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Old 01-06-2013, 03:30 AM   #1
gt turbo
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Beautiful Torment


Hi guys,

Finally I got my 90G back up and planted. This is kinda my ode to msjinzd and plantbrain. Why you may ask, well it's simple, msjinxzd sold me one piece of driftwood but sent me like seven (7) based on the fact that I live so far away, and to plantbrain because i really like his use of driftwood to create different sections of plants in his tank. On to the goodies.

Tank specs:
Size - 48L*18W*24D
Volume - 90G
Substrate - Aquarium gravel and sand (inert)
Filtration - Aquaclear 110 and a Sun sun wave maker for good circulation
CO2 - DIY
Lighting - 48" T8 fixture w/ Floramax bulb, 2 8" Dome lights with 33W spiral CFLs

So some background. I've had this tank for around four years and it has had many iterations over the years. Always semi-planted but the plants never really grew and I was always overwhelmed by algae. So the last time I changed it I only hard scaped it and didn't add any plants and it worked for a while until I came downstairs one morning and my glorious lovely wife says to me, "Babes, what's all this water on the floor?" That really got my morning off to a brisk start. A quick check around the tank showed me that the tank was leaking about 6" from the top, so given the urgency of the situation, I siphoned out the water to just below the leak and it worked.

This issue caused us to decide that i would change the look and go with an Amazonian biotope, plus I always liked Discus and Angels so I had to pick one to work with as my centrepiece fish. Therefore, I got rid of all my fish that didn't fit the new plan (don't worry, I didn't flush them or throw them away, I swapped them for store credit at my local plant guy, ended up with BDS $185 in credit). Next step was to fix the aquarium, and since I personally have no experience building aquariums I sought out an expert who would come and make the repairs at my home given that my 90G weighs a ton even when it's empty (3/8 glass). Good thing one of the local experts is a friend.

Wanted to be up and running by christmas but set back after setback would not allow it to happen. First the scheduling was difficult, then I got the wrong silicon, then we ran out of silicon. Every one of these setbacks costed days due to the fact that the schedules were so tight. Eventually it got done and i think the tank will never leak again.

Setup time (yaaaay!!) Was going to use MTS, then I changed my mind and found a nice locally produced potting mix but then i realized that it had an anti-fungal agent and due to my silicon setback (silicon with anti-fungal additives aren't fish safe) this might be an issue. So i called up the manufacturer and after a long discussion I didn't feel any better about the product so I left it out, and somewhere along the line i continued to debate whether or not i wanted to use "dirt" anyway. So I did some more reading and decided against it, might be moving to a new house were gonna start building this year so tank tear down is imminent plus i really wanna achieve a nice look and i'll more than likely be moving things around till i feel it's ok, and all that replanting with a dirted tank will be a PITA.

Picked up my plants this morning and some extra Osmocote and got to the business of setup.

Flora:
Cabomba caroliniana
Alternanthera reineckii
Echinodorus ozelot
Echinodorus osiris
Vallisneria americana var. biwaensis (twisted Val)
Ludwigia repens
Crypt (Unidentified)
One other (can't remember the named)

Someone here will identify them for me.

On to the goodies >>>>> pikchures

Way before the Leak

Picture 003 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Just before the Leak

IMG_9032 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

De-cluttered

IMG_9251 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Repair in progress

IMG_9252 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Thick Beads

IMG_9254 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Base layer of gravel and sand plus crushed clay bits and Osmocote

IMG_9308 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr


IMG_9310 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Hardscape

IMG_9315 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Planted and filling

IMG_9316 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Cloudy Water

IMG_9319 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Left Side Close-up

IMG_9321 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Middle CU

IMG_9322 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Right Side CU

IMG_9323 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Will update this as time goes on. For some reason my lights seem dull to me, will be looking to upgrade to 20w Led Flood lights, keeping this tank low tech for the time being.

As per usual, please comment and leave suggestions.

Last edited by gt turbo; 01-06-2013 at 03:38 AM.. Reason: post rename
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:40 PM   #2
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Update:
Tank cleared up and I added 2 GBRs and 2 Gold Rams.

Watched the tank for a bit and noticed some empty space that i didn't like and since i'm really not going for an iwagumi style, I decided to fill it. I moved two crypts around to fill the space since in my mind one of the crypts was too shaded by the big piece of driftwood. That in turned opened up a space the cabomba and the ludwigia, so i thinned the cabomba a bit and brought some forward closer to the ludwigia.

I know someone is gonna ask about the quickness of putting in the fish but this is one of 7 aquariums i have currently running, so when i pulled down my 90g to repair it, i placed the filter onto my 67g tank filled with pelvicachomis pulcher, in order to keep it seeded. When i moved it back over i made sure that the media remained wet for the total of 5 mins it was not running.

Pics:
Cleared up (but I'm fiddling with the lights)

IMG_9328 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Close up of the Rams

IMG_9330 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:30 PM   #3
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Great start! Also, as an aside, the wood that I sent you also originated with Tom Barr- so it is a double homage to him
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msjinkzd View Post
Great start! Also, as an aside, the wood that I sent you also originated with Tom Barr- so it is a double homage to him
Sweet!! Score twice!!
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:57 PM   #5
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So you de-rimmed the bottom too? Is that normal for such a big tank - or was it possible because the glass is thick? I have been thinking about de-rimming the top of either a 55 or a 40B & adding Euro braces, so I can make a riparium.

I'm getting a 90 from a coworker soon, so I'll be watching this to get ideas! lol
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driftwoodhunter View Post
So you de-rimmed the bottom too? Is that normal for such a big tank - or was it possible because the glass is thick? I have been thinking about de-rimming the top of either a 55 or a 40B & adding Euro braces, so I can make a riparium.

