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Kathyy 05-28-2011 11:26 PM

180 Gallon Long Take#3
June 17 2012 - how it looked last night before the fish went back in.

Here is a short slide show of its first year.

Since the 100 gallon tank was finally looking awesome it had to be time to completely mess things up and get another tank, right? Saw an ad on Craig's List - 96x18x24 acrylic tank, clear all around with a taller stand. Not perfect, acrylic is cloudy and lots of scratches but I have my slice of water on the wall without the annoying black silicone and trim. And I can see the whole tank over the top of the sofa too! I can have my hairgrass lawn and a jungly java fern/anubias/wood spot and a nice Crypt. balansae grove as well. No open top, it is at my eye level already and so much of the top is covered AND I am attempting do this with the same lighting as over the 60" tank so floaters will be gone.

180 gallon long - 96"long by 24" tall by 18" deep

32" tall brown painted stand with DOORS!

2 - 150 watt 8000K fishneedit metal halide lamps hung ~30" above the substrate. May buy another one in the future.

Pressurized CO2 system run 24 hours a day to CO2 reactor kept in tank.

25 gallon rubbermaid sump with commercial overflow at right rear run by Rio 2500hp to a 3/4" vertical spraybar at left rear of tank.

In tank Rio 1700 with foam filter at right rear of tank run to 3/4" vertical spraybar at left front of tank.

Total turnover is about 800 gallons per hour due to head and elbow joint losses. Spray bars are to the left and intakes to the right yet the current seems to be headed towards the spray bar, looks good anyway. Hoping to keep power heads out of the tank this time.

1 - 150 watt heater is keeping tank at 76*F.

Substrate -
1.5" of old Schultz's Aquatic Soil with 1.5" of mixed grain gravel on top. Old substrate wasn't cleaned before put into new tank. New gravel looks very coarse but there is a lot of fine grained stuff mixed in.

Hardscape -
1-2" thick manzanita branches fastened with stainless steel screws into a frankenstump.
.5-1" thick sycamore branches fastened with stainless steel screws into a frankenstump.
Idea here is for a close in tangled jungle with larger scaled plants to further bright hairgrass path/river with far away open 'forest' with smaller scaled plants. Hoping hairgrass will spread under the Crypt. balansae as well as it undoubtedly will into the Stauro.

Plants -
Anubias 'nana'
Bacopa monnieri
Crypt. wendtii red or bronze
Crypt. balansae
Eleocharis acicularis
Eleocharis 'Belem'
Fissidens fontanus
Hemianthus glomeratus aka Hemianthus microanthemoides
Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides
Hygrophila difformis
Marsilea sp.
Microsorum sp - narrow leaved java fern
Myriophyllum mattogrossense
Nymphaea pubescens
Riccia fluitans
Rotala rotundifolia
Rotala 'Green'
Staurogyne repens
Taxiphyllum barbieri aka Vesicularia dubyana - java moss

Ancistrus sp. - bushynose/bristlenose pleco - 1
Corydoras paleatus - Peppered Cory - 11
Hyphessobrycon megalopterus - black phantom tetra -7
Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi - black neon tetra -30
Laetacara curviceps - Dwarf Flag Cichlid -2
Otocinclus sp. - oto - 15
Xiphophorus sp -platy - 11 at the moment
Panorbarius sp. - Ramshorn snails - maybe 20-30 at the moment

+ 12-24
Roseline barb?
Rainbow fish? esp. looking at dwarf neon M. praecox and M. splendida australis
Giant danio?
Cardinal tetra?
Congo tetra?
? other bigger than black neon tetra that like to hang out together that look good in bright light

All the other fish are American but whatever. Also thinking about adding a couple more bushynose plecos and more black phantoms as they are shoaling nicely in this huge tank.

