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HybridHerp 08-22-2012 08:02 PM

My 75 gallon idkwhattocallit Mrk. II (I now know what I am doing sort of)
Alright, I wanted to make a new thread for my 75 because I kind of left the first thread for it fall into obscurity and get really old and out of date. That and, I feel like I am finally starting to get a hang of the whole planted tank thing now. That and I felt the last thread was also a bit too much of me going on about my fish tank experiences and not enough of fish tank lol.

To start off with, a link to the old thread for any interested

Secondly, before I add pics, the stock list/specs.

The Tank - Standard 75 gallon
5 bags worth of Eco Complete topped with some larger grain gravel from my pre-planted tank days
Catalina Black Solar T5 HO 4x54W with 2 10K and 2 65K, with 8 dimmable moonlights (on for about 8 hours, only 2 bulbs)
Eheim 2217 x2
Water Pumps
Koralia 750
EI Method
Carbon Dioxide
None Currently (working on it :icon_frow )
2 air stones on one aerator (kept on from lights off until about an hour before lights on)

Current Fish/Inverts
The Cichlids
Amphilophus citrinellus x Vieja synspila – “Blood Parrot”
Pterophyllum scalare – “Angel Fish” x4
Herotilapia multispinosa – “Rainbow Cichlid” x3
Geophagus brasiliensis – “Pearl Earth Eater”
The Not Cichlids
Trichopodus leerii – “Pearl Gourami” x2:2
Polypterus endlicheri endlicheri – “Endli Bichir”
Polypterus senegalus – “Senegal Bichir”
Hypostomus sp. – “Pleco” @7”
The Invertebrates
Pomacea diffusa – “Mystery Snail” x18
Melanoides tuberculata - “Trumpet Snail” x100+

Current Plants
Cryptocoryne parva
Nymphaea zenkeri - “Red Tiger Lotus”
Cryptocoryne wendtii – “Green/Brown Crypt”
Crinum calamistratum – “Crinum” x4
Echinodorus angustifolia - “Vesuvius” x2
Nymphoides aquatic – “Banana Plant” x2
Hygrophila polysperma - “Sunset Hygro”
Echinodorus sp. – “Aflame Amazon Sword” x2
Echinodorus sp. – “Rose Amazon Sword”
Vallisneria americana – “Jungle Val”?
Vallisneria asiatica – “Corkscrew Val”
Ludwigia repens – “Ludwigia”
Ludwigia glandulosa – “Red Ludwigia”
Hygrophila corymbosa –“Giant Temple Plant”
Rotala macrandra – “Red Rotala”
Aponogeton madagascariensis – “Madagascar Lace” x3
Limnobium laevigatum – “Amazon Frogbit”
Bolbitis heteroclita
Taxiphyllum ferriei – “Weeping Moss”
Microsorum pteropus – “Java Fern Windelov”
Anubias barteri - “Broad-Leaf Anubias” x1
Anubias barteri - “Coffeefolia” x1
Anubias barteri - “Anubias Nana” x1
Anubias barteri – “Petite Anubias” x1 (currently tied on)
Anubias Afzelii “Long Leaf Anubias” x2

Basically, my idea behind this tank is sort of a collectoritis approach to things. Have a little bit of everything. Now, for me, a little bit of everything tends to be a lot of stuff that conflicts. However, I have noticed that certain "rules" have some grey areas, and I love to play in those gray areas. Now, I know that normally it is not advised to keep snails with cichlids, cichlids with plants, or snails with plants, but so far I've had success with keeping those three elements together. Where I haven't had success is actually doing the right things for the plants, but not that I am more or less doing the right thing (having the right lighting, the right flow, planting things properly, using ferts, ect.)

There are only a few things that I still want to do with this tank before I consider myself "done". I just want to add another pair of pearl gouramis and maybe a little shoal of swordtails or something. I still want to play around with my plants though, letting things grow in and supplementing things I already have and getting some other plant species going.

