75 Gal Soon to be planted? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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75 Gal Soon to be planted?

**Updated with Pictures!**

As of yesterday I bought a 75 gallon aquarium. Right now it's sitting in my room full of water and nothing else.

I want a planted tank (obviously XD) but I also want fish. I know I'm going to have to get rid of my guppies as they eat everything and anything are worse than piranha. Bunch of moochers. Anyway, I was looking at Cardinal Tetras and I was really excited up until the point where I read that they eat shrimp.

The thing is, I really enjoy invertebrates. Cherry Shrimp are almost a must, as I love love love little shrimp. Cherry Shrimp and Cardinal Tetras would be an almost perfect match as the colors work together. I intend on making a very heavily planted tank. Dwarf hair grass, and many many others.

I also want to raise Plecos and cory catfish. Oh, I just googled Cory cats. Stupid nature, why does everything want to eat each other.

Ok, so I'm down to Plecos at the momment. I read that Otos won't eat shrimp. But I'm not exactly sure if they wouldn't eat all my plants alive like some bad 30's horror movie.

So the overall question: What fish can I have in a Co2 injection planted tank that wouldn't eat my shrimp, plants, hand, or soul?

Also, a bonus question - Any tips for starting? I'm going to burn my wallet on:

Substrate - Flourte
Lightning - 3w/Gal = 225
Co2 - Injection
Fertilizer - I'll care after a month of set-up

I am new, I am ignorant, and I'm really jumping in fast by starting this dream on a 75 gallon tank. Don't take me wrong though, every plant I buy/plan to buy I will read it's life story to ensure a happy peaceful community and green paradise. If you have, as mentioned, any tips or DO NOT DOs and horror stories, I would love to learn from your mistakes also! (I hope that didn't sound mean, as how else am I suppose to learn.)

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.
-Sheep


Update: Pictures! Yeah I know it's not a lot, and I personally HATE fake plants as well as fake anything to be honest. I only put the ship, plants, fake cave, and other stuff in the tank to keep the fish active. Let them have something to do, I did this mainly when I introduced them into the tank with no substrate. They were miserable, and with those they were able to hide and adjust.


Freshly planted Dwarf Hair Grass, I'm really hoping the guppies don't eat it alive. But so far, it's holding it's ground. I've had the bubbles going since it was just a tank filled with water, it used to be my source of water circulation. Now I'm just leaving it in there, as well as the filter, until my canister gets in. It's in Kansas right now. So close >.<'

The stand is still under construction, so it's just a basic stand at the moment.

This is my six year old plant. It used to be MUCH larger, but because I didn't have a job at the time it's tank conditions were miserable and it's just been struggling to survive. Now I'm really excited for this to take off. Anyone know what species it is? I've got an idea off of googling, I'm just not 100% sure. XD

Last edited by FlyingSheep; 07-27-2012 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Left out filter
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 04:09 PM
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I can't help you with the shrimp issue unless you're willing to get a larger shrimp, such as amano shrimp. Most fish will eat RCS, especially the babies. If you set up the tank to be heavily planted, some RCS may be able to hide for survival, but then you can't see them either. Plus, you'd have to consider the shrimp getting sucked into the filtration. Overall, I'd recommend amano shrimp for what you're wanting to do.

I'm not nuts about Flourite. Too messy. I prefer Eco Complete.

I'm not the greatest with lighting since the WPG rule has changed, but from the little bit you offered, it sounds like you're headed into trouble with such high lighting. Maybe if you posted more info about the exact fixture you're talking about getting it can clear things up (maybe it's a really poor lighting fixture so the light isn't as bright as it sounds). If you're talking about anything close to T5HO, then you're definitely getting too much light.

Injected CO2 is the only way to go. Good move. I suggest using a reactor. I run Rex Grigg style reactors for my tanks, but the Cerges are the latest style. Either should work fine.

Fertilizer needs to be started as soon as you turn the lights on while plants are in the tank. I recommend dry EI ferts. Super easy and super cheap, and also the best you can get.

