my very basic tank - comments to improve please - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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my very basic tank - comments to improve please

Hello everyone- sorry for the long writing.

this is my tank a 100l x40wx50h cm curve front. i have had it a few months and would like to arrange the plants and items better. I think i will need low to medium light plants as my lights are just the plain normal ones 2x 30w daylight tubes.
and no Co2 but i might try a DIY one??



i no not know all the names of the plants, but i have vallis/twisted vallis, javamoss, egeria ( goldfish weed?- dont laugh!) various anubias and some unknown stem plant

it all looks a bit messy at the moment so if anyone can give me some tips or a few plants that would fit the tank well please tell me.

i am thinking the wood is too big also? i would like to keep the red rock

i have 10 or 11 tetra neons ( doesnt everyone)
1 breeding pair dwarf gouramis
1 pair blue rams
1 pair bushy nose catfish (but they do not like each other)
6 zebra dainos
6 red eye tetra
and 2 shrimps and a mussle

i am at the stocking limit i think so do not plan to put anything else in ( except maybe another mussle)





the one large plant - 1/2 the leaves are out of the water, what can i do about this??

many thanks in advance for any replies.

ps forgot to say a section of the substrate is lower at the back than the front - this i plan to sort out sometime.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 02:48 PM
eds
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It is an interesting look. The light colored substrate is a little unusual, and is going to play a big role in the tank's overall appearance - at least as long as you leave it exposed.

I think you would benefit from a dark background. As it is, the lack of the background emphasizes the brightness of the substrate. Which is okay if you want a really clean, kinda unnatural modernistic look, but that isn't what most of us aspire to. Would also hide the tubes in back.

How long have you had the tank set up? What do you fertilize? I ask because your plants don't look quite as robust as in many established tanks. If the substrate is common gravel, and you don't want to replace it, you might want to supplement it with laterite. DIY CO2 is cheap and simple, and sufficient for a tank of your size. I think you would see a dramatic improvement in plant growth if you added DIY CO2 and began a regular system of ferts.

The large plant appears to be a sword of some type, and simply may be too large for a tank that size - I'm estimating 100l = 25 gal.

Crypts come in many varieties, and would do fine with your light.

Nice tank. Keep the pictures coming.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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hi, thanks for the reply. the tank works out to about 55 US gallons, the big plant was smaller, but it has just grown. I meant to pick up a background yesterday but i forgot! I will just use a black neoprene under tank mat, the tubes also disappear then!

The substrate is a light coloured gravel and mixed in is some black and dark brown also ( difficult to see in the picture) also i haveseen in the pic it looks like i have 3 levels of substrate but its only 2. 1 is the plant fertilizer base ( jbl aquabasis) and the rest is about 20kg of 1-2mm gravel chips - i think it is the light on the glass making it look like 3 layers.

i have had this tank running for about 3 months, but most of the gravel/plants and filter etc is from my old tank. i will have a look at some crypts- i would like something with a bit more colour but believe that the reds require a higher level of light??

i dont fertilize at all really - well i have some sera florena that i put in put not sure how good it is.

about the CO2 - i have bought some yeast and have the bottle etc but is it ok just having an airstone on the end or does it need to have some sort of "trap" or a cascade?

thanks
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 05:52 PM
eds
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Oops. When I looked at your dimensions, I thought the length was the volume in liters.

AFAIK, the red and bronze crypts don't require any more light than the greens. I have some red crypts doing great in a 30 gal w/ 55 watts.

I doubt you will see too tremendous of growth until you up the lighting a bit. At 1 wpg you will be able to keep plants alive, but I don't think you will see the results most folk here show. Of course, having said that I'm surprised that your sword is growing so well. So what do I know?!

I'm no expert, but I think you need some sort of diffusor for your CO2 other than an airstone. Need to keep the CO2 in contact with the water long enough for it to be absorbed. With the airstone, it will just bubble up and out. With that green tubing, it looks like you have an eheim canister. You could feed your CO2 line into the filter, or build yourself a reactor. Lots of articles out there. Search the forums for DIY CO2.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of layered substrates, simply because they tend to be difficult to keep layered - especially upon replanting. But that is a personal choice.

