Little Soprano's Tanks Updated 40 gal long - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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Little Soprano's Tanks Updated 40 gal long

After my battle with columnaris (yes we did live through it aside from some casualities-Tetracycline is a wonderful medicine.), I took a breather for a few weeks. Then I bought a used 125 Gallon Acrylic tank, which will be saltwater, and said screw it lets get my tanks back online.

Fish lost: 5 Green Tiger Barbs (poor little guy who survived), otherwise neons, black skirts, zebras, CAE and the rainbow shark survived. Glad we caught it early!-Thanks to all the wonderful folks here.

We had to rearrange our whole downstairs area for the 125 gallon, and found two nice spots for the 40 gallon and 10 gallon. Of course this meant draining the entire 40 gallon tank, and 10 gal tank as well. What a good chance to revamp my tanks and bring them new life!!

40 Gallon REVAMP:
I got out all of my 5 gallon buckets. Filled 3 with tank water, 1 for fish with an air stone, 2 for plants. I then removed 99% of the old cruddy gravel covered in old BBA. My UGV was magically unclogged, and then following the removal of the grossness, I scrubbed the whole tank down with a few algae sponges, and made it spotless. Found a sticker on the bottom glass that said inspected by Dawn in Oct. 1985. Old sucker!

Once it was completely cleaned out, I dumped 4 brand new bags of Eco Complete in, once they unfroze after being left in the car for nearly 5 hours until they were ready to be used-mind you we had to rearrange half the basement to move the 125 gal stand out of the way to its new home to work on the 40. Put in all the lava rocks and the white rock on the side. Then I went through my stems and picked out my best looking ones, and planted them. I threw away 2 gallon ziplock bags STUFFED with stems. (If I knew what types, that would be useful.). The plants were all up to the top of the tank, bent over, and bushy as can be. Looked like an overgrown jungle, but worse.

After all the work, this is what we ended up with. Also my CAE was a PITA to catch. Worse then catching baby koi in a 4k gallon pond.

(Please excuse my photography abilities. iPhone with my naturally shakey hands, makes for meh photos.)

Tank Stats:
Tank: AGA 40 Gallon Long
Lights: Two 54 Watt T5HO 6500k, retrofitted in to an old fluorescent hood
Filtration: Penguin Biowheel 200, UGV powered by an old Aquaclear powerhead
Co2: 20lb Co2 tank, Blueprint CO2 regulator, ceramic diffuser. Normally under powerhead, but suction cup is terrible.
Inhabitants: Rainbow Shark, CAE, random collection of neons, zebras, black skirts, and a lone green tiger barb. Nerite snails, a few bladder snails-wonderful GSA eaters, and one random snail that has appeared as of recently.
-no idea what the names of any of the plants in this tank are LOL-

10 Gallon
I redid this one too. I've been working 50+ hours a week, and haven't had time to maintain it too much. The moss had become an entire explosion, literally. I drained it as well, and rescaped it once it was moved to its new spot. I have a lot more shaping to go, and need to pick out more gravel that surfaced out of the eco complete but for the most part I like it so far. I want to expose more of the wood, and rearrange it a little. I do need plant suggestions!! I want to stick with the dark green look, but add a little color. I want hydrocotyle tripartita and finally found a good amount at my LFS. No idea where I'd put it though. I will be adding 5 zebras into this tank tomorrow. It will only be temporary, as the tank is a little bit out of whack, and I know they are hardy enough to strengthen the bio capabilities. Afterwards they are going into the 40 with my other zebras.

Anyway, the 10 gallon:

The moss needs to be hacked back a LOT more. I filled a sandwich baggie packed with it, but I need to shape it more, and probably spread out the little area I packed it all into. My Anubias Nana Petite is getting to be huge. Started with 6 leaves.

Tank stats:
Tank: Aqueon 10 Gallon (standard)
Filtration: AC 30
Lights: 2 13 Watt CFL 6500K bulbs in the Aqueon hood.
Plants: Willow Moss, Anubias Nana, Anubias Nana Petite

Any advice or comments are appreciated. Along with some plant identification on the 40

Thanks for checking out my thread of rambles and tank revamps!

Last edited by Little Soprano; 04-12-2015 at 04:08 PM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 08:26 AM
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One Bolbitis.
Where did you get the large lava rocks from ? All I've found around me is those bags full of egg size ones.
Very seldom do I do I feel it to match anything in a tank to put in artificial things but I like the tea pot.
Somehow I see Eco between those large lava rocks as if it were the side of a hill. I'd use a short piece of garden hose/w a funnel on the top to direct where it went. Wouldn't want them anything like covered but rather just filled in between. My own personal taste though.
Mini Pellia or mini Fissidens would look good on the rocks also.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 08:48 AM
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Im digging the teapot Think the tall grass would look better in the very corner, behind the lava rocks. The way it is now sorta cuts the width off to the eye right there, and the lava rocks seem like a detached afterthought.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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The lava rocks, I have no idea where my BF found them. We have a lot of huge chunks, and a few more in the basement. We just rearrange it every time we do a big rock cleaning (I use bleach haha). They are very old. I could fill Eco in the back, but the rocks were built for the CAE and the Rainbow Shark. They are both almost always in them. Thats also why the one with the hole is on the top haha. It's their cave.