I'll post pics of things soon, just waiting for them to finish downloading.

HybridHerp 08-23-2012 02:48 AM

Lets see if this works
Full tank shot as of August 16th. This is right when I added the Korelia and EI dosing into the mix. It has been helping to get ride of the BBA that I've had going on with the driftwood and the anubias for a while, and I'm starting to feel satisfied with the growth of some of my plants.
Just showing my little patch of C. parva and a glimpse of the heteroclita on the driftwood. Right now, that is just leafs with baby plantlets but I hope that it will become a nice healthy growth of plant by next summer at worst. The parva is doing okay, not really uprooting, but I notice that my geo likes to place gravel right there and I have found plants buried a little because of it. Not sure if my fish is trying to garden or just messing with me lol
My two less than stellar Madagascar Lace plants, along with my not doing too well ludwigia (if you can even see them)
while not much has been happening with the plant as of this point, do look further down when I show what it looks like just 5 days later
Probably can't tell from the pic, but aside from the BBA there are actually leafs coming out of my Java Fern rhizomes now. Once that gets established, I'm sure I'll have tons of this stuff growing all over the place.
Anubias is doing okay, not fantastic, but okay.
this right here is probably the most depressing thing. I bought this Rose Sword as a giant mother plant, and then in terrible lighting and everything it just completely melted down to being just a root ball. At least its not dead, and I think by next summer it should be back to full glory. If not sooner. Also, two aflame swords that have also seen better days. THIS IS WHY YOU DO NOT GET HIGH LIGHTS BEFORE YOU GET FERTS. Oh well, plants grow and recover.
Couldn't resist at least one snail picture
Polysperma from above. Once I get this going really well I'll be filling in the gaps between each stem. I got it from a member on here, just forgetting the name right now.

HybridHerp 08-23-2012 03:25 AM

Yay, the last post worked. :fish1:
Anyways, on with the rest of the pics
FTS as of August 21st. I had gone to the LFS and noticed that they had gotten a fresh shipment of plants in, and that they were doing 3 "bunches" for $9...and that they were including 2 really nice Crinums and a Nice lace plant, all mother plants, in that "bunches" category. Also, they had some stuff I wanted for some other tanks I'm working on and I managed to get a ton of L. repens.
One of the two massive crinum natans I bought. Placed there because I figure, once the three swords grow in it can provide some accents to the otherwise large shaped leafs. Behind the swords are my very unhappy R. macrandra, but with dosing I am confident that even those will recover.
This is what I was talking about with that Red Tiger Lotus though. Within 5 days, it has already created an entirely new baby plant that I could easily clip off and place somewhere else. Which I would do, had I not done so about 5 other times. I swear, I could probably make a carpet of this plant if I really wanted to. My only complain about this though is that I am not getting much vertical growth, mainly horizontal. That's why I put the vesuvius behind it, since I know that it gets tall and it has those interesting spirals too it. Well, that and I couldn't think of where else to put it lol
Here you can see the mother lace plant (you can sort of see it too the right) and the mother crinum. The lace was flowering (that deteriorated quickly though) and the crinum had a baby plant I accidentally pulled off (growing next to the lotus), so I'm sure that in my tank these will both be producing like crazy. I would love to one day sell some Madagascar Lace and Crinum natans to the forum :flick: You can also see that I have a ton of L. repens now, and once I get them all growing I'll probably be cutting this and figuring out what to do with it. Although I need more, I plan on putting my L. glandulousa in this same area, so I think I'll make sure that the L. repens is trimmed short, like, tall enough where it can be seen, but not so tall that it obscures the lace and crinum (though it can hide the bulbs if they want to) and not so tall that I can place the other ludwigia behind it and have it growing taller, or even place it within this mess and just keep that trimmed to be taller, to almost create the effect of a massive tree jutting out of a forest of not quite so massive trees.
And this is just my little friend named phallic. Albino Senegalus Bichir, named because when I went to buy him, my mom looked at me and said "Why do you want to buy that fish? It looks like a..." (you can guess the rest)
Was awkward when she was talking to the older fellow working there about the resemblance as well...interesting car ride home from the LFS to be sure lol.

