cat_rancher's 105 gallon -56k bwre (UPDATE 9/27) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
 
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cat_rancher's 105 gallon -56k bwre (UPDATE 9/27)

hi my name is Justin,

I have been lurking and learning for a while but thought that now that my tank has cycled and is over the first round of algae that I would introduce myself. This site has been really helpful to me as has Rex Griggs site - THANK YOU!

I am a newb to plant tanks but have been keeping reef tanks over the last five or six years. I suffered a setback with a virulent algae. If you are familiar with reef tanks and are interested, the algae is called Bryopsis. Nothing likes to eat it, (except for a false sea slug that can't survive in most peoples extreme - high flow tanks) and it the algae thrives in tank conditions that are perfect for corals. I fought it daily for about a year. Some people beat it, some don't. It actually grows and roots into coral skeletons and slowly pushes the tissue back antill nothing is left. Anyway, I turned the lights out on my tank about a year ago after the bryopsis had killed the last of my corals. I really lost heart in the fish keeping hobby, which is sad, because there was a time I thought I would be doing it forever. I imagined sharing the reef tank with my children someday and using it to teach them how to be responsible with the earth's resources. (When i have kids.)

Anyway, recently I found myself visiting fish stores when I had nothing to do, and the next thing you know I'm casually looking into planted tanks on the internet, and then BAM! The bug gets me! I have had my tank converted as a plant tank for three weeks or so now, and it just finished a minor cycle (even though the reef tank didn't have corals in it, all the plumbing, tank walls etc. were covered in life forms like sponges, calcarous worms, etc which died when I filled it with fresh water.) I had to do several complete water changes during the cycle because I was concerned about the fact that some sponges are toxic. Once i was happy, I planted.

During the cycle, while the ammonia was going down, and the nitrite had not quite peaked, I had an out break of brown hair algae, but I nipped that in the bud straight away. It's cycled now and has a handful of fish in it: 2 dwarf spotted ancistrus, 2 one inch long SAE, 4 glass cats, and a beta.

Enough with all the talking though, I thought I would show some pictures. The tank is a 105 gallon oceanic. This is a shot of the tank, stand, and canopy:UPDATE(UPDATE 9/27)
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Last edited by cat_rancher; 09-28-2005 at 01:14 AM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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This is a close up of the inside:
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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:30 AM
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That's a very nice start.
What kind of lighting are you using? It looks a little bluish, or is it just the background?
Keep in mind that actinics do very little, if anything for plants.


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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:32 AM
 
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Hey welcome to the hobby man!

Good story, nice pics. I can almost see the "reef tank" taste in lay out in your wood placement. I think you though though, a planted tank should have LOTS OF PLANTS! Get some more! Get some more!

It doesn't seem like there's much more room for stem plants, but try some moss, anubias and ferns. Don't forget that water sprite is also a fern that can be attached to wood. good luck!
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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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lighting: icecap 660 VHO with 3-48" 110 watt bulbs and one 36" 96 watt bulb (if I remember correctly) on a 12 hour cycle.

filtration: 20 long glass tank, drilled for a sump with Iwaki return pump. Biological filtration is achieved when the water in the sump is forced to pass through a large sponge as backup till my plants really take off.

There is a large, almost DIY CO2 reactor connected in-line with a large media chamber with 900 ml of carbon. Due to a shipping delay, I have not received the co2 tank yet. It is due here in 2 days now. I already had the regulator with solenoid and bubble counter. The tank has been set up three weeks now and finished it's cycle a few days ago. I'll post pics of all this tomorrow - It seems I have a fish to retrieve from my overflow box
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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:40 AM
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You're gonna want to ditch the carbon, it'll suck up all kinds of nutrients that your plants need.

Also, I agree with greenmiddlefinger, DEFINATELY get more plants, especially stem plants. Fast growing stem plants will help keep you from being overwhelmed with algae during the first month or so before your tank balances out.

Lastly, you never mentioned if those lights were actinics. If they are, you're definately gonna wanna swap them out for something in the 6700K - 10000K range.


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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the welcomes!

Hi Cheesybacon! yeah, there are two actinics on there, one URI white and one URI aquasun; I can't get used to not having them If things don't go well i may slap my halides back on there anyway But the glosso has put on a suprising amount of growth over the last couple of days, so I may have a fairly acceptable spectrum. Once all the tannins finish leaking into the tank I will take the actinics off for sure. (Unless I use the halides)

Hi greenmiddlefinger! There truly is little room for any more plants in the tank, but I have removed the big white rock and and upped my real estate appreciably

I'm really starting my tank log here but have some extra pictures in my introduction thread if you want to check it out https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=20992
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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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wow you guys are fast! i keep missing your reply while I'm typing mine

The carbon is only temporary untill the tannins finish up. After that i will run the chamber empty, ready if needed
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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 03:00 AM
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Becareful how much light you blast over your tank with those hallides. Unlike a reef tank, where you can go nuts with the lighting because the corals love it, there is a limit with planted tanks. Too much light and you'll be dosing ferts like crazy, battling excessive algae, not to mention trimming every day. I know you like the actinics and all, but it sounds to me like the flourscents you have would be all the light you'll need if you were to switch to bulbs between 6700K - 10000K. You might as well not be running any light at all with those actinics on there. I'd run either the Halides, or the florescents, but both at once is probably overkill.

