My new 185Ltr (40gallon) upgraded from my 23 Gallon Attempt - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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My new 185Ltr (40gallon) upgraded from my 23 Gallon Attempt

DONT BOTHER STARTING TO READ FROM THE START, THE FIRST TANK IS YONKS OLD, MY NEW TANK STARTS ON PAGE 2, AND OBVS MY LATEST RE-SCAPE IS AT THE END OF PAGE 3.

IF YOU'RE READING THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE FIRST PAGE/PICS ARE A PHOTO JOURNAL FOR MY ORIGIONAL TANK (23 Gallon), THEN I HAD A TANK CHANGE (PAGE 2) SO I DECIDED TO CONTINUE THIS THREAD RATHER THAN START A NEW ONE.

Right, after a lot of reading of various sites I've decided to take the plunge and try and get something resembling a planted tank up and running.

I actually started this tank a fair while ago now, but never posted any pictures, I've got some stored on my PC from the origional set up, and I also took some the other weekend (6 months'ish later) to see how things had progressed.

There has been ups and downs so far, unfortunately more downs, but what doesn't kill ya makes you stronger ... or so they say.

So, this is what I've got:

Tank: 23 Gallon / 90 Ltr
Dimensions: 30"x15"x12 (length x height x width)
Lighting: 2 x 18w 600mm Grolux tubes - I want to get something more powerfull eventually, but this'll have to do for the moment. (even though I've only got 1 at the moment, I'm still waiting for the other to be delivered)
Co2 : Nutrafin Co2 natural plant system
Filter : Fluval Internal 4
Substrate: 1 bag of Eco Complete and 'some' small 1.5~2mm aquarium gravel

Bits and bobs: 3 or 4 various sized bogwood, some river pebbles

So, lets kick things off with a very boring pic of my tank



Then I whacked in my Eco-substrate



....... and realised that I needed more, so I thought I'd try something different. This is when I started getting my 'big ideas' ... and funnly enough this is where things started to go wrong

I thought that as I'd got some of my previous aquarium gravel I'll try and make it look different by laying this layer of gravel over the top of the substrate. Something different y'know.



I started to get some of my bits in (excuse the rubbish photo), in the photo below it's only the bogwood, and this is where the problems started !!



Then it came to the time that I had to start planting


I had all my plants layed out on the table, a very clear planting plan in my head, a bit of time to myself, and some chilled out music coming from my stereo.

1st set of plants in - Ehhhh what's this, they're not going down deep enough. Why's that then? What's goin on? Oh bugger it's that damn mesh that I used to seperate the layers, it's not letting me plant my plants deep enough to get 'into' my Eco-Substrate so really the planting depth that I'm looking at is only as deep as the gravel layer that I've used on top. Damn, why did I spend cash on the Eco-Substrate if I can't acually plant anything in it. Hmmmmmmmmm

What now, here's the plan .... cut a small hole out from the mesh and plant my stem plants through the hole. Easyer said than done that is !! Cut a hole, remove cutting object, hole instantly fills back up again with gravel. Try this a couple of times, same thing happens.

Blood boiling, getting suitably annoyed, so off outside for a smoke to chill out and try and think.

Come back in, and stand around for about 5 minutes still none the wiser. Quick time check, damn the Mrs will be home from work soon, nothing done 'in the house' since she left this morning. No dinner on the go, back room completely re-arranged so that I had sufficient space to do my tank and not have to negotiate a safe passage around the arm chair every time I need to get something.

Ding-Dong the door bell goes, only my Sister, her 2 year old, and her 4 year old, popped in to see uncle. Just what I needed. 2 Kids moving everything. 'What are you doing' 'Why are you doing that' 'What's this for' 'Can I put some stones in'. OI !! all those plants that are now on the floor, yes the ones that you're currently standing on, do you want to get off them"

My sister knowing me as she does could see that this was kinda an inappropriate time and I was about to blow my lid decided not to stay very long (yes I do feel really bad about it now)

<chilled out for another 10 mins>

1 more attempt to plant my plants, with the same outcome

<instantly raging - I've really got to sort that temper of mine out>

Decided to 'quickly remove (ie rip out)' the mesh and just get the plants in, and fill it with water, and leave it at that.

OH MY GOD !! Now this just looks totally awfull - I HATE IT !! (see pic below of mish-mash substrate)



Had to leave it though, Mrs was coming home soon and I had to re-build the house and look as if I'd not spend all day making a massive mess.

