An idiots attempt at a low tech 90 litre - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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An idiots attempt at a low tech 90 litre

This is kind of an introduction post as well as a rambling attempt at a journal.

Many years ago I used to keep Discus / Apistogramma in a large 400 litre planted tank, since then i've kept Poison Dart frogs and ran a reef tank for a couple of years - though this was shut down last year.

Now after seeing a friends low tech planted tank, and his talking about upgrading, I got the bug myself.

Though, unlike the reef tank, I told myself to keep this one on a budget. So far i've sourced a Fluval Roma 90 (dimensions 60cm L x 35cm W x 45cm H), EcoTech Radion XR15FW, Eheim Professional 3 350 external filter second hand (this is still to arrive)

Other things on order and due to arrive tomorrow are 12 litres of ADA Amazonia and a small selection of Manzanita.

I've also fabricated a mount for the Radion myself using galvanised conduit / saddles, aluminium profile, a few bolts and some acrylic paint.

I'm still on the fence regarding an external heater, just to remove any clutter from the tank.







I'll update this as I attempt a scape later this week, though as I have the talent of a potato don't hold out much hope

Cheers
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-01-2017, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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A couple of months in and i've been battling all types of algae, BBA / thread / hair / diatoms - i've dialled back the photoperiod / light intensity / increased water changes to 2 x 25l per week.

Started dosing TNC complete liquid ferts @ 10ml per day along with liquid carbon @ 10ml per day (just to get the algae under control).

Added pressurised CO2 running at 3bps which results in a nice lime green drop checker.

Ordered a second used Radion XR15FW to improve light distribution.

Also removed the Apistos and replaced with German Blue Rams.

20170629_125713 by DEAF N1NJA, on Flickr
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-01-2017, 01:18 PM
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Why did you remove the Apisto's? I think it looks pretty awesome. You're always going to struggle with various forms of algae until the tank reaches some form of equilibrium. If plants are doing well and fish are doing well I probably wouldn't make too many drastic changes. Maybe spot treat occasionally. I also love shrimp as algae eaters and scavengers. Personally I love Oto's, Nerites, Amano's, and any other little critters I can add. The initial algae blooms are a bonus for providing sustenance for these guys as they settle in. I'm dealing with all the same issues in a newly set up 75...along with the addition of fish losses as newly acquired stock is stressed sick etc... I just let it roll until things stabalize... usually a good 6 months. I haven t added CO2 yet, which is probably a good thing as it's one less variable for me to manipulate during this initial period of adaptation and stress
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-01-2017, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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It very quickly moved from low to high tech, and from a simple to more complicated build - my builds always seem to follow the same path.

I agree re : equilibrium, hopefully when it gets to 8 - 12 months the system will be a bit more stable / mature.

The Apistogramma were removed, as the male was bullying the 2 females close to death, the rams seem much more 'placid'.

So my current stocking level is :

10 x Trigonostigma Espei
2 x Microgeophgaus Ramirezi
6 x Corydoras Pygmaeus

I intend to add 4 more Espei and either 6 x Corydoras Hastatus or 4 x Corydoras Panda

Regarding Otos, i'm on the fence with them, not a big fan. However i'd LOVE some shrimp but am told with the Rams in the tank it's a no no as they'll be eaten quickly?
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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From one to two Radions .... :



Having teething problems as although they have both had a factory reset / running the same schedule, the newest one is running a few minutes earlier and at a differing intensity to my original unit.

Also struggling with CO2.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-08-2017, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Glass surface skimmer installed, rid the surface scum in minutes, very impressed. Just the glass lily pipe to install now.

Oh and the GBRs have spawned already.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-08-2017, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gex23 View Post
Glass surface skimmer installed, rid the surface scum in minutes, very impressed. Just the glass lily pipe to install now.

Oh and the GBRs have spawned already.
That's fantastic. I had a GBR and an EBR spawn a couple times for me. The GBR variants never last long for me. 6 months at most. In fact I dont think ive had much luck with Rams at all having killed 4 Bolivians in the last couple of weeks due to cycling issues. Im hoping Apisto Caucatoides will prove more resilient for me. I have always wanted them. I'm hoping to acquire and maintain a harem in my 75. Which Apisto's did you have? How do you like that atomizer? I only have a canister on one of the 75's that I plan to use pressurized CO2 on so I considered using a large atomizer from GLA in both, but they are pricey. Any shots of the GBR's? What is your PH with and without CO2?
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Cheers mate, hoping they last longer than 6 months but they're well known for being fussy and having a short life span. I think the RODI water which naturally softens the tank water helps them. If they do pass and I have to replace it'll be with Chequerboard Cichlids.

In this tank I had Apistogramma Nijsseni. In the past i've kept A. Cacatuoides, Macmasteri, Agassize and Panduro.

I'll get the water parameters up later for you.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Have 2 - 300 free swimming GBR fry now, obviously none will make it but it's nice to witness.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Top Shot by DEAF N1NJA, on Flickr
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 05:04 PM
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Have 2 - 300 free swimming GBR fry now, obviously none will make it but it's nice to witness.
You have that in the tank now?! That's incredible. Not interested in raising them? Your tank looks incredible already. Doesn't look like theirs too much growing in needed lol
As to shrimp I don't agree at all. I had a massive colony of RCS and Maybe 6-7 amano shrimp in my 75 with Rams (Bolivian and German) Angels, Congo Tetras and some smaller tetras. With a heavily planted tank like that there is no way those GBR are going to get all of them. The Amano's I would think would be fine as long as you got a decent size. I got my colony of RCS going to by dumping 5-6 culls from my PFR tank at a time. You didn't see more than 5 or 6 during the lights on period unless you moved a piece of driftwood... then it was 30-40 scrambling like fire ants. I'm going to set up another colony in a small tank soon just to have a colony from which to populate the tanks with. Maybe a little 12◊12 cube. Maybe even the 11.4 if I can rehomed the reclusive puffer.

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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-21-2017, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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You have that in the tank now?! That's incredible. Not interested in raising them? Your tank looks incredible already. Doesn't look like theirs too much growing in needed lol
As to shrimp I don't agree at all. I had a massive colony of RCS and Maybe 6-7 amano shrimp in my 75 with Rams (Bolivian and German) Angels, Congo Tetras and some smaller tetras. With a heavily planted tank like that there is no way those GBR are going to get all of them. The Amano's I would think would be fine as long as you got a decent size. I got my colony of RCS going to by dumping 5-6 culls from my PFR tank at a time. You didn't see more than 5 or 6 during the lights on period unless you moved a piece of driftwood... then it was 30-40 scrambling like fire ants. I'm going to set up another colony in a small tank soon just to have a colony from which to populate the tanks with. Maybe a little 12◊12 cube. Maybe even the 11.4 if I can rehomed the reclusive puffer.
Unfortunately I can't see any fry and the parents seem to have given up on them. First batch though so will see what the next spawn brings.

I think 'incredible' is a little generous, it must be the flattering photos , I topped and tailed the Rotala Wallichi so that needs to grow and fill in the back, also have Rotala Rotundifolia, Macranada, Bangladeshi and more Wallichi on the way.

Re: Shrimp - i'm very tempted to go and collect some CRS or Amano shrimp tomorrow, but at £2 - 3 per shrimp here i'm worried they'll end up as expensive fish food.

The Espei seem to be maturing and colouring nicely, unsure if i'll add anymore fish.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-21-2017, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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A screenshot of my Radion schedule via Ecosmartlive

ESL by DEAF N1NJA, on Flickr
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Added a few 'red rill' shrimp.

Crossing my fingers they don't become expensive fish food.
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