50 gallon low-tech community tank
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Old 11-13-2010, 02:38 AM   #1
LICfish
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50 gallon low-tech community tank


After joining this forum, I was inspired to re-scape my tanks and so I did - all three! This is my 50 gallon. I included a before shot of the tank as well (last photo). It's still a work in progress and I still need to get some more plants.

T8 (to be upgraded very shortly to Coralife T5 NO) and indirect sunlight
Flourite
Also ordered some root tabs, Excel and Flourish Iron
Awesome wood collected by Tom Barr.

Flora:
Swords, 1 survivor stem of stargrass, wisteria, very skinny cabomba, sunset hygro (recently acquired - which has gotten taller and still pink), Marsilea minuta, Hygrophila corymbosa, Echinodorus martii, Aponogetons Ulvaceus
The marsilea minuta are quite slow and my loaches and SAEs aren't helping by uprooting them all the time. But I do see some growth. Phew.

Plans:
Thinking of adding dwarf sag under the root-like structure on the left side.
And possibly rotala indica and ludwigia natans to replace the wisteria on the right side of the tank. Please tell me what you think before I do my plant shopping spree

Fish:
Threadfin rainbows, congo tetras, balloon red eye tetras, rosy tetras, dwarf chain loaches, apistogramma cacatuoides, siamese algae eaters, 1 albino bristlenose pleco

Please excuse the bad photos.
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Old 11-13-2010, 02:55 AM   #2
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Oo nice tank! Did you get it custom made? Mind if I ask where you got it and the dimensions? I HATE my 55g long... it drives me nuts lol...

I get away with 2x 48" T12 lights... $10 hood from home depot and 1x full spectrum bulb and 1x plant bulb... I read something interesting from Diana Walstad's book about fluorescent lights. She wrote about an experiment that someone did measuring the amount of oxygen produced by elodea and how the most was produced when using a combination of 1x Cool White bulb and 1x VitaLife full spectrum plant bulb as opposed to 2x Vita Lifes and 2x CW... She then goes on to make an argument as to why this may be due to aquatic plants evolution to utilize a bit more greenish/yellow light versus terrestial plants b/c water absorbs red wavelengths of light and Dissolved Organic Compounds absorb a bit of the blue wavelengths of light so the plants so it's better to have a more balanced spectral output...

Anyways I enjoy her argument basically bc it is what I had before I even read that part lol so I feel like my intuition is just awesome like that!

Anyways my tank doesn't look anywhere near as nice as yours and I am too embarassed to take a full pic of my tank so I always crop it in my pics
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:10 AM   #3
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Thanks OoglyBoogly. I just saw a picture of your tank and I think it looks GREAT. So I'm honoured by your compliment

A custom made one is on my wish list. This one is a 50ish gallon Seaclear acrylic tank. The dimensions are 36x15x20 (not a lot of depth but it can work). I've seen the 55 long and it looks tough to scape - depth-wise

And thanks for that info on the spectrum. I was recently looking into that and trying to decide myself on which way to go. I was already leaning toward the different bulbs but now I've decided
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:25 AM   #4
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Ahh I thought it might be acrylic but wasn't sure if it was the bubble eye effect from the camera lens on the top right corner of your pic.

Thanks for the compliment! You can't see it but my tank is plagued by hair algae and I'm just starting to see a little more beard algae. I always had a little but it exploded in growth when I decided to move a great deal of cuttings and other very fast growers such as coontail, brazillian pennywort, a TON of water sprite shoots that grow off of the limbs of the plant and I nixed ALL of my minor duckweed b/c it was driving me mad. Everytime I pulled my arm out of the water I had a ton of it stuck to my arm hairs... LOL and to think I was making fun of my buddy that I just got into the hobby for accidentally dropping nair on one of his arms thus making it bald lol...

I just got a tremendous amount of random stuff from sewingalot for just the price of shipping so my tank is stocked again so I plan on growing out what I REALLY like and passing on the rest to friends/locals as it grows out so long as my tank stays packed with some sort of plants. Another thing I picked up from Walstad's writings is that a heavily stocked tank can prevent algae blooms in tanks where you use regular organic potting soil in it without going through the effort of first mineralizing it etc... and she even has those tanks sitting in windows getting direct sunlight!

I definitely need to start messing around with excel b/c I'm impatient and I don't know if I can wait weeks for the algae to slowly fade away to where I really have to search for it to find it. I'm also worried that once I start with excel I'll be stuck on it lol... I'm even now torn since I read somewhere in this forum about someone whose plants have gotten redder due to excel's ability to help plants absorb iron... So many ways of doing things... ahh the joys of this hobby

BTW what purpose does the partially buried terracotta pot server?
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OoglyBoogly View Post
and to think I was making fun of my buddy that I just got into the hobby for accidentally dropping nair on one of his arms thus making it bald lol...

