PRSRocker3390's 75 Gallon -- Lots of pics! Need Suggestions! (56k) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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PRSRocker3390's 75 Gallon -- Lots of pics! Need Suggestions! (56k)

This is my journal for my 75 gallon low tech tank. I started this tank on January 29th, 2010. Please feel free to leave me comments, suggestions, or questions. First I will list all the details of the tank and then show you some pics from start up until the most recent photos I took today. I am working with a basic HP digital camera so please forgive me on quality. My pics are nice, just not "professional" nice.

Let me start with the all the equipment (I know it's boring...you want pics!):

75 Gallon All-Glass Aquarium with Glass Top

Aqueon Triple Tube T8 Fixture - All three bulbs are 6700k and 32 watts each

Rena XP3 filter using spraybar with the following setup:

- Bottom tray - 2 Rena coarse pads and 2 fine pads

- Middle tray - A bunch of ceramic rings and half the bio-stars that came with the filter, a filter bag of crushed coral for kH and pH buffering, and then poly floss filling up a lot of the extra room.

- Top tray - The bottom half with the rest of the bio stars and some more rings, the top half with a 100ml bag of purigen, some more floss, and topped off with a Rena Micro-Filtration Pad.

Rena Smart Heater 300 watts

Hydor Koralia 2 Powerhead ( 600 gph) placed on opposite side of tank from spraybar.

Original Seachem Flourite (about a 3" deep bed throughout)


Now I also dose dry fertilizers every so often. I don't seem to have a real schedule with it. (I know that is not good) I try to dose KNO3, KH2PO4, and K2SO4. I don't really do micros anymore. I have root tabs if needed for heavy root feeders but everythings seems fine right now. I occasionally put either a small dose of Plantex CSM+B or just a bit of Equilibrium for the trace elements and I seem to be alright.

Water Parameters (last time I checked, don't know when):

Water Temp - 80 degrees Fahrenheit
Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 15 ppm
pH - 6.6
KH - 4
GH - 8

The fish in the tank right now as of today:

9 Harlequin Rasboras
8 Cardinal Tetras
3 Otocinclus
2 German Rams
1 Dwarf Gourami (soon to be iso'ed, seems to be a little sick)
And a whole mess of MTS to help aerate my flourite.

Plants include as of today:

Java Fern (Regular, Needle, and a tiny bit of Windelov)
Rotala Rotundifolia
Sunset Hygro
Anubias Nana
Vallisneria (pretty sure just americana)
Red Ludwigia
Various Crypts (need some ID's)
Some Duckweed and Frogbit for floating plants

I think that sums it up pretty much for now. Let me put some pics up in chronological order from start up to present day. I'll post pics up in a second post, this is long enough. I'll have them up in 5 minutes.


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Last edited by PRSRocker3390; 04-15-2010 at 01:36 AM.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 12:57 AM
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Can't wait to see, I just started a 75 gal low tech as well, so I can't wait to see how mine could possibly look like!

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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1-29-2010


As of 2-4-2010



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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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The latest change in the setup that I should mention is I was having an outbreak of BBA on my manzanita. I used excel on it and it is pretty much all gone as you can see. Good thing is my vals didn't melt like they could of from using excel. I was happy with that. Also since the outbreak, I removed one bulb and I am now only using two bulbs over the 75 and after a little over a week, growth still seems to be awesome and algae seems to have died back for now. Let me know what you guys think of the tank so far. Also if someone could ID that one crypt I took a close up of, that would be great. It is growing very low to the substrate and put out a lot of leaves since planted. I planted all my crypts about a month ago only using the roots. All leaves were cut off upon receiving them so the growth you see happened in only a month. I thought the growth seemed pretty fast, healthy, and impressive minus the little bouts of algae I had. Although there hasn't been a lot, I still aim to get my tank to be algae free in the long run.


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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 02:25 AM
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your plant are so healthy and growing so fast


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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Anyone have some ideas as far as stocking? A lot of comments I get say the tank is beautiful but the fish are boring. I am adding more and more a little at each time. I plan to have at least 11 more rasboras to make a total of 20 and get a couple more otos. Other than that I have no idea. People tell me I like fish that are way to small for a tank like this. lol


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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Well I took a recent water test to see what is going on in my tank lately. I haven't added anything for fish lately but I want to so I took a check. I recently noticed my ph creeping up and can't figure that out but I don't want it to do this. I had it stable at 6.6 and I was happy. The only thing that happened lately was last week I slacked off on topping off the tank and the spray bar was splashing when it usually doesn't. Possibly the surface aggitation may have caused any natural co2 to gas off and raise the ph. I am not sure. Regardless in was only splashing for a few days until I filled it to help make some aggitation to break up the surface scum I get from too long of no surface aggitation. I don't think that cause the issue though. I use power filter on other tanks with the same setup and they splash 24/7 since they are power filters and the ph remains acidic and stable. Who knows? I use crushed coral in all my filters to buffer my water because my kh in my tap or RO is barely at 1 dkh if it even is and it without it at about 3 dkh, the ph won't move slowly, instead it swings in my tanks. I also changed about 40% of my water last month with RO. I am using only RO for now on because my tap has a high TDS and seems to trigger a brown algae bloom...QUICKLY! Last I checked the ph in the RO supply is 6.2 and my tap is about 6.0 after it sits for 3 days. Because of this, I am thinking the crushed coral I added might have been too much. I removed the majority of it and left some in there. My Kh today after a week since I removed the coral is about 3 dkh, maybe a tiny bit less, kind of in between 2 and 3 it seems.

