Nodima's 90 Gallon adventure - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Nodima's 90 Gallon adventure

Been wanting to start a journal on my 90gallon planted tank for a while, but now seemed like a good time.

Background

Been keeping aquariums since the late 80ís, and have had a planted tank since the mid 90ís. My main interest in aquariums over the years is split between Lake Tanganyikan cichlids, and planted tanks. Currently running 6 tanks in the house, ranging from 6 to 180 gallons. My main planted tank is the 90.

Recently, my wife and I were talking about repainting the dining room which is where the 90 resides. At the time, it was a 75 gallon tank, and my thought was that it would be a good time to go bigger. The tank had to be taken down completely anyway, and weíve always thought having some additional height would be good for the plants. Thanks to an assist to Kendall-Jackson, she agreed. At same time, Iíd admired the look of several other tanks here that use BDBS as a substrate, so why not change that out too?

So the weekend before Thanksgiving I picked up a new 90 gallon tank with black trim and silicone. Painted the back with black paint, and got everything together for the move. 100lbs of BDBS rinsed and in buckets, extra buckets and towels etc. Room painted and tank move went smoothly. This is what it looked like on that Monday night.

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Here it is almost 2 weeks after set up

<image coming soon>

Tank Specs

Tank 90 gallon, 48Ē wide, 24Ē tall, and 18Ē front to back.
Filtration: 2 Eheim 2028 canisters, return spraybar on far left, other return a jet on far left, both intakes low at far left
Heater: 2 Ebo-Jager
Lighting: 3x T5HO 54 watt, slightly staggered. 2 run for 8 hours, the third for 6 hours. All 3 are Flora Sun bulbs
CO2: pressurized using a 2Ēx12Ē Griggs reactor in line with filter return
Substrate: BDBS
Fertilizer: Basic EI mix for 60-80g tank, 3x a week, micros (CSM) 3x a week

Fauna:
~20 Devario (sp)
~10 Harlequin Raspbora
~24 Cardinal Tetra
1 Pricilla Tetra
6 Jelly Bean Tetra
9 Red and Blue Columbian tetra
4 Bristlenose Ancistrus
3 Pearl Gourami

Flora:
Red Crypt Wentii
Green crypt Wentii
Crypt usteriana
Aponogeton (sp)
Java Fern wide
Java Fern narrow
Java Fern Windlev
Crypt Spiralis
Water Sprite fine
Water Sprite coarse
Helianthium Tenellus
Helianthium Quadricostatus
Pogostemon (sp)
Limnophila sp
Hygrophila
Bucephalandra sp
Bacopa (sp)
Rotala (sp)
2 Anubius (sp)



The 75 became overrun with crypt spiralis, so as part of the move, most of it was removed. Since the tank swap, Iíve seen a significant amount of melt from the cryptocoryne wentii and some from the spiralis. Most of the other plants are showing new growth.

My goals for this journal are to get feedback, improve the health and growth of the tank, improve my maintenance routines, develop a better aquascape, and dive deeper into fertilization and lighting to further those goals. Bonus may be better identification of some of the plants I donít have correctly named.

Other notes

One thing that has to improve is the BBA situation. The 75 had been set up in one form or another for 19 years. It had two major shifts in that time, going from a 75 down to a 29 for a few years, then back to a 75. The substrate was last altered/changed in 2008 when the tank was changed back to the 75. From reading other journals and posts, one thing that may have contributed to BBA was the substrate. It had not been deep cleaned or vacuumed in years, so there may have been a lot of dissolved organics held there. Iím hoping that the swap to sand will eliminate that as a source.

Some older shots of the 75

Spring 2018

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Summer 2018 pre trim

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Summer 2018 post trim

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Fall 2018 just prior to swapping to the 90

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Water Parameters measured this morning, prior to lights and CO2 coming on and before a water change. I let the tank go 2 weeks without a change as it was setting up. Will be doing a water change shortly, and will update these values this evening, post change and after CO2 has been running.

pH 7.4
NO3 80ppm
gH 8 degrees or 142ppm
kH 6 degrees or 106 ppm

The tap had the following values:
pH 7.4
NO3 0ppm
gH 4 degrees or 71ppm
kH 4 degrees or 71ppm

Seemed odd to me that the tank had higher hardness levels, but that may be due to fertilizer additions, will have to research this some more.

Couple of shots of some plants i recently received.


Noticed the pictures are upside down and repeated at end of post how do I fix that?
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Last edited by nodim; 12-05-2018 at 10:01 PM. Reason: Playing with pictures
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 03:54 PM
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Nice looking tank!

To rotate the photos open in Windows Photo Viewer and rotate via the rotate button at the bottom. Go to the next photo and Windows Photo Viewer will automatically save the file.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Keating1 View Post
Nice looking tank!

To rotate the photos open in Windows Photo Viewer and rotate via the rotate button at the bottom. Go to the next photo and Windows Photo Viewer will automatically save the file.
Thanks, Ken.

Now how do I stop the pictures from showing up at the end of the post again?

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 06:31 PM
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Somehow you've inserted multiple links to same photo. Bring up your post, hit edit and you'll see the edit window and the photo links; delete the extra link references. Photo links look like this:

IMG]https://photo_name[/IMG except it will between brackets that look like [ ].

