75g Rebuild/Conversion - Input Welcome - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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75g Rebuild/Conversion - Input Welcome

After lurking around here for about a year, I figure what's a better first post than a journal, right?

So this tank has been set up and running for about a year and 3 months. Had plastic for a the longest time then a half baked attempt at switching over to real plants. They were actually not doing too bad until a poor snap decision to bring home some fish from a local chain pet store that in turn brought a breakout of ick. At the same time I had a breakout of blue green algae. So after treating the ick then going through a blackout to battle the BGA, I ended up losing most of the plants and half of the fish.

I'm taking the opportunity to do this now since my blue lobster did not make it through her last molt and my 29g tank is now empty. So it's a great time to move my fish into the 29 and completely rebuild the main tank.

The tank in it's first iteration:

First attempt with live plants (sorry about the reflection):

So now I'm ready to do it right. Here's my equipment so far:
  • Lighting: 3x54w Catalina Aquarium (6.7K, 10K, Plant Grow) - reused
  • Filter: Marineland C-360 - reused
  • Powerheads for additional flow: Maxi-Jet 600 reused and Koralia 1 on the way
  • Heater: 300w
  • CO2: Excel at first, but will go pressurized, looking at Green Leaf Aquariums setups
  • Ferts: Still need to figure this out
  • Substrate: 7 bags of Eco Complete is in transit

Substrate is due to arrive Tuesday, so today I will move the fish. I guess the one thing I'm still not sure about is whether I should keep the filter running or completely clean it out and start with a fresh cycle? My inclination is to keep the filter going but I'm a bit nervous since I've battled ick and the blue green algae 2 months ago, but they are completely cleared up at this point.

I'd love to hear thoughts on my filter question.

Other items:
Rocks are coming out, keeping the driftwood and intend to add a piece of more branch-like driftwood. My wife is handling the layout, she's actually the one the most interested in the plants, I just get the responsibility of the equipment and maintenance
She has some plants in mind, I have to grab her list to add to the post.
Current fish include rainbows, tetras, clown pleco and butterfly loach.

Will post more pics as things move along.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Last edited by saboism; 02-21-2010 at 07:32 PM. Reason: format
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 07:54 PM
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well here is the thing with ich. i can appear in anyones tanks but u should always have a quarantine tank setup for new additions. i have three since i cant seem to stop buying different fish lol

if it were my tank i would leave they filter. the filter is not going to cause you to have algae issues again as long as you clean it once in a while. now cleaning it i mean you take your items out and in the same water from the tank u rinse them in that. like when your doing a water change. then put them back in the filter.

ich is kinda tricky. u may want to run the filter on the tank for a month without any type of fish life in it. what i have been told is that if u do this the ich in the water column will die cuz there is no life to attach to. i dont know if this really works though but the guy has had tank way berfore i was even born.

just take some cautionary steps when doing the tank this time. get a quarantine tank setup right after you have the main tank setup and keep the fish in there for 2 weeks and watch them. why risk disease and deaths of good fish.

real quick the algae thing...you have a pinch over 2 watts which is moderate light. i have the same. plant ALOT OF FAST GROWING STEMS right from the start. rotalas,hydos, ludwigias, swords, lilies, apongotons,cambomba. and some floaters just to soak up nutrients. but keep them minimal. dont want to block out light.

hope i helped

Last edited by problemman; 02-21-2010 at 07:55 PM. Reason: plant
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the thoughts problemman.

I've learned my lesson about the quarantine tank. And it's killing me because the entire time I had/have an old 10 gallon to use as one, I instead chose to be lazy and not cautious and paid the price.

The ick has been gone for a good 2 months at this point, I guess I'm nervous it could be dormant. I do follow your other suggestions wrt to cleaning and such. Outside of the problems described above, my water conditions have always been pretty solid. Again, I got lazy and let an impulse buy take over.

So far, I'm thinking I will move the fish today. Then when the substrate arrives I will empty the tank, add the substrate. Add the existing driftwood piece back. Fill and let filter & powerheads run for a while (a month as suggested perhaps?). Before moving any fish back or adding plants. At that point I hope to have settled on a CO2 solution.

Oh, the light fixture has 2 switches so I can run 1, 2 or all 3. Have been running only 2.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 09:50 PM
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you can add plants right away the ich wont live because plants are in there. they live off living animals. so keep everything except the fish in the tank

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Originally Posted by Cardinal Tetra View Post
I sell plants but not green thumbs, sorry.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Tank pre-move. You can see how little made it through the ick and BGA episode.

Time to catch some fish.

Art (our clown pleco) is not happy

My (not so little) helper. His favorite pastime is chasing debris through the python tubing, and "guarding" the tanks

Only casualty was one of the glass lids that I stepped on while chasing the always elusive butterfly loach. Next time I'll rest them a little farther away.
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