125 River Bed Angel Tank - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 01:52 AM
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Highly recommend the inkbird controller if you haven't purchased one yet. Rated at 1200W of controlled heat, I haven't had issues in years. I received one in a giveaway, used it happily ever since. On the topic of heat. I suggest moving the heater to the pump chamber of your sump. It'll help keep the heater clean. Food for thought, pumice is fairly cheap and is essentially Seachem Matrix on the cheap. General Pumice sells it (On Amazon, didn't check their website) for $27, various sizes, for 3.5 gallons. I love the hill! Hopefully it stands up to the flow pointed toward it. Plant roots will help immensely.


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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Nice. I'm about 1/2 finished with my 75 gal planted. I'm also planning to keep angels so I'm following. I also got a Hydor in-line heater. Due to the mixed reviews I invested in a finnex max-300 heater controller. I figure that it's cheap insurance against cooking my fish and I bought 2 hydors, one for a future project, so if it dies before I do the second project I can just swap it out. I'm also thinking of a tiger lotus. They do spread quickly and want to send pads to the surface, so you have ti keep trimming them to keep them in check. Let us know how the lotus is doing for you.


I think the bad reviews for the Hydor are the exception and not the rule. No doubt some people have had issues, but Iíve seen bad reviews on everything. That being said Iím going to have some redundancy as well and use a controller just to be safe.

What density are you stocking your angels?


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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Highly recommend the inkbird controller if you haven't purchased one yet. Rated at 1200W of controlled heat, I haven't had issues in years. I received one in a giveaway, used it happily ever since. On the topic of heat. I suggest moving the heater to the pump chamber of your sump. It'll help keep the heater clean. Food for thought, pumice is fairly cheap and is essentially Seachem Matrix on the cheap. General Pumice sells it (On Amazon, didn't check their website) for $27, various sizes, for 3.5 gallons. I love the hill! Hopefully it stands up to the flow pointed toward it. Plant roots will help immensely.


Good to hear Iím making a wise choice with the inkbird. Iím looking forward to programming a day/night temp setting vs the constant I have now. Should be healthier for everything.

The inflow chamber has way more turbulence than the return pump chamber, why do you think the pump area would keep the heater clean?

I had the lava rock already and figured Iíd try it. Eventually I might replace it, but maybe not if this works. I actually had my eye on those ceramic logs. The chamber is sized for them anyway. The pumice is a great suggestion too, thanks!

So far the hill is holding up perfectly after about a month now. I think the flow actually helps it to some degree, but that entire thing will be covered in carpet here soon anyway. Another benefit of the hill is you can watch debris flow from bottom to top right up the hill and into the sump overflow. The low intake canister return works almost equally well with the exception that itís less area. Iím really happy with my filtration setup with not much experience with anything but hang on filters.


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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 01:59 PM
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I think the bad reviews for the Hydor are the exception and not the rule. No doubt some people have had issues, but Iíve seen bad reviews on everything. That being said Iím going to have some redundancy as well and use a controller just to be safe.

What density are you stocking your angels?


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I'm planning to get 6-8 small angels, hopefully, a couple will pair up. I have 7 cory cats that will go in there, am debating on a bristlenose pleco and getting a few feeder guppies to provide some live food with their fry. I have a 60 gallon that I will be setting up after I get the 75 going, so I'll have the options of splitting the angels up if they have territory issues or raising fry.

Everything I have read says that all heaters will eventually fail, so some redundancy and a controller is always a good idea IMHO.

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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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I'm planning to get 6-8 small angels, hopefully, a couple will pair up. I have 7 cory cats that will go in there, am debating on a bristlenose pleco and getting a few feeder guppies to provide some live food with their fry. I have a 60 gallon that I will be setting up after I get the 75 going, so I'll have the options of splitting the angels up if they have territory issues or raising fry.

