Fish Farmer's 29 Gallon Journal - Update 12/23: RESCAPE
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Old 06-11-2011, 02:37 PM   #1
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Fish Farmer's 29 Gallon Journal - Update 12/23: RESCAPE


Howdy folks!

So I figured I'd start a journal for you all to see the progress of my 29 gallon tank. This will be my first attempt at live plants in the aquarium, so I'm excited.

Just some background to introduce myself. My name is Andy, I will be entering my senior year at the University of Delaware where I am studying plant science (yeah I know, so I should be able to grow some great plants in the aquarium, right? haha we'll see!) with a concentration in crop science and a minor in soils. I live in a rural area in Maryland, and farming is my first passion. I've had some great success with keeping fish in the past, but gave up on it when I started college. Now that I'm in my senior year, class load has lightened up a bit, so I can now take on a planted tank.

I got this 29 high quite a few years ago for a birthday present, kept some live bearers in it for a while, then they all died off, and the tank has basically sat empty for a few years now.

So for the rebirth of this tank, I am thinking an Amazon theme. I am going to try and create a tree root/mangrove look with some Manzanita wood. For fish, I'm thinking a couple of schools of tetras, some cory cats, and a few dwarf cichlids. But this tank is a long way from fish at this point.

The tank is a 29 gallon, high (30"x12"x18") with a canister filter. I will be going low-tech on this tank--no CO2 injection. Lighting will be ~10 hrs/day from a Current Nova Extreme 48 watt T5HO.

______________________________________________


Tank Specs:
Size: 30"x12"x18" (LxWxH)
Capacity: 29 US Gallons (110 liters)
Filtration: Whisper 30 Canister Filter
Lighting: Current Nova Extreme T5HO, 48 watts; 8 hours/day
Substrate: Eco Complete with Flourite sub-layer; fine sand in foreground
Carbon Source: API CO2 Booster; 5mL/day


Flora:
- Anubias barteri var. barteri
- Bacopa australis
- Bacopa caroliniana - Lemon Bacopa
- Ceratopteris thalictroides - Water Sprite
- Helanthium tenellum (Echinodorus tenellus) - Pygmy Chain Sword
- Hygrophila corymbosa - Giant Hygro
- Rotala rotundifolia
- Vallisneria spiralis - Straight Vallisneria
- Cryptocoryne spiralis - Spiral Crypt


Fauna
- Otocinclus vittatus (x3) - Oto Catfish
- Paracheirodon innesi (x10) - Neon Tetra
- Hyphessobrycon megalopterus (x6) - Black Phantom Tetra, 4 female, 2 male
- Parotocinclus jumbo (x1) - Pitbull Pleco
- Corydoras pygmaeus (x6) - Pygmy Cory
- Pterophyllum scalare (x2) - Green Leopard Angelfish


On to some pictures. Sorry for some of the bad quality which is due to the glare from the window. I guess I will have to take pics at night from now on.


The tank as it has sat for about 5 years. That is Fluorite as you see. I will keep the Fluorite as a sub-layer under some Eco-Complete.


Rocks going in


Eco-Complete in (stuff reminds me of Oreo cookies lol). It's about 3" thick on top of the 1" of Fluorite. So all together I have about 4"-4.5" of substrate for my plants.


SAND! They have a lot of nerve calling this stuff sand (VERY fine stuff); I added water to it and it practically turned to liquid! Oh well, the cories should like it!


3/4 shot (I'll be moving the thermometer once I get my hands on a new one)


Maybe a good home for some dwarf cichlids


Manzanita wood. It's not final--but it's the general gist of what I'm trying to create.

So as of right now, I have the wood in the tank soaking to leach the tannins and water-log them. It should be about a week or two before they sink, then I can finish the hardscape and start cycling the tank.

Thanks for looking I'll keep you posted.
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Last edited by FishFarmer; 02-04-2012 at 05:00 PM..
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:05 PM   #2
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looking good, I'm digging the "roots" look. I'd fill in those gaps between the rocks so that the eco complete doesn't have an easy way to spill onto that nice sand. Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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looking great, can;t wait to see it planted! really like that driftwood
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishFarmer View Post
The tank is a 29 gallon, high (30"x12"x18") with a canister filter. I will be going low-tech on this tank--no CO2 injection. Lighting will be ~10 hrs/day from a Current Nova Extreme 48 watt T5HO.
Yeh, another non Co2 tank. Love the beach look. So you'll be using carbon alternative? I think the cheapest is Metrex® Procide-D™ 2.5% glutaraldehyde for about $25 for a gallon. I would have a siesta period of 3hrs with lights on 4hr before and after to keep algae under control.
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by joetaff View Post
looking good, I'm digging the "roots" look. I'd fill in those gaps between the rocks so that the eco complete doesn't have an easy way to spill onto that nice sand. Good luck!
Thanks! And yes, I am going to have to figure out a way to keep the Eco out of the sand--I am already fighting that battle and loosing lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde
Yeh, another non Co2 tank. Love the beach look. So you'll be using carbon alternative? I think the cheapest is Metrex® Procide-D™ 2.5% glutaraldehyde for about $25 for a gallon. I would have a siesta period of 3hrs with lights on 4hr before and after to keep algae under control.
Thanks for the comments; and yes, I will be dosing some API "CO2 Booster". We'll see how well that works out. I'm a bit confused on what you mean by the siesta period... Do you mean have the lights on for 4 hours in the morning, then off for 3 hours during the day, then on again for 4 in the evening?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daverock1337
looking great, can;t wait to see it planted! really like that driftwood
Thanks! I ordered it from Rich at http://www.manzanita.com/. Really great service; and it was delivered in under a week (not bad for a 2000 mile journey across the USA).
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:59 PM   #6
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I use that same API product on my nano, check the sig in the thread and that will give you an idea how well it does.