That's just about everything as of now. The one biggest challenge with this tank is getting everything to stay in the gravel. Its sometimes not even the geo that does it, the big bichir moving around on the bottom sometimes uproots newer plants until they establish new root systems. Once that happens though its usually pretty good. The geo might uproot some things, but same deal there. The most difficult fish in the tank have actually been the Rainbow cichlids...which are supposedly a very "plant safe" cichlid. They love to inspect new plants and see what they can and cannot pull apart. Once they fail they give up and leave it alone though, but I've seen them try to pull apart my windelov (back when it had leafs) and I've even seen them gang up and uproot vallisneria (I'm experimenting with it again to see if I can get it too stick, mainly cause I want the tiger strip and dark red varieties somewhere in this tank).

Thanks for looking, I'll actually keep this thread updated for a change :P

HybridHerp 08-23-2012 06:30 PM

The one thing that completely is a pain about this tank is how often I have to re-plant new plants :\
Once things start growing roots well though, the replanting tends to stop happening, but for a while its a big pain in the you know what
Anyone else have this problem/a solution to it that doesn't require me to get rid of fish or plants? lol

Elrodg 08-23-2012 06:31 PM

Plant weights.

HybridHerp 08-23-2012 08:12 PM

I'm going to try that when I get around to it

I had to replant ALL of my L. repens today, and while I was doing that I noticed that, for whatever reason, my substrate on that little part of the tank is not as deep as I would like. So I think part of my problem is that I can't get the plants down deep enough, which I can rectify with another bag of eco complete if I find a red one again (I think someone told me that a petco in my area was having an epic sale on eco I might have to look into that)

Aside from that, I also decided to trim and replant the tops of each of my L. repens, cause I think the fact that the stems were so tall and had no roots made it harder for them to stay in place. Once I get everything rooted well and staying down, and the stems get taller, I'll probably just trim them and figure out what to do with the tops since I have more than enough of that plant for now.

I still need some more R. macrandra and L. glandulousa and H. corymbosa, but I'll wait till christmas time on those cause I should have a nice new CO2 system by then. (crossing fingers)

Anyone want to suggest interesting plants to me? I've been thinking about throwing some HC up on the driftwood, since I am finding that the moss I currently have is just more of a mess than its worth. I might actually want some moss recommendations for this tank, since what I want is for it to stick to the driftwood and grow like crazy. Luckily enough, where I have that driftwood cave, the slanting part on the right side is very much removable so I could always just place moss there and see what it naturally does.

I'm also thinking about getting more Trumpet Snails, but thats not hard to do at all. I never see the snails themselves but I do see broken shells every now and then so they must still be kicking around. I'm still waiting on my plauge of snails. I'll also see if I can ever get my Mystery Snails to breed, just cause I really like those snails in this tank, they've been doing a pretty good job at keeping things under control but I need more small ones kicking around.

HybridHerp 08-26-2012 02:10 PM

I'm leaving for college today, taught my dad how to do EI and all that so it should all be good, but I wonder how my plants that get uprooted will hold up without me there.
Whatever ends up dying I will probably wind up replacing. Already, I more or less know that R. macarandra is going to be needing to be replaced once I get a co2 system, same goes for L. glandulousa, which I don't even think I have any more. I'll probably update in a week or two (which is when I will most likely be home)

Chaoslord 09-08-2012 02:48 AM

Why do you think you'll have to replace the macrandra and glandulosa because of co2?
Mine does great with co2.

I reread your post and I think I originally misunderstood .
You think they'll die off before you get the co2 going.
I grew both of these plants without co2. It's very slow growth but they did grow and multiply.

