A Patchwork 75
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:31 PM   #1
Like_A_Boss
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A Patchwork 75


Hello!

I've been creeping around the site for a while and it's finally time for me to contribute. I present to you for your enjoyment my newest adventure in fish/plantkeeping, my Patchwork 75. Why "patchwork"? This tank is the end product of many months of collecting pieces, snatching bargains when they presented themselves, and recycling (or cannibalizing) parts and plants from other tanks. I'm hoping my attempts to save on expense will not harm me too bad in the long run, but in this tank's progression, I will learn the truth of things :P

THE TANK:
Aqueon 75 gallon fish tank
Aquarium stand: This was my first "bargain" that I almost regretted. I paid $90 for the stand at a PetSmart. After building the stand, I realized that the cabinet would not accommodate a canister filter. Oops. Hence why I'm rocking some HOB filters

THE LIGHTS:
2 Coralife CF light fixtures, each with a 65W 10K bulb One of this was a parting gift from some friends who were moving and not taking their tank with them. The other fixture I found sitting under a shelf at a Petco. Asking price? $15. I was able to order bulbs off of ebay for a good deal, 4 bulbs for abt $35.

THE FILTRATION:
Aquaclear 110
Marineland Emperor 280 Scored this at a PetSmart on clearance for $12.97

HEATING: Aqueon 200W heater.

SUBSTRATE: Black Eco-complete (5 bags) PetSmart Clearance for $9.97 a bag, and a bag of plain gravel picked up at a landscape shop.

So yesterday, (10/21) was the happy day that I had all my supplies together and was able to fill the tank! I bought the fish tank back in June or July and it took me that long to finally set it up!

There was only a few mishaps...
First thing was the driftwood. I was aware that the wood would float and I tried soaking it for a few days in a tub outside. Unfortunately the mosquitoes found my soaking tub and turned it into a nursery so I aborted that mission. So now in the meantime I have bricks weighing down the wood. Beautiful, I know! I am looking forward to the lovely tea color the water is supposed to turn with the addition of driftwood. As a preventative, I put a bag of Fluval Clearmax into the AquaClear Filter to see if that will help. It is Day 2 now, and as I type the water is looking okay.

Second issue was filling the tank up. After all this careful planning I neglected one of the most basic tasks! My kitchen sink is only a step away from the tank. All I should of had to do was attach my siphon hose to the kitchen faucet and end of story, but my siphon wouldn't attach to the kitchen faucet Plan B was to use the cold water outlet in my laundry closet but I couldn't get the washer hose off. So after a quick trip to Wally World, I grabbed some pliers, removed the washer hose and filled up the tank from there. I am seriously considering replacing my faucet with something my siphon hose can attach to, despite the fact I'm in a apartment. :<

Oh yes, I almost forgot about the PLANTS! Since this is definitely a "low-tech" setup, I am going for the easy plants. I have some Crypts from another tank that got moved into the 75 as well as a swordplant and a forgotten variety of vallisneria. I forget what kind of swordplant I have, but it was growing very happily in my tub pond outside. Hopefully it will forgive me for moving it inside. These three types of plants I'm thinking will be the meat and potatoes of the tank.
I did go to one of my LFS to get some new stuff to try. I asked the employee what to try and he sent me home with some water sprite, long leaf java fern,and some brazilian pennywort. So I'll stick those in and see what happens.

So if you have read this far, I thank you for your interest. I hope you are as curious as I am to see how this turns out!
I am fairly new to keeping planted tanks, and I'm an extreme noob when it comes to posting on forums. This is my first post. After I figure out the pic posting magic I'll share a Day 1 pic with you.
[IMG][/IMG]

Comments and Suggestions always appreciated!

Last edited by Like_A_Boss; 10-23-2012 at 12:00 AM.. Reason: adding a picture
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:51 AM   #2
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Here's my mystery swordplant...I have had it for about two years now and it has survived thus far. It's looking embarrassingly lopsided right now but here's to hoping it evens out.



Today I spent too much time day dreaming about what fishes I want to throw in the tank. I'm leaning towards rainbows! I also would love to do an epic school of rasboras. I dunno...seeing that it took 3 months to finally set up my tank who knows how long it will take for me to stock any fish in it.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:13 PM   #3
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Nice start to the tank.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Nice start to the tank.
Thank you for the kind words
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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It's now been a week since set up. Some of the crypts are melting ( as expected) but everything else in there is looking OK.

I couldn't resist and ended up buying some Bosemani rainbowfish. I work at a PetSmart and they are currently half off. I put in 4 and may add my trio of dwarf neon rainbows to the tank as well, and end up with a "rainbowpalooza" tank.

I don't have the budget for CO2 injection but my store does sell a liquid "CO2 booster" by API. I wonder if it's worth it?
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:31 PM   #6
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Very nice!

I'm not sure about the bricks - the straight lines don't work for me in a fish tank.

I love the rainbows! I have threadfin & dwarf neons
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Like_A_Boss View Post
Thank you for the kind words

Your welcome


Ya the bricks seem random
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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LOL the bricks are not a permanent part of my setup. They are a impromptu solution to " oh snap the driftwood floats" problem. I can't wait to take them out, but something makes me think they might be there for a while. Maybe I can find something prettier to switch with the bricks. :P

So on 10/30 I started to dose the tank with API's CO2 Booster. I'm adding 8ml daily. *suspense*

I've been removing old crypt leaves daily and the pennywort stems are starting to melt at the base, so I took the the bunch out of the lead weight and replanted them. I hope I don't kill them!
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:39 PM   #9
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I still have the stock light fixture that came with the tank. I'm thinking about throwing that back on the tank along side the CF lights. Perhaps switching the bulb that came with it with one of the "plant-grow" type bulbs.

Thoughts anybody??
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:41 PM   #10
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I kind of figured they were the driftwood. LOL because I'm like they look so odd.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:11 PM   #11
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I'd be careful with the bricks and live fish. If the bricks are cement block like paver stone ones, they could leach out the chemicals in the cement to your water and kill your fish.

I would love a tank that big with a group of rainbows. Nice start and keep it up.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_gwinner View Post
I'd be careful with the bricks and live fish. If the bricks are cement block like paver stone ones, they could leach out the chemicals in the cement to your water and kill your fish.

I would love a tank that big with a group of rainbows. Nice start and keep it up.

Thank you for the warning... I did not think about that!
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_gwinner View Post
I'd be careful with the bricks and live fish. If the bricks are cement block like paver stone ones, they could leach out the chemicals in the cement to your water and kill your fish.

I would love a tank that big with a group of rainbows. Nice start and keep it up.

Great point c_gwinner
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:05 PM   #14
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Did a Small water change today, about 9 ish gallons. The water is a weak tea color that is sooo much more obvious when it's sitting in my white bucket. I'm leaving the filter media alone for the day.

I went ahead and plugged in the stock light strip that came with the tank. The light bulb is a very purpley blue color that looks strange in combination with the 10k CF bulbs I have. So I elected not to use that light yet unless I get a 10k bulb to switch out the stock bulb with. I did notice however with the other bulb on that some of my plants aren't as happy as I thought . The pennywort is looking yellow and the bases of the stems are still melting after I replanted them. Starting to wonder if the guy at the LFS steered me wrong.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:34 AM   #15
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Just a quick update.

small ( 9 gal) water change.

I ended up trimming off a lot of the swordplant's leaves, because they looked lopsided.

None of the plants completely died on me. YAY. The java fern and the crypts are showing the most obvious growth.
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