To delete the link delete everything including the brackets.


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Right, the only links I see are the ones embedded in line with my text. There are no links that appear for the pictures that show up (repeat) at the end of the post.

To create the post, I entered all the text, then went to manage attachments, and uploaded the pictures one after the other. To get them to appear in line, I then copied the link location and used that inside the IMG tags. On other sites, I've done the same thing, but the picture urls showed up in a row at the end of my post, but here I don't see them.

Do I instead need to put the cursor where I want the picture, then go to manage attachments, upload one picture, move the cursor to the next spot I want a picture, and repeat? Seems clunky to have to manage it that way.

Thanks for your help.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodim View Post

Do I instead need to put the cursor where I want the picture, then go to manage attachments, upload one picture, move the cursor to the next spot I want a picture, and repeat? Seems clunky to have to manage it that way.

Thanks for your help.
You'll probably need to do it this way. Not sure what you mean by "manage attachments". When I post photos I use the "insert image" icon and then insert the url per the prompt.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Retested the water parameters after the 60% water change, and the CO2 running for ~6 hours

pH 6.6
NO3 40 ppm
gH 5 degrees
kH 5 degrees

This looks to give me a .8 drop in pH, which might indicate that I could increase it a bit, is that right?

Bump: Retested the water parameters after the 60% water change, and the CO2 running for ~6 hours

pH 6.6
NO3 40 ppm
gH 5 degrees
kH 5 degrees

This looks to give me a .8 drop in pH, which might indicate that I could increase it a bit, is that right?

180g - Tropheus Bemba, Syno Petricola
125g - Planted SA Community, Firemouths & Acaras
90g - High Tech Planted
20g - low tech planted
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Two weeks in. Did first water change on Sunday, and here on Tuesday, i'm seeing some good signs.

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Lots of pearling happening. Most of the h. tennelus is sending out runners in the foreground, and the parent plants are sending up additional shoots. Seeing good growth from the Bacopa, as well as from the Rotala.

Several plants which were added a week in are also changing, the pink hygro is sending up new growth, and at least one stalk has some pink in it.

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The ludwigia is also growing, but I'm not sure the leaves are ok, may be showing some deficiency.

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On the negative side, definitely seeing diatoms on some plants, particularly some Rotala. The c spiralis suffered some melting, but at least one of them is sending up a new leaf.

Continuing with the EI dosages, but I'll need to mix up a new batch before Thursday, and with that batch, I'll jump up a bit from the 60-80gal version to the 100-120 gal version.

Was given this plant, which is supposed to be some sort of Pogostemon, it is also sending out new leaves, but I don't know what it is.

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Last edited by nodim; 12-05-2018 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Picture clean up
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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now the tank is at 3 weeks since the big change. The diatoms don't seem as bad as they were a week or so ago. Did the normal 50% change on Sunday, and mixed up a new batch of ferts using the 100-120gal mix vs the old 60-80 mix previously used.

FTS
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Seeing a lot of good growth, most notable are the runners and new plants from the h. Tenellus. Most of the plants have visible growth on them, except for the aponogeton, which seem to be still in shock.

On the negative side, I'm seeing more bba than I'd like to see. Since this seems to be generally traced back to CO2 issues, I'm wondering what to change? I'm running pressurized CO2 through a reactor on the outlet of a Eheim 2128 which enters the tank via a spraybar on the top left end, pointing across the surface. The CO2 had been on the same timer as the lights, but reasearch indicated that it might be better to start the CO2 a couple hours before lights on. Just connected another timer, and set it up this way. Thoughts on if this is something that might help reduce the BBA? Otherwise, not sure what to do, CO2 is bubbling good, last time I measured the pH drop it was .8, and I upped the CO2 rate slightly since then.

I don't want to just throw changes at the tank and not be able to tell what has an impact, so I'll make a series of changes over time as suggested.

Thanks
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Last edited by nodim; 12-10-2018 at 11:32 PM. Reason: added picture
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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4 weeks in.

First major cutting and rearrangement of plants. Additionally, last week, I got a new red bulb based on seeing the results in Burr's journal. Installed it as the front most bulb, and it really seems to change the look of the tank, the red on the Columbian Tetras and Cardinals really pops now. The rotala was also noticeably redder as well. One of the incentives to make the changes was a change in the flow in the tank. Previously, the right to left flow low in the tank was apparent, but as the plants grew, the flow weakened. I wanted to try to improve that.

Here is what I started with:

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In no particular order, the changes made.

Removed the large java fern to the left of the stump - this was put into my 125 for later.
Trimmed and replanted the pink hygro in place of the Java Fern
Moved a bunch of h Quadristatus to join the other bunch in the far left.
Added some new Pogostemon Helferi in front of the stump
Removed the bacopa from right of stump, and cut/replanted it a bit to the right. In the process learned I stink at getting that nice flow from short to tall. More practice to follow. Behind the stumps branch trimmed the bunch of bacopa and tried to give it flow. The concept was a try at a diagonal row going mid to back crossing the stump. It might work in another trim or two. I was also curious to see how the plants would react to trimming and saved/replanted 3 types. The rooted bottoms, some mid cuts, and tops.
Did same thing as Bacopa to the rotala on far right
Removed the watersprite from the back right corner
planted Saurogyne Repens in front, right of center

Here is where we sit now - ignore the bit of rotala that unbuttoned - did not want to dive in again!

