Rockslide Canyon - 65 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Rockslide Canyon - 65 gallon

Latest Update 1/24/15 - See end of thread for details


Hello all,

Finally got a new set-up going. Wanted to do more with rocks this go around, so no driftwood in this time. The idea was to have two areas of plantings, one one the left and the other on the right side of the aquarium. The left side would be a little higher than the right and just a little less wide. Dividing the two would be a "canyon" made of large rocks, with a sand bottom that flows out like a river to the front of the set-up. Along the front of the planting areas would be "rockslides" made of various size stones.

Equipment
- 65 gallon glass aquarium, 36W" x 24H" x 18D"
- Fluval G6 canister filter
- Maxspect R420R Razor 8,000K LED light
- Eheim Aquaball powerhead
- Greenleaf Aquariums pressurized CO2 set-up with inline Atomic diffuser
- Cal-Aqua Labs drop checker
- Aqueon Pro Series 200W heater
- Air pump running 1 hour after lights off and stopping 4 1/2 hours prior to lights on

Plants
- Vallisneria spiralis
- Glossostigma elatinoides
- Cryptocoryne lutea
- Cryptocoryne balansae
- Cryptocoryne wendtii (basic variety & "Mi Oya")
- Cabomba caroliniana
- Hydrocotyle leucocephala

Lighting, Dosing, Etc.
- 8 hour photoperiod, with 6 hours at 65% of max fixture output, evenly balanced across both A and B channels
- Basic EI dosing, 3 x week Macros and 3 x week micros
- CO2 set at a little more than 3 bubbles per second, turning on 2 1/2 hours prior to lights on

Water Parameters
- Tap water: pH 7.2, GH of 3dGH, and KH of 2dKH, with 5ppm or less of NO3
- Tank water: aiming to keep both GH and KH around 6
- TDS after adding buffers and plants is abour 525ppm

The Lowdown
I always overbuy on plants, so I can a.) pick the best of the best of what I get, and b.) plant heavily. I generally order from aquariumplants.com, and I've always gotten good stuff from them. This time the plants I got were the best yet; everything arrived in exceptional quality. As a result, I got to plant very heavily from the get go.

The Pennywort and Cabomba I got just as nutrient suckers for the initial stage, but I may keep some Cabomba long term. I've never kept Cabomba before and it looks really neat and came in great shape, so if it does well I may continue to propagate it.

The Val I got was awesome - very long and green and in good shape. Hopefully it will do well.

I love Crypts, so I planted heavily in their favor. My favorite is C. lutea, but I've grown fond of C. wendtii "Mi Oya" as well. Hoping the C. balansae does better this time than in my last set-up.

The Glosso I intend to grow into a nice carpet at the front of the right side planting area. I've had good luck with it before, so if it does well this time, I may expand its area and pull back on some of the Crypts. If not, I'll expand the Crypts farther forward.

I'm happy with how it's started, and I'm looking forward to seeing how things grow in and change. Any comments are welcome.

David

P.S. Sorry for the crappy photos. I'm not great with aquarium photography. I cleaned them up a bit in Photoshop to cut down the glare; the lighting looks stronger in person.







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Last edited by DBridges; 01-24-2015 at 10:45 PM. Reason: added picture
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 05:34 PM
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Nicely scaped! When those plants fill in, you're going to have a lovely jungle to admire. How do you like the Maxspect?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone View Post
How do you like the Maxspect?
So far I love it. I got a great deal on it from a local shop in Daytona Beach (where I grew up). I wanted a mount-on-tank design that had an integral timer, and this one fit the bill. It runs cool, makes no noise (fans haven't had to come on yet), and you have some control over the color.

There are two channels, A and B, the B channel being the more blue of the two. By altering the output of each channel, you can alter the amount of blue or red present. It's limited color control, but enough for my purposes.

We'll see how it grows stuff, but so far I'm hopeful.

David


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 06:02 PM
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Beautiful, are you going to add fish or just stay with plants?