She comes home "Hmmmm, what have you done there, suppose it looks, ermm kinda ok". Probably not the best thing to say after the day I'd just had.

Did some serious thinking about what I was going to do. Came up with a couple of ideas (one of them being bin the lot and start again) but decided to re-scape with some freshly ordered forground plants to hide the mish mash.

I thought that it's really only the top and front that you can see so I tried pulling the substrate away from the front with a ruler and filling up behind it, and then putting a layer of gravel on top. Kinda Christmas cake 'ish. Nice on the outside with loads of random stuff in the middle.

So I've left it at that. Planted my plants, got some Java ferns on my bog wood. And this is how it started. In the morning the water was crystal again, but I didn't have time to photograph it.

It's still a little 'dim' but I'm still waiting for that other bulb to be delivered.

Full tank shot:



Left hand side:



Right hand side:



____________--

So there it was, my first steps into the planted tank world. I wasn't all that happy with it to start with, but over time its fill out and started to resemble somthing that I want.

So .......... onto the latest set of pictures and and things have actually changed :good: Not only are there less fish, but there's more algae !!

so I must be doing something right hey :unsure:

I've lost quite a few of my origional plants, I just can't seem to stop them dying, but I had this one plant in the rear corner (can't remember the name off the top of my head at the moment) which has now since vanished BUT it was sending runners out all over the place and now they have taken over the bottom of my tank and produced the carpet effect that I was origionally wanting to achieve. The plants at the rear right of the tank are still alive, and I didn't really think they were growing all that much, but looking back at the origional pictures they have filled out a bit. I've also got hold of some Java Moss and that's going really well on the pieces of bog wood within the tank. I'm having to pull off great big clumps pretty regularly to stop it taking over. I do however find that it is prone to filling up with algae, as well as the 'carpet' but within 15 mins of rummaging around seems to take care of it for the next couple of months.

I've given up on CO2, but I think that I may get it back up and running again and see what the effects are.

I've still got some of my origional fish, so at the moment my tank consists of 7 Red Platties, 12 Neon Tetras, and 5 Zebra Dino's. They all seem to be getting on really well at the moment which is always a bonus.

So, here are some piccies:

This is a 'whole' picture of the tank. Couldn't get the fish to stay still so they are a little blurry



This is the closer picture of the left hand side of the tank. Showing the java moss (after a haircut) and the carpet plants that I was origionally wanting. The stem plant at the back is that plant that's classed as a 'weed'. I somehow still manage to kill it though (well it's starting to thin out anyway)



This is the right hand side of the tank. See .... the plants have filled out from the origional pictures, and I've not managed to kill them in over a year!



and the next two are just a couple of randoms:





I must admit myself .... the whole tank could do with a bit of a spring clean, but I think that I'll be investing in a couple of otto's in the very near future as they'll have plenty to munch on.

Anyway, thanks for looking. Comments / Criticism welcome

From what you can see, what have I done wrong.

THANKS FOR READING and please be gental.

Last edited by re_hashed; 03-10-2014 at 12:17 PM. Reason: title change
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 02:08 AM
Many plants...little time
 
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I think it looks pretty good...your foreground plants look pretty good.
I would start by adding a filter...a Classic Eheim 2213 would not be a bad choice...and if it were my tank...a black background...
Good Luck!


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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 03:24 AM
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Hello.

Your foreground has filled in very nicely. I think the biggest thing that you can do to improve your tank is to clean up the algae. From what I have read the best way to combat algae is to fight it with long stem fast growing plants. That is one thing that I notice you are missing. If you get some fast growing stem plants, it will out compete the algae for nutrients. The other thing I would recommend you get your hands on is the book, Ecology of the Planted Aquarium by Diana Walstad. She has a great chapter on combating algae. I think everybody should read that chapter before starting a fish tank.
Food for thought. Good luck and keep us posted.

best regards,

- Hung
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 04:12 AM
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That much algae will kill your plants. Once they are all covered they can't photosynthesize. I do think a filter would help. You need water movement. Have you thought about trying to spot dose flourish Excell on the algae. Just start at on side and each day put in an initial dose for the tank - but just on the algae. It has a 24 hr life so you can do it each day. In a few days you just might have much of it gone. If you can get some amanos and mollies they will eat it up.

Just keeping on keeping on....


