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Old 11-03-2014, 02:55 PM   #1
vanish
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Vanish's 150G Tall DIY Underwater Island




Let's just say, I started with this SEVEN months ago...



Tank Build Thread: http://diyfishkeepers.com/forum/showthread.php?12076 ( I apologize if moderators don't like me linking offsite, but I don't want to force everyone to read the build for this tank. There are dozens of photos of the process. )

Stocking Planning: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=701545
Aquascape Planning: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=701561
Lighting Planning: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=677209

I'm really beat from planting this beast this past weekend. I mean physically tired. I had to use a step ladder. Using a lot of java fern and anubias was a good idea as I didn't have to get them into the substrate. Everything looks a bit messy while the roots re-establish.

I'll go into much more detail later.

Fauna

None Yet, still showing a little ammonia, but the cycle is going because I have nitrates. I'd been running the media for the sump in its own container.

Flora

Giant Vallisneria
Java Fern
Narrow Leaf Java Fern
Windelov Java Fern
Needle Leaf Java Fern
Anubias Nana 'Petite'
Crypt Wendtii 'Bronze'
Water Wisteria
Sunset Hygro
Unknown Hygrophillia ( Bonus plant )
Marisela Minuta

( All these plants were sourced from 1.) Forums Members 2.) My 75G and 3.) A guy around the corner )

Equipment

55G Custom Sump
Laguna Max Flo 2000
Main Lights - Track Lighting with 4 (can go more) 13x2 Watt Par38 Bulbs
Accent/Night Lights - DIY 4 foot LED Tape Strip Light

Obviously there is still some more work to do. I need to do the finishing for the canopy, but dw said "it needs to get out of the garage... now! I want to park my car in there before it snows!"

Also regretting the decision not to paint the overflow box, which I will probably replace sooner rather than later. Luckily I can still run the tank with it removed. And, of course, put some fish in there! Oh yeah, there's a rock in there you might be able to see holding down the center branch. It had been waterlogged but I guess it dried out too much while waiting for me to set up the tank.



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Last edited by vanish; 11-03-2014 at 03:32 PM.. Reason: Another photo
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:22 PM   #2
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Building the stand:

Frame


Floor and White Paint


Skin Test Fit


Staining


First Assembly


Moved inside


Trimmed
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:26 PM   #3
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REALLY AWESOME! That tank is huge O_o.

The island really stands out against the white sand, its going to look so good once everything grows out. I really wish I had used white sand for my open area...
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by pewpewkittah View Post
REALLY AWESOME! That tank is huge O_o.

The island really stands out against the white sand, its going to look so good once everything grows out. I really wish I had used white sand for my open area...
Thanks pewpew! Yeah, it is really big ... Maybe too big! We'll see how water changes go. I told my wife to not let me set up any more aquariums or I won't be able to keep up with maintenance.

The white sand definitely gives the effect I wanted, but we'll see how long I like it. It does show dirt very easily. I'm hoping the cory cats will keep the surface mixed up.

Considering Malaysian Trumpet Snails, as well. Pond snails breed but don't seem to get out of control in my tanks, maybe hard water eats their shells?
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:20 AM   #5
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That's a really awesome setup. Great job on the build, from fixing the tank to the stand to the scape. I love it all! It will look incredible as the java fern contines to fill in on the branches.

The cories will love that sand, it will keep them up front to be easily viewed. They should do a good job of keeping it stirred up, but Malaysian Trumpets will also help mix the substrate, especially down deeper, too. I'm surprised to hear you're "considering" adding snails to your tank. Every one of my tanks has a thriving population of several kinds of snails with no help from me...I didn't know anyone managed to keep their tanks snail free!!!

Also, water changes shouldn't be too bad. With a 150 gallon tank, a 55 gallon sump, and appropriate stocking, you could get away with doing a large change every other month...I know people with big tanks who only do them quarterly. And if you've got a Python or similar system, you don't have to worry about hailing buckets.

I look forward to seeing this tank as it develops, both plant growth and the addition of fish. If I was stocking this tank, I'd love to see it with about 20 cories of various species(sterbai, trilieanatus or melini), 6 Bristlenose Plecos, 20 Emperor or Congo Tetras, and 6 Pearl Gouramis. This would be just about my dream stocking for a real "show tank".
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:34 PM   #6
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That's a really awesome setup. Great job on the build, from fixing the tank to the stand to the scape. I love it all! It will look incredible as the java fern contines to fill in on the branches.
Thank you so much! It was a much bigger project than I expected at the beginning, and its really coming together. I originally projected having it up by mid-July. HAH! Life said NO.

