So lets first start with where things were when I left them.
After this, the tank got worse and worse. Something from the crash caused disease to take hold and BBA to become unimaginable. I did not take pictures, it was bad. Really bad. I was losing fish still and it was awful. I decided it was time for a complete overhaul.
I have to thank both Tom Barr and msjinkzed for the wood. Two big pieces of Manzanita, Rachel bought them from Tom Barr, a friend of mine visited Rachel and bought wood from her and picked up the wood I bought from her, to then have another friend pick up the wood from me from our friend to then give to me…man, I really need a car.
I soaked the wood for about a month and a half. I managed to find a lot of nice black lava rock at Monster Aquarium in Flushing. $2 a pound I bought more or less everything they had that was black. Not pictured, I also bought my substrate materials. I decided that eco-complete was not the way to go, and so I bought 100lbs of black beauty blasting sand, which is apparently the same stuff as black diamond just different company. Regardless my friend uses the stuff and it works fine for him. I had to rinse it like you wouldn’t believe though, jeez. I’ll talk about substrate later on this post though.
January 2nd, I began the process of re-doing this tank. I needed remove everything and bleach the tank. BBA and other nastiness was becoming a big issue and this was the only surefire way to stop it. My plan was to drain the tank, let it sit for a bit, then spray a bleach water solution onto the tank, then fill the tank with a bleach solution, then spray the tank with an h202 solution, then drain and fill the tank until if smelled normal.
This is where the fish were sent to live. My neighbor was lending me an Eheim 2217 so I had 3 of them running on a 33 gallon brute force Rubbermaid garbage can. And I needed those lids as I know my fish are jumpers. And hey, no one jumped. I did lose a few fish in the process though. One of my male gouramis wasn’t looking so hot to begin with and ended up dying. My gouramis in general were in a bad shape when going into this, they had fungal infections so I had to treat the system with methylyne blue. The 3 bosmani I got on black Friday did not enjoy that in the least *sigh* I needed to do this though, I didn’t have another choice, and I was prepared for the possibility that fish may die in the process. Tbh, fish were dying from me not doing this too, so it was a screwed either way, lesser of two evils scenario.
January 3rd, before bleaching I decided I’d try and scrap off as much BBA as I could. Man, I could not tell you the last time I actually saw the back on this tank. So much elbow grease went into this.
January 4th, this is what substrate removal and bleaching gets you. I was lazy and didn’t clean up water stains on the front of the tank though…still should probably do that…but this was like a whole new tank, as if I had just freshly bought it.
The closest shots to the final from my hardscape planning stage. I did this on the 4th as well while draining and filling the tank a whole buncha times.
January 7th. I let the tank air out for a bit, also had some holiday and family matters to attend to given the time of year so I had to wait a few days to get the ball rolling. This is where we talk substrate. I decided that I wanted this tank to be more like my 10 gallon which has had a lot of success with few setbacks. I attribute that to my usage of dirt capped with sand. However, for my 75, I wanted to do things up even more, given the larger plants I’d be using and the desire for better colors. I decided to take a page from the mineralized top soil ideas. I couldn’t mineralize top soil myself and it wouldn’t have paid to attempt to buy enough MTS online, so I improvised a little. I sprinkled potash and dolomite onto the glass, as well as some Osmocote + and earthworm castings, 1tsp of osmocote plus per 10 gallons and 2 tbsp of earthworm castings per 10 gallons. Not pictured, I ripped up something like 2lbs of red clay (that stuff was annoying as all hell to find) and threw it in as I was dirting the tank with miracle grow organic potting mix. I sifted out any overly large pieces of wood as well, but left a decent amount of smaller soggy wood pieces in, as I know they will be breaking down and adding nutrients over time.
Hardcape in the tank. I recently wound up removing the larger middle rock and the rock furthest to the right in the tank in order to make more planting space. Kinda bummed about that but, it’s a planted tank with dirt so I needed the space.
January 8th. Fun fact, if you soaked your wood for a month and a half and then keep it out of water for like two weeks, its going to want to float for about a week. Luckily it didn’t really float but it kept trying to so I put these two rainbow rocks there to weigh the whole thing down and let it re-soak. I threw in what plants I salvaged and could clean off from my previous iteration of this tank.
January 9th, added the plants that I bought from Ebi that I had sit in my high tech 10 gallon and my quarantine 10 gallon.
January 16th, replaced my t5ho lighting. Another fun fact, I totally forgot to update my record I keep on my computer for my tanks about what bulbs I bought…ugh. I’ll post that information tomorrow when I write it down myself. I still have the boxes in my basement haha.
January 18th, took a picture of one of the MTS I am trying to get to populate this tank. My quarantine has a population of black MTS. I posted this on facebook and someone thought it was a rabbit snail. It’s not I can assure you, these popped out of a batch of MTS I’ve had breeding in my tanks for a while now. Seems like a lot of MTS from that tank are this color, they start off light and as they get bigger the shell eventually becomes this super dark brown/black. Might have to distribute these to some local buddies.
January 22nd, finally was able to get in 2 order of plants from MadMax and from 2ManyHobbies. This particular plant is Myriophyllum tenellum. I won’t go into detail about each species like I normally do but I think in another post after this one I’ll write up some stuff about the plants specifically and give more details on the specs of the tank. This post is going to be running long as is.
Took me a few hours to get everything planted. But I am very pleased with the results.
Helanthium sp. “Sao Paulo”
Rotala ramisori “Florida”
And until tomorrow I leave you with a picture of things to come.