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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replys everyone. I've read them through and taken them on board.

I will hold my hands up though - I know that I've not done enough with the tank (maintenance wise) and basically just let it look after itself. I kinda got a little bored with it, after all my initial enthusiasm, when I didn't see much progress etc.

I've noticed a couple of people have mentioned that I should get a pump. I've had one in there from the start, at the rear left corner. It's a Fluval Internal 4 FYI.

I will also try to get hold of that book as well.

I don't know if I've got enough light in there to sustain much plant growth/life at all. At the moment I've only got 2 x 18w growlux bulbs, which going by calculations is:

Results

Size 76 x 30 x 38cm/30" x 12" x 15"
Surface area 0.23 sq m/2.50 sq ft
Current lighting 36 watts
Current intensity 155.0 watts per m2

Recommendations

Suggested intensity 1000 w per m2
Suggested wattage 232.3 watts
Suggested upgrade 196.3 watts
Suggested lighting 0.9 MH lights @ 250w
Suggested upgrade 0.8 MH lights @ 250w

Whatever that means
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 01:20 PM
Many plants...little time
 
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I don't know about the calculations but I would shoot for about 2 wpg if you not going with CO2. Though you do seem to have growth on you tank...you may just want to stick with what you have. The Fluval 4 is fine for water movement and to clear out larger pieces of debris but it doesn't provide much of an area to establish a bacterial bed to keep your aquarium healthy and break down fish waste...ie; ammonia-nitrite. I'd add a canister filter....something like this...http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...03&pcatid=3603


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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, yeah I think that I will opt for a cannister filter. I've wanted one from the start as personally I think that internal filters take up to much space, but I had to make do with what I already had. When I get one of them (I think that I'll sneak out to the fish shop tomorrow as I know that the Mrs is working) I'll fill that vacent space with some fast growing stem plants to try and combat all that algae.

With regard to the lighting situation then I'll have a scout around and see what other information I can come up with. The bulbs that I've got in place at the moment seem to be the most wattage that I can get my hands on, and with the kit that I've got. Yeah, ok, I can go with those t-8 or whatever they're called but I'll need new starters. Besides, the hood that I've got with the tank is only a plastic jobbie, whith only enough room for 2 bulbs. I think that I may have to go for another lid that I can put more bulbs in, or at least some more powerfull ones. But this will be harder to get past the Mrs as she'll notice that.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 03:14 PM
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I think you'd be looking a new light fixture if you wanted to upgrade...I think your maxed out with the fixture you have.
You also may want to keep that Fluval 4 in there. I will give you good water circulation and if I'm not mistaken you can set the flow to a lower rate...
it will keep your water cleaner as far as debri goes.


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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 03:24 AM
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You might want to try some peroxide dosing to kill your algae unless you have excell. Peroxide is cheap and works. (link is below) Water changes will also help as it introduces new CO2 into your tank.

Check out this link.
http://www.gpodio.com/h2o2.asp

Just keeping on keeping on....


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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 04:52 AM
 
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I love the lighting.
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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Time for a little update, I'd forgotten that this thread existed but as I've just got myself a new computer I was transferring over my bookmarks and came across this, so ............

Looking at my first post dated 28th August 2008, just over a year has passed since I started with this tank, and to my surprise it's actually progressed. When you see it every day you tend to think that nothing much is happening, but going by the pictures it's definately filled out.

This has been a very very very low maintenance tank, almost to the point that it just about totally looks after itself



I gave up on Co2 pretty quickly, and continued with the same lighting that it's always had (a couple of stip light bulbs nicked from the office). I dose Excell ........ whenever I remember, and the other Flourish bottle of stuff ........ again when I remember. I think that I've only done one 30% water change in all my time, and continually top it up when the water level goes below the frame. Oh actually, I moved it over to the other side of the room a little while ago, so I suppose I would have had to remove a fair ammount of water to slide my cabilet across the floor - so I'm counting that as a water change.



My fish see totally happy, no problems with any of them. I've still got most of the origional fishes (zebra dino's minus one, neon tetras minus a couple), I've added in a few other ones - can't remember the name but it's one of those ones that sucks around on the glass. Oh yeah, I've also added a 4 albino shrimps which just spend all day zipping around everywhere, they're great!

