Rescaping a 75g - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Rescaping a 75g

I decided to post this Journal prior to starting a rescape on my 75g. I will be breaking this tank down as soon as I have a place to put its tenants. I will post progress pictures as I go and will be looking for any pointers or help from anyone along the way.

Background on this tank; I started it December 2015. I wanted to get into the hobby and heard a larger tank was the way to go, I had the room so we decided on the 75 and ran with it. This is my first tank aside from a 7.5g beta tank I had which held a $0.05 goldfish my wife "saved" from a stag and doe from a guy who was supposed to eat it. Needless to say that tank was not the right size, I knew nothing about anything and eventually he ended up dying. I did not listen to the countless warnings about taking your time and going slow for this first large build. My wife and I prepared a couple bags of organic potting soil, slapped it in the middle, capped it off with a couple bags of blasting sand, set the couple pieces of decor we picked out and filled it up. We attempted to place a beautiful white pathway under the trees which we almost immediately regretted, you will see how nice that looks now when we get to the "present" pictures.



The tank and lights were bought from a LFS about 45 minutes from where we live, our true LFS's around here are embarrassing to say the least with the worst customer service, advice and store cleanliness you can ask for. This adds to our problem of not getting the right advice when we need it. It is a marineland standard measurement 75g with store bought stand. There is a SunSun 304b running down below with a 750-850GPH Hydro Koralia Evolution circulation pump to help move it all around. The light is a AquaticLife Marquis Dual 54W T5HO and I still to this day have no idea what levels of light I am getting as I have not found a straight answer out there for this. I also have no where to borrow a PAR meter to find out exactly for myself. It has a new 6500K "tropic" bulb and a new "super flora" bulb which I just installed. I have a 20# CO2 tank behind the wall with a CO2Art dual stage reg from the UK which is running well consistently. I made a inline CO2 reactor from a photo taken off the internet somewhere and it seems to do the job, still random micro bubbles here and there. I have the CO2 running so fast that the bubble counter is pointless so that may be causing the bubbles but it is the only way I can keep a decent CO2 level inside the tank.





Once we added the CO2 to the tank I started adding EI ferts. Prior to this I was dosing Excel and Comprehensive as per the label which was OK. The CO2 and EI caused a growth explosion in the tank, everything was propagating and was super green and healthy. Somewhere in there I ended up with BBA. Now I thought at first some of it looked OK, I was not sure exactly what the blue and green fuzz was so I let it go a little bit. Once it attached itself to everything in the tank and started to run ramped I realized how much of a mistake I made. Once the CO2 bottle needed to be refilled I stopped the CO2 and EI ferts as to not exacerbate the BBA issue.

You will notice in the following pictures I still have some in my tank. There is also some brown diatom algae on some of the broad leaf plants, again this would be from the lack of plant maintenance and bulb changing that needed to be done. I removed an absolute ton of the BBA a few days ago, hooked the CO2 back up and began again with the ferts. I want to beef the plants up as best as I can and get the healthiest specimens out of there for the new scape. Here it is today, in all its glory...





So there it is, sorry for the run on here, just wanted to give you an idea of what I have and how the first year has gone.

The future plan is for a complete and total rescape starting by removing the dirted bottom and replacing with an ADA Aquasoil, I am torn between that and the BDBS. I would like some shape to the substrate and am not sure how BDBS will do even with supports in place. I am would like to increase the filtration, I am open to suggestion here, I really like the look and reviews of the Fluval FX6 (and it comes with a free Aquavac) however am afraid that will be mega overkill and the price is insane. Another topic I would love some input on is the lights. I am not sure if I should be adding a second set of 2 T5HO's up there. I was going to go LED until I binge read all of @burr740 's journals and now will be sticking to T5HO. I will post the list of plants I plan on trying to acquire, I will most likely be ordering them as the LFS's around here do not have much selection at all.

Thanks for taking the time to check in and thanks in advance for any advice!

Last edited by ThePlantedMedic; 02-03-2017 at 03:56 AM. Reason: .
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 01:56 AM
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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pictures are broken
Thanks, now I think they're doubled up on there, working to fix it.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 02:09 AM
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Sounds like a plan, good luck!

The 2 bulb Marquis on the factory legs should have you in the 75-85 PAR range directly underneath, a bit less along the front and back. Thats only a guess but should be close.

Id be careful about adding another one/or more T5s because you'll easily end up with way too much light. A supplementary LED might be the way to go, best of both worlds.

The FX6 will not be overkill, but you can adjust the flow if need be.

