Quietbrook - 135g Low Tech Community Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quietbrook - 135g Low Tech Community Tank

- Background -

Hi everyone, let me start with a bit of background as to why I got started on this tank. I originally had a raised pond I built in the backyard early spring. It was just supposed to be a planted pond with various lilies and a water feature. A few weeks in, the pond is doing well and friends and family want fish in there. Long story short, months later we had several Koi and 4 Goldfish. While the pond itself was large it was not deep; close to 3'. Here in Canada, it wasn't going to work to keep the Fish outside unless the pond was at least 4' or more; so the water won't freeze completely (As I learned later on). With winter coming I wanted to keep them indoors and then build a deeper pond next spring.

Being a student and only working part time the budget wasn't there to get something new or too big. I went with a used 135g on Kijiji which included, Tank, Stand, 6 foot T8 Fixture, & FX5 (no media/filter pads) for $500 (Canadian). It was supposed to be scratch free but unfortunately had lots of little scratches and some bigger ones inside. But given that it was used and one of the better deals available at the time, I can't complain.

So why a planted tank with koi/goldfish? To be honest, I really like the look you can achieve with a planted tank and if I can go with natural plants I was willing to try and experiment. I also kept the Koi & Goldfish with a large variety of submerged, and shallow water plants, so while they nibbled on the watercress, they left everything else alone.

- Intro -


I wanted to started this thread as a journal of sorts to keep track of, and share what I learn as this Aquarium Evolves. I will include the good and the bad so someone else may gain something from it.

My experience in the hobby is still quite lacking as my only other tank was back when I was in grade school. I will be learning as I go so please feel free to make any suggestions or ideas.

One last note, time was really against me as I had just netted the pond due to a weasel that was making visits at night. I wanted to cycle the tank as soon as possible so I could move the fish in. I heard about Tetra SafeStart PLUS but with it being available in the US only, I had to have it shipped near the border and then get it mailed to me. This will take a week, so its the waiting game.


- Day 1 - Sep 11, 2016 -


First Day of Tank Fill up & Cycling


- Additives, Medications, & Supplements -

• Seachem Prime
• Seachem Stability

- Equipment -

• Aquarium 72" x 18" x 24" - 135 Gallon [Pre-owned Turtle Tank]
- Painted Background (Black Semi-gloss w/ 4 coats)

• Black Stand and Canopy [Pre-Owned]
• Fluval FX5 [Pre-Owned]
1st Basket
- Fluval FX5 Fine Filter Polishing Pad [1]
- Seachem Purigen 200 ml
- Seachem Matrix 350 ml
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [2]

2nd Basket
- Biohome Ultimate 1.5 Kg
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [4]

3rd Basket
- Biohome Ultimate 1.5 Kg
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [4]


• EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat - 250W [71 F]
• AquaQuartz Pool Filter Sand #20 - White 100 lbs
• Seachem Ammonia Alert
• Vertex Illumilux Marino Sole 6K - 36" [Pre-Owned - Chopped into Three]
• Aquatic Life Dual T5HO (Roseate + 6000K) - 36" [2 - Pre-Owned]


Last edited by r3quiem; 11-02-2016 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Layout & Text
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-01-2016, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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- Day 6 - Sept 16, 2016 -


Cycling the Tank & First Batch of Plants


Got some plants purchased and ready to go. There were just temporarily dropped in for the time being as I had to go sooner after taking this picture.

At this point in time I made one mistake I plan to never do again. I brought in the Bio-Filter balls from the pond filter to help seed the aquarium so I could cycle faster. This was due to the weasel visiting the backyard pond more often. I figured this was the case because the fish who normally come out during feeding, were extremely skittish and wouldn't come out easily even for food. The Tetra safe start was still a few days away and I wasn't sure how long before the weasel found a way around the netting. I had to leave some small gaps due to a large water feature I could not get around.

