My 37 gallon journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Saskatchewan Canada
Posts: 12
My 37 gallon journal

I don't have pictures today ... I'm quite unhappy with the aquascaping but I'm trying to start with mostly what I have and after numerous rearranging, this is all I could come up with. I am finding it a challenge to aquascape in this limited space to accomodate what I want with the space and supplies I have available. My water conditions are also a challenge as out of the tap I have 7.8 PH, 260 GH and 210 KH.

I am wanting to do this in a journal to organize my thoughts and plans, track my progress, and keep me on task.

I am restarting this tank after a very cheap setup I had last year. To get any kind of decent fish/equipment or plants is a 90 mile drive for me. Just recently a shop 30 miles away started carrying aquarium supplies again but its pretty poor.

My gravel is from a pile at my family's farm; rocks are what I've found driving down roads; driftwood I've found at a nearby lake. All of this was cleaned well and had been in the last tank for a year and a half. Unfortunately I haven't found much in the way of cool rocks and driftwood.

The smaller driftwood pieces were in my last tank set up so after months they finally sank. The large piece I now have in this tank but I didn't have it in the previous setup. I threw in at first to just start soaking thinking I'd wait for it to sink but as I only have the stock 20w T8 I can't really afford the shadows so I have it weighed down with rocks for the time being.

I set it up a week ago and threw in my existing almost dead java fern and a little bit of my abundant java moss. I picked up a couple new plants yesterday and completely rearranged everything.

I made a DIY CO2 setup today and am so pleased with myself. I have a 2l bottle for the yeast mixture, an old spagetti sauce jar for a bubble counter, and used a cigarette filter for a diffuser. I am only getting a bubble every 5 seconds but this could be due to the very old bread machine yeast I used. It is producing loads of little bubbles though.

I have a whisper 30-60 filter and a 200 W heater. My stock light is on a timer that I have set up for 12 hours.

I am planning on ordering a Nova Extreme T5-HOFreshwater Light Fixture - 2 x 24 W - 30" in the next month or so. From my measurement I believe it will fit on my existing hood. This will still be low light but take my existing .5 wpg up to 1.3 wpg so that should make a significant difference.

Next steps:
Identify the plants I purchased yesterday
Put the CO2 diffuser somewhere (I just plunked it in the tank to try it out today)
Pick up some more tubing and a timer to set up airstones for when the lights are out
Pick up 3 tiger barbs to cycle the tank (in the next week)
Pick up some more plants (in the next month)
Up my lighting (in the next month)
Start dosing with Nutrafin Plant Gro (in the next month)

Final fish stocking plans:
A school (8ish) of tiger barbs
Bristlenose pleco
A breeding pair of kribs
Some kind of a top swimming fish - maybe dwarf gouramis or a blue gourami

I'll post pics in the next day or two although I'm almost embarrassed to since it is pretty ugly.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 09:39 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: las vegas
Posts: 352
to save some money, you shouldn't need a timer and airstone. 1 2 liter bottle shouldn't produce enough co2 to kill anyting in a 37 gal. You could also save money on the barbs and go the fishless cycling route . My personal choice is a pet rock, feed it daily til the cycling is done(if you dont have access to ammonia).

and dont be embarrassed, beauty is in the behind of the beholder.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 06:11 PM
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Have you thought about using some kind of potting soil or plant substrate? Iv heard a lot of good things about it. In actually in the process of changing my 75g from just gravel to premium Eco complete and florite. I can't wait!

| The 75 |Low-Tech 10g de-rimmed |

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Saskatchewan Canada
Posts: 12
Uploading a picture.

Thanks for the comments. I especially liked the "beauty is in the behind of the beholder".

I am planning on adding another 2 l bottle to my co2 setup as soon as hubby finishes emptying it so I'm not sure if that level would require an airstone to be running at night. I figure just to be sure it doesn't hurt. The local bargain shop has some 6 dollar timers that work really well so it's not going to be that huge of an expense.

I'm also not terribly worried about cycling the tank. I have half of my filter media from my HOB filter hanging out in my kid's guppy tank which should give it a good start and since tiger barbs are part of my eventual plan, I'm not picking up fish for cycling alone.

I was tossing around the idea of using potting soil but as the gravel I'm using is "wild" I am guessing there is loads of awesome nutrients in there as well. This gravel makes the tank so messy as it is, I didn't think I wanted to get into soil at this stage of my planted tank experience.

I see I already have some snails in this tank which was a bit of a disappointment. I've never really had a big snail issue - just a couple chilling out - but I didn't want them to start. Everything in this tank got a good soak in saltwater before going in so I'm not sure how they made it.

I really want to fast forward a couple months ... I am way too impatient! As it is I am spending lots of time sitting in front of this thing staring at basically nothing.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 06:47 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: las vegas
Posts: 352
when it comes to anything wild, im not adventurous enough to try it lol. for the co2 levels, start slow and slowly increase the amount of co2 you dissolve weekly, If you notice your fish breathing heavily and isnt as active then remove a bottle or move the diffuser closer to the surface, since the amount varies on how much plants you have. I had 2 bottles when i did my 15 gal, but it was heavily planted, i had pretty strong flow, and very minimal fish, mostly shrimps.

As far as having an airstone at night, the only time i tried using one i ended up killing some shrimps from blasting the o2 from a super strong bubbler and raised the ph within a very short time. A lot of guys here just keep it on 24/7 but at a lower diffusion rate to keep everything stable.

if you're not sure of how much nutrient your gravel has, you can always go the moss scape route. They dont require much nutrient, co2, or light. Some people has had amazing results from using just moss alone. Im currently going this route in my temp tank to raise shrimps since im using just plain gravel and im having great growth from just tap water.
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