Kyle3's 20g/75L Tank Reincarnation - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Kyle3's 20g/75L Tank Reincarnation

Hi all, I've decided the time has come to reincarnate my long running 20g/75L tank. I first bought this tank in 2004 and it has been evolving ever since. But I've decided to take it down to zero and start with a clean slate.

Here's how things are looking right now:
[Photo 1 @ the bottom of this post]

Here's my vision for the rebuild:
[Photo 2,3,4 @ the bottom of this post]
I'm planning to cap the soil with the old flourite that is in the tank now, in the planted corner sections of the tank. In the central open area I'd like to use Pool filter sand (PFS) but I haven't found any in a reasonable volume yet. I have found a material to use to make some "retaining walls" to keep my substrates somewhat separate. It's plastic corrugated board, however I could only find a HUGE piece of it so I'll have enough to do my next 100 tanks (LOL):
[Photo 5 @ the bottom of this post]

I also went beach combing for some driftwood that I boiled for MANY hours:
[Photo 6 @ the bottom of this post]

I've spent some time trying to decide how I'll arrange the pieces but I still need to decide how I'll secure them together. I've thought about using silicone, I've also thought about using screws on the thicker pieces and wiring the thiner ones to those . . . I'd love to hear any suggestions!

I've settled on my plant list, although I still need to find sources for them. (I'm hoping they'll pop up for sale on the forums here but I guess we'll see.) Here's the list:

foreground (low & bushing in the drawing): crypt. parva
mid-ground: mixed crypts (mostly wendtii)
on rocks and driftwood: low- anubias nana and coffeefolia/ high- moss (variety will depend on availability) and microsorum pteropus trident (needle leaf java)
background: crypt. spiralis and/or balanese

I've got some of this in the tank already and I'll plan to use what I have and add the other varieties as I can track them down.

I'm still undecided about fauna. The last fish I had in the tank were an eclectic mix that lived for years, I hadn't added any inhabitants since 2009 and the last fish, an 11 year-old oto, died about a year ago.

I'd like to have a very limited number of species so that I can maximize group size. My first idea was to have CRS and flame tetras. But I loved my otos, and I adored the cories and botia sidmunki that I had in the past so a group of one of them is very tempting . . . BUT I've become such a big fan of keeping the bioload light that I think I really will stick with the original plan. Can you tell I'm pretty undecided??? Ha! I'll figure it out in time I suppose

Other specs:
I have an Eheim heater that I'll continue to use.

Currently the tank has 2 Aquaclear HOBs, on 50 and 1 20 (the smaller one was once on my old shrimp tank.) I plan to purchase a canister filter sometime down the line (the other half doesn't like the sound of running water - who doesn't like peaceful white noise I ask you?!?) But I digress

I have a 20lb CO2 tank and basic GLA regulator, with a few cheap ceramic diffusers that I rotate in and out.

I have 2 30" coralife T-5 fixtures, (only using one right now) with a mix of 6700K and 10,000K bulbs.

Did I leave anything out? Am I planning something silly? I'd love to hear you thoughts and suggestions, I've missed this online community!
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Last edited by kyle3; 07-22-2017 at 09:53 PM. Reason: image repairs after photobucket policy change
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 10:32 PM
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Look forward to seeing your progress
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Kyle3's 20g/75L Tank Reincarnation

Thanks ambe!

Well, it appears my photos don't display on Tapatalk Ö that's going to require some trouble shooting.

In other news I re-wetted my mineralized soul today. 2 down, 4-8 to go (right???) Hope I've got that right


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Last edited by kyle3; 04-18-2017 at 03:26 AM. Reason: Ha soul = soil but too funny to change!
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Hi guys!
The mineralized soil process continues. I started because the weather had been warm and dry enough I thought it would stick around . . . so naturally it has been cold and rainy and we're getting 6-10" of snow this week! Mother Nature has a dark sense of humor!!

But it is progressing:
[Photo 1 @ the bottom of this post]

I also tracked down some pool filter sand for the open space in the center. This stuff was pretty hard to find - which I thought was kinda weird. There was also a HUGE variation in price. I got 50 lbs. from Ace hardware for $13 but I also found 50 lb. bags for over $50! That is nutty, IMO. Anyhow, here it is:
[Photo 2 @ the bottom of this post]

Once the soil is done mineralizing and I've sifted it all to remove all the random junk they include in bags of top soil I'll be ready to make some more strides . . . weather permitting - humpf! 😜
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Last edited by kyle3; 07-23-2017 at 07:22 PM. Reason: image repairs after photobucket policy change
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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I purchased some needle leaf java fern and anchor moss from Daud in the For Sale/Trade forum.

I'm really looking forward to getting the moss started on my driftwood.

If I have to stall for time I might do some windowsill grow out

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Last edited by kyle3; 04-27-2017 at 12:25 AM. Reason: correction
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Old Man Winter is Stupid!!!

My mineralized soil is not progressing:
[Photo 1 @ the bottom of this post]

You can see 2 corners of the tarp I have the soil on in the foreground and the rake is about where the other corner was . . . before it got encrusted in snow and ice.

I am disgusted!v
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Last edited by kyle3; 07-23-2017 at 07:23 PM. Reason: image repairs after photobucket policy change
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 03:31 AM
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If your going with shrimp you may want to look into something like chili rasbora, dwarf spotted rasbora, panda loaches and or otto's. A lot of fish will eat the shrimplets if not the adult shrimp also. Looking forward to seeing this develop.

Dan
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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You know when a project snowballs . . .

