100 gallon PLANTED Eartheater tank!
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:37 PM   #1
Adri.
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Default 100 gallon PLANTED Eartheater tank!

“It can’t be done,” they said! Well, they’ve never met someone as determined as ME!
Sure, some people might tie plants to driftwood in their Eartheater tank. But I'm gonna do way better. I've got a plan.

The fish:
6 Eartheaters (5 Geophagus Altifrons, 1 Satanoperca Jurupari)
2 Delhezi Bichirs
8 Angelfish
1 Chocolate Pleco
1 Raphael Catfish
A few livebearers
1 German Blue Ram
1 extremely mean little Red Tail Black Shark. She rules the tank.
If the Bichirs decide to start causing problems, they’ll be sold. But I’ve had them for a long time and so far they get along just fine with everyone. The Pleco will be sold once he’s bigger. The Angels…Well, we’ll see how they all interact once a pair or more has formed. I have a feeling some will need to be sold. I had not originally planned on adding them to this tank, however(long story) their tank is being torn down and I did not want to sell them. So, to the big tank they went!
My stock is just going to be a “hope for the best” type situation, I’m prepared to change it up if need be. The Eartheaters and RTBS are NEVER going anywhere. The tank is designed around them.

The problem:
Eartheaters spend their time grabbing big mouthfuls of sand, and swimming around the tank sifting it through their gills in search of food. They especially love taking sand from the base of objects such as driftwood, rocks…plants…you can see how that would be a problem. Plant something in the substrate and it’ll be floating within a couple hours. Every. single. time.

Equipment:
Filtration is a huge fx5, and I do 50% water changes every week. This tank is low-tech. I’m not even sure what the lighting is, it’s just what came with the tank. The bulb on the right side needs to be replaced because it’s a 50/50 and makes that side of the tank look dark. I don’t know how that would affect plants, so I haven’t really put any on that side of the tank yet. Substrate is nothing special, just stuff from Petsmart.

This is my only “before” picture. When I moved 3 hours north, I took out all the white sand(it had washed out my fish, made them look very dull and colorless), and the tank was barebottom for a while until I could afford black sand. This picture is after I added a couple bags of sand, which is why the tank is cloudy. The black Pleco on the front glass is no longer in the tank.


Last edited by Adri.; 02-12-2013 at 11:49 PM.. Reason: Typos
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:42 PM   #2
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You've peaked my interest....lots of interesting fish in there.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by UDGags View Post
You've peaked my interest....lots of interesting fish in there.
I've never been one to like overly ordinary things...Fish included.

Pictures of the fish will be posted either tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:24 AM   #4
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Tagging along because I want to know what the heck a eartheater is.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:29 AM   #5
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Your Geophagus look really nice. Have you had them since they were juveniles? When the water clears, please post some close ups of them.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:07 AM   #6
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Those fish look awesome from what I can see so far. Keep the pics coming. Im interested to see what you come up with to keep the plants from getting uprooted.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:47 AM   #7
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I'm very interested in this. I love the fact that your fish are not what is commonly used here! Subbed
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf19 View Post
I'm very interested in this. I love the fact that your fish are not what is commonly used here! Subbed
Thanks! Yeah, it didn't take me long after joining this forum to realize that the usual stock list consists of either shrimp or small, peaceful fish. I have everything from predators to community fish, to little shrimpies! But these fish are by far my favorite.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kitsune_Gem View Post
Tagging along because I want to know what the heck a eartheater is.
Eartheaters are awesome. These ones (Geophagus Altifrons) can hit the 12" mark, though that is uncommon. They spend all their time grabbing mouthfuls of sand and sifting it through their gills. The reason it took me so long to start this tank is because I couldn't use the cheap sand from Tractor Supply like I wanted to - it was plenty soft but had some odd glass "sticks" in it that I feared would hurt the Eartheaters gills. So I had to save up $100+ to buy Petsmart brand sand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dx3Bash View Post
Your Geophagus look really nice. Have you had them since they were juveniles? When the water clears, please post some close ups of them.
The water's been clear for a couple months now I just finally got in the first shipment of plants a few days back...figured it'd be a good time to start the thread. I was planning on not posting pictures of the fish until after I showed all the steps of planting to the tank, but I guess I can give ya'll a little sneak peek...


Sorry about the really bad quality image. I don't have a slave flash(can't afford it, all money is going towards my fishies) and I can't use the mounted flash with these guys, because their scales react weird with it and it makes them all...weird. So I had to use ISO 1600

And yes, I've had them since they were about 2 or 2.5"!


This picture isn't as bad as the last one. Here's one of the angels.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:09 AM   #10
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Very first thing I did was take this Java Fern out of the Angelfish tank. I had it tied near the top of the tank, so it let down some crazy roots. It measured 2 feet from top to bottom.


I cut it in 3 pieces and attached it to my driftwood. Took off the roots.


I also added a tall Wisteria...I think that I took that one out of the Angel tank, too.

The way I keep my Eartheaters from uprooting everything, is by tying it to eggcrate with fishing line. It's a hassle and a pain in the you-know-what, but so far it has been working very well. I didn't take any pictures when I tied it to the eggcrate, but I did the next time I added plants. Pictures of that will come later.

Scaping a tank gets more difficult when you already have fish in there!

Here's a video of it after adding the cut up Java Fern, Wisteria, and Amazon Sword.

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Old 02-13-2013, 05:08 AM   #11
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Wow, I am in love with your fish. Especially the red tail shark. Do you find it's a jumper at all? (Do you keep a lid on the aquarium?)
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:40 AM   #12
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Wow, I am in love with your fish. Especially the red tail shark. Do you find it's a jumper at all? (Do you keep a lid on the aquarium?)
Nope, I have never once seen her try to jump. She is too busy bullying the Geo's!
But I do keep a lid on the tank, because when the Bichirs and Pleco go up to get air they do it full-speed. At night if I hear a loud bang in the tank, I know that it's the Pleco smacking against the lid when he goes up for air. I use Eggcrate as a lid because I broke both sides of the glass one...But now that I'm actually growing plants, I think I need to switch back to glass and just be very careful...I don't think eggcrate(also known as light diffuser!) is a good choice for a lid.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:50 AM   #13
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Cool tank! I absolutely love bichirs, my buddy has two senegals and they are sweet, cool personalities. Nice driftwood, will look awesome when covered. Really like the contrast with the dark gravel too. Wisteria looks like a cool plant too, might have too look into it- I assume it is pretty hardy based on the low-tech setup?
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TheRiverRat View Post
Cool tank! I absolutely love bichirs, my buddy has two senegals and they are sweet, cool personalities. Nice driftwood, will look awesome when covered. Really like the contrast with the dark gravel too. Wisteria looks like a cool plant too, might have too look into it- I assume it is pretty hardy based on the low-tech setup?
Yeah, the Bichirs are awesome. I hope they continue to get along with everybody as they get bigger, I'd be really sad if I had to sell them.

Yes, Wisteria is ridiculously hardy. Once it gets past 6" it grows so freaking fast, it's ridiculous...I started with 4 little plants and after just a few months it's taken over half my tanks...
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:12 PM   #15
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Do you know if the red tailed shark does well with any smaller schooling fish?
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