Third Time's The Charm- 40 breeder - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Third Time's The Charm- 40 breeder

I'm moving into a new house in the next 2 weeks, and I have planned a high-tech planted nature tank- 40g breeder. This will be my third experience with planted aquariums. The first time, in the mid-2000's, was a relatively successful low-tech beginner's foray into the hobby. Cut my teeth on java fern, anubias, and a few sword plants. CO2 was too scary to even think about trying, lighting was watt/gal, and ferts were haphazard. My second planted tank was a couple years ago in my work office, and was admittedly half-assed. I decided within a few months of that pathetic tank that if I'm going do this hobby, then I need to do it correctly. As my dad always said, "Herb, if you're gonna do a job, do it right the first time!" Good advice Dad!

So third time's the charm, right?



That's the tank in my shed ready to roll. I've spent the last two years saving and studying. Doing it right this time! Would have started a year ago, but we decided to build a house, and the day is arriving soon! I've done most of my shopping, except for soil and plants and fish. Here's the plan:

Tank: Marineland 40 gallon breeder- I wish I could do a rimless, but I needed the money elsewhere as I'm pretty much starting from scratch.
Filter: Eheim 2217
Circulation: Hydor Koralia Nano 240gph
Lighting: Ecotech Radion 4gen xr15FW- just doing one for now as the new model boasts 36" spread. We'll see.
CO2: pressurized with GLA Pro regulator, GLA atomic inline diffuser, 5 gallon tank
Soil: ADA Amazonia
Ferts: dry from GLA- gonna do EI

Might do RO water- our well water looks like it has good hardness (4+) and PH (7.0), but that's based on preliminary township test. I'll test it myself and see. Nitrates and phosphates may be bad due to our yard being a cornfield 12 months ago. If so, will buy a BRS RO/DI system.

Hardscape: Nice big piece of Malaysian driftwood with some manzanita branches.

Plants!
Going on the easy side to start off. I don't want my Third Time to be a failure.

Foreground
Eleocharis parvula mini
Staurogyne repens

Midground
Blyxa japonica

Background
Bacopa monnieri
Ludwigia repens "red"

Attached to wood
Java fern
Anubias nana
Maybe some moss. We'll see.

Stock
20-30 neons
Pair of cockatoo apistos
10+ Amano shrimp
Assassin snails as needed

I'll update as things progress! Should be up and planted within 2 weeks.

Herb
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Here's my planned layout. The darker brown is Malaysian driftwood. The lighter brown lines are manzanita. I'm not much of an artist It's not to scale, so I'll make sure to follow Rule of Thirds.



1- Eleocharis parvula mini (DHG)
2- Staurogyne repens
3- Blyxa japonica
4- Bacopa monnieri (Moneywort)
5- Ludwigia repens
6- Java fern- big clump of it on driftwood
7- Anubias nana

Any suggestions are appreciated and welcome!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 07:34 PM
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Good looking start Is that a Marineland stand? I always thought the black trimmed Marineland tanks paired with their black stands looked awesome.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Good looking start Is that a Marineland stand? I always thought the black trimmed Marineland tanks paired with their black stands looked awesome.
Yeah, they're sharp. The only thing I don't like about marineland tanks are the rims are pretty thick. But I like the black silicone, and they are solid tanks. One day I'll do a fancy-pants rimless, but for now this will do. It will go in my office in the new house.

Bump: I'd show off my manzanita, but it's in the big box in the tank ready to move next week. I got a few very nice pieces from www.manzanita-driftwood.com. Wanted to give them a shout out. Bought the tank and most of my equipment from That Fish Place, which is local. They have a nice brick and mortar store in addition to their online store. A few very knowledgeable staff. CO2 equipment from GLA.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 08:12 PM
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Can't wait to see the progress.
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Last edited by $$mok3d; 07-15-2017 at 08:13 PM. Reason: wrong post.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Well, moving in took longer than I thought, but we're in! And I've started setting things up. Here's most of the stuff I bought...



Especially excited about the Ecotech Radion lights. I was unsure if one would be enough in a 3-foot wide tank, but the new lenses give a very wide spread. I think one will work just fine.

Here's my hardscape without soil.



