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:
-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
And now for some photos of the 75!
Thanks for reading!