Jbrady33's 36 Gal bow (or how many random species can you cram in) - Page 2
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:31 PM   #16
Barbara Pratt
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Jbrady33's 36 Gal bow (or how many random species can you cram in)


A nice young man at Aqua Vibrant - a retailer of Finnix LED lights - sent me a link to this picture of your tank so that I would be assured that the Fuge Ray could provide sufficient light to support plants needing low to moderate light. Your tank convinced me that I had ordered the right product! I was on the verge of thinking that I needed to order one of the Fuge IIs; he informed me that I should do so only if I wanted to grow plants that carpet the bottom (i.e., baby tears) and if I wanted to inject carbon dioxide as a way to prevent algae blooms. My answer to both was 'no'.

I'm writing as a new member to this forum hoping for some general advise. Here's the short story. I'm a 60 year old woman who was fanatic about fish and aquariums in her high school days. I grew plants, bred live bearers, and attribute any semblance of sanity I have to their presence in my life during those years. In college, I was a work-study student for a professor who did research on a particular species of african cichlid. We had rooms of home made spawning tanks, lines of breeding tanks - the whole 9 yards. It was great fun. A brief sojourn into aquarium keeping in the early 1990s didn't last long - married with children, career etc. Here I am at 60 getting re-educated to the 2012 aquarium world. There have been amazing changes. I've been at it for a few months. I wasn't sure that I wanted a planted tank but I'm sure I do now. In the old days everyone who had aquariums had plants and no-one would have known what the 'nitrogen cycle' was. I'm a college professor of biology so I most certainly know what it is but....I don't want to be concerned with it. There's more on an aesthetic and sense of 'another world' when your aquarium is a relatively balanced ecosystem.

My question is this: I've never used tanks other than the black rimmed kind (or ones my college professor and I made out of plywood); I'm trying to wrap my head around the rimmless, fused glass modern tanks. I know fashion must have its day but...is there really any value to the new tank types? And acrylic tanks? Are they inferior to glass?

My first tank, that's been up since Labor Day, is a 29 gallon glass one with the black rim and corners. I'm parting ways with my black plastic top because of the Fuge Ray lights that are on their way. I'll cut a piece of glass (that's what we always used as tank tops - with white first aid tape around the edges to prevent cuts). I'm even considering going 'open top', except for the lights, because the tetras I have (HY551 and cardinals) don't seem like the 'jump out the tank, adventuresome' type. Is this an OK idea?

I've been studious about pH and total dissolved solids (TDS). I got a continuous in-tank pH meter and a TDS meter from American Marine so I could collect data, with the intention of setting up tanks that are either soft/acidic, hard/alkaline, or general. My dream is to breed German Rams. I got a Barracuda RO/DI filter set up in the laundry room which is the only way that I could pull this off, given my well water, which is moderately hard. [Note that you can get RO water at local fish stores by the gallon very cheaply. They like to lure fish lovers into the stores!]

I'll stop writing now. The bottom line? I'm curious about all of the new tank types that are available. I'm thinking it's just fashion but there might be more to it than that. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:32 PM   #17
jbrady33
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I think you are off to a good start with no worries - way ahead of what I've done! I have very soft water, don't bother with TDS reading or anything like that. I do add Seachem Equalibrium to add minerals/calcium without any sodium and some basic fertilizers at water changes.

The whole rimless / super clarity - low iron glass tank thing is for style only. They are glass with silicone just like a regular tank, but thicker glass to avoid needing the plastic rim/bracing and (sometimes) crystal clear without the green tint. If you like it, go for it. If not, stay with regular tanks - the fish don't care and the work is what you already know

A planted tank will be even more forgiving for filtration - but basically over-filter the tank and do water changes when it makes sense. It sounds like your cycle/filter is already done since you have fish in there, but one of the new things is fishless cycling (that was new to me after being away 20 years) - takes about a month, you add ammonia (unscented, no soap) to start your benificial bacteria growing before adding any fish - no more 'new tank' losses or starting with hardy fish you don't want to keep. Full directions elsewhere on this site! Once your cycle is good you don't really have to do anything other than not screw it up and don't overload the tank


The fugeray should fit on a plastic rim too - and they can sit on a glass top as well! You can get a pre-made glass top for your tank these days - standard stuff and edges are polished so no tape needed
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:19 AM   #18
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Thanks so much for your reply. I didn't know it was thicker glass. on the rimless tanks. I couldn't wait to get my new fugeray light to allow me to put plants in my 29 gallon so...I bought a 5 gallon fluval spec that says its LED lights are sufficient for plants. I got a few starter plants and its quietly humming away behind me on my desk. So it begins......

