My 75 planted community tank w/sump *photo heavy* - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2015, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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My 75 planted community tank w/sump *photo heavy*

Hi Everyone!,

I am kind of weird in the fact that I started out with saltwater reef keeping and now am delving into a planted tank. I've been doing saltwater for about 5+ years and decided to get out of it. Too much upkeep. Now I started my first freshwater tank and wanted to share it with you guys. Though I am experienced with fish keeping in general, planted tanks are a new frontier for me. I've had this system up for about 3 weeks now.


I am starting out with a 75gal tank that I bought from a friend of mine. It's drilled with an overflow. My buddy did a DIY 3d background using portland cement. He ran the tank for the better part of a year with no stock in it and just doing water changes to leech the pH out of the cement. I'm having a mild difficulty with pH despite that, but I'll get into that later on.

I did not have a stand for the tank when I bought it from him. So, I built my own! Cost about $90 in materials and would probably support a 150gal tall. I overbuilt it a little bit. But hey, better safe than sorry. I built 3 doors on it. Two on the front and one on the side for easy sump removal if I ever needed to do that.

Speaking of sumps, I am using a 30 gallon tank as a sump. I had some lexan cut and made baffles to seperate the return section from the drain section. Using some bonded filter padding between two of the baffles as my filter media. Planning on changing that out whenever it gets too clogged up. I have two return pumps. One moving about 650gph considering head pressure, the other about 450gph considering head pressure. Total water volume of the tank and sump is about 90 gallons. In all, the tank volume of water is being cycled about 12 times an hour through the sump.



My substrate is about 4" deep in the front going up to about 7" deep in the back just so everything is seen easier. The bottom 1" is fuller's earth as it has a high absorption capacity (for nutrients it sucks out of the water column). The top portion is about 95% eco-complete with some crushed flourite on top of that.

Plants wise, i have the following:

-Scarlett Temple
-Telanthera Cardinalis
-Amazon Sword
-Two varients of cryptocorne (one varient bright green and the other is a wendii tropica
-Dwarf Hairgrass (spreading like crazy)
-A few sprigs of dwarf sag


Fish stock wise I have the following:

-12 Harlequin Rasboras
-10 Neon Tetras
-7 Albino Cory's
-7 Cherry Barbs (2 male, 5 female)
-2 Chinese Algae Eaters
-1 Albino Bristlenose Pleco
-2 of the most personable Angelfish I've ever seen (eat out of my fingers, literally)
-10 Zebra Danios
-2 Bolivian Blue Rams


The tank is a little over 2 weeks old now. Nitrates refuse to go above 10. My pH is rock solid at 7.4. It does not fluctuate at all, even at night with the lights off. I am a bit concerned about it being at 7.4. I'm trying to lower it, but my kH is through the roof (probably why the pH is so stable). Should I be worried about the fish? I know the plants can that a pH that high. My fish seem to have no ill effect (yet) from it being at 7.4. Any thoughts on if I should let things lay, or try to get it lowered?

For lighting, I am using a Finnex Ray 2 48" assembly. I am starting to notice some brown diatoms on my drift wood and the few rocks that I have in the tank. Nothing seems to be really building up on the glass. I am turning the lights on at 9am and having them turn off at 730pm. Any thoughts on if I should cut down the light?

I dose about 8ml of Flourish Excel daily. Twice a week I dose 8ml of Flourish. I also have a supply of Flourish Trace and Flourish Iron which I have yet to use.

Anyhoot. I would really appreciate any thoughts, comments, or critiques about how I have things set up.

Here is a link to a youtube video that I made of the tank. look at my channel for my saltwater stuff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-5rjZq9uok


And now for some photos of the 75!


Thanks for reading!

