The Planted Tank Forum

The Planted Tank Forum (
-   Tank Journals (
-   -   *NEW* 75 Gallon journal (

stevenjohn21 09-26-2012 07:59 PM

*NEW* 75 Gallon journal
Ive had this 75 gallon tank setup before, but due to being a novice i rushed into things and the outcome was.......terrible ! Ive decided to take things slowly (even though its killing me) and decide exactly how i want things. The setup im going for is a little bit of everything...Dutch style, Amano & Iwagumi. Im not sure how it will come out but in my head it looks excellent ha ha!

75 Gallon standard
4x 54w Catalina T5ho
Rena XP-3
Pressurized C02 with Rex style reactor
Seachem Flourite (Dark)
Pool Filter Sand

I emptied this tank around 8 days ago, the last setup was a mess, i kept adding plants to it without fully knowing what care was needed for them, so some died whilst some went crazy and blocked everything else from the light.

I decided whilst the tank was empty i would scub the inside of the tank with a bleach mix to kill any nasties that was growing on the silicone or glass itself. This also gave me a chance to connect my reactor.

Next was to decide what i wanted as the main focal point, using the "rule of thirds" i decided that a leftover piece of driftwood i had from another tank would be perfect. The piece seems just the right height and has tons of potential to grow Anubias, java fern and/or moss around the base or the branches.

Next up was to decide the layout of the actual tank. Ive seen lots of "island" & "beach" effects by dividing 2 different color substrates which i like. Making 2 islands would be great to keep Iwagumi away from the Dutch & Amano styles. I decided to use plexi glass and cut them into strips, being 2.5" high. I used a candle to heat the plexi glass and bend it to the shapes i wanted. After i got the correct shapes i just simply siliconed them to the bare bottom of the tank. Once the silicone was dry i decided to pour the flourite from the bag straight into the tank (yep, no rinsing) I dont see the point in rinsing the substrate, you pay all that money for the goodness inside the substrate only to ....wash it all away ! Makes no sense to me.

Turns out im 2 bags short (only used 2 bags in the pics) but hopefully the LFS will have these for me on Friday. I filled the tank with water and will leave it for 24 hours before i switch my filter on. I did have a few suspended particles but i just used kitchen paper towels to soak them up which worked very well.
Underneath the driftwood and the right hand side of the tank i used pool filter sand in some panties to make the "hills". Once i get the other 2 bags of substrate i will make the left side a little more hilly. This picture was taken straight after the water was in........ not too cloudy considering i didnt rinse it !

This is the left side of the tank where i would like a dutch style background with a Amano foreground and around the "tree stump"

This is the right side where im hoping to grow HC in a Iwagumi style.

rustbucket 09-26-2012 08:33 PM

This looks really cool so far, will be watching for updates. I love the unique shape of the silicone.

SanctusLetum 09-26-2012 08:59 PM

Very nice. What are you planning on using for substrate in the central area?

CPD 09-26-2012 09:27 PM

This is an awesome idea! I'll be keeping an eye on this one

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

stevenjohn21 09-26-2012 09:42 PM


Originally Posted by SanctusLetum (Post 2024067)
Very nice. What are you planning on using for substrate in the central area?

I'm not sure yet, I was thinking pool filter sand but the only color I can get is too light and I'd like a tan color sand.

rainbuilder 09-27-2012 02:31 AM

Looking good! I have one of the same size but I haven't planned it nearly as well as this. That driftwood is awesome.

stevenjohn21 09-27-2012 05:41 AM


Originally Posted by rainbuilder (Post 2024412)
Looking good! I have one of the same size but I haven't planned it nearly as well as this. That driftwood is awesome.

Thank you, Im getting to a stand still at the moment as im not sure what substrate to place in the middle and i keep changing my mind on plant choices.

Today i bought some HC which will be grown for a couple of weeks using the DSM in a tub, not sure if i want HC or Glosso to carpet the right corner.

stevenjohn21 10-01-2012 01:29 AM

This weekend i tried not to rush things so went slowly. Managed to get the rest of the flourite and sand , still not sure about the light color of the sand but it will do....for now.
I planted the HC and tried a few stem plants in areas, although not sure exactly where i want the plants just yet. Ive ordered some more stem plants so hopefully i will have a better idea on wednesday when they arrive.......but for now , here are the recent pics. The tank is still a little cloudy because i dont rinse the flourite, why wash the good stuff away ? AThe flat rock is holding the driftwood down and will be moved in a week or 2 once its waterlogged.

CPD 10-01-2012 12:20 PM

That looks unreal! I love the look of it

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

stevenjohn21 10-01-2012 10:27 PM


Originally Posted by CPD (Post 2028701)
That looks unreal! I love the look of it

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thank you ! I took the Riccia out, i cant stand the bits floating around and hanging on to plants....the stuff gets everywhere, even in the drop checker !

stevenjohn21 10-10-2012 05:48 PM

Update :
I've cut all the stem plants in half to double my plant mass (I'm cheap I know) not entirely sure how to create a Dutch style aquarium as its a lot harder to do than what all the beautiful tanks look like online! I'll have to wait for my plants to get to a good size before it will start taking shape.
I noticed the driftwood trunk has some dark algae on it , not too bad but enough for me to notice. I run only 2 tubes (108watt) for about 7-8 hours a day and my drop checker is very light green . I'm thinking even 2 of these tubes maybe too much light so I'm going to try 4 hours with 1 tube running and 4 hours with 2 tubes , hopefully this will help.

stevenjohn21 10-12-2012 02:52 AM

Houston we have a problem ! Today i woke up to 2 dead angelfish :-( i thought the tank was cycled , but apparently not. Nitrite was sky high , i just dont understand how last week the params were fine and today they are not. I added some seachem stability so im hoping the angelfish that survived will be ok.

stevenjohn21 10-18-2012 05:40 AM

Ok , things are back on track and my recent Nitrite spike has sorted itself out and params are all steady (for 5 days now) I have ordered some more stem plants and will arrive this friday so im hoping i can get the planting done then. The HC has not done good, its not dying but its not growing either. I guess its going to take a long time to fill that right hand side. Pictures will be up on Friday/saturday once the plants have arrived.

andrewss 10-18-2012 05:57 AM

interesting, never really seen dividing barriers like that for the substrate...

sorry to hear about the angels :(

best of luck for getting the cycle sorted

ChadRamsey 10-29-2012 04:09 PM

looks go so far man.

Do you plan to leave the barriers in there or are you going to remove them down the road?

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:29 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.