Why do you say not to pay attention to total dissolved solid readings? Isn't that a measure of hardness to which fish are sensitive?
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:00 PM   #19
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I should word that differently - I was saying that you are already starting off with more advanced monitoring than me as you are watching TDS. I don't watch mine as I have very soft well water and do bi-weekly water changes (weekly on the little 3 gallon) - and don't have any really sensitive fish. Your TDS readings will relate to the fish/shrimp you want to raise.

You can run your tank so many ways now - there are 2 extremes to the 'planted' part of a planted tank and you can pick anywhere in between:

- Low tech - lots of plants, low bio-load, lowish lights, No fertilizing, maybe occasional water changes, maybe potting soil capped with sand for a substrate, sometimes not even a filter, just let nature do all the work.

- High Tech - demanding plants, super high lighting, lots of filtration, injected compressed Co2 gas, lots of fertilization (even EI dosing), lots of water changes (because of the high fert levels), LOTS of test kits (all the usual plus every fertilizer level, TDS, and more), Lots of maintenance as the plants grow like mad and need constant trimming and attention.


Both are too extreme for me, so I went with:
- the biggest filter I could afford (a canister rated over 100 Gal on a 39)
- an inert substrate (eco-compete, like crushed lava rock or burnt clay - doesn't add any ferts or anything but can absorb them, never wears out)
- basic test strips (Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, hardness, that sort of thing). Don't have to use them that often anymore now that my cycle is finished.
- Lots of undemanding plants - makes the tank more stable and is 'jungle' look I wanted anyway
- small amounts of basic liquid ferts only at water changes. I don't have the time or patience to be testing for nutrient levels every day and adjusting with water changes. Also Seachem Equilibrium powder at water changes as my water is too soft (some plants didn't do well without those minerals)
- Low to Medium Fugeray LED light - cool running, low electric usage, bright enough to grow nice, dim enough to not need Co2 injection to battle algae.
- undemanding fish that will accept flake/pellet/wafer foods. Don't want to grow my own bugs or anythign like that
- Cherry shrimp - prolific & hardy enough to breed with fish in the tank (lots of rock and plant hiding places)
- Amano shrimp - for fun and they eat algae
- traditional plastic rimmed tank with full plastic hood - cheap, looks good (my wife approved ) and the full light hood keeps any glare from spilling out. The rimless/topless look is great when you are just looking at the tank, not so great if it is in the family room with the TV - the glare out of the corner of my eye would drive me nuts. (with the hood all the light that spills in the room goes through the water and is very soft. If the light were open air and raised there would be a harsh glare from the space between the light and tank)



Rimless tank - yes, they are quite a bit thicker, the plastic brace across the center of the tank does a lot more than I ever thought, if you take it off a standard tank there is a real possibility of the glass bowing in the middle, cracking/shattering and flooding the room - not good.

your 5 gallon spec stock LED should be ok with moss, java ferns, anubias (I love them), wisteris, etc - all the low light plants. The stock light doesn't have quite enough power for higher light stuff. Some people put a Fugeray on them too, but a 5 is so shallow there is a real risk of out of control algae unless it is raised a bit. Your 29 should do great with the Fugeray!


PS: Once your main tank is going good that spec would be a great shrimp tank
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:47 PM   #20
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Very nice! I see now how you can have both your platy's and shrimps breeding at the same time.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:42 PM   #21
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That is a beautiful aquarium! And your first planted?????
Inspirational stuff.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:58 PM   #22
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Awesome tank you got there ..
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:41 AM   #23
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Any updates on this tank? I have a 36 gallon bowfront myself and considering planting it heavily.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:23 PM   #24
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Here ya go. Pic after the last big trim - the long thin leafed stem plant in the background grows to the surface every 2 to 3 weeks and I have to cut it off and plant the tops.

The Cherry shrimp in a community tank thing - every once in s awhile I catch a glimpse of a cherry, but I would recommend having a separate shrimp tank, they just can't compete.

Have started dosing mixed dry ferts from Nilocg (the EI package with the dosing bottles). Not doing a full EI, I put in 10 mg micro & macro twice a week with bi-weekly water changes.



The big Anuboas inthe center just bloomed!

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Old 08-07-2013, 06:46 PM   #25
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Great looking tank! Thank for the update. What are you using for substrate? I plan on using Mineralized topsoil capped with black sand and CO2. I like the idea of using the Ray2, but I'm not sure how I could get into the med/high range.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:45 PM   #26
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I'm using EcoComplete and Fugeray (which puts me at low-medium). More details on page 1.

A Ray2 on this tank would be medium to high light
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:54 PM   #27
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Been a little bit, recent pic:
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:15 AM   #28
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Looks extremely nice!
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:16 AM   #29
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What is the tall plant in the back?
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:07 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parrottbay View Post
What is the tall plant in the back?
Hygrophilia corymbosa 'angustifolia' and Hygrophilia corymbosa 'Siamensis' - according to much more knowledgeable people on here than me.

The one that looks like tall grass blades in the back is angustifolia
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