I'm getting a 90 from a coworker soon, so I'll be watching this to get ideas! lol
Well it's custom built, so it never had a rim. Here in Barbados custom built tanks are much more widely used than the normal sizes and tank kits bought in the US due to cost. A 55g tank kit in a local store here cost BDS $1000+ (exchange rate is BDS 2 - US 1) so the cost would be around US $500.

The tank has braces which are used to provided extra support. Look at pics 3 -5.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:37 PM   #7
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I saw the braces you added - before I had any coffee, btw, so it took me longer than I'd like to admit to figure out what the clamped wood was being used for - lol.

I really like the look of the sand mixed with the substrate - it reminds me of some of the sandy creek beds near me...think I'll have to use some sand next time too.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driftwoodhunter View Post
I saw the braces you added - before I had any coffee, btw, so it took me longer than I'd like to admit to figure out what the clamped wood was being used for - lol.

I really like the look of the sand mixed with the substrate - it reminds me of some of the sandy creek beds near me...think I'll have to use some sand next time too.
Well to be honest the sand/gravel mixture was kind of a mistake but i think it works well, not just the look but for plant growth and the tank inhabitants. I have corydoras to add back to this tank and they love digging in the sand. The gravel is tank grade so it doesn't harm their tiny barbels. In respect of the flora, the mix makes for easy planting and gravel helps to stop the sand from compacting too much. I found and easy way to bring the sand back to the surface of the substrate is to gravel vac it or to stick the hose in the substrate when refilling.

Right now, I monitoring the plants to see how they are doing and so far they are looking great. On Saturday i'll take new pics for the first week of the setup.

I do see some areas of the scape where I have bunched plants a little too tightly (especially the cabomba and ludwigia), so I'll spread them a bit.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:26 PM   #9
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More updates:

I know you'll will get bored of this soon but more pics.

It's Day 4 since the setup and three days since the fish have been in. Last night I got to watch a most interesting display of the GBR mating dance and rituals. So 2 days in and I wake up to eggs in my substrate. So for the GBR fans, pikchures!!

Interesting side note, there are two more males in the tank, one very dominant Gold Ram and a very nice other GBR, but the female picked the smaller long-finned male. I assume she really likes his long flowing fins.

The Right side view of the tan where the Val is planted.

IMG_9342 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Clearing the spot

IMG_9345 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

The Happy pair guarding their spawning ground.

IMG_9346 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr



The Clutch

IMG_9349 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr


IMG_9349edited by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:59 AM   #10
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Hey ppl, time for an update.

First off the fauna, I added more rams, so now i have a community, 3 males and 3 females. There are still the only inhabitants to the 90g at the moment. I do plan to add a few more species but i'm taking my time in that department.

The Flora. Finally saw my brown algae, yeah yeah, I know some ppl are going, he wants to see algae? Yes I do cause it means that the tank going through the normal process of settling in. Faster it starts the faster it ends.

Seen some good growth on my Cabomba and my twisted Val is sending out runners. My Ludwiga is just starting to send out new leaves.

I'm happy, just waiting till i get the dry ferts so they would really start to grow.

Now on to the pics.


IMG_9350 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr


IMG_9352 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr


IMG_9354 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr


IMG_9355 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr


IMG_9357 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

The fungus, which for some strange reason my wife and co-worker love it. Additionally the plant grow bulb makes it pink which entices them even more.

IMG_9359 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

Why are my Cabomba developing roots like this?

IMG_9361 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:08 PM   #11
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Nothing much to report this week, I got some dry ferts and will try them but I also have some GBRs in the wiggling stage, and I'm kinda sceptical about additives in the water at their delicate stage.

I saw the eggs but I thought they didn't fertilise and develop since they kinda just disappeared. So I decided to do some tank maintenance before starting my dry fert regime. Removed 30% of the water and pruned my cabomba which had reached the surface in 2 weeks , I was when i was replanting the cabomba, I tipped over a small piece of Driftwood and the GBR pair attacked my hand. I was shocked and after that wore off I automatically thought, the eggs must have hatched as GBRs will only behave like that when defending their spawn. Spent the next 20 mins frantically searching the substrate to find the spawn, which i eventually did and then it left me with a dilemma, how do i refill the tank without causing any issues. Decided to use a 5g bucket to refill it really slowly (3 buckets last night over a 4 hour period) will finish fill up today.

The spawn is still alive but they've been moved into the safety of the cabomba patch.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:18 PM   #12
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I love the set up and congrats on the spawning. You must be doing something right! I see that you mentioned this tank has DIY CO2. What is your method? I was under the impression that DIY on anything over 40 gallons was very ineffeicient or ineffective.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redtail84 View Post
I love the set up and congrats on the spawning. You must be doing something right! I see that you mentioned this tank has DIY CO2. What is your method? I was under the impression that DIY on anything over 40 gallons was very ineffeicient or ineffective.
Thank you sir for you kind comments.

To be honest, I really am not sure how effective it is at this point. I'm trying to get a drop checker so i can effectively check it, but here is my thing, it's a low tech tank and in my opinion, any extra CO2 is better than none. Right now, I'm happy with the growth thus far. Waiting to start adding dry ferts and we'll see what happens.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:45 PM   #14
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Well everything seems to be going well, so nice job
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:32 AM   #15
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Came home from work tonight and found this.

Look right above the male.

IMG_9394 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr


IMG_9397 by Gt Turbo 1883, on Flickr

:big grin:


Gotta figure out how to keep them fed and hopefully I grow them out and then put them up for sale locally.
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