Hi Planted Tankers,

Wuuf, did I bite off a lot of work on the tank yesterday! This could end-up being a LONG entry! I recommend grabbing a cuppa whatever you like best

The first thing I got into unexpectedly was the mineralized soil. Our weather cleared up and the wind blew and my soil was ready to be sifted, twice. That's what I do at work so it felt quite familiar: scoop soil into screen, shake, repeat x 1,000,000. I have a high tolerance for tedium - haha!

Here's what that looked like:
[Photo 1 @ the bottom of this post]

Then my Mail Carrier found me playing in the dirt in the back yard, and gave me this:
[Photo 2 @ the bottom of this post]

A lovely package from Daud on of the swapn'shop. The plants were in great shape, great packaging, and few feebies thrown in too. I was pleased as pie.

After I was covered in soil dust I decided to surrender to dirty-job-mode and began tearing apart the tank - ugh!!!

I had planned to temporarily house the plants in a spare 6.5 gallon tank that I have lying around, it is long and low so I thought it would give me the most real estate. After I started pulling out the anubias I quickly realized that I was going to need a lot more room. They had been undisturbed so long that they were incredibly dense and their root mass was insane, most of them had roots that traveled to the far end of the tank under the gravel. I filled a ten gallon tank with them:
[Photo 3 @ the bottom of this post]
They are out of control!

I had suspected the anubias were steeling all the nutrients, because for a while my crypts have been on the decline, just looking very stunted. Mystery solved, they were being choked my the anubias root network.

I put all of them in the 6.5 gallon along with the new plants. I'm hoping a little grow-out time on their own will do them good.
[Photo 4 @ the bottom of this post]
Itís a little murky in there yet.

I also spent a while doing the delicate work of wrapping the new anchor moss and needle leaf java fern onto some driftwood. Again, I excel at tedious tasks
[Photo 5 @ the bottom of this post]

I also spent ages rinsing and sifting the old substrate. I put all the old black gravel in with the anubias- for now. All of the eco-complete went in for the crypts to root in. It was brutal, I saved $30? but was it worth it? Not too sure. But at least I donít feel like I wasted all that perfectly good substrate, so thereís a little satisfaction.

It got late, I had XL raisins where my hands once were and I had had enough so this is what my tank area of the basement looks like right now
[Photo 6 @ the bottom of this post]

I need to deep clean the tank, there is a little bit of green spot to banish and a lot of mineral deposits from our previous house that had very hard well water. Once that is done I can start installing my scape. But Iím tapped for this weekend! Thanks for reading, hope your tanks are treating you right!
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Last edited by kyle3; 07-23-2017 at 07:30 PM. Reason: typos
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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Posted in the wrong thread. Can't figure out how to delete on my phone ��������

Admin: Can you please delete?

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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This tank was on hold until I could find a good block of time to power through the build.

I did it today!!

I have some time lapse videos to edit and then I'll do a proper update to the journal.

here's a teaser of the hardscape:
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 05:54 AM
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I am excited to see it completed now!


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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Alright I figured out how to upload video on youtube!

Here is the link to a time lapse of the tank's reconstruction:
https://youtu.be/WOdCRVpFICY

This is the first time I've made any video of this sort so unfortunately I failed to anticipate that a lot of it would end up shots of my rear end - lesson learned for next time.

The new Sunsun HW 302 canister filter will arrive tomorrow and I'll be able to remove the circulating fan.

The drop checker has already turned yellow (I dialed the CO2 down in response after work today.)

I have my old coralife T-5 fixture running for two 4 hour windows. There is one 6700K and one 10,000K bulb.

I've run into a snag in the tank already (naturally) overnight the water tinted tea color, the driftwood had been boiled a lot and has been in a grow out tank for the last month so I suspect my mineralized soil is the culprit. I did a 50% water change today and that helped a bit. After I get the filter up and running I'll throw in some carbon and see if it helps . . . I'm normally pretty happy to have tannins in the water but I want this tank to stay a bit more crisp looking so I'm annoyed, but I'll get it sorted out in the end

Here's an FTS after filling up and installing the equipment I have on hand:
[Photo 1 @ the bottom of this post]

thanks for reading!
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 05:53 AM
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Kyle3's 20g/75L Tank Reincarnation

Purigen should also help keep your water clear. Things are looking good, new scape is great!
The thing about the video angle made me chuckle.

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opare View Post
Purigen should also help keep your water clear. Things are looking good, new scape is great!
The thing about the video angle made me chuckle.

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Indeed, if the charcoal is insufficient I'll spring for the Purigen ...


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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Dear journal,

The tanins and/or sediment from the mineralized soil has cleared up, but the water is still a tad cloudy. Ordered Purigen.

The Sunsun canister filter is a terrible disappointment. It is terribly loud, no matter what I do. Will do more research on trouble shooting loud impellers but I fear I will have to replace it. I also realized, somewhat sheepishly, that I ordered a much larger filter than I intended. I had two Sunsun's on my Amazon shopping list, one for this tank and one for a larger tank that I've been brainstorming, as a "someday tank" . . . I bought the big one so I have approximately three-times the flow rate that I need for this tank . . . #$*!

Guess I'll save it and buy a smaller one, but because it's so loud I'm not sure which brand to choose! Oh indecision, how you plague me!!!

I've seeded the filtration media with filter media from the old mature tank and I'll begin adding ammonia today to start the cycling process.

Plants are already showing some growth and pearling a bit.

I still need to acquire two more varieties of crypt that I have my heart set on: parva and balansae

I'll post some water chemistry after I've picked-up some ammonia.

Gotta run and plant some apple trees, I'll add a bit more soon!

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