What I did to Cycle so far:

+ Temp - 82 F
+ Filter Starter Gel Balls [10]
+ Added Temporary Airstones
- In theory Bacteria Prefer Higher Temp = Less Dissolved Oxygen | Airstones = More Oxygen Through Exchange | More Oxygen + Higher Temp = More Bacteria
+ Seachem Stability - 35 ml Daily

• Seeded Drift Wood from Shrimp Tank
- Had some white fungus but this went away within a few days

x Seeded Bio-Filter Balls from Pond
- Ended up with Dragonfly Larvae and some other unwanted leeches?


- Plants -

• Javafern - Microsorum pteropus - [2]
• Water wisteria - Hygrophila difformis - [2]
• Water Sprite - Ceratopteris thalictroides - [2]
• Amazon sword - Echinodorus grisebachii - [1]
• Anubias barteri - [3]
• Vallisneria americana 'Natans' - [1]
• Red Tiger Lotus - Nymphaea lotus zenkeri - [1]
• Cabomba - [2]

- Scape -

• Malayasian Driftwood - Medium [Seeded]

- Equipment -

• Fluval Q2 Air Pump
• Uxcell Airstone [Temporary]
• Uxcell Airwand [Temporary]
• Bio-Filter Balls [6 - Seeded & Temporary]

Econde and Econde like this.

Last edited by r3quiem; 11-02-2016 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Text & Layout
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-01-2016, 10:41 AM
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Looks like a good start! I wouldn't worry too much about the stuff that came in on the pond filter media. If any get into the tank the fish should make short work of them.

Love the idea of using the tank as an overwinter home for the fish and am looking forward to seeing how it goes. I've wanted to try a large planted goldfish tank for a while now, so I'll be living vicariously through you.

Cheers,
Phil
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PEdwards View Post
Looks like a good start! I wouldn't worry too much about the stuff that came in on the pond filter media. If any get into the tank the fish should make short work of them.

Love the idea of using the tank as an overwinter home for the fish and am looking forward to seeing how it goes. I've wanted to try a large planted goldfish tank for a while now, so I'll be living vicariously through you.

Cheers,
Phil
Thanks for the support Phil. It started out as an overwinter home but after the next post you will see that things did not pan out so smoothly. I was devastated when the day to move the fish came. The weasel got its way with most of them and the ones that survived didn't exactly come out faring much better.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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- Day 10 - Sep 21, 2016 -


Tank Stocked & Prepared with Tetra Safestart Plus


Today was not a good day. I prepared for so long and having had the Tetra Safestart Plus finally come in, I went outside to the pond to gather the fish. I saw a small hole where the net seemed to have been either ripped of moved, anyway I didn't think much of it and started to drain the pond. I found it odd that I only spotted two or three of the Koi/Goldfish out of the ten or so in the pond, but I blamed it on the visibility of the net or them hiding. Little did I realize I would only find half. After draining the pond I saw that only five of the ten survived and that the weasel had come in overnight. I had been watching these ten fish grow out for the past four months or so. They were quite friendly and ate out of my hands even though I only had them for such a short period of time. I really could not believe I only had 3 Comet Goldfish and 2 Koi survive. I lost 5 of my Koi. If there was any silver lining to this, it could only be that the Comet Goldfish had fry, and the 7 or so ghost shrimp I added a long while back all survived in a pond outside.

Having spent a significant amount to make sure I'd have adequate filtration, space, and care for these 10 fish now with the FX5 & FX6 I really wanted to stop and find a way to donate everything. However at this point realistically speaking it was unreasonable to expect that to happen and in the back of my mind I really wanted to continue. I felt I owed it to these guys who managed to make it out alive after all this.

I convinced myself in the end to make this work and turn it into a well planted tank with the survivors and any new additions I would make. I also wanted to grow out the fry and find them a new place. I finally arranged the tank to a state I thought looked alright to start and got them all in there. It was a long day both physically & mentally. Draining the pond, cleaning it all up, setting up the tank and then introducing the fish as smoothly as I could.

As the journal grows I'll make one big post with all my equipment and dosing but for now i'll add any new additions on the days I made/acquired them.


