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Old 04-23-2011, 06:08 AM   #1
audioaficionado
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Audioaficionado's 45 Gallon Tall High Tech Reentry


This is my 20 year old tank that replaced my original 29 gal my daughter accidentally broke with a step ladder long ago LOL.

Not much to look at. Hard to believe I have a C note invested in it just for the DIY T5NO fixture, 4 dozen real cheap fish and several small plants. Should have gone mail order for the plants. Much better bang for the buck than my LFS.

It ain't an ADA, but It'll do for now on my shoe string budget.

Plants have already grown an inch in a week. Pretty good for only 1W/gal lighting. I'll get a second dual 21W light strip installed asap after next payday. T5HO baby!

4-22-11
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Tank: 45 gal 36x24x12
Pump: Marineland Magnum 350
Light: 2x F39T5 6500k Sun Blaster strip lights w/reflectors
Substrate: #3 natural gravel w/Tetra Hilena Initial D & 20 yr old mulm
CO2 DIY: 1 to 1/2 bps 24/7

Flora:
4-15-11
Anubias barteri 'Nana'
Cryptocoryne Retrospiralis
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Tropica'
4-29-11
Cryptocoryne lutea
Microsorum pteropus (Java Fern)
5-19-11
Anubias barteri 'Coffeefolia'
6-28-11
Hygrophila pinnatifida
Limnophilia sp 'Sulawesi'
Lilaeopsis novae 'mini' (mini microsword)
6-30-11
Cabomba furcata
7-11-11
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Mi Oya'
Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia
Cryptocoryne spirales
Cryptocoryne cordata
Hygrophila corymbosa 'Kompakt'

Fauna:
4-16-11
22x Tanichthys albonubes (white cloud)
8x Danio rerio (Zebra Danio)
11x Paracheirodon innesi (neon tetra)
1x Hemigrammus erythrozonus (glowlight tetra)
3x Hyphessobrycon eques (serpae tetra)
3x Hemigrammus ocellifer (headlight tail light tetra)
4-28-11
5x Otocinclus affinis (Oto catfish)
5x Puntius titteya (Cherry Barb)
2x Puntius conchonius (Rosy Barb)
4-30-11
2x Trichogaster leeri (Pearl Gourami)
5-11-11
3x Gymnocorymbus ternetzi (Black Skirt Tetra)
6-4-11
5x Neritina natalensis sp (Zebra Nerrite snail)
5x Neritina natalensis sp (Ruby or Red spotted Nerrite snail)
3x Crossocheilus siamensis (true Siamese Algae Eater)
2-15-12
Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps (marbled sailfin Plecostomus)

I'm 154% overstocked according to aqadvisor.com LOL.
looks like they just use a rule of thumb of 1 fish/gal.
I had 80 fish in my heavily planted 29 gal low tech tank in San Diego, CA with no issues. Seldom changed my water either.

Wish list:
Pogostemon helferi 'Downoi'
Aponogeton crispus 'Red'
Vallisneria americana var. asiatica
Echinodorus 'vesuvius' (Echinodorus Angustifolia)
Cryptocoryne balansae
Cryptocoryne beckettii
Eriocaulon sp. 'cinereum'
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45 gal tall high-tech : 2-23-12 update
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Growing older is mandatory, growing up is optional.
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Last edited by audioaficionado; 02-17-2012 at 11:12 PM.. Reason: updates
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:46 AM   #2
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Looking forward to seeing this one grow in. I love 40 gallon tanks. Subscribed. Any long term goals?
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Thanx. I need lots of driftwood for vertical height scaffolding and some taller background and foreground carpeting crypts. Also going to move most of the petrified wood towards the front as the plants will cover it up in the back. Want to get some Anubias all over the DW with their roots hanging down as well as some moss here and there. Gotta get some redline sharks as I've fallen in love with the species. Lots more neons too.
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:33 AM   #4
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I've updated my flora & fauna list with new additions.

Will be getting 2xT5HO 6500 K 36" strip light fixtures and 95% reflectors to replace the crappy T5NO fixture I'm using.