Lastly, do remember that a lot of advice and equipment relating to saltwater and reef tanks does not apply to planted tanks. They are completely different animals. For example, when you start a fertilizing regimen, you will actually be intentionally putting nitrates into your water, something that would otherwise be a huge no-no with a reef tank.


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post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 03:33 AM
 
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lighting spectrum is really important with plants-- they only use a certain range-- cheesebacon isn't blowing steam when he says that blues do basically nothing for plants. Hmm, it's funny but I never have understood why reef-keepers need that blue tinge even in freshwater tanks. I never thought it was that attractive no offense . . . it kind of moots the color of the plants . . .
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post #11 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Becareful how much light you blast over your tank with those hallides. Unlike a reef tank, where you can go nuts with the lighting because the corals love it, there is a limit with planted tanks.
I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for the heads up; I assumed the more the better. I have been lurking on this site about a month or more before setting the tank up so I have begun to see some differences between reef tanks and plant tanks, such as:

Quote:
For example, when you start a fertilizing regimen, you will actually be intentionally putting nitrates into your water, something that would otherwise be a huge no-no with a reef tank.
The first time I read that I would be ADDING nitrates and phosphate I couldn't hold back a pretty good laugh! What a trip!!!!
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post #12 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
lighting spectrum is really important with plants-- they only use a certain range-- cheesebacon isn't blowing steam when he says that blues do basically nothing for plants.
I remember trying to explain to reef newbies that the yellow/red spectrum bulbs that came with thier fish tank wasn't going to work. Nor the halogens they found at Home Depot despite however bright they were. It can be pretty frustrating
Seriously though, I understand what your saying. I'm not thinking the plants can use the actinics, I'm thinking I don't know how I'll enjoy the tank without them
Quote:
Hmm, it's funny but I never have understood why reef-keepers need that blue tinge even in freshwater tanks. I never thought it was that attractive no offense . . . it kind of moots the color of the plants . . .
Seriously, no offense taken, I think it's funny you've seen a syndrome with the reef converts. It makes sense... I have to assume it's just that we have been looking at them for so many years and have grown to like them. And if you're standing in front of my tank right now it looks like a weak tea even with the actinics. Without them its just "gross." Once these pieces of wood quit leaching, or the plants seem to not be doing well, then the first thing I will do is pull those babys out and replace them with some 10,000k's. Funny enough on my first reef which was a 30 long, I had 10,000k's only because I didn't like actinics. It took almost untill my second tank, which was a 45 high, before I went blue crazy.

I really appreciate your help
Justin
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post #13 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat_rancher
I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for the heads up; I assumed the more the better. I have been lurking on this site about a month or more before setting the tank up so I have begun to see some differences between reef tanks and plant tanks, such as:
I just looked at your other thread with the pictures of your lights. Looks like they're T8s or T12s, am I correct? Doesn't look like you have a reflector for them either. For some crazy reason I ASSumed you were using compact flourescent bulbs... and we all know what happens when people ASSume?
Hehe, anyways, knowing your florescent setup a little better now, I'm gonna re-recommend that you consider either 1) buy some reflectors to help get the light out of the hood and into the tank or 2) run your halides by themselves with no additional light from the florescents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat_rancher
The first time I read that I would be ADDING nitrates and phosphate I couldn't hold back a pretty good laugh! What a trip!!!!
Hehe, crazy isn't it? Just forget everything you know about reef tanks.

Er, well, uh, um, don't literally forget it (you might want to start one up again some day ).


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post #14 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 04:25 AM
 
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Hahaha, you know what's funny? I've gotten so used to having wood around that I don't even care about tea-colored water!

Heck, I even had a biotope tank where I was TRYING to get the water to be a dark brown!

Don't worry man, You're not the only one. I have a friend at home who does reefs and he's always asking me why I don't I use 50/50 bulbs for aesthetics.
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post #15 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yes, they are t12 VHO for a total of 426 watts (206 watts of that are the actinics)

Reflectors would be nice, but the inside of the canopy is painted a bright, flat white which has been shown to reflect better than a flat metal reflector. A mirrored reflector would focus the light better and be more effective but I should still be ok I think. When I was going through my reef troubles, the first thing I did was quit using the halides and the corals did fine just on the VHO's. They didn't grow like gang busters, but they were still growing at a decent pace. I miss the ripples of light the metal halide created so there may come I time I switch anyway, and I have mirrored spider refectors for those.

By the by, What is the maximum watts per gallon a large tank shouldn't exceed? I've been thinking maybe just one halide added to the VHO's would: a. fix my spectrum problems, and b. if I put it a bit more to one side,then it would look like the sun was coming in from an angle - could be real cool. If I did this, it would take the total watts up to 626 watts which would be 5.96 watts per gallon.
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