40B - T5, Dirted, Sumped, C.A.R.E.S.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:07 PM   #1
ForensicFish
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40B - T5, Dirted, Sumped, C.A.R.E.S.


I was going to wait to do a journal when the tank was fully complete but I do not know when that will be so I will start the journal and proceed a long with the tank.

First and foremost, I would like to thank all the members on this forum who take the time out of their day to post and provide information to others. We all benefit from the trials of others.

This journal is not about aquascaping as I did not plant with a "dutch", "nature" or "iwagumi" style in mind. I planted with idea of creating a visual pleasing layout that displayed variations in leaf shape. That was my goal, I probably failed, but it all takes practice. I wanted to leave the Malaysian driftwood hardscape as bare as I could to really accent the scape. Down the road I am thinking of adding some fissidens, but I am not sure. I also planted with my C.A.R.E.S species in mind. I currently have a colonly of Phallichthys Quadripunctatus that I plan on maintaining simply for conservation efforts and for shear fun. So the scape is also designed to best suit the colony, especially the fry.

I would like this journal to be more about what worked, what didn't, sump design and plant care in effort to provide those with more information. I will admit, I am slowly beginning to become frustrated with number of threads that begin " algae, please help". So I hope this build will catch the attention of others to read and research before posting such a vague and over used thread.

With that being said, I read what others had done, asked etc. But what it comes down to is what works for you and that takes experimentation.

Here are some photos of how the tank progressed to its current state:





The last and current photo is growth under T5ho lights, dirted substrate and no CO2. Here is a list of equipment, fauna and plant selections.

Equipment:
40B tanked. Drilled in corners
Zoomed Dual T5HO fixture with one 6700 Hagen Life Glo lamp and one Zoomed 5000k Flora Sun lamp. My lights are hung with conduit. (On for 7.5 hrs)
Aqueon AQ 1700 submersible return pump.
DIY spray bar
DIY sump
(CO2 to come)

Fauna:
Pygmy cories
two pristella tetras that I cannot catch and remove
one Betta (wife's that I cannot relocate....sigh....)
Ottos
Red Rili shrimp is sump
unknown number of Phallichthys Quadripunctatus in sump and main tank

Flora"
Downoi
Anubias Nana
Anubias Barteri
Anubias Coffeefolia
Java fern "rooster tail"
Java fern "narrow leaf"
Rotala Indica
Myrio
Staurogyne Repens
Crypt Parva
Crypt Wendtii
Giant Baby tears
Apongenten
Sagittaria
Vals
Ludwigia repens

I created the dirted substrate with mineralized top soil. Here in the Midwest you get great topsoil dirt cheap. I was able to get 80lbs for a 1.92. It its capped with pool sand and a layer of fluorite is at the very bottom.

My sump is a very simple yet effective design. It is a 20 gallon long aquarium. I have glued a 3in piece of pvc pipe in to hold my filter sock with a piece of 2in 20ppi poret foam as my wall or barrier. Just a few quick thoughts on my current sump design. I love it. It works great. It was cheap. The simplest answer is usually the correct one. I see a lot of sumps on here that are over complicated. I am not saying they do not work or they do not work great, but they do not need to be over engineered especially with the piping. This journal is to assist others with sump design, not criticize others. I am simply stating that a sump does not have to be complicated. Alas, here is quick shot of the sump.


Please feel free to request anymore photos in regards to sump design. All I have is one hole drilled in one corner of the tank for draining and one on the opposite side for return. That's it.

Now on to trials, errors and thoughts.
My tap water is liquid poison to my wife's reef tank, but it works great for my plants. All I add during top offs and water changes is a drop or two of Aquavitro Premier by Seachem. I have Aquavitro Synthesis and Activate but have never used any drops as of yet. Between my soil, fish food, fish waste and the addition of potassium via the Premier, I have yet to dose a thing. I change approximately 5 gallons of water a week as I suck up pygmy cory poo.

The tank has been setup since March. It is currently the end of July and I am now just beginning to see some brown diatoms on my Downoi and some beard algae ( I think its beard) on some of the plants. Therefore, I raised my Lights about 7 inches off the tank to combat the algae. I will help, but I believe its a CO2 issue more than anything.

I have also grown dwarf hair grass, Cabomba, and java moss with this setup with no issues. The dwarf hair grass did grow extremely slowly though. I just planted the myrio so we will see how that goes.

Future plans are to add CO2, add another dual T5 fixture to give me more lamp variations and rescape the front of the tank with moss to give more to the fry. I will be selling all the downoi crowns eventually.

Please feel free to request additional photos in regards to my light hangers, sump or any others.

Cheers.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:44 AM   #2
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Just another tank shot.

Here is one of the hanging set up:
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:00 AM   #3
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Nice looking tank man!!!

My next big tank will definitely have a sump and I'm in the same thinking process as you. No need for having 3-4 chambers with different media. Little curious what all do you have in your sump there?


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Old 07-22-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
vanish
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Simple sump is an understatement! Very cool. Inspirational. Doing a 55G sump on my 150G and need to consider how complicated it needs to be.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:19 PM   #5
ForensicFish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyfeoffishing View Post
Nice looking tank man!!!

My next big tank will definitely have a sump and I'm in the same thinking process as you. No need for having 3-4 chambers with different media. Little curious what all do you have in your sump there?


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The sump has a 3in. Piece of PVC pipe glued to the corner to hold my filter sock. A piece of 20ppi Porte foam divides the refugium from the return pump. Inside the sump is java moss for my fry and shrimp and some crypts being given away this weekend. Would you like more photos? Once my dad moves into his new house I will be using his workshop to create a new custom acrylic sump.

Bump: Varnish,

It can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it. I wanted a refugium so that is what I shot for. If you want a drip tray you can. If you want to add 4 chambers for bio media you can. My Poret foam acts as another layer of bio filtration so I didn't need to add bio balls etc.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:56 AM   #6
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I can see the sump pretty good in your pictures thanks though!!

Also one question why don't you try some sort of floating plant in the sump? IMO java moss is so slow growing it's not doing much in nutrient uptake. I don't have a sump but I will be adding frogbit or water lettuce to my tank for the roots and nutrient uptake.


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Old 07-23-2014, 04:01 AM   #7
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Default 40B - T5, Dirted, Sumped, C.A.R.E.S.

Opps double post
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:32 AM   #8
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I have thought of floating hornwort but only for my fry. The java moss is for the fry. The poret foam is used for bio filtration which helps with any build up of nitrates.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:55 PM   #9
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Oh okay forgot about your fry in there


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