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Old 02-08-2013, 11:22 PM   #1
Brian Mc
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My 46 Gal Bowfront High Tech & Thor's 29 Low Tech


So I took a few years off from the fish hobby after having kids, I was ready for a break anyway. The kids are now 12 & 13 and were bugging me for a fishtank since they see empty ones stored all over the place and vaguely remember Daddy having lots of fish and cussing a lot.

I found a $100 46 gal bowfront with stand on Craigslist that fit the bill, tossed some gear at it and planted it with some common stuff from the LFS. Had CO2 and decent light (more on that later) and some stuff grew really fast. I got busy with other projects and neglected it, ran it out of CO2, etc. I quickly remembered how much time this hobby takes lol.

The wife and kids have long since abandoned me and my project but I continue on, determined to grow a carpet which was all the new rage (thanks to Amano) when I exited the hobby.

I tore it down, ditched the PFS, tossed in Eco-Complete, ditched all the BBA'd plants and started over. Specs as of now:

46 Gallon Marineland Bowfront
  • 2217 Eheim
  • Koralia powerhead 350 GPH? dunno bought it used, thinking of upgrading this
  • 200W Hydor inline heater
  • 5 LB Pressurized CO2 /Matheson 3813 SS reg courtesy Maknwar/ Swagelok M series metering valve postbody kit courtesy Bettatail
  • GLA inline atomic diffusor
  • Cal Aqua DC & 13mm lily outpipe
  • Eco Complete substrate (some Floramax in one area where I built up a slope)
  • Shabuhu rock hardscape
  • Deep Blue Solarmax 36" T5HO 39Wx2
  • Finnex 36" Ray II
  • Rootmedic caps, macro/micro liquid

I thought I had saved a buck with the Deep Blue T5HO 39x2, I was going off Hoppy's old PAR chart and figured I would be high-med to low-high range. While I haven't seen anyone say it I think this light uses the cheap ballasts that don't put out full T5HO power. His newer charts are much cooler and show the difference in fixture quality even though the Deep Blue is not listed.

Tossed on the Finnex LED and finally got some pearling. I got better light out of my old T8s back in the day than this stupid Solarmax. I used to pearl with my old T8s and DIY CO2, I thought I had lost my touch lol but it was just not enough light. I have some Glosso in there I got from the LFS and it is taking off now after transitioning. I kept the Solarmax on there for the spectrum balance and CRI, at least it is good for something lol.

Here is the tank so far after the rescape, it is a work in progress. Any thoughts on plant choices welcome but I have some ideas and will be expanding on them soon in another post. Not the best cell pic. The floating stems at the top from the LFS are being used to balance things out until I hit the SNS and get some nice plants in here real soon:
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Last edited by Brian Mc; 02-09-2013 at 11:08 PM.. Reason: added new tank to thread title
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:27 PM   #2
Brian Mc
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OK I will have to keep making tanks until we find something you like.

My boy Thor wanted a tank in his bedroom we just redecorated. I dusted off an old 29 Gal with iron stand and away we go.

Thor's 29 Gal

  • Filter: Eheim 2213
  • Heater: Old school Ebo Jager probably 15 years old lol
  • Pipes: Sawed-off eheim green outflow and Cal Aqua 13mm intake
  • Light: Deep Blue T5NO 14Wx2
  • Substrate: Eco Complete w/Rootmedic caps
  • Hardscape: Shabuhu rock

He wants a nice easy tank to maintain here so low light, no CO2, etc. We have started off with a big rock structure and a dwarf sag foreground here courtesy of SugarDaddy1979. In the upper right corner you can see some floating xmas moss from Jeff5614. Real nice clean healthy stuff from these guys.

It says on the TetraSafe bottle to pour it in and add your fish so we did.

We are going to glue the moss to the tops of the rocks (some got away from us when we topped off the tank you can see it on the bottom) and we are thinking a bunch of crypts for the back:
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:38 PM   #3
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Default My 46 Gal Bowfront High Tech & Thor's 29 Low Tech

The tanks look really good. You have an eye for hardscape
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:02 PM   #4
Brian Mc
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Hey thanks a lot Dude. I am trying to put a little more thought into my scapes this time around. Sticking with the idea of all crypts in the back of Thor's 29, I thought it would look cool to follow the line of the rock with the height of the various crypts if possible.

I spent some time looking at potential heights and whatnot and came up with this pattern which mixes colors and textures I think will look good. If anybody knows about the growth pattern on these crypts and has suggestions I am listening. I am sure they won't all grow in a nice line like I want but some variation will prob be good and maybe down the road I can adjust them some with amount of root ferts.

I just placed my order from this seller and got a couple plants for the 46 from him too.

The line from left to right would be something like this:

Balansae-Balansae-Spiralis-Wendtii Bronze-Undulata-Bronze-Green Gecko

What do you think?
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:05 AM   #5
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My back isn't the greatest and I have thrown it out twice now in the last couple of months, once planting glosso (bending over long period) and once filling buckets so needless to say I needed a water changing system.

