Ultum Nature Systems 90P Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Ultum Nature Systems 90P Journal

I've been meaning to start this journal for a while but never got around to it, so I am going to start from the beginning of this tank back in December 2017 and work my way forwards to present.

I came up with the concept years ago to build two externally matching aquariums, but have one house a reef and the other be planted. Both would be in the same room to create a cool dichotomy. Late last year the purchase of a new home presented the perfect opportunity.

I originally wanted to do two UNS 90U's and drill the reef. After some consultation came to the conclusion that this wasn't a good idea, and also the 90U wouldn't fit in the space I needed it to. So plans were altered slightly and I downsized the planted tank to a 90p and had the saltwater tank custom built by Planet Aquariums. The stands were custom built by Aquarium Design Group in Houston who I worked with on the entire project.



The saltwater tank was kept at roughly the same dimensions as a 90U.



I spent hours piecing together the hardscape in ADG's warehouse rummaging through their extensive selection of materials and finally ended up with this.





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post #2 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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So with everything back at home and moved to their final resting spots, ended up with this:





And then got the hardscape back into place.



Then I put my trusty old Bulk Reef Supply 150GPD RODI system and water change station to work making water to fill the tank, and threw the driftwood into my crawfish boil to waterlog the very floaty wood before final placement into the tank.







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post #3 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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After the wood was waterlogged and cooled off, it was back into the tank for a final hardscape including sand. Temporary lighting was used as my final light choice was still on it's way.



And with the rockscape in place for the reef as well.



Then got to planting with all epiphytes, various different buces, anubias, and narrow leaf Java fern.



Then time to fill!



And Day 1 of the 90p planted tank:


I was still working on plumbing and filling the saltwater tank over the next couple of days while the rest of the equipment was on it's way in.





More to come soon.

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post #4 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 11:37 AM
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Looking forward to this!
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post #5 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 11:41 AM
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Very cool idea with the two tanks. Nice work so far!
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post #6 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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So one of my biggest challenges with this build is that these two new systems were replacing already established and stocked systems. The old systems were at my old home, and I had a firm and short deadline to get the aquariums out of there. This means I was on a tight timeline to get both new systems (salt and fresh) running so that all livestock could be transferred from the old, leaving little to no time for a proper cycle.

To help mitigate this for the freshwater tank, I planned to use an Eheim 2213 that had been running on my Ultum 5N and the Eheim 2215 that was running on my Ultum 60U for filtration on the 90P. This would give me plenty of filtration and both filters had been running for a year so were already biologically established. I also picked up several bottles of AquaVitro Seed, a product I truly love and use even on established tanks at water change time to help keep biologicals thriving.

The 2213 went on first along with the Eheim Skim 350 that had been on my 60U.



With temporary hosing in place:


Which brings me to a good point for equipment list.

Filters:
Eheim 2213
Eheim 2215
Eheim Skim350
CalAqua glass filter pipes x4
Lee's 1/2" clear pond tubing

Lights:
2x AI Prime Freshwater with AI mounting arms

CO2:
GLA Mini-SS solenoid and 5# cylinder
CalAqua inline diffuser

And so after the 2213 was on and running for a day I transferred over the 19 Tucano tetras, 3 o-cats, and 1 betta from my 60U system before breaking it down.



At this point I had to focus on the saltwater tank so I basically left the 90P as is for a while.





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post #7 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-25-2018, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Now this is where I made a critical mistake. I was very focused on the reef tank, as the fish and corals I had from the old tank were precious to me (and also very expensive). So it took me about a week to get back around to setting up the Eheim 2215.

With final plumbing, glass, and CO2 in place:


And the cabinet organized:


And the "final" look of the tank at day20:





And a walkthrough of both tanks:
https://youtu.be/xqHMMYSAH58

But this is where fish started to die. And I couldn't figure out the reason why. Water tests read normal, no sign of NH3 or NO2. I tried using some API Triple Sulfa for a week, which seemed to help, but eventually continued to lose fish. I was also getting horrible algae to the point of green water. I also stopped photo documenting the tank at this part because it looked so terrible.

I finally came up with the idea that the 2215 had probably gone anaerobic from sitting for a week or so. So I replaced all of the media in both the 2213 and 2215 with fresh stuff (biorings, the mechanical balls, and all pads). This almost instantly helped and the tank had signs of going through a fresh cycle at this point. But the damage had been done. All of the fish were gone and nearly all of the plants were either dead or close to it. So I let it sit fallow for probably a month, pulled dead plants, and basically just let it stabilize and cycle.



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Last edited by ange062; 08-26-2018 at 12:29 AM.
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post #8 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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So after the fallow period and letting everything cycle and stabilize, I started restocking the tank with neon tetras and purple harlequin rasboras.