I was thinking of getting that plant in the corner, but not only do I hide my heater back there, but that silly Marineland filter puts out a LOT of flow. Though it might like the flow. I do have a handful of elodea in a ziplock I stuck back there at one point, but it grows TOO fast. I do have a couple of really thick stemmed wysteria that could work too, but no idea where to put stuff. It's very tight behind there :P

I do like the idea of moss on those rocks too. I only have a lot of willow moss, but mini fissidens has been something I really really want. I have some moss on the teapot (another of my BF's most loved decorations-has to be there), but fissidens would look good on that too. Eventually since I hacked it all down, I want those stems to grow around it and have it slightly disappear into the stems and moss. That's our plan anyway.

I also hope with all the old gravel out, not only will it have gotten rid of any bad stuff deep in the gravel, but will maybe get rid of the old tank syndrome I've been suffering, despite the water changes every week (50-75%)

Last edited by Little Soprano; 11-23-2014 at 09:15 AM. Reason: .
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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My ten gallon has been moved to my bedroom and is currently a big moss ball again. And is also housing the new zebras right now as it has no inhabitants. So no pictures of that tank ATM.

The 40 gallon is doing quite well. The ludwigia repens is eating me out of fertilizers as usual, and showing deficiencies as usual, but I ordered dry ferts, and more root tabs, so they should be back to their shenanigans soon. One plant I had in the tank didn't seem to survive the transition to the Eco and I don't know why. It had coconut fiber around the outside, and was a dead plant I bought from Petco that got big and beautiful quite quickly. It's in the teapot, with a bunch of Eco underneath it, and it's just not happy. And the moss has climbed up the arms of the teapot onto it's dying stems. Go figure.

After all this time I finally figured out what my shark likes to eat, Hikari Crab Cuisine, so now he stares at me ALL day long. And I bought the algae eater algae wafers yesterday, so now I have both of their attentions. So here are the two devils in all their glory, excuse the dirty glass, water change/tank cleaning is later today:

(I swear this guy acts like our koi.)

And not a planted tank, but here is the brand new SW tank. Yes my BF is old fashioned so we are cycling with damsels. The rocks were thrown in there, and some will probably be taken out for good others moved around-not at all final setup. The right side is driving me nuts.
125 Gallon Acrylic, built in wet dry, 2 VHO 140 PC atm, PSK-150 Protein Skimmer, 2 Hydor Koralia Evolution pumps-one isn't working, not pictured, Eheim 300 Watt Heater

I would love to keep the chromis albeit they are aggressive little buggers, but as of right now our future stock list for the tank:
-Red firefish
-pair of Ocellaris Clowns
-Goby w/ matching snapping shrimp
-Scissortail dartfish
-Green Mandarinfish (9+ months down the road)
~Yellow Tang-maybe.~
Added in that order.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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An update on my 40 gallon long.

I added a 301 powerhead to the left side of the tank, and found three more, somehow, in a box. Tempted to add one more to spread CO2 around more. The dimensions of this tank (long and low), make it difficult when it comes to flow I've learned.

It's still doing a lot better since I switched from gravel to the eco complete. I've had some stunted growth, but the rotala on the right hand side is definitely quite bushy compared to the initial planting. Having some hair algae issues, but I got a drop checker, and have been increasing my CO2 quite a bit. I do have an a pH drop of approx. 1, but I'm going to keep increasing it, as long as the fish don't mind. Can definitely see on the new plant on the left, where I added the CO2. Top of it is a lot more bushy. And the growth on my H. tripartita is greener, same with the rest of the plants.

Going to be moving my Anubias Nana Petite and regular nana into this tank for a while, as I need to figure out why my 10 gallon has been an algae farm, and my petite is way too large for me to loose.

Probably will put them on the lava rocks on the left, along with the little bonsai I picked up sitting on the right.

This tank will be coming down in a few months (sometime in the summer), but if I can finally figure out planted tanks with this one, it will make setting up the 120 a lot easier.

Anyway some pictures:

I ordered my GLA EI fert package today. And I'm going to be taking out the rock on the right and seeing if its the culprit. As I think it might be. It's been in the tank for a few years, but its the only one I can think of that would be causing my GH to rise. My inhabitants don't seem to care much, but I'm curious.

I am pretty happy the progress so far with this tank. It's definitely been a struggle and learning experience.

My learning experience in photos:

First plants (plus lucky bamboo :P)... I have to say I still like the color from T8 flourescents....

Staghorn omg I hate this stuff:

I had two T5HOs on it and those disposable CO2 cartridges. The face they ran out every 3-4 days, led to fluxuating CO2 levels. And I didn't have enough circulation either. Plus the amount of BBA was discouraging.

Then I got a budget CO2 regulator, which I have to say, is better then I expected. I set the needle valve once, back in August, and it has never changed bubble counts except when I adjust it. And a 20lb CO2 tank too:

Things started to grow:

Once I got the money and time, took out the old BBA infested gravel, and switched to Eco:

And now at this point:

The heater died around January, and I never really realized how cold it was since I dropped my in take thermometer. My ludwigia repens took it hard. I initially turned down CO2 (stupid), and waited. I finally got a new thermometer, and realized the tank was sitting at 68 (eek), and got a new heater. Only one they had was a 300 watt heater, so its obnoxiously large and only fits where it is LOL. There is definitely new growth now with the CO2 being turned up, and the heater working. And the hair algae is starting to die off. I also notice my fertilizers are being used up again, and with the dry ferts on the way, I hope I will be able to start dosing enough without emptying my wallet!

Definitely been an interesting experience with plants.

Going to wait until all of my stems recover and get good healthy growth on them, before I trim them and replant the healthy parts. The h. tripartita is recovering quite quickly and growing well from the CO2 increasing. Hopefully I maybe will finally get the hang of this plant stuff...

My reef tank has been about 20X easier LOL.

Last edited by Little Soprano; 04-12-2015 at 04:10 PM. Reason: .
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