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post #1 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Planted Community Tank adventure

I am going to keep the first post up to date.

5/1/15


Tank:
30G Tall (24"x12"x24")

Lighting:
23w CFL 10" shop light x2

Filter:
SunSun 302 Canister w/ Seachem Matrix and Foam

Equipment:
150w Heater
160 GPH Power Head

Substrate:
Black Diamond Blasting Sand

Plants:
Anubias Nana
Crypt Wendtii Green
Crypt Wendtii Bronze
Hair Grass
Anchor Moss
Java moss
Frogbit
Amazon Sword

Hard scape:
Manzanita Driftwood
Petrified Wood

Ferts:
Root Tabs
Micro/Macro (KNO3, K2SO4, MgSO4)

Livestock:
9x Neon Tetra
6x Cherry Barb
6x Emerald Cory
6x Oto
40x Red Cherry Shrimp
1x Mystery Snail
2x Assassin Snail

Last edited by Freemananana; 05-04-2015 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Plant rearrangement
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post #2 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 05:37 PM
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i see wet couches in your future haha.
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post #3 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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This will be a pretty simple, low tech, planted tank. The tank is a 30 gallon, 24"x12"x24, tall tank. The plan is to house an army of Red Cherry Shrimp, 3-5 Otos, and a decent sized school of (green) Neon Tetras. As for the plants, I'm starting with water sprite, java ferns, assorted crypts, frogbits, and hopefully some mosses. I've also chosen some drift wood for the tank and a couple pieces of cholla wood for the shrimp. The cholla wood may look out of place, but I'm hoping to cover it in plants eventually.

As for equipment, it is all budget friendly. I picked up a SAT+, a HOB filter rated for a larger tank, submergible heater, thermostat, and various routine items. I went with soil topped in sand for the substrate, I followed a write up on mineralizing the soil.
(Everything sitting in the garage on the futon)


January 1st-January 13th, 2015

Starting from the beginning, I had previously made this table for drinks and chargers in the corner. I never planned on putting a tank on it, so the construction reflected that.


I drew up a quick idea on how to reinforce the table. Basically, it is a 2"x4" fish stand with the original table top. The old legs were not used. The top is larger than the stand, but the tank is right over the supports. The rest of the table is still useable for drinks, phones, chargers, etc.


I made my cuts out of #2 lumber


Assembled (the center beams aren't attached, I had to get L brackets).


And later that night, in the house! Just to brag, I made the table too.


I filled the tank up with relative ease. The plate definitely helped! It still ended up cloudy, but not too bad.


Then here is a shot from the morning after


The cloudiness has definitely gone way down. It actually looks pretty good. I know now I am definitely going to wrap it with some matte black vinyl to hide the wires while viewing it. I'll probably tape the wires to the back of the vinyl so you can't see them as much from the side.

For now, I am quite happy with the set up and how it is going. If anyone sees this and has some trimmings they want to give away, shoot me a PM! I have ordered quite a bit of plants, but I don't think I could turn down more!

I plan on posting daily photos when the plants are in. That way I can do a time lapse. I'll have to take better photos too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropped View Post
i see wet couches in your future haha.
They slide easily! I have some of those magic sliders. I hope you were referring to planting/water changes and not a misfunction.

Last edited by Freemananana; 02-06-2015 at 05:41 PM. Reason: Updating original post
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post #4 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 02:56 AM
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I never thought I'd see a tank taller than mine! Haha

Goodluck with the tank! Looking forward to some updates


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post #5 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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I never thought I'd see a tank taller than mine! Haha

Goodluck with the tank! Looking forward to some updates
Thanks! Yeah, it is pretty tall. Taller than most for sure. But it is pretty nice for viewing from the front. It isn't the best for planted tanks due to the distance from the substrate, but I can't complain since it was free!

On to the update

January 14th, 2015

I received a handful of plants yesterday. It is a few floaters (~20) and 7 crypts. I'm just floating them until the weekend/Monday when I should have everything else. I'll drain most of the tank to do all of my planting at once.





I also installed the heater and a thermostat.



I used the test kit I bought too, just to read through the instructions and figure out the PH of my tap water.



PH: 7.6 - Am I reading that correctly? Should be pretty close.

