125gal low tech scruffy-scape (photo heavy) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Talking 125gal low tech scruffy-scape (photo heavy)

I don't know all the technical names and jargon so forgive me for not using them! lol

My 125gal tank.
It's 6ft long about 2ft deep and 18 or 19inches wide.
Just bought new LED lights for it off of amazon. I have no idea the wattage.. I just know it's brighter, YAY! lol Was just using cheapo t8 single tube lights that came with the tank b/c my t5 lighting burnt out and we were cheap and didn't want to replace them.
This tank has been set up for 8 years and it used to be high tech, but after my tank crashed and burned (mysterious fish death that killed most of my fish) and then not doing research and buying fish that completely annihilated my plants.. I just lost interest in the tank. Having 3 kids and then having to take care of 3 small children also helped to keep my interests elsewhere lol.
I did the bare minimum to keep it going.

Back at it again though!

Plants currently in the tank...
Crypts.... I have NO idea what kind they are (green wendtii probably?). All but one of them came from my 55gallon tank. The other crypt I recently purchased online but can't remember what kind it is.
Amazon swords... regular and compacta
Cabomba
Corkscrew vallis
Jungle vallis (recently purchased online. It had melted to just a single little leaf. It's still small, but finally growing)
Aponogetons? I think... They're from those little pack of bulbs you can get at Petsmart. 3 of them have sprouted. One has thin leaves and another has thicker. I'll try to get photos of them once the water has cleared.

Current Fish...

Barbs (tiger, albino tiger, green, black ruby, red & green glofish)
2 golden panchax killifish (hoping to add about 4 more)
BN plecos (think there are around 8, all regular colored except for 1 albino)

Want some loaches in the tank but still deciding which ones. Leaning towards dojo, but haven't settled on those just yet. Would also love around 4 siamese algae eaters if we could ever find any. It's always chinese algae eaters or otos. /grumble





I'm terrible at aquascaping so I'll just say that I'm going for a more natural look.... lol
Ordered a few more plants for the background that should be here tomorrow. Just really need something that will give some cover at the top for the killifish. A lot of the new stuff will probably be going on to the left side of the tank where all of the crypts are. Don't want to block the light from the swords.

And erm.. what else. I just started dosing with excel.. or well it's called metricide? Saw that it was the same thing as Flourish Excel but a little more concentrated. Cheaper and you get a gallon of it which should last me forever. Battling black beard algae right now. I think it's from the extra water changes and stronger light. Hopefully it gets back under control from the dosing and once the faster growing plants are in the tank.

Substrate is a mix of sand and eco complete. And I have some dry ferts left over from years ago that I'll start using. I just used some today and turned my water yellow from the chelated iron powder. Oops.
Also using flourish root tablets as well.

Ok.. I've rambled on enough. Hopefully I'll have a nice lush planted tank again. I'll keep this updated if the kidlets don't distract me too much

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Last edited by lisals; 06-29-2017 at 05:42 PM. Reason: spelling error
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post #2 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 10:24 PM
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I love tanks like that, following along!


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post #3 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-23-2017, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Welp, my plants haven't come in yet /grrrr
And the water is still yellow. It's unsightly but I'm not worried about it.
One of the red glolight barbs isn't looking too hot though. We decided to just add in new barbs to the big tank. Hopefully it won't get the other fish sick b/c of our decision.
Looking through a lot of journals here.... I wish I had the patience to do some of these aquascapes. So pretty!
I'm happy with mine though for the most part. It's messy, but that's ok
I'll update again soon.. hopefully with photos of my new healthy plants in the tank.

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post #4 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-23-2017, 01:52 PM
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I would advise against SAE, they don't do much for eating algae, except when they're about an inch long. Then they start eating fish food... and plants.

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post #5 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-23-2017, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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I would advise against SAE, they don't do much for eating algae, except when they're about an inch long. Then they start eating fish food... and plants.

SAE do that? Well poop. I heard they were good for algae. And I know the Chinese ones get a bit aggressive when they get bigger. Hrmm.. oh well. Best to learn that now before getting any Thanks!

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post #6 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-23-2017, 02:42 PM
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SAE do that? Well poop. I heard they were good for algae. And I know the Chinese ones get a bit aggressive when they get bigger. Hrmm.. oh well. Best to learn that now before getting any Thanks!
They eat algae for the first 2-3 months, then they're useless lol. Better off with otos and a bristlenose.

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post #7 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-23-2017, 02:52 PM
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They eat algae for the first 2-3 months, then they're useless lol. Better off with otos and a bristlenose.

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What about flag fish?


