90 gallon rejuvenation - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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90 gallon rejuvenation


This is a 90 gallon corner tank. It has been set up for, what I am coming to understand, is a very long time: 8.5 years.
The tank has gone through various stages of care and neglect but never torn down. Iíve been working on bringing it back to life for about 3 months now. There is a steep learning curve!
Some tank info:
- Fluval Venezia corner tank (I think)
- currently 2 - 6 year old 24Ē T5ho bulbs in front and 2 unknown 12Ē bulbs in the back corner. Updating lights in the next 2 weeks.
- drilled with a Fluval 406 canister. Very well established media
Neutral sand substrate. Unknown brand.

Last weekly 50% water change:
Ph 7.5 (untreated tap water is 8.0)
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 5-10

Fauna: 2 - 7ish year old Denison Barbs, 10 green tetras, 2 silver tip tetras (added after tank stabilized), 4 elderly platies, 1 - 8 year old bristlenose pleco, 1-5 year old peppered Cory, 2 assassin snails
Fauna: a whole lot of 8.5 year old crypts, spiral vals, a tall crypt and a good sized bolbitis
Using Seachem Flourish as per bottle instructions.

This tank was truly neglected for quite a long time. My not so secret shame.... I didnít know the canister filter needed to be rinsed/cleaned regularly. I rinsed the sponges and changed them occasionally. Rinsed 8 years of crud out that fateful day 3 months ago - good times.

Mini cycle and massive ph swing followed. All but a couple platies made it through.

There is a ton of hard red algae on the back glass and Iíve been slowly working on scraping it off the front during weekly maintenance. It grows back quite quickly. Particularly where the filter output hits the glass. Iíve never seen anything like it. Started a few years ago when I wasnít maintaining the tank properly. Guessing itís part of the set up going for so long?

Currently debating tearing it down and starting over with new substrate. But I have no idea what to do with the fish, plants and filter during that time.
Alternatively just plowing ahead with updating the lid, lighting and eventually adding Co2.

Ultimate goal is a healthy, heavily planted tank with Rainbow fish.

Still have so much to learn!

Tank as of today:

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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These pictures taken after the weekly 40% water change.
Picked up what I thought was Eleocharis montevidensis but itís actually Eleocharis acicularis so foreground carpeting plant it is! I donít expect much from it given the depth of the tank and not having Co2.

The new lights came, a few days ago. Fluval 3.0 for the front and a Satellite Plus Pro for for the back. But still need to cut glass for the lid.
The 24Ē ballast disagreed with my plan and stopped working suddenly after the water change.
This is the end result:

So far the plastic wrap is holding up and keeping the old, jumpy Denison Barbs in.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 12:19 PM
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I think it's good to work on changes, rather than ripping things apart to start from scratch - you learn more and it's more rewarding when you see the difference. You might find that the algae resolves gradually with new lights and new maintenance routine. I would try and clear as much as possible in one go, an old credit card is my preferred algae scrapper, but if it's very tough you might need a razer blade. Make sure the new lights aren't on too long/too bright always best to start with a lower setting and gradually increase to avoid encouraging the algae.

I wouldn't bother with changing the substrate - sand doesn't degrade, it's just as good as it was 8 years ago... or more. Just breaking down a tank that's 20+ years (seal has gone so no way around it), will save the sand/gravel to reuse. You might find root tabs helpful though, as crypts have big root systems.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Slow and steady is the route Iím on! So far itís working out quite nicely. Fish and plants are happy.

New lights = more algae, so reduced the amount of time theyíre on and the intensity. Seeing nice plant growth and only a little hair algae on the ancient driftwood.

Today is maintenance day. Diving in and making a slightly larger change. Removing about half of the colony of ancient crypts to make room for an ocelot sword. Going to move some of the spiral Val as well. Itís grown like a weed since adding ferts and new lights.

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