My Low Tech 40 Gallon Breeder
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:15 AM   #1
RoseTyler
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My Low Tech 40 Gallon Breeder


I decided to start a journal for my new 40G tank. Pictures to come tomorrow.

Specs: 40G
Filter: HOB 400G/Hour
Temp: 76*
Substrate: Sand
Ferts: Column and Root Tabs
Lighting: Finnex Stingray 36"

Current Stock:
2 Black Angels
20 Ember Tetras
3 Julii Cory
4 Glass Cats


Plans: To fully plant the tank, increase the number of Ember Tetras, add more cories and a few more glass cats. Trying to keep the tank stable, simple and beautiful. It looks like an empty tank now, pictures to come tomorrow to monitor progress and allow me to start a small shrimp tank soon
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:31 PM   #2
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Here are pictures of the tank. It is a room divider so the water clarity doesn't show well. We are starting to get some algae by the filter, so I'm probably going to get some more plants and an algae eater of some sort today.




Whole tank shot, aquascaping in progress.


Glass cats and angels. We still have that film on our wood.


The Ember Tetras were this color from my LFS, I know they will color up when it's more heavily planted







The terrors of my tank, my cories
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:36 PM   #3
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I would recommend removing the angels from your tank. They require much more space than a 40B. They also need a higher temp above 76 as do your tetras. Glass cats can also be difficult to feed. Make sure the embers are not eating everything before the glass cats get a chance.

Was this tank cycled at all?

Make sure the plants you purchase will work with your current light and lack of CO2. I love my 40 breeder but it can be difficult to adjust the lighting because the tank is fairly shallow. If you do not run CO2, you may have to raise your light.

Last edited by ForensicFish; 10-31-2014 at 05:43 PM.. Reason: fish
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForensicFish View Post
I would recommend removing the angels from your tank. They require much more space than a 40B.

Was this tank cycled at all?
Fishless cycled for 6 weeks.
Don't know why you'd assume it wasn't, unless you're going by the aquascaping. I hated to add the wood and plants a few days before stocking but I could not make it out to my favorite LFS to fine what I wanted until then.

I'll remove the angels when they get bigger, their size is fine for the tank now and have plenty of room. Right now they so no signs of stress or being cramped. They typically hang out by the driftwood before the lights are turned on and the rest of the empty tank for the rest of the day.


ETA: The LED is really low light according to the research I've done, even with low light and (there will be more plants) do you think I'll have to raise the LED? I don't want to run CO2 but I can dose with Excel. I just didn't think the tank needed it, plus I have a TON of natural light.


Double ETA: I did change my filter a few days ago so it may be going through a mini cycle. My test kit is all kinds of messed up so I'm going to my LFS to have my water tested before doing a water change.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:49 PM   #5
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Yes, the aquascape lead me to question if the tank was fully cycled. Do not take that in any negative way. If I didn't ask someone else would have. There are quite a few journals that are posted by members that do not quite understand cycling and planted tanks in general and there is nothing wrong with that.

But I believe it is our duty as experienced members to help out the new ones and help guide them on the right path that will hopefully lead to success and save them money. Given that I do not have any knowledge of your aquarium/fish experience, I wasn't personally criticizing, but asking a question.

You can do a lot of cool stuff aquascaping wise with the wood piece you have.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:55 PM   #6
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It's just one of the questions, being in the hobby for awhile I usually want to yell "OF COURSE IT'S CYCLED!" I know my post count is low, but I'm not new to the hobby. (Of course there's no way for anyone to know that) The last time I attempted planted tanks, my nanos thrived and my larger tanks didn't. So this time I'm just trying to do low tech/low light and see what I can do without being overly ambitious.

I don't think I asked enough questions. Also, the last time I tried, I had some local river rock I had collected a long time ago, I boiled them, my aquascaping was beautiful but my pH was FOREVER messed up, we came to the conclusion, because of the rocks, so none of my plants thrived.

It was really hard for me to find the right piece of wood. Most of the wood that I found in my area was either much, much too big, or much too small. Do you have any aquascaping suggestions? I plan on adding tall plants around the wood to hide the filter and heater and then ..... I'm stumped. I'm planning on adding other pieces of similar rosewood (but smaller) in the tank to hopefully make it look like one piece that was buried and coming out in different areas to add some dimension but I LOVE having a huge open space for the fish to swim in.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:50 PM   #7
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I actually love the look of large swathes of open substrate/swim area and it certainly helps keep the maintenance down in terms of trimming/replanting all the time.