I was still apprehensciois about adding livestock so I had a bubble filter in place for a few weeks to provide additional aeration. You can also see the sad state of the plants at this point. Only a couple of the original buces and most of the anubias made it through the struggle period.



But overall, I was happy with the progress of both tanks at this point. The saltwater had pretty much been a dream since the start with minimal problems and now the 90P was headed back in the right direction.





And a few weeks later found some choice gourami to add:



I was having a problem with jumpers, however, and decided on the Red Sea DIY cover since aesthetically it worked well with the clean rimless look of both tanks. I was especially excited about this on the reef tank as it opened up some new stocking choices (wrasses) that are known jumpers.



And my gourami's are very inquisitive and shy is not in their vocabulary (), here they are investigating during a weekly water change.







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post #9 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Another struggle I was having was due to the location of the tank by large windows. The tank would receive direct sunlight in the afternoon which I remedied by closing automated blinds, but it was still enough indirect light to cause extra algae.

The direct light did make for a few minutes of rainbows a day though



90P at the end of May:


And both tanks at end of May:


And to help rectify the algae problem I added an AquaUV 8w filter that I originally bought for the saltwater tank. If you haven't tried UV filters, wow!!! I can't believe it took me so long to find them, they are a literal magical tool for any aquarium in my opinion. I won't run another aquarium without one again.



And the final stocking additions were some opaline gourami and gorgeous turquoise rainbows.



And at the end of July I ripped out any remaining suffering plants and replaced with a big order from Buce Plant.





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post #10 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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This pretty much catches up to current day. The challenges on this tank were only quickly summarized here but in reality it was a long, drawn out, and frustrating process. I nearly gave up and just started over with a totally different concept on multiple occasions. At this point, I am just looking forward to growth and shaping the plants better as they grow. The epiphytes rooting.over driftwood and rock is already adding a rustic and aged appearance and I think in 6-9mo it's going to look really amazing.

If you are familiar with my 60U tank journal, you'll know that I also have Ultum 5N and 3N tanks that have been through a few iterations. These two also made it into the new house opposite the large tanks. They dont get much attention as I spend most of my free time working on the large tanks so I'm pretty much just keeping them simple and clean.

5N:


3N:


The big tanks during a full moon cycle:


And both tanks with lights on. For information, I run my lights for 6-hrs from 6p-12a with a 1-hr sunrise / sunset. This allows me to actually enjoy viewing them while I am at home.



And the latest FTS from mig-August:


I will continue to update moving forwards!



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post #11 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 11:06 PM
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Great looking tanks and nice journal.

I like the way all the equipment is neatly arranged, inside and outside the tank. Very well done.

Those Rainbows get pretty large, but it will take quite awhile. Look forward to seeing how things progress from here.
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post #12 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 11:57 PM
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beautiful. love this journal

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post #13 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 01:32 AM
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Sorry to hear about the troubles, but glad to hear the tank eventually got back into shape.

I'm curious what the current stocking numbers look like in the 90P? I'm actually thinking of doing something similar (but more focused on the smaller fish), and would be interested to learn from what is working in yours.


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post #14 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 11:27 AM
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Wow both of those ranks are beautiful. Very nice work, and thank you for sharing that process. Looking forward to where thus thread goes. Also, wouldn't mind seeing a FTS of the salt water!



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post #15 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Great looking tanks and nice journal.

I like the way all the equipment is neatly arranged, inside and outside the tank. Very well done.

Those Rainbows get pretty large, but it will take quite awhile. Look forward to seeing how things progress from here.
Thanks!! I'm a little OCD when it comes to cabinet organization, haha. Tesa tape is used in automotive wiring (stereo systems and what not) and is incredibly useful for managing cords on aquariums also
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Originally Posted by rwong2k View Post
beautiful. love this journal

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Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiede View Post
Sorry to hear about the troubles, but glad to hear the tank eventually got back into shape.

I'm curious what the current stocking numbers look like in the 90P? I'm actually thinking of doing something similar (but more focused on the smaller fish), and would be interested to learn from what is working in yours.
Let's see, right now I have: 4 dwarf gourami, 2 opaline gourami, 7 turquoise rainbows, 8 neon tetras, 7 harlequin rasbora, and about a dozen amano shrimp. Plan to add a couple of Siamese algae eaters soon. I've always liked my planted tanks over-filtered and heavily stocked.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grobbins48 View Post
Wow both of those ranks are beautiful. Very nice work, and thank you for sharing that process. Looking forward to where thus thread goes. Also, wouldn't mind seeing a FTS of the salt water!
Thanks!! Here is an FTS of the saltwater from August.



And a close-up of my lineatus wrasse. Sorry it's a bad picture but his colors are incredible in natural sunlight, far more stunning than the 14k reef lighting.





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