My 60 gallon Amazonia II low tech w/Excel Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2020, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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My 60 gallon Amazonia II low tech w/Excel Tank

This is my tank 7 months after set up. Since I didnt start with a Journal I'm going to show you the tank now and backfill with pictures I have and information on how I got here.
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I'm an ex- reef aquarist now hooked on planted aquariums. My first tank is my ex-reef set up with sump converted to High tech planted, but I wanted to try a low tech tank too. So I found a spot in a room within my garage I've made into my man cave and went to work.

This tank has exceeded my expectations; the growth has been much better than expected and I haven't had any significant algae issues to deal with. My equipment is as follows:

Tank- framed custom size with inside dimensions of 40 x 19 x 18", about 50 net gallons. Star- fire glass on front pane. Open top.

Filter- Oase 600 cannister with the built in heater. Plus an Eheim surface skimmer.

Dosing pump: Amazon cheapy unit that works well once calibrated correctly.

Lighting: Current USA Satellite pro plus. Two 22" units. I had these lights on my first tank. Two shorter 22" lights on a 40" tank ended up working out well.

I welcome your feedback, more details to come...
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2020, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mboley View Post
This is my tank 7 months after set up. Since I didnt start with a Journal I'm going to show you the tank now and backfill with pictures I have and information on how I got here.
Attachment 891315
Attachment 891317

I'm an ex- reef aquarist now hooked on planted aquariums. My first tank is my ex-reef set up with sump converted to High tech planted, but I wanted to try a low tech tank too. So I found a spot in a room within my garage I've made into my man cave and went to work.

This tank has exceeded my expectations;
WOW, that is a beautiful tank for sure. I am trying my hand at a planted tank after having a saltwater setup and can't wait until mine looks like that!!

75 Gallon Planted Fresh Water Tank
Fluval FX6 & 406 Filters / 2 x Fluval Plant 3.0 LED Lights
CO2Art CO2 Regulator w/DIY Grigg Reactor
Seneye+ Tank Monitoring System / Atlas Scientific Hydroponic Monitoring System
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2020, 09:29 AM
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Good job. Just goes to show with light consistent dosing from pump low tech can be spectacular looking and easy.

What’s substrate?

What water change/maintenance and pruning schedule have you worked into?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2020, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Good job. Just goes to show with light consistent dosing from pump low tech can be spectacular looking and easy.

What’s substrate?

What water change/maintenance and pruning schedule have you worked into?
Thanks DaveKS, the substrate is two layers of Amazonia Light with the Powersand below that. Amazonia light regular above the Powersand and Amazonia light Powder on top. I liked the lighter color of powder and assumed it would be easier to plant in. Also, I didnt want to mess with all the water changes necessary with the standard Amazonia.

Water changes are weekly 12.5 gallon(25%) changes with San Diego tap water filtered for a few hours through a cannister full of carbon. Even though the water here is pretty good, I just felt better running it through carbon first.

Regarding pruning, I dont have a schedule but not more than once a week. The thriving Pygmy Chain Swords are a becoming a bit of a problem keeping them contained.

I started dosing after just a month with standard PPS-Pro mix and CSMB along with the Excel.
Right now Im dosing 4 ml of Excel daily. Macros 3 ml, and micros 2 mil.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-02-2020, 08:32 PM
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I never looked into Amazonia light. Your saying it doesnít require as many water changes as regular? Love the color of it.

Do you have link to dosing pump(s) you used. Sure people would like to see your budget friendly setup/components.

Agree on the carbon filtering, even having one of those drinking water systems that use a floss pre and 1micron carbon block can polish up your water and remove extra waste.

Is your canister big enough that it also serves as your water change pump?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-03-2020, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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I never looked into Amazonia light. Your saying it doesn’t require as many water changes as regular? Love the color of it.

Do you have link to dosing pump(s) you used. Sure people would like to see your budget friendly setup/components.

Agree on the carbon filtering, even having one of those drinking water systems that use a floss pre and 1micron carbon block can polish up your water and remove extra waste.

Is your canister big enough that it also serves as your water change pump?
The Amazonia Light ( or II ) was a piece of cake compared to what I was reading about regular Amazonia BUT I did use some filter media from another tank. I
did four 50% water changes over the first 2.5 weeks and it was cycled. But yes, this product does not require all the WCs as regular Amazonia. I thought the powder product looked good too, it's a light brown field of 2mm granules.

Here is a link to the dosing pump;

Jebao DP-3 Programmable Auto Dosing Pump, 3 Channel https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01KB86J..._.WOdEb14D5FDG

Caution though that the directions are absolutely terrible! There is a necessary second step to calibrate the pump that are not in the instructions; using the pump rotation counter is the omitted 2nd step. Be sure and read the reviews for tips.A good pump for $54 imo. I'll post a better pic later but here is the set up. With bottles, line and one-way valves, you are set for under $100.
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To clean up my tap water I just use a $50 AquaMaxx media reactor loaded with about 1.5 quarts of carbon and push the 12.5 gallons of WC water though it for a few hours with a powerhead.

Use of Cannister for WCs? I never thought of that. Since my tank is in a room within my garage I just drain 12.5 gallons out into the street, then pump the water from my WC tub to the tank.

