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Thread: Jeffrey's "Big Boy"---120g Planted: Updated 9/16/2016 w/ pictures Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-25-2017 03:48 PM
Greggz Great journal and thanks for sharing the pictures.

It was interesting following your journey through the years.

The latest version is my favorite. Looks really healthy and a beautiful presentation.

You should update a little more frequently. Would like to follow along and see how things progress from here.
04-25-2017 03:26 PM
jmhart Time for an update. Photos first:

This thing has been doing pretty well. I'm not the best aquascaper, but I can definitely grow plants. Most of the plants in here started from tissue culture last fall/early winter.

Current Plant list:
  1. S. repends (left foreground)
  2. Marsilea minuta (middle-right foreground)
  3. Staurgoyne sp 'purple' (far right foreground)
  4. Ludwigia mini super red
  5. Blyxa japonica
  6. Ammania sp 'bonsai'
  7. Anubias nana
  8. Syngonanthus sp. 'Belem'
  9. Rotala ramisoir 'Florida'
  10. Crypt wendtii 'tropica'
  11. alternanthera reineckii mini
  12. Lobelia cardinalis 'small form'
  13. Downoi (pogostemon helfeir)
  14. Tall Crypt species (far left back, not sure of the species)
  15. Barclaya longifolia
  16. Limnophila hippurdoides (aka aromatica)
  17. Ludwigia glandulosa
  18. Rotala macrandra
  19. Rotala rotundfolia
  20. Rotala 'pearl'
  21. Crypt wendtii 'brown'
  1. Cardinal Tetras (40+)
  2. Pristella Tetras (13)
  3. Sterbai cories (6+)
  4. Otocinclus (10+)
  5. Red Cherry Shrimp
On plants, it seems like a lot, near collectoritis, but I'm trying to move this into a hybrid Dutch scape, so that number seems about on par. I'll almost certainly pull the Barclaya longifolia out. It's a nice plant, but I'm tiring of it. Might ditch the crypts and anubias sooner than later. The crypts aren't doing so well in the extremely soft acidic water in this tank. When I raise the hardness up to help the crypts out, the red plants lose some of their brilliant red colors, which is not a trade off I'm willing to make. The anubias are algae magnets. I used them in the beginning as filler because I had a to of them in the previous scape of this tank, but now I'm not sure they work in high light of this tank. The driftwood isn't the greatest placement, but I'm going to ride it out a bit longer.

Current things I'm excited about:
  1. The ammania 'bonsai' was a slow starter from the tissue culture. I think I actually planted two TC cups, and all but 3-4 stems melted and died, but now it's growing strong and I'm really excited to propogate it and have a nice midground patch
  2. I'm really excited about the color coming out of the Ludwigia glandulosa. This wasn't a tissue culture, but it was a slow starter as well. I think maybe it was emersed growth when I received it. Took several months to really get going, but now it's shooting up light a weed...a bright magenta weed. Excited to move it to a more prominent position.
  3. The synogonanthus belem was also a slow starter. It was submersed growth when I got it, but I think it just needed to adjust to my tank. It's growing much better now and sending out babies. Pretty excited about this guy.
  4. Really excited about the Rotala pearl. Pretty plant. Started as TC and took time, but now quite lush.
  5. And I always love Limnophila aromatica. Love that plant. Been my favorite since I started the hobby. It's not showing a lot of purple right now because I just cut it majorly back 2-3 weeks ago. When it gets closer to the surface it turns deep purple. But I'm currently loving the angled growth of it. I didn't cut and replant (like I often do), instead I just cut and remove the tops (for sale) and let the bottoms grow out. The bottoms sent out 2-3 shoots each at angles and really filled the space nicely.