Really nice tank and I love the wooden root look although I would not totally go tannin free because it really does give it a nice look with a little amber in the water vs crystal clear. I have a darkwater tank that looks amazing at night with the lights running. That look does not work well on all tanks but I think with what you are trying to achieve you may like the darker water with the plants.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:09 PM   #7
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Yes, I am going to have to figure out a way to keep the Eco out of the sand
I have used metal flashing, which is in the gutter section of hardware store, that are 3 x 8 metal plates. You can glue rocks to it with silicon. Ge 100% silicon (the one that is not for bathroom).
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By the siesta period... Do you mean have the lights on for 4 hours in the morning, then off for 3 hours during the day, then on again for 4 in the evening?
Yes!! All joined together.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonr6
I use that same API product on my nano, check the sig in the thread and that will give you an idea how well it does.

Really nice tank and I love the wooden root look although I would not totally go tannin free because it really does give it a nice look with a little amber in the water vs crystal clear. I have a darkwater tank that looks amazing at night with the lights running. That look does not work well on all tanks but I think with what you are trying to achieve you may like the darker water with the plants.
Looks like that API works well; you tank is very nice! And yeah, I agree, the tan color from the wood tannins would look good for this style tank. As soon as the wood becomes water logged I will start planting; I'm not going to wait for all the tannins to leach out.



Hilde--I understand what you're saying about the photoperiod now. I will give that a try when I get the plants; thanks!
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:01 AM   #9
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I will be dosing some API "CO2 Booster".
One gallon of Metricide(@ 3.4%) is cheaper for less diluted. Is $15 on Ebay with no shipment cost.

Last edited by Hilde; 07-07-2011 at 04:17 PM.. Reason: added info on glut
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:36 AM   #10
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One gallon of Metrex 2.5% glutaraldehyde is cheaper in the long run.
Yeah, I just picked the API stuff up at the LFS on sale just to try out. I might switch to something else later down the road that's cheaper.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:42 PM   #11
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Just a little update. The manzanita wood has sunk, and I have been messing around with the hardscape (pic below; ignore the small branch in lower right corner). I'm still not sure if this will be the final scape; I'm thinking about taking a branch or too out. Sorry, the picture isn't great--the tannins make taking a clear picture difficult.



Now as for plants, I've been doing some research and trying to finalize exactly what plants to get. I'm trying to get as many S. American plants as possible, but I'm finding that difficult since many require higher light levels. Here's what I have in mind at the moment; let me know what you think. Keep in mind this will be a non CO2 tank (carbon source coming from API CO2 Booster) and ~1.7 wpg. My main concern is that I'm not sure if all of these plants will grow nicely on 1.7 wpg.

Bacopa caroliniana - Lemon Bacopa
Hygrophila corymbosa - Narrow Leaf Giant Hygro
Potamogeton gayi
Echinodorus tenellus - Pygmy Chain Sword
Vallisneria americana - Jungle Val
Anubias nana or A. nana 'petite'
Microsorum pteropus - Java Fern
Hydrocotyle leucocephala - Brazilian Water Ivy

Any comments/guidance is greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:48 PM   #12
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Love the driftwood and the way you scaped it!

Looking forward to see how this turns out once plants and fish come into play.

Goof luck!
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:04 PM   #13
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Now as for plants, I've been doing some research and trying to finalize exactly what plants here's what I have in mind.
Bacopa caroliniana - Lemon Bacopa
Hygrophila corymbosa - Narrow Leaf Giant Hygro
Potamogeton gayi
Echinodorus tenellus - Pygmy Chain Sword
Vallisneria americana - Jungle Val
Anubias nana or A. nana 'petite'
Microsorum pteropus - Java Fern
Hydrocotyle leucocephala - Brazilian Water Ivy
Hydrocotyle is the only 1 that will be difficult. It need potassium sulfate (2tsp wkly).

Fantastic piece of wood. Looking forward to the end result.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishFarmer View Post
I'm trying to get as many S. American plants as possible, but I'm finding that difficult since many require higher light levels. Here's what I have in mind at the moment; let me know what you think. Keep in mind this will be a non CO2 tank (carbon source coming from API CO2 Booster) and ~1.7 wpg. My main concern is that I'm not sure if all of these plants will grow nicely on 1.7 wpg.
Dual T5HO bulbs over a 29g is probably high light. Watts per gallon is a pretty useless measure on fixtures like T5s. I own that same fixture but don't want to put it on my 29g until I have a ton of floating plants and DIY CO2 for fear that it'll become an algae farm.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:16 PM   #15
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Dual T5HO bulbs over a 29g is probably high light. Watts per gallon is a pretty useless measure on fixtures like T5s. I own that same fixture but don't want to put it on my 29g until I have a ton of floating plants and DIY CO2 for fear that it'll become an algae farm.
Think with 20ml daily of API carbon booster it could be managed. Cheaper and safer with floating plants or screen top.
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