my 75G newbie build...
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:16 PM   #1
GoldenTetra
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my 75G newbie build...


Criticism is welcome lol.

I've had this tank for nearly a month now and I've always thought that it was a 70 gallon until we measured it today and realized its a 75 gallon.. Not a huge difference, but it was a nice bonus lol.

I want to do this journal so that I can get some help along the way as this will be my first planted tank, but also so that other newbies can learn from my mistakes because I'm sure there will be plenty! Best way to learn I guess...

the plan...
My goal is to have a low tech tank with no CO2 and only using root tabs if necessary.

So far, I have no plants and no hardscape and tons of ideas lol (I'm going to go searching for some nice branches and rocks tomorrow and will post pics of my finds!)


The filter I'm using is an Aquaclear 110


The lighting (which I almost forgot to discuss lol) is a 48" 108W 2x54 Fluorescent T5 HO Hood with 6700K output ~ I've been told that this is potentially too much lighting depending on the reflector and distance between the light and the substrate... Heres where error may come into play, I'm going to try it out to see, the depth of my tank is only 20" so, that would mean that there is about approximately 18 inches of space between the substrate and the light (figuring for 4" of substrate and 2" between the light and the actual aquarium (could be even more, I'm guestimating)... The recommendation I got in another thread was for 30" between the light and the substrate, so I'm going to try it hoping my reflector isn't anything special, and if it is, I'll try to adjust my photoperiod or just one of the two bulbs... Trial and error (JOY!)


The substrate is going to be Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix capped with Black Diamond Blasting Sand.





The livestock we intend to keep are a mixture of the following:
  • Cardinal Tetras
  • Diamond Tetras
  • Blue Emporer Tetras
  • Red Cherry shrimp (would LOVE these if they are possible... not sure if they work in this type of community tank?)
  • Malaysian Trumpet Snails
  • ++always open to opinions about the livestock (and everything else to! lol)
So... I guess without further adieu, we'll move on to some pictures...

This is what we started with:


Look at those nasty green rocks! Well, nasty is a big word, they may suit someone else's setup, but certainly not mine, so I sold them. The rest of the stuff in there was a red bucket I'm assuming it was used to clean the tank. There is a water syphon and the filter that you can see there as well as a light bar on the top of the tank, what you can't see is a bubble maker, a heater, and a thermometer and I guess I could add that you can't really see the two glass pannels that act as a tank topper. We paid $170 for the tank, stand and all accessories, it probably doesn't sound like much of a deal to you folks in the States (because I find that I can usually find things going for what I consider to be really good prices down your way *thankfully I live close enough to the border that these low prices are useful for me to!!*) but here in Quebec, its almost unheard of, every other tank this size I looked at started at $350.


Heres a picture of the tank after its been emptied of rocks and we've started scraping to reseal it:




Someone had previously tried to reseal it using a type of black silicone... Luckily for me, I had you guys here on the forum to tell me what type of silicone to use, and I'm confident that not only will the seal hold, but the silicone wont affect the health of my fish. I used GE Silicone I Windows & Doors which was hard to find here in Quebec, but I did find it!

Heres the tank all taped up and ready for silicone:


And thats all I've got for you guys today, I'm giving the silicone until Monday to dry. Tomorrow I'll go hunting for some things to use in my hardscape and I'll post some pictures of what I find, and then Monday I'll be adding the substrate along with my finds and hopefully filling the tank!
I'll have to wait a few days before I can add my plants as I only ordered my light fixture yesterday.

Last edited by GoldenTetra; 10-20-2011 at 01:35 AM..
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:19 AM   #2
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Nice Tank
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:15 AM   #3
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Thanks Plant Keeper!

So, I haven't added water yet, and I didn't find any pieces of drift wood to use, but I did put in the substrate and I found some nice rocks to use.





Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics. We plan on adding some nice drift wood to the back on an angle, and some nice anubias between the rocks. I LOVE the look that the Black Diamond Blasting Sand gave the tank, it is so pretty, the pics really don't do it justice and I can just imagine what the colors are going to look like on my cardinals when I get 'em in there. I'm so excited to get the water in the tank lol! My light was shipped today, so hopefully it'll be here this week!!
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:36 AM   #4
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Nice deal. Did you check for leaks before adding the sand? I learned the hard way to check for leaks first, add 50 pounds of substrate later. The cherries can survive if you start with a large population and a LOT of places for them to hide.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:08 AM   #5
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Nice looking tank. The only way you can keep that tank low tech would be raising your light. I remember I tried making my 60 gallon low tech and I was using a 48" dual T5HO 54 watt fixture. Mistake learned
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:47 AM   #6
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Nice deal. Did you check for leaks before adding the sand? I learned the hard way to check for leaks first, add 50 pounds of substrate later. The cherries can survive if you start with a large population and a LOT of places for them to hide.
I think I may change my mind for the cherries, I'm thinking about just doing a nano planted tank devoted solely to the little things. I can actually remember a time where I said one tank would be enough... Ha! I don't know who I thought I was kidding...

