Quag's 3' 25 Gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 282 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quag's 3' 25 Gallon

After toying with 5.5 gallons and 10 gallons for the last few years, the opportunity finally came around to set up my 30 long I've had sitting in my basement for the last 5 years. I have a general idea of what I want to do with it, but I'm far from a finished plan, but are we ever truly "finished" on tank plans?

Equipment:
30 gallon long, 36"L x 12"W x 16" tall (a little room for my stem plants to finally breath).
200 watt hydor inline heater.
Eheim 2213 (flow rate is a little low for the tank size, but it was brand new, complete with media, just asking to be used).
Redsea CO2 kit with paintball regulator, 24 ounce paintball cylinder (I've had this kit forever, never failed me yet so I'm not bothered to upgrade just yet).
DIY simple inline CO2 reactor.
Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0 (ordered, should arrive shortly) much thanks to @Seattle_Aquarist for providing some nice reviews and PAR data on this fixture.

Current plants (see photo)
ammania bonsai
rotala macrandra
rotala walichii
staurogyne repens
AR mini
anubias nana petite
green wavy buce
Ammannia gracilis
ludwigia repens
cryptocoryne lutea "hobbit"
hygrophila pinnatifida
red melon sword

I'm sure I missed a few with that list, potential additions to that list include: Proserpinaca palustris, Rotala 'Colorata', Cryptocoryne undulatus, Gratiola viscidula, Myriophyllum tuberculatum,blyxa japonica and likely a monto carlo or HC carpet.


As for stocking, I've got a dwindling low grade orange neo colony I could transfer over, and a handful of boraras brigittae, or I could do something completely new. I'm not set on any stock as of now. Possibly a pair of dwarf cichlids, rams/apistos with a school of smaller fish, or some dwarf rainbows, celestial pearl danios, emerald rasbora. I'm open to suggestions, some stuff a little out of the norm would work.

See pics for the layout.... open to suggestions on that for sure....

If I missed anything I'll swing back and add it in.
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Last edited by Quagulator; 05-10-2019 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Title
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post #2 of 282 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 02:46 AM
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What kind of substrate is that?
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post #3 of 282 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NueoK View Post
What kind of substrate is that?
It's 3/4" "seasoned" flourite black with some extra granule ferts mixed in, capped with 3/4"-1.5" new flourite black.

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post #4 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Little update,

Light shipped, expected tomorrow.

Made it to a LFS, good and bad experiences with this store lately.
Found most of the plants I wanted, picked up the following:
Proserpinaca palustris TC
Rotala 'Colorata' TC
Gratiola viscidula TC
Utricularia graminifolia TC
monte carlo TC
Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig' portion (very ill looking portion, was not impressed, same thing when I originally bought ammania gracilis)
Myriophyllum mattogrossense portion
I also grabbed some dry micro's and dry monopotassium phosphate to go with my other dry ferts.

but, I also picked up a substantial snail population, and a generous amount of hydra! So I've ordered some fenbendazole dog dewormer and will be treating the tank when that arrives, hopefully late this week, and then work on a plant dip for future use, my mistake.

So, given I will have to wait a bit for the hydra treatment, I decided to take half the UG and attempt a small scale dry start, hopefully getting it moving (my hopes aren't high here). But at lest there's something in the tank now. That's all for now, still undecided on stocking however.
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post #5 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 01:21 AM
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Ive got a 2213 on my 11.4 and the flow even right after a cleaning is pretty weak... with a reactor inna 3 foot tank I would strongly suggest a second filter.. an AC50 would work. With all those stem plants you're going to be battling dead spots. It's going to be a cool tank!! I've got some dwarf cichlids in a 75 with Celebes rainbows and my 11.4 has Gertrudes that I'm breeding. I really love dwarf rainbows and dwarf cichlids... but I also love big groups of tetras... there is only one real solution... more tanks.
I'll be following so keep the updates coming!!

Twin high tech 75's -
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post #6 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dude1 View Post
Ive got a 2213 on my 11.4 and the flow even right after a cleaning is pretty weak... with a reactor inna 3 foot tank I would strongly suggest a second filter.. an AC50 would work. With all those stem plants you're going to be battling dead spots. It's going to be a cool tank!! I've got some dwarf cichlids in a 75 with Celebes rainbows and my 11.4 has Gertrudes that I'm breeding. I really love dwarf rainbows and dwarf cichlids... but I also love big groups of tetras... there is only one real solution... more tanks.
I'll be following so keep the updates coming!!


