Journal of My 80 Gallon Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Journal of My 80 Gallon Tank

Good Evening All:

A Recent Pic of a 40L.


No journals yet so I figured it is time to start one.
Not so much of one tank but more of a journal of several tanks.
They have all been experiments thus far.
This started several years ago for me when I discovered the vast amount of aquatic plants.

Background: Fish breeding and minimal plants that started in the late 60's.
Saltwater spell throughout the 80's and eventually landed on planted tanks.
Now it's all about the plants for me. Each tank contains a single species of live-bearers.
They live well and propagate and I have something to trade or give away.

Planning to cover single topics per post as this evolves.
Wanting to share my experience and maybe it will help someone, who knows.
Trying to decide the first topic to discuss and it will most likely be ferts.
When time provides I will post this first topic.

Last edited by Maryland Guppy; 05-03-2017 at 02:12 AM. Reason: edit
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post #2 of 131 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, so I don't follow up in such a timely manner.

Ferts: I think all planted tanks should be dosed.
Just changing water provides some but no where near all nutrients needed.
Also I have yet to see feeding alone provide enough phosphates.
I keep just enough livestock to keep NO3 provided with minimal WC's.

Hair algae has been a topic among many.
It has also infected two of my lo-tech tanks, one was at a severe level.
Manual removal and dosing macro mix to reach 1.5ppm of PO4 cleared things up for me.
Granted these lo-tech tanks only get ferts every two weeks, but what the heck it keeps algae in check.

Micro mix and toxicity, I did not fully jump for this.
I halved all of my micro dosing and have seen no bad results nor toxicity.

Alright I spoke my piece about ferts.
I'm going to move this journal to my new tank.
Since I have an extreme fascination for aquatic plants and planted real estate is very tough?
I have now opted for a planted frag tank, 80 gallon Deep Blue.
8 square feet of planting area, like putting two 40L's together.
2' x 4' and only 16" deep, extreme surface area IMO.
Plus is I won't get wet up to my shoulder when working or trimming.

New tank will be 80 gallon.
Due to pick up this weekend.
Corner filter with Poret foam from Swiss Tropicals.
Will be using a submerged pump in the corner to feed CO2 reactor and spraybar.
LED build is tested and working. 336 watt LED over 8 square feet.
It will be dimmed using existing Storm Controller.
PAR will be set for 120 @ 4" above substrate to start with.
CO2 will be @ my norm of about 35-40ppm.
Will post some picks after the weekend with corner filter.

Canopy construction will begin soon.
I have a hinged plan being implemented on all my tanks.

More to follow.
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Swimming is not that difficult.
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post #3 of 131 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 05:21 AM
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Great pic and informative post!
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post #4 of 131 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 06:56 PM
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I've been waiting for someone to use the DB 80 gallon frag tank as a planted tank for several years now! I'm excited to see it happen! While reading through an old thread by @OVT this morning(his 30 gallon 24x24x12) I thought about this tank once more and my desire to see one planted! I'm definitely subbing this thread! Any thoughts on how you plan to do your layout? Wood or rock?


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post #5 of 131 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Today:

Tank is home.
40lb MGOPS
100lb BDBS
and a pump!

I have no idea where this is going.
Wood, rock, who knows.
Am thinking about carving on some large lava rocks at moment?
Maybe slice a large boulder in half and carve out a planting area in it.
That way small plants that need higher PAR to get started will have a chance?
Place these rocks right under an LED puck, then I can adjust to whatever.

LED drivers and sockets showed up in tthe mail today.
For those using LDD drivers Allied Electronics $ can't be beat.
Need to order some boards for the drivers now.
I am a very busy patient aquarist, thing take a while.
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Swimming is not that difficult.

Last edited by Maryland Guppy; 03-18-2017 at 10:20 PM. Reason: edit
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post #6 of 131 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:20 PM
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Very nice. Cannot wait to see.


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post #7 of 131 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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@johnson18 Tilly tank still going?

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post #8 of 131 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:30 AM
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Journal of All my Tanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
@johnson18 Tilly tank still going?


Umm.... not exactly. Sadly, the tank is still sitting there with a few dried up tillys in it. I did pass a few along when I knew they weren't doing well in AZ, at least with the time I had to dedicate to them. I'm actually about to turn that 20H into a permanent QT tank set up.

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Last edited by johnson18; 03-19-2017 at 05:45 PM.
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post #9 of 131 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Sifting through this Miracle Gro potting soil is a mess.
It was not the organic, sifting is sifting though.
More than half will be lost to the trash but that still leaves plenty.

