100 gal Tank, Take 2
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Old 01-05-2005, 04:48 PM   #1
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100 gal Tank, Take 2


My 100gal tank started back in June 2003 as a pretty low tech setup. Over time I gradually improved lighting (from 128W T8 to now ~200W T5) and CO2 (from one 2l bottle to three 3l bottles to pressurized).

Initially I didn't have an idea how to "aquascape", just planted large plants in the back, and small plants in the front. Unfortunately, the small swords in the front grew to monsters and needed to be moved around. It was a colorful collection of all plants I could get a hold of.

Over time, I figured out which plants like to grow under my conditions, as well as which plants I liked. Many plants disappeared all by themselves, leaving me with a wild mixture of different colors and shapes.

One day while hiking I found that huge piece of waterlogged root, and I know it had a place in my tank.

I had a free weekend and started to rip out and replant. The first large sword changed the water into a muddy brown soup (I am using loam in my
substrate!). Whipped out the HOT Magnum, some Diatom Powder, and let it run during the entire ordeal. Got rid of one huge E. osiris, it's size just nothing for a little 100 gal tank. Got rid of some fast growers like Ambulias, and left others like Water Sprite attached to rubber stoppers to reduce their explosive growth. All in all simplification...

Here is how it looks just after planting. Things need to grow in, take shape, and be pruned to shape. The left side doesn't look so good in the image, you don't see much of the stone terrace that is overshaded by Java Ferns, the Crypts in front hide most of it, but in reality it doesn't look too bad.



Let me know what you think... Here, as comparison, how it looked previously.


Last edited by Wasserpest; 03-30-2009 at 02:53 PM..
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Old 01-05-2005, 05:54 PM   #2
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Argh! You moved the posts on me again!

As always a fantastic looking tank. Do you have any plans for the bare spot? A few people are working on Micranthemum umbrosum (think low growing pearlgrass)...
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Old 01-05-2005, 06:00 PM   #3
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There is some sort of pearlgrass (2-leaved variety) in the right front, between Wisteria and Crypts. However, my Festivums think it's lettuce for their dinner, so I don't think it will make it for too long.

I plan on leaving the bare spot bare... it's overshaded by the driftwood, and I don't mind seeing some open space (the beautiful E. barthii which used to be in that space got shredded by my Festivums).
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Old 01-05-2005, 06:06 PM   #4
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I have always loved this tank... But something I've always been curious about.. what kind of Fauna do you have in here?

I see some festivums and pearl gouramis.... What else do you have in that thicket?
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Old 01-05-2005, 07:14 PM   #5
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Tank looks nice. That piece of wood looks very interesting. I might have to go trudging for some soon in the creek. What's that green stuff that appears to be growing on it (algae or lichen)? Might want to consider a low growing plant to cover some of that empty space up. It'll contrast nicely w/that piece of wood, and doesn't make the area so barren.

There's more space to display the tank and I've noticed that a lot of the red is gone. It actually makes the tank flow quite a bit better. Can't wait to see what it looks like when it fills in a bit more.
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Old 01-05-2005, 07:47 PM   #6
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Can you explain what you mean by attaching water sprite to rubber stoppers to slow it down? I love this plant, but it spends most of it's time either too big or too small. I'd love a way to make the "just right" stage last longer.

Thanks,
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Old 01-05-2005, 09:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDominy
I have always loved this tank... But something I've always been curious about.. what kind of Fauna do you have in here?

I see some festivums and pearl gouramis.... What else do you have in that thicket?
There are 4 Festivums (2 pairs, sort of), 3 Pearl Gouramies, 3 Yoyo loaches (I can see at least two of them twirly things, one above the driftwood, and another one above the bronze wendtii on the left), 1 false SAE (you can spot him close to one of the Festivums), one Bristlenose (who enjoys the new driftwood a lot), a pair of Rams, and one or two Otos. That's about it.

I can't recommend the Festivums for a planted tank... without them I would probably have some smaller fishies in the tank, along with two African Butterflies that I had to evacuate into another tank.
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Old 01-05-2005, 09:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibn
Tank looks nice. That piece of wood looks very interesting. I might have to go trudging for some soon in the creek. What's that green stuff that appears to be growing on it (algae or lichen)? Might want to consider a low growing plant to cover some of that empty space up. It'll contrast nicely w/that piece of wood, and doesn't make the area so barren.

There's more space to display the tank and I've noticed that a lot of the red is gone. It actually makes the tank flow quite a bit better. Can't wait to see what it looks like when it fills in a bit more.
I had that driftwood for a year or so in my backyard pond. It's some green algae growth on it, but with all the hungry fishies in there it will be gone and clean in a few days...

Getting rid of the Lotus, losing the E. barthii, and combining all the A. reineckii helped quite a bit to reduce all the red spots, easier on the eye now.