Last edited by mboley; 01-03-2020 at 04:44 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-03-2020, 01:44 AM
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OK, got impression you were using a old canister filter from the above statement "through a cannister full of carbon". Same end result.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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JOURNAL UPDATE: So how did this tank evolve? I started in March this year when I decided one tank wasn’t enough and I needed to find another spot in my house that my wife would agree to. My first choice was the entryway, which is just 10 feet from my other tank in the dining room, but she vetoed that. So it was down to a room in my garage that served as an exercise/hobby/storage room; I would remodel of the room, clear a shelf of the stuff just sitting there and set up a 60 gallon aquarium. The shelf it would be sitting on needed to be reinforced and waterproofed since it was pressboard. It was level so I didn’t want to get into ripping the structure apart so I topped it with ĺ” plywood and then clad the whole area with ABS sheeting and glued the seams.



One of the reasons the spot was perfect was this cubbyhole that was already there that would fit a large canister filter, a three gallon water makeup bucket, a dosing system, a small portable A/C unit, and all the plugs needed. I ran electricity to the area and I was set to go.



Here the tank is in position and I am trying to figure out what to do with the nice piece of Burled Manzanita root I had that would be the one of two wood pieces in the tank. The other was coming from an existing tank. My aquascaping plan was to have the left side up to the water surface with plants and then slope down to the right side.



I wanted to get the piece up above the substrate to form an overhang for the fish so I used irrigation cells and a rock to get it up higher. Also I wanted to follow the rule of thirds so I placed the highest point of the piece at 33% of the tank length. I also had another nice piece of the same wood that would have a lower highpoint at 50% of the tank length so to form a slope over my 40” tank length. In the upper left corner you can see the input and output from the Oase 600 Filter.



When I got the Pieces where I wanted I zip tied them to the Irrigation cells and added my substrate, which as mentioned above is Amazonia Light( or II ). That’s $300 worth of special dirt you see here. I went with the whole ADA package for the substrate. Powersand at the base with the ADA additives, then Amazonia light regular, and the top is Amazonia light Powder.

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Last edited by mboley; 01-07-2020 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Improvement
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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The Initial Planting

The other nice piece of wood came out of this tank, which Iíve since replanted with Stems and BucePlants. So I had a head start with the wood already being planted with Anubius and Java fern. I also transferred an Amazon Sword and some Tiger Lotus.



Here is a top view with the second piece of Burled Manzanita installed. I liked the way the pieces fit together like one continuous root. I also wanted try a moss tree so I bought three different mosses: Christmas, Willow and Flame. I added some Wisteria in the back and some Red swords. I tried Giant Baby Tears for foreground plants, and I glued a bunch of Narrow leaf java fern grown on coconut husk at the highest point of the tank, on top of the main wood piece:





You can see here the only equipment in the tank. Left corner is the Oase 600 in/output and on the right an Eheim Surface skimmer.




I then started filling the tank. I trickled water very slowly through a RO style solid carbon cartridge being feed with the garden hose, and then through a media reactor filled with granular activated carbon.



And here is the tank after initial fill. The floaters are excess plants form the other tank that I didn't know what I was going to do with yet. Please excuse the lousy pictures.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 03:10 AM
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Great looking tank


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the tank one month after startup, taken 6/17/19:



And on 8/12/19. Problems I am having three months after start up include green spot algae on the Anubius. The wood they are attached to is right under the light fixture and there is just too much light for them there. There is also too much light on the narrow leaf Java Fern on top of the wood piece on the left. Also the Red Swords in back that you cant see I expected to grow taller are growing more sideways. And finally Im not crazy about the Giant baby tears as a foreground plant; they also take a lot of maintenance.



And on 9/9/19 after I made major changes.

-I removed the baby tears as the foreground plant and replaced them on the left with Sterogyne Repens, and on the right with Pygmy Chain Swords that were already in the tank.

- I moved the narrow leaf Java Fern to the lower wood piece; I was able to cut the coconut husk it was planted in in half and glue a 10" strip into a groove in the wood.

-I moved the nice Red Swords I had in back to the front left side.

- I moved a Willow Moss matt I had to the top of the wood on the left, still looking for a moss tree of sorts. I removed the moss tree and other moss from the left back corner, they weren't growing well.

-I also added some stem plants from my high tech tank; I added L. Aromatica, and Ludwigia on the left side to get more height and B. Carolinia in the center back.

- Lastly I moved all the Anubius to a lower light part of the tank, in the back right corner.





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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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And one last major change that I don't know why I hadn't thought of before that I think has had a major impact on the way the tank looks today. I mentioned that my lighting is TWO Current planted pro plus 22" fixtures. For the first few months I was lining them up down the middle of the tank with them overlapping in the middle, so there was a hot spot there since the tank is only 40" wide. Then I thought of this change in the orientation for the lights since they are on separate brackets. On the left the fixture is right above the plants that can handle the light and on the right the other fixture is more toward the front, further away from the low light Crypts and Anubius in the back right corner. This move solved the issue I was having with GSA on the Anubius.

I have both lights set the same, 100% on RGB colors and 65% on the white. Definitely medium light.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Last pictures above were taken 9/9/19, these were taken on 11/1. The tank is coming along nicely and filling in; as Ive said this tank has grown in faster than I thought it would. Is it the combination of the AquaSoil combined with daily dosing of nutrients and Excel?





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Last edited by mboley; 01-22-2020 at 01:51 AM. Reason: Improvement
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Better Tank pictures; Update

Tank Updated through December until now .These were taken 12/1, I finally learned how to take pictures!:





And this picture is the one I started with, taken 12/13:



And now today, as you can see the B. Carolinia in back was trimmed and I also added more, the Willow Moss "hat" on the main piece of wood has grown more downward, as I heard it would, and the Chain swords and Sags in the right corner need to be thinned out:



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