80 gal planted tank photo journal, questions inside!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow 80 gal planted tank photo journal, questions inside!!

here is a photo journal of my 80 gal start up, it will be moderate to heavily planted.... not sure if this is the right section to post this.....

i purchased the tank off of a local listings website, got a canopy, stand, tank, giant driftwood, filter, heater and some chemicals all for 200$ great deal if i dont say so myself



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setup:
using rena xp3 canister filter, have a canister heater atatched to the output water, very nice i might add
lighting: i have the coralife large light under the canopy running 4 smaller two side bulbs, 65w 6700 daylight, one bulb has gone out, but i keep it on about 12 hours a day so far ( i know its not the best for algea with high ammonia at first but it has been actually fine so far)
substrate: used playland sand (90lbs) after washing it thoroughly
scenery: few pieces of driftwood, rocks gathered from far up a canyon river near by, black gravel, and river stones all were tested for chemicals before added to the tank, and boiled for a few hours to wash out any tangents...
fish: 2 small bushnose plecos, about 20 feeder goldfish


my tank has been cylcling for 3 weeks, i did not go the fishless route, sorry you fish lovers, i know its sad but i have used feederfish, had one group of about 28 smaller feeder goldfish since their dirty, i over fed them quite a lot and they all died within two weeks, now its my second batch of feeder fish, and only 3 of them have died, the rest left seem healthy and happy and imune to the tank, no fish have died in the last few days



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so now i have added plants, i planted quite a few, i would say about 7 different species and about 15 plants in all together reside in the tank



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my readings after three weeks of cycling with fish and over feeding the tank are:

ph 7.6
ammonia 0.23ppm
nitrite 0
nitrate 10ppm

in the last three weeks i have done 5 water tests they have all been about the same there was a small spike of nitrate but now its lowering, ammonia seems to be dying down a bit, but too slowly


my questions are:

my birthday is on thursday ( 5 days away ) and my girlfriend is planning on taking me to buy my fish, i am planning on some south african chiclids since i will have plants i want some blue german rams, maybe a variety of rams, and some peacocks, but i want my ammonia to be at 0 when i purchase them, im thinking of doing a 35% water change today, adding about 8 gal of my friends established tank water, and dumping almost all my feeder fish, and feeding them lightly until thurs, do you think this will dramatically drop the ammonia?

so far i have only done one water change, my syphon i ordered off amazon took forever!!

my other question is for the planted geeks on here, please help since i have only had 3 tanks before, i attempted a 20 gal planted which ended brutally after i attempted a diy co2 system and algea exploded
i have a lot of plants now, and i plan on buying a co2 canister cystem since my diy last time was horrible i rather spend the money on better results and not ruin my tank, i have put too much time into this already to lose it to algea..... so my question is, i dont have substrate with nutrients, just sand in the bottom of the tank, play sand for children, i figure there has been so much fish crap and food on the bottom it has some nutrients, im using the general flourish liquid ferts once a week but is this all enough with co2 added to have a flourished tank??

thanks for all your help and please provide comments, it is much appreciated!!

stay tuned for more pics soon!!
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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also what kits do you reccomend for a co2 setup, im going for low price but decent quality
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 11:46 PM
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I would wait for the tank to be well established before doing any of the South American Chichlids such as rams. They are very sensitive. Tank water will not help you cycle the tank, if you can, get some of his filter media / gravel, a decoration something that has the beneficial bacteria on it. the plants will help with the cycle being able to process the ammonia for themselves. Some of us plant so thick from the start that we have silent cycles, no visible ammonia spikes. I would wait a few more months before doing the rams or Apisto's though. You can start stocking with your dither fish though. IE maybe some Neon Tetras, Cardinal tetras ect. although, you need to be sure the cycle is complete first.


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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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i plan on waiting, i currently only have around 9 goldfish in the tank left, to speed up the cycle do you reccomend more frequent water changes then once a week? im using the previous owners filter media so i figure it shouldnt take longer then 6 weeks to cycle, its already been almost 4, just trying to speed it up faster, guess by this thurs i will just have to focus on setting up the aquascaping with plants and a co2 system before i add my south africans....
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 07:15 AM
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Realize you already have the feeder fish in the tank, so I would perform twice weekly water change of 50 percent until ammonia and nitrite levels read zero for three or four consecutive days.
Agree with other's about not adding any more fishes until the tank has matured for a couple months.
This will give you time to get the tank further planted and make adjustment's with respect to CO2 application.
Would consider in the future, that live feeder goldfish are very good way to introduce parasites or bacterial pathogens to your tank.
These fishes are often kept in poor condition's which lead to stress ,which leads to sick fish.
Only takes one sick feeder fish to possibly infect whole tank of feeder's, and then this could be passed on to your tank.Is also why they are poor diet for larger fishes.
If you are raising your own feeder fish, then perhaps there is not too much concern but store bought feeder's often create more trouble than they are worth with respect to fishes/tanks health.
If previous owner's filter material was kept wet while you set up the new tank ,then perhaps enough good bacteria survived to shorten the time needed to establish bacterial colony, but your recent ammonia level posted,, suggest's to me that less feeding and larger water changes may be on order for a week or two .
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 01:59 PM
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Agree on waiting with rams. You could try them on a fresh cycle, but expect to lose your first several. I would work my way up to them. Start with the toughest fish first, then slowly work your way to the sensitive ones over a couple months. If you go with pressurized co2, you will need to dose the water with ferts and use root tabs for your rooted plants. Play sand will anchor then but has zero cec and tends to compact, leaving nutrients floating. Just my thoughts.

