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Old 03-18-2014, 07:39 PM   #1
herefishyfishyfishy
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75g Planted Beginner Setup


I wanted to share my new planted tank for advice and criticism.

A bit of background... In the past I have had a 29g cichlid tank (no plants) that I kept for 4 years before a friend bought it off of me. I kept another 29g saltwater FOWLR tank for about a year before I had to move and get rid of the tank. So now, years later, I have started my first planted tank. Below are a few pictures of my progress. Here is the list of everything in the tank -

Tech:
2x Penguin 350 HOB Filters
2x 150w Aqueon Heaters
1x MaxiJet 600
Coralife 4 Bulb Lunar T5HO with 2x 54w 6700k bulbs and 2x 54w Acintic Blue Bulbs

Flora:
Java Fern
Ozelot Sword
Amazon Sword
Nesaea Spear
Dwarf Hairgrass
Marimo Ball
Ancharis Narrow Leaf
Cadamine Lyrata

Fishies (Original):
10x Bosemani Rainbows
10x Tiger Barbs
5x Albino Tiger Barbs
2x Upsidedown Catfish
(I know that is a heavy stock, but they are all still small and I plan on starting a second tank as they get bigger)

Fishies (Current):
10x Bosemani rainbows
1x upside down catfish
4x red platies
4x Mickey Mouse platies
2x flame dwarf gouramis


Ferts:
Flourish Tabs
Flourish Comprehensive
API CO2 Boost
KH2PO4 (dry)
KNO3 (dry)

Also about 15lbs of slate rock.

I am adding a black background this week as well.

I'll post updates as I move stuff around and as everything grows.

After adding water and substrate -


Driftwood added -


Too much driftwood! -


Testing out the moonlights -


First round of planting -


Barbs schooling -


Catfish Hiding -


Second round of planting -


Slate added -

Last edited by herefishyfishyfishy; 04-12-2014 at 12:52 AM.. Reason: Changed fish population
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:47 AM   #2
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Good start.

Love the Mickey Mouse
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustbucket View Post
Good start.

Love the Mickey Mouse
Thank you! I told my 18 month-old daughter she could pick something out for the "shishies". Mickey is pretty much her whole world these days!
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:29 PM   #4
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Well had my first bump today. Woke up this morning to a dead catfish... Water parameters showed no change, not signs of infection or disease anywhere... Guessing it was a bad fish (only had him a few days)...

In other news, I am currently battling brown algae... Added a pleco to help out a little...
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herefishyfishyfishy View Post
Well had my first bump today. Woke up this morning to a dead catfish... Water parameters showed no change, not signs of infection or disease anywhere... Guessing it was a bad fish (only had him a few days)...

In other news, I am currently battling brown algae... Added a pleco to help out a little...
I am going to go out on a limb and say the pleco will not help in the sense it might consume some algae but will create a larger bio load that will only cause more algae. Pleco's are poop factories.

You have a large tank, but you also have a minimal number of plants. A few of those species I would consider slow growers that won't consume the nutrients available to them at rapid rate. So with the amount of fish you have, size of those fish and how much you feed, your biofilter might be on the verge of being overloaded in the sense you have an excess of nutrients. Although the excess might not be harmful to your fish, it will feed the algae.

You are also adding ferts which will add to your algae problem.

I would recommend weekly or bi-weekly water changes if you are not already doing. I would cut back on your ferts or stop them all together. If this improves your algae situation you now have a gauge on what you need to add fert wise.

Just my opinions, take them or leave them as you wish.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:03 PM   #6
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Hey man. Tank looks great! Loving the fish you got in there. A couple of friendly suggestions: you have some pretty intense lighting and a relatively low plant mass, be very careful as you are in essence driving your car on a highway where there is a row of nails in the median. You won't necessarily get a blown tire, but there is a high chance of algae problems down the line. However, if you begin injecting co2, is we nothing wrong with your current setup. Co2, Fertz, and lights are the magic trio and I saw that you have te last two, but I would highly reccomend getting into co2 if you continue to use those lights. If co2 is out of the question, I would consider doubling or tripling your plant mass and then raiser your lights higher above your tank. How long are your lights on everyday?

As far as your layout is concerned. I think it looks great. Just need more plants for a more stable system.

Brown algae is known as diatoms and is very common in new tank setups. Just take out what you can during water changes (which are good to do every week or so at this stage 30-50%) and overtime the brown stuff will disappear. Bushy nose plecos are the best for planted tanks. Not common ones.
Good luck with the hobby! Let me know if I can be of any help,
Joshua
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:50 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info, both of you!

I am currently dosing liquid CO2... Is that not effective?

I also am running 30% wkly PWCs and siphoning the poop up each time. As for lighting, I am running 2 54w 6400k bulbs for 11 hrs/day (on a timer). I thought lighting might be an issue, so I haven't been running the other two bulbs. Is that still too much light?

What plants do you recommend adding? I want to add more but dont know what to do... I love the swords I have in there...

I really added the pleco because I think he is awesome looking... so far he isnt attacking the plants... Also going to add some Nerite Snails and maybe some Kahil Loaches as a cleanup crew.


Thanks guys!
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:47 PM   #8
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Some people do okay with liquid co2, but there is no real substitute for pressurized co2 gas diffused into the tank.

