125g Blackwater tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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125g Blackwater tank

My 125g conversion from SW to FW, still cycling, with cloudy water and all.

Lighting: Main tank, 4 x 65W PC. Refugium, 18W CFL.

Filtration: 40g covered sump with DIY wet/dry filter, Mag12 return pump, and plant refugium

Hardscape: Main tank, 175 lbs of play sand, Mopani driftwood, Sandstone rock and river pebbles. Refugium, 1 bag of Flourite.

Plants: Echinodorus amazonicus, Echinodorus tenellus, Vallisneria spiralis, Limnobium laevigatum, Pistia stratiotes

Planned tank inhabitants: 15 - 20 Corydoras paleatus, 6 Otocinclus sp., 2 Chaetostoma Thomasi, 25 - 30 Paracheirodon axelrodi, and 5 juvenile Pterophyllum scalare (to try for a breeding pair).

Plans are to run this as a low light/semi-low tech tank, with no CO2 injection, and fertilizing with root tabs and liquid fertilizers administered through a Litermeter III dosing pump. Water topoff will also be provided by the LM III.

Comments, corrections and suggestions are welcome...

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 12:46 AM
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I really like it. It looks very natural. And I like your stocking plans, but I'd up the number of otos. Also, be sure to get "wild" looking angels. The natural look would just be ruined by a few bright orange angels traipsing about.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 01:55 AM
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looks great so far! but bump up your otos to like 15 and your cardinals to like 50. and you wont need a fuge in freshwater!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 02:01 AM
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Wow. That's a lot of Vals. They'll be everywhere before you know it, but it really does look nice. Those angels will really look awesome when you get them, and hopefully they'll breed for you

Got Plants?-6 CO2 + 12 H2O → C6H12O6 + 6 O2 + 6 H2O

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Always interested in trades for aroids, carnivores, orchids, ferns, or whatever else you think I might like to try
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, folks. This being my first planted tank, I really want to try to get everything right. Lurking around this forum's been a great help so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe2Can View Post
I really like it. It looks very natural. And I like your stocking plans, but I'd up the number of otos. Also, be sure to get "wild" looking angels. The natural look would just be ruined by a few bright orange angels traipsing about.
More otos? OK! The angels I'm looking at are the Zebras (no Koi or Marbled, thank you!) ; I really like the coloration of the Zebras and think they'd go well in this tank.

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Originally Posted by chris127 View Post
looks great so far! but bump up your otos to like 15 and your cardinals to like 50. and you wont need a fuge in freshwater!
Another vote for more Otos! And, up the Cardinals? Man, that's gonna be a lot of fish! As far as the 'fuge, I already had it built in the sump from the SW iteration of this tank and figured 'why not use it'. Some nitrate-loving plants in there and it's just more filtration. And I loooove filtration.

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Originally Posted by legomaniac89 View Post
Wow. That's a lot of Vals. They'll be everywhere before you know it, but it really does look nice. Those angels will really look awesome when you get them, and hopefully they'll breed for you
!! I didn't know when I ordered the Vals from aquariumplants.com that they were going to be so big (I figured about 1/3 that size), so wanted to make sure I had "enough". I think I do...
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 01:13 PM
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The fuge would be a very convenient place to grow out cuttings and divisions for the SnS, you know
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 05:35 PM
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I suggest putting some leaves on the bottom in the foreground. I have seen some great scapes that use them, and I think they go with your low light, blackwater theme very well.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 05:41 PM
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Your stock list is very similar to my 125 tank. But I started with 5 angels about a year ago in my old tank. I was down to my last two when I started my 125 about a month ago. And the angels spawned about a week ago. I was really pleased to see that the angels had spawned, it was not something I was trying for, it just happened. But I decided over the weekend that I need to pull the pair because they were being too aggressive to the rest of the fish in the tank. I have put another single angel in the 125 and the pair now has its own tank. Just something to keep in mind for down the road.

As for the number of otos, you will probably want that to go up. I am at around 10 right now and that seems ok. But I also have a couple of SAEs and a bushy nose pleco too.

For cardinals, I have been adding to their numbers and 30-40 looks pretty good. I had 35 when I pulled the angel pair and they made for a nice school. Now there are another 15 neons in there that came out of the tank were the pair is now. The cardinals and neons school well together, but with out the big angels the school is a lot looser and scattered with 45 fish.

I really like your layout. Those vals look really natural the angels will look great in there.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 06:40 PM
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You could always use the refugium as a place to grow cherry shrimp. Angels quite enjoy a cherry shrimp snack.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houstonhobby View Post
I suggest putting some leaves on the bottom in the foreground. I have seen some great scapes that use them, and I think they go with your low light, blackwater theme very well.
I agree. Actually, I have two types of leaves soaking at this time... I just haven't figured out if the tank should have Oak or Magnolia (call me cheap, but I can't see paying the prices they want for Indian Almond with all these free leaves laying around).
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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The fun starts today. Rhizoclonium decided to say 'hellooo, tank', so we'll be getting the ol' brush out and cleaning driftwood for a while. To be expected with a new tank, I guess. Still in mid-cycle, so nitrates are a bit low and ammonia's still around 1.0ppm, with nitrites at 4.0ppm or so. I'm considering covering the top of the tank to boost CO2 levels and reducing the photoperiod to around 7 - 8 hours, plus increasing flow to the side of the tank that's affected.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Getting closer to liftoff... the tank's eating 1.5 ounces of ammonia every day, nitrites are declining, and the Vals are starting to put out runners. I've reduced lighting to 2 x 65W and haven't seen any more algae since cleaning up the first little batch. Flourish root tabs were inserted into the substrate yesterday. PH is slowly coming down to where I want it (now at 7.45), kH is at 3, and GH is at 6.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2009, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I haven't updated this in halfway-to-forever! The tank's coming together now, and I've added livestock. (6) Otocinclus vittatis, (2) Chaetostoma thomasi, (14)Corydoras paleatus, (20) Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, and (4) Pterophyllum scalare. I'm especially impressed with the angels; they're an F1 cross between Peruvian Wild-caught and a Brazilian pure strain and look really good in the tank. Most of the plants have done OK; I had a small die-off but, being as this is my first try with planted at least I haven't managed to kill off everything...

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2009, 09:36 AM
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How about some more updates? I am converting to a similar set up with my discus tank.
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