Other canisters I really like are the Aquatop 500 (or the SunSun 304B which is the generic version) and Hydor Pro 600. Had/have all three and either one would be good on a 75.

Blasting sand will indeed level out over time. Small rises here and there will work, like an inch or two from front to back. But if you want a dramatic slope or hills or whatever, it'll need some support underneath. Never used ADA AS so cant comment on that.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a plan, good luck!

The 2 bulb Marquis on the factory legs should have you in the 75-85 PAR range directly underneath, a bit less along the front and back. Thats only a guess but should be close.

Id be careful about adding another one/or more T5s because you'll easily end up with way too much light. A supplementary LED might be the way to go, best of both worlds.

The FX6 will not be overkill, but you can adjust the flow if need be.

Other canisters I really like are the Aquatop 500 (or the SunSun 304B which is the generic version) and Hydor Pro 600. Had/have all three and either one would be good on a 75.
I did have concerns about too much light with the addition of another T5, so hard to tell when you're just starting out without an actual way to measure it. Learning the hard way with too much light would surely mean a total tank mess. I will look into adding a quality adjustable LED to supplement the current T5, thanks for that advice! I do like the neat nighttime effects some of them offer as well.

I have the SunSun 304b currently but just don't seem to get a decent output on it. I removed the "spray bar" attachment the other day and it helped a bit. I think the size of the tubing in the reactor may be dropping the output as well. I will look at the Hydor as well, I have not come across that one in my research. I am not having a filtration issue although I feel there is still room for improvement there, I would like to increase the flow without adding another bulky circ pump if I dont need to.

Thanks for the input!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 02:43 AM
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Yeah reactors, heaters, anything inline is going to drop the flow some.

Does the reactor have 3/4" nipples and tubing? It doesnt look like there should be much restriction unless the diameter reduces somewhere.

Also how much and what type of media inside will have a big effect. I used to run mine pretty lean. Course sponge in the bottom (think I ordered a second one and used both) 2nd tray was pillow floss in place of those fine pads they come with, then a Purigen bag and bio stuff in the top two, plastic balls/ceramic rings, etc.

Clean it often, every 2-3 months.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Sounds like a plan, good luck!

The 2 bulb Marquis on the factory legs should have you in the 75-85 PAR range directly underneath, a bit less along the front and back. Thats only a guess but should be close.

Id be careful about adding another one/or more T5s because you'll easily end up with way too much light. A supplementary LED might be the way to go, best of both worlds.

The FX6 will not be overkill, but you can adjust the flow if need be.

Other canisters I really like are the Aquatop 500 (or the SunSun 304B which is the generic version) and Hydor Pro 600. Had/have all three and either one would be good on a 75.

Blasting sand will indeed level out over time. Small rises here and there will work, like an inch or two from front to back. But if you want a dramatic slope or hills or whatever, it'll need some support underneath. Never used ADA AS so cant comment on that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Yeah reactors, heaters, anything inline is going to drop the flow some.

Does the reactor have 3/4" nipples and tubing? It doesnt look like there should be much restriction unless the diameter reduces somewhere.

Also how much and what type of media inside will have a big effect. I used to run mine pretty lean. Course sponge in the bottom (think I ordered a second one and used both) 2nd tray was pillow floss in place of those fine pads they come with, then a Purigen bag and bio stuff in the top two, plastic balls/ceramic rings, etc.

Clean it often, every 2-3 months.
The reactor goes from the 3/4 hose off the canister into a 1-1/4" pool style tubing and then reduces back to the 3/4 host to the outlet, not any smaller at the end.

I am due for a filter clean and floss change in this next few days. I will use that post clean to determine what I will be doing for a future filter replacement. I am pretty good at keeping it clean so not expecting a huge change in output.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Getting things ready to rip this aquarium apart.

I purchased a 30G used tank and stand from a buddy to temporarily house the fish. I was going to wait until they were in there to run a fungal treatment however today I noticed one of my rainbows may have pop-eye? I can't get a picture of it to share but it does look rough. I was worried about some whiteness around their mouths as well however that has gotten better. I put 6 tabs of a Tetra Fungal treatment in a couple of hours ago and now the water is blue-green in colour and doesnt look good for an update shot so I will post one when I clear it up a bit.

I removed all of the hardscape in the tank, removed all of the hardware from the tank and scrubbed everything in an effort to manually remove the BBA. I have (so far) not seen any new growth in that department and continue to stay on top of it. I replanted all of the healthy segments of each plant and removed the dead and decaying patches. I think there were enough val's in there to choke a horse. I kept as much as I could to continue to get the plants as healthy as possible incase I decide to use any in the new scape.

