|10-10-2013, 09:19 PM||#1|
Angels Haven 90 gallon
I'm going to run through a quick history of this tank over the last 6 months, before my recent complete tear down and rescape.
Bought the tank, stand, light, heaters, filter, etc all back in March 2013. I got eco complete for the dirt, love it, and got a huge selection of plants both off of good online dealers and to my huge mistake from petco.
Once everything started rolling in I got antzy and started doing things in a hurry.... I planted everything quickly, without making much of a design, I really didnt have much for a good piece of driftwood at the time, and had some slate to help create barriers/caves. a
I quite literally threw everything in, for the most part I did keep them in good places as per front/back for the plants for their size.
Step 1 of the disaster.... I quickly bought 20? or so angelfish off aquabid, and 4 GBR, though this was after I had 24 neon tetra's cycle the tank. Luckily the angel's didn't all show up on the same day, and go introduced in two seperate times over 5 days.
Step 2.... no ferts/no CO2. By this point I had blown a huge chunk of cash and was just not willing to spend the money on a real CO2 system and took people word that a DIY co2 wouldn't even be worth it. I also couldn't afford much for ferts, and quickly ran out of what I did have.
Step 3....super lights were on to long for no ferts/co2 etc. and a huge green water algae bloom took off in May/june lasting 4-5 weeks, and was nearly incureable at that point. Even doing a 50% water change didn't put a dent in it at one point. At the same time a big BBA breakout took place too, which I'm 99% sure came from petco plants. which weren't real aquatic plants anywyas, which I had suspected at the time but couldn't say no to the girlfriend lol.
Step 4.... buying 2 bn pleco's from petco... which weren't bn but common plecos. guess what happened? they ate all the soft plants, actually all the plants but the amazon swords. and then they got huge quick, growing from 4" to 10" in a matter of a month.
step 5...with a huge amount of plants gone, and 2 big poopers in the tank the parameters were spiking like crazy as I wasn't able to keep ahead of everything with water changes or adding in extra filtration. as a result I lost 3 GBR's quickly, and over a month I lost all the angels.
Here's where I said this is enough, and got rid of the plecos trading them out to local people. This almost instantly solved parameter issues.... I then attempted to remove as much BBA as I could, and added in quick growers like water wisteria and guppy grass. both of much helped insanely well to control things.
Skip to the end of July, I'm fishing at the lake and the girlfriend finds a huge piece of driftwood (you'll see shortly) and its beautiful... Take to the car wash with us and I power wash it down for a good 10 minutes, let dry it out for a week then start soaking it. I pulled everything out of the tank and drained it down to use this wood in there, this included pulling out the new set of fish, new baby angels just over a quarter size, the remaining GBR, my cory's, and a couple guppy's I threw in for giggles. After messing with the wood for a while I cut it down a little to fit in, got everything back in, started refilling the tank, and forgot to weigh it down so it popped up. luckily I had enough slate to sit on it and hold it down, even using a large sponge filter I have for a platform to help hold up the slate and create a cave.
everything looked good, refilled the tank, plants were in, and put the fish back in. over the next few weeks the fish just started dying.... no idea why.. and then I realized that there was most likely chemicals in the log that I didn't account for and were just starting to seep into the tank. But it was weird, the angels died and the GBR died. but the cory's didn't die, or even look sick, my albino bn pleco's were fine, and the guppys were breeding as always. so I'm still not set on it being chemicals.
once all the angels died, and the last GBR, I let the tank sit for a bit with just the cory's and bn. trying to figure out if I wanted to stick with angels, redo the layout, or what... the other main issue was that the BBA was out of control, I had nearly all of it out of the tank, and within a few days it was smothering everything. It was infact growing so fast that even a few trumpet snails had a big patch of it growing on their shell...
and then about a month ago, I just got the itch... once I had my 46 bow planted and shrimp in it, I wanted to redo the 90.
so here I go again... girlfriend was gone to Cali for a couple weeks so I could tear it down and redo it, leaving a huge mess everywhere lol.... I didn't take pictures of the mess, and I often forgot to take pictures as I progressed.
step 1. pull out everything. plants, rocks, wood, fish.
I had been handed a used 55 gallon for $30, jackpot, and so I moved all the fish over to that, and moved over cycled media and the large sponge filter that was cycled too. at this point I had also bought 6 zebra loaches, awesome fish btw, and they were a huge pain to catch.
step 2. drain, and clean. deep clean. as I pulled out rocks, wood, heaters, pipes etc I scrubbed them down with a vinegar water mix and I mean scrub. I even took the tubing off the canister filter and scrubbed that inside and out with a wire scrubber. the cleaning was mostly to attempt to remove the BBA from the tank.
step 3. place glass protection and driftwood support. there is over 120 lbs of eco complete, along with some play sand and river rock mixed in..... I pushed it all to one side of the tank and started placing rubber mating down on the cleaned off glass, but only on the left side of the tank. This mating is the same stuff used to go in cupboards.... soft, strong, non-reactive, etc.