So I am crazy but I took down this pretty tank.
for this sad looking thing - the black on the left is the H.O.T. HOB I use for quarantine and to hold fish in the temporary tub while I set up the new to me tank. Plant placement is about the same in both tanks, just stretched out with a lot more room allocated for the hairgrass.
The fish have been doing a great job cleaning up the wreckage from the melted plants. Even though they looked fresh after a week out of the tank within a day the plants started dissolving - even the Anubias.

The black neons are thrilled with all the room but the black phantoms and dwarf flags are extremely pale yet. All the fish did just great in a 25 gallon tub covered with floaters filtered with the HOT and a 50 watt heater outside for a whole week.

I just increased the cory and oto numbers but will wait on the main new group of fish until the hairgrass has formed a turf and the black phantoms and dwarf flags are colored up showing that there is enough cover in the tank for comfort. May attempt cherry shrimp if cover seems really good as well.

I am seeing new growth even furthest from the light but we will see........

audioaficionado 05-28-2011 11:49 PM

Roselines and danios will absolutely love all that running room.

nikonD70s 05-28-2011 11:59 PM

looking nice!

my pick would be roselines or congo tetra's about 20 of them.

Kathyy 05-29-2011 03:29 AM

Thanks, I figured if 1" black neons liked 96" of swimming room bigger fish would be super happy. Guess I need to be searching for videos of these fish to see which one interests me most. Haven't had danios of any sort for a decade, roselines remind me of SAE - an interesting fish to watch and congo tetras are just magnificent. Both danios and SAE went overboard in an open tank, not going to be a problem with this set up!

hydrophyte 05-29-2011 04:00 AM

Wow that would be amazing to have such a long tank lie that with so much room for fish to swim.

A bit group of some kind of species livebearer could look awesome in there.

lauraleellbp 05-29-2011 04:08 AM

Color me jealous!!!

Noahma 05-29-2011 04:28 AM

That tank would be my wifes worst nightmare. I already have my 36 gal PACKED with plants. I would end up doing the same thing with something that big lol I am excited to see its progress.

Kathyy 06-06-2011 04:04 AM

Thanks for the help choosing fish. Congos, roseline, danios and species livebearers it is then. 3 of each?? What kind of livebearer? I have only had hybrid guppy/platy/swordtails.

Hairgrass is chugging along but I still have a really long time before deciding. My daughter suggested hatchetfish but from the videos I have seen I would be very frustrated when cleaning the tank.

I got to cut back a couple of plants this week! Attempted to glue stray java fern on wood but it really wants to take over the tank and bits keep escaping. Not much debris in the tank, may be over the hump and ready to grow.

Small hitch though. My 10 year old M3 regulator is acting very oddly. The big black pressure regulator knob is very hard to turn and the CO2 tank is nearly empty. Me thinks something is wrong here.

Finally put the cord cover on the wall. Modified the overflow mesh so it is less obtrusive and raised the overflow a bit.

This photo shows how this tank fits the 10' wall of the living room. I had to stand all the way to the far side of the room. This is a tiny house, I get one tank. Hehehe.


TwoStrokeKing 06-06-2011 04:06 AM

What are those floating plants?! id love some for my pond!

audioaficionado 06-06-2011 01:43 PM

3 roselines in that big tank of yours?!! No way. 9-12 minimum. Nick/speedie408 has 10 and they look awesome schooling around very energetically in his ADA 120P.

Kathyy 06-06-2011 02:00 PM

The floaters are red rooted, Phyllanthus fluitans, and Salvinia minima I think. Neither are looking their best in the photo. In a pond they would be much prettier. They aren't going to look as good in my tank off to the side without much light either but they need to stay for grazing. The platies like RRF a lot.

Kidding, I will be buying a whole bunch of whichever larger shoaling/schooling fish - not a few of each. Tank looks busy enough at every level already. I don't know why the black phantoms are looking like a shoal now when I have had them for ages just hanging in the same area. Right now platies are all over but mostly at the top and feed together more than shoal, black neons are mid/upper level schooling when they decide to go for a tour of the tank, BPT shoal in bottom third of tank, corys hang out in small groups at the bottom.