So lets get down to it.It has been a few weeks since I checked the readings of my tank, but after today's test they are currently:

Nitrates 15 ppm
Nitrites 0 ppm
Ammonia .5 ppm ( I don't even know where that came from)
pH 7.0 !! ( Highest pH any of my tanks ever had. They have all been naturally acidic. Plus I keep them this way because of my German Rams and also most of the fish I have are acidic loving.)
kH 3

The only thing that happened was last week, there was a bit of an accident. A good handful size of granule food fell in the tank. My container of food was put on the glass top of the tank on one side and like an idiot...woops, knocked it over but caught it after a good amount fell in. A tenth of my container I'd say. The fish ate alot of it but probably not all. I didn't do a water change because I figured if I cut food for a few days, the tank would remain stable and barely change. Well the tank is stable but there was some small changes in parameter. Could this be the culprit of the changes? I know it could cause a raise in ammonia and phosphates, but could that have effected the ph and kh? I might just do a water change tomorrow. Hopefully 15 to 20 gallons I will change out and see where that takes me.

Anyway, I am also planning to set up a diy lunar light system. I've made a small one before for a 20 but never for a 75. I am currently planning the placement and gathering parts. Then hopefully in the next couple weeks, I should have it wired, placed, and running.


EDIT: I also changed out the carbon that the Rena XP3 uses stock and replaced it with 100ml of purigen a few weeks ago. Could this be a possible factor in the changes? I am just trying to narrow it down and remember anything I changed and made different than the normal setup I was using.


Bryan


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Last edited by PRSRocker3390; 03-19-2010 at 02:45 AM. Reason: Forgetful....
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Just installed my DIY lunar lights. They came very good and I couldn't be happier with my work. I will take pics of them in action and pics of the actual led setup I made. I will try to get those up as soon as I can and remember.

Also did a small water change of 15 to 20 gallons the other day. I used straight RO which is what I am using for now on. I am basically slowly converting the tank to all RO over time when you think about it. It started with all tap and I am now just doing water changes with RO. I have already added 50 gallons of RO since I decided to go this route and my brown algae problem is unheard of. My tap water was the culprit in that case. Well I tested my water after the change and got these results:

Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 10 ppm
pH - 7.0 (...still, but hey I can't complain about neutral but I am sure my rams can )
kh - 2
gh - 10

I tested my RO supply and the kh and gh are both register about less than 1 degree. The ph of the RO is 6.4. Do you guys think I should just remove my crushed coral altogether. My kh will be non-existent but I guess my ph will go back to acidic where I want it. I don't inject co2 so I guess the kh being 0 or 1 should be fine and I shouldn't experience any ph swings. My other tanks that use only tap need crushed coral because the kh of my tap is about 1 if that and my tap ph is about 5.8-6.0, so I buffer my water a bit to get it up to the 6 range of ph level. But I digress, this tank is a different story. Any opinion, comments, suggestions, etc. Let me know.

Thanks,
Bryan


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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Something I noticed today that I would like to share. There is one plant that is just growing like a monster. This would be my vallisneria americana (at least I think so). I only put one in there about a month ago or so. Definitely no more than 2 months max. The val in this time has sent out a runner from the back of the tank and it just keeps traveling everyday to the point it is at the front of the tank now. It put out about 6 daughter plants out and seems to put a new one out each week. Once the daughter plant pops up, in about another week that plant becomes roughly a nice 6 inches. It's crazy. I have sunset hygro and frogbit that grows slower than that. I love it. It is so cool to watch because everyday it gets bigger and bigger. I even used excel 3 times last month to irradicate some algae from an initial ammonia spike and it didn't even show signs of melting. It just kept growing like nothing happened. Another explosive grower are my crypts and I use no root tabs currently, just straight flourite and dry ferts. I would almost say they are the second fastest with noticeable growth in at least one each day (especially that crypt I can't ID). I use no co2 and such low light and I have the best growth since starting the hobby. This is my second tank and I am glad I took this route. It has been such healthier than my high tech, which just wasn't for me. Maybe I just couldn't keep up. I don't know but I'm very happy with this tank now.

I will have to try to get some new pics up soon. I keep trying to but time doesn't seem to let me and by the time I can, I'm exhausted. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day. Thanks to all who read all my thoughts and progress with this tank. I hope you all enjoy it like I do.

Bryan


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Last edited by PRSRocker3390; 03-22-2010 at 04:47 AM. Reason: I always find something to revise
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 03:37 PM
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You have plenty of real estate there What is the brightly colored fish in this photo?




I have been looking for maybe one more centerpiece fish for my tank and haven't found a name for this one but I think it would be absolutely perfect for my needs.


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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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It is a German Blue Ram. I have a pair of them and might introduce a second pair in little more time. They are beautiful and interesting fish but they are sensitive to bad water conditions so make sure your tank is well cycled as a bit of advice. My rams are now a little over a year old and still very active and hardy.


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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone have ideas as far as a foreground plant? Something that would work in this low light setting. I know dwarf sag works but it gets too big for me. I want something that will stay lower but bushy. Maybe staurogyne sp. ? I don't know. Throw me some ideas if you could.

Thanks,
Bryan


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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 01:21 AM
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What about grassy? Lilaeopsis mauritiana might be a nice choice, and something a little "different" since it doesn't seem that many people have it... I've got some in my 29gal that I really like, though.





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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds nice but I never can seem to get any kind of micro sword to grow in my tanks. They always seem to just grow very slow and unhealthy looking. Maybe I'll try again with this species if I find any for sale.


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