BTW what purpose does the partially buried terracotta pot server?
LOL. I hope your friend no longer has a bald patch.

That pot actually serves no purpose. Hehe. I left it in there thinking my apisto might miss it. But it looks like they don't care, so I'll be taking it out once I add the dwarf sag.

This tank is heavily stocked and compared to my other tank with a puny bioload and hair algae, this tank has done ok. I'm hoping to experiment with excel on that algae problem. I'm also liking the idea of Excel because it's easy
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:40 AM   #6
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OMG my friend with the bald spot problem now has a "white spot" problem... he scratched an itch on his face and he had a little bit of turpentine on his thumb from something he was cleaning and it bleached a patch of his beard/stubble... 4 months later it is still white. I noticed it today b/c he had the 4 day unshaven thing going on and I thought he was missing hair until I looked closely and was like WTF you're getting white hairs on your beard in only 1 big spot?! haha and he explained it to me...

yea excel seems easy I plan on ordering some from LNT.com no shipping charges and it's about $10 for 500ml.

My plants started to melt before I started using Seachem Flourish... lol it's magic in a bottle for lowtech people!
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:56 AM   #7
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LOL. Yeah I'm hoping it really is magic in a bottle!

And LOL at your friend. Sounds like a character.
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LICfish View Post
LOL. Yeah I'm hoping it really is magic in a bottle!

And LOL at your friend. Sounds like a character.
He is! OMG He almost drowned this summer near the robert moses bridge after jumping off of his boat... not being strong enough to haul his big butt back into the boat and being too proud to grab my arm after he bent his ladder... the current took him away and his boat is old and is tricky to start... before he jumped into the water he said "here is the number to the mechanic and sea tow" lol... he should have given me a manual on how to start his boat! He literally almost died, The coast guard and suffolk PD came in their pontoon boats... people on the beach screamed after it looked like he got mauled by a speedboat 200 feet away in the middle of the channel but thankfully he screamed and they had a better ladder and he was too tired to be proud at that point... ohh and they heard his girlish shriek for help! Haha he's a mess!
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:02 AM   #9
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Wow oogily that's some friend you got lol
LICfish you have a great tank!
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:49 PM   #10
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Thanks problemman. Great story OoglyBoogly! Glad he's alright. I bet he gives people a scare quite often. LOL.

Any suggestions on what plants should place the wisteria on the right side? So far I'm thinking ludwigia repens but still not sure because the pink might be too much on that side.
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:19 PM   #11
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My wisteria is one of my fastest growers. Once it gets to a certain size it really takes off so I'm starting to phase it out as a midground plant and am slowly moving it to the background. You'll also notice that it shoots out roots along the stem so you could always keep pruning it and replanting those parts.
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:32 PM   #12
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Yeah sorry I meant I want to replace the wisteria on the right side. It grows like crazy and it's been taking over the tank. I think I started off with 5 stems.
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by problemman View Post
Wow oogily that's some friend you got lol
LICfish you have a great tank!
Sorry to hijack your thread LIC with stories about my buddy but I guess it's relevant since he too is now into planted tanks! LOL I am trying to get him to join this forum but I must make sure I never give away who he is lol or teach him how to find my threads...

Seriously he was a literal disaster this entire summer and stuff always went down when I was with him!

Anyways wisteria imho is fun to watch. When I first bought mine it had very oval shaped leaves which must have been due to it growing in low light conditions at Fishtown USA. After I got it, it basically had a meltdown with all its lower leaves then it grew back with leaves that looked like oak leaves and now the leaves closest to the light almost look like water sprite leaves... I also love how bright green it is as it pops out in my tank. I need to figure out a way to get more light to the undergrowth in my tank while not having lights outside of my tank lol. Perhaps a little bouncing off of the inside of the glass will work =P
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:29 PM   #14
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No worries. I enjoy the stories And if he does join yeah you better make sure he doesn't find all these stories of him

Yeah I also like the look of wisteria. But it's outgrown everything that even after spreading it to my other 2 tanks, there's still quite a lot of it left in this one. Just thought I'd add a little variety. I'm still keeping some wisteria in this tank for sure.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:38 PM   #15
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I've read that having a stocked tank in the beginning is important for keeping the algae away or atleast to a very minimum amount. So you could always just use the wisteria to keep the tank stocked with tanks as you gradually accumulate more interesting/expensive plants and then you can just cull the wisteria and swap it out with the nicer and more difficult plants out there. Atleast that is my plan with my setup. I started out with all LFS low light generic stuff that I've been seeing for many years and am slowly obtaining my goal thanks to all the helpful info (and SNS) on this forum and the rest of the internet!

Where in NYC are you located if you don't mind me asking?
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