I figured as much, I got the 2213 expecting to use it on a 10 gallon or smaller, but this 30 was clawing at my leg every time I walked past it. Thereís plenty of room for media, Iím going to skip another filter for now, but Iíll pick up an appropriate sized circulation pump to help keep things stirred up, Iíve got some gift cards to a LFS from Christmas to use up (itís not a very good store so a circulation pump would be a good use for those gift cards). My stocking will likely be light, but if plans change Iíll surly source a bigger filter.


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post #7 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Light was delivered today, I have to give petsandponds credit here, fast shipping and very well packaged goods as usual. Another happy customer ordering from that website.

As for the light, very well built in my opinion. It feels built better and of much nicer quality compared to my current sat+ and aquatic life T5-HO fixtures. Looks sharp, emitted light colour seems good and very strong/bright, time will tell how well it can grow my plants. The power cord is the nicest cord out of any aquarium related equipment I have ever used.... very very long, and small enough to fit through small holes in a stand. As for the much talked about "touch" button control, I have zero issue with it, and I actually think it works very very well, but that is only my opinion anyway.

That said, there are some things I do dislike.

1) It smells horrible.... I'm not joking with this.... It just smells of dingy basement/old musty warehouse... not sure if that's the light's fault or the supplier....
2) The legs aren't locking, so anytime I move the fixture forward/backward they loosen off and the light is sloppy/loose on the tank rim, so I have to push them tight every time I move the light.

I slightly adjusted the scape, the one rock seemed too close to the light and I figured it would turn into algae haven. Not sure if I mentioned it or not but I picked up some hygrophila rosanervig that was in rough shape, but after a few days in my 5.5 gal it has bounced back nicely. I need to hurry up with my 90 gallon so I can get rid of this glosso, its starting to choke out my cryptocoryne lutea "hobbit". My poor attempt at a UG dry start method looks the same, if not worse than it did from day 1. Not too worried if it doesn't catch.

Next step is to treat the 5.5 for hydra, and then its time to start transferring plants. Oh, btw the glass looks scratched in the pics, but it isn't. Its a combination of filter floss/hard water residue stuck to the glass.
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post #8 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-12-2018, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Small update: Day 0 has begun, tank is filled and everything is plugged in. Small drip from the brass reducer on the reactor, 16 hours later it seemed to have stopped by itself, but I am going to tighten down the brass pieces a little more and keep an eye on it.

I completely changed the scape, I was not happy with it. It is now much less complex, and I will be focusing more on the plants rather than the scape. As plants fill in I will likely remove some of the rockwork that is consumed by plant growth, I also have a fanatic Buce keeper with decent pricing, so remaining rocks may be eventually covered in various Buce species, we will see.

I have put in a request at a LFS for some plants, resulting in following species as my final plant list:
ammania bonsai
rotala macrandra
rotala walichii
staurogyne repens
AR mini
anubias nana petite
green wavy buce
Ammannia gracilis
cryptocoryne lutea "hobbit"
hygrophila pinnatifida
red melon sword
Proserpinaca palustris
Rotala 'Colorata'
Gratiola viscidula
Utricularia graminifolia
monte carlo
Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig'
Myriophyllum mattogrossense
Barclaya longifolia 'red form'
Blyxa japonica
Cryptocoryne albida
Ludwigia arcuate
Ludwigia palustris
Mayaca fluviatilis
Myriophyllum tuberculatum 'Red'
*Nesea pedicellata 'Golden'* sub for Ludwigia Cuba if not available

Now this seems like quite the jungle of plants, so I will attempt to use small numbers of individual species, but have many species in attempt to emulate a larger tank. What doesn't fit I will have no trouble selling off.

My little 5.5 gal is getting a little out of control, but my fenbendazole (according to Canada Post) is sitting in my mailbox, so this weekend I will treat the tank, and next week planting shall proceed.

As for the filter, I was surprised how well it flows, the whole tank has no dead spots... for now. The HOB is just a spare aquaclear full of filter floss to clear up the flourite dust, and the rock dust. And yes, I am using a sock as a spacer because the filter was leaning too far backward... When I transfer the shrimp and fish, I will transfer the existing HOB and wait for the ehiem to be seeded.

I picked up 12 CPD's that I threw in my 90 gallon, they seem happy and are spawning much to my suprise. We will see if I eventually move them into this tank.
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post #9 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Jan 14th

Tank is planted with species I had, all went smooth as can be. Treated my 5.5 for hydra, I used 100ml of water, dissolved 1 gram of Safegaurd into it, and proceeded to dose 5mL of that solution into the 5 gallon 3 times over 48 hours, all hydra are wiped out, the only inhabitant I lost was a CRS I forgot I even had, I don't think the treatment killed it though, but me ripping out all the plants plus the treatment may have done it.

