30 gallon Denison Barb Planted Tank Ongoing Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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30 gallon Denison Barb Planted Tank Ongoing Journal

Hey all, first post on this forum but I am a constant lurker.

I recently came back into the hobby about 6 weeks ago after a few years out and fixed up my old 30 gallon (standard 36x12x18"). When I set the tank up, I had already had something going before so I did a few 80% water changes and kept some filter media (to keep me from having to re-cycle the tank).

At first I went Low-Tech because I wanted to spend as little as possible to jump start my hobby again. I used one 17w t5 bulb, no co2, ferts, or substrate, planted some crypts and anubias from previous tanks as well as bought some water sprite (to pull as much nitrogen as possible from the water). None of these details really matter since I have changed so much, but basically that is just about it in terms of what I was doing to the tank. Not much at all.

I slowly but gradually have moved into what I would consider a semi hi-tech setting with the following criteria (I would love for people to give me advice as well as critique my setup) which I would consider a custom approach of some sort:
Light: 36" Finnex ray 2 ~29w
Filter: Fluval 204 canister
Powerhead: ~480gph (definitely feels like overkill.. Is it? I ordered a hydor koralia (sp) at 240gph so hopefully that will be the answer)
Co2: Fluval 20g rig with 16g cartridge, bubble counter (prob doing 1 bubble/2sec... Is that where it should be?) and I have it mainlined into the Fluval intake so that it goes through the canister and is dissolved before entering the water column
Substrate: inert pool filter sand heavily dosed with Osmocote+ root capsules as well as initially dosed with API root tabs
2x airstones in the back corners which run on a timer that turn on at night and shut off 1 hour before the lights come on (I run the co2 constantly)
Water change ~25% biweekly, I plan to shift to only changing once a week ~40-50%
Ferts:
7ml API co2 booster daily
5ml Flourish comprehensive 2x/week (going to increase to 7ml)
3ml Flourish iron daily (not necessarily going to use this always but as I have inert sand I figured adding more iron couldn't hurt. Also reserving the right to get some red into the tank)

Flora:
Lobelia cardinalis
Rotala rotundofilia
Amazon sword
Water sprite
Anubias nana v. Barteri
Cryptocryne wendtii green
Java moss
Ambulia
Marimo Moss

Fauna:
28x neon tetra
10x black neon tetra (soon to be removed)
5x Denison Barb
2x oto
5x ghost shrimp
1x bn Pleco (probably going to be moved too)


Some/most of my spelling of the plants and stuff is probably wrong so forgive me. Like i said I would really love some feedback and/or advice, as well as thoughts on my approach at “high tech”.

Some pics:








I will be constantly updating every few days with pics and would love for people to interact with me and give me their opinions and show off their strategies as well.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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More pics from today

Took these after making some changes; Mostly shots of the Denison barbs though. Not showing the color I was hoping for in terms of their red lines. My water is definitely soft, adequate flow, is extremely pristine. Only thing is that I keep the tank just above 80 (just during the summer months, not by choice) which I could see affecting them. I feed a WIDE variety of freeze dried bloodworms and krill, Omega 3 flakes, algae wafers occasionally, Omega 3 frozen brine shrimp (top of the line). Hopefully the brine shrimp will color them up - it's only day 3 of using it. We will see. Any advice on these guys is DEFINITELY wanted!







PS Sorry for the sideways images. I will take landscapes only on my phone from now on.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 05:19 AM
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Pretty cool tank. Only advice I'd really give is you should probably re-home the Denison Barbs... Very cool fish, but they shouldn't be kept in a tank anything under 4 foot as they are very active and grow to be about 6 inches.

Last edited by Blackheart; 08-06-2015 at 05:20 AM. Reason: .
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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Couldn't agree more. The largest I measured at 3" today, and as soon as the lot of them reaches 4+ I am bringing them to my local high end fish store who has already agreed to take them (adults sell for anywhere between 65-90 in my area). Essentially they are an investment right now, so I am trying everything I can to keep them happy, healthy, and hopefully colored up.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 11:32 AM
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They are very cool fish though don't get me wrong. I recently purchased a few to try them out for my 55 gallon and honestly I felt like they should have a tank bigger then that so I re-homed them as well.

Their best suited for like a 75-90 gallon tank.

