75 Gallon cheapo tank - Updated 3/13 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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75 Gallon cheapo tank - Updated 3/13

im setting up my 75g finally! i sold enough computer parts(but i still got some left, wanna buy the rest? ) to be able to afford substrate, some manzanita, and some plants so i figured i could start this thread now. my dad brought home this 75 as a birthday surprise for me and its been sitting on our porch until we found a place for it. SO now that its got a home in our living room its onto the spending...

substrate, i think im going to do some black colorquartz t grade. nothing fancy, this tank is going to be low light/ low tech.

light, probably the stock light + 48in coralife T5NO

filtration, eheim 2217 as soon as i can talk my dad into it

ferts/co2, seachem line! and root tabs

and for fish(since this tank is really about fish, not plants) i cant decide between
1. 6 congo tetras and ~20 henglis/espeis/or harlies and an apisto pair
2. 4 angels(or discus) ~20 cardinals, 6 cories, and an apisto pair

^^help me pick fish!^^

Last edited by chase127; 03-14-2009 at 02:30 AM.
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post #2 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:29 AM
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what about a pair of angels and a pair of discus the the cards, etc..

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post #3 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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i really like them, but they seem too common now a days. i dont see congos too often and theyre pretty neat
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post #4 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:31 AM
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I like the angel idea....I miss my angels You are right that they are pretty common, but they are so pretty and graceful. Then again, trying congos would be cool too.
But I'm excited about my new rams...hopefully more when they start to come out of hiding.

Have you thought about using a soil substrate? Just throwing that out there. I liked the way a tank I set-up for a friend that I did that way. I sometimes think the plants in that tank without CO2 grow faster than many of mine do!
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post #5 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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i would do soil, but when i leave for college i dont think my parents will have enough time to maintain it and do water changes so algae might take over
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post #6 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:41 AM
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I setup the soil substrate tank in August and havn't done a water change yet! Soil substrate method... Just do top offs and don't move the plants around once they are planted and things have gone great. Just something to consider as I don't want to push this on you. I just thought that using real "soil" seemed more natural. But then both of my own tanks are eco-complete....ha

Edit...are you saying that when you leave for college the rents will just take the plants out and just run it with plastic and fish? If thats the case...I get your point about them not wanting to do the planted tank maintenance.
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post #7 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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really? i'll look into it are you talking mineralized soil? my dad is really itching to fill this thing up lmao i have to keep telling him you have to be patient.

edit: that mineralized thread is great, i think im going to do that now. thanks matt! should i be looking at around 1 inch mineralized soil, and 2 inches of colorquartz?
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post #8 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:55 AM
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Discus are really neat fish. My friend has a few blood pigeons and they're gorgeous. Just make sure you do a bit of reading if you aren't familiar with them.

Angels are my personal favorite. Your #2 doesn't sound too bad. Gold marble angels and koi angels are my personal favorite.

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post #9 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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yeah i really like white koi angels

discus are pretty difficult fish, but my dad used to breed them so he knows whats up, or at least more than i do!
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post #10 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:57 AM
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I used about an 1.5" (i think) of top soil from Lowes and then 1.5" of regular aquarium gravel. Some threads talked about using a thin layer (dusting) of peat to prevent algae, but I think thats BS. How can a dusting of peat in the tank do anything for algae? I'm a plant scientist and had a hard time getting that one. Oh and make sure you don't get top soil with any perlite in it...the white fluffy stuff in potting mix. I'm not sure about using colorquartz as a topping....

He just fertilizes his tank every few weeks with a small dose of NO3 and KH2PO4 and feeds his fish HEAVILY. Only algae the tank has is some thread algae and I think thats only because I gave him some plants that had it to begin with....oops. That stuff is as pita to get rid off.

Its a 55 gallon with a regular shop light with 2 T8 daylight bulbs from Lows (6). The fixture is 2X overdriven with a bigger ballast.

Other than pruning every month or two, scraping algae off the glass, and toping the water off, its so easy. Now I just have to figure out how to get rid of all the snails.
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post #11 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 03:59 AM
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yeah i second the mineralized soil idea. i just saw cah925's 40g breeder tanks up close and they are AMAZING. its truly the soil that makes the difference, and its literally dirt cheap :0

yeah rents don't always keep up with the maintenance so its better to be low light/tech. i like the angels idea , they'll look great in a big tank.

what college have you thought of going to?

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post #12 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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UF!

and FSU or FIU.

@matt, why arent you sure about capping it with colorquartz? aarons thread on APC did it
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post #13 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 04:20 AM
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I just havn't used the quartz or read about it. But if you read about it and people had success it should be fine.
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post #14 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 01:33 PM
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The Colorquartz is an inert substrate. You won't gain anything by using it, but it won't hurt either. I used Turface (inert) in one of my 40 breeders with the mineralized soil and Black Flourite in the other. Other than color, you really can't tell any difference with the plants.

btw, I'm not sure about your major (which should be a deciding factor for you), but I like the UF campus and atmosphere MUCH more than FSU.
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post #15 of 131 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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my major will be something business related, and FIU has a good business school, UF too. i wana end up somewhere where it gets colder than 45 in the winter, so i'm really liking UF

im going to buy 3 bags of topsoil today to get started on this mineralizing thing.
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