I'm also getting some nice manzanita drift wood from Tom Barr soon.

I'll update the pictures once it's all set up.

Thanx for looking.
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45 gal tall high-tech : 2-23-12 update
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Growing older is mandatory, growing up is optional.
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Last edited by audioaficionado; 01-24-2012 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:39 AM   #5
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Nice start. Only thing that worries me is the white clouds are cold water fish and pretty much everything else requires a tropical range in the upper 70s to lower 80s F. Their lifespan will be greatly reduced at those temperatures, from what I've read. They're also schooling fish, as are the tetras. Can't tell from your list if you just got one of each or what.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:50 PM   #6
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I haven't' put in the fish count for each species yet. Will get accurate numbers by next week. Nice dozen and half white cloud feeders and five neons so far. No fish are eating the tinyiest white cloud feeders as long as they get their share of the flake food. Otos are doing a great job on the brown algae/diatoms in just a few days.

I want several Roselines once the plants get thicker.

Thanx for the look and constructive comments.
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:29 PM   #7
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Update: Got two new Sunblaster 36" 39W 6500 K T5HO fixtures w/reflectors installed on top of the glass cover 22" from the substrate. They're on separate timers for an 11 hour photo period with a 3 hour overlap burst. I didn't buy 'em from the LFS or OLFS. I got them from a local indoor hydroponic indoor gardening dealer. Better bang for the buck IMHO. Sunblaster strip lights - Nanotech reflectors
$95 for both sets.
Hopefully the plants will take off more than any algae.

I can't really get more plants until my manzanita driftwood hard scape plan gets implemented.

BTW I'm not feeling too sorry for my white clouds as they were feeders when I bought them. Their somewhat shortened lives should be much better than what their original fate was going to be.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:09 AM   #8
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I've got some DIY CO2 running to my tank as of today. First day bubble rate is 30 bbm but still rising. I'm not EI dosing, but just want to add some CO2 to augment the usually very low levels found in a tank. I'll work out the ferts later. I just have to keep vigilant on any algae blooming due to the greatly increased light levels.

After going through 2 air stones, I finally found a CO2 diffuser that works well at 1 bubble per second. A bamboo chopstick. Bubbles come out large and fast, but as they quickly start to rise, they shrink almost to mist size and slow way down and start to float around in the water currents. I'll get a proper diffuser or external reactor eventually, but not for awhile. This whole DIY CO2 setup cost me well under ten bux. If this experiment works out, I'll probably move on to pressurized CO2 later this year. So much for my low tech tank status LOL.
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45 gal tall high-tech : 2-23-12 update
Complete CO2 Leak Test : How to build a CO2 regulator


Never argue with a fool. Onlookers often can't tell the difference.
Growing older is mandatory, growing up is optional.
My advice is free and worth every penny.

Last edited by audioaficionado; 05-12-2011 at 11:11 PM..
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:55 AM   #9
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Since I've added those two T5HO lamps and subsequently DIY CO2, I knew I needed some ferts too. Didn't have the time or money to order from online specialty aquarium stores, so I grabbed some Aqueon liquid plant food @ PetSmart. I chose it because it was a quick water column fert and had K & micros. It doesn't have any N or P, but it doesn't need to as my fish are supplying those components. I've noticed my Anubias nana is starting to grow a lot faster. My crypts are slow growers any way, but they are starting to pick up the pace as well. I've also procured a nice large container of Osmocote Plus and will order my polyester braided computer wire sleeving from SVC to make up the substrate fert packets with. I can't stand the thought of all those little resin balls mixed up in my substrate and getting loose in my tank.

