Cyanider's 46g Bowfront
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:54 PM   #1
Cyanider
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Cyanider's 46g Bowfront


After encountering tons of algae and plant growth issues with this tank, I decided to take it in a different direction. The BBA in this tank was out of control, and as soon as I'd get it under control, it would come back, whether it be on the glass, wood, slow growers, etc.. it just haunted me. All of my attempts to eradicate it caused some plants to slow in growth, stunt, or die.

I sort of think the root of the problem was my lighting/co2 balance, but as far as I could tell everything was okay.. plants were fine until the BBA breakout. Or perhaps it was my ferts, since the problems didnt start til I switched from dosing dry ferts directly to dosing a mix I made.

So I decided to try something different with this tank, and confine my plant obsession to my Mini-M, since it was more manageable.

My first step was to remove all of the plants and fish to a 5 gallon bucket. I forgot how much of a PITA it is to do this! I ended up draining the water down and trapping the fish into 1/3 of the tank with a pile of substrate.

I swapped my black gravel/flourite mix with a more natural looking sand. I really love the new look. I also went to a local stone yard to buy a bunch of river jacks. I got about 150-200lbs for $7. Ridiculously cheap, but I had to drive my car up to the pile of rocks and load it up myself. I could've paid $50 for them to do it for me and bag the rocks, but I'm more of a DIY kinda guy. But really, can't beat that price!

My desired look was piles of rock and sand, with very little plants. I ended up keeping a crypy mi oya, and I may get a few more crypts/anubias. I'm undecided on whether or not I want to add more plants. I enjoy the hardscape only look for this kind of tank.

Since my desired inhabitants are the rainbowfish, shelldwellers, and julies (rock dwellers), I loaded up the bottom of the tank with shells and I have the piles of rocks for the julies.

Here are the tank specs:

Equipment
  • 46g Bowfront
  • SunSun 304B + SS filter pipes w/ skimmer
  • Hydor 300
  • Current Satellite Freshwater Planted+ LED
  • Delaware River Jacks (hardscape)

Flora
  • Crypt Mi Oya

Fauna
  • 12x Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish
  • 3x Black Molly
  • 3x Emperor Tetra
  • Future inhabitants
  • 6x Neolamprologus Multifasciatus
  • 4x Julidochromis Transcriptus

Latest FTS


----- Old -----

So, decided to revive my 46g bowfront's journal. Never really kept up with it originally. So here's the specs:

Equipment
- Eheim 2217
- Hydor 200W in-line heater
- Catalina Aquarium 3x39W T5HO
- Air Products dual-stage regulator + Burkert solenoid + Ideal 52 series needle valve
- Eco-complete

Fauna
R.I.P.
- 12 Cardinal Tetras
- 8 Rummynose Tetras
- 1 German Blue Ram (recently lost its mate)
- 1 True SAE
- 8-12 Otocinclus

New Stock
- 12 Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
- 5 Emperor Tetras
- 5 Bandit Cories
- 1 True SAE
- 4 Otos (survivors)

To be added:
- 1-3 more Bandit Cories
- 7 Emperor Tetras
- 2 Electric Blue Rams/Longfin Gold Rams/Kribensis (I'm undecided lol - want a nice bottom dwelling dwarf cichlid)
- 2-3 Pearl Gouramis

Flora
- Rotala Mini Butterly
- Rotala Colorata
- Limnophila Repens 'Mini'
- Alternanthera Reineckii 'Rosaefolia'
- Ludwigia sp. 'Super Red'
- Limnophila Aromatica
- Pogostemon Stellus 'Narrow Leaf'
- Blyxa Japonica
- Staurogyne Repens
- Lobelia Cardinalis 'Dwarf'
- Alternanthera Reineckii 'Mini'
- Bacopa sp. 'Japan'
- Staurogyne sp. 'Porto Velho'
- Ammania sp. 'Bonsai' (True Rotala Indica)
- Tonina Fluviatilis 'Lotus Blossom'
- Eleocharis Belem
- Myriophyllum sp. 'guyana'
- Rotala Macrandra 'variegated'

Last edited by Cyanider; 07-27-2014 at 06:21 PM.. Reason: Updates
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:28 PM   #2
Ganyon
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Wow, this tank is beautiful.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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How is this tank nowadays?
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:34 AM   #4
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I've neglected both of my tank journals as of late - had a bit of a dilemma with my 46g, which in turn slowed down my progress with my other tanks. So be prepared for a BIG update! Lots has happened!