Things I'm looking to change:
  1. Going to pull out the Barclaya. I'm just done with it.
  2. Going to remove some or all of the anubias
  3. Going to remove some or all of the marsilea minuta. Great little plant, just ready to change it up.
  4. Need to move the AR mini. When they say mini, they mean it. It grows low and dense, so I need it to be more foreground to really enjoy it.
  5. Not sure the Rotala rotundfolia is needed/works in this scape. Love the way it looks when it's dense, but I think I might accomplish the same thing with the Rotala pearl.

That's about all I've got. The plumbing is still working great since I replumbed it. Great CO2 diffusion, great flow. I'm currently manually dosing all ferts. Probably will go back to auto dosing in a while, but meh. Automatic water changes have been and continue to be the most amazing thing. 1:00 a.m. every Monday morning. Drains and fills before the sun comes up. I never even see it happen. Wondeful. Only thing I have to do is change the filter on the water supply line every year or so.

I'll post again after I rescape and make the above changes.
04-25-2017 06:07 AM
Hitaiwan666 AMAZING! I love the plumbing part!
12-09-2016 01:11 AM
Sean W. This is awesome!
12-09-2016 12:09 AM
BettaBettas update? stunning tank and really educational journal!
09-16-2016 01:47 AM
jmhart I'm going to fast forward the grow story a bit. I've been taking pictures with my iPhone, and it's just not doing it justice, so I spent some time with my D200 tonight:

This is now a month after planting the tissue culture plants

Really nothing major to share. I've added ~50 cardinals, 12 Otos, and 2 Sterbai Cories (looking to get 8-10 more). I also tossed in about 25 red cherry shrimp from my upstairs 60-P. Everyone is doing really well.

I've added a few more tissue cultures. Some ammania bonsai, alternanthera reineckii mini, and some Rotala 'pearl'. Now it's just a waiting game to let it all fill in.

Things are growing so well that I'm thinking on replacing the Marsilea minuta down front with glosso. I've been using the Marsilea for years because I couldn't commit the time to really maintaining a high light thank like a good glosso carpet with require. However, with all the stems I've put in here, I'll need to keep the light up to get great colors, so might as well take a shot with glosso.

Still thinkiing on that.
09-07-2016 03:23 AM
klibs man after my own heart using all those Eheims.

I love the DIY plumbing you did with everything and your hardscape looks awesome! That is a great piece of driftwood

Good luck!
09-07-2016 02:47 AM
Immortal1 OMG, had to laugh at the cat pics only because one of my cats would have done exactly that given the opportunity.
09-07-2016 02:32 AM
jmhart I started off by just scaping a bit with rocks and manzinita. Got this piece of wood from Tom Barr a couple of years ago. Used it in my old scape, but decide to turn it upright this time to give a more height to the scape. As I was bringing in plants from my storage area, my tank started to show signs of life:

But she quickly exited when I started filling the tank

Initial planting was with what I had on hand: Anubias (mostly 'nana'), Barclaya longifolia, marsilea minuta, and some random crypts.

I then ordered in some plants from I'd gotten some tissue culture plants before form Petco, on sale I think, but I really didn't know what they were exactly. Looked into it, and decided it was worth a shot, especially since had them on sale.

I ordered some S. repens, L. hippuridoides, Crypt wentii 'brown' and 'tropica', Downoi, and Lobelia cardinalis.

I'm really pleased with the tissue culture plants. Once rinsed and separated out like suggested from the seller, there are really a lot of plants in here. Really got my money's worth. I''d still consider it a good deal at the for $9 price. But I'm patient, so I don't mind waiting for them to fill in over the next few weeks.
09-02-2016 07:17 PM
jmhart I've finally put this tank back together.

I've never really liked the plumbing. I spent a lot of time thinking about the plumbing when I first set it up, but I made it overly complex. Biggest issue was all the turns. I was losing a lot of head pressure, so I really had very little flow in the tank. So, I decided to redo it.

