Green Acres, 80 gal high tech - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Green Acres, 80 gal high tech

Heya folks,

After six months of treatment and neglecting the tank, I'm back. Sort of. The first two regimens didn't work so we're gearing up for the third, and final, option. It's going to be seriously rough so there's no telling when or how often I'll be updating the thread once that gets going. In the meantime I may as well start one while I'm on sitting on my butt at home all day. The concept of the aquascape is super simple: use only the plants I had on hand and farm them for a future aquascape. After the different trials since starting the system back in October of 2016 I think I've finally settled on a hardscape arrangement that's going to work well. It's fairly low and open, which allows good circulation and ease of access.

The final goal is to get the tank set up in a final arrangement similar to this, but with the hardscape moved forward and to the left a little bit to make room for stems in the rear and get the wood in a place that accentuates the focal point in the back. Right now it's just an inch or so too far to the right and the middle upright branch is at the 1/3 point rather than the notch between it and the rightmost branch. When doing the rearrangement the Anubias is going to be taken off the wood and used for the midground. It's too overpowering as it stands, buuuut, being up in the water column and heavy circulation is best for growth and a lot of them are strongly attached. Once the wood's "clean" it's going to get a light moss covering with perhaps some Bolbitis or a little bit of Anubias in select places. I'd prefer not to use the Anubias as it's really hard to get any moss that intergrows down under the leaves and is nigh impossible to remove without serious measures. It eventually covers the Anubias and is generally a royal PITA. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. The whole system needs to be as simple to care for as possible as one of my coworkers will be caring for it while I'm away getting nuked. He's done maintenance professionally for a long time, but doesn't have experience with a tank of this tech level. Funny to hear that from an experienced high end reefer.

To that end I've reached waaaaaaay back into the recesses of my mind and resurrected the regimen I used on the old 90 gallon discus tank. I've also added 12 or so juvenile cherry shrimp that were living in a small tank I'd set up for breeding, but ended up killing their parents. They're doing pretty well so far and I'd like to get more so stability is key. They're doing well with the current regimen so I'll be sticking to it unless plant or shrimp health issues come up. I'm not chasing concentration numbers and have no idea what the water chemistry really is. The regimen is based on past experience and empirical concentration calculations. With the relatively low light I can get away with lower concentrations and less frequent dosing. Love it. The CO2 input rate is a bit on the high side, but I wanted to make sure there was plenty of oxygen so I took the seal off the sump. The idea is to inject it more along the lines of a diffuser rather than a super efficient sealed system. The gas goes into the sump via the Cerges, gets pumped into the tank, and what degasses, degasses just like bubbles not getting dissolved when using a diffuser. Hakuna Matata!

Current stats:
80 gallon Deep Blue Professional 48x24x16
Light- Agrobrite 6 bulb fixture running 2x 54w T5HO for 10hrs/day CHANGED to 6hrs/day to prep for being gone for 3.5 months in the near future.
CO2- approx. 9 bubbles/sec; concentration? I have no idea
KH- No idea! 1/2 tsp of baking soda is added after water changes. This used to get me up to 3dKH when I lived 30 min away in Charlotte and the water here is from the same supply.
Water changes- 50% 1x/wk
KNO3- 3/4 tsp 2x/wk Sun and Thurs CHANGED to 3x/wk M, W, F
KH2PO4- approx. 1/16 tsp 2x/wk CHANGED to 3x/wk M, W, F
Ca- via Brightwell Calcion liquid; 40mL (approx. 20ppm) after water changes
Mg- via Brightwell Magnesion liquid; 20mL (approx. 5ppm) after water changes CHANGED to 2x/week as the plants were getting rather pale
Fe- via Brightwell Ferrion liquid; 10mL (approx 0.1ppm) 1-2x/wk as appears to be needed. CHANGED to no dosing as the trace mix seems to be adding enough.
Traces- CSM+B. One tiny (1/32 tsp?) former test reagent scoop 1x/wk. May increase frequency to an extra scoop per week if plants show serious problems.

I have plans to get a Dash, Pinch, and Smidge (1/16, 1/32 and 1/64tsp) measuring spoon set sometime in the nearish future to dose P and traces in this tank and ferts in a 12g I've got in the works.

Hardscape:
Spiderwood and rip-rap from a nearby creek.

