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Old 12-03-2008, 02:23 AM   #1
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Post Disaster Rebuild/Rescape journal


Hello, last August my heater overheated and raised the water temperature to 96F, it killed all of my algae eaters and cooked almost all of my plants. The only survivors were the tetras and the discus, they were actually quite happy with the warm temperature. The tank was then completely taken over by BBA two weeks later. Long story short, I got the perfect opportunity to replant the tank. I never had a photo journal before with first planted tank so I'm guessing I'll start one this time around and hopefully get some ideas and suggestions from the experienced folks here in plantedtank. Maybe this time I'll do a half way decent aquascape.

First the specs.
Tank: Standard AGA 55 gallon
Substrate: Regular aquarium pebble gravel with Seachem Flourish tabs.
Filters: Eheim 2213 & 2215(far left and far right)
Heater: 250W Visi-Therm Stealth 82F (NEVER EGO JAGGER AGAIN!!)
Lights: 48" 4X65W PC fixture. Rear:55W 6700K Front:65W 10,000K.
2 AGA 8000K bulbs coming in a few days from Dr.FosterSmith($14.99ea.)
CO2: DIY yeast --> Ceramic diffuser --> Eheim 2213 Intake
It's low budget, I'll have to do the best with what I have.

Plants
Old leftover Amazon Sword survivor(this one will probably be removed)
E. Tenellus
Java Moss that refuse to leave the wood
Blyxa Japonic
Vallisneria Natan
I'm trying to use plants with similar leave shape.
Fish
5 Discus
12-15 tetras(cardinals and black neon)
3 Juv. true SAEs
3 Juv. ABNs

It's a "rescape" of an old tank with long time residence in it, so I won't be able to drain the whole thing and start with the substrate slopes and hardscape experiments like the other photo journals. I have a bunch of old malaysian driftwood mixed in with old manzanitas that I kinda just drop them in there and adjust a bit until they're secured to their spot. Since this is a photo Journal, I'll start with the last photo I took before the August disaster.

This picture was taken back in January '08


This picture was taken today as my "step one" photo of the journal(sorry for the bad quality, I promise I can take better ones like the one above)


I wrapped up the base of the newly arrived Blyxa and Vals in filter floss and give them a temporary spot in the middle until I get my $1.99 planting tool arriving this Friday. I'm thinking placing the Blyxa behind the driftwood just a bit off center to make them the focal point, still no idea where to put the Vals, they're the narrow type so I don't know how tall it will grow, what do you guys think?? Oh yes, I have to figure out a way to paint the back of the tank without moving the tank, I got about 4 inches of clearance, any suggestions?

Thanks
Billy
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:32 AM   #2
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forgot to mention, the Blyxa in the middle idea was an inspiration from dewalltheway's 55 gal. Go check out that thread, it's truly amazing!!
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:43 AM   #3
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Ahh, someone else recovering from disaster.

When I painted the back of my tank ages ago I used a mini foam roller and Rustoleum paint (which is a fantastic paint for glass application, btw). Anyway, if you can reach to the center of your tank from the sides the mini roller ought to work fine.
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imeridian View Post
Ahh, someone else recovering from disaster.

When I painted the back of my tank ages ago I used a mini foam roller and Rustoleum paint (which is a fantastic paint for glass application, btw). Anyway, if you can reach to the center of your tank from the sides the mini roller ought to work fine.
I have one of them mini roller, just need a DIY extension to reach the center. Thanks for the paint suggestion!! I hope your recovering process is successful!!
Is there any specific type of paint I should use for the back of a glass aquarium?
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imeridian View Post
Ahh, someone else recovering from disaster.

When I painted the back of my tank ages ago I used a mini foam roller and Rustoleum paint (which is a fantastic paint for glass application, btw). Anyway, if you can reach to the center of your tank from the sides the mini roller ought to work fine.
x2 on the paint brand suggestion as well as the mini roller idea.

Personally I use latex as it seems a little more forgiving in application as well as removal should you ever change your mind.
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:42 PM   #6
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any specific type of Rustoleum paint? I checked their website, and there are a whole lot of different ones.

Thanks
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:49 PM   #7
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I used "oil based" gloss black in the quart can. I put three coats on. It will likely outlive the glass of the tank, it's just that tough of a finish, lol.

I tried a different brand, Valspar I think, of acrylic and it bubbled and otherwise failed to adhere to the glass. Maybe the glass wasn't clean enough, maybe I didn't wait long enough between coats, I'm not sure. It was then I switched to the Rustoleum.
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imeridian View Post
I used "oil based" gloss black in the quart can. I put three coats on. It will likely outlive the glass of the tank, it's just that tough of a finish, lol.

I tried a different brand, Valspar I think, of acrylic and it bubbled and otherwise failed to adhere to the glass. Maybe the glass wasn't clean enough, maybe I didn't wait long enough between coats, I'm not sure. It was then I switched to the Rustoleum.
Using gloss finish paint make the back of the tank more "reflective", wouldn't it? I know any black on the other side of glass will make it reflective, but would it help if the paint used is flat/matte/satin rather than gloss. I'm trying to make the black as non-reflective as I can. Also, I'm doing this in my living room so something that won't have a toxic fume is a must.

Thanks for taking the time to help!!
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:42 PM   #9
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There has been some debate on that. I used gloss because I had gloss already. Others have said that they can tell the difference between flat black and gloss black and that the gloss was more reflective. I took the viewpoint, having not seen both, that it wasn't particularly meaningful given that glass is reflective to begin with.

The oil based has quite an odor, so from that perspective a quality acrylic enamel may be the better choice.
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:01 PM   #10
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I actually just came across that thread where that debate took place, too bad the subject wasn't further discussed. Perhaps I can experiment it on my 10 gal. QT half and half and post a pic.

Billy
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:09 AM   #11
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Today's picture, trying out another camera with more manual control to mess with. If this new aquascape turns out crappy at least I will learn some tricks on photography....

The pot in the middle holds about 6 stems of Blyxa Japonica and 12 stems of Val. Natans. They've been in my tank for two days now and they are properly melting away. The good news is that I can see new growth on the Blyxa already growing crooked since they're sitting at an awkward angle. My planting tweezers and Flourite tabs will come tomorrow so I'll be planting tomorrow night. Any suggestions on placements of those two plants will be greatly appreciated!!

Billy
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:19 PM   #12
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here is a positive note!! I thought Blyxa Japonica is going to be a tough plant to grow, especially with DIY CO2 and non-specialized substrate.

The plant was received last Tuesday, and after 3 days I see this roots sticking out of the filter wool I stuffed them in...
I'm guessing this plant will do well in my tank...
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:17 PM   #13
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today's updates:
Blyxa planted, mostly background, one left for foreground. Val. Natan planted on the side, does anybody know how tall this species grow?


my discus would not leave me alone for the planting process, but I managed..
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:08 PM   #14
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I like the placement of your Blyxa, it makes the driftwood pop in the picture. Your discus look very pleased as well.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:45 AM   #15
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installed my new AGA 8000K PC bulbs in the rear and mixed with 12000k Odysea bulbs at the front, did a quick online crash course on digital photography, and here is the full tank shot.
next project is to rip that black garbage bag off the back and somehow clean the glass and paint it black with 3 inches clearance with the wall behind it.
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