis
Mermaid weed
Myriophyllum Sp. Guyana (mini)
Persicaria sp. Sao Paulo
Pogostemon Kimberley
Rotala sp. Vietnam
Rotala Magenta (narrow)
Rotala Pearl type 2
Rotala Sp. Colorata
Rotala Mini Butterfly

Removed Plants (for one reason or another):
Hygrophila pinnatifida
Cabomba pulcherrima
Hydrocotyle tripartita
Limnophila aromatica
Bacopa salzmannii

Creatures
M. Boesemani
M. praecox (Dwarf Neon Rainbow)
G. wanamensis (Lake Wanam Rainbow)
M. garylangei (Golden Rainbow)
Western Rainbow Fish - Upper Katherine River
Candy Cane Tetra
Knight Goby
SAE
Nerites

Backstory/Setup:
I've been a low-key fish keeper for about five years. Fake plants, really basic fish, etc. Then earlier this year I inherited some dwarf neon and Boesemani rainbows from a friend leaving town, and suddenly I became obsessed. After learning that Rainbows prefer planted tanks I ended up diving head first into the hobby, and converted my 29 gallon to fully planted around June or so. I also realized I would need a much larger tank. Unfortunately, as a senior in college saving up for graduate school, I have a fairly tight budget. I started looking for a used tank, after a month of looking I found a used 90 gallon with stand for $100, which the seller even delivered to my door. I also bought a used co2 set up for $100 not long after.

Of course there was an issue with the tank that I didn't see in the pictures: significant deep scratches. Since there aren't many options for affordable larger tanks in my area, I decided I'll live with them until I can eventually upgrade. The silicone was also in really bad shape, so after a ridiculous amount of reading I ended up resealing the tank. My first attempt I ended up with one corner where the silicone was way too thin. It held water but I didn't trust that it would long term, so I stripped out everything and resealed once again. By early October I finally got to the final leak testing stage.


After successfully holding water for a week on the floor of my very torn apart office, I ordered some plants to experiment with and got the tank ready to go.


October 26th, 2016
Plants arrive


November 14th, 2016
Working on co2/light balance


About a week after that picture I had the worst ich outbreak I have ever experienced. I don't know if I somehow cross-contaminated tanks from the quarantine where I had some new fish, but it started in the 90 and two days later every fish I had was covered. Long story short I ended up having to move everyone out of the 90, bought a 55 gal to serve as a general hospital tank, and turned my 20 gallon quarantine into a fish ICU. After 3 weeks with no response to any standard ich treatment method I tried some "all in one" treatment out of desperation, and finally started to see improvement. Unfortunately I ended being too late for some, and lost two adult male "Wapoga River" C. Alleni rainbows. At the time I'm posting this everyone is free of spots and will be moved gradually back to the 90 gallon in a week or so.

Between the ich crisis and dealing with finals at school, I've neglected this tank quite a bit. The plants took a beating because even after moving all the fish out I still had to treat the 90 gal with medication as fry kept friggen hatching and I never managed to suck them all out. And the daily water changes for extended periods of time also threw things off a bit. Now that the fish are well I'm hoping to get back on track, and for now I'm just playing around with different plants to see what works well with my set up and what doesn't. I'm always open to suggestions, recommendations, or questions. I've only been acquainted with the world of planted tanks since June, and while this site and others have taught me so much, there's always more to learn. Although full disclosure I'm definitely more invested in the fish than the plants. Sorry for the novel, and thanks for stopping by!
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Last edited by Riza1990; 01-06-2017 at 04:25 PM. Reason: Update
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 10:07 PM
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Welcome and nice introduction. Sorry to hear about losing the Wapoga River Alleni's. They are really nice Rainbows and not easy to come by.

While I've been keeping Rainbows for decades, I only went higher tech myself about a year ago. Like you are finding, this board offers a wealth of information. I spent hours searching through these forums when I got started, and am still learning all the time.

You have the makings of a very nice tank. The plants seem to be growing well. It will be nice when you get the Bows back into it. One thing I've learned is that the tank is always a work in progress, so enjoy the ride.

