1st attempt at a planted tank.. 5ft, 70G - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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1st attempt at a planted tank.. 5ft, 70G

My brother came across the tank thrown abandoned in a communal area in the middle of manchester..after some detecive work to find who'd left it, he put 'dibs' on it and I went an collected it with him. It was in a sorry state, scummed up and a terrible job with some attempt at sealing..literally goo'd on and squiged with the finger. I got it home an started the cleanup..

I gave it a quick clean then filled it to make sure I wasn't wasting my time, all was fine so I carried on scrubbing and removing all the bodged sealant and made a better job of the re-application. Having no lid, I made a hood from marine ply & painted the exterior white to match our decor, a stand was the next issue..being a maker and make do-er, I found an old sideboard on eBay and up cycled that, reinforcing the structure with 50x50mm timber..the final touch was some stainless steel trims and detailing to hide the bracing & substrate bed..these were cut with a plasma torch and bonded to the glass with adhesive.

I was pretty chuffed with the final result (as a time reference, this was done on the run up to Xmas last yr).

I was running an old juwel rekord with minimal stock so set about transferring everything over..I'm running a fluval 305 filter so it was pretty straight forward. In addition to the plec', shrimp, 5 rainbow tet's and Bala shark I had, I got a few more plants, 10 Congo tet's & 5 cory's.

All was going well until I came home one afternoon to see Co2 bellowing out of the diffuser and all the fish dead!! Absolutely gut wrenching!! I quickly got about changing the water & threw a cpl of spare power heads in to keep the surface agitated. To my suprise, the cory's came round as did my plec and 1 Congo tet', the shrimp seemed fine too. Total loss, 14 fish & lesson learned using a cheap ass Co2 rig (

So.. Finally got a better Co2 setup from the Co2 supermarket, ordered a pair of 54W T5's to compliment the x2 26W T8's I'm running now, also fitted a Hydor external heater & bought 6 more Congo tet's. Had a visit to the green machine last wkend too & was well impressed!! So much so, I re-scaped the tank & added some mini grass which once the T5's start shining (waiting on the starter), hopefully will spread quite nicely. It's by no means an aqauscape, and I'm still a bit lost as to what direction I want to take it..initially I was pushing for to many ideas I think (rocks, wood..a nice mossy tree), need to pull it right back and stick to a simple plan I rekon, but that's tricky and part of the art of it I guess??

Anyways, I'll dig out a better camera & try get some pics as to where I'm at currently (apologies for the phone pics) & any ideas, critique & suggestions are most welcome..

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 01:42 PM
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well done mate, sorry to hear about the loss. Happens to the best of us. I too am ina bit of a quandry trying to decide which direction to take when trying to decide on a scape.

I would try a mono colored substrate and play with different colored plants and elevations in that size. Just my 2 pence
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 02:02 PM
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Nice job! What are the dimensions of your tank?

110g Tropical Community & Sakura Shrimp
55g BN Breeding Grounds, Peacock Gudgeons, Panda, Pygmies, & Smudge Spot Cories, Rili Shrimp
10g RCS and show guppies

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Cheers guys!!

Yea, the substrate seems the most suggested alteration, doubt thats gonna happen now until another major rescape however. Hopefully if I get a good carpet going it wont be too much of an issue?

the tank is 60" x 18" x 15"

The 1st post was copied from Practical Fishkeeping Forum, here's where I'm upto pretty much..

Part 2.

As I mentioned previous, we visited the green machine a couple of weeks ago. Looking at 'Reprocity' inspired a few alterations..

Getting somewhere closer to where I want to be, I decided to pull the fake rock background & the scraggy plants to the right (cant remember their name). I plan to plant more heavily round the wood to the left, keep the middle clear other than a grass carpet & some minimal planting up the embankment. The plants in the centre are just temporary..

I got my extra lighting hooked up today & was really pleased to see the plants giving off bubbles every now and then. I've added (x2) 54W T5's to the existing pair of 26W T8's to give just over 0.6W/l. In terms of running them, I'm thinking; T8's for an hour, all on for 6hrs then the T8's again for 2-3hrs. Any thoughts? Should I just try and run them all for 8hrs or so? I'll see how I get on in terms of algae etc.

Finally..added a bit more stock; x4 nano shrimp (according to pets @ home..dont know if they're amano shrimp?), x20 neon tet's & a flying fox..which turned out to be a 'fake' flying fox. I think I'm going to return him tomorrow

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Wk4.. video blog this one.

I added the Tunez pump & I'm pleased with the result,I'm getting a nice woft through the plants.

Had a little bloom of algae, down to increased bio-load i think..i'll have to up the maintenance to match. According to the Aquadvisor, i'm around 80% stocked..I'm contemplating taking out the 6 congo tet's to lighten the load a little.

Also adjusted the lighting scheme from; T8's on @ 11.30 off at 21.30 & T5's on at 14.00 off at 20.00, to all on at 13.00 until 21.00. Reduced ferts' too until I increase planting..hopefully get a delivery from the green machine tomorrow.

Other than that; the grass is growing..slowly..when i plant up the next batch i'm thinking of trimming it down, the moss has filled out nicely, not doing much weeping yet however and has some algae, again, may trim when i'm in there next. The stem plants i left in are growing out rather than up which must be a good sign?

Overall..still pleased with it

Wk4 clip..
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