Plants:
A. nana 'Petite' - Aqvinnova TC
C. cordata - Dennerle TC
C. wendtii 'Tropica' -Aqvinnova TC
C. retrospiralis
C. costata 'Green' - Aqvinnova TC
L. meeboldi 'Pink'
Java Moss
M. pteropus 'Trident'
S. repens
E. pusillis "Mini Hairgrass" - Dennerle TC
H. pinnatifida
A. repens 'Lila' - Dennerle TC
L. aromatica
Nymphaea somespeciesoranothercan'trememberatthemoment

Livestock:
1 Amano shrimp named Takashi who lives in the overflow, 1 Otto named Lucky who's the last surviving member of his crew, 12 little cherry shrimp, and a boatload of pest snails. Anyone know how to kill snails in a tank with shrimp? Loaches aren't an option.

Please forgive the quality of the plants. They'd been living under "benign neglect" conditions for some time and got a serious root pruning prior to replanting. The Crypts have been especially pissed off with me and are in full on protest mode.











Merry Christmas everyone!
Phil
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Last edited by Phil Edwards; 03-14-2018 at 02:06 AM. Reason: .
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post #2 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 07:04 PM
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awesome tank!
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post #3 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 08:09 PM
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Looking good Phil, happy to see it back!!

I am considering switching my 80 over to the overflow/sump. Liking the arrangement and open space alot, can't wait to see more!
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post #4 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 10:57 PM
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What a great looking tank! The anubias on the driftwood looks picture perfect. I wish you all the best. I am working on a PhD in cellular and molecular biology with a focus on oncology. The University of South Florida has a fantastic partnership with Moffit which specializes in cancer treatment and research. My mother made it 25 amazing years after she was given a terminal cancer prognosis. Iíll be praying for you
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post #5 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 01:14 AM
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Phil great to hear from you. I have been wondering how you have been doing. Myself and I am sure many others here will keep you in their prayers.

And the tank looks great. Very well done.


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post #6 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 01:26 AM
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Looks nice, man. Glad to hear from you. Looking forward to the updates, and good luck with round three. Third time's the charm!


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post #7 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Williak View Post
Looking good Phil, happy to see it back!!

I am considering switching my 80 over to the overflow/sump. Liking the arrangement and open space alot, can't wait to see more!
If you have any questions I'm more than happy to answer and/or discuss them here. I'd say talk about it over on your thread, but I'd prefer to post the pictures here so we can discuss the whole system etc for context.
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post #8 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Phil great to hear from you. I have been wondering how you have been doing. Myself and I am sure many others here will keep you in their prayers.

And the tank looks great. Very well done.
Thanks Greg. I did the hardscape partly blind when the water was all cloudy from uprooting all the plants, hence the need to tweak it a bit. You'd once said that it was clear I had a vision for the first go-round. I've got another one this time, but it needs some time and renovation of the hardscape. My OCD kicks in hard every time I look at it. I want very much to redo it to get that focal point right, but the plants need time to recover and grow after months of semi-neglect and rough treatment during the rescape. Having it in my face all day, every day is killing me! HAHAHA

Thank you for the prayers. I, and my whole family, need them. The past six months have been a trial and the next six promise to be even more so. Once all the chemo's done I still face open chest surgery to remove the dead tumor tissue.

The GREAT thing is I have almost no hair anywhere anymore. I feel like a younger man if you can consider a 13 year old a man. HAHAHAHAHA Talk about easy to keep clean and not having to shave? It's WONDERFUL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Looks nice, man. Glad to hear from you. Looking forward to the updates, and good luck with round three. Third time's the charm!
Thanks Joe! It's good to have a reason to be back. Visiting the forums when I "don't really" have a tank going is like putting salt on a wound. Being here makes me want to do things that I really shouldn't. It was bad enough having multiple aquascaping and planted aquarium groups on my FB feed all the time. I almost had to stop following some for a while. On top of that, chemo does weird things to the brain so I haven't been thinking as clearly as normal, which makes it a bit hard to answer questions etc. I judged the AGA with "chemo brain" if that makes you feel more confident of your 1st place ranking. LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

This third time had better be the charm! The first two regimens were what one might call "normal chemo", as in they're regimens that, while harsh, are typical and fairly easy to withstand all things considered. This third one is basically global thermonuclear war except playing is the only way to win. The premise is to first stimulate my bone marrow to eject stem cells into the bloodstream, harvest them, then inject me with a concentration of chemo that would normally kill me and will kill the marrow, then reinject the stem cells and regenerate the marrow. It's essentially a "kill the cancer before we kill Phil" deal. I think I need to make a video of all this and call it Kill Phil vol. 3. What do you think?