Everything I have read says that all heaters will eventually fail, so some redundancy and a controller is always a good idea IMHO.
I'm still skeptical of my current stocking density (24 angels), but the breeder I bought from recommended at least the amount I have and up to 36 in a 125 gallon. If you look around online the basic rule of thumb is 1 angel per 10 gallons, which is roughly what you're planning. He has been breeding angels for 40 years and says he has kept up to 50 angels in a 125 with regular water changes. He believes that once you have a 55 gallon or bigger, overstocking angels actually reduces aggression. The theory makes sense to me and I'm following his recommendation to see how it shakes out. Some of my angels are starting to size up and showing some competing behavior, but no breeding pairs have formed yet so that will be the true test. I'm thinking they might not even try to breed with a high density, and that would be fine by me. I do have a couple extra tanks to separate if need be, but I'd really like to keep a nice school of angels in the display.

I opted for (4) bristlenose plecos and I really like watching them. I think there is a good chance they will breed with the amount of hiding places, but we'll see...
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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 08:43 PM
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The inflow chamber has way more turbulence than the return pump chamber, why do you think the pump area would keep the heater clean?
I may not understand your sump correctly, but the pump chamber is post all the filtration so the detritus and debris won't form as easily in the last chamber. Twas but an idea. Always trying to spark creativity.


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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I think I've got all the plants in that I want for now and we'll see what happens. Having various trouble with all the plants, but I'm learning. The staurogyne repens was the first thing in the tank and it's having trouble competing with algae at the moment. Not sure what to do about that, but I cut back on the lighting a couple weeks ago and the algae slowed down. Recently it's starting to loose leaves and melt, so I think I might ramp that back up in the hopes the plants will out-compete for nutrients now. Only one out of three of the tiger lotus bulbs I planted have sprouted, but it's doing well and I can't wait to see how it looks filled our around the driftwood. I purchased five bunches of anubias nana petite and attached them to the driftwood. One shed all the leaves and presumably died almost immediately, but I have it sitting in the substrate to see if it comes back. Another one started to shed leaves and I removed it and placed it in the substrate where it appears to be holding on for the time being. The other three are doing fine, but starting to accumulate algae growth on the leaves. Yesterday I planted all the jungle val, so no long term update on that, but I really love the look of it. I might need to move a few stems around the filter intakes to keep them from clogging. The store I purchased from threw in a few bonus stems of what appears to be red ludwigia, we'll see what happens with that.

As far as the fish go, the angels and thriving. I started with 10 koi angels and 2 platinums, then later added another 10 platinums. 9 of the koi angels have easily quadrupled in size, but one has a mouth deformity and barely gets any food. He's surviving, but I feel bad and still considering just ending the misery. The 12 platinum angels are now 11, and I have no idea what happened to the missing one. I thought I lost 2, but found one still alive in my sump filter sock. I'm assuming the same happened to the other and he completely decomposed. Whatever the case, I've fixed the sump overflow so they can't get into it hopefully. My german rams have taken a beating, but it was my fault and they are thriving otherwise. When I built the sump I used the wrong silicon and nearly killed everything. The rams were the only permanent damage and I have plans to add back in some male germans and try some electric blues. The four L144 long fin plecos are doing great, definitely grown some. And the two dwarf african frogs seem to be fine as well.

The tank has been completely stable and I started adding Flourish a couple weeks ago. Nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia all sitting at zero. pH has been steady at 7.4 and my KH/GH both around 90 ppm. I'm also using homemade root tabs with osmocote plus around the lotus. I haven't noticed any nutrient deficiencies, but I honestly don't know if I'm missing something. The staurogyne repens is definitely not happy and I'm hoping ramping up the lighting will help in the regard. Right now I'm only running full lighting 4 hours per day, with 1/2 intensity 8 hours per day. Going to try 6 hours full and 8 hours 1/2 for a while and see how things go. The only algae I'm dealing with appears to be blue-green algae, and its not out of control by any means. I'm siphoning off a little during weekly water changes and considering a potassium spike to kill it off. I've read hydrogen peroxide can get it too, so might try that. I prefer to take things slow unless I'm having a major problem.







