"Sleepless" 29 gal low tech - Lots of pictures
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:56 PM   #1
Stemwinder
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"Sleepless" 29 gal low tech - Lots of pictures


A little bit about me...


Age: 31
Description: Eccentric
Status: Married
Job: Professor at a liberal arts university
Favorite band: Widespread Panic
Favorite food: Kung Pao Chicken
Aquariums: This is my FIRST aquarium EVER!

About my tank:
Name: Sleepless
Size: 29 gal
Dimensions: 30 x 12.5 x 18.5
Substrate: Eco-Complete with light gravel as a base under my mountain
Decorations: Rip Rap from the Indiana DOT and driftwood collected from the White River in Muncie, IN
Heater: 200 watt Rena SmartHeater
Filtration: SunSun (aka Grech) 3-stage Cannister filter
Lights: 2 x 24 watt T5 HO lights in a 30" AquaticLife fixture run 8 hours (from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm)
CO2: DIY

Dosing regime:
Seachem Flourish Excel (3 x caps every 3 days)

Stocking Thread:http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fi...-top-29-a.html

Updated Fauna:
Detritus worm (I've only seen one, but I'm sure there are others)
Dwarf Honey Gourami (x2)
Opaline Gourami (x1)
Paradise Fish (x2)
Pearl Gourami (x2)
Neon Tetras (x20)
Nerite Snails (x2)
Pond Snails (lots)
Ramshorn Snails (lots)
Red Cherry Shrimp (a few)


Updated Flora:
Anubias nana
Anubias broadleaf
Anubias coffeefolia
Amazon sword
Blyxa Japonica
Java moss
Dwarf baby tears
Marble Queen radican sword
Tiger Lotus
Water wisteria
Limnophila sp. 'mini'
Sphaerocaryum malaccense
Limnophila sp 'Wavy'
Polygonum sp 'Porto Velho'
Lobelia cardinalis 'Broad Leaf'
Limnophila aromatica <<<<< I love this plant. It is BEAUTIFUL.
Rotala singapore
Hydrocotyle verticillata
Limnophila guinea 'Silver Tip'
Staurogyne sp 'Porto Velho'
Didiplis diandra
Hygrophila sp 'Tiger'
Ludwigia repens X arcuata
Ludwigia arcuata
Heteranthera zosterifolia
Rotala sp 'Green'
...and a couple of other plants I can't identify.

Updated picture:


This is my first tank ever. I've named it "Sleepless" because I don't sleep well. I really enjoy looking through other members' journals and I'm excited to share my first tank with our online community. I will continually update this first post to reflect my tank as it currently looks. The following posts and replies reflect the ongoing experiment that is "Sleepless".

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, critiques, suggestions, and opinions.
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Last edited by Stemwinder; 09-12-2010 at 03:12 AM..
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:10 AM   #2
Lycosa
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Welcome to the forum and gratz on your first tank! One thing I would note, is that you really don't need to cycle your tank with anything as long as you have plants in there. It will cycle all on it's own unless you are in a hurry to get fish in.

Looking good so far. I'm partial to the eco-complete look over the lighter gravel, but that's just my preference. Unless you are going for that iwagumi look, I would think a nice gnarly-looking piece of driftwood would look nice in the center.

So what are your plans for CO2? Since you are going low-tech that mean no DIY CO2? I'm sure your lights could handle it and the extra would give your plants a boost. It's fun to experiment with it all anyhow if you feel like it.

That bulbed plant on the left there sort of looks like Tiger Lotus, but it's hard for me to tell since the pic of it is small.

Well, keep us all posted and feel free to ask questions whenever they come to you.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:19 AM   #3
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Yes! It is a Tiger Lotus. Thank you. I forgot to write down the names of the plants before I paid for them.

I like the eco-complete better than the light gravel, too. I was trying to get artsy... oh well, it's in there now. Next time, I'll just use the eco.

I'll do DIY CO2 eventually. I need to do a little research before I put the drill to the bottle.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stemwinder View Post
Yes! It is a Tiger Lotus. Thank you. I forgot to write down the names of the plants before I paid for them.

