My First Swing At a Planted 40 (Pics) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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My First Swing At a Planted 40 (Pics)

The time has arrived that I build a Journal for my Planted 40G tank. (Mostly for myself, but hopefully someone can learn a thing or two as I go along.)

So, The Basics.
TANK DIMENSIONS: 48'"L X 18"H X 12"D





FILTRATION: FLUVAL 306 Canister Filter


Aqueon AT30 Internal Filter



LIGHTING: FINNEX 24/7 Planted Plus



Lighting currently sits 6" off of water surface, 23" for the Substrate level. Plans are to build custom Hood and Cover. Which will keep the lights closer to 25/26" from the Substrate.



SUBSTRATE: Current set up Organic Potting Soil. Roughly 4" deep. Topped with some ECO-COMPLETE.
Further plans are to add a 1.5" cap of Black Diamond Blasting Sand.



NATIVE DECORATIONS: 4 Pieces of native Lava Rock. Manzanita Branch from local Alpine Lake Trail.



FOLIAGE In no specific Order; Hygrophila Compacta, Staurogyne Repens, Dwarf Hair Grass, Anubias Barteri, Vallisneria Spiralis, Bacopa Monnieri.





FERTS I am Currently not dosing anything. But Have Seachem Flourish, and some KNO3 on the way to help some of the plants along. Also will be adding Seachem Root Tabs. trying to give them as big of a bump with out a CO2 injection.


LIVESTOCK: Currently have 7 RCS, 3 Otocinclus. Have some MTS on the way. Looking to complete the stock with some Neon's and either Gouramis or Blood Noses.
Daniel.E. and ladykemma2 like this.

A Local Failing Planted Tank Artist
-40G Planted Tank (Work In Progress)
*ORGANIC SOIL, ECO-COMPLETE, FLUVAL 306 CANISTER.
*8 RCS, 3 OTOCINCLUS.
*2 24" 24/7 PLANTED+
-20G Tall (NO PLANS, ADOPTED FISH)
*White Sand (Deep Bed), Local Lava Rock (Desert).
*Internal Filter (Aqueon AT30)
*1 Yellow Chichlid.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Previous Filtration Set Up

I had previously set up the tank with an Over Flow System with two 1" PVC intakes. Went through a trap and both connected to a 2" Union that dumped into the sump. Sump was set up with 5 different chambers. Outlet from 2" Union, contained Carbon Sock Filter over pipe opening. Coarse Carbon Filter media to hold the Bio Balls down. Second chamber had white sand with another Lava Rock, scavenged plants that had floated up, and one of the heaters. The 3rd chamber had a Medium Media and also contained Ceramic Rings. 4th chamber had a final form of Ceramic Rings along with Fine Coarse Polishing Pads to help with water clarity. Last chamber held the return pump.





About 6 Weeks of the system running as well as I could have imagined, I came home to a return pump almost sucking dry, and a pretty lowered water level. The 1" to 2" T joint wasn't glued enough and developed a leak. Ran to the Local Pets store to find a FLUVAL 306 on sale. Assembled the new canister with all the media that had run through the Sump, into the canister to hopefully keep the bacterial Colony Alive. New Canister has been running 8 days now. No dramatic change in water Perimeters.

We are about to start moving in the next week. Not much is going to change in the next 15-20 days. Hoping to keep a steady running Bacterial Colony in the tank till then with no new cycles from new filter.

Once tank is moved to Living Room, I Hope to add some plants that will replace the ones taken out by the Brown Hair Algae. I have a few plants surviving in the "Refugium" that I kept running itself with the return pump and some re-arranged piping. Keeping them acclimated with a slow drip feed with some air tubing a few days after the water change for the 40G tank. Most of the plants have established root systems, hoping for a good transition. I would love to be able to re-construct the overflow system as I built the sump chambers by hand, but may use it for a different 30 Gallon tank a friend will be handing over. Yet to fully decide. May just keep it under the 40G for a rescue tank for plants and fish when the time comes to fully stock it.