Its already looking a bit better as the plants straighten out, though I have seen some algae, too. Hoping its just readjustment/was there before I planted ... Yah that's it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EndlerGame View Post
The cories will love that sand, it will keep them up front to be easily viewed. They should do a good job of keeping it stirred up, but Malaysian Trumpets will also help mix the substrate, especially down deeper, too. I'm surprised to hear you're "considering" adding snails to your tank. Every one of my tanks has a thriving population of several kinds of snails with no help from me...I didn't know anyone managed to keep their tanks snail free!!!
I like snails. This tank has pond, ramshorn and one I don't recognize already in it. It looks like a ramshorn that's been rotated and flattened. (research indicates my bigger ones are colombian ramshorns and the smaller are small ranshorns) My other tanks all have snails but they never get out of control. I think my water corrodes their shells eventually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EndlerGame View Post
Also, water changes shouldn't be too bad. With a 150 gallon tank, a 55 gallon sump, and appropriate stocking, you could get away with doing a large change every other month...I know people with big tanks who only do them quarterly. And if you've got a Python or similar system, you don't have to worry about hailing buckets.
Heck, I'd take monthly. On my other tanks I try to do weekly, or even bi-weekly on my planted tank with the Discus, so monthly would be easy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EndlerGame View Post
I look forward to seeing this tank as it develops, both plant growth and the addition of fish. If I was stocking this tank, I'd love to see it with about 20 cories of various species(sterbai, trilieanatus or melini), 6 Bristlenose Plecos, 20 Emperor or Congo Tetras, and 6 Pearl Gouramis. This would be just about my dream stocking for a real "show tank".
I'm going back and forth on the pearl gouarmis. I think the flow may be more than they want. I could reduce it but I like how it currently sweeps the crud back up and into the overflow. I keep changing my mind on how I want to stock this tank.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:34 PM   #7
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Well, I thought I was done with adding plants to this tank, giving it time to grow in and see how things perform, but a member of the forum is sending me some xmas moss that I plan to tie on some of the cholla.

To top it off, while looking at fish at Petsmart yesterday (I went to buy frozen bloodworms .... left without them >_> ), I looked at their sale section and found this nice 'Anubias afzelii' marked down to $2.50 ... Couldn't leave it there. I also put 5 trilineatus cories into my QT yesterday. Definitely QTing these after AquaAurora's issues recently.




I also got in contact with another forum member and I'm going to give the Malaysian Trumpet Snails a whirl. Hope I don't regret it! I doubt I will as I even like the pond snails and they've never taken over my other tanks.

Picking up a couple of BNs from a local this afternoon. The tank is cycled and the diatoms are coming in hard. Strangely I'm even getting some white growth on the wood even though they already spent a couple months in another tank prepping for this.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:14 PM   #8
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Your anubias looks healthy at least, no extremely deficient looking leaves, and I see roots, but better safe than sorry! Because man will you be sorry if you loose $100-$400 in anubias for not qting new/suspicious ones ugh x.x speaking of.. another of my new ones fell apart today :c
btw I think you need more java fern variates! ^.~
Only downside to snails and white sand is you're gonna see the poo.. did you see my 20g long after not doing a water change for a few weeks with just snails in? Black substrate was brown x.x but then I do have a [censor] load of snails... I'm tempted to confiscate my husband's dwarf puffers and put them in the 20g for 2 weeks to get fat dumb and happy, but have to wait until my recent qt fish are done and I can take the filters back fr the 20g (currently on 10g).
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:20 PM   #9
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Diatoms kicking in hard! I missed this phase in my last tank for some reason, probably because I ran it for a month before planting.

I have some stock in there, but I won't be getting my BN Plecos until tomorrow or wednesday as I will be getting them from a local, not a fish store.

2 Pictus Catfish (Sad story there, started with 6 in QT, lost 3 to Costia before I could stop it and one to "aggressive exploration" )
9 Trili Corydoras
6 Giant Danios (will be getting more tomorrow or wed, all LFS out of stock)

I really like the Giant Danios. I was skeptical at first recommendation, months ago while planning, but my princess immediately picked them at the store. It helped that they are very affordable. I figured it had to be! They love to school about half the time, and the other half they are zipping around all through the plants. I want to double the school, there is plenty of space for them.

Also browsed the LFS yesterday but I couldn't decide upon anything more.
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:14 PM   #10
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Will you try to have a larger 'centerpiece' fish in this tank like the others (discus and angelfish)? Maybe pearl gourami?
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by AquaAurora View Post
Will you try to have a larger 'centerpiece' fish in this tank like the others (discus and angelfish)? Maybe pearl gourami?
Pearl Gourami was my original thought, but I have pretty strong flow in this tank and I don't think they would like that. I'm considering red rainbows, but I haven't found any locally.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:11 PM   #12
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Pearl Gourami was my original thought, but I have pretty strong flow in this tank and I don't think they would like that. I'm considering red rainbows, but I haven't found any locally.
The only local rainbows I can find are 'Australian' (think its mislabeled but what else is new) and occasion turquoise, but never enough to buy a proper school :/
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:55 PM   #13
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Still trying to decide on a centerpiece fish.

I added another 6 giant danios and more recently 4 bristlenose plecos (1 albino). Wow, they really did an amazing job on the diatoms. There is still fair amount on the plants, but the hardscape and plumbing is squeaky clean. They are also adorable.

I haven't been able to do a whole lot with this tank in the last week, as we've been preparing for Thanksgiving. I assembled the canopy as people will be sleeping in this room but its been far too cold to stain it. I still need to attach the handles/magnets (the magnets will remove that bar of light at the bottom of the door) and add some trim, but I think its going to look swell.



I took a bunch of photos of the fish this morning, but they all sucked!

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Old 11-25-2014, 04:44 PM   #14
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So many plecos and a light substrate... you're gonna see a lot of poop x.x
I'd offer the suggestion of a larger fish like a datnoid (omg love them!!.. dream to have a tank that could house one someday) but I think full grown even the small specie of datnoid would eat your other fish so that's a no-go
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Old 01-16-2015, 06:23 PM   #15
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Scheduled for a major water change / cleanup this weekend, but since I'm FINALLY working in my office again I thought I would post a pic of "before", from my desk.

I think things are growing...

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