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post #8 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-23-2017, 03:01 PM
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What about flag fish?


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I don't see why not, they eat algae, and they can hold their own with the barbs.

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post #9 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Alrighty.. so I FINALLY got my plants in yesterday... 2 days late. I'm sure if they had gotten here when they were supposed to, they would've been in much better shape. Sigh...


I don't think I'll order from this place again. Not that it was really their fault that the shipment was delayed, but this is the 2nd time their jungle val has come in not looking so hot. I'm pretty sure these are dead, but I put them in the tank anyway just to see if they'd come back. I cut off all the dead leaves and put them right up front so I could keep an eye on them.


Not holding my breath that they'll suddenly start growing lol. I did send a request to get my money back.

Also got this stuff and boy is it ugly and scraggly and gross looking. Myrio? I think that's what it's called.

I left a few of it in the 125 but put most of it in to my 55 gallon. I may transfer it back over as soon as I figure out where to put it.

The ludwigia looked nice though thankfully. A few leaves popped off, but overall they still looked alive at least lol.
I bought ovalis? and dark red... they both look the same to me lol. Oh well. Still nice



I also bought some wisteria from Petsmart yesterday. Forgot to get a pic of it.
And we returned the poor dead red glofish barb and bought a few more of them.


As you can see from those pics.. the tank is still pretty yellow and after the water change, the water got pretty cloudy for some reason. I've been dosing with excel and that always seems to make my water cloudy so maybe that's why?
Here's during the water change. You can see just how yellow is was lol.

And from this morning


And finally.. what I'm most happy about right now... my cabomba! This was just a single little scraggly stem in my 55 gallon that had been in that tank for a few years. I moved it over to this tank about a month? ago and once I started dosing this tank w/ some ferts and got in the better lighting.. it has grown a considerable amount.
Love it It's so pretty.

Within just the last 3 days, it has grown around 5 inches and started to grow more stems.

Sorry for the poor quality photos. I'll try to get better ones next time Hopefully by then the water will be clear... and not yellow :P lol

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post #10 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and I bought some anarcharis as well.
Just sort of stuck it in a couple of random spots. Once it starts growing though (if it does, couple of stems looked.. meh).... I may move it more towards the back. We'll see.
I'm really hoping to get my 5 gallon tank set back up somewhere so I can take a good bit of the crypts out. Won't be enough, but it will at least free up some space for some of these stem plants that will hopefully grow nice and tall.

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post #11 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Bought more fish. All done stocking the tank. Probably put a little too much in it tbh. They all stay fairly small though so I'm not too worried about it.
We bought odessa & golden barbs. Also 3 dojo loaches and 4 more golden panchax killifish.

No photos yet. Had to turn the white light off b/c the other barbs in the tank were starting to get a bit too nippy with the newcomers.
The dojo loaches have to be in the quarantine tank though. 2 of them have fin rot. Should've looked them over better while we were at the store. Kids were distracting and I was just excited that somewhere actually had them lol. Poor things look miserable, but hopefully they'll perk up in a nice clean 55 gallon all to themselves.
Moved the platys over to the 125 as well.
Now just have to wait for the plants to grow.
Think I may snip off a couple of the new cabomba stems and let them float to give the killifish some cover.

I set up my 5 gallon in its new spot so I may go to a different petstore tomorrow to get the betta I've been eyeballing. If I do, I'll also check out the plants they have available. Maybe they'll have something that I can float.
Not holding my breath though.
I'll post pics of the 5 gallon once I'm done cleaning it. Boy is it gross! I'm gonna try to make it purdy though

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post #12 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 01:43 AM
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Your plants seem to be filling in nicely. How much excel are you dosing? And what light fixtures did you go with? Low tech has never been anything but a slow decline for me. At the very least I dose pretty large amounts of metricide. You're not tempted to go pressurized again?
What does your stock look like? You would need ALOT of barb sized fish to overstock a 125.
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post #13 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Your plants seem to be filling in nicely. How much excel are you dosing? And what light fixtures did you go with? Low tech has never been anything but a slow decline for me. At the very least I dose pretty large amounts of metricide. You're not tempted to go pressurized again?
What does your stock look like? You would need ALOT of barb sized fish to overstock a 125.
I hope they are!

I was dosing about 10ml every other day (still trying to get rid of the remaining BBA), but I'm pretty sure it's a little too much to do it on the regular. I'm going to bring it down to just doing 4 or 5ml every day.
Just checked on the tank and it's gone cloudy. Usually does when I overdosed w/ excel before so yeah. After today, I'll be reducing the amount I put in by half or more. We'll see what happens after that

A little tempted to use pressurized again. I do hate seeing the equipment go to waste since it was expensive lol, but it was a pain to get it filled before (the place we went to wasn't reliable) and it's more of a pain now w/ 3 small children lol. It's just one less thing to worry about now tbh Easier for me to try out a low tech tank.. although it certainly isn't low maintenance lol.