As far as filtration, definitely get a canister. I'd recommend two quite honestly. Take the money you were going to spend on the overblown lighting and put it into your filtration. You need a canister to run the injected CO2. I started out with Emperor filters and finally just tossed them. Now I have a total of 8 Rena XP canisters running my tanks. Only my nano and QT tanks run HOB filters. If you are on a tight budget, look for used Rena XP3s or XP4s. You can get a really good filter for an excellent price. They are workhorse canisters so used ones are still very much worth getting. I have one Rena XP4 that's 5 years old now and still running like new.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 05:04 PM
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on the new tank. I just went through a similar 75g build a few months ago and now in the process of planting.

Lights - how high are you looking at placing the lights above the tank?
Here is the ultimate lighting PAR thread out there that describes how much light is produced for different types of heights and distances: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=105774

I have 4 T5H0 bulbs over my 75g which is 12" above the top of the tank. I'm still concerned that I have too much light and spend part of my light day with only two bulbs enabled. As the tank is filled in with plants, I will start upping the light a little more. The moment algae starts to take hold, off goes the second set of lights...

Do I have a recommendation? Nothing concrete, just be careful to not start an algae tank instead of planted tank.


Ferts - I use PPS-Pro on both my planted tanks. So far, so good. I've stayed away from EI for I can not commit at the moment to 50% weekly water changes.


Plumbing - talking about water changes, I have built in a drain valve after my filter so I can use my filter pump to fill up 5g buckets. This is when I don't vac the gravel. Once my tank is more planted, I will not be able to get to the gravel so this will be my primary draining system. I also have a separate fill path from a High Head pump that I submerge into my 5gal buckets of new water and it will pump it from the cabinet into the back of the tank. VERY NICE. This was well worth the money/effort in the easy of water changes.

Filters - I have a single Fluval filter (G6) which is expensive, but I've been very happy with it. Would I buy another...?? probably if I have the cash on hand. In the path of the water return, I have an inline 300 watt heater (recommended), co2 reactor (cregg style from aquariumplants.com) and two ball valves. The flow is decent in the tank, though I'm concerned with the far side of my tank. I'll probably get a power head to make sure the water is moved around more.

I do recommend canisters - they're very quiet and let you do the inline heating/CO2.

What are you doing with the cabinet/stand under the tank? Are you planning a cabinet to place the canister/co2 stuff/heater/plumping/light timers/etc?

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, but though I pride myself on being the nerdy smart guy, some of your terms just confused me. Thank you google!

Anyway, I'll go ahead and upload some pictures of my tank, so far the stand isn't completed but I'll get some doors on it eventually. As you can see, since I'm filter-less at the moment I'm sporting a fancy super air pump to keep the water moving until my filter gets here.

I just bought this canister filter: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00

It's cheap, it's reliable (so I'm told), and it's cheap!

As for the lightning, I really don't know what I'm doing. I was told 3 watts per gallon and the match goes to 200 watts which costs more than the entire tank + plants + Co2 + everything. Times two.

So I'll be reading on the link that kind sir/ma'am sent me up top. Until then, let's see if I can grab some handy pictures. That way I can fill all of your hearts with jealousy and rage with my makeshift water circulation system. It's that advanced.

Also, I'm new to everything. Treat me like a child with your words please, it's confusing XD

Last edited by FlyingSheep; 07-19-2012 at 05:53 PM. Reason: O.o
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sphack View Post
Plumbing - talking about water changes, I have built in a drain valve after my filter so I can use my filter pump to fill up 5g buckets.
Why not use a python style water changer? All I do is stick it in my tank, turn the water on, wait for it to drain, then reverse the flow when it's time to refill. Very easy. Adding Prime when I refill conditions the water as it enters the tank.

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I just bought this canister filter: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00

It's cheap, it's reliable (so I'm told), and it's cheap!
Unfortunately, it's not cheap. That's because it won't do the job. The general rule of thumb with planted tanks is to have 10x filtration. What that means is with a 75g tank, you need enough filtration to equal 750 gallons per hour (gph). The filter you selected is rated at 164gph. So you still need about 586gph of filtration to go. Sometimes cheap isn't so cheap.

While you can get away with less flow, the odds that you can run a 75g with such a small canister is rather unlikely. For comparison, I run two Rena XP4s on my 75g. Each XP4 is rated at 450gph. So I'm running 900gph on my tank. However, I tend to over filter. Most people run two XP3 on a 75g which would be 700gph (each XP3 is rated at 350gph). So you can see how 164gph is really low.

