Quag's Low Tech - High Light 90G - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quag's Low Tech - High Light 90G

Work and life slowed down enough to allow me to re-start my 90 gallon tank. It was up and running basically maintenance free with only a rock shrimp, 2 oto cats and a dwarf plec for a few months.

I'm going to try and stay on the low-tech side of things with this tank for now. I've already got a high light tank and I can't justify doing the 60-70% water changes on something 3x as large at this time, or grabbing another CO2 system.

Anyways, the specs:

Tank - 90 gallon 48"H x 18"W x 24"T
Filtration - Eheim 2217 and Marineland C-220 - Going to have to grab a surface skimmer at some point.
Lighting - 1 x 48" Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0, might add a single 54w T5-HO tube for the stem plants, time will tell.
Substrate - K&E Industrial Sand x 100lbs -- see here: https://www.tscstores.com/50LB-KE-B2...AND-P4428.aspx

SDS of this sand 99% matched BDBS, so for us Canadians (so far - 2 weeks in my setup without any issues) this will work as a direct replacement for BDBS.

Water:

Going to try 100% tap water... Haven't done that in almost 6 years, but water changes should be easier. If I'm having some trouble I'll mix in some RO, but being low tech I would rather stick to 100% tap.

pH - 8.2
kH - 15
gH - 17

Fertilizer:

AquariumFertilizer . com's macro-micro mix

KH2PO4

Aiming for 10-15ppm NO3 a week (dosed around 1-1.5ppm a day) 2ppm PO4 or so.
Might pick up some Flourish Comprehensive because of the higher pH. Depends on how hard the fert demand is.

Custom DIY root tabs I make up and place under the mythical "common root feeders"

Root tabs: 4% Nitrogen 13.6% Phosphorous 26.2% Potassium 10.3% Sulfur 0.1% Boron 0.3% Zinc 3.4% Magnesium **non-guaranteed analysis, roughly these values.
** Derived from: • Monoammonium Phosphate + Ammonium Sulfate + Proprietary Zinc Compounds • Potassium Magnesium Sulfate • Potassium Chloride + Calcium Hexaborate Pentahydrate + Sodium Tetraborate Anhydrous **

I "might" experiment with a tiny amount of poly-coated urea put in the tabs as well... That's a project for later though.

10mL daily Metricide 14.

Current Livestock:
1 x Rock Shrimp
1 x unknown 15 year old, 1 eyed dwarf plec
2 x Oto Cat
3 x Chili Rasbora

Future Livestock:
1 x massive colony of high grade red Neocaridina Shrimp
150 x chili rasbora
20 x Pseudomugil gertrudae - Spotted Blue-eye Rainbowfish
1 x unknown 15 year old, 1 eyed dwarf plec
10-15 x Oto Cat
10-20 x Amano Shrimp
5 x Rock Shrimp

Plants:

Background

Rotala rotundifolia
Myriophyllum mattogrossense
Cabomba caroliniana
Myriophyllum tuberculatum
Cryptocoryne balansae
Lysimachia nummularia
Ludwigia Repens
Bacopa caroliniana
Nymphaea zenkeri
Nymphoides hydrophilla 'Taiwan'

Midground

Bacopa monnieri 'Compact'
Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'
Crinum calamistratum
Aponogeton crispus
Echinodorus ozelot ‘red’
Blyxa japonica
Lobelia cardinalis
Bolbitis heudelotii
Anubias nana
Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘green’
Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘brown’
Cryptocoryne lutea
Hygrophila corymbosa ‘compact’
Pogostemon helferi

Foreground

Hydrocotyle tripartita 'japan'
Cryptocoryne parva

The stand is a custom welded steel frame, polished and clear coated with old pallet-wood siding / doors (still in process of finishing the doors) also clear coated and an MDF inside shelf. Each leg of the stand has a 1" bolt with the hex head facing down to allow for perfect leveling of the stand.

So, picture time.

Old tank and old stand:





New stand and new setup:















Initial plant melt was expected, but really only the Blyxa and Apongeton melted back. Everything else is doing fairly well and I'm starting to see some new growth around 10 days in or so.

