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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
Blue Ridge Reef
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Two old Osaka cubes getting a makeover

Like my other tank journals, this one is going to take some time before there's much to look at but unlike those I'm not starting from scratch. Full disclosure, I've been saying I was going to do this for a year now and I'm largely making this post to motivate myself to hurry up on this project. I'd estimate I set these two up in 2008 and 2009. The first one shown was initially stocked with cherry shrimp and is my oldest surviving colony. That giant pile of crypts you see melted a couple of months back and are just starting to sprout new leaves. The other Osaka was set up about a year later after it didn't sell in my store and I wanted a matching set. I no longer have the literature, but recalled these being listed as 50 gallon. From measuring the tanks at 24" x24" x 18" they are actually 45 gallon. At any rate, here are the tanks as they are currently set up:

I ran passive CO2 on them a long time since I got away from pressurized on my shop tanks and had a spare canister. This works pretty well, but ultimately it was one more thing to have to remember to do daily. I'm over it, so going back to pressurized. Hopefully I can "unlearn" a lot of what I believed to be true about using gas and still remember to hook everything up correctly. Might need a new regulator, but I have two I need to test before spending the $. Digging through old equipment I've found this so far:

A regulator from a reef tank, two bubble counters, two needle valves, CO2 resistant tubing, and check valves. I have two bulky homemade Rex Grigg reactors somewhere in storage, but am hoping to avoid using them. I had to get creative when building them because the hardware store was out of some PVC parts and so I wound up with units much larger than they should have been. And they aren't small to begin with. So thoughts on the least obtrusive reactors appreciated.

Much like @Discusluv 's chicken pot pie, I am buttering the significant other up to my aquarium projects. In my case, I'm painting the interior of our house colors that she picked.

Before with a masculine olive color:

Last night after two coats of Sherwin Williams "Luminous Green":

The room is still a mess from hurriedly putting it back together last night. Tank #2 will be moved to the opposite corner from this one where the lamp currently is. It used to be there and I have no idea why I moved it. The CO2 tank will stay under tank #1 and I'll run tubing across the floor to reach tank #2. Still unsure of what reactor/diffuser I'll wind up with so hoping for suggestions. My better half would like my hobby much better if not for all the wires, cords, and clutter.

This is going to be a big undertaking so I'll be redoing one tank at a time. Since stopping passive CO2 for a few months, the plants are already noticeably suffering. The Anubias in particular looks like absolute trash in tank #2, with holes developing in leaves, algae, and yellowing and this tank still hasn't fully bounced back from the massive crypt melt that occurred after adding the Fluval 3.0 light. All the nutrients seem to be going to algae growth. I probably should have drastically reduced my fert regimen after stopping passive CO2 and then increasing light but I feel confident they'll bounce back quickly enough once I get everything sorted. I am finalizing an order of some very nice crypt cultivars for tank #1 which will be the first tank I rescape. Once I get it set back up, I'll post an update and ask opinions on other plants I could add. Then once that one is where I want it, I'll repeat the process on to tank #1. Thanks for looking!

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.

Last edited by Blue Ridge Reef; 01-16-2020 at 05:02 PM. Reason: typo
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