I've still got my guppies, think that there's 3 males and 4 females but I'll be damned if I can get them to breed. They're forever chasing each other around, doing the business, then nothing the females get a bit fatter, never like to exploding point, nor with a really black gravid spot, and that's it - I think that my males are firing blanks!



Well, as you can see I've included a couple of pics within this post so that you get an idea of what it's currently like. (taken very quickly last night)

Sssshhhsss, between you and me, I'm hoping to get some cash for Christmas from the rellies, and I've been saving a bit here-and-there, and I've kinda got my eye on a new tank for the new year anyway. Don't tell the Mrs though, yeah.

So there you go.

Cheers
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 07:20 PM
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Thumbs up

lol your care-style seems to be like mine! I tend to explode at the beginning then kinda just drivel away. I am actually readin up on this thread just to see what someone like me would do! I know I can take care of fish and saltwater (used to have a 500 gallon reef tank, now it sits empty in my folks shed) but freshwater plants...........yea.........LOL!

The only aesthetic thing I would do would be to thin the algea out if not get rid of it, but everyone else has said that too so I think you know ;3

Keep updating, as I have enjoyed reading and seeing this thread from beginning-recent!
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 07:58 PM
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That looks a LOT like my own very first planted tank! LOL

I love no-maintenance tanks... why I've always stuck with low tech.





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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Well hello strangers lol

Here's the latest update of my low (well, NO) maintenance tank.

I think that there's only been one 'major' change since my last update, and that's the purchase of an external filter as someone suggested earlier on somewhere. Everything else is still the same, oh apart from a plant (the straggly one at the back-left. Can't remember the name, but I put it in there as it grows really quickly apparently)

I've recently got some enthusiasm back for this tank, as it was a little neglected for a while I wanted to keep guppies and platties, and let them have babies and stuff. I did get guppies, they had babies, but they just turned into a regular supply of live food for the zebra danios, and barbs, which is not what I wanted to happen. I was convinced that there was enough cover for the fry to stay safe in, but obviously there wasn't.

I've not bought any new fish for ages, as I still like the guppy idea - the other day I had a word with my local fish shop who said that they'd take the fish that I currently have to put in one of their display tanks and give me some guppies in return. 50/50 on that at the moment as the ones that I have left have been around for years.

Oh, and about a year ago I bought 4 albino shrimps - I've still got 3 zipping around like mad-men. Suppose that shows that the water quality is pretty decent.

So, on to the photos:

This is the whole tank - I'll try and get an original picture and get them side-by-side, if only for me to see the 'progress'



and this is a slightly closer look at the left hand side :



I've not actually planted anything at the front of the tank or across the middle, they're springing up from an original plant that I planted at the rear left right at the start (don't think that it's even there any more). I seem to have some others appearing which look like the ones that I originally planted at the rear right of the tank.

and this is a slightly closer look at the right hand side :



I know that it could do with a clean - I'll probably do it this afternoon - which in that case I should really post up pictures of my tank once it's done, but hey-ho.

Water changes: When I remember (or when I top it up as loads has evaporated) about one every six months.
Excel doses: When I remember - about once every 3 months.
Plant pruning: Never have done - apart from I got rid of my Java moss as that was just getting nasty and was taking over.
General tank glass cleaning: When the front starts going a mankey green colour then out comes the razor-blade stick cleaning thingie.
General tank cleaning: probably when I clean the glass I get a tube out, start to syphon, and give it a hoover up.

Last edited by re_hashed; 03-01-2012 at 08:22 PM. Reason: .
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Right, unfortunately this is now the end of this thread.
(not that I guess anyone is bothered in the slightest as it's been running for 5 years and it's still on a single page)


I've not given up on fish keeping, but I have changed tanks - NOT DUE TO CHOICE.

I came home last weekend, and walked into the front room and thought, oh no what's the matter with that filter on my tank, it's making a hell of a noise. Turned around and couldn't believe my eyes !!

The silica gel holing the panels together had perished .......... and the end panel had only gone and fallen clean off/out. 90 Ltrs of water dumped on my living room floor !!!!!!!!

Luckily I was running my fish stock down as I wanted a change of everything so it only housed 1 platty, and 3 golden barbs - RIP

Wasn't planned, but secretively I'm a little bit pleased inside as I've now been allowed to purchase a new and improved tank. It got delivered today, so a jump from a 90L to a 185L and a whole new opportunity *headache* has opened up to me.

A new photo journal will soon be up and running. Maybe actually on this thread just for continuity.

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