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37 Gallon Journal (56k warning)

8124 Views 48 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  VincentK
Alright, I have setup many tanks in the past, but I have never done a picture journal online. I dont have much done now, but the progress should be fast. Today I bought the tank, light, and substrate and only spent $50 due to a credit at the lfs from their frequent shopper rewards program.

Tank - 37 Gallon All Glass Aquarium 30"x12"x22"
Lighting - Coralife Double T-5 Strip 36W
Substrate - Eco-Complete

At the recommendation of the lfs employee I only bought 2 bags (a total of 40 pounds) of eco-complete. I think I will need at least one more bag. What do you guys think? It seems like what i have now would only give me just over an inch of substrate. I want much more than that.

Tomorrow I will play around with some aquascaping ideas. Actually I don't have any ideas, so if you have any pictures of a nice tall skinny tank show me. I think I will go look at some 55g for inspiration. I don't even know if I want to go with a driftwood or rock hardscape, or none at all and just go jungle with the plants. I will post pictures of my aquascaping ideas.

For now I just have one picture of what I have purchased so far. If you look close you can see the light on top. It is very compact - an awesome looking fixture. I even like the color of the lighting with the pink bulb it comes with. I am not sure how it will look with plants though.

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A Friend of mine recently used 3 bags of eco in a 55g. The results were less than satisfactory. He now has, at most, 2" of substrate. I would say 2 bags will be border line. 3 bags may still not be enough. Also I thought there used to be a substrate calculator here, but I cant find it. If I do find it I'll post it.

here it is:D

Good luck and have fun.
I found this stuff around the house. I figured I wanted to try a basic setup for now, and get more advanced later if I want. Here are a few different scapes. Sorry about not having a background on the tank, I know that may make it difficult to visualize what is going on.

On the driftwood I would do some kind of moss or java fern.
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The last pic will be so cool. Add Java Fern Narrow leaf to the base of the wood. Anubias to the rock. And Taiwan moss on the wood. It will look so sweet.
I got the tank masked and ready for paint today.

I also siliconed the driftwood to the rock.

And here it is in front of the tank. I can't decide which way I like it better. It is hard to see in the pictures, but the wood is not straight. It kind of curves on it's way down. I think I need to use that to create some depth in this narrow tank. The first picture doesn't really use the curve to created depth, but I think the second one does. I just don't think the second one looks as natural for some reason.

Tomorrow it will be painted, and if all goes well, it may be setup. I am going to get two more bags of eco-complete. It will be lightly planted at first because my lfs doesn't have much selection of large plants. I think i'll fill it in through the swap and shop.
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if you can find 3-4 more of them sticks and attach them all to that rock or one other and make a pile of sticks it be cool
might want another light for it as well.

the t5 is bright but you have a deep tank to light
Sorry for the lack of progress pictures, and the quality of the final picture, but today was a busy day.

There are no plants and the only occupants are 4 ghost shrimp. I am going filter-less for now. Tommorow I will get some kind of plants in there, but I would really like to purchase clippings from someone else with a low tech tank, with a little bit of everything they have. I want to try a variety of different things.

My only concern right now is that the wood may not hold up to being under water, and getting plants. It can be really confusing trying to find out what to buy.

I think I want to buy the xp1 canister filter. Do you think that will be enough flow? Also, I want these filter pads. Do the filters come with those, or do you have to buy them seperate.
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I was able to get a picture of two of the occupants enjoying dinner.

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I went and got plants this morning and setup my lighting to run for 10 hours. The tank is a little cloudy, so I think I am going to need some filtration soon. I am just worried that with my already low lighting, cloudy water is really going to cut down on the amount of light I get. If you could identify the tall plant with the big leaves and the plant in both front corners that would be great.

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The wood in the tank seems to be secreting something. I am not sure what it is, but I think the only reason I can see it is because there is absolutely no flow in the tank. My filter gets here on monday - Rena XP1.

What do you think that may be? Also, I see small bubbles coming up to the surface sometimes. Like I may see 1 small bubble a minute. Is that my plants producing o2, or could it just be air trapped in the substrate escaping?
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I got a lot more plants from skewlboy. Thank you very much!

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Glad to see they found a new home...

Where did the lobelia go?
I dont know what that is, but I looked at the picture and I dont think there are any plants in the tank that you can't see in the picture, and I planted everything you sent me so it should be in there somewhere.

Was it the really small clipping(about 2")? If so, it is between the rightmost rock and the center rock. If not, describe it to me and I will see if I can find it.

I am concerned that I wont be able to grow some of this with only 1wpg, so I am thinking of getting another light like I have and running it for only like 3 hours mid-day, along with diy co2. I may just run some diy co2 with the lighting I have.
My concerns about my low light levels have flown out the window. I am seeing growth (albeit slow) in almost everything. It seems like when I added the filter, it really sped up growth, and the ammonia levels in the tank dropped quickly. I am thinking the filter added surface movement, which causes gas exchange. I would think gas exchange would be good in a non-co2 tank, so that is how I explain the sudden growth. Is that correct?

Now my concern is how I should be dosing. You can see in the close-up picture especially that the new growth on the plants is yellow. Is that an iron deficiency? I think I need to look into dosing strategies for low light tanks. I would like to dose no more than once a week, less if possible, but I dont know if that is possible.

Also I added 6 otto cats. They have already started working on the diatoms aka brown algae that was growing on some of my plants. They are quick workers, and I can see that it wont be long until all of the natural supply of food is gone and I have to supplement their diet.

I am considering removing the large piece of wood (and the rock it is attached to) from the tank. You can see in the full tank shot that it has some kind of brown string stuff coming off of it. Also, that rock it is attached to takes up a lot of space that I could grow plants in. What do you guys think of that?

Sorry about the quality of the images. Although I consider myself a decent photographer, and I have a great camera, I just cant get fish tank photography. I am using a canon 350d, so if anyone has a similar camera and has any tips for me that would be awesome.

Edit - I just want to note (mostly for my own future reference) that I started dosing flourish today. I added 2.5ml.
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Here are current pics of my tank. I added 1 normal output fluorescent tube so that runs with my t5's. I added 12 harlequen rasboras and a lot of plants from some generous members.

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So what is the total wattage output now? Your tank is looking very good btw. :)
2x18 watt t5's plus 1x20 watt (I think) t8

The tank in real life is a little yellow for my tastes after I added the extra t8 bulb but in the picture the color looks good.
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