75 Gallon Tank Matures
My not-so-new 75 gallon tank has taken about nine months to stabilize. I'm not sure why but I suspect it may have something to do with the domestic stump that was partially rotted and soil-sand mixture in the bottom two-thirds of my substrate. Heres how the tank went together.
SUBSTRATE: My wife drove by a new commercial development that bulldozed the lot level and had just dug trenches to pour concrete footers. The soil about a foot to two deep in St Charles is mostly clean clay that's brownish and I couldn't pass the opportunity to borrow a bucket or two to mix in with my sand in a 1:3 ratio. This and some leftover laterite was mixed in a 1:3 ratio with sand to make the bottom two inches of my substrate. The top inch was finished off with only sand.
DRIFTWOOD: I had an old stump of domestic hardwood that I attached to a piece of plexiglass using nylon cable ties threaded through an eyebolt and holes in the plexiglass. I left enought slack so the stump would be held on the surface of the substrate. Before doing that, however, I wire brushed, pressure washed and oven baked the stump to get rid of a much decayed matter and microscopic critters as I could within reason. It attached on the right side and has a nice cluster of Java Moss growing on it now. My oto loves to eat the stump or whatever grows on it, by the way. I suspect the stump will out last the oto, however. I also bought a big clump of some Asian wood that sinks and it's on the left side with anubias attached to it. I also have a few other bits a pieces scatter aroung to attach java moss and anubias on.
PLUMBING: Two Eheim 2026s: one with a UV sterilizer and the other with a 300 W in-line heater. The sparybar from the heater is on the left and the output from the UV sterilizer is on the left as well. There is no sparybar, just an elbow. Intakes to the filters are at the corners.
CO2: I have a five-pound tank and I feed about a bubble per second at a pressure of 18" of water into a PlantGuild reactor. It works really well and produces a lot of very fine bubbles - much finer than the ones made by my Azoo ceramic disk. Why didn't I make something in-line with my filter? I can't say for sure but the reactor I have works well and I spent the time I would have spent fitting that on an electrical panel to control the rats nest of wires.
GLASS TOP: I was a real fan of topless tanks once because you get most of you light that way. I found that I was getting a lot of dust in the tank and losing too many occupants. Plus, the cover helps control the temperature in the cooler winter months and I didn't have to top off the tank twice a week due to evaporation.
LIGHTS: Four 54W T5's in a Tek Light hood. The hood is held in place on a DIY frame that sits on the tanks rim. The frame to allows me to adjust height to get the lights out of harms way during weekly maintenance or to slide it back. I have two timer that control a pair of bulbs. The second set turns on about two hours after the first turns on. Both are on for about 9 hours every day.
Coryodorus: 6 total with three panda that spawn weekly.
Otocinclus: I've seem two.
Moenkhausia pittieri (Diamond tetra), 9
Nannostomus beckfordi (Beckfords pencilfish), 7
Brachydanio rerio (Zebras), 3
Rasbora sp: 4
Paracheirodon innesi (Neon tetra), 7
Axelrodia riesei (Ruby tetra), 12
My zebras have died off recently. I lost 7 over the last month. Can't figure out why. My neons were fine until I introduced some that were not as healthy as I would like about six months ago. They are slowly dying off. All of the others are doing great, however.
Hygorphila corymbosa angustifolia
Microsorum pteropus 'Windelψv'
Echinodorus parviflorus 'Tropica'
Anubias barteri nana var. Ekona
Anubias sp. two types
Subwassertang (freshwater seaweed, whatever that is)
Cryptocoryne x willisii "Lucens"
Andrew, MASI Treasurer
This message is always under construction: 75-gallon tank; 2, Eheim 2026 filters - one twice broken; Tek Light with 4, 54W T5s (6000K) ; Sand on top of 4:1 sand:clay mixture; Milwaukee CO2 controller; PlantGuild vortex CO2 reactor; pH = 6.6, kH=70mg/l, GH=120mg/l; EI; Flourish excel on 50% weekly water change: AGA Member.