75 gallon low tech journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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75 gallon low tech journal

Hey all! Figured Iíd start a journal on this 75 gallon that was just set up yesterday. The filter is a SunSun HW-3000 and the light is a Beamswork DA FSPEC. My Seneye is measuring par 38-42 @ 20Ē. The idea for this tank is to have a big open space and lots of plants on the right hand side.

The substrate is #20 pool filter sand and Iím very happy with the size, color, and consistency. To the right it is dirted with Miracle-Gro performance organics ground soil. I sifted out the sticks and placed it at a depth of about 1Ē then capped with about 1.5Ē of PFS. The left is just PFS and placed at just over 1Ē. Only took one 50 lb bag of PFS to get that coverage. The ďwallĒ is simply black lava rock.

For plants I was going to do mostly crypts and swords on the right, maybe with some undemanding stems like some temple compacta or the like. I want to do some less common swords and crypts but nothing too wild. We will see how that works out lol. On the left I wanted to maybe stack some small pieces of driftwood and attach buce and/or anubias, and thatís it. Leave a lot of open swimming space and rely on the plants for the fish to be able to hide.

Questions, comments, concerns, or criticism...itís all welcome!




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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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First plants are in! One echinodorus red rubin and a couple pots of crypt wedntii green split up. For the back right corner I was thinking of a red tiger lotus. For the background on the left hand side I was thinking of using some low wood and gluing on some anubias barteri broad leaf. Saw some huge ones at the LFS, must have been 14-18Ē tall with massive leaves, but they were $20 each. So Iím hesitant.




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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Update:

Been experimenting with some cleaning ammonia my wife bought. It's cheap stuff, no added nastiness to it, just ammonia and water...but given the cheapness, it's WEAK. It took an entire cup to get my 75 gallon to read 1 ppm of ammonia. I haven't added any seeded media to the filter (yet), mainly out of laziness of not wanting to open two canisters. I'll take an ammonia reading tomorrow as well, and see if it drops at all. 1 ppm is pretty mild to start off with, imo.

Will be doing a plant order tomorrow (hooray pay day), thinking of a tall crypt center middle, more echinodorus, some shorter crypts for midground and...not sure yet for foreground. Maybe some marsilea hirsuta? I'm open to any advice or suggestions, though. Oh, also definitely going to do a tiger lotus in this tank, that's a must. lol

No pictures for this update as nothing has really changed except the crypt wendtii doing the predictable melting, mostly limited to the larger, clearly grown emersed leaves. Also the soil seems to be leeching some tannins, doesn't bother me none. It'll eventually go away with water changes anyway.

Oh, final thought. The SunSun HW-3000 is performing pretty well so far. The surface skimmer is working like a charm, the flow is nice throughout the whole tank, nothing blowing around, but no dead spots that I can see either. And the filter has quieted down some after a few days of use. Hoping this filter is a keeper, we shall see!


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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Ordered more plants tonight. Fingers crossed they all arrive healthy. The Monte Carlo is for another tank, but everything else is going into this 75. Only one Iím unsure about is the tiger lotus, should it be placed in the back or midground?



I also have another dilemma. The filter came with clips that Iíd like to use for the input and output, however theyíre just not wide enough for the trim. Any ideas? Would it be kosher to trim down the lip? If so, what would be the best way to go about it?



The dirt is leeching a decent amount of tannins into the water but the clarity is already improving.
Ammonia indicator seems to have lightened up a shade. Iím going to test again tomorrow, and if itís lighter, see if nitrites have started popping up. Itís pretty early I think to see decent bacterial activity but you never know.


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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Todayís update:

Two days ago I measured 0 ammonia and .5 ppm nitrite. Cool! Cycle is coming along. Today, 0 and 0. Awesome! Iím going to perform a water change tonight and add ammonia, then test the levels again tomorrow night.

Plants also arrived today so Iím stoked!

Some things had to change because the vendor said that a few of the plants I ordered werenít up to standards for them, and then one of the plants I asked for as a replacement was out of stock.

The current plant list is as follows:
Echinodorus red rubin, hadi red pearl, ozelot, schluerteri, and xinguensis in the front; hygrophila corymbosa compact, nymphaea tiger lotus, crypt wendtii green, crypt pontederiifolia, and anubias heterophylla. I am still brainstorming what to attach the anubias to. I havenít decided on wood or stone.

Also, added a handful of snails to start colonizing and clean up some melt. The tank should be ready for fish very soon!

Hereís an update picture from today. Soil is still leaching some tannins, oh well.





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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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75 gallon low tech journal

Ammonia and nitrite both hit 0, with 15ish ppm of nitrate. So I added a couple of guppies to get some activity in the tank. Theyíre so strange, in the 10 they constantly sparred, in the 75 theyíre sticking together. Probably initial fear of a new tank. I think itís funny to have this big tank with only two guppies, but their presence should feed the bacteria at least a little bit. Time to consider the permanent residents.

The plants are converting beautifully for the most part. The crypt has significant melt as well as the tiger lotus. Iím not so concerned with the crypts but the lotus concerns me. The lotus came in as bare plants rather than attached to bulbs, so Iím thinking I buried them a little too deep. I repositioned them a bit shallower and I could see tiny growths that look like new leaves. Hopefully theyíre like crypts where the old growth melts but they recover well, if not Iíll try sprouting a bulb or two.



Also took a shot of a couple snails just because.



