Grobbins 55 Soon to Be 75 Gallon Rainbowfish Tank - Page 36 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #526 of 707 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone is having a great summer! Been just over a month since my last update- and like most on this forum I have summer fever; I try to soak in every moment of summer I can here in Upstate New York. Not spending much time on TPT, though I am sure it will pick up over the coming months.

That said, I have also not spent a ton of time on the tanks- and things have not rebelled too hard; actually some things are much better with a few changed I implemented the past few months.

As some of you know one of my glass lids broke, leaving me with a choice: Get a new glass lid or run no lids. I opted for the latter. Initially I kept running both Beamsworks lights, giving me ~150 PAR at the substrate. If I stayed on maintenance and water changes, etc. I was able to manage this PAR, however it also took a lot of balancing with the fert levels and all other inputs. Given that it was early spring then, I made the decision to pull off one of the lights and run a single Beamswork (the DHL 6500K 1W). This put me somewhere between 60 and 75 PAR at the substrate, a much more manageable level for the coming months.

Some of you may remember the Pogo K. giving me some massive issues. Well, I think the way I have the tank running now is just about perfect for this plant. I have tons of shoots that are thriving!



Overall the summer has been really enjoyable for me so far, and this hour and a half session I just put into the tank feels good (rainy day here in UNY), and give the fish quite a bit more swimming room, as they are really starting to grow as well.

Going to keep the single light running for a while, keep with the same ferts I have been running for a while (micros are only 1 or 2 times per water change, with water changes currently being 7-14 days apart).

Here are a few photos, enjoy!

Few weeks ago before a trim... oops....



After that trim:



Today before:










Today after the trim, with lots more swimming room!

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post #527 of 707 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 09:50 PM
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Good to see you post G48 and good to know your having a fun summer also. As much as I enjoy the tank, for me I wouldn't be able to keep 100% of my focus on it year round without worrying about getting burned out, so it's nice to sort of sit back on the care a few months and let it ride out the lack of maintenance. And I learn something when this happens, as some plants do much better, some not so better.

You're tank is looking great. Interesting about cutting back on the light by 1/2, and it still looks really good. Did you notice any decrease in algae or other significant observations?
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post #528 of 707 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Good to see you post G48 and good to know your having a fun summer also. As much as I enjoy the tank, for me I wouldn't be able to keep 100% of my focus on it year round without worrying about getting burned out, so it's nice to sort of sit back on the care a few months and let it ride out the lack of maintenance. And I learn something when this happens, as some plants do much better, some not so better.



You're tank is looking great. Interesting about cutting back on the light by 1/2, and it still looks really good. Did you notice any decrease in algae or other significant observations?
Completely agree Ken! I enjoy the ebb and flow of the whole thing.

Yeah, crazy about the tank still doing so well with only changing light. Algae is less for sure, though BBA had increased, likely due to not cleaning the canisters in at least 8 weeks. I'll get to them at some point, but I gave gotten better at changing the water weekly.

I figure when the frost and snow and cold hit I'll be right back at it!
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post #529 of 707 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Just a few

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post #530 of 707 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 10:21 PM
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Awesome tanks. I find I need multiple tanks to give each one the neglect they deserve when thriving. 😉
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Style: Organic soil, sand, gravel, plants, moss, algae, snails, shrimp, small fish
Tech: Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano, Top Fin MF10, Tunze 3161, Neptune Apex EL
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post #531 of 707 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Another summer style water change. All is well!

Start off with some fish











And the rest







Hope everyone is doing well, I expect to be on more in the coming few months.
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post #532 of 707 (permalink) Old 10-05-2019, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Hope all are doing well! Three weeks between water changes, with only one front load of macros and one dose of micros. Pretty impressed how things have been holding up. More details to come in a later post, but here are some pictures. Enjoy!
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post #533 of 707 (permalink) Old 10-05-2019, 07:25 PM
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Hope all are doing well! Three weeks between water changes, with only one front load of macros and one dose of micros. Pretty impressed how things have been holding up. More details to come in a later post, but here are some pictures.
Yes, do tell us more!! I need to leave my tank on it's own for 3 weeks and any insight would be appreciated. The fish and tank will be watched over, but I don't trust anyone with the ferts and WC.
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Last edited by Ken Keating1; 10-05-2019 at 07:46 PM. Reason: Grammar
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post #534 of 707 (permalink) Old 10-06-2019, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, do tell us more!! I need to leave my tank on it's own for 3 weeks and any insight would be appreciated. The fish and tank will be watched over, but I don't trust anyone with the ferts and WC.
Hey Ken- Sure, I'll detail out what I have been doing, albeit not very scientific!

