Grant's 14 Gal IM Fusion Peninsula - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-28-2020, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Grant's 14 Gal IM Fusion Peninsula

Hi all,

This is my first post here, and I'm introducing my new tank. I've been planning a large reef tank for a number of years now, but I live in a pre-war apartment in NYC that I'm sure can't hold the weight, and I'm sure I'll move within a year or two so the set-up and tear-down just doesn't seem worth it. It's been a dream of mine to have a tank like that since I was a child, so if I'm going to do it, I want to do it properly.

Enter my new planted aquarium. What drew me to reef tanks was the idea of an ecosystem existing in this glass box. Something that I could build and maintain, but that in many ways could also maintain itself. I purchased Diana Walstad's book and devoured it cover to cover. I have a PhD in microbiology, so the science of it all really excited me.

I had every other type of freshwater tank as a child - Malawi Cichlids, Tropical fish, Mudskippers, a Kribensis species tank and a turtle. But this was a new endeavor. I remember as a kid in the late 90s that we would buy live plants from the LFS and sure enough they'd simply die over the course of a few weeks. So I'm amped to make plants a focus of this tank.

And now for the tank and it's contents:
  • Innovative Marine NUVO Fusion Pro 14 Peninsula tank with APS stand
  • IM MightyJet DC return pump
  • Kessil A80 with gooseneck
  • Eheim Jager 50W heater
  • CO2 ART Pro-SE regulator with inline diffuser





I placed a ~1" layer of potting soil at the bottom, topped with CaribSea Eco-Complete. I aquascaped with Seiryu stone and driftwood.



I set the tank up on 07/15/20, and planted it right away with a Beginner Plant 15-pack from Buce Plant. The shipment contained the following:
  • 3x Anubias Nana
  • 3x Anubias Nana Petite
  • 3x Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green
  • 3x Microsorum pteropus Java Fern
  • 3x Christmass Moss



I also added some Hemianthus Callitrichoides because I want to create a carpet, although I think I might have been a little over-ambitious with that on a new setup. A lot of it melted away, but some is hanging on and I can spot a few new leaves here and there so hopefully it will spread. Here's a pic of it freshly planted.



Lastly, I added some water lettuce from my LFS:



I've been testing NH3 everyday (with the Hanna LR checker) and it hangs at ~0.5ppm in the morning. I've been adding NH4Cl to bring it up to ~4ppm and by the next morning it has dropped back down to ~0.5ppm. I've only checked No2 once (the Hanna LR Nitrite checker only came with ~8 tests in the box, so I'm using them sparingly!) and one week post-setup it was just under 2ppm (with daily NH3 dosing since the tank started). So the cycle is on its way.

The water was very brown from the driftwood, so I added a bag or Purigen to the filter which cleared it up nicely. Before and after pics are below, which also qualify as FTS pics.

Before adding Purigen:




After adding Purigen:



I'll keep this thread updated, and I welcome constructive feedback and comments!

Grant
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-30-2020, 10:05 PM
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Great start. I considered that tank also.

One observation. That is some serious flow you have going there. I do not think that I have ever seen that much surface agitation in a planted tank before.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 04:10 AM
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Nice job, that's definitely an interesting tank! I've thought about doing a SW tank for a while now too, but never got into it for similar reasons that you've voiced.

I too might echo the comment of high flow. The specs say that pump has a maximum return of 538 GPH which is really hefty for a tank that size. I've been using an external canister filter on a slightly larger tank (17 gallon) that has half the flow rate and it's plenty. So you may want to swap that return pump out for one with less flow or find a way to decrease the flow (and save the high flow for your future endeavors, haha).

I really like the pieces of wood you've gotten your hands on. Definitely some nice pieces. The plants all should be good for your setup too with the exception of the HC. I think that will probably struggle, as you're seeing. It's really tiny and I've heard really struggles to grow in something like EcoComplete. Some alternatives may be microanthemum "monte carlo" that's a bit bigger and easier to grow, hairgrass (which may also struggle), or some of the micro sword type plants (lileaopsis sp I think?). There may be others that have more experience with carpeting plants with Eco, but I couldn't get it to work myself.

But I really do think the tank looks quite nice! Also, glad to see another PhD on here, haha. I was also drawn to planted tanks for the science of it.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2020, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies!

Yes, I've been a little worried the flow is too high. The pump is DC controllable and I have it on the lowest setting, so it's nowhere near 538 GPH. I think it's ok, but I'm considering switching to a smaller pump or splitting the return in the back with a ball valve and having some of the flow go back into the filter area.

As for the HC, it hasn't done too well. I did pick up some Monte Carlo the other day so I'm going to see how that fares. Ideally I'd like it to spread and fill the bottom entirely.

I also picked up some cherry shrimp, they're a delightful addition to the tank - they're so active, scurrying around the place.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2020, 12:41 PM
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The idea of splitting off some flow to cycle back through the filter crossed my mind for you also.

I just added some cherries to my one month old 25g yesterday. They are indeed active but I was surprised how small they were when they arrived. Given that my tank has left the honeymoon phase they should grow quickly! There were also a bunch of fry along with them. I did my best to release everybody into the bushy rear stem plants. One little fry got caught on the surface. I gave him a tap and he started to dive. Unfortunately this made one of my Tetras very happy as he got an early lunch. I doubt that I will be able to keep new shrimp fry in my tank.

Looking forward to more updates.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2020, 10:01 PM
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Ah gotcha, that's a good feature to be able to cut the flow by adjusting the DC to the pump.

And hope the monte carlo will work out better for you. I've had some success growing it and it can look quite nice as well. I bet the shrimp will start multiplying quickly. The ones I've had always did that. As long as there's places for them to hide like plants, then bigger fish usually have a hard time thinning their numbers too much so they can still thrive.
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