Walt_Mink's 50G - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Walt_Mink's 50G

Hello all,

I'm a bit of an accidental aquarist, so forgive me if I stumble a bit. You see, my daughter came home from kindergarten with a goldfish one day last fall unannounced to me. I suspect she and my wife were in cahoots. I went out and bought a cheap 1.5 gallon tank thinking this experiment would go away soon enough. Welp, as you might suspect, "Goldie" went to heaven pretty quickly. The lesson in life went pretty well for the little one, but it didn't take too well on my wife's part. She convinced me that "we" needed to keep fish and "we" needed to do it well. So, after a quick trip to a very good LFS I came home with a 10 gallon tank complete with those things that fish need like filters, heaters, and whatnot. Turns out, I had some learning to do.

Fast forward a year and a half and our 10 gallon continues to thrive and has been upgraded to a low tech planted tank with a canister filter and a bunch of happy inhabitants. Job done. Except now, I have the itch for bigger and better ... soooooo ....

I found a nice corner that's perfect for a 50G acrylic and started buying parts.

Hardware:
50G SeaClear tank
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 SE 36"
Fluval 406 canister
Hydor ETH 300 Inline Heater
Fluval Sea CP3 Circulator
GLA Pro1 CO2 Regulator
5 Pound CO2 Tank
Atomic Inline Diffuser/ Check valve
AQUA Pearl Drop Checker
Milwaukee MC122 PH Controller
Flourite Dark Substrate

I also built myself a stand out of 1.5" 16ga square tube.

So far, there's not much in it. I just got an annubis, a dwarf sagittaria, and a sword plant sitting in there. I'm still working on how I'm going to design the hardscape, pick plants, and then I need to consider the fish (obviously). I've got plenty of time to think while the tank cycles, although I seeded the filter with media from my established tank, so it should move pretty quickly. I'm on vacation in a couple of weeks, so I'll wait to add fauna until afterwards.

Here's the obligatory photo. Note, it will have trimmed out covers added to the stand pretty soon. I'm just waiting for my buddy to return my biscuit joiner. It'll have a bottom hinged front cover that will secure with some neodymium magnets at the top with an easy to access tray for foods and chemicals. The hinges will be quick release so that I can get full access without much trouble.

That's all for now, I'll add more once I figure out what I'm going to stick in there.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 04:14 PM
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Welcome to the world of multi tank syndrome! Looking forward to see what you do. Did I see you open for Babes in Toyland in the early '90's?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sharkbunnie View Post
Welcome to the world of multi tank syndrome! Looking forward to see what you do. Did I see you open for Babes in Toyland in the early '90's?
Ha ha - I just happened to be listening to El Producto when I picked my first BBS user name in the mid 90's and the rest is history. Them and Babes would be a great show though.

Thanks for the welcome!

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 07:06 PM
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You need to take those plants out of that plastic planting cups, then get rid of the cotton filler crap in the roots. Otherwise they will die from not being able to spread roots. Also i always trim the roots down then plant. Smaller plants like crypts or any grass like plants you want to break down into lots of little plants and plant them all around.


What gravel do you have in there? Any plans of ferts? I use a jebao dosing pump to do my ferts so i never forget.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slythy View Post
You need to take those plants out of that plastic planting cups, then get rid of the cotton filler crap in the roots. Otherwise they will die from not being able to spread roots. Also i always trim the roots down then plant. Smaller plants like crypts or any grass like plants you want to break down into lots of little plants and plant them all around.


What gravel do you have in there? Any plans of ferts? I use a jebao dosing pump to do my ferts so i never forget.
Yes - thanks - I got them all planted this morning, although I didn't trim the roots down. Should I pull them back up? I tied the Anubias off with some string into a hole on the spider wood and just planted the sword and sag into the substrate.

I'm using Seachem Flourite Dark for the substrate and do plan on doing some ferts. I have some Flourish tabs and liquid that I plan on using, but I suspect I'll have to add in some others as I learn more. A dosing pump in in the plans for sure, but I want to get a better handle on the topic before I make the investment.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 06:35 AM
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I bet untrimmed is fine. Jabeo pump is cheap and pretty reliable.

Also in order to ballance out the tank before you really start dosing you are gonna want way more plant mass. Its hard to not do an algea farm with a couple plants. Get some quick growers and get some other guys. I dont know how well florite is for carpeting plants but id buy some crypts and some stems for sure.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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A little bit of progress this afternoon.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Welp, the cycling is all done, so I've begun stocking the tank. This far we have:

1 Hillstream Loach (another on the way)
4 Rasbora Hets (was 5, but I lost one to columnaris)
10 Glowlight Tetras
1 Zebra Nerite
2 Tiger Nerites

As mentioned, I have a bit of an issue with columnaris. My wife noticed a white locked jaw on one of my Hets and he was gone in a couple of hours. I started dosing with Kanaplex (infused food pellets with Focus), so that should hopefully help things out. I'll run the full coarse just to make sure no one else has any bugs. I also have 4 Panda Corys that are living in my smaller tank - they'll go in once I'm sure the columnaris is gone.

As for the plants, I'm seeing some melting, some BBA, and my Monte Carlo is kaput. I've had to cut down on the level of CO2 that I'm injecting in order to keep the PH at (or above) 7. This is because I was having a hard time getting the tank to cycle well when it was under that. Now that the cycle seems to be stable I'm slowly dropping the PH back down. It seems like my tank has become prone to PH crashing somehow. I notice that my KH is 1, so I've added a bit of sodium bicarbonate to bring it up to 3 or 4. That seems to be helping, but I am concerned that I won't be able to reach my CO2 goals without dropping the PH down to 6. Probably not terrible, but I'll do it slowly and carefully. I've also added a Jaebo dosing pump and am using the NilocG LIQUID NPK+M ferts along with Flourish.
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