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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 05:06 PM
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Well, I think I've got all the plants in that I want for now and we'll see what happens. Having various trouble with all the plants, but I'm learning. The staurogyne repens was the first thing in the tank and it's having trouble competing with algae at the moment. Not sure what to do about that, but I cut back on the lighting a couple weeks ago and the algae slowed down. Recently it's starting to loose leaves and melt, so I think I might ramp that back up in the hopes the plants will out-compete for nutrients now. Only one out of three of the tiger lotus bulbs I planted have sprouted, but it's doing well and I can't wait to see how it looks filled our around the driftwood. I purchased five bunches of anubias nana petite and attached them to the driftwood. One shed all the leaves and presumably died almost immediately, but I have it sitting in the substrate to see if it comes back. Another one started to shed leaves and I removed it and placed it in the substrate where it appears to be holding on for the time being. The other three are doing fine, but starting to accumulate algae growth on the leaves. Yesterday I planted all the jungle val, so no long term update on that, but I really love the look of it. I might need to move a few stems around the filter intakes to keep them from clogging. The store I purchased from threw in a few bonus stems of what appears to be red ludwigia, we'll see what happens with that.

As far as the fish go, the angels and thriving. I started with 10 koi angels and 2 platinums, then later added another 10 platinums. 9 of the koi angels have easily quadrupled in size, but one has a mouth deformity and barely gets any food. He's surviving, but I feel bad and still considering just ending the misery. The 12 platinum angels are now 11, and I have no idea what happened to the missing one. I thought I lost 2, but found one still alive in my sump filter sock. I'm assuming the same happened to the other and he completely decomposed. Whatever the case, I've fixed the sump overflow so they can't get into it hopefully. My german rams have taken a beating, but it was my fault and they are thriving otherwise. When I built the sump I used the wrong silicon and nearly killed everything. The rams were the only permanent damage and I have plans to add back in some male germans and try some electric blues. The four L144 long fin plecos are doing great, definitely grown some. And the two dwarf african frogs seem to be fine as well.

The tank has been completely stable and I started adding Flourish a couple weeks ago. Nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia all sitting at zero. pH has been steady at 7.4 and my KH/GH both around 90 ppm. I'm also using homemade root tabs with osmocote plus around the lotus. I haven't noticed any nutrient deficiencies, but I honestly don't know if I'm missing something. The staurogyne repens is definitely not happy and I'm hoping ramping up the lighting will help in the regard. Right now I'm only running full lighting 4 hours per day, with 1/2 intensity 8 hours per day. Going to try 6 hours full and 8 hours 1/2 for a while and see how things go. The only algae I'm dealing with appears to be blue-green algae, and its not out of control by any means. I'm siphoning off a little during weekly water changes and considering a potassium spike to kill it off. I've read hydrogen peroxide can get it too, so might try that. I prefer to take things slow unless I'm having a major problem.







Your nitrates are zero at such an extremely high stocking density? That doesn't seem right. Your plant mass doesn't appear to be high enough to make that happen.

I would check date on nitrate test or redo and really shake that second bottle.



Curious:
Do you plan on keeping all the Angels in here to maturity and letting them pair off? Then, once paired, getting rid of the excess?

Are these juveniles or sub-adults? Hard to tell in picture.

What is your water change schedule and feeding schedule?

Temperature?


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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Your nitrates are zero at such an extremely high stocking density? That doesn't seem right. Your plant mass doesn't appear to be high enough to make that happen.

I would check date on nitrate test or redo and really shake that second bottle.



Curious:
Do you plan on keeping all the Angels in here to maturity and letting them pair off? Then, once paired, getting rid of the excess?

Are these juveniles or sub-adults? Hard to tell in picture.

What is your water change schedule and feeding schedule?

Temperature?
I agree, the zero nitrates are suspicious, but I've checked several times recently and nothing. Same kit I used to cycle the tank and it definitely registered then. Perhaps my double filtration setup is working too well.