First and foremost was only running the one Beamsworks fixture all summer. This gave me a maximum of 80 PAR at the substrate. Once I got the numbers out of my head and looked at the tank, the 6,500K fixture is quite a relaxing blend that looked more 'nautral' to me. I also have not been running lids since about March or so, so the one fixture with no lids still gives off quite a bit of PAR. Lights are running 8 hrs a day at full (12pm - 8pm)

With that in mind, the CO2 has stayed the same. Full degassed is ~8.0 and I drop to between 6.4 and 6.6 (the trigger points on my controller). No issues with the fish at this level, plenty of surface agitation and a surface skimmer running on one of the canisters. Running for 2 hrs before lights on (getting to 6.6ish) and stopping one hour before lights off.

For ferts I have keep things the same since March as well, which is the dosing I was using at ~145 PAR. I'll add that dosing picture below. I have been front loading all the macros after the water change and then adding a single dose of micros as well. After that I usually add a dose of the Met 14, but that tends to be the only dose I am giving the tank over that time.

Weekly I have been topping of the tank when I begin to hear the sounds of the water coming from the outputs. It is in my office so I hear it quite well. Simply just add water and Seachem Safe, nothing more. I have not even been pulling out dead/ floating leaves, etc. Really, quite the opposite of what this journal preaches most of the time!

As for filter maintenance, I have probably not opened them up since May? Again, against everything I have said, but just have not gotten around to it. I am sure they are horribly nasty inside, and I do need to get to them...

Feeding this fish has been super simple, just using a few different foods and feeding 4-5 times a week. When I am not around (usually no more than 3 days in a row) I just let them be. A few times I have left API test tubes filled with the right amount of dry food for the family to feed them, and at times they remember, at times they forget! Using primarily Hikari Vibra Bites and New Life Spectrum pellets. At times they will get some cubes of frozen blood worms, maybe once a week? Mainly because it is fun to watch them eat those.

As for the plants, between water change the ones that hit the surface I may rip up and replant, or at times just top them and let them keep growing. Right now the plant selection is fairly simple as you can see by the pictures. The limnophila aromatica mini did not take well to this routine, and was tossed back in June time I believe? It would do fantastic after a water change, but after missing 1 week of water change it would stunt. Ludwigia Broadleaf couldn't be performing any better- it loves my water. The ludwigia peruensis is good for 2-3 weeks before it wants to stunt, otherwise does well. The Pogo K, which I had issues with earlier in the year, is doing amazing. Not super think with the stems, but TONS of them. Really happy with the presentation. Others are pretty well status quo. Maybe some stunting after the 3rd week (usually this will be water change time for me) otherwise pretty happy.

The algae as been interesting to me. When I first started these tanks and joined the forum, my goal was tanks like George Farmer, Green Aqua, etc. which were virtually algae free. It really bothered me when I could not achieve this. Now that I have did achieve that in the past for a few months, with high light, etc. I have reached a point where I am balancing between enjoying the fish and the pants. A bit of algae does not bother me, but I suppose it depends what kind. There are select areas where there is BBA, specifically the rocks, S. Repins, and Java Fern. I have come so accept that, and live with it- and let me tell you I am much happier for it! I am not in competition, just enjoying this for myself and my family and visitors to the house (and maybe some here? haha!). There is really no other forms of algae on the plants, no green spot, or dust or hair (knock on wood) or anything really. The glass gets some GDA by week 3, which comes off easy, maybe a little BBA in the back corners as well. Nothing horrible.

You also know about the H2O2/ Met 14 mix spray bottle I do use on water changes to spray the hardware. I take care not to hit any of the plants with this mix, trying to avoid potentially burning them. Every few months all the hardware comes out and get a bleach/ water soak. This removes anything that accumulated over time.

I think this covers most everything, but If you have a question on something I missed I would be happy to add some more. Like I mentioned above, nothing too scientific. I think the key is the 'lower' light level, keeping CO2 bumped high, and some luck? Haha.

Now that the temperatures have swung from 88 as a high to 35 as a low... I suppose I'll be a bit more active on here. Missed lots of conversation over the summer, but hope to get back up to speed and see how everyone is doing!

Reminder: The lighting is 80 for 8, never more. The Micros tend to be just one dose.

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post #535 of 707 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 06:35 AM
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Yup. Sounds like the way I run my tank . Right down to the random hidden tufts of bba and 2nd-3rd week green dust algae that signals that it's time for a water change. I believe the reduction of light is key as it is the "gas pedal.". While I don't do 80 for 8, I spike it for 100 for 2 and probably 30 for the other 6. Probably when overgrown, it's much less. The point is, as you can see, it seems that there is a lot of leeway in this lower light range.