Here's the story...

Went to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. Tank was going well, levels looked good, fish and plants looked healthy.. figured it would be good for two or so days. I dosed my ferts before leaving, had a fun and filling Thanksgiving dinner. Came back home, turned the tank's light on to a tank full of dead fish Turns out my CO2 tank was close to empty, and because I was procrastinating hooking up my dual-stage reg, it dumped and my poor fish were the ones who suffered. Spent over an hour fishing my 24 Cardinals, 8 Rummies, and other various fish out. Only 4 otos survived, which is surprising since they're somewhat sensitive!

This whole fish massacre ended up leading to some weird algae problems that I'm still overcoming. At first, some plants were growing this nasty, brown, slimy hairball-looking algae. I could siphon that stuff out, but it'd come back. It's gone now, no idea how.

My current issue - green thread algae! This stuff is so annoying! It's not so easy to pull off of the plants, and it grows back even if I pick every piece off! I think it doesn't help that I have hardly any fish in here lol. I've reduced my photoperiod, upped CO2 slightly, and spot dosed Excel (I need to try H2O2 but I don't have any on hand). I've heard black mollies may help. My new SAE (or Flying Fox? Same thing?) isn't touching the stuff.

After finally getting the tank cleaned up, I decided to rescape a bit and am picking new fish this weekend. Photo of new scape coming soon after my plants from sjb1987 arrive. It'll be a dutch scape for sure, just trying to get my plant choices and arrangement right.

Equipment-wise, I hooked up my dual-stage reg (Praxair Prostar).. not making the mistake of using a single-stage again! Also assembled and hooked up my co2 reactor. So much nicer than the "atomizer" I had. Still get some small bubbles but way less than before. Don't ask how, but I managed to fit a 5lb co2 tank, 2" reactor, and an Eheim 2217 into the tiny compartment the stand tries to pass as a cabinet. I'll have to take a photo of the stuff jammed under there! It's so cramped.

Future fish!

- 2x Angelfish
- 2x Rams (Electric Blue or Gold, undecided.. maybe even Kribs instead)
- 10-12 Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish (Currently have 6 - bought recently just to have some life lol)
- 10-12 Emperor Tetras
- 6-8 Panda Cories
- 1 Flying Fox
- Otos
- 1-3 Black Mollies (to combat random algae and biofilm)

Very excited to get this tank back up and running! And I promise I'll have photos up this week! Just too tired to take them right now :p
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:43 AM   #5
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Until I take some better photos, here's some iPhone pics.. Please excuse the bareness and whatnot..


Blurry Rainbowfish


Temporary scape, more of a holding tank for the plants after stuff got wiped out. As you can see, there's little plant matter. I had to rip all the plants out, and save a stem or two that had the least amount of algae on it.. and the algae still spread!


Little bonus that I spotted at my LFS. My next fish... in my dreams!!!
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:55 PM   #6
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Ok, rethinking the Angelfish... Perhaps two pairs of different rams/apistos/kribensis instead?
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:48 PM   #7
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As promised, here are some photos. iPhone photos again, can't find the battery to my DSLR.


The cabinet. See how crowded it is?


FTS. Tank is still in holding-tank mode. Waiting for some of the species to grow out so I can fill in. It's hard to scape with little stems of each species. This is right after a WC, so don't mind the bubbles.

As an update - I added 5 Emperors, 6 more Rainbowfish, and 3 black mollies. The guy at the LFS talked me out of Angelfish, so I think I'm gonna go with either a pair of gouramis or pair of killifish. Probably gouramis since I don't have a top on this tank and most killies are jumpers. Pearl gourami, perhaps.

