24fps' 55gal planted journal, ICH+PIC UPDATE-11/9/2007 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-17-2007, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Cool 24fps' 55gal planted journal, ICH+PIC UPDATE-11/9/2007

Hello everybody.
I am new to the forum but not new to the hobby. However, this is my first planted tank! I kept community fish in a 20gal Long for many years, but that was a long time ago.

I got bit by the bug to get back into it and would like to share my journey with you!

First some spec's on my tank:
55 gallon perfecto 48"w x 12"d x unk"h.
--people say it's a bear to 'scape, but I designed a neat setup I like.
Current USA Nova Extreme 48" 108W T5 HO
--one 54W 10KK, one 54W Actinic
Supplemental light
--48" 32W "FloraSun" 5000K NO fluorescent. Slightly pink in color, balances the actinic nicely. These lights should sustain plant growth, and really enhance the colors of fish and plants I keep.
Bio-wheel 350 filter
--I know about outgassing, but my water level is such that it just flows right onto the top of the tank without much disruption at all.
Eco-Complete, Black
--this stuff is seeded with beneficial bacteria, lowered my NH3/NH4+ fast.
Aquaclear 200W heater
--for those cold winter nights

Water Spec's
GH= 9 degrees dH
KH= 4
pH= 7.5
NH3/NH4+= 0.25ppm (down from over 1.5 ppm 4 days ago)
NO2- = 1.6ppm, (rising from <0.3ppm 4 days ago)
According to the flow chart in my test kit,
CO2= 4ppm

Any and all comments, suggestions and questions will get a response!
Thanks for looking, and without further ado:
The incomplete hardscape (right side feature still leaching tannins)

OK pic ofLeft side completed hardscape, including mini "cave,"

I have an all black or a blue fade background to put up, any suggestions?
Thanks for looking and I will UPDATE often

Last edited by 24fps; 11-12-2007 at 02:52 AM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-18-2007, 12:27 AM
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Use the all black background. What method are you injecting CO2? You might want to change the Actinic to 6700K that is beneficial to plants, or else you are not really getting 108W out of your system. Since this 55G, you might want to have a canister filter instead. Anyways, this is a great start!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-18-2007, 12:31 AM
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I wouldnt get any fishes Yet. First yet your Plants Grow And get used to the tank/lights and stuff. Meanwhile you start Planing your aquascape.
Buy some more driftwood some ROcks and When the plants have Fully Grown take them out and Spend a whole day Aquascaping.
SOmeone should of told me this Too before i started

One month in.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-18-2007, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by trfjason View Post
Use the all black background. What method are you injecting CO2? You might want to change the Actinic to 6700K that is beneficial to plants, or else you are not really getting 108W out of your system. Since this 55G, you might want to have a canister filter instead. Anyways, this is a great start!
trfjason,
Thanks! I'll put the black on and take a look, I've heard it gives more depth.
No CO2 injection. I plan to load up on fish soon to get the tank into homeostasis with plant/fish O2/CO2 exchange. I want to keep it low tech for now.
Re: lighting, I may get a different bulb Saturday as the LFS is having a store-wide sale and I can pick one up. However, I really want to enhance the fish fluorescence/color, and heard actinic can help this. True or false?

As for a cannister filter, the tank/stand/filter were free and I will keep as is, because I don't have the extra cash right now. Do you have a recommendation for a cannister if I go that route in the future?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frozenbarb View Post
I wouldnt get any fishes Yet. First let your Plants Grow And get used to the tank/lights and stuff. Meanwhile you start Planing your aquascape.
Buy some more driftwood some ROcks and When the plants have Fully Grown take them out and Spend a whole day Aquascaping.
SOmeone should of told me this Too before i started
frozenbarb,
Thanks for the recommendations. I am planning on waiting until November 11th to add fish, as I will be out of town 10/25-11/10.
I have the other hardscape elements already...The drift wood is soaking to leach remaining tannins. It will just be a couple days before I can put them in to balance the right side.

Thanks to hoochi for the trimmings. I got:
Rotala rotundifolia 'ceylon'
Rotala sp. 'green'
Ludiwigia arcuata and
softball sized clump of Hemianthus micranthemoides
I will post new pics with the background and plants once they are planted.
Thanks again, all.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-18-2007, 02:18 AM
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I have a 55 also. For filtration I have a Magnum 250, and Aquaclear 50 and an Eheim Ecco 2236. The Ecco rocks, I can't recommend it enough. The flow may be a bit lacking if you were to use it alone, so I'd use it in conjunction with your Emperor. The Eheim Classics and Eccos seem to be on the low side regarding flow rate.

If anything, you can go with a cheaper canister filter with a higher flow rate like the Rena.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-18-2007, 03:15 AM
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For canister filter go with any Eheim model, they are the best filters. Personally I have the Fluval 204 for my 31G, but Eheim is better. When I upgrade filter I will go for Eheim for sure.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-18-2007, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24fps View Post
I really want to enhance the fish fluorescence/color, and heard actinic can help this. True or false?
True, but it still won't grow plants. You might get away with what you have if you are going low tech. Otherwise I'd use that 54w space for a 6700k and use a cheap actinic for fish viewing. Growth would be much more noticeable.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-18-2007, 09:58 AM
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I'm going to upgrade my 55 gal's filter to a filstar xp3. They're supposed to be almost as good as eheims equivalent for the tank, but for half the price. I'm also doing a new 55 gal, need to get pics
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-18-2007, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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fishes_were_wishes, trfjason, and gotcheaprice:
Thanks for the recommendations on the filters. I am going to run what I have now, unless I run into major problems, but it is good info to have for the future! thanks!

jaidexl:
I will get a 6700K 54W T5 this weekend and switch out the pure actinic when I have more plants that can handle more light. thanks for the info!

