75 gallon journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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75 gallon journal

Well...this is my first journal I've done for my second tank. I just got this tank earlier this week and after a whole lot of shopping and manual labor, I finally have it set up (bare min). I am still new to this so I am going to take this slow as it progresses. I am not going to put any plants/fish/etc (unless I should) until the tank settles down.

Basic info:
-75 gallon
-eheim 2217 (debating on 2nd filter)
-Will have CO2 with rex reactor (need to move it from 20 gallon and somehow attach a 1/2'' hose to a 5/8'' hose barb)
-Tek HO T5 48" (have 2 giesmann midday and waiting for 2 aquamedic planta bubls)
-DIY light stand
-SMS with peat moss and laterite underneath


Bare tank with stand





SMS (2 bags for 40 bucks and 150 mile drive), Shultlz peat moss and API laterite


DIY light stand (conduit plastic pipes spray painted black (crappy job too) and bolted to stand (price: under 15 bucks) Also have sunrise sunlifts light hanging system that works beautifully (25 bucks)


Washing SMS: It looked like river water for 2 hours...as a result, I washed it for a long time and flooded my neighbor's yard in the process (hehe)




Added peat moss


Added almost 2/3 bag of (55oz) laterite


Added wet and heavy SMS to tank (talk about labor intensive) I'm not sure if I have the right depths since I measure about 2 1/2 in in the front (from the middle of the bracket to the top) and close to 4in in the back. If I have to add more SMS, please let me know. I also did a crappy job evening out the substrate but I'll fix that later...






Adding water...


1 1/2 hours later...


Complete and filter working...BTW, those eheims are so easy to work..I thought I was going to have trouble but surprisingly, I didn't.



Had trouble setting up the intake and outtake...does this look ok or should I some how move it. The intake unfortunately, is too long and will hit the substrate if I don't angle it like that.




I didn't fill all the way since I was too lazy and I didn't think I needed too. Obviously, its very cloudy, even after washing the SMS, but hopefully over a couple of weeks, it will be clearer. Those tek lights are super bright already with just 2 bulbs. The plants in the other tank were already moving towards the new lights.

Anyways, sorry for the long post but thanks for reading and hopefully I can turn this tank to something to be proud of...
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 05:47 AM
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Throw in some purigen and extra filter floss to get the water scrubbed clean. If you don't like the length of the Eheim intake, adjust it with a hacksaw.

Nice job with the light bar. Are all the parts standard PVC electrical conduit from like home depot etc? I think this might be a good way for people to make light bars instead of stainless conduit. Your way doesn't require a bender(or the need to return it after) and most people on these boards have PVC glue etc already.

33G: Eheim 2224, Finally have pressurized Co2 and Reactor
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I need to pick up more supplies and I'm going to be gone until Sunday so I'll have some by then. THe PVC is from home depot and it literally cost me 13 or so dollars. I still need to cement the bends but I was at least able to hang it to see how it looks. I'll definitely work on the filter intake since it does look crappy but again, no rush at this point.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 10:07 AM
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Good start! Can't wait to see whats in store.

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: I went ahead and took a hit money-wise and bought another classic 2217 to use mainly as a mechanical filter. I figured 2 filters can't hurt and I might as well have both of them. According to my GF, the cloudiness is starting to go away slowly with the one 2217 already there so with 2, it should definitely work. Any ideas or recommendations on what filter media to use? I bought a 3 pack of fine filter pads and I was thinking of putting the ehifmech first, then 1 blue filter pad, then 4 fine filter pad and maybe filter floss if there's room. I don't know if i should add more blue pads or keep what I have.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 01:01 AM
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Wow, this looks exactly like what I'm planning on setting up in the next month or so... 75 gallon tank, tek t5ho, sms, etc...
Where did you get the "sunrise sunlifts
light hanging system" from? Do you like it? Does it work well?

Also, I'm curious how the sms works out for you, I heard that its quite light and hard to plant in.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: Its almost been 3 weeks and so far so good. I am having a little nitrite spike after adding 3 fish and stirring up the SMS due to adding the new driftwood, but I did a WC and will check the params sometime tomorrow. I'm still waiting a little bit before I move the fish in the 20g to the 75g. Most of the plants there will be kept but I'm still in the lookout for more stems and some middle and foreground plants. I'm going to remove the heater that is in the tank for a hydor inline and I am waiting to add CO2 once I get the package from Rex (currently using Excel right now). I'm not sure about keeping the baby tears since its already growing some algae but we'll see. Hope the pics are ok and any comments/improvements are appreciated. Thanks!