Plants will need some fertilization other than fish waste. Again, there are tons of articles to search. But the kicker is, they cannot take up the nutrients if they don't have enough light and CO2.

Just trying to make you regret that you took up this science project masquerading as a hobby!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 08:27 PM
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Is that an automatic fish feeder? I personally think feeding fish every day allows you to tell when your fish are sick, but we all do things differently .

I don't think your tank looks messy at all! Is there an amazon sword in there? It may get too big for your tank, otherwise A+ .

Last edited by Goldfishcrazy11; 11-26-2005 at 02:54 AM.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 09:31 PM
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I like it. I was expecting to see a giant jumble of plants from the way you were describing it :P Like was already said, I think if you up the lights and get the CO2 and ferts going the plants will fill in quicker and make the tank look a lot more natural.

BTW is that a coconut in the front? That hut thing...

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2005, 02:56 AM
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Yay, I think that's a coconut, too! I've read of people using them when breeding rams... As long as all the hairs are taken off and it's dried.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2005, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the comments everyone, i have got some CO2 going now, but at the moment i only have it on an airstone and i have seen very quickly that it is not very efficient..... so i will either get a small reactor thingy ( saw jbl has one) or i will modify one of the filter intakes ( there is one at each end of the tank) and route the tubing into it so it will mix properly which i think is better.

about the feeder, i work shifts so i am not here all the time, my GF is tho to keep a basic eye on things but I would rather make sure the feeding is at constant amount.

yep it is a coconut! it is for one of the bushy nose catfish - the other one doesnt let him under the bogwood - also the gourami male tries make a nest in there every now and then.

i have taken the red stone out today so i can see that corner of the tank - it does look a bit better.


my plans for next week are to slope the back of the tank a bit and to try and get some different plants for the background that provide good cover - other than vallis, what would you suggest?????????? not camboba as it falls apart too much.


anyway here is a pic of the substrate for Eds and u can just see one of the gouramis having a cheeky look

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2005, 12:33 PM
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I love that substrate. I wanted to find something like that but had to settle for red/brown :P

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2005, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StUk_In_AfRiKa
I love that substrate. I wanted to find something like that but had to settle for red/brown :P

I made it myself- normal 1-2mm mixed white/yellow natural gravel, and a mix of black and light brown man made gravel ( the same type of stuff u see in red,blue etc) i was going to have sand, but thought the gravel would be better
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2005, 11:04 PM
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I would think that the coconut is eventually going to start to decay/rot.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-27-2005, 06:59 AM
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Looking good. I would personally would do the following:

- Slope the substrate
- Center the wood
- Tie down the moss on wood
- Remove the coconut
- Move Anubias near wood
- If the tank isnt being viewed from both sides, add a black backround.
- Hide the plumbing. It will add more focus on your tank.
- Add some more stem plants. In time, it will add a more lushy look to your tank.
- And if you decide to change the substrate I would add a strong foreground.

Good luck.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-27-2005, 02:35 PM
eds
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That is a really nice looking substrate. My only fears would be that it would show detritus easily, as well as the possible mixing of the layers. But as long as you can keep it clean and separate, it is striking.

I thought it looked like you had quite a bit of equipment in the tank. But hiding it generally means replacing it, or something beyond a quick fix.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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hi all,

I have moved some stuff about in the tank and added a black background ( a jet black neoprene under tank mat) I think it does look better than before but i need to get some more plants for the back. ( did add hygro and some unknown stem plant)

at the mo I just have the normal supplied lights in there 2 x 6500k 30w so the light levels are quite low, I plan to try ODNO on the lights.

ANYONE IN THE UK know of a good brand of ballasts to do this? ( i am going to the uk soon to visit friends)

i made a DIY co2 and did have a jbl reactor (plastic with a ceramik disk) the bubbles did get smaller towards the surface but did not think it was too great - so I have put the tube into the end of one of the filter pipes.

i had to try a few times to make the co2 work for more than a day but i put more yeast in and it has been going for a few days so we shall see!!!

anyway here is the pic:





does anyone use SERA florena?? reading on here I think it is same as excel??

so i am still thinking of the red rock to be put back, not sure.

what plants are ok for low /medium light looking for the back and middle - i prefer anubia as the fish dont eat them and they seem very strong
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