And keep up with the journal, as I'll look forward to seeing how things progress for you.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yes they were quite the loss. I got them from Gary Lange when I went to pick up the M. garylangei I had bought from him. He was kind enough to give me a tour of his fish room before he bagged up the fish, and offered to sell me a few Wapoga Rivers as he had too many males. (Who could say no to that?!) Even in quarantine they were gorgeous fish. I'm still bitter that I couldn't save them.


I also hope Gary won't remember me if I'm lucky enough to buy fish from him again in the future, I would be mortified if I had to tell him they died from ich!

And thank you! Your journal has been an inspiration for me, and is quite the wealth of information. I'll be sure to keep updating, hopefully with less bad news involved.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-15-2016, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riza1990 View Post
Y
And thank you! Your journal has been an inspiration for me, and is quite the wealth of information. I'll be sure to keep updating, hopefully with less bad news involved.
Thanks for the kind words. When you mentioned getting the Rainbows from Gary Lange, it jogged my memory that you had posted in my journal. I must tell you I am jealous, I would love to see his fish room. And as you know, you aren't going to find any higher quality fish than what he can provide.

And glad to see you finally got around to starting the journal. That Alleni was one good looking fish, it's a shame you lost him. Hopefully Gary can hook you up with some again.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Tank has been set up for just over two months now, so time for another update.

It's been about a week since I got all the fish back in the 90 and everyone has been doing well, thankfully. Before I moved them back over I finally got fed up with the driftwood piece I had and pulled it out (and in the process pulled out most of the plants as well). I loved the way it looked but I just couldn't find a good position for it that I could feasibly work around. I'm 5' 6" and even on a step stool I can barely reach the bottom in the back, and the driftwood made it impossible on that side. So I went out and found a smaller piece (and a few chunks of petrified wood) and am much happier. Two of the petrified wood chunks are out of the tank at the moment while some moss attaches, so I can't play around with the final set up yet but shouldn't be too much longer. Oh, and I need to get the hair grass back in but have been putting it off because planting it is such a pain. Definitely getting a shorter tank when I can upgrade!

Quick full tank shot, everything is kind of haphazard at the moment since I'm still waiting for certain plants to grow in enough to group them.


One downside of the smaller driftwood is that now I need more background plants. I ordered some a week or so before Christmas and they got delayed in the mail, in single digit temperatures...needless to say most everything was melted or damaged. I'll get replacements one of these days, when I get around to it. Pulled out the cabomba as I couldn't keep up with its crazy growth, and I've RAOK'ed the bacopa salzmannii since the rainbows are eating the heck out of it. I'll miss the really lovely purple of the salzmannii.

Speaking of rainbows, here are a few! I'm still working on getting semi-decent shots of the others. I wish I could train them to hold still...
Upper Katherine River


A few boesemani I have a few varieties, I'll grab their names when I'm more awake



Lake Wanam


And that's all for now! I'll get the tank looking less messy one of these days, I swear.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 02:50 PM
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Looks like the tank is coming along nicely, and the plants and fish are happy and healthy.

You've got some nice little Bows there. I'm sure you will enjoy watching the grow and mature. They have nice colors now, but give them a few months (or even longer!) and they will just get better and better.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Looks like the tank is coming along nicely, and the plants and fish are happy and healthy.

You've got some nice little Bows there. I'm sure you will enjoy watching the grow and mature. They have nice colors now, but give them a few months (or even longer!) and they will just get better and better.
Thank you, it is definitely more enjoyable now that I'm not constantly in crisis mode.

And the bows are by far my favorite part. They're all quite young (other than my Dwarf Neons), and it's been great watching them develop. I actually have nine boesemani fry in a 29 gallon that I hatched as a bit of an experiment back in August, to document the growth rate as its hard to find much information about that. Watching them grow and develop colors has amazing, since the timescale is a bit more accelerated than my older fish.