A big bunch of java fern will go where the end of the manzanita rests on the malaysian driftwood, so it won't look so unnatural. I'm very open to any suggestions. Waiting on soil, which will be ADA Amazonia- on the way from Aqua Forest Aquariums. They had the best price that I could find. Should be in the next few days.

I have my RO water brewing now...



Got a new system from BRS. RO-only. Not doing DI at this time since my TDS isn't too bad on this well.

The only thing left to buy is plants, which I'm picking up from Rachel O'Leary, who is local here in southern PA. She has everything I want but the Blyxa and the Bacopa monnieri.

All comments and suggestions are appreciated!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 12:34 AM
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That's going to be a fantastic tank!! I've had Bacopa monnieri before and I can tell you I much prefer Bacopa Caroliniana. A little larger leaves and it just looks really nice. It almost looks fake it has grown in so perfectly. Ludwigia for me just turned into a sloppy mess. Tore it all out and threw it away. Maybe if you keep trimming the tops off and tearing out the bottoms and replanting... but that wasnt something I am interested in.
Either way it's not like you can't swap out plants later. I'm excited to see how it progresses.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 05:46 AM
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Interesting wood choice, i'm eager to see how it looks when all said and done. Also, just IMO i would stick with 20 neons not 30.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 11:10 PM
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Interesting wood choice, i'm eager to see how it looks when all said and done. Also, just IMO i would stick with 20 neons not 30.
I agree. I think that will still look awesome, but there will be some room for mama Apisto to parade around the fry. Hopefully your attempt at getting a pair goes better than mine. I got 2 males. I'm going to order 3 females though and hope that I can get 2 pairs going along with a pair of Apisto Baenschi.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 11:58 PM
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Just a friendly suggestion. If Rachel has needle or narrow leaf java I would go with that over generic java. Looks way better in high tech tank imo. If you go with my suggestion be aware that they cost more.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting wood choice, i'm eager to see how it looks when all said and done. Also, just IMO i would stick with 20 neons not 30.
I'm actually not sold on the Malaysian driftwood. I may replace it with some rock and have the manzanita laying overtop.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Just a friendly suggestion. If Rachel has needle or narrow leaf java I would go with that over generic java. Looks way better in high tech tank imo. If you go with my suggestion be aware that they cost more.
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll see what she has available.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2017, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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You smell that? Do you smell that?...



Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of Aquasoil in the morning.

Only one thing remains: plants. And they're on their way. Should be planting by the weekend.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Planting Day has arrived!

I spent the last 2 days putting everything together and plumbing it up in my spare time, and the plants have arrived.



Prepped and ready to roll!



Hereís the hardscape with ADA Aquasoil.



Plants added!



Eleocharis mini sp up front.
Staurogyne repens to the left.
Bacopa monnieri and Ludwigia repens in the back.
Java fern and Anubias nana super-glued to the driftwood.
Still waiting on some Blyxa japonica for the right and some accent around the driftwood.




RO water about to be added.



And planted with water!



As expected, once I fired up the filter it got very cloudy from the Aquasoil. I was having issues with flow. I have an Eheim 2217 which is on the strong side for this tank (40g breeder), so I had to fiddle with the outlet. Tried a couple different things, and settled on a modified spray bar turned down in the right back corner. At first, I had Aquasoil getting blown around on the front left, and it covered over some of my DHG. After the adjustments, its working well. I have a Koralia Nano 240 circulation pump on the left side. The flow is in a nice circle.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Day 2.
The tank has cleared quite a bit. Still a little hazy. May do a water change tomorrow, but weíll see.





When I finished planting yesterday and had the flow finally right, the lights were going off, and I didnít have the CO2 just right yet. This is my first time doing CO2, and Iím learning. Using an atomic inline diffuser, and Iím not getting any misting at all. I was concerned that I didnít have things right, so I checked all my connections (good), made sure the psi on the regulator was right (currently 45), and just waited to see the result. Couple hours later, hereís my drop checker.



So all is well for now. Set for the solenoid to come on an hour before lights turn on, and turns off an hour before the lights turn off.

Water parameters:
pH 6.3
kH 1
gH 5

Light is on a 10 hour cycle, with ramp up and ramp down per the EcoSmart Live programming for the Radion. Iíll adjust as needed.
Not starting EI dosing yet. Will probably wait a week.
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