My plan is to keep all the angels right were they are. The breeder I purchased from suggested I keep no less than 24, and up to 36 in the tank setup I have. I questioned him extensively on this given the counter information online, but he confirmed it and said he has kept up to 50 full sized angels in a 125 for years. He said the higher density helps with aggression, which kind of makes sense to me. If I do get a pair, or several, that start causing issue I have two other tanks they can go to, but I'm not moving anybody until absolutely necessary.

I don't know if these are juveniles or sub-adults, but the bigger ones (majority) are about half dollar sized and the smallest (only three this size) between a nickel/quarter sized. They were all dime sized just a few months ago and have been growing like crazy. Thus far I have not witnessed any aggression, but I know that could change with breeding behaviors.

I change about 35-40% total system volume per week, which equates to about 60 gallons. I'm keeping my controller set to 81 with 1 degree variance. German rams are the only reason for the higher temp. They get fed two small meals during the day from an auto feeder, then probably twice more after I get home. I feed a lot in the evenings, but never more than they consume which seems to be endless. They are getting brine shrimp flake, frozen brine, sometimes live bbs, frozen blood worms, Hikari micro wafers and vibra bites. Once I'm ready for another Brine Shrimp Direct order I'll drop the Hikari products and only use their GP Advanced and brine shrimp flake.

Last edited by silasvirus82; 11-22-2019 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Edit
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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 08:09 PM
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I wish you all the luck but do not foresee this as sustainable.

Ive been raising cichlids for many years ( primarily discus, which have care almost identical to Angels) and I have never seen a breeder recommend this stocking density to a hobbyist long-term. Its highly irresponsible of this breeder to recommend this stocking knowing what your desires were for this aquarium.

Breeders do keep high density stocking of Angels, but they also do daily water changes to combat rising organics and keep bacterial/parasite load minimal. These fish move from these systems quickly: the stock sells, pairs moved to 40 breeder to spawn or sold as they grow out to juvenile or sub-adult stage. A breeder stocking density is carefully controlled, monitored, and fluid.

If you plan on doing what a breeder does and have several 40 gallon tanks to separate pairs as they form then your set-up is ideal. But, I dont hear that that is the plan.

Overstocking will not keep Angels from forming pairs, spawning, and displaying aggression. There are certain cichlids where this is the case- for instance, African cichlids- but a majority of cichlids kept in aquarium need adequate territory to mark and defend or aggression spills over and causes stress-related illnesses and injury ( dominant fish directed toward subordinate fish). 21- 6 inch Angels in a 125 is going to be nasty.
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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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I wish you all the luck but do not foresee this as sustainable.

Ive been raising cichlids for many years ( primarily discus, which have care almost identical to Angels) and I have never seen a breeder recommend this stocking density to a hobbyist long-term. Its highly irresponsible of this breeder to recommend this stocking knowing what your desires were for this aquarium.

Breeders do keep high density stocking of Angels, but they also do daily water changes to combat rising organics and keep bacterial/parasite load minimal. These fish move from these systems quickly: the stock sells, pairs moved to 40 breeder to spawn or sold as they grow out to juvenile or sub-adult stage. A breeder stocking density is carefully controlled, monitored, and fluid.

If you plan on doing what a breeder does and have several 40 gallon tanks to separate pairs as they form then your set-up is ideal. But, I dont hear that that is the plan.