A few examples:
One week


2 months


3 months


And today at 4.5 months (Just over an inch long)


I'm looking forward to having a tank full of mature fish one day, but for now I'm being very patient and enjoying the experience (and having fun with plants as well).
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 07:52 PM
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sounds good lol! and great looking pics
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 12:08 AM
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Nice chronological sequence of pictures, and I am sure it will be helpful to some. I enjoyed seeing the progression from fry.

Of all the Rainbows I have kept, Boesemani's are the slowest growers. You have the right attitude.....have patience and enjoy watching them color up and mature. One of my favorite parts of the hobby. I look forward to more updates.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 10:04 PM
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Amazing tank!!
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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To start off with the good news, plants and fish are doing great. I moved two of my five-month-old Boesemani fry (although they probably don't count as fry anymore) into the 90 to see how they would do with the larger fish, and they've done even better than expected. It has been funny to watch the two little guys challenging and chasing after much larger males/females, and even trying to spar with a disinterested tetra.


In less positive news my second attempt at ordering some taller background plants was yet another failure. Melted plants once again. At this point I guess I'm resigned to the fact that I won't be able to increase my number of plant species until spring. I know people can and do ship plants successfully in the winter so I must just have terrible luck.

Additionally, I noticed an air pocket in between the inner and structural silicone seal on one of the tank edges today. I am nearly positive it wasn't there before, as I checked all the seals almost obsessively for the first month the tank was set up. I've also had concerns about the stability of the stand (see here), and factoring both things together I am extremely uneasy. I've priced out various options for replacements, the cheapest being buying a 75 gallon and reinforcing the existing stand, but I'm putting off having the conversation with my husband. Nothing gets me long suffering sighs quite like bringing up yet another fish related expense, especially with it being unplanned. Here's hoping I can figure out the least painful solution.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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We settled on buying a whole new set up, which was pretty easy to justify when adding up total expenses and the tank/stand turn out to be the cheapest part. There is a slight issue though - no stores within 60 miles of us actually have a 75 gallon set up in stock. I'm waiting to hear back from one more place, but if that is a bust as well the only option left is the 125 gallon set that's currently on sale for basically the same price as the 75. As much as I want a 125 gal., rationally it isn't the best timing for it. I'll also need all new lights, and within the next few months I'd need to get a solid wood stand to replace the particle board one that comes with it when we move. And given that I'll be moving in 5 months or so, and then moving again to wherever I get accepted to graduate school, a 75g is far more logical/feasible than a 125g. But as my husband so eloquently said, "We'll deal with whatever hassles we need to, you've got too much invested in those darn fish."

Be it 75g or 125g a tank is coming home tonight. The 90 is almost broken down, I just need to finish removing the substrate.


Fish and plants are safe in my 55g hospital tank, which has turned out to be a great investment as well! So... I guess it is the end of the road for this journal? I assume I should make another one whenever I figure out what is going on, since the size of the actual tank has changed. Not sure what the general "rule" is about that here. Anyway, thanks for looking at my very very short 90 gallon journal!
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 05:50 PM
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Great journal! Very sad that it had so many problems, as the tank and fish look excellent. I'm sure your next 75 or 125 will be lovely, as well.

Once upon a time I had ludwigia. It disintegrated.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 06:20 PM
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Sad to see you draining the tank, that's a shame.

Of course, I'm rooting for the 125G. Six feet of swimming space would make for a bunch of happy Rainbows!

But either way, I am looking forward to the updates.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Great journal! Very sad that it had so many problems, as the tank and fish look excellent. I'm sure your next 75 or 125 will be lovely, as well.
Thank you, that's very kind. I've always figured that going through rough patches helps me better appreciate when things are running smoothly. Hopefully that will be the case here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Sad to see you draining the tank, that's a shame.

Of course, I'm rooting for the 125G. Six feet of swimming space would make for a bunch of happy Rainbows!

But either way, I am looking forward to the updates.
I'm sad to see it go too, but I guess it's better this way than waking up to find it on the floor!

And your rooting paid off, I have a brand new 125 being prepped for set up right now. This thing is a beast. Hope to have it filled by tonight so I can get everyone set up this week. Now I'm frantically trying to figure out how to light it!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
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