-Jon





























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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2015, 06:01 PM
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https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=189944
With a tank 20" tall and 7" sub(?) you would have about 13" left to the top.
Looks a bit more like 15" to me in the second/third pictures.
Mentioned this mostly because of the PAR rating from that link suggest to me that
you have about 75 PAR at the back and at the top of the sub back there.
More if your numbers are accurate. You will either need a dimmer or injected CO2 AND full ferts/w that PAR. Full Macro/Micro ferts with either. You only seem to have the Micros. 7 or 7.5 hrs is plenty to start a tank on also. You can raise it as the plants get more growth. The photo period can be split/w however many off hrs in the middle
you want(within reason) to better view it in A.M. and P.M.
In one of my tanks I estimate the PAR @ 45-50. My hrs are(roughly) 8:00A.M. to
11:20 A.M. and then back on from 2:00 P.M. till 6:00 P.M.
This tank has daily 2x Excel recommended amount and EI ferts. But only two doses
of the EI instead of three. EI is intended for injected CO2 tanks fully planted.
Mine has only the Excel and low to med amount of plants.
I get just a mild/small amount of GSA/w this arrangement.
Your high level of circulation is saving you temporarily but won't forever without
using full ferts and either a dimmer or injected CO2.
Great background BTW.
If that's Crypt Wendtii Bronze the mature plant is about 7-8" tall and 6-7" around.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2015, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have the funds to buy a fully regulated co2 system. That's why I am dosing excel. Do you think if I dose twice a day that it will assist with the brown diatomous algae?

I suppose I could also use fert tabs in addition to flourish/excel. I also have flourish trace which I guess I can start dosing, but it seems to have just a heavier concentration of exactly what is in flourish.

What about UV lighting, would that help with the algae?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2015, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Also,was thinking of building a canopy for the tank. I suppose if I had the light higher off tha tank it would help lower the PAR.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2015, 06:35 PM
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Nice set-up. Love the background!


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2015, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Raymond, just ordered some potassium and nitrogen liquid supplemental for the tank. Any other macro elements you think I need?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 01:37 PM
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Ray nailed it. That par is CRAZY high. You will definitely run into issues before too much longer. If you raise the lights, and want to stay low tech, one light may be enough in reality. I would, instead, attempt to budget $300 or so for a full CO2 system. Also, beautiful stocking. I'd only worry about those angels becoming aggressive. I'm glad to see some more planted sumps appearing. I love my sump!


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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I know Ray recommended a dimmer. Is there a controller that works with the finnex ray 2? Or would any dimmer controller work for the light. I'd hate to have to sell it and buy something else.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox View Post
I know Ray recommended a dimmer. Is there a controller that works with the finnex ray 2? Or would any dimmer controller work for the light. I'd hate to have to sell it and buy something else.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=197613

Search the site for DIY methods if you are seriously interested. There were 3 outlined in that thread that I would suggest.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 04:55 PM
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looks great! Love the background! Love the multiple grain size of the substrate!

My two cents - I would add more fast growing plants and I would partially sink the stones and the wood into the substrate. Just having them sit on the top doesn't look natural IMO.

Otherwise, it looks great. I'm also thinking of going the sump route on my next tank.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ROYWS3 View Post
looks great! Love the background! Love the multiple grain size of the substrate!

My two cents - I would add more fast growing plants and I would partially sink the stones and the wood into the substrate. Just having them sit on the top doesn't look natural IMO.

Otherwise, it looks great. I'm also thinking of going the sump route on my next tank.
The wood is still being waterlogged. I've got a piece of slate attached to the bottom to keep it sunk. I'll give it another 2 weeks or so before I detach the slate just to make sure it'll stay down on it's own.

Interesting idea on partially sinking some things. I'll consider it.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox View Post
I know Ray recommended a dimmer. Is there a controller that works with the finnex ray 2? Or would any dimmer controller work for the light. I'd hate to have to sell it and buy something else.
131438700299
That is an E-bay part number you can put in search on there.
If you didn't want to cut the wire on your fixture you can always cut
an extension cord and plug the fixture into that.
Not just any dimmer can be used. It needs to be the same for Watts/volts.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 09:41 AM
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Lovely background.

May be u can try some java moss on it & give some time until it looks awesome!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
131438700299
That is an E-bay part number you can put in search on there.
If you didn't want to cut the wire on your fixture you can always cut
an extension cord and plug the fixture into that.
Not just any dimmer can be used. It needs to be the same for Watts/volts.
Thank you for finding that. I would need an AC/DC converter pack as well as this. Easy enough to find at the local Radio Shack. Just need to have the correct amperage output on the AC/DC converter and it should work just fine.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Well, not sure what is going on. However, the brown algae spike is over with without any changes to lighting. I'm going to attribute the brown algae bloom to the system being relatively new. Will continue to monitor it during the next few weeks and see if it spikes again.
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