Overstocking will not keep Angels from forming pairs, spawning, and displaying aggression. There are certain cichlids where this is the case- for instance, African cichlids- but a majority of cichlids kept in aquarium need adequate territory to mark and defend or aggression spills over and causes stress-related illnesses and injury ( dominant fish directed toward subordinate fish). 21- 6 inch Angels in a 125 is going to be nasty.
We shall see what happens. For the record, the breeder is Joe Gargas from the Aqua Research Center. He says he has been breeding angelfish for decades along with discus and rams. I think he wrote a book on water quality and also has a patent on the shipping bags he uses. He also stated he keeps 20 breeder angels in a 90 gallon. Again, I was very skeptical about his recommendation, but he insisted he knew more than the internet. I described my setup to him and my intended maintenance schedule, both of which he said should be fine, but of course worth monitoring. If it turns into a blood bath I'll thin the herd and definitely not recommend him in the future. Everyone has their own experiences and for the time being I'm going to trust the information I have.
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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 08:46 PM
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We shall see what happens. For the record, the breeder is Joe Gargas from the Aqua Research Center. He says he has been breeding angelfish for decades along with discus and rams. I think he wrote a book on water quality and also has a patent on the shipping bags he uses. He also stated he keeps 20 breeder angels in a 90 gallon. Again, I was very skeptical about his recommendation, but he insisted he knew more than the internet. I described my setup to him and my intended maintenance schedule, both of which he said should be fine, but of course worth monitoring. If it turns into a blood bath I'll thin the herd and definitely not recommend him in the future. Everyone has their own experiences and for the time being I'm going to trust the information I have.
Yes, Ive seen his wares on aquabid. He is a vendor. Now it makes sense.


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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, Ive seen his wares on aquabid. He is a vendor. Now it makes sense.
Are you implying that he is not a breeder or that Aquabid is a poor place to do business? I'm just trying to make sense of all this. You're coming off in a negative way, but I don't think that is your intention. It's not my fault a breeder recommended something that may not be totally accurate. It would turn out very unfortunate if he steered me wrong just to sell fish, but I didn't get that vibe. About 95% of his reviews are positive and the majority of the negative reviews appear to be auctions were he didn't feel he got a fair price. In those cases he deserves the poor review for not setting up the auction properly, but not one mention of bad fish.
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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 09:29 PM
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Are you implying that he is not a breeder or that Aquabid is a poor place to do business? I'm just trying to make sense of all this. You're coming off in a negative way, but I don't think that is your intention. It's not my fault a breeder recommended something that may not be totally accurate. It would turn out very unfortunate if he steered me wrong just to sell fish, but I didn't get that vibe. About 95% of his reviews are positive and the majority of the negative reviews appear to be auctions were he didn't feel he got a fair price. In those cases he deserves the poor review for not setting up the auction properly, but not one mention of bad fish.
Really, not trying to be negative against you, I am sorry if it appears that way. I am more trying to educate you.

If the breeder encouraged you to buy 22 Angels knowing your tank size and intentions -then he is an unscrupulous vender. Dont care how many books, articles, or labs he has. Ive got 3 decades in the hobby with 18 years of raising South American cichlids and no one with this experience would tell you that a hobbyist with no intention of breeding can keep 21 mature 6" South American cichlids ( of any type!) long- term in a 125 gallon tank. Both due to aggression and bio-load.

Like I said, if your plans were to start a breeding operation or keep 4-5 pairs ( 8 to 10 Angelfish!) in a 125 gallon tank, sure. But, that is not your intention. You want the stocking density to be long-term. You have been mislead.


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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Really, not trying to be negative against you, I am sorry if it appears that way. I am more trying to educate you.

If the breeder encouraged you to buy 22 Angels knowing your tank size and intentions -then he is an unscrupulous vender. Dont care how many books, articles, or labs he has. Ive got 3 decades in the hobby with 18 years of raising South American cichlids and no one with this experience would tell you that a hobbyist with no intention of breeding can keep 21 mature 6" South American cichlids ( of any type!) long- term in a 125 gallon tank. Both due to aggression and bio-load.

Like I said, if your plans were to start a breeding operation or keep 4-5 pairs ( 8 to 10 Angelfish!) in a 125 gallon tank, sure. But, that is not your intention. You want the stocking density to be long-term. You have been mislead.


Just checked my water which is now a week old. NH =0 NO2=0 and NO3=0. I wonder if that is not my problem with the reopens. Test kit is good till July 2024 and Iíve had no issues with it in the past. Fish look too good to split up, I hope youíre wrong @Discusluv
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