Good choices with all the Neons though. Their great fish. I have a large school of them too.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 12:27 PM
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I definitely thought they required MUCH larger tanks, even as small as they are. The fish will get pretty large. I've seen some over 6" at large aquariums. They will also color up really nicely in time.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemananana View Post
I definitely thought they required MUCH larger tanks, even as small as they are. The fish will get pretty large. I've seen some over 6" at large aquariums. They will also color up really nicely in time.
As previously stated, I agree wholeheartedly that this tank is not suited for them as they approach 4". That is why when I bought them, I spoke with my LFS and they were more than ecstatic to take back large denison barbs in exchange for store credit (They can sell 4"+ Denisons for upwards of 75-100 a piece in my area)

Just such a beautiful fish that when I saw them for 8 bucks a piece at petsmart I said why not and grabbed 5. I will be extremely diligent about the water cleanliness until I rehome them. Right now they are for show in my family room for everyone to enjoy.

I am thinking after I move them, maybe looking at a pair of GBRs? The neons wouldn't bother them at all, and if I move the pleco there really is no issue in terms of eggs being eaten. What do you guys think? Assuming I take this route, would shrimp coexist with the GBRs?

Bump: Did a small trim in the back; going to update with a few pictures. It's ridiculous how much growth and pearling there is just 24hours after co2 canister injection. It's an amazing plus, so I am hoping to get this lobelia cardinalis to carpet.

Pics shortly.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackheart View Post
Good choices with all the Neons though. Their great fish. I have a large school of them too.
I am absolutely loving them. I want to eventually add more (after I remove the denison barbs), once the plants fill in completely and I can better account for additional bioload.

Any knowledge on whether a school of cardinal tetras will coexist peacefully/look good mixed with a school of neons?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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Some more pictures I took today:

You can see the pearling on the plants and it is just day 2 of co2. I literally had an air pump worth of bubbles coming up all day.

Will post a vid tomorrow.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-26-2015, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Update 10.26.15:

So I have made a ton of changes since my last update. Moved the tank to an entirely new room in my house, and with it changes some things in the tank. I started to have a terrible algae problem as I was leaving the light on too long/improperly dosing/infrequent and random co2 injections. I reduced lighting to 6hrs/day and began to take a more low tech approach to a previously thought Hi-tech setup. In addition to reducing the lighting, I added pond snails, MTS, and Ramshorns (yes there are hundreds but they are easily manageable). They churn the sand, cleaned absolutely every single leaf and the entire back wall of algae, and continue to clean to this day. I also introduced a colony of about 12 cherry shrimp which has since grown to an unknown number (I see them all over the rock on the right, constantly).

The focus was to get a group of "cleaners" that are also appealing/inobstrusive aspects to the aquarium. For example, adding 2 schools of coryadoras (green and pygmy) to constantly sift through the sand has kept the tank virtually spotless combined with all of the other unseen aspects listed above. Combined with reduced feeding to 3 times a week and a cast of small bioload fish (which I will list below), it has become a breeze to keep this tank. In fact, I am away at college and only check the tank every week or two to do water changes and general maintenance. While away I do have someone dose the aquarium regularly.

Fauna:
28x Neon tetra
4x guppy (3f 1m; I keep them in there feed the rest of my fish b/c of the natural aspect)
5x Pygmy coryadoras
6x green coryadoras
3x otocinclus
150+ various snails
Colony of cherry shrimp

Flora:
2x Amazon Sword
Ambulia
Rotala Rotundofilia (which gets the pink tips because of the iron)
3x Anubias var. nana

Dosing:
Co2 Booster - 10ml daily
Seachem iron - 1ml 4x/wk
Seachem potassium - 2ml 4x/wk (Just started this yesterday so we will see how it goes)
Seachem flourish - 2ml 3x/wk
Osmocote root tabs whenever needed

Water changes - 20% weekly

Filtration - I run 2 fluval 205's on the tank, have a 150w heater, and use a finnex ray II light

Current light schedule: 9-1230 on, 1230-330 off, 330-7 on (been doing this 2 weeks, plants starting to show noticeable growth)

I would love feedback and/or anyone's thoughts about things I could improve or focus on.

Bump: And can someone tell me how to flip this image? ridiculous.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Took these last weekend. Can anyone tell me what the plant in the bottom photo is? I want to learn some more about it because it is growing like a weed in here.

Feedback is very welcomed!
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