I rummaged around the old fishroom gear and didn't really find anything applicable and of course I would not go out and just buy a python like a normal person, not when I can spend a lot of extra money and DIY something lol. Anyway this thing works with garden hoses (drinking water safe of course) and is adaptable between my kitchen faucet and kids bathroom upstairs for Thor's tank:



So after the 46 gal tank reset and changing out the substrate I have had a brown diatom bloom like a new tank. The glosso really took a hit on this as it wasn't growing great anyway (vertical with ratty bottoms) until I got the new light. BBA has reappeared on wood and rock, I have admittedly been inconsistent with the CO2 with fish additions and various screw ups and brain farts. Been adjusting on it too much, I have infinite control over my bubble count but seem to fat finger between dark green and gasping fish. i am trying to be more patient.

Also I wasn't sure how old my ferts really were or how long they are good for so I decided to take that out of the equation and order some dry ferts and then mix my liquids once I get it down better. I was following another local knucklehead (j/k lol) on his EI figuring he had some secret to our local water but turns out he was doing it that way for a reason and I have prob been low on K. Back to basics here.

Obligatory FTS:


Sorry for the cell pics, I promise I will get the good camera out when I have something better to show. I decided to hold off on ordering a bunch of fancy stems until I get everything balanced out. I did get some crypts and hydrocoytle to go under the driftwood. Hopefully the glosso will come around. The stems in the back left and right are the ludwigia and bacopa from LFS I am using until they get replaced with something more exciting. I topped and replanted them short to get a jump on the diatoms.

You can see the mist from my atomizer, yeah getting tired of that, am thinking about a cerges but space is running out in this weenie stand. Anyway got some pearling going on now and no fish gasping so I think I am getting closer here. Turns out my powerhead was a 240 GPH, upgraded that to a 600.



Maybe you heard Petsmart had a sale on rams lol. Anyway here you can see the crappy glosso beat down from diatoms and burrowing cories. In the top area of this pic I planted it deeper and toward the bottom I cut it back pretty good, you can see some new leaves coming out. Trying different stuff here, I will have a glosso carpet yet. Will try to get an update on Thor's 29 this weekend, thanks for looking.

Last edited by Brian Mc; 03-09-2013 at 11:54 PM.. Reason: fixed the pics duh
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Mc View Post
So I took a few years off from the fish hobby after having kids, I was ready for a break anyway. The kids are now 12 & 13 and were bugging me for a fishtank since they see empty ones stored all over the place and vaguely remember Daddy having lots of fish and cussing a lot.

I found a $100 46 gal bowfront with stand on Craigslist that fit the bill, tossed some gear at it and planted it with some common stuff from the LFS. Had CO2 and decent light (more on that later) and some stuff grew really fast. I got busy with other projects and neglected it, ran it out of CO2, etc. I quickly remembered how much time this hobby takes lol.

The wife and kids have long since abandoned me and my project but I continue on, determined to grow a carpet which was all the new rage (thanks to Amano) when I exited the hobby.

I tore it down, ditched the PFS, tossed in Eco-Complete, ditched all the BBA'd plants and started over. Specs as of now:

46 Gallon Marineland Bowfront
  • 2217 Eheim
  • Koralia powerhead 350 GPH? dunno bought it used, thinking of upgrading this
  • 200W Hydor inline heater
  • 5 LB Pressurized CO2 /Matheson 3813 SS reg courtesy Maknwar/ Swagelok M series metering valve postbody kit courtesy Bettatail
  • GLA inline atomic diffusor
  • Cal Aqua DC & 13mm lily outpipe
  • Eco Complete substrate (some Floramax in one area where I built up a slope)
  • Shabuhu rock hardscape
  • Deep Blue Solarmax 36" T5HO 39Wx2
  • Finnex 36" Ray II
  • Rootmedic caps, macro/micro liquid
I thought I had saved a buck with the Deep Blue T5HO 39x2, I was going off Hoppy's old PAR chart and figured I would be high-med to low-high range. While I haven't seen anyone say it I think this light uses the cheap ballasts that don't put out full T5HO power. His newer charts are much cooler and show the difference in fixture quality even though the Deep Blue is not listed.

Tossed on the Finnex LED and finally got some pearling. I got better light out of my old T8s back in the day than this stupid Solarmax. I used to pearl with my old T8s and DIY CO2, I thought I had lost my touch lol but it was just not enough light. I have some Glosso in there I got from the LFS and it is taking off now after transitioning. I kept the Solarmax on there for the spectrum balance and CRI, at least it is good for something lol.

Here is the tank so far after the rescape, it is a work in progress. Any thoughts on plant choices welcome but I have some ideas and will be expanding on them soon in another post. Not the best cell pic. The floating stems at the top from the LFS are being used to balance things out until I hit the SNS and get some nice plants in here real soon:


Great looking set up, I love angels though never had any, are those koi angels?
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