A Local Failing Planted Tank Artist
-40G Planted Tank (Work In Progress)
*ORGANIC SOIL, ECO-COMPLETE, FLUVAL 306 CANISTER.
*8 RCS, 3 OTOCINCLUS.
*2 24" 24/7 PLANTED+
-20G Tall (NO PLANS, ADOPTED FISH)
*White Sand (Deep Bed), Local Lava Rock (Desert).
*Internal Filter (Aqueon AT30)
*1 Yellow Chichlid.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Tank update

It has been a few months now, and minimal progress... Still Fighting algae pretty good. GSA seems to thrive on both of the Anubius'. Shrimp are actually doing well. Bought another "breeder pack" from aquatic Arts that are way better color quality then the ones purchased from Amazon "Imperial Tropics". Have only seen two new shrimp from the Original 50 (realistically I think 12 survived the first 24 hours). The Oto's also did not make it.

I feed the shrimp "Shrimp king" food pellets, and the Oto was eating Algae waffers by "New Life Spectrum"

Tank Parameters were very steady. 20G water changes roughly every 7/8 days. pH-7.8, Amm-0ppm, Nitrite- 0ppm, Nitrate-0ppm, PO3/-4 - 3.0ppm, KH-5,GH-6. These have been this steady since July 18th when I added the first batch of Cherries. pH was (8.2) upon testing after adding shrimp. (pH was 8.0 the previous week).

Along with adding a new "breeder Pack" I had added 8 neon Tettra's from Aquatic Arts. Came home from work at 2 am and could only see 7 of the 8. Woke up this morning and ALL had vanished. Moved some foliage around and found 3. Took apart the FLUVAL canister and found 3 more, along with 3 living shrimp!

My question is... Why would all of the Tetra's die at once? is the ph level too high? The Oto's and shrimp seem to be handling just fine. I had done roughly a 10 minute tank soak with them in their own bags, drip acclimated, and tried to not use ANY of the drip fed water and shipped water to go into the tank. What did I do wrong??

A Local Failing Planted Tank Artist
-40G Planted Tank (Work In Progress)
*ORGANIC SOIL, ECO-COMPLETE, FLUVAL 306 CANISTER.
*8 RCS, 3 OTOCINCLUS.
*2 24" 24/7 PLANTED+
-20G Tall (NO PLANS, ADOPTED FISH)
*White Sand (Deep Bed), Local Lava Rock (Desert).
*Internal Filter (Aqueon AT30)
*1 Yellow Chichlid.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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So a little update. I am losing a uphill battle with Black Beard Algae, and GSA. The BBA has attached its self to just about every plant and rock/driftwood. My last two water changes I have heavily soaked with a spray bottle, Hydrogen Peroxide. I noticed a good portion of it turned orange in color! I assumed this was a great thing! tried removing as much as I could, but with it being EVERYWHERE I did not get it all. I then noticed this morning some of the remaining BBA was turning back to a green color...

I started dosing with Thrive about 4/5 weeks ago. I would use 2-3 pumps immediately after a water change, and then 3/4 days later. I noticed the BBA seemed to explode with growth shortly after doing so with the Thrive. So I cut back using the thrive to see if that has any affect.

I was also told to look into Seachem Flourish Excel. As it will eliminate the Algae, but to what effect on my plants?

All shrimp have perished, All Oto's as well, as well as the Tetra's. I have a pretty good feeling it was a too high level of pH. I have a fairly steady pH of 6.7/6.8 now with extra driftwood and Peat Moss in the filtration. I would really like to get Tetra's again, but can not get the pH to any lower of a level. Everything I read seems to recommend a reading of around pH 5/5.5

I think I am going to take the Lava Rocks out as the can raise pH as well. I really enjoy the look of them, and can't see a suitable replacement. But I also really need to figure out this pH and algae issue...

A Local Failing Planted Tank Artist
-40G Planted Tank (Work In Progress)
*ORGANIC SOIL, ECO-COMPLETE, FLUVAL 306 CANISTER.
*8 RCS, 3 OTOCINCLUS.
*2 24" 24/7 PLANTED+
-20G Tall (NO PLANS, ADOPTED FISH)
*White Sand (Deep Bed), Local Lava Rock (Desert).
*Internal Filter (Aqueon AT30)
*1 Yellow Chichlid.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 11:17 PM
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How long is your photoperiod?

Couple post up you mentioned you had a reading of 0 nitrates. I believe this was when you were dosing Flourish, or were you dosing Thrive when you had these readings?

How are your current parameters?

Are you noticing a lot of gas release from the substrate?


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