Lights are on 6 hours a day, but there is tons of ambient room light all day and basically direct sunlight for 2 hours or so as the sun is setting to the west. I'll get some blinds / shades at some point...

Next step would be to get the shrimp population started, and then place an order at the LFS for 50 chili rasboras. But that will come in due time. Fingers crossed I don't have any new tank problems, so far so good!
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Last edited by Quagulator; 11-29-2018 at 07:08 PM. Reason: Title
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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 11:02 PM
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Looks awesome! I'm excited to see the big school of chili rasboras in such a nice space
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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 11:23 PM
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Nice to see this starting up, and interested to watch it progress!
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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 11:43 PM
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Great looking start up.

Will be very curious to see how this goes without CO2.

Should be interesting and a good learning experience for everyone.
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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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PAR values on the same tank. 3.0 version instead of my 2.0, but PAR is very similar. These were measured through a glass lid.



PAR values directly from Fluval, 2.0 version.



Light spread over 18" front - back is what is hurting my single fixture.

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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 09-16-2018, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
Substrate - K&E Industrial Sand x 100lbs -- see here: https://www.tscstores.com/50LB-KE-B2...AND-P4428.aspx

SDS of this sand 99% matched BDBS, so for us Canadians (so far - 2 weeks in my setup without any issues) this will work as a direct replacement for BDBS.
This is so ironic, I was just looking at TSC stores in the states to see which store is closest to me. Low and behold, my google search took me to the Canadian TS store and they have a black blasting sand. Then I'm reading through journals (is there anything better to do on a Saturday Night) and come across this post!

Any update on the sand? I'm thinking of heading to my local store tomorrow, its currently on sale for $13.99 a 50lb bag,


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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 09-16-2018, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipfinger View Post
This is so ironic, I was just looking at TSC stores in the states to see which store is closest to me. Low and behold, my google search took me to the Canadian TS store and they have a black blasting sand. Then I'm reading through journals (is there anything better to do on a Saturday Night) and come across this post!

Any update on the sand? I'm thinking of heading to my local store tomorrow, its currently on sale for $13.99 a 50lb bag,
Go for it, I used about 100 or so pounds for 48" x 18" x 2.5".

Rinse it really good though.

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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 09-16-2018, 08:46 PM
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Go for it, I used about 100 or so pounds for 48" x 18" x 2.5".

Rinse it really good though.
4 bags purchased, rinsed and sitting in buckets!


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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Glory of lower tech tanks is they progress slightly slower. Still need to sort out my dosing. I thought I was dosing fairly lean, checked NO3 and it was between 40ppm - 80ppm. No fish (tiny pleco and 2 oto cats).

Picked up some fire red cherry shrimp from a local auction, they are hardly even cherry shrimp, I'm a little disappointed at the quality.

Here is the nicest female I could find



FTS



I need to figure out flow too. The plants have a nice northern facing lean to them (flow related).

And finally, running the Fluval 2.0 and 2 x 54 watt T5's for 2 weeks without any concerning algae growth. There is some (note the back glass) but nothing crazy hard to control. I'm definitely playing with fire here, but so far so good .....

Florasun and 6400k


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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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It's been a while since I updated this thread.

Fish are in!

Chili rabsoras are out, tetras are in.

Ember Tetra x 40
Gertrude rainbow fish x 16
30 + Red cherries, at least 10+ super buried females

Things are going very well at this point. No noticeable algae growth other than some simple GSA on the glass. Usually I can go 2 weeks before the glass needs cleaned off.

I battled with surface biofilm on this tank for a year or so, I finally broke down and bought a surface skimmer for the canister filter. What a great purchase! works perfectly as intended. I purchased the Fluval branded skimmer, hooked it onto the Marineland C-220 and the biofilm was gone within hours, the skimmer was easy for me to adjust for evaporation and so far no issues (4+ weeks in).

Lights are still:

9 hours Fluval Fresh and Plant 2.0
5 hours 2 x 54 watt T5-HO -- 1 x 6400K, 1 x Zoomed FloraSun

Here is my super simple breakdown of what I INTEND to dose. Currently I am only front loading macros with a small dose of CSM+B.
***No daily dosing of CSM+B or Flourish Iron at this point***



I should make up a batch of my root tabs... The Red Ozolet sword is looking pretty sad...