Aquarium Plant Food 0-0-1
Guaranteed Analysis
Soluble Potash K2O..................................1%
Calcium .................................................. .0.2%
Magnesium (Mg)........................................5%
0.03% Water Soluble Magnesium (Mg)
Sulfur (S)..............................................0 .036%
0.036% Combined Sulfur (S)
Boron (B)............................................0.0 006%
Iron (Fe).............................................. ....0.12%
0.12% Chelated Iron (Fe)
Manganese (Mn)............................0.00008%
0.00008% Chelated Manganese (Mn)
Molybdenum (Mo).............................0.0035%
Zinc (Zn)...........................................0.0 0012%
0.00012% Chelated Zinc (Zn)

Derived From
Muriate of potash, Calcium chloride, Magnesium sulfate, Sodium tetraborate, Iron EDTA, Manganese EDTA, Sodium molybdate, Zinc EDTA

I'll put up new pics as soon as my manzanita wood from Tom Barr is in place later this week. Diatoms or not

Thanx for looking
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45 gal tall high-tech : 2-23-12 update
Complete CO2 Leak Test : How to build a CO2 regulator


Never argue with a fool. Onlookers often can't tell the difference.
Growing older is mandatory, growing up is optional.
My advice is free and worth every penny.

Last edited by audioaficionado; 05-29-2011 at 02:38 PM..
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:10 AM   #10
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Is the wood in the tank yet? I've been catching up on my subscriptions and just saw you've been busy with the tank. I am interested in hearing how the aqueon liquid plant food does. I am glad to see there is more of a market for plants now.

The diatoms will eventually go away. That is a healthy sign in my experience in new setups. It is also the end of the new tank algae.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:16 AM   #11
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That substrate has been in place over 25 years and has never dried out nor been deep vacuumed of the original mulm. The rust brown crap is slowly getting worse with time. It looks more brown than this pic shows. You can see where the otos have been chipping at it.

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I got the bundle of manzanita branches fully saturated and now I need to take it out of the soak bucket and arrange them into an interesting shape using nylon wire ties to hold the branches in place. Then I'll use SS screws to lock it all together. The wire ties will come off just before it goes into the tank. I'll give it another soak day to get some more tannins out.
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Old 05-20-2011, 02:07 AM   #12
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Still getting tannins out of the wood. Will let it soak with daily water changes until it slows down. Picked up a real nice 10" long submerged form Anubias barteri 'Coffeefolia' rhizome for $10 at the LFS today. Will attach it to the wood. Beautiful leaves and long roots.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:43 AM   #13
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Got the manzanita hardscape in. Recharged my DIY CO2 batch. Chopstick diffuser works OK, but there is some bubbles lost to the surface. I've planted an Aponogeton Ulvaceus bulb in the left side. We'll see how long this plant takes to out grow its home. Put the Anubias barteri 'Coffeefolia' on the right side with only a couple of pieces of petrified wood holding it down by the root ends. The fish love to swim under the leaves amongst the roots. Put my Anubias barteri 'Nana' up in the manzanita in a crooked nook and also put my Microsorium pteropus 'Java fern' in another manzanita crotch.

I'll update the picture soon.
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:25 PM   #14
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How is the diatoms doing? Looks like by the picture it's on the last leg. Can't wait to see the manzanita hardscape. It should do wonders for the height of the tank. Have you thought about getting a powerhead to use with co2 diffusion? It would probably help a great deal.
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:10 AM   #15
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5-31-11
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The only reason the glass isn't green/brown is because I clean it with a nice long handled algae scrubber LOL. My otos try but the algae must not be to their liking. I'm bringing in some reinforcements to deal with it. SAE, Nerite snails, shrimp, etc.

I just planted that Aponogeton ulvaceus bulb three days ago with only three 1/4" long shoots starting out. It will take over the left side in a month at this rate.

Look at what 3 weeks of low 1/2-1bps DIY CO2 + T5HO/ 11hr/day w/3hr burst + modest ferts have done so far. I haven't even planted any root ferts yet nor use EI. Plants have more than doubled their biomass in that time.

I'm starting on my pressurized CO2 system build. Got a nice Victor VTS450D DSR on fleabay the other day. Now I'm working on acquiring the rest of the bits.

I'm looking at power heads, but they are really intrusive unless you get the really expensive units with magnetic coupled compact wet head/dry drive motor. I might just get another canister and put in a spray bar across the back.
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45 gal tall high-tech : 2-23-12 update
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Never argue with a fool. Onlookers often can't tell the difference.
Growing older is mandatory, growing up is optional.
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