Saltwater to Planted in 65 gallons - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2018, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Saltwater to Planted in 65 gallons

3 day old picture, tank planted on February 3rd


Well, approximately 65 gallons. Many years ago I ordered a custom built 1/2" glass aquarium measuring 42"x20"x18" tall. The price was good, the silicone was a bit sloppy, and I met a trucker at 1am in a shady parking lot to pick up the tank because life is an adventure. I ordered the tank with a center overflow and two holes drilled for my purposes. The oversized overflow is still a blessing and a curse (and eyesore) but it works. The idea was saltwater, the idea worked for a time too. Fish were happy, corals were happy, I was happy. A crash happened, things died.



I still have that tang and wrasse in a different tank, they've been with me 5 years or better.

I moved once and the tank was kind of setup but not thriving. I moved again and the tank sat empty, waiting.

This time I wanted to do freshwater because I want a busy, overstocked tank full of schools of fish and activity and life. Saltwater is great and unique, but 5 fish or so later and it's full. Freshwater allows me to have a school of 7 oto's darting around plus Rainbowfish at the top plus German Blue Rams in the middle plus whatever else is amazing to keep and grow under my care. I am aiming for overstocked, to the point where fish can't establish territory but aren't over stressed in a peaceful community tank. Luckily waiting with an empty tank has let me plan on the setup. I then started seeing planted tank examples on YouTube and Reddit and they completely grabbed me.

Equipment:
2x Radion XR15FW G4 Pro's
Sump with extra chamber that works as equipment or hospital area.

Eheim 1100+ return pump, giving me approximately 280gph on my return flow
Green Machine 24W UV Light
CO2 Reactor
Eheim pump that just runs the CO2 reactor and provides water for the extra sump chamber

Custom Built AGA/Linde CO2 Regulator on a 10lb tank. This came off Ebay, but I'm 99% sure a long time user from here built it.
Hydor 300 watt in-line heater


Of course misc. stuff like the drop checker, filter socks and filter floss in the sump. The sump is a fantastic tool. I can add equipment or extra filtration and chemicals without disturbing the display tank. There's still a generous amount of room in it for whatever I may need in the future.

Edit: Where'd this auto bump come from? Get out of here auto bump
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Last edited by Smithim; 02-15-2018 at 03:28 AM. Reason: Auto bump fighting
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2018, 03:18 AM
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" So I did, feels like I got a lot of stem plants but" ---- ha.

It's never planted as heavy as it should be starting out You've got a whole lot of empty space to work with over the next year.

Think of it as a 3D highway it's smallest at the front and gets larger at the back and you've got absolutely no hardscape in there - go crazy.
I'm working on a "tree-scape" right now in the back with anabus for leaves, superglue gel is your friend.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2018, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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A lot of what I read online and found from people like George Farmer was plant as heavy as your tank and budget will allow at the start. So I did. It feels like I got a lot of stem plants but I was mostly choosing what I liked at the store. Notice the jungle val in the front left? That's not an entirely permanent home for it.

Today's photo, Feb 14th. 11 days planted.


I have a beautiful piece of wood for the mid left portion of the tank to help break up the openness but the thing will not sink. It would go right behind the jungle val. That Titanic piece of wood is sitting in a wash basin soaking up water for now. This is my first planted tank, I fully expect to move things around or adjust plant placements as I learn.


Stocking List:
Proserpinaca Palustri
Rotala Indica
Vallisneria Contortion
St. Elmo's Fire
Amazon Sword's in each back corner
Telanthera Rosefolia
Dwarf Baby Tears
Ludwigia Peruensis
Diandra
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2018, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithim View Post
I have a beautiful piece of wood for the mid left portion of the tank to help break up the openness but the thing will not sink. It would go right behind the jungle val. That Titanic piece of wood is sitting in a wash basin soaking up water for now. This is my first planted tank, I fully expect to move things around or adjust plant placements as I learn.
Boil the living hell out of it and then do it again. It will do two things, strip tannins and make it heavier.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2018, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bradac56 View Post
" So I did, feels like I got a lot of stem plants but" ---- ha.

It's never planted as heavy as it should be starting out You've got a whole lot of empty space to work with over the next year.