HybridHerp 09-15-2012 09:35 PM

Hey, I just saw your tank and am incredibly jealous lol
I just got back home today (I've been gone from my tank since my last post) and...things aren't looking the greatest.
Tons of growth, but for all the growth there is also a ton of mess cause things got uprooted, like part of my Red Tiger Lotus :\
I'm going to have to be doing a water change later and re-planting things that are floating/things my dad just planted at random while I was gone, but I already get the sense that my aflames are either doing poorly or are dead, my glandulousa is gone, my macarandra is no more, and a few other things
However, my lace plant is pretty massive now, and my stems, although all over the place, are definitely recoverable.

I think the other problem I have too is that once my stems get uprooted they tend to find their way into my powerhead...which doesn't look attractive and probably minces them up. I'll still be getting that co2 system eventually and a few more plants, but my bigger focus now with fish will be the little 5 gallon I bring with me to college. Not the greatest looking tank in the world but it should get the job done at the very least lol

Vic 09-16-2012 01:31 AM

Need any more jungle vallisneria? I got extras

HybridHerp 09-16-2012 05:42 PM

Nice avatar pic Vic :P
Anyways, while I do need more jungle val (like bad I need more jungle val) I'm going to wait a bit just cause it is awkward trying to get plants for a tank that I only see maybe for 6 days a month lol
That and I have to buy other plants for my nano I'm bringing to college, but when I do start looking for jungle val again I'm going to come to you.

Which variety do you have, cause I'm going to try and do a mix and match of the regular, the red, and the tiger strip when I can get my hands on them.

HybridHerp 09-17-2012 01:02 AM

No pics, nothing change too terribly much aside from replanting what gt uprooted
The tiger lotus got uprooted and when I was replanting it I found a ton of baby plants so that might be a thing I sell in the future.
My lace grew a ton which is always nice, and new leafs on the various anubias.
It's all coming along

HybridHerp 09-21-2012 07:48 PM

I'm going home again this weekend, so I'll try and get updated pics or something.

I'm debating what to do with my 3 rainbow cichlids however. I originally got them so that I could establish a breeding pair of sorts, but I believe they are all just males, or incredibly shy since the geophagus has been added. They also keep hurting each other and staying black. I could try and go for the breeding pair idea still, removing extras over time, much as I plan on doing with my angels (although I like having the group of 4) or I could just remove the rainbows in general to get a single larger cichlid that might be more outgoing with the parrot and geophagus.

HybridHerp 09-29-2012 05:42 AM

I just got in an order of plant, I'll take pics in the morning and upload them asap now that my first wave of tests is finally over.
I'll also request an ID on a thing that I got in, unless of course the seller gets back to me on what the plant I'm wondering about is before that happens lol.
Its kinda funny now, looking at my list of plants I still want to buy for this tank and plants I need more of...there are only a handful of plants I want to for sure try left for me to obtain, and then the only other additions to this will be the co2 tank, some fish and inverts, and that'd basically be it.
Then I can just sit back and watch it all grow in finally :D.

HybridHerp 10-10-2012 06:38 AM

I'm late on pictures, they'll be up 2morrow, but I have bad news.

Got a call today from my parents, dad freaking out and saying that the fish are not doing well. He couldn't really tell me specifics other than that the fish were having difficulty breathing. I have no idea what happened but I lost two of my gold angels and my blood parrot, who has been with me for 5 years now, is not doing very well in the slightest.

Maybe something happened with the water chemistry or my dad made a mistake with either the temperature of the water when adding in water during a water change or with the de-cholrinator, but I have no idea what I can tell him to help the fish and there is no one currently around that knows anything about these things. I can't make it home myself until friday most likely :(

I'm just depressed and frustrated over this, I still am going to be keeping up with the tanks and all, but I hate how [censored][censored][censored][censored] like this happens when I'm not around to do anything about it. Its just super frustrating too, especially because I can nearly ignore a tank when I am home and have it be doing fantastic, yet have someone watching over it while I am not there, given specific instructions, and random crap like this happens.

Wish me luck guys, I'm going to need it :(

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