Right now you've got the wood piece tucked up tight in the corner, but if you filled in with more tall plants along with the swords to help hide the equipment and fill that back corner, you could pull the wood further out across the tank and fill in behind/around it with a variety of stems/smaller rooted plants and leave the rest as open sand, playing up the negative space.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:03 PM   #8
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I think a pair of scalare angels will do just fine in a 40B, especially with that big open space. We're not talking about Altums here...
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:11 PM   #9
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Thanks guys!

I went to one of my LFS today and bought some Water Sprite and Dwarf Sag. I also bought some powdered potassium per their advice to add to the water every other day since my substrate it just sand.

I placed the water sprite around the drift wood and swords so hopefully it'll grow tall and fast to cover up the equipment. I placed the dwarf sag kind of away from the driftwood and hopefully it'll spread both ways and make a nice little bush.

I'm excited to watch things grow in and will take more pictures when my lights come on.

Because of my natural light, I decided to have my LED on for 6 hours a day from 5pm - 11pm and we'll see how it goes.

My LFO always gave me 10 Hergel's Rasboras because I told them that my boyfriend wanted all the first in the tank to be Giants colors.

They did not have any adult sized cories for me to add to my current school. So I'm still going to wait until I find some other adults to add them to my tank.

Pictures to come once everything is settled and the lights are on
And don't worry, I'll rehome the angels if they get too big. They really have plenty of room right now and I'm not worried.

ETA: The water sprite will completely cover the swords but they aren't looking too well. They are also right under the light so I'm going to see how they do.
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:38 PM   #10
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I promised pictures awhile ago and have been pretty busy and keep forgetting, but I thought I would update my journal.

About a week ago, my boyfriend said he wished the lights were on 2 hours longer than they are. Figuring that I had low lighting and forgetting about my natural light, I did this. Yesterday I came home to find the walls of my aquarium with the start of an algae outbreak (little white tufts moving with the current).

I did a 50% water change, added some CO2 and did a complete blackout. This morning I still saw the white tufts so I'll be doing another large water change. My test kit was thrown out by accident, so I don't have a way to test my water - but I will be bringing it to my LFS tomorrow. I do not expect that the algae problem has to do with too much Ammonia, or Nitrites, but I left the lights on for too long and have been adding some additional plant ferts to the water column, which I obviously did not need to do.

Also, the same day I picked up 3 Sterbai cories, (one adult, 2 juvies), I found one of my Julii cories dead in the java fern I had tied down with string a week earlier. I guess he got stuck down there.

Anyhow, my fish have been going wild, my Ember Tetras are attempting to spawn (two are FAT with eggs), my angelfish have gone into battle (thinking about rehoming one) and my adult Sterbai is trying to spawn with my adult Julii.

My Embers and Hergels are not schooling at all anymore. It's kind of a bummer to me, I love the looks of tight schools. Oh and I rehomed the Glass Cats.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:06 AM   #11
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You might want to cut or move your intake out of the sand it can suck up sand and ruin your HOB.

Sorry to hear about your Julii.

If you need a few plants PM me I could do a Roak.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:00 PM   #12
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Any updates?
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N+1=T
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:41 PM   #13
RoseTyler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzy- View Post
Any updates?
Everything is going great with this tank. I can take pictures when my lights come on. The Finnex light is too weak and I'm going to get a better light after Christmas and rescape.

I'm also overstocked so when I rescape I think I'm going to rehome my Ember Tetras.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:14 AM   #14
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These are pictures from tonight when the lights came on.







The dwarf sag hasn't grown at all. When I get a new light I'll rescape with different plants.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:45 AM   #15
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Have you thought of just adding another Stingray for your lighting situation? Won't increase the PAR at substrate level, but will help with the depth of the 40b. Everything that I've read shows that the Stringray is Finnex's low light solution... the next step up would put you in medium territory.

This has me curious though as I'm looking to set up a 40b and want to stay in the low light/low tech range. No CO2, etc... and I'm researching a LED light solution. My plan was 2 Stingrays, thus my suggestion, but it looks like I need to research some more.
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