Photo Journal of a 29 Gallon cube (56k, lots of pics!)
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:27 PM   #1
CamoCustom
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Photo Journal of a 29 Gallon cube (56k, lots of pics!)


This is the beginning of my plant journey. Though, there aren't any pictures yet, There will be, accompanied by questions, so I hope you are READY!!! I want to go into background first though, so sit back and get ready for a ride!

Tank Background:
This tank was given to me by my wonderful wife, after being out of the Fish hobby period for a few years, I found myself bored in my freetime, afterall, fish is all i did for the longest time. So I get a new tank for my birthday!! WHOO HOO! I immediately get my reef setup going, and the tank just took off from that point on. 2 years and many coral cuttings(frags) later:

*Link only-http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/e...ank3-10-09.jpg

*Picture taken June 2009

I loved it, to me, this was easy. Well, until I was stricken with a nasty hitchhiker invasive algae/plant. Not good, I lost most of what you see, fish were given away, what lived (mostly corals in the foreground) were sold off. The tank sat with pump running for a few months, I was so depressed about the situation, all that work. I didnt have the time, money, or heart to dive into the ocean again. So, I needed to get this thing cleaned up. Then my idea for a planted tank. I always have liked how they have looked, and really think I can do it.

The Current: 4/6/2010

I added 20lbs of "Activ-Flora" (world wide imports) on top of 20lbs of Seachem red Flourite, giving me approximately 2" maybe a bit more of substrate depth. Lake Bed Top layer- Its in between a sand and gravel, there are lots of small gravel sized stones, varying colors, overall gray, nice though!! I am happy. Now currently filtering out the water to get rid of the dust storm! I hate how that looks!!! I like sparkling water I tell you!
Lighting:
T5HO 2x24w (1 6700k, 1-10,000k)
For now, the tank will be lit with a semi Sunrise/Sunset effect. I picked up a 6700K bulb to replace my alternate 10k. Here is the plan for the time being: I will have the 6700k bulb come on to begin the day over my "Lake Bed" then at the suns peak hours, I will have the 10k only pop on for 2 hours MAX, maybe just 1-1.5, hopefully that will work out a way to keep my lighting Down a bit rather than just both on and have to deal with CO2. If anything, I can use Excel and add extra ferts right? Just to supplement the extra needed CO2 & ferts....

Overall, I am excited. I have lots of ideas, some already taking place in my garage, MUUUUAAAAA , driftwood is soaked and leeched all it can, ready to go!

Once the tank clears its dust cloud, I will take a couple of pictures of how the bed looks.

Last edited by CamoCustom; 05-01-2010 at 08:48 PM.. Reason: Fix title
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:34 PM   #2
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That SW setup was beautiful! Too bad about the nasty algae.

Sounds to me like you're getting a handle on this planted thing!

I'd go ahead and keep Excel on hand, though- I'm reasonably sure you're going to need it with the T5HOs.
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:36 PM   #3
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I forgot to add, I MAY try and make a stand to lift my lights up a bit as well, to help in reducing intensity of the HOs as much as I can, if all these attempts fail, I can always just get the single strip, no worries!!

Thanks Laura!!
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:28 PM   #4
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Please any suggestions or comments are very welcomed!

What are others thoughts on UV sterilizers? Do many of you guys use them on your planted tanks?
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:36 PM   #5
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I've used one on my 75. I took it off to rearrange some plumbing and forgot to add it back in when replumbing, so I left it off.... I never noticed a difference. That said, it CAN be a good way to help get rid of green water/parasites if you run into issues, but you have to have a way overpowered UV sterilizer to make a real dent in parasites. (the hobbyists versions in my opinion are snake oil and expensive oil at that)
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:33 PM   #6
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The dust storm is clearing. I rigged a quick filter up with an old pump, a rubber band, and some filter floss. Combined with the other floss, overnight the tank really cleared up.

I have a few pieces of driftwood, I THOUGHT I could use them all, but I cannot. SO, i was going to cut and reattach certain pieces to my main larger piece. Would stainless steel screws be my best option? or zip ties (no brown locally)
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:34 PM   #7
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if you can get away with no metal in the tank I always advise that. If you find no other means, then when you use the screws, simply squeeze a little plug of silicon over the screw and you should be just fine.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jargonchipmunk View Post
if you can get away with no metal in the tank I always advise that. If you find no other means, then when you use the screws, simply squeeze a little plug of silicon over the screw and you should be just fine.
I was thinking about that even with stainless screws, because stainless doesnt always mean rust proof! I would worry more about the screw in the middle of the wood, it is unprotected and exposed to the elements.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:14 PM   #9
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Stainless steel screws should be fine.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:07 PM   #10
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Well, my loving caring wife thought it would be nice if she picked me up a plant or two. Thinking its not as bad as if she would have bought me a piece of coral I couldn't keep, or fish that would eat my coral, etc etc. She brought me home two potted plants. Once of which doesnt have a plant tag, but I think I found it to be a cryptocoryne lutea, from what I have been reading that would be a type of Crypt? The other is an amazon sword. So, I know I probably wasnt ready for these yet, but I will have to accommodate them for the mean time. She means well! I will take some pictures soon:

Here is the driftwood I combined. 3 pieces-2 s/s screws later, only took 7 minutes .
outside of the tank:


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Old 04-12-2010, 01:37 PM   #11
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Here is the plant I mentioned in the earlier post. Hope they will be ok.

TEST RESULTS:
pH- 7.4
NH3/NH4+ - 0 ppm
NO2 - 1.0 ppm
NO3 - 10 ppm

So, not so bad, cycle is about done, so the fate of the plants shouldn't be a dark one.

cryptocoryne lutea ?

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Old 04-12-2010, 01:43 PM   #12
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You are right in presuming that it is a crypt as to what type I have no idea. But that looks like a nice hunk of DW get some java ferns and some mosses and you'll be good to go.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:01 PM   #13
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the cycle won't bother those plants in the slightest. You'll have to stop thinking of them in the same lines as the coral. Your plants LIKE nitrates hehe. Heck, most of the things your corals can be killed by, your plants would enjoy. (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, etc etc.)
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jargonchipmunk View Post
the cycle won't bother those plants in the slightest. You'll have to stop thinking of them in the same lines as the coral. Your plants LIKE nitrates hehe. Heck, most of the things your corals can be killed by, your plants would enjoy. (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, etc etc.)
I was unsure of them being in "new" water. I am totally not a fan of killing things, whether they are just plants or not.

That is good info to know though, its strange, but this is a learning process!

As for adding shrimp, I should wait for that nitrite to go away, I do know this!
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:19 PM   #15
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Looking good. You probably know this, but you'll need to eliminate the Biocube's wet/dry filtration system. It'll introduce way too much oxygen and force you to increase your CO2, at least that's what I found.

BTW, are you using a stock pump or something else?
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