I should be receiving a few more plants, water sprite specifically, today. And I should have some sponge media for my filter coming in too. I'm not going to use the carbon filter that it came with.
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post #6 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 11:02 PM
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I'm pretty sure you can make it work if you use long pieces of driftwood with some moss slapped on it. Shrimps will love the moss


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post #7 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 11:04 PM
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I don't think it is, but you should try testing with the high range pH and make sure it's not above 7.6. Not that it really matters, but it would be helpful. It looks to me like the color on your pH test is darker than the 7.6 color. And the tank looks nice!

36g-- 2 female axolotls// 10g --3 6" axoltols (Dirty/blue gill lucy (rehoming)) // 40 gallon breeder -- 4.5 inch Painted Turtle // 29 gallon -- 1.5 inch painted turtle //
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post #8 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sub1117 View Post
I'm pretty sure you can make it work if you use long pieces of driftwood with some moss slapped on it. Shrimps will love the moss
That's exactly my plan. I have 2 large pieces of driftwood coming in and a couple cholla logs. I am trying my best to get some moss, but it is hard to find people selling mosses (at least the cheap stuff!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleShark View Post
I don't think it is, but you should try testing with the high range pH and make sure it's not above 7.6. Not that it really matters, but it would be helpful. It looks to me like the color on your pH test is darker than the 7.6 color. And the tank looks nice!
A good point, I will try that today. I had not thought about it. I did notice it was a little darker than the test color.

January 15, 2015

I received more plants and a chunk of foam for my filter. Is 30 PPI appropriate? How thick should I make the foam? I have 1/2" sheets of it.

Again, I'm just floating the water sprite with the rest of my plants until I get everything and my tweezers to plant it this weekend or next week.

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post #9 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 01:02 PM
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i think that depth will not be an issue at all if you stick with good plant choices. so far your on the right track. You will be on low light which means no need for excel or co2. but a bit of excel can't really hurt unless you get some vals. for that tall of a tank I would love to see some nana vals in there. anubias would work great too.

good luck.

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #10 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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I am not sure if I closed the deal on Anubias or not. But I am hoping the water sprite and my drift wood choices fills out the tank a bit. I am working out a deal on moss now.

As for the Excel, that is probably what I would use if I go that route in the near future. I'm not ready for heavy dry ferts or CO2, nor is my light appropriate. While the growth would be beautiful, my goal for this tank is relatively low maintenance.
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post #11 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 02:46 PM
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I fully get that. I don't run co2 or excel either. Only dose a little micros and some potassium each week.

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #12 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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I'm still completely oblivious to all the other possibilities. I'll get this up and running well before I go down any other road. I'm sure I'll end up there, but not before I get enjoyment out of this.

EDIT: Got quite a bit of anchor moss. Hopefully it will take to my wood and other bits! Here is a pic from the seller.


Last edited by Freemananana; 01-16-2015 at 04:08 PM. Reason: update
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post #13 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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January 16th, 2015

I stopped by the local fish store and picked up a few plants and noticed they carry Otos regularly! That's nice. I'll see if I can make a stop by there regularly to check on the liveliness of them, since I hear they have issues in transport.

Anyway, I picked up a few Nanas and a couple Micro swords.





January 19th, 2015

I did get my new filter media in (30 PPI) and my Versa glass top. Fit pretty good side to side and OK back to front. I cut the opening for the entirety of the filter, oops.



I was hoping to get my driftwood and moss over the weekend, but the Holiday cut that out of the picture. I should have it today and I'll be working on it tomorrow. I have a few more Crypts on their way and that should be enough to get the whole tank nicely situated.

I did pick up some pure Ammonia and I'm going for the fishless cycle after I get it planted.

Question:

I have some pond snails in my tank now, not sure where I got them but I guess my rinsing was subpar. Regardless, best method of dealing with them at this stage of my tank? Will not feeding kill them off? Will the cycle kill them off? I have no fish, so that isn't really an issue for me. I was thinking of picking up a couple Assassin snails and they would keep the pest snails in check. But I hear they do eat shrimp on occasions and I do want to house some shrimp (nothing fancy).
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post #14 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemananana View Post

Question:

I have some pond snails in my tank now, not sure where I got them but I guess my rinsing was subpar. Regardless, best method of dealing with them at this stage of my tank? Will not feeding kill them off? Will the cycle kill them off? I have no fish, so that isn't really an issue for me. I was thinking of picking up a couple Assassin snails and they would keep the pest snails in check. But I hear they do eat shrimp on occasions and I do want to house some shrimp (nothing fancy).
Pond and bladder snails commonly come in on live plants or driftwood taken from display tanks. Sometimes as adults/juvies, but also as translucent egg sacks attached to plants. They live off dead plant matter, bio film (oil slick look on surface of water in tans without water agitation), uneaten food, and algae. They won't die if you don't feed them but their population will not grow large if there is not an abundant food source (one or more of the above listed things- btw they also eat that mold/fungus that grows on newly submerged driftwood). They are indistructable and can tolerate very lethal ammonai, nitrite, or nitrate levels (know from experince of doing pure ammonia cycles or unfiltered un cycled tanks with them, they're unaffected by it. Pond and bladder snails are harmless and a natural part of a planted enviroment, there is no real need to kill them off or get an assassin snail to deal with them (never get multiple assassin snails- they WILL mass reproduce and cannibalize their own so the #s keep growing).

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.

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post #15 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaAurora View Post
Pond and bladder snails commonly come in on live plants or driftwood taken from display tanks. Sometimes as adults/juvies, but also as translucent egg sacks attached to plants. They live off dead plant matter, bio film (oil slick look on surface of water in tans without water agitation), uneaten food, and algae. They won't die if you don't feed them but their population will not grow large if there is not an abundant food source (one or more of the above listed things- btw they also eat that mold/fungus that grows on newly submerged driftwood). They are indistructable and can tolerate very lethal ammonai, nitrite, or nitrate levels (know from experince of doing pure ammonia cycles or unfiltered un cycled tanks with them, they're unaffected by it. Pond and bladder snails are harmless and a natural part of a planted enviroment, there is no real need to kill them off or get an assassin snail to deal with them (never get multiple assassin snails- they WILL mass reproduce and cannibalize their own so the #s keep growing).
Alright, not a worry. I'll just deal with them in more practical means like removing them manually when the population is large. I was worried about them mass producing and over doing my bio load.

I believe I removed a Trumpet Snail (?) from my tank too. But it appeared to be dead. I dug up a photo of it. The quality is poor because my wife took it, zoomed in, and sent it to me.



January 20th, 2015

This is by far the most I've worked on this tank in a single day. I actually stayed up quite late. It didn't turn out exactly how I wanted, due to some unforeseen issues, but I think it is a good start.

I drained the tank to remove some of the snails, but mostly so I could plant in shallower water. I accidently dropped the gravel vac and it went through my sand cap and got dirt all over the place. So I completely removed the water and scooped out the dirt and recapped that part.

So this is my 'hard' scape. It is a couple piece of spider driftwood.



Here is my collection of plants and moss!



I tied the moss to the spider wood with fishing line. I bought the thinnest stuff I could find, 5 lb (?) test strength. I also tied a cholla log to the small piece of spiderwood and covered it in anchor moss too.



Fast forward. I wrapped the back in flat black vinyl and planted the rest of my plants. There are several types of crypts, abunias nanas, micro sword, water sprite, java fern, and a couple more cholla logs.



I'm really happy with the filter and heater now that the cords aren't as hideous while viewing the tank.



You can see I had some floating issues. I tied some rocks to the ends of the wood and sunk them into the substrate as anchors. Even if they float a little, I hope they will water log over the next few weeks and sink completely. I did carefully fill the tank and replant anything that came up.



When the tank was full, I put in my red floaters and frogbit. I am also floating some Java fern (small bits) that I have no idea what to do with. I will probably tie them to rocks and submerge part of the rock so that the fern grows properly.



Despite my best efforts, some of the ties came off my bigger piece. I am using little glass mason jars to hold it down on one side. This is also the morning after. The water has cleared a little bit already. It was only about 6 hours later.



I am hoping the water sprite grows up and fills some of the vertical space. I also hope the java ferns I planted on the taller piece of driftwood take shape. I'll begin cycling shortly. I think the fish will enjoy the tank when it is ready for them.

If you see anything obviously wrong, LET ME KNOW! You can critique and point out my flaws, that's fine.


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Last edited by Freemananana; 01-21-2015 at 02:06 PM. Reason: corrected spelling
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