- Livestock -

• Comet Goldfish [2 - Red & White | 1 - Calico]
• Koi [1 - Black, Blue, Red & White | 1 - Orange & White]
• Comet Goldfish Fry [4 Calico | 6 Black]
• Ghost Shrimp [7]

- Injuries -

• Koi had a gouge on his head
• Two of the Goldfish had badly damaged fins

- Lost -

• Koi [5 - Predation - Weasel]

- Additives, Medications, & Supplements -

• Seachem Excel [12.5 ml - Daily]
• Seachem Flourish [30 ml - Weekly]
• Seachem Flourish Advance [30 ml - Every Second Day]
• Seachem Freshwater Trace [30 ml - Weekly]
• Tetra SafeStart PLUS [375 ml - Once]

- Scape -

• Fluval Mopani Driftwood - Large [3] - Medium [1]

- Equipment -

• Fluval FX6
1st Basket
- Fluval FX6 Bio-Foam Pad [2]
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [2]

2nd Basket
- Biohome Ultimate 1 Kg
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [4]

3rd Basket
- Fluval Biomax 1 Kg
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [4]


• EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat - 300W [71 F]
• Uxcell Sponge Filter - Large
• Mag Float


- Day 11 - Sep 22, 2016 -

Pictured Below


Last edited by r3quiem; 11-02-2016 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Text & Layout
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 02:44 PM
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Good luck!

I have to warn you though, some of your plants look like goldfish food, to me. Especially the wisteria and water sprite. I couldn't even keep anubias with mine! Make sure you're feeding them enough veggies of their own.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 03:44 PM
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looking good so far. nice start to the tank. i like the blackness and how big it is. uh oh i dont want to get in trouble with those two words put together. lol itll be fun to see the whole community hanging out
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vanish View Post
Good luck!

I have to warn you though, some of your plants look like goldfish food, to me. Especially the wisteria and water sprite. I couldn't even keep anubias with mine! Make sure you're feeding them enough veggies of their own.
Thanks vanish. I had a feeling the Water sprite might not make it but there was a 40% sale going on all plants at the Local LFS so i thought I'd experiment to see which ones make it. I'll keep posting here on which ones work and which ones end up being a beneficial source of fiber =P

Quote:
Originally Posted by IntotheWRX View Post
looking good so far. nice start to the tank. i like the blackness and how big it is. uh oh i dont want to get in trouble with those two words put together. lol itll be fun to see the whole community hanging out
Appreciate the confidence WRX. For better or for worse I really liked the blacked out background with the white sand. I think it will let the plants and fish really pop once they grow in.

Hope to have another update written up tonight or tomorrow.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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- Day 11 - Sep 22, 2016 -


Some Close up Shots:



One of the Koi & Comets on the day of the transition from Pond to Tank



Shot of one end of the tank. That upright piece of Mopani was a struggle to keep in that position. I had to put small rocks in the bottom to balance and distribute the weight so that it would not tip over. Its still in a precarious position but I'm hoping once its fully soaked in, in a few months, it will stay that way.



This is the other side of the tank. To be honest I am not too fond of the piece near the end of the tank but it gives a good place for the fish to hide and get away from my line of sight if they need to. So i kept it for now.



This is 8 out of the 10 Comet Goldfish Fry in the Tank. They seem to have taken a liking to the moss & fungus on the old seeded driftwood. I take it as a good thing since they had tons of algae to eat in the pond but not much now. I managed to get some fry food for when they've picked the driftwood clean.



Finally some of the Ghost Shrimp that somehow survived in the Pond. They seem to be carrying but now that they are in the tank I doubt the eggs will survive once hatched as the filters don't have fine mesh on the intakes.

Last edited by r3quiem; 11-04-2016 at 04:12 AM. Reason: Layout
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 05:05 PM
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Well, I could be wrong! AquaAurora's goldfish journal has tons of water sprite in it. She does feed them lots of veggies though!


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2016, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I could be wrong! AquaAurora's goldfish journal has tons of water sprite in it. She does feed them lots of veggies though!
You have fair point, from my experience so far the plant they seemed to not get enough of, has been the Cabomba. Its been completely devoured except for the main stem, on both sides of the tank. With the water spirte all they've done so far is dig it up and let it float on one side. The other side has been left alone to grow. Will have pictures up in a couple days.
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