Anyway, pics:

Stand + Tank




FTS:




Left Side:




Right Side:




Phish!!

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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 03:20 PM
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Great journal, and the tank is looking amazing. Really cool to see what you can do on the low-tech side of things. Is that tall and spindly P. stellatus in the back right corner?


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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Great journal, and the tank is looking amazing. Really cool to see what you can do on the low-tech side of things. Is that tall and spindly P. stellatus in the back right corner?
Pogostemon stellatus sp. "octopus"

Got it from a local auction. It is a massive plant. I'm planning on only keeping 2 stems in the back corner. The top leaves - tip to tip - are around 10" or so. I'm going to do a decent trim and general clean up of plants as they are filling in really nicely now.

I think the P. stellatus sp. "octopus" is going a pale orange / pink color at the top, it's in the main filter flow right now, so I'll have to trim it down and confirm. Maybe tonight.
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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Picked up an oto cat army, no amano shrimp in the country it seems. Nerite snail or two and amano's are next. The only algae is some GSA on the glass and rocks, other than that nothing. Surprises me how I seem to get away with "high" light and no CO2 on lower tech tanks. Actually I lied, I've got some Cyano in the substrate along the front glass, hopefully it doesn't spread but I've got Chemiclean locked and loaded in case is begins to creep onto the plants.

Running a Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0 for 10 hours a day @ 100% and a 2 x 54W T5-HO AquaticLife Fixture with good reflectors for the last 5 hours of the photo period. 1 x 6400k and 1 x FloraSun 5000K. I noticed the taller stem plants are leaning into the more forward facing Fluval light, so I switched up to running both at the same time for 6 hours a day, hopefully getting the stem plants to grow up instead of leaning forward towards the Fluval light that was running for longer.

Dosing 10ppm NO3, 10ppm K, 3.5ppm PO4 and 10ppm Mg after weekly water change, roughly 30-40% (it's supposed to be a low tech tank so I just eyeball it). Pipes are frozen now, so my bypass to the water softener is out of commission. I'm going to try and plumb in a bypass into the basement and set up a new RO unit as well as a storage tote with an auto shut off. Used softened tap water for this last water change, dosed CaSO4 Ca to 35ppm and MgSO4 Mg to 10ppm. Only problem is the new water is now at 450 ppm TDS. Less than ideal, but it will have to do for now. NO3 was a little high (40 ppm or so, who can really tell with the API kit??!!) after the water change, so I skipped out on the NO3 dose this week.

Micros are targeting 0.1ppm Fe with CSM+B 4 times weekly (to be honest it's whenever I remember). Met 14 daily. Lots and lots of my custom root tabs though. pH is too high for CSM+B but oh well, low tech problems right?? LOL.

Pictures!:






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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Tidied up the grouping a bit. Tank needs a WC but... outside pipes are frozen so... Softened tap water it is for now unfortunately . After remineralizing the softened tap TDS is 600ppm.... oh well.

Lots of root tabs, the occasional micro dose, macro dose 10 ppm NO3, 3ppm PO4 and 10ppm K after each WC. Met 14 if I remember daily.

Fish get a mix of NorthFin micro pellets and a daily splurge of 'squished snail against the glass' and are very healthy (as far as I can tell). Shrimp are looking okay, no increase in population yet...

Algae scrape on front / sides and siphoning of mulm weekly. Filters need cleaned, that's this weekend's project. Look in the pics and try to see where the Fluval's light spread reaches the back glass So far high light / no CO2 / low tech / 30-40% weekly WC and only an easily manageable of GDA is present.

FTS:










Myriophyllum spp. brown? red? mattogrossense red? tuberculatum? (looks more orange / red in person)

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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 03:44 PM
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Plants loom super healthy!

Is that Hygro Compact in front of the driftwood? They look very bushy and lovely. For some reason they tend to drop lower leaves easily, end up growing taller and have never looked this bushy. Is there a specific way to trim them?


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