Welcome to the Jungle: 55 gallon Rainbowfish haven & more. (New Pics! 03-20-13)
FTS timeline, a work in progress... (original post continues below)
The tank as of 7-15-10:
The tank as of 7-26-10:
The tank as of 8-04-10:
The tank as of 8-17-10:
The tank as of 8-30-10:
The tank as of 10-22-10:
The tank as of 11-8-10:
The tank as of 3-14-11:
The tank as of 3-31-11:
The tank as of 4-19-11:
The tank as of 7-10-11:
The tank as of 10-26-11:
The tank as of 12-11-11:
The tank as of 1-23-12:
The tank as of 2-10-12:
The tank as of 6-8-12:
The tank as of 6-15-12:
The tank as of 2-5-13:
The tank as of 3-20-13:
Videos: (original post continues below)
Feeding Time (4/8/11):
After learning a lot regarding planted tanks from reading here, and caring for my 5 gallon nano, the time has finally come for a bigger tank (and the largest tank I have ever had)- 55 gallons!
I have been working for the past month or so on acquiring equipment, planning out a planting scheme, choosing potential fauna/flora, and preparing my hardscape (soaking driftwood, primarily.) I started off with a used tank that I partially resealed, before getting a deal that I couldn't pass up on a new one. Some of my other equipment came used along with the tank as a package deal, the rest has been bought piecemeal from this place and that. As of now, my plants were shipped yesterday, and should be arriving tomorrow. I figured this was a good time to finally start this journal :icon_mrgr
Equipment-wise, this is what I have:
For substrate, I have 100lbs of Eco-Complete. I am going to be dosing Excel daily, and have a simple list of ferts that I plan to use. I have Flourish Comprehensive, and I also ordered the "Simple Solution" from Pfertz (their N liquid, and root tabs.) I will place root tabs in the substrate, and plan to dose N twice weekly (Monday/Friday,) and Flourish once weekly (Wednesday.)
These are the plants I have on the way. I already have a large portion of Christmas Moss.
For fauna, this is what I plan:
Of course, what journal entry would be complete without pics? Here are a few of the tank and jumble of equipment before I started organizing it, as well as my driftwood and moss:
These are the most recent pics, from a few days ago. I did all of the plumbing for the filter and heater, and placed the lights in place (for now.) I still need to make a little shelf for the air pump to sit on.
I will take more photos of the planting tomorrow, as well as a FTS! Then, I plan to let the plants acclimate themselves for a bit (probably at least a week,) before I start looking into getting some fish. The tank will be planted heavily enough that I shouldn't have to worry about cycling :thumbsup:
I got it all planted yesterday; it took me four and a half hours! I wanted to get the plants in as quickly as possible, so I ended up not taking any in-progress photos like I planned- it was just too hectic. The entire process went off pretty smoothly though. I got everything I ordered into the tank, with the exception of the Rotala- it didn't appear to ship well, and it was choked with algae anyways :( I noticed after planting that I do have a very small amount of staghorn and thread algae in my Dwarf Sag and Bacopa too, my initial Excel dose probably nuked it but I will try to get it out of there before it spreads. I also had the cut back the Rubin sword that I got- I ordered a "large" one becuase I wanted to make sure that it would be big enough...well, it was large all right, it shaded half of my tank! I think in the end I removed a few too many leaves, but it should grow back. I bundled the cut leaves and just threw them in an old 10g I had sitting around- will sword leaves root, or should I just toss them?
All of the equipment appears to be working well- the SunSun is very quiet and has a ton of flow (looks like a river in there practically,) the heater warmed the water quickly, timers are working, etc.
I'll post up a few shots later tonight.
As I planned, I did go in and pull out the little bit of staghorn and thread algae that were on a few of my plants when I got home today. I also found that the skimmer on my filter has sucked up the duckweed that "came free" on some of my plants, so that is good :proud:
I have also found that I got a few hitch-hikers on some of my plants. Something is in there laying eggs, because some are on my driftwood which was definitely clean before. They look like a very loose gelatinous mass with dots in them. I would assume snails, but I can't see any snails in there, and didn't notice any while planting :confused: More unpleasantly, I also found a leech around 3/4" long inching on the glass...I made sure to get rid of that!