Trying to decide on what to blend with the potting soil.
I have top soil, SafeTSorb, and some dolomite.

Will need to keep it in buckets and keep changing water for a bit.
NH3, NO2, NO3, and PO4 are all through the roof.
Cap or not this stuff is too hot right now IMO.

Swimming is not that difficult.
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post #10 of 131 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 03:30 AM
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I didn't sift my mg potting soil, I wish I would have.

I mixed mine with some of the black flourite sand to add something that had a higher CEC. I thought it might also help break things up a little to keep my soil layer a bit more "loose" & keep the odds of things going anaerobic down. If this idea was sound, no clue. I feel like I'd done my hw at the time though. Three years later the soil layer is still growing plants like crazy, although I do add in some root tabs every so often for my heavy root feeders.

I'm sure it's definitely HOT!!


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post #11 of 131 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Update: I know what good is it without pics?

Stand and canopy just got their last finish coat of shellac.
Wanted #1 pine for this project and I would have shelled out the $$$ too.
Lumber selection was so poor for #1 and since I wasn't making water ski's I had to pass and select #2 pine.
God bless the knots etc. it adds character right?

I skipped my usual use of Minwax for stain and bought some Varathane instead.
Varathane stain is quite impressive compared to Minwax.
Claimed to dry in 1 hour, really it's two hours, but still!
Was not as runny as Minwax and brush marks actually seamed to add a false impression of better wood grain.

This was also not an expert job of cabinet joinery, mind you it looks good but.
All glued and brads to shoot it all together, minimal wood putty etc.
Base was all straight 2x4's and a border of 1x6 to clean it up.
Ceramic coated deck screws for the 2x4's can't be beat.
They draw everything tight when done.

Stand is only 10" off the floor, it's going under my TV to replace a 40Long.
Canopy copies an older All Glass Aquariums dual hinged design.
Just bought cheap HD piano hinge and cut to length, some extra, you never know.

Glass and a substrate barrier is in place for the Poret foam corner filter.
Pump and heater with temp media ready for the corner.
Glass retainers for the foam was very easy to cut and bevel for silicone.
Substrate barrier is only siliconed to the tank bottom, no worry of expansion.

The potting soil is still very "Hot"
Been doing water changes on the buckets it is in.
NO2 & NO3 have subsided to a reasonable amount(no NO2 now), NH3 & PO4 are still off the chart.
Maybe a week more of water changes to the buckets will lighten the load?

Hardscape: I purchased a boulder of lava rock. 40 plus pounds?
This is all I will use in the tank for structure.
An old bandsaw blade will be used to slice this up to acceptable pieces.
Been staring at it for a while to decide upon the cuts.

Plumbing and CO2 reactor will be next on the list.
Going with a spraybar too, really like the bar on my 75 in regards to flow.
Everything in the tank gets moved around a bit.

Hopefully pics tomorrow: Night All.
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post #12 of 131 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Still tending the potting soil everyday.
Drain and refill the buckets.
Ammonia & phosphates are still leeching heavily, readings are through the roof.
Going to wet the topsoil tonight and see what that brings.

Need help to sit tank on stand so no pics yet, soon to follow.

Edit: After soaking the Scott's Premium Topsoil.
Very little waste and floating material to be removed.
Tomorrows testing will be the tale of the tape though.
Scott's may be a better choice than the Miracle Grow I tried.
Could not find the Organic bag, not sure that matters, analyzed ingredients was almost identical.

I will share what I have mixed when decided upon.

Night All:
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Last edited by Maryland Guppy; 04-06-2017 at 02:18 AM. Reason: Edit
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post #13 of 131 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Scott's Premium Topsoil seems really good.
Very stable from the start.
Miracle Gro (Green Bag) still leeching lots.
Enough rinsing time to strain tomorrow and get it in my tank???

Heat sink boxes for lighting are complete.
7 dual puck LED's to light this mess.
LDD driver boards need to be ordered this week.

I am in a huge dilemma at this point.
Being a plant collector I have too many plants.
Trimming has not happened lately, too many other projects.
Have to start trimming 3 tanks and just make my own plugs to make them mobile.

To make matters even worse I just purchased a ton of Buce.
They are all cleaned up and potted now, but still too much.
I am just keeping ferts & CO2 in line and waiting it out.

More time needed for sure.
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post #14 of 131 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 08:08 AM
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Hahaha maybe an emersed setup is needed to help cope with collectoritis?


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post #15 of 131 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 12:05 PM
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Looks the makings of a very nice tank. Will be following along.

But if I may.......would really be nice to see some pictures!.
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