Think of it as a 3D highway it's smallest at the front and gets larger at the back and you've got absolutely no hardscape in there - go crazy.
I'm working on a "tree-scape" right now in the back with anabus for leaves, superglue gel is your friend.
It's so tempting to fill in all that empty space. "More plants!" is all I think every time I hit up a fish store. It's funny you mention superglue gel, I just used some to glue down the dwarf baby tears. About mid, front right in the pic? This is of course before I read a number of people saying dwarf baby tears need roots in the soil, and a few saying "nah they'll be ok". I will now found out if baby tears like being glued to cholla wood because it is already done.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2018, 06:11 AM
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Cool tank! It's too bad that the overflow is clear, black would be nice to hide some uglies.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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Holy moly you guys don't sell Co2 hard enough. The plants grow so incredibly quick with it that I wish every tank could just come with Co2. These plants have doubled in height, pearl every day, and will need to be trimmed very soon.

Otherwise I'm now up to 5 ram cichlids. 1 electric blue, 1 balloon ram, and 3 german blue rams. The electric cichlid didn't waste any time finding a woman and putting down some eggs.


Also a gif! I don't think forum code allows gif inserts yet.

The rams took advantage of the only smooth rock that is smack in the middle of the tank. Unsurprisingly the eggs lasted one day before being eaten up by everyone. I'm not setup to hatch and raise rams, but I'm glad they feel healthy enough to try breeding.

As I expected I have some hair algae growing in the top layers, with some brown diatoms here and there. I'm turning up my Co2 slowly every day and I'm guessing with the oxygen saturation I have with my sump setup I'll be turning that Co2 up for awhile.

A big fail was a bamboo shrimp I tried. He did ok for a few days and tried to take up residence in the overflow. Watching him filter feed from the top of the overflow pipe was fun to see.

He molted around day 6 in the tank and didn't survive the molt. A curious german ram might of picked at him, or maybe my tank conditions weren't right. I might try again in a few months with more hiding spots this time.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 01:42 PM
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Just a thought...have you ever looked up a material called Kydex on ebay/amazon? Its very cheap, comes in just about any color, has a rough matte site and shiny smooth side. The thin stuff you can score with a razor blade and crack off. You could cut a piece to fit inside the overflow or just over the front to block out the equipment. Maybe a dab or 2 of aquarium sealant should hold it in place.

Vin
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Just a thought...have you ever looked up a material called Kydex on ebay/amazon? Its very cheap, comes in just about any color, has a rough matte site and shiny smooth side. The thin stuff you can score with a razor blade and crack off. You could cut a piece to fit inside the overflow or just over the front to block out the equipment. Maybe a dab or 2 of aquarium sealant should hold it in place.
I have not heard of Kydex but I'm going to go look it up now. The overflow never bugged me in saltwater mostly due to coralline algae covering it up so quickly. It looks so out of place in the planted tank though.

Thanks for the tip, I'm gonna go look into that material to see if it would work.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 02:55 PM
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Yea in saltwater equipment doesnt bother me. Freshwater thought just looks like nothing should be in the tank haha.

Honestly once you have plants go floor to surface back there it might not matter but for less than $15 it would just add some security. Could also do a moss wall back there if you like the look and are motivated enough.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yea in saltwater equipment doesnt bother me. Freshwater thought just looks like nothing should be in the tank haha.

Honestly once you have plants go floor to surface back there it might not matter but for less than $15 it would just add some security. Could also do a moss wall back there if you like the look and are motivated enough.
The moss wall could be fun. Wouldn't be real hard to do and could fill in with just a few weeks growth.

I need to post a picture of the net I have on top of the overflow right now. It rarely happened with the saltwater fish, likely due to their larger size, but my freshwater fish constantly end up in the overflow. A Peacock Gudgeon even took a trip down the overflow pipe and into the sump below one night, she is fine luckily. So now I have fish netting attached to the top of the overflow to keep the fish in the tank. I need to refine that somehow with a better cut out for the netting or maybe upgrade it to a stainless steel mesh.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 03:35 PM
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nice build and nice tank I am also a SW guy coming over the um... green side??
glad you are having success thanks for the encouragement on the Co2. 90% of the time I am excited to add the other 10% i am like nah lets be cheap do a "KISS" tank and see how it does. so its good to hear your feedback.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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nice build and nice tank I am also a SW guy coming over the um... green side??
glad you are having success thanks for the encouragement on the Co2. 90% of the time I am excited to add the other 10% i am like nah lets be cheap do a "KISS" tank and see how it does. so its good to hear your feedback.
It's always greener with anything under a 10k spectrum light, or so they say? Thanks underH20, when you gonna put water in your tank though!? I've been enjoying all your threads but you need to get into this green growing life already .
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