Also got a few more plants, courtesy of sjb. Myrio 'guyana', rotala mini butterfly, bacopa sp. japan, and rotala macrandra variegated.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:13 AM   #8
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can you show more picture of the Rotala macrandra 'Variegated'? I am looking to get some of this plant?
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:07 PM   #9
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flowerfishs - I'll take some photos today. Planning a WC/small trim. The variegated I got about a week ago, and it's still recovering. I'll see if I can get a decent photo - but it's definitely not a perfect specimen right now.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quick update - rearranged the right side of the tank a big, building up to my dutch scape. Still waiting on some plants to grow so I can trim and spread them. Left side plants are mostly there temporarily. I'll move them once they grow a bit. There's a few stems of Ludwigia sp. Red in the back/mid-right behind the Limnophila Repens 'mini' that I'm hoping will get taller as a background plant.

I also feel like the Blyxa doesn't really have a good spot in this take... so it's just sort of there for now til I get one of my other emersed tanks up to put it in. Wish I could grow it emersed!

Btw, I'm charging up my camera's battery now! Want to get some better quality photos of the plants, scape, and fish.

On the algae front, I started dosing H2O2 and doing twice a week WC's, and it seems to be working! The green hair algae on most of the plants has died off, there's just some hairballs left on the A. Reineckii mini, for some reason that plant got hit the hardest.

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Old 03-03-2014, 05:58 PM   #11
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Oh yeah, I was tempted this weekend by a nice 75g Oceanic tank. It was a nice 'show tank' as the guy on Craigslist called it, and it was drilled for a sump and ready to go. Only $350 for the tank, stand, and glass top.

Luckily/unluckily it was taken by the time I emailed him. On the bright side, I don't have to worry about transplanting this tank and finding room in my apartment for a 75g tank... but I also don't have a new 75 gallon tank I can't wait to move somewhere that I can have a huge tank like that. A big planted discus community is my dream planted tank. One day...
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:01 PM   #12
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One more thing - the T5 bulbs are nearly a year old now, and I assume they need to be replaced. I currently have two 6500k bulbs and a pink plant bulb (all came with the fixture from Catalina Aquarium). Anybody have experience running a 3 bulb setup? What's the best color combo? I was thinking of doing a 10000k, 6500k, and a pink bulb (which is like 4500-5000k I think?)

And what brands are best?
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:14 PM   #13
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Since this is my main tank, I decided I'm gonna build an aquarium controller to help auto-dose and monitor params. I'll be posting updates on here once I get started on it.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:13 PM   #14
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Ordered some parts to start building a controller. I've never done any electronics before, so I'm gonna ease in with some tutorials, just to get my wiring diagrams down.

Got some weird pictures...


My otos are usually so lazy... but this one was upside down cleaning my S. Repens!


One of my nerites was being too adventurous and climbed into my lily pipe.


Also ordered some manzanita branches from PC1 to add to my scape. I like Dutch, but I just feel like I need some sort of hardscape. But who knows... I may hold off and see if I can get a nice Dutch scape going. I just feel like these plants don't quite work well together and need something to divide them up. Or I need more dark/brown plants.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:26 PM   #15
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Did a big trim today. Moved a few plants around, and added the driftwood. Rocks are holding it down for now, I didn't let it soak long enough. The left side is still in transition, but the right half is almost how I like it. I want to move the red plants around, and potentially get another darker green stem plant to divide the colors up more.

Also have new Geisemann bulbs coming in the mail tomorrow. I think these bulbs are done, the plants aren't doing as well lately and I'm losing a lot of lower leaves.

I'm also having trouble with the Tonina, it is melting from the bottom up again like it did when I first got it I don't think it'll live in this tank/substrate.

Sorry for the blurriness!
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Last edited by Cyanider; 03-23-2014 at 10:27 PM.. Reason: added pic
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