The light..
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
It's the reason why we bought the glofish in the first place. My husband wanted to see if the blue lights would make them glow (and they do )

I'm mostly just worried about there being enough room for that many fish to have their own space. The barbs are SO active. I think once the stems start to grow, it will give more hiding spots for the not so active/aggressive ones. Right now, everything is out in the open and the tiger barbs are definitely living up to their rep as being nippers... my poor other fish
The albino tigers are targeting the new golden barbs and the platys. I guess they see the similar colors? and think they're other albinos. They don't bother all of the fish though. I've never seen them pick at the plecos and I've only ever seen them nip at the killifish during feeds.

Specific tank stock (I'm going to be wrong on some of the numbers lol)...

3 albino tiger barbs
7 tiger barbs
4 red glofish tiger barbs
7 green glofish tiger barbs
6 golden panchax killifish
4 or 5 green barbs
5 golden barbs
7 black ruby barbs
5-7 odessa barbs
8 or 9 platys
8 or 9 BN plecos
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post #14 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 02:43 PM
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I hope they are!

I was dosing about 10ml every other day (still trying to get rid of the remaining BBA), but I'm pretty sure it's a little too much to do it on the regular. I'm going to bring it down to just doing 4 or 5ml every day.
Just checked on the tank and it's gone cloudy. Usually does when I overdosed w/ excel before so yeah. After today, I'll be reducing the amount I put in by half or more. We'll see what happens after that

A little tempted to use pressurized again. I do hate seeing the equipment go to waste since it was expensive lol, but it was a pain to get it filled before (the place we went to wasn't reliable) and it's more of a pain now w/ 3 small children lol. It's just one less thing to worry about now tbh Easier for me to try out a low tech tank.. although it certainly isn't low maintenance lol.

The light..
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
It's the reason why we bought the glofish in the first place. My husband wanted to see if the blue lights would make them glow (and they do )

I'm mostly just worried about there being enough room for that many fish to have their own space. The barbs are SO active. I think once the stems start to grow, it will give more hiding spots for the not so active/aggressive ones. Right now, everything is out in the open and the tiger barbs are definitely living up to their rep as being nippers... my poor other fish
The albino tigers are targeting the new golden barbs and the platys. I guess they see the similar colors? and think they're other albinos. They don't bother all of the fish though. I've never seen them pick at the plecos and I've only ever seen them nip at the killifish during feeds.

Specific tank stock (I'm going to be wrong on some of the numbers lol)...

3 albino tiger barbs
7 tiger barbs
4 red glofish tiger barbs
7 green glofish tiger barbs
6 golden panchax killifish
4 or 5 green barbs
5 golden barbs
7 black ruby barbs
5-7 odessa barbs
8 or 9 platys
8 or 9 BN plecos
Gluteraldehyde is a 5 carbon structure with double bonded oxygens on each end (aldehydes). It reacts with H2O as a very weak acid (source of H+) to form CO2 among other products. It doesn't form a lot of C02 and the reaction is definitely over in a few hours I would think. Aldehydes are very reactive. I dose 35ml of straight glut in my 150 and 25ml in my 75's daily. Whatever you dose I would dose daily to keep available CO2 stable. Like I said aldehydes are very reactive and will bond with pretty much anything. Once my plants attenuate to the glut they normally do very well... with the exception of bolbitus. Its antiviral and antifungal so the less complex plants may not do as well at least to start. Anubias loves glut... I would have no problem dosing 10ml or even 20ml daily in a tank that size... I dose 5 ml in my 11.4 and the growth in that tank is outstanding including mosses.
That's a pretty good stock list! I bet its an entertaining tank.
That light is the one I want for my 150 to go with my other fixture. There is a different one that is like $35 that is RGB that I got and its pretty dim.
I notice that one has 5 rows of LED's where the ones I was seeing were only 3 rows... so it would be 66% brighter... at $100 that's not bad..

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post #15 of 315 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah... we didn't think it was a bad price considering how much some light fixtures can run up to and for a 6ft long tank... it would've been too much to upgrade them right now if this one hadn't been available.
That's good to know about the excel. I was afraid I was putting too much in. The fish always seemed ok though. I'll start off with 5ml daily and then adjust the amount once the plants start getting a little bigger.
Thanks for the info

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