I like the eco-complete better than the light gravel, too. I was trying to get artsy... oh well, it's in there now. Next time, I'll just use the eco.

I'll do DIY CO2 eventually. I need to do a little research before I put the drill to the bottle.
What you'll find is a lot of people that do the 'garden path' look use a light colored sand which seems to just flow better with the darker gravel. Again, just a preference. Once the plants spread out, your eye will be drawn from it anyhow.

DIY CO2 is super easy. This forum has a ton of info on how to do it properly and how to make a reactor for getting the most of your CO2 bubbles. It takes very few tools and time to get a simple CO2 unit going. When/if you get ready, just do a simple search on this forum and you'll find plenty of information.

Glad I could help with the plant ID.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:47 PM   #5
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Is it normal to sit and stare at your tank when there's nothing in it? LOL I've only got a few rocks and three plants in my tank and I can't take my eyes off of it.

I've stared at it so long that I've come to hate it. It's all backwards and upside down and inside out. I need to build up my hills out of the light gravel and then put the EcoComplete on top. The black Eco looks WAY better. That's what I want to see when I look at the tank. Forget about the gravel trail. I can do a trail of grass or moss. Also, it's too flat. There's no depth. The tank is 18.5 inches tall. I need to build upward.

I'm going to drain out 3/4 of the water tomorrow and re-scape it. Or maybe tonight if I can't sleep. Pics to follow.

Oh... Should I save the water that I drain from it and put it back in when I'm done re-scaping or just do a water change? Thx.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:30 PM   #6
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OK... I drained the water, changed everything around, and built a mountain out of the light gravel with big rocks and some driftwood sticking out. Now all you can see is the Eco-Complete on top. I'm looking forward to getting it planted this weekend after I visit the Circle City Aquarium Club swap meet. I can't wait to get some fauna & flora in this thing!

I'm much happier with it now. Let me know what you think.








Thanks for your thoughts, suggestions and critiques.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:58 PM   #7
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The second phase after
re-design is very nice.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:25 PM   #8
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Hardscape looks nice although I liked your first arrangement too. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:31 PM   #9
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I like the new hardscape.

You're going to need CO2 sooner rather than later since you've got T5HO over this tank.

Unless one of those bulbs is an actinic bulb (blue?) like it looks to be in your pics.

And you still will need to cycle your tank unless you absolutely stuff it full of plants and start off with just one or two small fish for the first few weeks.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

One of the bulbs is an actinic. I didn't even notice the difference in bulbs until you mentioned it. I'll be setting up DIY CO2 this weekend. I'm also using Flourish Excel. It's been cycling for almost a week. I used Microbe-lift Special Blend as a source of live bacteria. I'm hoping that it helps speed up the cycle, but if it doesn't that's fine, too. I'm not in that big of a hurry to get it stocked.... although I'm getting a little bit tired of staring at an empty tank.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:40 AM   #11
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I'm personally skeptical about most of those in-a-bottle products, but I do know that if you're adding bacteria but not "feeding" them with any ammonia source they're just going to die. You could just throw a pinch of fish food in there every day and let it decompose.

What spectrum is the other bulb in your fixture?
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:01 AM   #12
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im likeing it guy!!
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I'm personally skeptical about most of those in-a-bottle products, but I do know that if you're adding bacteria but not "feeding" them with any ammonia source they're just going to die. You could just throw a pinch of fish food in there every day and let it decompose.

What spectrum is the other bulb in your fixture?

Thanks for the advice. I wasn't sure about the Microbe-lift either, but the lfs suggested it and I've seen mixed reviews on here. I'll get some fish food tomorrow and put a little bit in each day over the next week or so.

One bulb says 6000k and the other is a 650 nm "roseate" bulb.
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:42 PM   #14
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We made it down to Indianapolis today for the Circle City Aquarium Club swap meet. I picked up a few anubias (nana & barteri), some java moss, a Marble Queen and a few other plants. Then we met up with Born2lovefish to check out his tanks and picked up a few clippings from him. (THANKS, Matt!)

Let me know what you think...




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Old 06-21-2010, 10:09 PM   #15
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Lookin' Good! Some small foreground plants up front would look great too.
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