A beginner's first 75G - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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A beginner's first 75G

Hey folks, I've finally gotten the aquarium I've wanted for years. My wife and I agreed that once we bought a house she'd get a piano and I'd get an aquarium. Found a good deal on craigslist for a SeaClear System 2 75 gallon so here we go.
I don't have a lot of money or time to spend on it (2 small kids) and I don't expect to come close to some of the works of art that I've seen on this site. The reason I'm starting a journal is because over the last several months or so of lurking on this site and occasionally asking questions, I've found this to be the most encouraging and supportive "internet community" I've ever seen and I want to be part of it.
I hope to get some good advice and helpful feedback from you all, and hey, maybe there's another newbie out there that will learn from my inevitable mistakes.
So far, the tank has been running for less than a week. I bought a few plants and some feeder minnows three days ago. This weekend I'm going to check out another LFS in search of more (cheap) plants and a little moss.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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So here's a question: How do I attach a link to this journal to the signature line of my posts?
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 03:19 PM
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The wood looks good! You're off to a great start.

If you copy the address of this thread (In your browser's address bar) you can then edit your signature - type some text, highlight it, then hit the little "Link" button at the top and put the address in the box that comes up.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Whiskey!
We gathered the wood during a family canoe trip on our local Mad River. I bleached it to kill off the slime and algae it was covered with and was a little disappointed that turned so white. It was a rich, dark brown when I pulled it out of the river. I plan to tie some moss to it to tone down the glare.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 03:36 PM
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like the scape
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
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Thanks Whiskey!
We gathered the wood during a family canoe trip on our local Mad River. I bleached it to kill off the slime and algae it was covered with and was a little disappointed that turned so white. It was a rich, dark brown when I pulled it out of the river. I plan to tie some moss to it to tone down the glare.
It might darken up again yet! I got some Manzi and it was a lighter color when I first put it in the tank, but then after about 2 months in with my discus it darkened up considerably and ended up matching an old manzi piece I had.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Here are a few more plants I found this weekend. I added a couple of anubias, a java fern, and some java moss. Now I'm looking for something to put on top of the larger driftwood in the center.
Any ideas for a plant that can attach to driftwood and would do well near the surface in bright light? I saw some dwarf baby tears online the other day and they seemed like they might go well there.
I'm also looking for more Java Moss if anyone out there has some to sell...
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Fish sucked into the overflow

So here's a problem I can use some help with:
My tank has a built-in overflow at the top left. It's got a little plastic grate that's adjustable to set the water level. The grooves are about 3/16" wide and I've already lost at least one fish into the filter. I've found that when I feed them (flake), some food inevitable travels to the overflow and gets hung up on the grate. THe fish then swim up to eat and if they're small enough the can get sucked through. I've seen a larger minnow get pulled up against the grate but it was large enough to not go through and it wiggled free and swam away.
The problem came when the smallest "rosy red minnow" disappeared and I'm sure it went into he filter as it was definitely slimmer that 3/16" wide. THe fish only cost about 12 cents from the feeder tank, but of course since it was the smallest and pinkest it became my 5 year old daughter's favorite. Tragedy.
I'm thinking I'll put some filter foan in fron to the grate to keep the small fish out but I don't want it to get clogged with debris and overflow the tank. I also don't want to have to clean it more than every couple of weeks since it's in a difficult place to reach.
Any advice out there?
I plan to get some neon tetras and other small fish down the road so I'd like to get this resolved before spending more on fish..
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 10:00 PM
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Hi,
That piece if wood is really nice and I like the selection of plants you've chosen. I'm not sure about your overflow situation but I think a bit of foam could work.
Good luck...


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 10:50 PM
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Just do the foam. I have used fluval foam pads and cut to desired length. Love the wood. Fills the tank nicely.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 11:52 PM
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I vote for SS mesh to block the overflow. Sponges clog often and quickly which would result in an overflow problem as the return pump is quickly outrunning the overflow. SS mesh last long between cleanings. Since you aren't keeping micro fish or shrimp you can even opt for as mesh with bigger gaps that would require less cleaning.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubels View Post
I vote for SS mesh to block the overflow. Sponges clog often and quickly which would result in an overflow problem as the return pump is quickly outrunning the overflow. SS mesh last long between cleanings. Since you aren't keeping micro fish or shrimp you can even opt for as mesh with bigger gaps that would require less cleaning.
I agree. Foam on an overflow will slow down flow over time and may cause the thing to clog at some point (likely when your on vacation), so will screen with fine holes, but a mesh with wide openings would be less likely to do that but would still keep fish safe.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments, everyone. I was already headed down the foam path when I posted my question and have ordered some coarse filter foam. I'll try that first.
I appreciate the comments about the stainless mesh, though, and I do hope to end up with some fish or shrimp fry some time in the distant future. I'll look around for some mesh and see if I can make a basket strainer that will hang in front of the overflow. I suppose I could notch the very top of it as sort of an emergency overflow to prevent spills onto the floor.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2014, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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An update- Added some java moss and Rotala that I bought from a plantedtank member and rearranged some things. Still haven't added any fish besides the feeders I started with a few weeks ago. Maybe this weekend I'll take my daughter to the LFS and let her pick some out. I plan to "guide" her toward the zebra danios and rasboras and will pick out a few otos for myself.
I still haven't tackled the filter screen, though I did add some coarse plastic grid to keep the loose floating rotala leaves from clogging the overflow.
The little lump of java moss in front is actually the scoop end of a kitty litter scoop that I attached modd to with some rubber bands. I cut an opening to make a little hidey-hole for fish.
Most of the plants seem to be doing ok though one of the anubias has gone yellow and lost some leaves. I moved it from the substrate to the top of the driftwood which I'm not sure was the right thing as I've heard they prefer low light. I'll see what happens to it this week and might move it again later. I also added a kelp extract with iron that I got at a local hydroponics shop.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2014, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Here are some more recent photos.
I've added the following fish:
4 Harlequin Rasboras
2 Otos
4 Platys
8 Neon Tetras

There's some algae on the front of the tank that I've been leaving for the Otos. Maybe I'll clean it off this weekend..
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