Awesome hard scape by the way. You got a steal on that set up.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input guys its much appreciated, one more question I have read many things aboutliquid beneficial bacteria and seems like only a select few work if any, will those do harm to the plants?
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 09:42 AM
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Mileage does seem to vary with some of these product's.
Could be,, that some are little more than dead organic's, that would maybe help bacterial growth by giving the bacteria something to feed on?
I should think the nine goldfish in 80 gal would provide substantial organic waste, and would not spend my money on product un-needed?
Would feed fish sparingly,and perform water changes if test's indicate the ammonia or nitrite level's pose the need.
Lot's more plant's would also help with ammonia for plant's can use it up fairly quickly.IMHO
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-30-2011, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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k so its been a few days, here is an update

planted tank as of last week, not many plants, dirty goldfish (found new home for goldfish)



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and here it is as of tonight....




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so i here is the update, added co2





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tweaked the diffuser, got rid of the bumble counter, put on a fluval ceramic diffuser, its made to only treat 20 gal how it comes out of the box, so i got a different constant diffuser....the aquarium enthusiast at the "Aquarium" here locally in utah reccomended it, he has the same simple yeast contraption on his 50 gal, says it fills it quite nicely.... i would have gone pressurized but dont have the cash flow with a baby on the way..... on my next tank i will....




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and here is a sneak peak at the new additions....




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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-30-2011, 10:32 AM
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I was confused when you described your lighting setup. Are you running 2x65w PC or 4x65w pc ? If you have a 4 bulb fixture going you need to dose daily. N p k and micros on alternating days. Even with a 2 bulb fixture you should be dosing regularly. You should look into dry ferts they are like 40x cheaper than liquid and just as easy to dose. 20 or 30 bucks would buy you enough ferts for a couple years. Google dry aquarium fertilizers. Also do a search on this site for estimative index dosing. I would also recommend a c02 drop checker to get an idea of where you levels are at those are less than 10 bucks as well. Sweet driftwood btw.
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jl209 View Post
I was confused when you described your lighting setup. Are you running 2x65w PC or 4x65w pc ? If you have a 4 bulb fixture going you need to dose daily. N p k and micros on alternating days. Even with a 2 bulb fixture you should be dosing regularly. You should look into dry ferts they are like 40x cheaper than liquid and just as easy to dose. 20 or 30 bucks would buy you enough ferts for a couple years. Google dry aquarium fertilizers. Also do a search on this site for estimative index dosing. I would also recommend a c02 drop checker to get an idea of where you levels are at those are less than 10 bucks as well. Sweet driftwood btw.
thanks for your input, i am running 4x65w but one bulb is out, so im running on approx 2.5 wpg until i order the other bulb.... and i have a buble counter, but i just decided not to use it since its built for a 20 gal.... but im relatively new to co2 so im looking into what i should do....

also speaking of which im assuming due to not enough nutrients, maybe too much light, i have a type of algea growing.... looks like its just started, can anyone tell me what type this is, and what to do to resolve it?



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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 09:47 AM
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Your link didnt load right. I can already tell you that the algae is related to your lack of nutrients. Even with 3 bulbs running your are pushing close to high light. With 4 bulbs you are difinetly a high light tank. You need lots of c02 and ferts in a tank with that much light or your plants will struggle and algae will thrive. Try estimative index dosing and bump up your c02 you wont be sorry.
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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ok thanks for your help, i was pretty sure it was mostly lack of nutrients, co2 was just installed on the 29th, and i havent been dosing that much, only once a week, obviously the guy at the lfs didnt know much.... where can i find the estimative index dosing?
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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thank you for the input, its still a work in progress, had a small party last night with some close friends, and it was the centerpiece of the evening, everyong kept commenting on my hard work and how it accents my condo gotta love when you feel like you have achieved something like this you slave hours over..... plants are already starting to bloom, i have stems coming out of my java ferns, and this small plant, not sure of the name, its in a potted container, which brings me to my question, is it best to take plants out of their potts, or let them sit in there for a while under the substrate to use beneficial nutrients....



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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 02:01 PM
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Would remove all plant's from pot's and push roots down into substrate with exception of anubias and java fern which can be attached to wood or rocks with thread,fishing line,or super glue.
Might consider purchasing a macro-micronutrient mix from somewhere such as Aquariumfertilizer.com and plant's will thank you.
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