If you can stop the shipment of that canister, I would. Otherwise, return it or save it for your QT tank or another smaller tank.

I recognize that the filter claims to be able to filter a 90-something gallon tank, but those ratings are kind of like gas milage claims on new cars. It doesn't ever happen in reality. They're talking about perfect tanks with no plants, no substrate, no fish, nothing. So, yeah, if you just have plain water, I guess it would work. But most of us want more than just water. And planted tanks have a higher demand for filtration than similar tanks with a couple of plastic plants and a sunken ship. Therefore, the need for 10x filtration.

Quote:
Also, I'm new to everything. Treat me like a child with your words please, it's confusing XD
Not a problem. We've all been there. The best thing to do is search like you're doing and also ask the person who used the term. It's a lot to take in at first, but after awhile, it becomes second nature like anything else.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 06:38 PM
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Here's some options for Rena XP3 and XP4 canisters:

http://www.amazon.com/Rena-722-Filst...2722923&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.com/Rena-723-Filst...2722923&sr=8-1

http://www.petmountain.com/product/a...er-filter.html

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 06:40 PM
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In all fairness, these canisters have gained popularity among the budget conscious. I'm not fond of them, but those who have them like them and their prices for the gph are good. If you get just one canister, get the larger one.

http://www.petmountain.com/show_product/11442-574797

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
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Why not use a python style water changer? All I do is stick it in my tank, turn the water on, wait for it to drain, then reverse the flow when it's time to refill. Very easy. Adding Prime when I refill conditions the water as it enters the tank.
I looked at using a python style water changer but unfortunately all of my faucets on the main floor does not support attaching anything. The kitchen has an integrated spray head and the bathroom, well, lets just say the previous owner of the house spent more money on artsy stuff.

I am using the pump for 5 gal buckets so that I can bring in the cold house from outside (~55-60 degree water) and mix in a number of hot water buckets. When I filled my tank, it took 4 hot buckets to bring the overall temperature into the upper 70s.

Eventually, I'm going to put in a warm/cold faucet either in the laundry room (yes, it does not have a sink) or under the kitchen sink. Then i'll be able to set a temperature and fill the tank easily without any more buckets. (If last weekend was anything to go by, given my bucket spills/splashes, I might get my faucet sooner rather than later )

FlyingSheep, since you're on a tight budget, I'd recommend a python-like solution if it would for you.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 07:26 PM
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Yeah, there's no way I'd ever go back to buckets. Water changes are very important, and it's a shame to hear that you're not able to perform them easily enough to keep up with the normal schedule needed which is affecting your fert dosing. The whole thing has a domino effect.

My thinking on waiting to add the faucet is this. If you're going to do it anyway, why wait? Unless you really can't pay for it now, then that's understandable. But if you can get it now, there's no difference between getting it now and getting it later. It's all the same. The difference is the amount of time you suffer the inconvenience of not having it.

When you do buy a water changer, I suggest getting the Aqueon brand. Buy a metal faucet adapter to go with it. I liked the way it worked much better than the original Python brand.

FS, this is what we're talking about. You'll hear people call them water changers or just "pythons" for short. They get their "python" name since that was the brand name of the first ones that came out on the market. This is the one I like: http://www.amazon.com/Aqueon-Aquariu...=water+changer

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 07:29 PM
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PS, Sphack, I've heard people have used the universal adapter for sinks that can't take the regular adapter. I've never tried it, but thought I'd offer it up as a suggestion for you to consider: http://www.amazon.com/Python-UNIVERS..._petsupplies_7

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 07:49 PM
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the aquatop series is vastly underpowered.

if it could possibly be in the budget. i'd suggest a good wet/dry sump system.. costly upfront
solves lots of filtration problems very quickly.. super efficient. easy to clean, only one set of media ever really needs to be replaced and that;s the mechanical pad, otherwise the bio media just gets rinsed every once in a while. plus u can hide heaters, testing equipment, AND can even have automated plumbing be put in as well

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 07:56 PM
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I second the eco-complete opposed to flourite. I have experience with both, less with eco-complete and alright love it. You could also use sand form a hardware store just make sure its play/fool filter sand just do some research on it first.