As promised, here are some pics. I think I did pretty good for my second attempt at a planted tank. My wife says I went overboard :icon_lol:
These first three were taken when I got home, when both light fixtures were on:
The rest were taken this evening, when only the 30w T-8 bulb was on:
I'm planning on letting the plants settle in for a week or two before adding fish. Some of my plants (the crypts in particular) look like they were grown emmersed, so I definitely want to give them some time to acclimate. I'm already seeing some of the infamous "crypt melt," but I was expecting that.
Let me know what you think- I am eager for feedback!
If you've got any Excel handy, I'd go ahead and hit the tank with a good dose or two of it now- staghorn and BBA can sneak up on you otherwise, and you can be sure there's plenty more that hitchhiked in that you haven't spotted just yet. Nip it in the bud now and you might never have to deal with it again!
I am dosing Excel :) I did the big "initial start up" overdose that they recommend yesterday (which amounted to 2 capfuls...actually, I probably could have done 3- 1 cap per 20 gallons.) I dosed 1 capful today, and the normal dose should be 1/2 capful. Do you think I should continue to overdose for a bit? As you say, I'd much rather nuke any nasties that came in now before they can get a foothold.
Yeah, I'd go ahead and keep up that "initial" doing for 3-4 days. IME that does a good job with most of the soft algaes.
Sounds like a plan :proud:
I did another one of the "initial" doses today, 3 capfuls. Probably a good thing too, since I see some new algae threads here and there. I definitely want to nuke this stuff before it gets a foothold! My dad saw the tank today while he was visiting, and said it looked like something that belonged in the Baltimore Aquarium :D
Otherwise, nothing else of note. The white fungus that kept growing on my driftwood while soaking it is growing back. It will make nice food for my Otos when I stock them :)
I did my 3rd overdose of 3 capfuls this morning. I'm going to see how the tank is doing when I get home and decide if I want to continue. Seeing as how the tank isn't stocked with any fauna yet (I've read that overdosing Excel can be harmful to fish/shrimp sometimes,) am I running any other risk to my plants by overdosing for an extended time?
As far as the algae goes, most of the staghorn and thread that I saw in there seems to have disappeared as of yesterday. I did see some whitish/transparent threads in new places; I'm not sure if that is just dying algae or some sort of fungus growing.
Plant-wise, I seem to see the beginnings of growth on a few of them, as well as melting on the crypts and sag. My crinum is yellowing too, but I think I've also read that they can be difficult to acclimate. I just hope with some patience that my tank will be comparable to some of the incredible ones that I see here on the forums :)
I dose 3 caps of excel on a daily basis in my 55 and all my fish and plants are thriving, so you should be fine if you choose to continue. Your tank looks good, now you just have to wait for it to grow in.
Ah cool, I will quit worrying then. Thanks for the compliment- my family and friends that have seen it so far really like it. My wife still thinks I am crazy though... :hihi:
I have it in my living room to the right of the front door, so it is the first thing that you see when you come into the house. It should be quite the showpiece once it is filled in and has fish in it.
I'd just do a big water change (50% or so) before you start stocking.
That makes sense.
I noticed some weird growth starting on some of my plants today- it looks like white cobwebs. I would think some sort of hair or thread algae, but color-wise it looks like fungus. It looks similar to the fungus on the driftwood, only stringy instead of fuzzy. Can someone help me ID this? (Best pic I could get, of it growing on my sword. It's also on the Anubias roots, and some of the stem plants- it's mostly on the higher flow side of the tank.)
The sword's leaves are melting now too, so it is joining the crypts, dwarf sag, crinum, and some of the bacopa in the melt party. I hope this is just a normal part of the acclimation process...my head says yes but I am pretty new to this still so I can't help but to worry a bit :tongue:
Looks to me like algae that got nuked by the Excel.
I would think the same thing too, but it wasn't there yesterday...I guess it could have grown really fast and then died :confused: I'll just see if there is more by tomorrow afternoon.
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