New 65 Gallon, Medium light - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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New 65 Gallon, Medium light

I just moved to a bigger place last month, so I have to set up my tank again. This time I plan to use different substrate, different plants, and different fish.

Today I started on the substrate. Two weeks ago I dug some topsoil out of the empty planter bed next to the patio, where earthworms had been leaving castings at random places, where the dirt looked good, and where I could dig just the top inch or less of topsoil from scattered places to avoid a hole. I ended up with about 1 1/2 gallons of dirt. Then, in spite of cold damp climate I mineralized it, by soaking and drying it a couple of times. The end result was dirt with no smell.

To increase the nutrients in the soil I mixed in a pound of worm castings, from Amazon. Then, when I didn't find the dolomite I wanted I bought a small bag off azomite, a dolomitic rock with a variety of of trace elements in it. This was my first layer - just a very thin coat over the bottom of the tank. Next was the enriched mineralized topsoil, about a 1/2 to 1 inch layer. The photo above shows that stage.

I found a local Tractor Supply store and bought 2-50 pound bags of medium grit Black Diamond blasting grit (about $16 total), which will be added tomorrow.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 04:37 PM
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Good luck and I will definitely be following this one. I hope your move went well.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 01:03 AM
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Oh, a Hoppy journal. I have been waiting for this! I'm sure I missed some along the way though. The 65g is not a size I am particularly familiar with though.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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My first plants arrived early today, a day before they were supposed to, so I had to rush to get the Black Diamond washed and into the tank, fill the tank with water, and set out the plants. I got about 20 H. pinnatifida planted now. I also got a small plastic cup of some crypts grown by tissue culture, which are really tiny. I may set them out tomorrow.

I'm trying some slopes in the substrate this time, just to see if I can keep them from all leveling out over time.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 04:37 AM
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Nice! Looking forward to seeing what you do here.


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Oh, a Hoppy journal.
Exactly what I thought! Hah


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Today was difficult! I have a SunSun 302 filter, which has been in use for 4 months. When I set it up again I had every type of trouble this filter is known for. Getting it to start was very difficult. Then the hose disconnect at the filter blew off, spilling a lot of water. Then it leaked from the housing, probably from the O-ring around the top of the housing. Then it just kept seeping water out. So, I no longer trusted it to work again without a big spill some night when I'm asleep. That filter cost me $55, so I visited AquaWurkz to see what I could get. I ended up spending $160 on a API (formerly Rena) Filstar. I got that installed in less than an hour, it primed the first try, it has a higher flow rate than the SunSun, and it works like a charm! I got what I paid for.

Meanwhile, my next batch of plants, Myriophyllum mattogrossense, arrived a couple of days early. Those are now planted, and tomorrow I should get the DIY CO2 system up and running.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Today was difficult! I have a SunSun 302 filter, which has been in use for 4 months. When I set it up again I had every type of trouble this filter is known for. Getting it to start was very difficult. Then the hose disconnect at the filter blew off, spilling a lot of water. Then it leaked from the housing, probably from the O-ring around the top of the housing. Then it just kept seeping water out. So, I no longer trusted it to work again without a big spill some night when I'm asleep. That filter cost me $55, so I visited AquaWurkz to see what I could get. I ended up spending $160 on a API (formerly Rena) Filstar. I got that installed in less than an hour, it primed the first try, it has a higher flow rate than the SunSun, and it works like a charm! I got what I paid for.

Meanwhile, my next batch of plants, Myriophyllum mattogrossense, arrived a couple of days early. Those are now planted, and tomorrow I should get the DIY CO2 system up and running.



My sunsun being a hassle is half the reason I went with a filterless Walstad approach.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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I can remember when I used to start setting up my tank in the morning and finishing before dinner. Something changed over the years?? Today, I got the DIY CO2 system installed, but not yet up to full output. And, I added about 2 ppm of ammonia to the tank to get the nitrogen cycle started. Usually I just use a few small fish to start it, but I wanted to see how this fishless method works.




Also, I ordered a few more plants, including lucking out on a very good RAOK on that forum.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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More plants added, from a very good RAOK by Doogy262 and from Bartohog. In a few more days or weeks I plan to add a few more. My fishless cycling is proceeding as expected.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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The M. Mattogrossense has grown to the top already, so it's time to prune them and set out the cuttings to make the planting more dense. The other plants are looking ok, but not doing a lot of growing yet. I'm still adding ammonia every two or three days to keep the level at 1-2 ppm. That's ok, because I'm still not doing a lot of planning about what fish to keep.

My DIY CO2 system is working very well, keeping the CO2 level around 15-30 ppm constantly.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Progress: All but the H. pinnatifida are growing now. The ammonia is not yet being consumed rapidly enough and more plants are on their way from For Sale forum here.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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All of the plants are there now, after setting out some red Crypt wendtii and a few Pogostemon erectus. Everything is working at growing, except the H. pinnatifida, which is reluctantly starting some new growth. My fishless cycling is proceeding with the ammonia dropping pretty quickly now, down to near zero, but I no longer have a nitrite test kit, so I plan to wait a week or two more to make sure that bacteria has established itself.

At this point I plan a dozen or so small corys, a dozen or so Zebra Danios and probably about a dozen Rasboras, the harlequin variety. None are expensive, or hard to keep, which is always a major consideration for me.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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I finished a semi-DIY PAR meter today, and finally verified how much light I have. It is 40-50 PAR, 50 at the center, dropping off a bit off the center. So, this really is a medium light tank, as I was pretty sure it is. The light is a Finnex Planted +, the original model, not the latest version.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 12:35 AM
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Do you run your co2 continuously or is there a solenoid to turn it on and off?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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I run it continuously. So far I don't see any evidence that I have more than 30 ppm of CO2, probably no more than 20 ppm, so it does no harm to run continuously. That also helps a bit in preventing BBA from starting. I may start using Excel (Metricide) regularly too, in a week or so.

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