Newby 125l Planted Tank...Comments and Advice please!
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:59 PM   #1
Stuzzy
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Newby 125l Planted Tank...Comments and Advice please!


Hello everyone, new to this forum, and new to fish keeping too!

Just thought I would share my new tank set up with you all. Any questions, comments and advice would be most welcome!
There are some links below to some pictures, I hope they work ok as I've just set it up!

Anyway, last year after a long time working and studying abroad, I finally got myself a small aqua one 320 (28l) tank. It was planted and contained a few cardinals and some pepper corys. It did pretty well, but after 6 months I decided that I would up the stakes somewhat and go large! (I'm beginning to feel that in this hobby, you always want a bigger tank!!!)
After some thought and research, I finally chose an aquamanta Eco 80 tank set up, with an EFX200 external filter, T5 lighting (white&soft red) and 100w heater (maybe a bit small for the tank, seems to be on quite a large percentage of the time)
I used tetra complete substrate, and a fine grane silica, seeded with jbl plant feed balls. I then splurged on some nice bog wood, which spent nearly a week in soak with regular water changes. I was a bit worried that it would turn the water a bit brown, but the filter has a carbon tray in it so it seems to keep the water pretty clear!
Bit of a novice when it came to the planting side of things, (could do with some help identifying everything) but I know I've got some Amazon Sword, Annubias, and Vallisneria, along with a Japanese moss ball.
I also installed a CO2 system. I finally went for a CO2 supermarket regulator/solenoid with adaptor for a soda stream bottle, into a glass CO2 diffuser. I run it for an hour before the lights come on to an hour before the lights go out (7hrs total) with an air pump feeding a 6 inch airstone at night. Seems to work pretty well so far, with my Ph levels staying pretty constant at 6.8.
After filling and adding my safe start, I left it around a week, and took the decision to add the fish from my old tank. I used some of the old gravel and put the old established filter in there too.
Over went 6 cardinal tetras, 5 Pepper Corys, 1 Pleco, 2 Assasin Snails, and 1 Bamboo Shrimp.
Kept a close eye on the Ammonia/Nitrates, which, along with weekly 10% water changes, have kept the levels pretty much at zero, and the fish seem very happy in their new home!

It's been about a month now since I've put the fish in, so I'm looking for some ideas! I like the idea of a peaceful community tank, with nothing that gets too big.
I was looking at a few more cardinals, and then a small shoal of rasporas or cherry barbs. A Siamese Algae eater, and another small group of Panda Corys. For a centrepiece I really like the look of a pair of Dwarf Ram Chiclid, or a pair Pearl Gouram instead. Any thoughts?
I'm also looking to add to my plants, but its early days yet and I'm trying to get the balance of plants right, as I'd like to give my fish a bit of open space!
I feed floating tetra wafers, and the odd bit of bloodworm. The plants get a daily dose of 24hr nutrients.

That's about it so far! Like I say, any thoughts or comments greatly appreciated, anything I've missed or could be doing better for my tank.

Enjoy!

http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...ps77201077.jpg
http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...ps1fe8f2a1.jpg
http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...ps21f47a45.jpg
http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...psaa713d99.jpg
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:13 PM   #2
guitarsrmine
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Very nice,clean set=up....I like it...the only thing I would do would be to add a little change to the substrate so its not flat.......a little contour.......but thats just my opinion.....but its a great looking underwater world you've made!!!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
2Shi
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You, my friend, have one beautiful tank.

As guitarsrmine said, I would do something to make the substrate look less flat. Perfectly laid out substrate does not occur in nature so it makes the tank look more forced than it needs to be.

Last edited by 2Shi; 01-22-2013 at 07:42 PM.. Reason: .
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:55 PM   #4
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I have a pair of pearl gouramis. They are beautiful, but they are SHY. I've had them in my 40-gal for about 3 weeks and if I'm anywhere near the tank they'll stay hidden, unless I'm feeding them their favorite food -- freeze-dried daphnia. If I want to watch them I have to sit well back from the tank and stay still, otherwise it's back to their hiding place....
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
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Nice. Soda stream co2, how efficient is it? Is it worth it? PM me answers.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:25 PM   #6
Stuzzy
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Thanks for the replies so far, it's good to know I'm not too far off the mark!
With regard to the sand, I agree... I didn't really 'sculpt' it before adding the water. I presumed that the internal water currents would snap it naturally, but if anything, it seems to have flattened out even more! (maybe the Corys have something to do with this too!)
I'll have a go over the next few days and photograph the results!
Planning on some planted bogwood trails soon too.
I would like to have an area of the tank covered in a short growing carpet plant, any suggestions? And perhaps a tall growing grass?
The soda Co2- it's early days yet so time will tell. When I told my LFS my plans he laughed at me!
The setup was just under 100, and the soda refills are around half the price of refilling a JBL bottle. I run about 1-2bbs and have done for the last month or so, and the contents gauge has barely moved. On the Co2 supermarket website they say a bottle should last around 4 months.
Perhaps in the future I might go onto FE setup, but I'm not confident enough for that yet.
The tank is in a fairly busy area of the room (I'd like to move it but it won't be for the foreseeable future) so perhaps Gouramis wouldn't be the best idea then!
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:03 PM   #7
2Shi
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Dwarf sag good if you are seeking a hardy and fast growing plant. Dwarf hair grass if you are looking for more of a challenge and you are willing to trim to keep it short. Dwarf baby tears if you have high light and time to babysit and micromanage them.

Last edited by 2Shi; 01-22-2013 at 10:04 PM.. Reason: .
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