The wheel turns.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Beautiful, are you going to add fish or just stay with plants?
Definitely going to add fish in a month or two. I love Zebra Danios, so I'll probably get a shoal of those going. Then maybe some Corys or Dwarf Chain Loaches. Lastly maybe some Black Ruby Barbs or Cherry Barbs, and maybe a Dwarf Gourami. I definitely want to do some shrimp again this time, as well.

David


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 06:58 PM
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Go for pygmy cories! I just got a bunch and they school quite tightly and would look great in the tank. Though they are a bit small, but you have only a small area that is covered with sand.

Just started working with planted tanks
8g tank starring Merlin the betta (planted)
15g tall tank containing tetras and corys (planted)
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-16-2014, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update:

- Still experimenting with the Maxspect Razor. I have a deep tank (24") and the light sits 6" above the top, so I'm not sure yet if my Glosso will be able to get enough light to form a good carpet. The Glosso was growing well, but doing it vertically. So I've upped the power to 85% on Channel A and 65% on Channel B, and we'll see how it goes over the next couple of weeks. I don't think I'll dare to go more powerful than what I've got it set at right now. If the Glosso doesn't work out, I'll have to try some other low growing plant in the front.
EDIT: Forgot to mention that one of my cats knocked the Razor clean off my aquarium and down a good 5' to the ground. Despite how lightly its built, there was no damage and it still works just fine. Good stuff!

- The CO2 I've got dialed in and timed right, I think. Drop checker is a blue green color when the light comes on, and a lime green color when the lights go off, and the plants are pearling some.

- Algae isn't too bad so far. Some hair algae appearing on the older growth on the Vallisneria, and a little on some certain rocks. Some patches of diatoms have appeared on the sand, but I just turn the sand over and mix things up a bit and it clears up. Not much algae on the glass to speak of.

- Aside from the vertically growing Glosso, things are growing well. Quite a bit of melt from the Crypts the first week, but it's slowed considerably over the past couple of days, and there's plenty of new growth on all of the Crypts. All of the Val are showing both new leaves and runners. Curious to see if the new Val growth will reach the top of the tank of not. The Cabomba is doing well; in fact, I've trimmed it back once already.

Well, that's it for now. Hopefully some new pictures in a week or so, once I know what the Glosso will end up doing.

David


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Update 11/20/14:

So far, things are going as expected. Water is stabilizing with a pH around 6.8, CO2 at around 33ppm, with nitrates being high between 40 and 80ppm. Once the nitrates drop down to below 40ppm regularly, I'll begin to add fish.

I had the light set at 75% for about 3 days, but this didn't really help the Glosso very much. It was growing really well, but straight up. I think my tank is just too deep to get quite enough light. The increase in light did, however, seem to help encourage the growth of fuzz algae. The algae has largely been confined to old and tattered Val leaves and some rocks, and to date has been easy to control. Therefore, I've turned the lights back down to 65% (74% Channel A, 56% Channel B). This change to lower light doesn't seem to negatively impact any of the other plants but has seemingly slowed the fuzz algae.

I went ahead and pulled most of the Glosso out and replaced it with some Marsilea minuta that I got from BamaPlants.com. We'll see how it does.

The melt on the Crypts has slowed considerably and quite a bit of new growth is starting to emerge. All of the Val has some big, fat new leaves coming up as well as runners being sent out. All of the new Val growth seems to resist fuzz algae completely.

That's it for now. Hopefully I'll have some new pictures in a week or two. Hoping that the Marsilea minuta takes off.

David


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Update 12/12/14

So far, things are going well enough. Here's an overall view of tank after a month and six days:



Water Parameters
The pH stays between 7.4 right before the lights come on, and about 6.6 or 6.8 by the time the lights go off.
CO2 has been a steady 33ppm, with no issues here thus far.
Ammonia and nitrite are 0ppm.
Nitrate has been a little harder to pin down. Those API test kits are hard to read. It has been as low as maybe 10ppm, but now is somewhere between 40ppm and 80ppm.