I will let the Wisteria spread more into the "barren" area, other than that maybe a smaller crypt would fit the place... There isn't enough light for Glosso or Riccia, and other small groundcovers are being interpreted as food by those Festivums.
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Old 01-05-2005, 09:56 PM   #9
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Yeah I've read a lot of mixed reviews on Festivums... If you didn't have the scrappy asians in there (Yoyo's, False SAE, etc) I'd say go discus ;-)

I admit, I am feeling a rather strong urge to move from loaches to Discus in teh 135 Gallon tank... But I love the loaches too much to give them up, or move them somewhere less suited to their needs.
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Old 01-05-2005, 09:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observant_imp
Can you explain what you mean by attaching water sprite to rubber stoppers to slow it down? I love this plant, but it spends most of it's time either too big or too small. I'd love a way to make the "just right" stage last longer.

Thanks,
Water Sprite just grows too fast and large with its roots in the substrate. You can leave it floating, but then it creates quite some shade for plants underneath, and unless you have an open top tank, you don't fully enjoy the beautiful leaf texture.

So now I just attach them to rubber suckers (some have like a plastic thing to attach airhoses, or using a rubber band) about halfway between substrate and surface. That way the leaves are visible, the roots have quite some room before they start growing into the substrate, and the growth of the entire plant is slowed down.
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDominy
Yeah I've read a lot of mixed reviews on Festivums... If you didn't have the scrappy asians in there (Yoyo's, False SAE, etc) I'd say go discus ;-)
The water here is pretty hard, and I am not going the RO/DI way... I know, it's okay if you don't want to breed them Discus, still...

But, unless I find a good home for those Festivums, I am stuck with them for the next couple of years... so it's a moot point.
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:27 PM   #12
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Looks good
That must have been some task getting those swords up, the roots go forever ! They were beauties though wasser, it must have broke your heart to have to remove them even though its for the greater good.
That watersprite tip is a great idea man, I never thought of that because they do grow very slowly when not in the substrate. I might have to try it out, mine is allready out of control.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:55 AM   #13
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Default Take 3 - Start over!

After 3 1/2 years, this tank needed some serious rejuvenation. The weekly hacking back didn't make it look much better, the substrate (pea gravel over loam) got very hard to plant in. Adding the Festivums back when wasn't a great decision, both for their plant-shredding abilities and the fact that cleaner-uppers such as shrimps had no chance in this tank.

So, after slowly moving the big fishies into their new home, the day came to get it all out and empty. I took a day off and sent the family far away... things always happen and a youngster running around asking what that fish is doing on the carpet is just not helpful... okay maybe it would.



I used pretty much the same recipe of substrate as in my 36gal and 55gal tanks - first a nice thick layer of previously soaked peat, none of this thin dusting stuff for me, thanks.



As you can see, I didn't really squeeky clean the tank, there is a remainder of the muddy loam left over which is soaked up some by the peat. Add a secret number of jobes sticks and push them all the way to the bottom of the tank, as an initial fertilizer seeding.

I spent some time figuring out how to arrange that big piece of wood in my tank. Before, it layed straight, but looked weird, now I moved it kind of weird with rocks underneath it and such, but it looks much more natural.



Next, I used two 25lb bags of Special Kitty ($2.22 ea), which in my case contain fired clay, texture very close to Flourite, just a tad lighter. On top of that I added some Flourite straight out of two bags, no washing for me, thank you. Mainly I used the Flourite because I had them from back when I bought them at $6 per bag, labeled as "gravel vac", and I couldn't convince the Petsm@rties otherwise. Also, being a little heavier than the Kitty stuff it makes planting certain plants easier.

STOP... I forgot something. At this point I should have cleaned a nasty canister filter, and used all the bio-sludge to seed the substrate. I totally forgot... oh well.

Now here is 50% of making the substrate-not-rinsing work: before doing anything else, siphon out all the water that is in the tank (from wet substrate, cleaning windows, spraying any plants that might start to wilt, etc). That moves most of the fine goodies down into the lower substrate layers.



The second part for success is to add the water very, very slowly, and even then, make sure there is no water movement whatsoever. Sponges work good. It's a little tempting to fill that sucker, but remember, going slow will be a guarantee for clarity later on.



As the tank fills, planting starts... there are little dust devils as you push plants down into the new substrate, and overall water clarity is going to heck, but no problem, a few hours later it will look better, and once the tank is 60% full, filters can get started, making sure the outflow does NOT point towards the substrate, of course.

All in all it took me the better of one day to redo the 100 gallons, the next day was still used to finish planting, and clean up...

So right now the fauna - a Flying Fox which I bought 3.5 years ago when I originally set up the tank, 3 Yoyos that have been there a few years, and my old pair of African Butterflies which moved around since the Festivums started ripping out their fins. Also two Otos that have been there since the beginning of the tank. New: a whole bunch of Cherries and Amano Shrimpses, plus two starved Otos saved from Petsmt today. Thanks to the XPs the water is crystal clear, and the whole thing is a pleasure to look at.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:56 AM   #14
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Happy new year, and thanks for reading!
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:05 AM   #15
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wow...look great ! Happy New Year !
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