Equilibrium's 25 Gal. Journal (Updated 5-7) (56K!) - The Planted Tank Forum

 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2004, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Grand Rapids, Mich.
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The tank in this journal has come a long way.

The initial setup was inappropriate for plants. It included a hood that gave me just over one watt per gallon, an over-tank filter that agitated the water and used a biowheel, and regular gravel. The errors here are derived from believing manufacturers' claims without impartial support, taking bad advice from mega pet store employees, and generally not researching enough to find out about the kind of equipment I now have.

Plants would do OK for a few months in the initial setup, but slowly die and break apart. Eventually black hair algae (BHA) broke out and fed on the dying plants. I researched some and found that I had insufficient wattage and too much agitation. I replumbed the filter output and installed a Coralife Aqualight (1 x 65 watt 6700K):



It was too little too late. Without the other components of a successful planted tank (like fertilization, a good substrate, etc.) being in place, the hair algae benefitted most from the extra light. So, I conducted a bit of an experiment. I let the BHA go wild to see if its rampant growth would disrupt the nutrient imbalance causing it. It did. Eventually the BHA stopped growing and 'regular' green algae took over. Here is the tank at about the end of this experiment:


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25 gal. Planted - SeaClear, Eheim 2026 Pro II, Retro Eclipse 2 hood w/1 x 65 watt CF & 2 x 15 watt NO, Hagen CO2, Eco-Complete
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2004, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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After researching some more (lurking and reading about a hundred Eheim vs. Rena Filstar posts on this board), I decided to pull the stock filter from my Eclipse 2 and go with an Eheim 2026 Pro II. I also decided to switch to Eco-Complete, readd my stock Eclipse 2 x 15 watt NO lighting, and begin a fertilizer regiment. The goods:



I also purchased three pieces of Malaysian driftwood from Drs. Foster & Smith. I couldn't be happier. They are an appealing dark color and sank immediately (dry!):



(only two show up well in the picture, the third is the small dark bit in the upper left corner)

Over the course of a few weeks, I took the gravel down to just enough to cover the bottom of the tank (shown in the tank photo above, it was not always that shallow of a gravel bed). After this process, I developed a green water problem that I had never previously experienced (more later..)

This past Saturday I removed the ornament (which had become a horrid bright white from the nice green/brown it started out.. curse poly-resin ornaments). I scrubbed the sides down and vac'd out what algae I could. I pulled the pleated material off the biowheel and put it in the canister with the Ehfisubstrat Pro to maintain my biological colony. The hope was that any mini-cycle would be countered by the 'silent cycle' phenomenon. Anyway, I fired up the 2026 and let it run in the bare tank while I went out for dinner. I must say that the canister is whisper quiet. When I returned I was very pleasantly surprised that not only was the free floating algae I had just scrubbed off the tank walls completely gone, the water appeared less green than before I began the changeover.

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25 gal. Planted - SeaClear, Eheim 2026 Pro II, Retro Eclipse 2 hood w/1 x 65 watt CF & 2 x 15 watt NO, Hagen CO2, Eco-Complete
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2004, 06:06 AM
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Great shots and just wondering would you like to join our eheim pimps club, it costs nothing and it could mean some great discounts in the not too distant future.

Paul

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90 gallon, CO2 dupla injection, Dupla substrate heating, Dupla Laterite with iron stone substrate, Aquastarlight future 3 x 150 metal Halides, Eheim 2026 pro2's and heavily planted with Discus
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2004, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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That same Saturday, I put in a few plants that I picked up at an LFS and a PetsMart & pulled the lotus and a very small moneywort from my quarantine tank:



There is a residual cloudiness from the Eco-Complete and all the scrubbing, etc. The green water was gone by the end of the day.

The tank ran open for a couple days until I could make all the necessary cuts in the hood for the new canister intake/output lines, retro lighting, etc:


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25 gal. Planted - SeaClear, Eheim 2026 Pro II, Retro Eclipse 2 hood w/1 x 65 watt CF & 2 x 15 watt NO, Hagen CO2, Eco-Complete
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2004, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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By the second day the cloudiness had cleared up substantially:



Mmm.. lotus..