We didn't check for leaks when we added the substrate... But today we added the water and while we were filling the tank we looked and have yet to notice anything *knock on wood!*
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:51 AM   #7
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Nice looking tank. The only way you can keep that tank low tech would be raising your light. I remember I tried making my 60 gallon low tech and I was using a 48" dual T5HO 54 watt fixture. Mistake learned
I sooo do not want to raise the light! I also do not want to do CO2...
The reason why I don't want to raise the light is because my husband is building a top for the tank to hide the filter, the light, etc.

There has got to be a way for me to be able to keep the light directly over the tank without having to go high tech... What if I were to cut the photoperiod, or use one bulb instead of both?
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:35 AM   #8
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If you can run one bulb then that might work, some ballasts won't work that way though. If you have a burnt out bulb then it might fire up.

Not sure you can cut the lighting period that low and have it work. You want to see the plants and fish at some point!

You could shade the tank with fiberglass window screen cloth. Add more layers until it is the right dimness for low tech.

You could use a layer of floating plants to shade the tank.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:12 PM   #9
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the window screen could definitely work!

The only thing that makes me skeptical about the floating plants is that if I'm not mistaken they have a tendancy of clogging up the filter... I could be wrong though...
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:52 PM   #10
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Hi,

You say you used GE Silicone II Windows & Doors - I've been researching this too, as I'm about to redo a 70 gallon Oceanic tank. The Home Depot and Lowes websites both claim that GE Silicone II Windows & Doors has "mildew inhibitors" in it, but the GE Silicone I Windows & Doors does not. Would you be kind enough to share the sources that persuaded you to use the II instead of the I? I would really appreciate it!

Thanks!
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:55 PM   #11
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Yay for plants! I spent $40 (Tax incl.) on 4 plants today lol, I don't mind though because I would prefer to support my LFS even if it is a bit more expensive because #1 its a petstore that doesn't sell puppies or kittens and thus doesn't support puppy mills (HUGE bonus in my eyes) and #2 the two employees - yeh only two! - Both know their stuff about fish and aquariums, its worth the extra dollar

So, I got 2 anubias and 2 java ferns. Ooh and I bought some batteries for the camera so here are some actually GOOD pictures, no more crappy cell phone pics





The waters still a little murky, but everything seems to be settling nicely and I'm liking the look so far, can't wait for the plants to grow in nice and full but everything comes with time lol. If anyone has some suggestions for plants that I could put in the back that will grow tall (keeping in mind that this is going to be a low tech tank) I'm all for hearing them! I also plan on putting together some kind of background this week whether it be simple cork board attached to the back or fabric, or even a bought picture-type, we'll see

Ooh and look at the newbie mistake we made... We never tried to put the filter on the back of the tank before we filled it. Low and behold we're missing a freakin 1/2 inch to be able to slide it behind the tank so for right now its on the side, I guess the tank will be getting a 50% water change much sooner than necessary so we can slide the sucker out a bit more because as of right now my light doesn't fit ontop of the tank... so thats the plan for this weekend YAYYY! lol
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by GoldenTetra View Post
Ooh and look at the newbie mistake we made... We never tried to put the filter on the back of the tank before we filled it. Low and behold we're missing a freakin 1/2 inch to be able to slide it behind the tank so for right now its on the side, I guess the tank will be getting a 50% water change much sooner than necessary so we can slide the sucker out a bit more because as of right now my light doesn't fit ontop of the tank... so thats the plan for this weekend YAYYY! lol
Lol I did the same thing. Only I was too excited to get my tank going that I said effff it and got a little side table for my canister filter. one of these days I'll do an 80% water change and arrange everything correctly. Also as far as your plants go you might want to get alot of fast growing plants ASAP or some duckweed/nutrient suckers bc those poor little anubias plants are going to be covered with algae(that's another mistake I made)
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by m00se View Post
Hi,

You say you used GE Silicone II Windows & Doors - I've been researching this too, as I'm about to redo a 70 gallon Oceanic tank. The Home Depot and Lowes websites both claim that GE Silicone II Windows & Doors has "mildew inhibitors" in it, but the GE Silicone I Windows & Doors does not. Would you be kind enough to share the sources that persuaded you to use the II instead of the I? I would really appreciate it!

Thanks!
I didn't see this until now sorry!
It is GE Silicone I sorry, I should edit that.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:36 AM   #14
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Lol I did the same thing. Only I was too excited to get my tank going that I said effff it and got a little side table for my canister filter. one of these days I'll do an 80% water change and arrange everything correctly. Also as far as your plants go you might want to get alot of fast growing plants ASAP or some duckweed/nutrient suckers bc those poor little anubias plants are going to be covered with algae(that's another mistake I made)
What will cause them to be covered in algae? now I'm worried! lol
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:37 AM   #15
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What will cause them to be covered in algae? now I'm worried! lol
the combination of running a high output lighting system, they are slow growing plants, and not enough plants to outcompete the algae. maybe it wont happen to you since you arent adding any fertilizers to the water column. im just letting you know what happened to me when i was in the same boat as you.
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