Neglected my tank... suggestions for quick restoration before Thanksgiving? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2006, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Neglected my tank... suggestions for quick restoration before Thanksgiving?

Lordy, been a long time since I posted on here. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've done some serious neglecting of my tank over the past several months. This summer I got into firearms and spent a lot of money and time outside shooting at the range and sitting in front of the reloading machine. Now that the weather is getting colder and the days are much shorter now, it's getting harder and harder to get to the range. At this point I doubt I'm going to be doing any more shooting until sometime in the spring, which means my attention has turned back to my woefully neglected planted tank.

Now I know from having done it before that time and patience are what planted tanks are all about, but part of my problem is that I'm having a 25+ people over to my house for Thanksgiving dinner this year. I would like to have my tank lush and healthy again by that time instead of the present swamp-like state. That gives me just a little bit less than 3 weeks. Think it's possible?

A little background on what happened during my period of neglect: First, the little yet important things like water changes and fertilizer doses didn't happen hardly at all. That's obviously the major reason for the tanks present state. Beyond that, the first major problem to occur was my POS Milwaukee CO2 regular crapped out. It remained crapped out for a good 3 months before I noticed. I just replaced it with a JBJ regulator a few days ago and things for the moment seem to be OK in that department now.

Secondly, I had all 20 Amano shrimp in my tank (30-gallon) just suddenly bite the dust out of nowhere. Again due to my neglect, I did not realize this even occured until well after the fact. I have no idea where they went, but I suspect maybe my Corries ate them.

Thirdly, this neglect caused a massive quantity of BGA and other assorted algae to overwhelm the tank. I'm presently blasting it with Maracyn and the BGA is just about gone, but it took a lot of plants with it. Presently the only plants that survived and are just bearly hanging on are a red tiger lotus and a handful of dwarf sag. I do have some babie's tears still, but they are so infested with algae that I wonder if it's even worth keeping.

Anyway, I'm sorta starting over. I'm gonna replant/reposition the sag and tiger lotus, but I also need to make a big plant order from somewhere. I need some plants that are fast growing and will fill the tank in and get things balanced again, but are decent enough looking to remain in the tank through Thanksgiving until I can phase in nicer plants. I am open to suggestions.

Also I have seemed to have accumulated some "junk" on the top of my substrate (Eco-complete) in certain areas of the tank. Don't know what you'd call it, (mulm?) but I was wondering if I should remove this stuff. My instincts immediately told me I should get rid of it as it seems to be composed of dead bits of plants/algae/food/poop, etc and is rather ugly, but then I got to thinking some and thought that maybe this stuff would have a lot of nutritional benefit to the plants and help kickstart things again once I populated the tank with another order of plants. Should I keep this stuff for the benefit of the plants or is it more likely to encourage algae growth than anything else?

And finally, I've had my current 96-watt CF bulb for just about a year now and yes I know they should be replaced every year, but will replacing the bulb make a significant difference given the very short timeframe that I have to work with? I'd rather not replace it until after the holiday season when money isn't so tight.

In conclusion:


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Last edited by Cheeseybacon; 11-08-2006 at 02:47 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2006, 09:11 PM
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Well firstly, I LOVE your avatar, but She-Ra is better! LMAO! j/k

But seriously...

I would give the the glass a scrub, water change the heck out of the tank (at least 50%), get some new plants, remove the worst ones, and keep out possibly all fauna and crank up the CO2. Don't forget the ferts. Vac the gunk off of the Eco-Complete, and get a new PC bulb.

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is the remedy for stupidity.

It's not the size of the tank, but how you use it.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2006, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmmmm.... that's an interesting idea... temporarally remove all the fish while I crank the CO2 sky-high... Might hafta do that...


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Last edited by Cheeseybacon; 11-07-2006 at 11:30 PM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2006, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Here's what I presently have to work with.



This is about 20 minutes after I did a water change and picked a whole lot of algae off of things. More could definately come out, but I got tired and gave up for tonight. Everything is so messed up and jumbled that the I think I'm gonna just pull it all out and start over.

I'm on aquariumplants.com as I write this, with credit card in hand. Any plant suggestions before I pull the trigger?


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2006, 11:50 PM
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Ahhh...memories. I went through the same thing.

Looks like you have quite a bit of Rotala and vals. I'd spread the Rotalas to the left and move some of those smaller vals back to the right. As for adding new plants, maybe get a few crypts, but not too many because they would most likely be algae magnets in this situation. I'd go with maybe some more stem species. Did you have any driftwood in there before? If not, get a nice sized piece to take up a little naked room. Don't be too hasty with stuffing the tank full of plants like I did!! (Let's just say that I now HATE hygros!) Is this a 30 long?

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is the remedy for stupidity.

It's not the size of the tank, but how you use it.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnneRiceBowl View Post
Ahhh...memories. I went through the same thing.

Looks like you have quite a bit of Rotala and vals. I'd spread the Rotalas to the left and move some of those smaller vals back to the right. As for adding new plants, maybe get a few crypts, but not too many because they would most likely be algae magnets in this situation. I'd go with maybe some more stem species. Did you have any driftwood in there before? If not, get a nice sized piece to take up a little naked room. Don't be too hasty with stuffing the tank full of plants like I did!! (Let's just say that I now HATE hygros!) Is this a 30 long?
Yes, it a 30 long (36 inches, that is), no I didn't have any driftwood, and it's actually sag that you're looking at, no vals.

Here is what the tank looked like many moons ago:

https://www.plantedtank.net/tankprofiles/297/


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 02:19 AM
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That's the same size as mine that I am upgrading, and my baby. =P

Whoops...thought that was vals. lol I see why you are so upset about letting the tank go. If it helps, my tank looks like complete a$$ right now, and I've been busy setting up a low tech RCS tank. Any who, did you order any new plants?

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 12:26 PM
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You are just up the road from me. I have to pull the plants out of two ten gallon tanks this week to make room for a bunch of crypts. Mostly stems. You want them? I have some extra crypts too.

Quick fix:
Get another bag of eco complete, scoop the old Eco to the back and pour the new Eco in the front to make the tank look cleaner. Run a diatomaceous filter while you are doing this.

Go to Ricks in Fredrick and see if they have any amano's or over to Aquarium Center. I'm thinking about going to Exotic Aquatics up above B'more on Friday, they had amanos last time I was there.

Sean

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It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 01:24 PM
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What ever you do, do big water changes with all the work you are doing in the tank.

Also before you replant everything you might want to do a Tom Barr 3 day blackout. I've heard good things about this. It should kill any alage, and reset your tank parameters giving you a clean slate to work with.

Walter

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Well I was going to, but I didn't pull the trigger on an order of plants. I figured I should probably scan the stores in my area first, given the fact that most of the plants I had selected are fast growers and are fairly common.

SCMurphy, you have a PM.


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