Thanks to fishandturtle for the wood...it looks great and still have plenty left over...not sure what to do with it

evitagen22: I got the sunrise sunlifts from a hydroponics store...i'm sure you can find them online and they do work great. I superglued the string to the bracket mount for the tek just in case and it has worked great so far. Its very easy to raise and lower the light w/o any hassel. The SMS has been up and down so far. I am able to hold down plants fairly easily and I just put some driftwood in with no problems. OTOH, it took longer than I thought for the water to clear up (2 1/2 weeks...which is not really that bad). Hope this helps..












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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 07:24 AM
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Very nice. What will you stock it with?

Thanks,
Rekles75


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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 09:59 PM
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i like your driftwood. but you need to put some stems with spiky leaves in the center back, and move the broad-leaved ones to the sides.

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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 03:14 AM
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it looks good! what other plants are you going to add?

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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks...I saw yours and it looks great with all those plants. I'm not sure what I want right now but first things first is to get the CO2 running before adding more plants. I lost a couple that I bought from members here already so I want to wait until adding the CO2 and stabilizing the tank before I add more plants. I'm going to try to fill the front with dwarf hair grass and other foreground plants to get a variety. I also want to get some anubias to attach to the wood as well as some mosses of some sort. The rest of the plants is up in the air right now. Any input is always appreciated...
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 04:29 AM
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Looking good looks familiar too!

Love the idea for the light...Im gonna try that after Imove & resetup the tank!
would love to see pics on how the light 'stand' is secured !
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: The summer hasn't been kind to the tank and I've had to deal with GW twice already. I've installed a turbotwist and now the water is clear as I've ever seen it. Most of my plants are growing well but have slight algae on them (perhaps staghorn??) and there also may be nutritional deficiencies (inconsistent fert routine). The biggest culprit is me since I've been out of town most of the summer and so my GF has had to do a lot of the work. I'm looking to make/buy an auto-doser for the ferts so any suggestions would be helpful.

Anyways, the tank is far from where I would like it to be. I took out the water wisteria and bacopa moneri and would like to replace them with some different stem plants but I need some suggestions. Here's the plant list that I have:

Ammania senegalensis
Taxiphyllum alternans (taiwan moss)
bacopa colorata
True Rotala Indica (bonsai)
Vallisneria nana
Crypt cilata
crypt pontederiifolia
CRYPTOCORYNE WENDTII brown or tropica
Echinodorus 'vesuvius'
Flame Moss
Hemianthus micranthemoides (Pearl weed)
Heteranthera zosterifolia (star grass)
Hygrophyla corymbosa "stricta" OR Narrow Leaf Giant Hygro
Ludwigia Brevipes
Ludwigia Cuba
Polygonum Sao Paulo



My other issue is what to stock the tank with. I currently have 2 zebra danios, 3 glowlight tetras, 1 bloodfin tetra, 1 (possibly 2) otos, and some snail. I know this is a horrible list and I need to do something about it but I had a lot more fish before summer and for some reason, I have been losing many fish on different days randomly for no apparent reason. I can't figure out what would be causing them to die but I'm thinking the hard water isn't helping at all. All other water parameters have been consistent and normal. For this reason, I was thinking about turning this tank into a african cichlid tank (either mbuna or tang fish) but I'm concerned about the cost of the fish as well as the care. The other option is to restock the tank again with more community fish that will do better in harder water. For example, I was thinking of adding more bloodfins, more otos, congo tetras, red-eye tetras, julii cories, and either angels or some gouramis. What do you guys think about this fish list?

Sorry for the long post but I will definitely keep updating this as the school year goes on.

As I mentioned, the right side is completely bare but there are some plants there. The dwarf hairgrass is slowly recuperating now and starting to come around although you can't see it in the picture (should be on the right side). I'm hoping that will fill in in a couple of months from now. So the only thing left is to fill the mid and background...any suggestions?

P.S. Sorry for the bad pic quality...



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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 04:24 AM
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I love threads like this! Thanks for sharing!
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 04:32 AM
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I really like the left side of the tank. It will look great once the stems have filled in. What are your plans for the right side?

BUT - the stocking list you're considering is not composed of hard-water-favoring fish, in fact, the opposite.

What about some livebearers? Mollies, guppies, platies; these tend to do better in hard water than most tetras and other South American fish. If you want something out of the ordinary you could either look up some wild-types or go the opposite direction and find some specialty breeders.

If you can find locally-bred stock of the species you mentioned then that's a different story, however.





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