Then I took slate rocks and used them as key support positions for where the driftwood would be putting out the most pressure, in an attempt to stabilize the wood, and disperse the pressure on the glass.
Then I replaced the driftwood to nearly the same position it had been placed in before this tear down, but the different would be that now its sitting lower, and areas of it can be used to make barriers and high points for plants.
I had a pleco cave, the large 13" long 3-4" wide clay cave, which is ugly btw, and put in the back, angling it so that one end was up. filled in one side of it and capped it off the best I could with some dirt. in front of it I took slate to make a large wall, and used 1"-2" sized river rocks to further create a dirt barriers so it didn't fill it in over time. with no large plecos left needing a big cave, I took another big piece of slate to sort of block the opening, but leaving enough room so that any fish can get into the cave except the angels, basically for GBR/loaches.
In other areas of the tank I took slate and ued it to create walls and higher areas for planting. this included large pieces of rock from lowes, thanks lowes for not charging me, the largest piece of which is nearly 20" long, 3" thick and 6" high, and makes the long barrier that can be seen in the pictures.
the main thing with creating the barriers and seperate areas is so that certain plants can't go rampaging across the tank, because most of the plants would be able to do that.
the only plant that I kept from the old setup was my huge amazon sword, but I had cut all off the stems, all of them, down to the bare bones. (its quickly recovering)
The new plant list, which I got from Aulonocara_Freak, is:
- Hygrophila Compacta - More than 10 stems nice and healthy
- Cardamine lyrata - More than 100 nodes, enough to cover 1/2 a 10g
- Hygrophila Lacustris - Afew stems
- Misc. Ludwigia - More than 10 stems super healthy
- Blxya Japonica - Not so healthy but it will make a nice recovery
- Bacopa Carolina - Afew small stems
- Jungle Vals
- Leopard Vals
- Flame Moss
keep in mind that I saw ricca and flame moss, thinking maybe they'd be small chunks. the flame moss was a normal size, golfball or so, but the ricca came in a huge mat somewhere around 6" by 6" and nearly 1" thick. huge. lol
There were so many plants that I threw the extras into my betta's 10gallon for him to have extra floaters to lay in.
Got everything planted, and filled the tank because the moss was drying out quick, I didn't think to keep it floating until I wanted to fill the tank, oh well.
So I got the tank filled that night, lots of 5 gallon bucket trips lol. I use a big 18 gallon bucket, put it on a piece of wood across the top of the tank, fill it, and get the suction going. keeping the bucket filled as it goes. helps a lot, but still. yes I would use the faucet hook up by my sinks dont have any teeth to tighten the hose onto it.
I let it sit for a day or two, turning the heaters on and getting the lights set up. this time I was prepared with ferts. got a good batch from aquariumfertilizers.com or something close to that. After a day or two I scooped out the flaters I didn't want, rehooked up the canister filter, and got that going again. After a couple hours I pulled over the large sponge filter, the cycled one, and got that going. Then I started to slowly pull fish over from the 55 gallon holding tank, which yes had more filtration on it then the sponge filter.
after a few days I got all the fish pulled over, which included a new dozen baby angels. new stocking list:
12 baby angels
2 adult angels
6 zebra loaches
3 albino bn plecos
15 neon tetras
I held the cory's, because I was either looking into selling them, or breeding. couldn't decide. I ended up placing them in the 10 gallon betta tank, where within a week they've spawned twice, so I guess I'm keeping them to breed lol.
Pictures will be coming later tonight, once I'm home. So far plants have grown in nicely, and I'm still working on setting up diy co2, which I may get going tonight if I have enough airline, I'm going to feed it into the spray bar until I can get a DIY in line set up going like rex's reactor on here.
please be patient for pictures, and thanks for reading. its been an adventure to say the least lol.
|10-11-2013, 02:35 AM||#2|
warning, picture heavy
click the pictures for an expanded view.
the first few pictures are of the layout before the new plants were put in, what plants you do see were the old swords.
This is the batch of pictures from today, about a week after planting. In the middle of the wood you can see a few of the ludwiga still. The zebra loaches dug out of the dirt I had in there which the whole batch of ludwiga was planted in, so now I have a bunch of ludwiga floating in the tank until I can get some time to replant them with some larger rock to keep them in place and the loaches out lol. its cute that they dug it out to have their cave back, but it pisses me off too.
ps don't mind the slate on the wood right now, they're just holding it down until it absorbs more water. you can see from these pictures as compared to the first batch, that the wood popped up because of this. oh well
Last edited by Nestle_; 10-11-2013 at 04:32 AM.. Reason: fix