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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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I had a black lava rock outside and decided to clean it and use it. It hasnít been in contact with any sort of poison, just dirt, so Iím confident it will be safe. I turned it into ďAnubias RockĒ with the heterophylla and some minima I had floating in my QT tank. Maybe down the line Iíll add some buce?

Other than that, the tank has been progressing. More emergent growth has melted and getting the predictable diatom bloom, but everything seems to be going well.





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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-06-2019, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quick update: everything is progressing smoothly. Had a pretty significant diatom outbreak, as to be expected, but itís already going away rather rapidly. I would really like to begin stocking the tank, I was thinking of starting with 3 SAE and a group of praecox rainbows, maybe 10. I figured the SAEís arenít above eating from the substrate, they may help keep any stray algae in check, but theyíre also as easy to feed as any other fish. Who knows?

Hereís a pic with the diatoms:


The tank today:


The picture with the diatoms was taken Wednesday, theyíre really disappearing quickly.


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 01:11 PM
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Following! Your tank is coming along nicely. I have a low tech 75g too and I love my BeamsWork light. It grows crypts really well.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Following! Your tank is coming along nicely. I have a low tech 75g too and I love my BeamsWork light. It grows crypts really well.
Thank you! I'm surprised with how quickly the diatoms have been disappearing. There's a club meeting on the 20th at a great LFS, hoping to get some decent livestock to finally add to this tank. Still undecided but I was thinking of starting off with a good school of praecox rainbows and 3 SAE's, then going from there. But I'm also tempted to do a "predator" tank with a sizeable school of exodon paradoxus. Also may bump it up to 80-82 degrees, the plant selections can handle it, and do a warm water tank with say angels and these gigantic blue rams the LFS stocks (they call them Holland rams, easily 2.5x bigger than normal GBR's). But who knows? Only time will tell. lol

There are small patches of cyano bacteria, relatively normal for a new tank before the bacteria colony establishes in the substrate. They're just tiny little spots and don't seem to be spreading, so I'm keeping a very close eye on it. Might pick up some Chemiclean just in case.


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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 04:40 AM
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I trimmed that lip off on my 40B in a couple of spots for adding a filter at the time.
Razor blade knife works well. It is harder to cut length wise easily so I cut into the trim at both ends of where I wanted the cut. Then I went length wise along the trim piece in between the two cuts (if that makes sense). The length wise cut I didnt cut all the way thru on first go, just did several passes then bent it down and it snapped right off. Cleaned up the edge with the knife.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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75 gallon low tech journal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
I trimmed that lip off on my 40B in a couple of spots for adding a filter at the time.

Razor blade knife works well. It is harder to cut length wise easily so I cut into the trim at both ends of where I wanted the cut. Then I went length wise along the trim piece in between the two cuts (if that makes sense). The length wise cut I didnt cut all the way thru on first go, just did several passes then bent it down and it snapped right off. Cleaned up the edge with the knife.


Iíll definitely consider that. Itís the exact method I kind of had in mind but I donít want to make any permanent modifications until Iím 100% settled on configuration.

Todayís post WC update:

Not much has changed, the tank is basically on auto pilot until things grow in thicker. I did do a relatively heavy trim to remove a lot of emersed growth that was no longer necessary or melting. Keeping dissolved organics lower is a priority right now to keep algae at bay, and so far so good with that. The diatoms are pretty much non-existent right now, which Iím thankful for.

It seems the ozelot swords never adapted and have completely died off. Such is life, will be looking for something to replace them at the LFS on the 20th.

I do a weekly 50% water change and add a small amount of macros and micros only once a week, as well as some GH booster. It seems to be keeping the anubias and hygro happy, everything else is getting all it needs from the dirt.




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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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So, to update, just added the tankís first permanent residents!

10 praecox rainbows and 3 SAEís.

Theyíve all been in the tank only 24 hours, but even in this short amount of time theyíre doing well. The rainbows came out of hiding within 15 minutes of being added, very flashy fish!

Theyíre all babies, rainbows only being an inch or a little less, but their colors are nice. My smallest SAE is about an inch too, the biggest is about 2-2.5 inches.

Insofar as the plants go, most are doing well. The ozelot swords melted all the way down and never recovered, and one crypt pontederiifolia did the same. The other two are doing well and throwing new growth. Iíve noticed that even the first of the new submerged growth on these plants get a bit of melt to them, but the 2nd, 3rd, and beyond leaves that the plants are growing look almost perfect.

The tiger lotus melted all the way as well, but one of them is slowly but surely bouncing back. Iím hoping if it just goes unmolested and gets good established roots, itíll work.

The weekly 50% water changes and low amount of water column dosing seems to be working well both for the plants and keeping algae at bay. With this routine the fish should be really happy.

Iím waiting for the echinodorus xinguensis to start throwing runners, the hygrophila compact is doing really, really well.

I replaced the ozelot swords with some crypt balansae, I just loved the hammered, tall leaves. Hopefully they fare much better than the swords they replaced!

Enjoy the pictures lol. The rainbows are incredibly hard to photograph.

The tank also currently has an 8 hour photoperiod. Once growth really becomes established Iím hoping I can end up at 10 hours for maximum viewing.




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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Found one SAE dead today. It was the smallest of the bunch. Sad day.


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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 11:52 AM
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Sorry to hear that, difficulties in adapting. Hope the other 2 chomp any algae out.

Your tanks seems ready to burst in growth, but it will be full once the plants get big, especially those Echinodorus.

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