"Dagobah" - 54 gallon corner bowfront
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:44 PM   #1
justinq
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"Dagobah" - 54 gallon corner bowfront


I've finally got my 54 gallon corner tank up and running. It's a low light/high tech fully planted aquarium. The first time my son saw it, he thought it looked like the planet Dagobah from Star Wars, so that's what I'm calling it. First, the specs:

Aqueon 54 Gallon Corner Aquarium
1 Coralife 2x18 watt T5 NO
1 Coralife 2x14 watt T5 NO
Rena Xp3 filter
Rena inline heater
Inline CO2 reactor from Rex Grigg
Substrate is mineralized soil from Torpedobarb, capped with Eco Complete
Manzanita driftwood from badcopnofishtank

Plants:
E. tenellus micro
Anubias barteri v. coffeefolia
Anubias congensis
Bolbitus heudelotti
Cryptocoryne lutea
Cryptocoryne ciliata
Jungle Vals
Red tiger lotus
Xmas moss

Livestock:
22 Cardinal tetras
2 Sunset honey dwarf gourami
2 American flag fish

Planning a few other additions, but still haven't decided. Maybe a pair of a different color variety of dwarf gourami, maybe cherry shrimp, maybe 2 farlowellas, maybe some dwarf loaches if I can find them (not all of these, I'm still trying to decide, recommendations are welcome).


Now, for the pictures!

FTS:


Close up:


Spot the American flag fish:


The gourami are being very skittish and won't let me get a good picture of them. They've been hiding in the jungle val a lot and only coming out when they think no one is looking. They've been in the tank 5 days now. Is that normal?

I'll post updates as I go along.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:12 PM   #2
demonbreedr16
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My 3rd Dwarf Gourami I really only seen like 3 times in his whole life, 1 was when I put him in the tank, the next when he was flaring at the paradise fish in the next tank over, and then when he finally dying/died.

Very nice tank! I hope the honey gouramis get over their shyness!
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:17 PM   #3
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Default JustinQ's 54 gallon corner bowfront aquarium *UPDATE* 56k

A lot has changed with this tank over the last six months. First I changed a bit about the hardscape. I thought the middle looked a little two flat, so I added a mound of rock. I'm planning on adding some needle leaf java fern to grow up between the rock wedges.

As a corner tank, I had an issue with lighting the back corner. Originally, I believed that vals would be able to handle the dim back, but I was wrong. They died off, so I bought a regular old 16" flourescent strip light to try to light the back corner. It didn't fit very well, but provided enough to grow some sunset hygro (not the look I wanted, but it was what I had on hand). Still, the hygro would shed it's lower leaves because there wasn't enough light. I just added a vertically mounted 6500k spiral CFL just for the back corner, and wow, I can see the difference already. Now I'm just waiting to get some good, big background crypts like balansae or retrospiralis, and some plants to tweak the midground a bit.

One cool thing I discovered about the back corner light since I had to put it on its own timer, was that if I programmed the back light to come on a half an hour before and turn off a half an hour after the T5NO's, it gave a neat sunset/sunrise effect. It was a little more obvious with the pinkish AGA light that came with the strip light, but the spiral CFL still looks pretty neat.

Two other casualties were the flame moss and bolbitis. The bolbitis just never took off, and while the flame moss did, I had a clado outbreak on my driftwood (still do - don't judge me! :p) The clado completely covered the moss and the non-growing bolbitis. I haven't solved the mystery, but every tank I've had so far has ended up with clado, but only if I put driftwood in it. If I never put driftwood in a tank, or if I remove the driftwood with clado, no more clado. But in a completely clado-free tank, if I put fresh, never before used driftwood in, it's only a matter of a few weeks before clado appears. I'm not willing to tear apart the tanks and bleach everything, especially since it seems determined to come back even in completely fresh setups with every effort made to prevent cross contamination, as this one was. I just live with it and prune it weekly. I just added some nerite snails since I read a few people have had success with that, so we'll see.

The fauna has also changed. The gouramis have both since died, though the cardinal tetras and farlowella are doing well. I added some swordtails - originally a mixed group from the LFS, though only one female and her offspring survived. I have since added four healthy black swordtails from a friend of mine, and they are doing very well, along with the one surviving red wag female. Also added some yoyo loaches, who seem quite content and add a lot of personality to the tank.

