Wasserpests 36gal Corner Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-18-2005, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Wasserpests 36gal Corner Tank

A new tank is born...



I had already considered for a while to replace my scratched 43 gal quarantine/experimental tank in the garage, and I couldn't refuse Petsmarts offer for this 36 corner/bow front with stand. Thanks to Sam for bringing that to all our attention!

Painted it with a mahogany stain to make it fit into its surroundings, glued a little plastic thing in the back as an equipment corner, and stripped the light strip which will be outfitted with 2 T5 bulbs.

But, parts are still in the mail... So let's first do some substrate...
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post #2 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-18-2005, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate...

First, a big blob of soaked peatmoss. I know, you're supposed to just do a light dusting of the bottom glass. Well I went for about 1/2 inch of peat.



I want to do things a little different than in my other tanks, with more focus on substrate fertilization, and less water column dosing. So, in go a bunch of Jobes Ferns and Palms. I pushed them all the way down into the peatmoss.



Next, about 1 inch of a product (not by ADA) called "Special Kitty". It is used for many noble purposes, but its nutritious value and CEC for growing plants is excellent, and this layer costs me about 95 cents. I didn't wash it, just a quick flush in a bucket to get rid of the finest dust. This gives us about 1.5" substrate height.



Jobes? Kitty litter? I must be out of my mind. So let's continue... There was still a bag of price-matched Flourite. I took about 15% of it for a good cleaning, the rest went as the next layer, out of the bag, totally unwashed. I think when you rinse and rinse and rinse Flourite much of the good stuff is rinsed off. Okay now we are at about 2.5" height.



For biological activation, step one, I cleaned out one of my XP3's (really needed it) which left me with two cups of dark smelly sludge. Distributed that evenly over the flourite, then, for biological activation, step two, topped it with used flourite from my soon to be gone garage tank. Finally, added some thoroughly washed flourite on top of all. This gives us about 3" of substrate height, however, with the peatmoss and further settling it will go down to about 2.5".

Before going any further, I sucked as much water out of the tank as I could. This is a pretty good way to avoid a duststorm later when planting, as this moves the smaller particles further down.



With me so far? Now the fun begins... filling up the tank.
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post #3 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-18-2005, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Planting...

Like I said, the fun part... Filled the tank VERY VERY slowly over the course of maybe 3 hours, wasn't in a rush. This prevents the famous red flourite cloud. While the water was dripping, I started planting...



Following good advise, I planted a lot of fast growing weeds. At this point there isn't much thought put into aquascaping, that will be done much later. There are little dust devils appearing while pushing the plants into the substrate, but without any water movement, things settle quickly.



And, for now, the result:



Once I get the lights, I will update this!
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post #4 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-18-2005, 08:49 PM
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That is gonna be one potent substrate with all them jobes in there ! I usually use 1/3 of a stick in as many spots and then you add in that layer of peat... WOW is all I can say ! LOL
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post #5 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-18-2005, 09:01 PM
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Hi

Caught my attention **subscribe** Quick question where can i pick up those Jobes Ferns and Palms at ( ace,ture value ?) or do i have to order them on line?. Thanks
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post #6 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-18-2005, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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This 24" deep corner tank gives you a lot of room to do a foreground, and filling up the back corner with taller plants will make it look maybe a tad symmetrical, but we shall see.

Overall I am looking (again) for tough plants that can survive my hard water and not-so-high light levels. Planned for the foreground Sagittaria and Pearlweed, then some Wisteria, and then gradually going up to java moss, and in the back taller crypts and stemplants. Kinda wild/natural.
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post #7 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-18-2005, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will5
Caught my attention **subscribe** Quick question where can i pick up those Jobes Ferns and Palms at ( ace,ture value ?) or do i have to order them on line?. Thanks
Over here, they sell them at OSH (Orchard Supply and Hardware).

BTW... I am not a proponent of Jobes and weird substrates for YOUR tank. If you are working on that large display tank for your living room, you might want to go with more proven options.
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post #8 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 12:14 AM
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Wow looks great! What fish are you planning to put in there?
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post #9 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ship, although I disagree!! Give me a few weeks to make it look great.

The tank I am taking down houses a pair of African Butterfly fish, so these will be the new inhabitants.

That leaves me with the middle and bottom areas... For the middle, I thought of a bunch of White Clouds. They are cheap, colorful, breed like rabbits and are fairly interesting to watch in a school. Also, they leave most of the Cherry shrimps alone. Some of them tend to end up in ole Butterfly's big mouth... but that's nature, I guess.

I could see some other fish in the middle as well... maybe black or red Phantom Tetras (haven't had tetras for a while). I'd love to try some Threadfin Rainbows, but they are too expensive for that Butterfly snacking. Red Pencilfish are another favorite of mine, but again, I need something that doesn't go up to the surface much.

For the bottom... I am not sure. I don't think Flourite is the best floor cover for Cories... Maybe a pair of Kribs? But then, that would be the end of my Cherries... hmmm.

In any case, I won't buy any new fish for a long time... planning on a month vacation in Summer, so I don't really want to stock my tanks until after that.
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post #10 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 02:36 AM
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This one will be worth keeping an eye on . Blazing new trails I see, wasser . Good luck!

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post #11 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 07:09 AM
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This is interesting. What purpose does the peat serve? I always hear about people putting down a thin layer of peat, but don't know why the do it.
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post #12 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewburk
This is interesting. What purpose does the peat serve? I always hear about people putting down a thin layer of peat, but don't know why the do it.
it helps soften hard water mostly. in a post above he says he's looing for plants that will tolerate hard water and lower light. the peat should hopefully act as a buffer to help soften the water.

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post #13 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 04:02 PM
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That's a great start...what happens if you "accidentally" uproot a fert stick? I really like the way you set up the fluorite with the screen to drain the muck and refill. I may have to do that when I move...again.

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post #14 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewburk
This is interesting. What purpose does the peat serve? I always hear about people putting down a thin layer of peat, but don't know why the do it.
There are many ways to do a substrate... I add the peat not to soften the water, but to

- reduce the pH in the root area, which should lead to better nutrient availability
- add some organic component to the bottom layer, some ppl use potting soil, but I prefer peat

IF this doesn't work out, the peat is rather simple to remove. Just do a deep vaccuuming, and out it goes. Of course that will mix up my Flourite with the Special Kitty, which would tone down the red of the Flourite a bit.
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post #15 of 227 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgiadawgger
That's a great start...what happens if you "accidentally" uproot a fert stick?
Well, I know they are down there, so I will try not to. Also, over the months, they should pretty much dissolve, and I hope the nutrients are sucked up by my high CEC substrates. That's really the point of them sticks... an initial starter charge for the lower substrate layers. Peat doesn't contain any nutrients.

They usually become "unearthed" when you pull out large rootbound plants. When it is time for that, I might just pull the plant up a little, then with some scissors cut the roots in the substrate and leave them there.

Another simple way to avoid algae surprises due to uprooting the sticks: When you pull out a plant, turn off filter/powerheads, have a bucket and the vaccuum ready. When the plant is almost out of the substrate, start to vaccuum around the root area, which will remove any white fertilizer flakes.

Many ways... plus, like I said, after a while they will be exhausted anyway.
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