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So now, the stump is much more visible, and what i think might be pogostemon is the tallest plant. I got it from a friend who was growing it in a lower tech tank, and the difference in the size of leaves is astounding. Newest ones are almost 6" long, and about 1/4" wide. As given, they were 3" long and 1/8th wide if that.
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Last edited by nodim; 12-17-2018 at 09:40 PM. Reason: added picture
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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6 or so weeks in, the tank is slowly coming together. The earlier algae issues are receeding, though there is still some persistent BBA I need to keep in check. Based on reading, I've made an effort to focus more on cleanliness, and to this point have cleaned both the canisters since the last update, and will do so again over the next couple of weeks.

Only other "Major" change is adding a koralia pump for additional circulation across the front bottom. This past weekend saw another trimming and rescaping, and the tank now looks like this.

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In a nutshell, I realized there were too many red plants, too close together on the right side.

I moved the Pogostemon to the back middle, and moved the Ludwigia to that spot. Moved some Hydrocotyle to the far right front corner, so now there is some green there offsetting the red of the crypts. At some point, I'll add some green behind the crypts, in front of the rotala.

In the center, the h. tenellus was trimmed on both ends and back by cutting the runners, and removing some plants. The staurogrens is now to the left of the h tenellus. Trimmed back the bacopa tall stalks.

On the left side, the hygro pink was trimmed significantly, freeing up space for the crypt spiralis and the hygro difformis to grow.

Pardon the water spots on the glass, as I did not get to that one.

180g - Tropheus Bemba, Syno Petricola
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 01:36 PM
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It looks like it's settled quickly after such a big change not too long ago! Really love the stump and I'm sure the bristlenoses do too.

Is that the crypt wendtii on the right-hand side? It's looking really red!

Journal
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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It looks like it's settled quickly after such a big change not too long ago! Really love the stump and I'm sure the bristlenoses do too.

Is that the crypt wendtii on the right-hand side? It's looking really red!
Thanks. It is definitely settling in. You are correct on the crypt, it is the red wendtii. There is actually some more behind the h quadrostatus on the far left as well, but obstructed from the front. Need to work on that end over the next month or so.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-25-2019, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Did not remember to take pictures or do an update at the end of January, but the tank needed a significant trim over this past weekend. Since the last update, I acquired some L. repens x aruata, and lost a light ballast, requiring a wiring project. Inadvertently during that project a blue bulb was added to the trio, replacing a white. It makes an interesting look. There was a bit more bba starting, which may have been related to the overgrown plants. Here is what it looked like on Saturday.

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Sunday morning, it was time to trim. Completely removed the bacopa, tenellus, l repens, pogostemon, quadricostatus, and hygro. The hygro was not put back in tank, while all the others were significantly trimmed and replanted. The tenellus was particularly in need of control, as it hid a lot of detritus. Amazing to have such a huge mass of it in only a couple months. Several of the nicer stems and plants went to my LFS, but still threw away half of a 5 gallon bucket. At this time I did not make much effort into getting the plantings organized too well. My club has an auction in Mid March, and I'm thinking that will be a good time to remove a species or three, but I'm not sure exactly what I'll purge.

Ended up like this, excuse the cloudiness, it has settled down a bit since this was taken.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 12:32 AM
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How did I miss this thread??

Based on the pre trim shot, you have figured out how to get plants to grow, and that's half the battle.

The plants look healthy, and the tank is very well presented.....nice work!

To make it easier for others to understand what you are dosing, you should start thinking in terms of ppm. When you say you are dosing 60-80 gallon or 100-120 EI, that really doesn't mean much. If you haven't already, seek out and learn to use either the Rotalabutterly or Zorfox calculators. It will also be easier for you to compare your dosing to others.

As to the BBA, it's usually the result of too much light, not enough CO2, and too many dissolved organics. Can also mean not enough ferts, and sometimes too much flow.

Your 3x T5HO is probably medium high PAR. Very doable. But it's high enough that you need to get everything else right.

Your pH drop of 0.08 is really not much. Many, myself included, shoot for a drop closer to 1.2 to 1.4. Just saying, it makes everything else easier.

It sounds like you are already stepping up maintenance, and this is a big key to preventing BBA. Regular water changes, gravel vacs, filter cleanings, etc. And I would add not overfeeding fish to that list, and not feeding frozen foods.

Keep an eye where you are aiming the new power head. Sometimes BBA loves the highest flow spot. If you see it developing where the power head is pointing, you probably have too much flow.

If you want to see the way most folks post their parameters, there is a link in my signature to a shared google drive. Download the "Tank Parameters V3.0" worksheet. Many here fill that out, take a screenshot, then post it in their thread to show what they are up to. Also makes if much easier for others to help you.

Good luck with the tank. Looks like a great start, and I am looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
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