Light and Ferts
I had the light as high as 75%, but that was way too much. Now it's turned down to 55%, with 58% on Channel A and 53% on Channel B. The color temperature is somewhere south of 8,000K; my guess would be around 7,000K to 7,500K.
I've had to play with my dosing some. I now dose macros 3 times a week and micros 3 times a week, and I've upped the KNO3 dosing to 3/4 teaspoon (see below).

Algae
Hair/fuzz algae is almost completely gone, with only traces here and there.
I have had a problem with BGA. Fortunately, it hasn't been crazy and has been restricted to my sand areas. The BGA is the primary reason I've upped my KNO3 dosing. That, combined with Excel spot treatments, manual removal, and using Erythromycin, seems to have made a dent in the BGA finally. It's been a struggle since about a week in. I hope that within a week it will be gone completely.

Plants
So far, almost everything has done great. I got rid of all of my Glosso, though, as it was growing straight up. The Marsilea minuta is growing, albeit slowly. I added some Eleocharis parvula to the foreground area, and I think this will end up being my carpeting plant. It's doing great so far - my first time growing any sort of hairgrass.

The melt on all of the Crypts is down to almost nothing, and they're starting to grow taller. Even the C. balansae, which I've not had good luck with in the past, seems to be taking off.

The Cabomba is growing like a weed, as is the Pennywort floating at the top.

Best of all, my Val is growing nice and tall, with lots of new, wide leaves growing all the way to the top and then over, flowing along the surface of the water very prettily. I can't wait til it gets really thick!

The C. balansae, starting to get established:


Some of the C. lutea, C. wendtii, Cabomba, and Val:


The E. parvula, about a week after I planted it:


Some tiny plant popping up between the rocks. Not sure what it is, but I'm going to let it grow and see what happens:


Another overall view of the progress:


Well, that's all for now. Would love to hear comments or questions!

David


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 06:31 PM
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Well done! The Jungle is forming! My guess is that little plant is a runner of one of your Crypts! Thanks for sharing!


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 06:50 PM
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Great looking tank
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Update 12/15/14

Well, I think I've got the BGA licked! After five days of my new dosing regime and dosing Erythromycin, there is no sign a BGA whatsoever. Granted, it was pretty light to begin with, but I'm glad it's gone.

Nitrates are around 40ppm, but I've got a Hanna nitrate photometer coming in the mail, so hopefully I'll be able to get some better readings soon.

Planning on getting the first fish this Wednesday; my old favorite stand-by, the Zebra Danio

David


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Update 1/24/15

Things are still going fairly well. Here's a picture of the aquarium so far.



Light and Ferts:
I cut back my lights to 45% of maximum, with Channel A set at 50% and Channel B at 40%. So far, it seems to have slowed algae a bit without impacting the plants' growth. Reduced my ferts slightly, with KNO3 at 1/2tsp., K2SO4 at 1/4tsp., and KH2PO4 at 1/8tsp. Micros I've also reduced slighty to 1/8tsp. I cranked up the CO2 slightly as well.

Algae
I think the above changes have been positive in terms of algae. I think I was just dosing too much given the plants I have. The cyanobacteria has made an extremely limited comeback along the edge of my glass, but seems to be receding already. The big patch of green beard algae on one of my rocks has also receded quite a bit. The only thing that is more widespread than I would like is the staghorn, which is affecting some of the older Val and Crypt leaves.

Plants
No new plants, but what I have is all growing well. The Val and Crypts are both growing tall, and the hairgrass is getting pretty tall too.

Livestock
I added a few Amano shrimp and RCS, but the big addition are all of the fish! 14 Zebra Danios, 7 Otos, 3 Siamese Algae Eaters, and 1 Blue Gourami are all enjoying their new digs. The only thing I've yet to add is a school of Corys, which will be the last type of fish I'll get for this set-up.

My tiny Crypt that rose up through the sand is doing well and getting bigger!


One of my Zebra Danios, in a rare still moment.


An Oto hard at work.


One of the 3 juvenile Siamese Algae Eaters, whom I've named AdRock, MCA, and Mike D.


David


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 02:29 AM
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Beautiful tank. I love the substrate/hard scape design and it's amazing that it is still so tidy. It is really filling in well, congrats on all your success!


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