I couldn't give up some of my pickier stems so I've given up on front loading micros and went back to daily. They definitely liked that. Front loading macros work okay but I feel odd throwing down so much after a water change so I throttled it to weekly. Otherwise, I have no doubts that I can let alone for 3 weeks if I had to go away. Especially if it's only one time away and not some regular reoccurring business trip situation. You probably wouldn't even use up your plants' reserves in 3 weeks. For the same reason, I usually cut light intensity and duration in half for long trips for a little extra insurance or just leave as is if it's just a long weekend away.

PS @Grobbins48 , don't worry, we're also in the same no filter maintenance club. Haven't opened it since the January update in my journal. Then again, it's just poret foam in there with a poret foam pre filter. Probably not much need to. When I last checked, only decomposed mulm makes its way there or whatever makes its way there, it quicky becomes that, so it's like extra substrate. Unless I get reduced flow, it's just a water mover. Probably wouldn't preach this style of tank keeping for everyone, but in the right situation, it seems to be okay.
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post #536 of 707 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 05:55 PM
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@Grobbins48 : Thanks for the thorough explanation on what you're doing, this helps me out a lot in trying to figure out what to do with my tank while I'm away. I like the reduced lighting approach. Currently my lights are one only 6 hours, so I may reduce that a little bit, but definitely will reduce the intensity.

And I'm on the same boat as you, I'm much happier when I don't fret about the tank not being perfect. It's a balance with our tanks and other activities. Plus sometimes it amazes me how I fret over plant/tank issues and work hard to resolve it, and nothing happens, when other times I'm too busy and do nothing and the tank rights itself without outside help.

@ipkiss : Thanks for your input also, it good to know others are doing the same thing successfully.

But for the both of you, you need to get in there and change those filters!!!! Otherwise I'm gonna start questioning how often I clean my filters and I don't want to go down that rabbit hole!
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post #537 of 707 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 07:20 PM
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@Grobbins48 : Thanks for the thorough explanation on what you're doing, this helps me out a lot in trying to figure out what to do with my tank while I'm away. I like the reduced lighting approach. Currently my lights are one only 6 hours, so I may reduce that a little bit, but definitely will reduce the intensity.
The first time I went away for two weeks I cut light intensity/duration way back as part of my strategy.

It was interesting. Some plants hardly blinked, while others rebelled. Of course, the complainers were light hungry plants like L. Pantanal, Rotala Mac. Var./etc. They raced to the surface trying to get nearer the light, and the fast growth was very thin and weak. Took a while to recover. Others went from rich color to more greenish, like L. Sp. Rubin and Peruensis.

Just saying it can be a mixed bag depending on what you have in the tank. If I was leaving for an extended period now, would cut back light very little and continue normal ferts. I would just hack things down before I left.

Now as to filters, I think that could be light related as well. The more light, the more you are on the edge and need every advantage. Lower light likely provides more room for error.

And here is the thing. I am sure less light would make everything easier..........but I can't drive 55!!


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post #538 of 707 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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But for the both of you, you need to get in there and change those filters!!!! Otherwise I'm gonna start questioning how often I clean my filters and I don't want to go down that rabbit hole!
So very true- Literally complete opposite of what I say all the time! Maybe in the next couple of weeks... HA! Though honestly I am on the search for new canisters. The SunSun's are just getting loud, and it is in my office all day. Funny thing is, the SunSun on my blackwater tank is silent. Strange...

Taking recomendations on silent canister filters, gonna need two of them!

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And here is the thing. I am sure less light would make everything easier..........but I can't drive 55!!
Ain't that the truth! However, at one point I was getting sick of driving all together (figuratively speaking about the tank, of course) so I figured letting off the throttle would be my best bet, for the time being at least!

Now for the rainbows, I am really enjoying them! It is interesting, I feel like since taking the light down there is much more livelihood in the tank. More activity, and the cherry barbs are non stop spawning, which is great because the females were getting bloated and egg bound. Overall, I feel like I hit a healthy stride with the tank (minus the filters... yes I need to service them!)
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post #539 of 707 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Added the driftwood back in today during maintenance. Also move all the otos over to the blackwater so they are all together in a group of like 14 or so? Hard to count them all. The LFS has some panda gara's and I think I'll grab a few this week for the 55.

Thought a little change would be good!
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post #540 of 707 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Grabbed 4 of these beauties today. Could not resist!



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