Going to start out running 1.75 bubbles per second into the reactor, this seems to be a decent starting point, but without any stock in the tank I can play and find a good rate.
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post #10 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Day 12

Wow, only 12 days, feels a lot longer than that. Anyways, most plants are doing well, A. gracilis, AR mini, R. wallichii and S. repens took quite hit but I see new growth so I'm hoping they will start to take off. I'm noticing some green dust algae and some hair algae (have never seen hair algae in my 10+ years of planted tanks, interesting). R. macrandra is a nice pink colour, however I'm hoping for it to start to darken up.

I started dosing some Flourish Iron on top of CSM+B because of my pH (7.4), I've also noticed some twisting in plant leaves (CaSO4 ~ 3.5 gH and MgSO4 ~1.5 Gh = 5-6gH remineralized RO) so I've just started using come Calcium Gluconate on top and most twisting has gone away within a day or two. I also increased my photo period to 7 hours on full intensity, with CO2 turned on 1.5 hours before lighting turns on. I'm thinking I'll up this to 2 hours before, I'm not convinced 2bps is getting the job done before the lights come on, any faster than that and it's impossible to keep track off (counting bubbles that is). My el-cheapo needle valve plus expensive stainless steel check valve is less than ideal for consistency. I see the most pearling/plant health nearing the end of my photo period.

Transferred all chili rasboras, most shrimp, and all biomedia from the 5.5 gal to the new tank a week ago. Last night I added 4 of the 12 CPD's, I will probably wait a week, add 4 more, wait another week and add the remaining 4. Of course this will be changed if I test any ammonia/nitrite. I don't feel like transferring filter media from my 90 gallon because of my battle with cyanobacteria in the 90, I don't want any chance of spores getting in the tank.

Couple pics below.
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post #11 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-26-2018, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Well, thanks to @ Greggz and a slow work day I got around to using the excel fertilizer charts (attached pic) and found out I am under dosing as per EI. Looking back now, when I first came up with my numbers, I hadn't quite finished my morning coffee, so I'll blame the error on lack of caffeine and a half awake dummy calculating these numbers.

Rotala Butterfly numbers for gH are lower than my measured values, might be because of the extremely fine powdered gypsum I use? More bulk density over granular products = more weight per Tsp?

Anyway, here is my dosing regime (under dosing). If anyone is interesting in custom tabs let me know and I can build an analysis up for you. You would think making fertilizer recommendations for a living would make growing planted tanks easy, nope, only the basics really apply to growing aquatic plants, the practice is far different from what I am used to.
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post #12 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-26-2018, 09:26 PM
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Well you have definitely fallen down the rabbit hole! No turning back now.

Will be following and looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

I wouldn't be afraid of getting that pH drop down even further.

Good luck and I think you have a great start there.


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post #13 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-27-2018, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Yep, more CO2 is in the near future, itís all part of my fine tuning strategy. Green dust algae is starting to laugh at my cleaning efforts, clean clean clean, wait a day and itís back. I expected it tho, 100 average PAR and a fresh tank... errr basically asking for algae off the get go. Iíve never had a problem dialling in a balance after the first few months.

Iím considering keeping CO2 lower for now while I stock the tank, just to limit acclimation stresses. None of my current plants are extreme demanding anyway. Part of the deal with setting this tank up was to get some fish my other half likes, I get the sense Iím not the only one who needs to keep their other side happy. Iím more of a planted tank with fish person rather than a fish tank with plants person, kind of her opposite.

Things are moving now, Iím starting to trim and sell off some faster growing stems, more updates to come!


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post #14 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Day 15 or so, what a mess.

Algae has taken over, I figured I would get some eventually just not like this. Staghorn, hair, green dust and diatoms are taking over., I'm just waiting for BBA and green spot to show up any day now... I've increased CO2, adjusted my dosing to rotala butterfly's recommendation, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5-20. All shrimp have died and the tank physically looks "sick" because of the brown/yellowy green hues the algae is giving off. I think a clean up crew is next on the list, oto's (although I do not have good luck with them in higher tech tanks for the most part) and amano shrimp are what I'm thinking of.

On the other side, since increasing CO2 levels, plant growth has been fantastic.

What do you figure?

1) Drop back to the lower recommended rate (half of what I'm dosing) of EI
2) Maintain current levels of EI (picture) and wait this out, consider adding some clean up critters?
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post #15 of 282 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 11:57 PM
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..

What do you figure?

1) Drop back to the lower recommended rate (half of what I'm dosing) of EI
2) Maintain current levels of EI (picture) and wait this out, consider adding some clean up critters?
It depends what you really feel caused the algae. I'm sure you mentioned it but what kind of light are you using. I saw 7 hrs full intensity after 12 days that seem like a lot if it's a high light.
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