More pics to follow once the hardscape is complete and the background is up!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Update Time, PICS from 10/19

Well, I suppose it is time for an update. Last time I checked in, my tank was barren, with only the left side hardscape done...At this time, you can see my full hardscape, as well as my first round of planting.
I think this hardscape does a good job of making use of the shallow front to back depth of the 55gal, creating the illusion of a much deeper space.

There are 2 overhang 'caves' and one true cave under the driftwood on the right. providing cover for the more shy/territorial fish I may keep.
Plant species are, from L to R:
1)Rotala sp. 'green'
2)Hemianthus micranthemoides (HM)
3)Rotala rotundifolia 'ceylon' (the reddish one)
4)Ludiwigia arcuata

I also added a dark blue background, and a DIY 2 Litre pop-bottle CO2 set-up diffused by a powerhead.

The tank is cycled and ready for fish!
Water Specs:
Gh: 11 dH
Kh: 6dH
pH: 7.5
NH3/NH4+ : 0 ppm
NO2- : <0.3 ppm

Enjoy the pic:

Last edited by 24fps; 11-12-2007 at 02:55 AM.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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More pics from planting and stocking 11/9/07

Well, more pics for you all.
The tank is doing well, water parameters are pretty much ideal.
I did a second round of planting, adding:
?? difformis (Wisteria)
Blyxa Japonica
Sag. Sublata (Dwarf Sag) and
Christmass Moss just resting on the right side drift wood.

I also added fish slowly:
1-male betta splendens
2-salt and pepper corydoras
5-otocinclus (ottos)
6-zebra danios
12-neon tetras
Here is the full tank shot:


LEFT SIDE DETAIL:


Center Detail:


Right Side Detail:I can really see the growth in the first round of plants!


What is the green dot-like algae on the back glass?
Thanks for looking, enjoy!

Last edited by 24fps; 11-12-2007 at 02:44 AM.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 01:59 AM
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Enjoy those new plants! The algae is green spot algae (GSA). It is usually the result of low phosphate/too much light. Take a look here http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

Mike


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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Ich outbreak! Nov. 10th

I lost my betta last night to what I belive to be ich. My tank was too cold, I realize, staying at 70-72 degrees F. I am bumping the heat up for the other fish. I started yesterday when I realized my Betta was ill. It is up to 81 degrees F. 10 degrees in 24 hours.
He was lethargic and not eating. His gills were really inflamed/swollen, too. When I noticed it, he had a moustache of it, and on spots on his fins. I did a salt-dip with him and the white stuff fell off, but he died shortly after lights out last night.
Stupid me, I dumped the (probably contaminated) salt-dip water back into the tank when I added 2 more Tbs to the main tank, a total of 3 Tbsp in 55 gallons.
This morning, Nov, 11th, I noticed some salt grain sized dots on a neon, and some more white "fuzz" on a little otocinclus. Looks like typical ich photos. I began treatment with Aquari-Sol. I slightly under dosed because of the neons and otos and corydoras. I cut the light back to 2 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. It just one mainly to facilitate feeding. After the first dose of Aquari-Sol, my fish seemed to have a voracious appetite. During the frenzy I noticed the infected neon.

I think it came in on some Zebran Danios from MosterPets on Colombus Boulevard. Buyer Beware!

Last edited by 24fps; 11-15-2007 at 02:51 AM.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 10:08 AM
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Yeah, I dont like to use meds in my tanks with ottos as many are harsh on scale-less fish (so the directions say on Jungle Labs products), so I just slowly turn the heat up and leave itup at around 84 for a couple days. This usually kills the ich in the entire tank as they are unable to survive at this temp.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpodolan View Post
Enjoy those new plants! The algae is green spot algae (GSA). It is usually the result of low phosphate/too much light. Take a look here http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm
Oh yeah!! thanks a million. I put the blyxa behind the leftside driftwood, with 2 accents on the center/right side of tank. the dwarf sag is the left side foreground. and the christmas moss has found a cool new home on the right side driftwood (different from the picture above) more natural looking.
After cleaning/separating the plants you sent, I had just enough of each species to really give a good start to my final vision. Thanks!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SearunSimpson View Post
Yeah, I dont like to use meds in my tanks with ottos as many are harsh on scale-less fish (so the directions say on Jungle Labs products), so I just slowly turn the heat up and leave it up at around 84 for a couple days. This usually kills the ich in the entire tank as they are unable to survive at this temp.
Yeah I hear you, bro. this "aquari-sol" claims to be "mild." I slightly under dose for the neons and ottos and cories, have the temp cranked to about 84--that seems to be where it maxxes out with the heater thermostat set 2 clicks from full hot-- and I am doing a 20% waterchange after every third day of dosing. I will continue this regiment until either
1) all the ich is dead
or
2) all the fish are dead
hahaha. just kidding. i am going to kill the ich parasite.

Last edited by 24fps; 11-15-2007 at 09:10 PM.
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