I have now readded the Eclipse stock lighting toward the rear of the tank and put both fixtures on timers. I currently have an 11 hour photoperiod, but I may go down if algae becomes a problem.. After all, I'm at 3.8 WPG with a yeast-method CO2 setup. I am looking to go pressurized, but I'll be using Flourish Excel in conjunction with the CO2 system until then. Hopefully algae won't be too much of a problem, as I'm seeing new growth on several plants.

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25 gal. Planted - SeaClear, Eheim 2026 Pro II, Retro Eclipse 2 hood w/1 x 65 watt CF & 2 x 15 watt NO, Hagen CO2, Eco-Complete
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2004, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumples riot
Great shots and just wondering would you like to join our eheim pimps club, it costs nothing and it could mean some great discounts in the not too distant future.
Thank you.. and yes, I've posted on that in the equipment forum.

Eheim Pimp Club Member #10
25 gal. Planted - SeaClear, Eheim 2026 Pro II, Retro Eclipse 2 hood w/1 x 65 watt CF & 2 x 15 watt NO, Hagen CO2, Eco-Complete
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2004, 07:24 AM
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You just need to make the changes to your signature as I have posted in that thread, if you could do that it would be much appreciated. If you dont understand what I mean let me know.

Paul

Eheim Pimp Club member #3: Scribe to the Eheim Pimp Club

90 gallon, CO2 dupla injection, Dupla substrate heating, Dupla Laterite with iron stone substrate, Aquastarlight future 3 x 150 metal Halides, Eheim 2026 pro2's and heavily planted with Discus
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-07-2004, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumples riot
You just need to make the changes to your signature as I have posted in that thread, if you could do that it would be much appreciated.
Done.


It's been a while since the last update. Here are my gold barbs enjoying their new home:



I also added some red ludwigia. The oto's went crazy over it (actually what was on it):



Plant close-up:



The tank at day 8:



The tanic acid leeching from the driftwood is becoming more visible. The tank at day 13:



Overall, the growth has really been phenomenal. At day 18 the top of the tank was absolutely overgrown:



Since, the picture above I have trimmed & replanted.. more updates soon, hopefully..

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25 gal. Planted - SeaClear, Eheim 2026 Pro II, Retro Eclipse 2 hood w/1 x 65 watt CF & 2 x 15 watt NO, Hagen CO2, Eco-Complete
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-07-2004, 05:22 AM
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A suggestion, which you do not need to heed in the least--it's just my opinion, but...you have such wonderful pieces of driftwood that are completely lost in the tangle of stem plants. Why not use them to your advantage and let them serve as the visual anchors for your aquascape? Again, just my own thoughts...
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-07-2004, 01:22 PM
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nice tank! like a jungle. love the barbs

agree about the wood
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-07-2004, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2la
A suggestion, which you do not need to heed in the least--it's just my opinion, but...you have such wonderful pieces of driftwood that are completely lost in the tangle of stem plants. Why not use them to your advantage and let them serve as the visual anchors for your aquascape? Again, just my own thoughts...
Nice tank, great improvement from the first picture :P

I agree, if you play with the arrangement of your driftwood, you could come up with some interesting aquascapes.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-07-2004, 01:57 PM
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great to see your investment into the hobby is paying off. good start!!

75gal Planted Tank
SUBSTRATE: 60lbs flourite, 50lbs red flint gravel
FILTRATION: (2) 400 emperor
LIGHTNING: (2) metal halides 175W 10k
CO2: pressurized
PLANTS: Sag, Crystal Val, Pigmy swords, Micro swords, Red & Scarlet Ludwigia, Queen sword, Stargrass, Ludwigia Palustris, Ludwigia Brevipes, Red Sunset Hygro, Bacopa, Pennywort, Crypt Wendtii Bronze, Glosso
FISH: 8 Tiger Barbs, 7 Otos, 1 Dwarf Bristlenose, 14 Varies Rainbows, 6 Rasbora, 3 Cory cats
INVERTS: 8 Amano & 10 ghost shrimps.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-07-2004, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the positive feedback on the tank! Once I get a little bit more height on my bacopa, rotala, & ludwigia I do plan on making the driftwood more visible.. (great minds think alike ).. using them to retain a foreground area with anubias and (hopefully) some more growth from the microsword..

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