Now what you've been waiting for, the pictures. I apologize for the poor quality and the light glare - neither my camera nor my photography skills are that great.

Here's a full view of the front. You can see how much the remaining original plants have grown in:



Left side view:



And another:



View through the top of the water, featuring three of the algae crew:



Right side, not as easily accessed:



Two zooming swordtails:



Failed attempt at yoyo loach capture:



Sunrise/sunset:
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:22 PM   #4
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Looking good!
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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Thanks! It's still a work in progress, but isn't everything?
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:47 PM   #6
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Hello -

I was glad to find your post because I also have an Aqueon 54 gallon corner tank and I'm trying to figure out how to light it. I also have a 30 inch Coralife strip on top, but the back of the tank is dim and I'm trying to figure out how to best light it up.

My question is, how did you get the 24 inch unit to light the back of the tank when the glass top only goes about half way towards the back (i.e. the far corner of the tank is covered by plastic top? I measure it out and if I put a 24 inch strip light on the glass behind the 30 inch strip lght, there will only be an inch or so between them and really the smaller strip light will be in the center of the tank rather than at the back.

Maybe that is ok, I'm not sure, but I would like to see some nice light in the back.

Also, I'm not planning on using CO2 so I am more limited on what plants will grow. What is that ground cover (looks grassy) that you have going ? could that grow without CO2?

thanks!!
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:29 PM   #7
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The lighting situation on this tank has changed somewhat since the first setup. I tried to make due with just a 30 inch and 24 inch coralife T5HO light fixtures, both placed horizontally (the 24 inch is more towards the center, like what you have). This is what I had set up in the first set of pictures. It didn't work, because most of the plants in the back ended up dying, so what I did was end up taking out the black plastic part of the cover and replacing it with a clear plastic sheet I cut to fit. The plastic was a light diffuser panel for flourescent lighting that I got from Lowe's. It's not completely clear because it's somewhat textured, but for low light it's fine. After I put that on, I got a 15 inch regular AGA flourescent strip light. That didn't work quite the way I wanted, so what I ended up doing was replacing that light with a regular dome clamp light from a hardware store, and put a 6700K spiral CFL bulb in it. That sits on top of the clear plastic, and works well, especially for low light.

The grassy foreground plant is E. tenellus micro "pink," and it will grow fine in low light with no CO2.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:09 PM   #8
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Hi - Thanks for your reply. I wonder if it would be possible to replace the black plastic at the far back with a clear sheet, like you did. Then, simply turn the 24 inch strip 90 degrees so that it's perpendicular to the 30 inch strip. That could actually produce a pretty nice and well distributed light setup.

I really like these Coralife double strips because of their low profile and the fact that you don't need to put them on little legs - no light leaking out the sides/top and that makes the top of the tank look nicer which makes my wife happy

thanks for the input
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:11 PM   #9
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I measure this out - the 24 inch just wont' fit. I wish there was a 12 inch strip!
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Old 09-05-2010, 05:22 AM   #10
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Do you have a canopy for your corner tank? I am still considering one but they are hard to find...
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:12 AM   #11
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No canopy, just a glass top with the Coralife striplights and the clamp on CFL sitting on top. I can't say I've ever seen a canopy for this type of tank, except for DIY ones. They probably exist somewhere, I've just never run across one.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:48 AM   #12
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There are a couple of sources, but they are like $400 and I don't really want one that bad. I have the Coralife 30 inch + 2 12 inch Powerbrite LED's on the back. It looks ok without a canopy.

One problem I have is heat - wow it runs hot with those lights. Do you have that problem with the light heating up the tank when they are just right on the glass?

also, I have problems getting good circulation around the tank, due to the triangular shape. Do you just have that filter pushing water around? any dead spots?
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:24 PM   #13
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It does get hot, but it's not too much of a problem since I'm keeping the tank warmer than usual for my rams and cardinal tetras.

As for circulation, I did have some issues with the back corner being a bit of a dead zone, so I put in a small rio powerhead. It's hidden in the plants, so you don't even see it. I also ended up converting it to a CO2 reactor and getting rid of my inline one (I kept having issues with flow because of it).
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:47 AM   #14
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I just put a Vonado Zippi fan on the back corner and wow what a difference. Fits perfectly in the corner!
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