My new overflow screen is great for keeping floaters away from the slots in the box but I had to rescue a platy and oto from it last night.

matt12 06-06-2011 03:02 PM


Originally Posted by nikonD70s (Post 1403084)
looking nice!

my pick would be roselines or congo tetra's about 20 of them.

could not agree more! i'd do both. maybe 10 each

150EH 06-06-2011 04:28 PM

Kathy that's a nice tank and big too, I have some plastic conditioner I use on the Harley windshield that will not only remove scratches but any yellowing of the acrylic, there are a lot of companies that make this product (Rain-X) for cleaning and removing fog from the new style car head lights. It requires a bit of elbow grease and I did the windshield about 5 times but results were excellent, it might be worth testing a spot on your new tank (in the corner on the back) to get rid of any scratches, good luck with your new tank.

Kathyy 06-17-2011 11:32 AM

Thanks 150EH, I think the cloudiness is on the inside. It looks better in real life than in my crummy photos.

I am still doing searches, looking at everybody's tanks and poring over my fish books looking at new fish. No clear winner yet. Am wondering if just adding more black phantoms and black neons would get me where I want to be.

The regulator died so I put my spare one on and then of course the CO2 tank was drained and I had to start all over again pushing up the CO2, now I have some pearling and happy fish.

GDA and GSA has been growing very nicely on the tank's front pane. I think the tank is in a horrible GW state then I scrape it and everything turns back the nice colors again. Amazing I am fooled every time.

Loads of diatoms built up in the overflow box so of course the fool otos have to go in there for the great food. I cleaned it out and no otos have gone back. Sheesh, what nags those fish are!

Most of the plants are really perking up. The C. balansae seems to have double the leaves or they are twice as thick this week. Staurogyne repens has really deepened its color and thickened up. The Brazilian pennywort is still thinking about leaving me again, I sure hope it pulls through. Still have the floaters, water spangles looks nice but RRF is nearly gone.

Noticed none of the plants had closed their leaves up when lights went out so I increased the lighting period to 9 hours. Now to remember to notice if they are closed at lights off. The dog is so confused, I used to feed him at 3PM when the lights turned on and now the lights are on for an hour before he is fed.

Been taking photos of my purse surplus and hope to be making enough money at auction so DH won't freak out at a big fish and possibly new light purchase next month.

See the CLEAN overflow?

Got to trim the R. 'Green' again. HG is getting thicker but a long way to go yet.

Kathyy 06-22-2011 06:40 AM

The tank is starting to look planted now! I lost a few species of plants and a couple are still in intensive care but most everything looks pretty robust now. Got the CO2 nearly where it belongs I think."]
So far no surprises from the plants, they are behaving as anticipated, that will surely change. Fish are fat and happy, especially the otos. Apparently there are plenty of diatoms and GDA to please them.

Was admiring Amanda's new Melanotaenia maccullochi today. May visit my favorite LFS and see if they can help me out.

The water change yesterday was still ridiculous. 90 minutes to dump and fill 90 gallons. I could do 50 gallons in 20 minutes. Since all I needed to do was cut the Rotala 'Green' and Bacopa, scrape the front pane and thin out the floaters I don't understand why it took so long. Other than taking longer than it should and finishing up in the dark it was drama free, no water on the floor or balky pumps.

I cribbed feral13's most excellent light shield for the fishneedit metal halide fixture. I had a bit of thin acrylic and with taken apart hinges and some nuts and bolts made up this. I used hammered gray paint and it didn't want to cover completely but I am leaving it for now. Some light comes through when lights are on but the shields look opaque when lights are out. Maybe I will buy more acrylic and make shields for the back and paint the inside with white, might make them opaque. They don't seem to get very hot, probably ought to see how these do before making more anyway. Will buy the acrylic cutter too, scared the dog big time breaking it.
Here is feral13's journal.

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