My plan of attack from here is to build a new larger CO2 reactor, decide on a substrate (leaning towards BDBS and just doing the root tabs), finding some hardscape and purchasing the new filter. I think I am going to go with the FX6. I will run the SunSun on the 30g in the other room as a "hospital tank", or at least that is how I am going to sell it to the wife... I also will be formulating my flora list and starting the search for that. I have a feeling alot of it will be online order as there is not much around here in the way of LFS especially ones who sell plants.

Will update again when the ball is rolling and when I have pictures to share.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 12:26 AM
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Nicely detailed start to a journal. Looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

Many on here use BDBS substrate, and the bonus is it's cheap.

Nice school of M. Lacustris. Those guys will get much bigger in time.

And by the way, you should mount that power strip in your first post higher up in the stand. You should have a drip loop. As it sits now, it's a real hazard. Power strips and water don't mix well.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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Nicely detailed start to a journal. Looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

Many on here use BDBS substrate, and the bonus is it's cheap.

Nice school of M. Lacustris. Those guys will get much bigger in time.

And by the way, you should mount that power strip in your first post higher up in the stand. You should have a drip loop. As it sits now, it's a real hazard. Power strips and water don't mix well.
Thanks for the reply, I will be tidying up the cabinet when adding everything in and will have the power bar higher.

I was thinking about adding some more of the M. Lacustris to the school. I have two "runts" who just have not grown an ounce since I got them over a year ago. One of them is sick too right now as I spoke to above. Hoping he turns around with this treatment.

I think the BDBS will be the way I go, I will go find some good material for some substrate support so we dont have any landslides.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 03:01 AM
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I was thinking about adding some more of the M. Lacustris to the school. I have two "runts" who just have not grown an ounce since I got them over a year ago. One of them is sick too right now as I spoke to above. Hoping he turns around with this treatment.
There are many beautiful variety of Bows. You might consider adding others, as a mix of colors can create a nice effect. I have some M. Lacustris that are nine years old. Check out my journal to see some pics. They continue to grow, and color up for many, many years.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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There are many beautiful variety of Bows. You might consider adding others, as a mix of colors can create a nice effect. I have some M. Lacustris that are nine years old. Check out my journal to see some pics. They continue to grow, and color up for many, many years.
I am familliar with your rainbows, I have watched and shown the youtube video on your Journals main post multiple times, they are gorgeous. Once the new filter arrives and we get things going I will be increasing my livestock and rainbows of all varieties are on the list, the ones you have are stunning.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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I pulled the trigger on the FX6 today, shipped, should be here shortly. I also cleaned out the 30G temp tank which is also ready to go.

I need some advice here in regards to that. How long should I run the FX6 and the established filter together in order to not need to go through a full new cycle with it? Can I transplant half of the media over for starters and then leave it for a week kind of thing? My hope is to move the fish, plants and SunSun (established) to the 30G to give myself a couple of days to get the 75 broken down and the scape going again. Now that I am reading what I wrote, I should also keep the FX6 running during this time as well to keep the media wet and alive?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-19-2017, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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The filter came in the mail two days ago, got it all set up in between night shifts and ready to go. I mixed some of the ceramic bio rings from the old filter into the new and am currently running both on the tank. The output is significantly higher but not as much as I would have expected, I hope it does not diminish even further when I add all the inline items.

Here it is, please excuse the baron boring tank, I am using it simply for plant/fish growth & health until we get the hardscape picked out and this filter cycles. Also, I know the water looks crumby, I had just done a large water change to remove the anti-fungal and some of the chemical green colour is still lingering, the charcoal cleared it up after a couple of days.





@Greggz I moved the power bar up and out of the way as promised

Nothing to see under the tank at the moment. The filter fits but its cluttered with two filters at the moment.

Also, I ordered the water filter housing for the Cerges reactor I am going to try out. I went with a 20" model as per a suggestion for my tank size. All info for this in one of the Cerges forum's on here. I will take pictures of the process and do a post on how it was setting it up incase someone stumbles across it and has any questions. I hope it works really well, the DIY one I have inline right now is producing crazy amounts of microbubbles ever since I refilled and turned the CO2 on again a few weeks ago.

Stay tuned, I should be starting the remodel within the next week or so... I still haven't decided what look to go for in here, it seems all i do is cruise the pictures for inspiration, I wish I was more artistically minded. This is definitely harder to decide on than I had anticipated.
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