Here's a couple of things that I would recommend to think about:
1. Pressurized co2 will make your plants thrive, much more than liquid co2 will. Its abit of an investment, but well worth your efforts. I had a lowtech tank for 3 years before upgrading to hightech and it makes a WORLD of difference haha.
2. Lookup Estimated index dosing method, it may look a little confusing at first, but there are several good articles on it. It is one of the easiest ways to get into adequately fertilizing your tank.
3. You can get dry fertilizers (much cheaper than liquid fertilizers) from members on the forum in the swap and shop( it seems like you've already gotten some of them)
4. Adding more plants will make your tank more stable as more beneficial bacteria (BB) will form on the plant mass, and also they will produce more oxygen in the tank, good for fish I would reccomend adding the same plants your currently have, just like add another 2X of what you got originally. Specifically, I think that you have plenty of sword plants in there, but at this stage getting 3-4 more varieties of stems at 15-20 stems each would help the tank dramatically. Also I would add maybe twice as many grass tufts to your foreground. Here are a few suggestions (Ammania sp bonsai, Hygrophila corymbosa, Hygrophila sp. Brown, Ludwigia sp. red) These are all stem plants. If you look in the swap and shop on this forum, or put a WTB add in the WTB section, you will get much healthier plants for much cheaper. Members here have really good plants and usually really reasonable prices. Let me know if you need help in choosing.
5. You are going to notice that your sword plants will begin to grow straighter leaves and shed their round leaves. This will be normal as they are shedding their above water leaves (emersed leaves) and going towards their underwater (submersed leaves) leaves.
6. Many loach species eat snails, and also, kuhli loaches aren't really a clean up crew. The Best "cleanup crew" that I've found are Bushynose plecos. They are much prettier than normal plecos and my opinion and much cleaner. The reason someone suggested taking out the normal pleco if he is in fact a common pleco, is that they are POOP factories. They are pretty nasty buggers that will poop very similar to gold fish (another nasty fish) They may be cool to look at, but trust in the long run, getting 4-5 bushynose plecos will do way more work, and be much more beneficial to your tank in the long run. But its your tank with your fish, do what you will haha, just thought I should warn you.
7.Lighting should be fine with 2 bulbs, but cut your photoperiod down to about 8 hours instead of 11. Even with co2, 11 hours is a long photoperiod, you will most likely find that algae grows really fast at that rate.
Hope all is well,
Joshua
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:29 PM   #9
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Good start!! Keep us updated!
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:52 PM   #10
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A few updates:

Did some pruning today. I wasn't happy with the "stringy" nature of the Cadamine so I eradicated most of it. I have ordered some more Ozelots and Amazons... I like them a lot so might as well add some more!

Also decided to add a Canister Filter that I found a deal on. My Penguins won't let me customize the type of Media very easily and I got a great deal on a new Marineland C360. $100, new in box!

I have another 10lbs of Slate that I want to add into the hardscape, I just havent had time to break it up (it's in Dinner Plate sizes).

The Rainbows are starting to show some great color as the tank is getting more comfortable so I took a pic to show. Enjoy the pictures below!









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Old 03-28-2014, 08:34 PM   #11
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I. have. ich. NO!!!!!!!!

Lost my pleco this afternoon. He was covered in white spots floating on the top. I took him out, and examined the rest of the fish. Everyone looks fine except for my 5 albino tigers that all have white spots. I pulled them out and have them in a 5 gallon bucket with tank water and a small filter (with some media from my main tank). Did a 25% water change and increased my temp slowly every hour to 78 degrees (its normally 74).

The only thing I had changed was adding a fish (the pleco) from a lfs instead of liveaquaria.com (where the rest are from). I guess I need to start quarantining my fish ...

Any tips on other steps to take to keep my main tank healthy?
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:58 PM   #12
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Ya, I noticed the ick on the tiger barb just now.

Best ick treatment I've ever done was using heat and a bit of aquarium salt (I forget how much though). Bump the heat to 85 slowly, look up how much salt for the salt and heat ick killing method, and then just wait it out.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:34 PM   #13
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Well it looks like the ich is gone! Kept the temp at 85 and added 1tsp of Aquarium salt for every gallon. The fish look great, very healthy. I did a lot of research on Ich and got some great advice from an uncle who has kept fresh and saltwater fish for 25+ years. I am buying in to the philosophy that Ich happens when your fish are stressed. I think the problem was that a lot of the fish were added before I was FULLY cycled (I had received some bad advice saying Nitrites would be higher if I had plants, so I thought I was cycled and I was not). Everything is down to 0 now and everything looks great. Onward and upward!

The only problem I have had is that I was out of town this weekend and my light timer malfunctioned and the light ran for 36 hours... Holy Algae, Batman!
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:58 AM   #14
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Well some more has changed!

Thanks to petco $/gallon, I picked up a 40g breeder last week. It is now set up (the filter was connected to my main tank for a week and seeded from my main filter) and is going to be a species tank for my aggressive tiger barbs.

That means I get to replace them!! After the ick deaths and barbs moving I was left with some room that I wanted to fill with some great color. I added 4 red platies, 4 mm platies, and 2 flame dwarf gouramis. I am VERY happy with the color now! I also did some plant trimming since they were starting to get crazy and have been slowly converting my sand to river rocks. I will add a picture later (on mobile now).

My only issue in the tank is I feel like there is no star of the show. No body will really get bigger than 3". In a 75g that doesn't really grab your attention. I am thinking about adding a opalescent gourami. Does anyone have any advice for why I should or shouldn't do that? Follow up - if not, any ideas for a centerpiece?

Edit: picture!
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:34 PM   #15
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So here is where I am at... I really like my stock right now and my plants, but my scape is nothing amazing to watch. It's hard to see the fish and it looks like I just threw everything in... So two days ago I decided to rescape the tank (a few beers might have helped convince me).

I had been reading all of the guides on the "golden ratio" and a few aquascape manuals and tried my hand a being creative (not my strong suit).

So here is the new scape.. I REALLY like it, the fish seem to LOVE it, but I would like to get some feedback if anyone reads this

Thanks for looking!
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