20G Long Tank Build - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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20G Long Tank Build

Things are moving right along on my new 20G tank. For full details in all the build steps see the full journal at http://canaquaticgardens.wordpress.com. After sorting out the lighting fiasco with the DIY light fixture the algae situation seems to have stabilized. The brown hair algae wasn't getting out of control and maybe even was receding a bit. Of course, the crpyts are melting to various degrees but I have learned not to sweat this, they will come back. I've also added some didiplis diandra to the background and moved a couple things around. I had to take the didiplis out of the 70G because it was getting overrun. I think I will still add some Pogostemon Stellata once I get around to trimming my 10G. Here's the tank as it stands right now:



My original plan was to have this as another plant/shrimp only tank but I got a nice big gift certificate to the LFS and I couldn't resist getting some fish. In the tank right now are 12 cardinal tetras, 3 otoclinus affins and 12 ghost shrimp. I lost one oto on the first night but in my experience that is to be expected with otos. I absolutely love the cardinals in there. They really stand out against the sand and green of the plants.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 04:00 PM
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Nice Tank. Things are looking good.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 08:25 AM
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How about a picture showing the diy light fixture on the tank?
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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All the details are at the blog, including the build order and dimensions.

http://canaquaticgardens.wordpress.c...light-fixture/

But here's a pic...



A nice shot of the a couple of the cardinal tetras in this tank:



Had one croak today. Was stuck on the bottom, upside down and still alive but only able to swim upside down. Also, had lost his red colour around the tail area. All others appear to be OK. Any thoughts?

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 03:44 AM
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That's a neat scape. The chaotic arrangement of elements looks much more like the kind of habitat that you would really see at the bottom of a lake or stream than most aquarium scapes.

Can you try to adjust your camera white balance some more? That full-tank shot is quite yellow.

Hey I think you have this journaled over in the ukaps.org forum too.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 06:37 AM
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Someone else whom made a cover for a big tank with the CFLs said that they get hot and need a fan. What about in your cover, do they get hot? Are you certain that you don't need a fan?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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The bulbs are hot to the touch, but I can touch them. The wood isn't even warm...a bit beyond room temperature.

Here's an updated shot with a bit better exposure settings. Will have to try playing with the white balance a bit.


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 11:56 PM
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Looks real nice.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I'm going to be taking some more photos tonight. There are a couple new species in there but the brownish algae on the tank bottom has increased. I am thinking the photo period is too long, any thoughts?

Hopefully I will get a new tank shot up tonight. This pic is about a week old now.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Update Sept 9

I've added the long awaited pogostemon stellata from the 10G into this tank to the middle right side. The brownish algae on the substrate that is closest to the light seems to still be spreading, although at a different rate to the setup with the 500W spotlight. I've reduced the light on this tank from about 9hr to 7hrs. Might have to go a bit lower depending on how things go. I realized one of my DIY CO2 canisters was leaking at the cap of the yeast container and wasn't delivering anything to the tank so that has been replaced. Hopefully this is the resolution to my algae problem.



There is also a new crypt on the back pane towards the left side. Not sure what species it is though. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm having trouble getting the exposure on the camera right so that the top of the stems don't look super bright white and the tank doesn't look to dark. I think this may be underexposed. Anyone else solved this problem?

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Consigliere View Post
A nice shot of the a couple of the cardinal tetras in this tank:



Had one croak today. Was stuck on the bottom, upside down and still alive but only able to swim upside down. Also, had lost his red colour around the tail area. All others appear to be OK. Any thoughts?
Perhaps they are going through and adjustment stage because of difference of gh from place you got them and your place. A little calcium sulfate would help with that.

Oh, brown algae is normal in a new tank. Unless it smothers the plants I wouldn't worry about it.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting thought on the gH question. This is likely the case since the gH of my water is 5 or so. Lots of limestone where i live. Any standard products that you can buy for some of this?

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 09:29 PM
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What is your ph?

Logically thinking there is probably an electrolyte imbalance.
Limestone releases calcium carbonate. For people high doses of calcium carbonate leads to low magnesium levels.

Magnesium sulphate would be better. Epsom salts is magnesium sulphate. Perhaps 1/2 teaspoon weekly would help.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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I have some epsom salts. I've always heard salt in planted tanks is bad but I may give it a try if I see anything that concerns me with the fish health. Not sure of pH. I'm fairly hands off when it comes to testing on the smaller tanks. Kind of run the them and hope for the best a bit. The CO2 injection etc would lead me to believe I am high 6s for pH, maybe low 7s. Tap water is high 7s.

When I said gH was 5.5, I actually meant kH. gH in the past has been higher, can't remember the exact value though.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 04:49 AM
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Here is info on electorlytes for fish. It is the gh I read that applies to fish, for gh is measure of calcium and magnesium.

Here info on modifying water.

Some plants, anarchin, can melt when salt is added. I don't see and salt sensitive plants in your tank. Here epsom salts recommended in a planted tank.

Limestone is know to raise the ph high.

Also Neon Tetra are not hardy fish as they use to be.
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