I would highly recommend cory cats, theres cory cat madness which is when you fall in love with them and just enjoy watching them play in the sand. I have a school of 11 and many fry that im waiting to give to a good home and just pulled out more eggs last night!

any tetras would look real nice but of course the ones to choose are up to you, i went with 33 black skirts in my 50 gal long and man they love all the company from one another, have not lost a single one since i put them all in. (I watched the parameters like a hawk and woke up multiple times in the night just to do tests)

Lighting: with lighting i would actually suggest doing low tech to begin with planted tanks just because thats what i started at and really enjoyed it, if your 75 is 48" long you could do shop lights from hardware store and just make sure the lamps you purchase for it are within 5,000-10,000K. I found it best to go with two seperate fixture and run one only four hours a day to mimic mid day sun blasts, and the other fixture has one cool and one warm light for that dusk/dawn look.

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 08:21 PM
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Yeah, there's no way I'd ever go back to buckets. Water changes are very important, and it's a shame to hear that you're not able to perform them easily enough to keep up with the normal schedule needed which is affecting your fert dosing. The whole thing has a domino effect.

My thinking on waiting to add the faucet is this. If you're going to do it anyway, why wait? Unless you really can't pay for it now, then that's understandable. But if you can get it now, there's no difference between getting it now and getting it later. It's all the same. The difference is the amount of time you suffer the inconvenience of not having it.
The commitment part is sticking to the weekly water changes every Sunday. My tanks get a lot of attention during the week but over half the weekends I'm not home. PPS-pro looked to be a better match so I'm trying that first. Yes I know you can shift the schedule and might end up doing that.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 08:23 PM
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FlyingSheep, how fast is your head spinning about now? LOL!

The great thing about this hobby is also what makes it confusing in the beginning: The wide variety of choices. There is no one "right" or "wrong" way to do it, and after you've done it for awhile, you'll start to have your favorites. The difficulty of starting out is you have no idea which choice you'll favor at first.

Just take it slow and don't worry about making mistakes — because you will. We all do! This is a hobby in which people evolve. So no matter what you start with, you will change as you go. It's part of the process.

My personal suggestion is to consider what is most important to a tank and put your money there. You can have a great looking planted tank with all different light levels (except too high light), you can use all sorts of different substrate, and there are a zillion fish, inverts, and plants from which to select. But none of it will be any good if the water isn't kept clean. So I believe anything that deals with water quality is a top priority and not an area to skimp.

Having said that, I'd start off with looking at filtration and cycling a tank. A Freshwater Master Test Kit is a necessity for starting a new tank. This is by far the cheapest you can get: http://www.amazon.com/API-FRESHWATER...2729058&sr=8-1

From there, you can start cycling your tank. That will take around 6 weeks which gives you plenty of time to figure out what substrate, lighting, and anything else you want. Injected CO2 can come later once you feel more confident.

And, yeah, wet/dry filtration is excellent; however, I still recommend canisters for a myriad of reasons.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
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The commitment part is sticking to the weekly water changes every Sunday. My tanks get a lot of attention during the week but over half the weekends I'm not home. PPS-pro looked to be a better match so I'm trying that first. Yes I know you can shift the schedule and might end up doing that.
I think once you get a water changer, you'll discover that it's so easy and so fast, you won't feel such a great need to schedule a big block of time to devote to it. It's certainly nothing like what you're doing now.

Honestly, you hook it up to the sink, turn on the faucet, and then stick the other end into your tank. If you will drain enough water to expose the filter intake, then shut them off and flip up your quick disconnect to maintain your filter's prime. Wait. Once you hit 50%, go to the faucet and change the flow direction so the tank is now filling up with water. Put Prime in the tank. Wait. When the tank is filled, turn off the water flow and turn on your filters. Disconnect it from the faucet, and put it away. All done!

The majority of the time is spent waiting. The hardest part of it all is to not get distracted and forget about it. If you tend to get distracted, you can time how long it takes and then set an alarm as a backup.

Vicki —Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) • Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) • Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

• 90g -
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Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' —— • 75g -
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Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red'
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• 29g -
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Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' —-- • 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
• 5g - RCS colony —————————————————— • 2.5g -
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