Complexity Journal: 75g "High Tech" Planted Tank / New pics 8-24-2012! - Page 56
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:02 PM   #826
HD Blazingwolf
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well pearling is exciting to watch so its not truly like watchin grass

and bacopa has soft stems. if u've reached optimum c02 for ur lights. oxgen should be boiling out of the top few inches of stems.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:05 AM   #827
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Hello Complexity. Hope you are doing well. Thanks again with the help with the firts. Since we last spoke I set up a 55 gallon. I dosed it also per your instructions and it's looking wonderful. I'm going to set up journal when I get some time. I did have a question for you. The pluming inside your tank looks pretty custom. Did you do that all yourself? Does the return being down that low effect the plants at all. I'm curious about it and interested in doing something similar.

[QUOTE=Complexity;1976863]These pics pan the tank, from the left side to the right side. If you look closey, you can see my Pelvicachromis swimming around. Their caves are also visible. Normally, the plants hide these, especially the caves in the back.

In this first pic, you can see my juvenile Pelvicachromis from the parents' first set of fry. They're close to the bottom, around the thermometer. I hope to be able to sex them sometime soon.

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Old 08-23-2012, 01:31 AM   #828
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Hi Hunter! I'm glad to hear all is going well with your 55g. Let me know when you post your journal. I'd love to see it!

The plumbing is kind of custom. I used the Lifegard Customflo Kit for the main plumbing, but modified it to the way I wanted it. For example, the kit uses plastic tubing to connect the spray bars, but I really don't like how that looks so I cut one of the pieces and glue it onto another one so the spray bars can connect directly onto the down pipe. Then on this side, I've added a surface skimmer. Again, I modified the connection. So instead of using the corrugated tubing that comes with the skimmer, I have it connected directly to the intake pipe. What you can't see that I have another intake connected just below the skimmer so that side does double duty of being a regular intake plus a surface skimmer. On the other side, I have two intakes that goes to my second canister.

There's also another spray bar that you can't see in the picture. It also goes along the entire back wall of the tank, but is much closer to the bottom of the tank. The lower spray bar injects the CO2 while the upper spray bar is just a normal return (has my uv sterilizer inline on it).

So I have two canisters running. One canister handles my CO2. It has two intakes and a long spray bar very close to the bottom of the tank. The second canister handles my uv sterilizer, has one intake and the surface skimmer, and is about midway up the back wall.

I don't have any problems with the returns being so low. In fact, I prefer them low. Having the CO2 injected so low in the tank helps to ensure that the CO2 is distributed throughout the tank (not just the upper portion of the tank). The second spray bar helps to keep the CO2 well mixed throughout.

When the tank isn't very heavily planted, the plants placed just in front of the spray bars can get pushed over a little, but it's not a big problem as they grow taller. The lower portions of the stems are usually strong enough to withstand the pressure. When I had the spray bars up higher, the top spray bar would push the tops of the plants, and that caused more problems. In fact, my 90g has the top spray bar up higher, and I'm not as happy with that arrangement. The tops of the plants are more sensitive to the water pressure blowing on them.

The more heavily planted the tank is and the more grown in the plants become, the less of a problem the water pressure becomes because the plants help to brace each other from getting pushed too much. They also serve to block the water flow which is one reason why I have the outflow water distributed the way I do. Instead of relying on one small area to feed the entire tank, the whole back wall basically feeds the tank with the outflowing water. Because the water is distributed throughout the long spray bars, the total pressure from any one spot is reduced so I don't have a single are with a super-high outflow. Instead, I have a large area of moderately high outflow.

I use this setup for 90g, 75g, and both 29g tanks. I've used it for several years and very much like the way it circulates the water throughout the tanks.
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• 90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' —— • 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
• 29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' —-- • 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
• 5g - RCS colony —————————————————— • 2.5g - Journal Retired
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:37 AM   #829
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Here you can see just how low the bottom spray bar is set. It's only an inch or two above the substrate.

The other thing I like about having the spray bars so low is that they are completely hidden once the plants grow in. Eventually, you won't be able to see them at all.

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• 90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' —— • 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:49 PM   #830
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Wow! As usual, that makes all the sense in the world. I have an issue with my stem plants getting tall and then being blown around by the filter outflow. If you move that outflow down lower, where the plants are stronger, it would have to have less of an effect. As a bonus it might help move debris from the back to the front of the tank where it’s easier to vacuum up.

Great write up complexity! Thanks again. I plan to do this very soon. I will try and get my journal started this weekend. I have no time during the week now that I work full time, go to school full time, and work for the college part time (Public Speaking Tutor).

I wake up a 0500 just so I can get some exercise in and then dose my ferts. Do you think it would cause an issue to dose ferts three hours before the lights come on? The only other chance would be about 1930 when I get home from school. The lights are off then also. I do normally turn them on for a few minutes so I can enjoy my tanks and make sure everything is going well.

Last edited by HunterX; 08-23-2012 at 04:49 PM.. Reason: can't spell :)
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:52 PM   #831
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Not trying to hack your thread. Just wanted to see what you thought.

My dad and I made that top. I was pretty excited about it.