Same internals as before. Two tank drains, left and right, plumbed to a corner drilled hole in the tank. These feeds into 6 port manifold. The manifold feeds three Eheim Classic 2217s, and has ports for automated macros, micros, and a burp/manual drain/fill port. At present in the picture below, I only have the macro line installed. The micro line and the burp line are currently plugged off. I'm doing dry micros right now and for the immediate future.

Filter Loop 1

A single Eheim 2217 pumps to a substrate level spray bar. In line after the Eheim are two solenoid valves: one for drain line, one for fill line. At present I do about a 10% water change once a week. Been doing that for a few years, while dosing a modified PPS-Pro and have been pretty happy. Not a huge waste of water/ferts and the tank is happy.

In the back of the picture here you can see the green irrigation solenoid on top for the fresh water supply line, and you can see the top of a Asco Red Hat valve on bottom for controlling the drain line.

Filter Loop 2

Two Eheim 2217s run in parallel. In line before one of them is an atomic CO2 diffuser. Love that thing. Then the two filters come back together via a manifold yee fitting and run through a single Hydor inline heater.

I got it all plumbed in and turned on, and was immediately thrilled with how it turned out. Much better flow and circulation in the tank. Reducing all those turns from my previous plumb job has been a great thing. It has also improved how long it takes to drain this tank. The loss of head pressure to do all the turns meant it took forever to drain even 15% of the tank via the automated process. Now I can drain that in just a few minutes.

Here it is all filled and cycling:

08-21-2016 02:29 PM
chale Very nice set up. I like the looks and your automation of everything.
07-21-2016 02:24 PM
jmhart This tank has currently been broken down and put into storage for about 3 months.

A few months back we decided to have the rest of our basement finished, which meant a considerable amount of construction around the location of this tank (and included painting the room this tank is in), so I had to break the entire thing to move it.

Now that I've done it once, it'll be much easier if I ever have to do it again. I'm writing this post as a helpful guide in case anyone has the exact situation I had ever again.

My tank sits on a tile floor. I needed to move it about 15 feet into the next room (that would be untouched during construction). I still had fish in the tank (not a lot) and I didn't want to lose my cycled filters, so instead of completely breaking it down I got it as light as possible. I drained almost all of it. Removed all the plants, rocks, and wood. Then I removed 1/3 to 1/2 of the substrate. And drained some more. That was the easy part.

I mentally struggled to figure out how to move this think. Even with all that this sucker was still heavy. Enter brilliance and luck. The tank was on a tile floor, and that tile floor extends into the room I needed to move the tank to. So, I got two neighbors to help me lift sucker, and then put the edges down on two folded blankets. Each end of the tank was on about 4-6 layers of blanket. From that point, the thing was pretty easy to just slide into the next room. One person could have done it (the sliding).

All of the plants got stored in rubbermaid tubs in my laundry room with lights. Fortunately, this is a tank composed mostly of low light plants, so it was easy to just put them in "hibernation" for a few months. I kept lights on them and topped of the water occasionally.

Move updates to follow soon.
04-06-2015 10:58 PM
The Dude Man I love the latest iteration. It just pops to me... the way the wood runs though the plants and the long slender leaves running through it. I'm not a fan of stems, but it's hard to get things in the right places to make a natural scape without them I'm learning. I saved a pic as inspiration for my 180 Gallon
04-06-2015 12:57 PM
Originally Posted by Brian Mc View Post
Cool thanks, I am actually an inactive member of the Atlanta club for the last uhh 15 years or so lol. Maybe I should come check it out again.
Well the, definitely check out the auction coming up on April 19. It's a fun event and you always land some great deals. I got about 10 of these Apisto's in two lots for about $30 total...waited until they grew and paired up and then sold off the rest and kept 4 in my 120g.
04-06-2015 01:33 AM
Brian Mc
Originally Posted by jmhart View Post
I got them from my local aquarium club auction. If you have a local club I highly recommend participating.
Cool thanks, I am actually an inactive member of the Atlanta club for the last uhh 15 years or so lol. Maybe I should come check it out again.
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