@The Dude1 Look up autologous stem cell transplant. That's the procedure we have to look forward to. Your scientific brain may find it interesting.

Phil Edwards, last surviving member of the Nostromo, signing out.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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Last edited by Phil Edwards; 12-26-2017 at 03:13 PM. Reason: .
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post #9 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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And now for something completely different! (posted with permission of the author)

Bart Laurens' English article on Dutch aquascaping. It's a very informative read and would personally consider it to be the current defining English language reference. I also point you to Christel Kasselmann's "Planted Aquariums: Creation and Maintenance". It's an older text, but is full of useful and helpful information as well.

Dutch Style Aquarium. | Bart Laurens

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #10 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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12.29.17 small update-

One of my daily activities is counting how many shrimp I can see in my tank. Given my history of shrimp genocide, any time I don't see corpses I'm happy. Any time I see multiple of the little buggers living happily in the tank I'm very happy. So far I've counted eight out of what I estimate to be the twelve I originally put in there. The tank's HUGE relative to their sub-adult selves so I'm hoping the "if you see one, there are more hiding in there" rule applies and all of them are still blissfully living out their lives in their 8 cu. ft. condo. What's prompted me to post this update is at least one of the females is starting to make eggs. This may be the first time I've had an F2 generation in one of my tanks. The last time I successfully kept a population of Cherries in a tank was 10 years ago and I didn't keep track of how many generations there were. As long as they live and can find each other to mate, we'll have a very happy Phil when the little ones arrive.

Water quality update- I added another 10ppm Ca, 2ppm Mg, and 5ppm K via liquids as the plants were showing signs of deficiency and a shrimp expert I got advice from said I should increase GH. So there we go, the current news on the tank.

Thanks for watching,
Phil
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post #11 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 02:58 PM
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For the longest time I did t be same thing with Neons, Cardinals, and Rummynose. I still do although not as fanatically.
I tried to do carbon Rili in the 11.4 before the Gertrudes, but one by one they would disappear. Once you see one berried you're in a pretty good spot!

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post #12 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Counted nine this morning with one very saddled female and a successful molt. The coloration on all of them is really starting to shine as well. Small victories and all that.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #13 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 03:19 PM
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Are you feeding them? I dont know much about shrimp but mine do infinitely better when I feed them well instead of letting them rely on biofilm or whatever


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post #14 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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There are so few of them in there right now that they've got more natural food than they can eat. Even if all 12 are still alive, they've got about 12.5 square feet of surface area to feed from counting the substrate and leaf and wood surfaces. Once there maybe 50 or so more in there then yes, I'll have to start feeding them. Thankfully I know a lady who knows a lady who keeps a lot of different kinds of shrimp and has food. I'll need to get a population of MTS going before all that so the pest snail population doesn't explode like it did months ago as well as risking secondary pests. Bottom feeding fish are out of the question due to the destruction the last ones wreaked.
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post #15 of 344 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 05:29 PM
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There are so few of them in there right now that they've got more natural food than they can eat. Even if all 12 are still alive, they've got about 12.5 square feet of surface area to feed from counting the substrate and leaf and wood surfaces. Once there maybe 50 or so more in there then yes, I'll have to start feeding them. Thankfully I know a lady who knows a lady who keeps a lot of different kinds of shrimp and has food. I'll need to get a population of MTS going before all that so the pest snail population doesn't explode like it did months ago as well as risking secondary pests. Bottom feeding fish are out of the question due to the destruction the last ones wreaked.
Back when I had my highly successful colony of RCS I settled on much longer photo periods and fed very sparingly. Once I had hundreds I would split up a single algae tab every 2 or 3 days. I didn't have fish in that tank, but I had a good population of Ramshorn snails. That was the most successful self sustaining tank I ever owned. I went several months without water changes and noted that there was more prolific breeding...
I started with about 20 or 25. Fed a small amount daily and manually removed what was left an hour or so later.. weekly water changes.. shorter photo periods... it was like the tank contradicted every accepted guideline to which we adhere.
I even removed eggs from Corys and Angels and dropped them in there and pretty quickly had to scramble to find homes for all of them.

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