75G transition DIY to pressurized - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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75G transition DIY to pressurized

I've been browsing this site for a few years, but am new to posting. Having seen so many beautiful and inspiring tanks here, thought it would be fun to jump in. Really glad to keep learning from everyone. Here's a 75G I've had for 4 years.

Aqueon 75G
Light: Marineland planted LED
Filtration: Fluval 406
CO2: DIY (2 3-L botles) with ISTA reactor run by Maxi-jet powerhead
Substrate: Ecocomplete capped with torpedo beach
Malaysian driftwood



Flora: Myriophyllum mattogrossense, Ludwigia palustris, Heteranthera zosterifolia, Crypt walkeri lutea, Crypt parva, Crypt wendti 'red', Rotala wallichii, Pogostemon helferi, Bacopa australis, Vallisneria americana var. biwaensis, Cabomba furcata, Staurogyne repens, Hemianthes callitrichoides, Microsorium pteropus v windelov, Anubias nana petite

Fauna: Red cherry shrimp, celestial pearl danio, neon tetra, glass bloodfin tetra, marbled hatchetfish, Otocinclus, panda cory

Sadly, I finally lost the battle with BGA/cyanobacteria. After trying everything (strong circulation, huge water changes, nitrates, etc), including heavy dose of erythromycin, I just hauled everything out, replaced the substrate, and am starting from scratch with pressurized CO2. Should be refreshingly reliable after DIY for so long. Will update as the new tank is set up.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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I cleared absolutely everything out of the tank except the fish and the filter, and ran erythromycin through it. All the driftwood and plants were bleached to eliminate the BGA. I salvaged some of the plants, like some of the vals, but for the most part started over with new plants. Most of these are tissue culture, so will take a while to fill in.

I agonized over substrate for a long time. I just really don't like the appearance of the high CEC plant substrates like red and black ecocomplete, flourite, etc. I wanted a light colored sand with a natural look. Covering the ecocomplete with sand before didn't work because over time, the sand was peppered with bits of red ecocomplete every time a plant was pulled up, making it look even worse.

So despite its limitations for growing plants, I've decided to try for good old inert coarse sand. Some of the plants I want to grow can be tricky, so I really hope I haven't made the wrong decision. But I'll give it my best shot anyway. Some flourish tabs are in place. Fingers crossed

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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The didiplis stems are turning black already. Same problem I had before with large stems and DIY CO2. I thought the pressurized CO2 with the TC didiplis might do the trick this time, but same as before. I guess I'll replace it with something more manageable, like E. stellatus.
Dosing PPS-Pro, but only every other day until the roots grow in properly and the plants begin growing more quickly.
Ammannia senegalensis seems to be growing rapidly from tissue culture.
R wallichii - seems to be holding on, but not much growth
HC - holding on, but not really rooting or spreading much yet...
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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I'm now already regretting going with inert sand as my planted substrate. I should have listened to the experiences of others, but I guess the only way to truly learn is to try it yourself. Some of the plants have rooted and are growing just fine, but many of the species I used to grow with the ecocomplete are just rotting away... Downoi was one that was so easy before and quickly became overcrowded. Exact same light and dosing, and now it is just rotting. Same with several other plants. Ah well. Maybe they'll come up with a high CEC substrate that is a more natural tan or brown color eventually.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlarsen View Post
I'm now already regretting going with inert sand as my planted substrate. I should have listened to the experiences of others, but I guess the only way to truly learn is to try it yourself. Some of the plants have rooted and are growing just fine, but many of the species I used to grow with the ecocomplete are just rotting away... Downoi was one that was so easy before and quickly became overcrowded. Exact same light and dosing, and now it is just rotting. Same with several other plants. Ah well. Maybe they'll come up with a high CEC substrate that is a more natural tan or brown color eventually.
Plants will grow completely fine in inert sand as long as you're feeding them. Some of the plants may just be transitioning, just be patient.
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