One of my mollies had babies. 4 of them have made it without becoming dinner!
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:29 PM   #832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterX View Post
Wow! As usual, that makes all the sense in the world. I have an issue with my stem plants getting tall and then being blown around by the filter outflow. If you move that outflow down lower, where the plants are stronger, it would have to have less of an effect. As a bonus it might help move debris from the back to the front of the tank where it’s easier to vacuum up.
Yeah, that's something I hadn't even thought of. It helps blow the crud off of the plants.

The main thing is to try different settings until you find the one that works for you and your tank. You'll notice that everyone's is a little bit different, yet most of the methods work very well. My method just progressed over time to what it is now. I'm sure yours will do the same.

Quote:
I wake up a 0500 just so I can get some exercise in and then dose my ferts. Do you think it would cause an issue to dose ferts three hours before the lights come on? The only other chance would be about 1930 when I get home from school. The lights are off then also. I do normally turn them on for a few minutes so I can enjoy my tanks and make sure everything is going well.
Dosing three hours before the lights come on will be fine. That way the ferts will be well distributed throughout the tank by the time the plants are ready to use them.
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• 90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' —— • 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
• 29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' —-- • 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
• 5g - RCS colony —————————————————— • 2.5g - Journal Retired
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:42 PM   #833
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterX View Post
Not trying to hack your thread. Just wanted to see what you thought.

My dad and I made that top. I was pretty excited about it.

One of my mollies had babies. 4 of them have made it without becoming dinner!
Of course, you know you're always welcome to post pics in my journal threads! I love seeing them!

And that canopy is simply gorgeous! One of the prettiest I have seen! I wish you were in my area so I could convince you to build one for me. You should be excited about it. It's really pretty!

Your plants are looking very good, too. Is that hygrophila corymbosa 'compacta' on the left side, flanking the rocks? They are doing very well! Nice, lush specimens. What is the grassy plant just right of the middle? It's in the last picture, too. It looks like hairgrass, but it's taller. It's obviously happy in your tank, as well. In fact, all your plants look happy. For someone who's just recently started out in this hobby, you've certainly caught on quickly. Your tank is looking great!
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• 90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' —— • 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
• 29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' —-- • 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
• 5g - RCS colony —————————————————— • 2.5g - Journal Retired
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:29 PM   #834
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Complexity,

Thanks for all the information over the past few months. Per our last thread hijacking a month ago, I have since found out that my kitchen faucet does indeed allow me to use an aqueon water changer. It does not vacuum very well using the sink attachment though if I just toss the hole part into the yard, it works well enough. Really nice for filling up the tank!

The algae is nearly gone. While I didn't pick up 50 (or should I say 49) amano shrimp for my 75g, 12 have been very happy eating away. Combine that with sufficient O2 (now that my BOD/algae attack/filter problems), the tank is starting to settle in nicely.

With the above mentioned filter problems, I have unfortunately needed to run for a few days w/o CO2 (!). I ended up needing to buy a new filter, mail the head unit of my Fluval to MA for testing and repair, which has left my tank w/o all the fun plumbed cabinet stuff (heater and CO2). Hopefully today I should get a new external pump to add flow and move water through the heater and CO2.

Thanks for the help, much appreciated! I've enjoyed reading through your adventures as well.

-Steve
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:18 PM   #835
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I'm glad you found a way to use a water changer that works for you. I know what you mean about the water pressure not allowing it to vacuum very well. The water pressure at my kitchen sink isn't very good either. I have to use the sink in my bathroom. Bless my husband for letting me use his sink since it's the closest to the door. He even lets me leave the adapter on the sink full time now. Yay! I use the hot and cold water turned on full blast to remove the water which gives the vacuum more suction. This turned out to be a pretty good idea because it clears the hot water pipes so I can use the hot water in the winter to match the temps in my tank. The only thing is that I always make sure all my tanks are within 50' of my husband's bathroom sink! LOL!

So sorry to hear about your filter. Good thing you're getting the CO2 running again so the algae won't have a chance to take over again. I hope they fix your filter and send it back to you quickly. That's got to be tough to have it gone like that!
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• 90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' —— • 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
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• 5g - RCS colony —————————————————— • 2.5g - Journal Retired
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:33 AM   #836
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I got a few new pics today! I'm getting a little better with my new camera. The colors are more true to life now. Still a little too yellow, but better than before.

Full tank shots:





Left side of the tank:



Right side of the tank:



My drop checker is definitely yellow now!



Here's looking at you kid! LOL! I was playing with the macro feature on my camera and got this pic of one of my otos.

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• 90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' —— • 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
• 29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' —-- • 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
• 5g - RCS colony —————————————————— • 2.5g - Journal Retired
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:49 AM   #837
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Skimmed through this whole thread and all I can say is WOW! The amount of change this tank has overgone in 4 years is amazing.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:55 AM   #838
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Looks AWSOME
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:06 AM   #839
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So u just proved to alll the disbelievers. Yellow dc doesnt mean dead fish. Clearly ur fish are happy.. the spawing of the pelvicachromis proves this..

The colors look good!! Im very pleased with how this tank looks. Lots of varying species. One more the main reasons i want a bigger tank!
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:45 AM   #840
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This tank is just gorgeous! I always think mine's pretty neat til I come see what you guys are doing, so lush and colorful and mature looking.
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