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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 55G was an epic failure. The unfortunate uprising on a piece of driftwood and the subsequent and unfortunate polluting of the water column afterwards prompted me to tear the tank down. I have moved all flora over to my 75G.

I am running a 48in shop lamp with 2 32 watt 6700K fluorescents. Filtration is an aquaclear powerhead with an ati sponge pre-filter. Substrate is yard dirt and el-cheapo no ferts potting soil mixed together. O+ was down under the soil. The cap is fine white sand. I think it looks nice just needs to fill out some. .

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update time. A lot has happened since I set this up most of it good! I am very pleased with this tank except for a few things. I will start with the less than optimum and go to the good stuff.

The not so good:
To start with I will never use white sand in a planted tank again unless ever square inch of sand is covered, or going to be covered, with plants. Like most new planted tanks, from what I am reading, had an outbreak of brown algae. No problem except it turned the top of my sand brown. With the plants setup trying to turn the sand over is kind of tedious. What I am going to do soon is add more sand over the top since I have plenty of it. Any substrates or caps I use going forward will be dark unless I have a specific reason to use white.

My Vesuvius sword totally melted. I took and split a runner from my 10 and planted those. I thought that a lack of nutrients might be the issue since they are planted on an edge where t is all sand. I placed thre O+ filled gel caps along that edge of the tank about 1 1/2 weeks ago and they are coming out of it somewhat but I am still disappointed in the way they look. Hopefully they get to growing and fill out some.

I have a little cyano along the front edge of the tank between the sand and the glass. That area gets well lit in the morning when the sun is rising unless it is cloudy. I fought cyano in that tank when I had cichlids in it. I am using the same type of substrate/cap as I had with the cichlids and I really think it is playing a role coupled with the strong light hitting it in the morning. The sand is a fine silica blasting sand and I am somewhat convinced though not totally sure that the silicates are part of the reason for the cyano.

I have some hair/stringy algae but not much. I also have a little algae on my plants that looks like the thread they use in stiches. Kind of like little black hairs on the leaves. It isnt a serious issue but it is unsightly. I am not doing to much to combat it at this point as I am going to try reducing the nutrients in the water to combat it. More on that in a bit.

The good stuff
I added am hob filter filled with red lava rock on the back. I planted 4 pothos in the planter and they are growing like crazy. I am using these as a nitrogen sink as this tank has really high nitrates. I hope this and plant growth in my tank knocks out my algae problem.

My stems on the left side of the tank are growing great. I topped several of them that were getting tall and planted the tops in the same area to help fill out that side of the tank. I will see how the planted trimmings do.

My Amazon swords have doubled or more in size. They arent as dark green over the whole plant, some of the leaves are lighter I dont want to say yellow but not as dark. They look decent and are growing like crazy.

I have 3 anubias and they are there. They arent really growing but they arent dying either. they do have some algae on them.

The two Java Ferns I have are alive. They both have new leaves but nothing spectacular.

The mosses have to be trimmed bi-weekly they are growing well. I had a very small piece of fissidens and it is growing.

The crypts are there. I have some growth but nothing mind blowing yet. I look forward to these filling out.

I bought nine oto 3 weeks ago and they are all fat, and I mean fat but not ill fat, and happy. So far none have died. They seem to be thriving, active, and feeding. Very cool little fish that I really enjoy.

I added 3 nerites to the tank and who knows about them they seem to be hidden a lot. I can tell where they have come out of the sand as there will be a half dollar section of bright white sand where they broke the surface. All the other snails are thriving as well.

I added 14 or 15 Espei to the tank last night. So far so good but a night doesnt matter. These are active little guys so far that use up my whole 75g. I am going to enjoy these fish.

What to do next
I am buying 12 checker barbs after the holidays. I am also going to buy a handfull of kuhli loaches if I can find some with the quality I have in my other fish. My oto, espei, and nerites came from msjinkzd and I want the same quality in the kuhlis that I have in the others. I cant recommend msjinkzd enough. I also am looking at stocking a couple of gouramis as 'center piece' fish. I am looking at the giant/branded gouramis. If you have input on that selection getting along with the other fauna I mentioned that would be great.

I am going to mod my filter. The filter is a Magnum 350 which I like but I need to improve a few things. One is flow and the other is water polishing. I will be creating a new thread either in diy or equipment about the mods I want to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't updated this journal in a while so I thought I would do that and upload a few new pics.

I have added 9 oto, one of which died about a month in. The rest seem to be thriving. They were out all the time until I added 15 espei rasbora and now they only come out at night.

I added the 15 espei and they promptly cleaned the tank of nematodes. They are an interesting little fish to watch. The filter on this tank is a magnum 350 and it generates a nice little current. The espei will swim into the outflow and let it fling them across the tank. Sometimes it will only be a few but a lot of times the whole school will join in on the fun.

I also added some cherry shrimp from my 10g. With the what used to be white sand the male shrimp have basically turned clear and the females look mottled. They are thriving and swimming all over the place. Several of the females are berried. It remains to be seen how many of the baby shrimp will survive the espei.

Here is an over view pic of the tank.



Compared to this first pic you can see it has grown out nicely. I have a nice carpet of dwarf sag going. The crypts are growing nicely. The amazon swords are growing, one in particular is doing very well. The vesuvius sword has no dirt under them and they about died. Every one of the vesuvius sword had turned brown and the blades had collapsed. I added 3 O+ gel caps near them and they have bounced back. One has a runner with 2 or 3 new plants on it.

The bad:
I have bba on my wood and the moss that is attached to the wood that is closest to the light. The biggest amazon sword has some bba on one leaf that is close to the light.

Fine moss trimmings have ended up in my sag carpet and look a little unsightly.

More pics:

Can someone i.d this plant?


I think this is bacopa carolina?


Amazon sword. You can see the bba on one leaf. I am going to do my water change tomorrow and take some excel to it. The oto hang around back there and I had just tossed a wafer in for them that ended up in this pic.



Some crypts


Recovered vesuvius sword (one of my favorite plants). You can see a runner towards the back.


Dwarf sag and java fern. The area looks like a mess. The area has a lot of fine moss pieces. Trying to vacuum it is a pain because of the shrimp.


Anubias. I believe a nana and a petite. Please correct me if I am wrong.


Another shot of my stem plants


Well thats my 75 as it sits. Thanks for looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks @burr740. I was thinking the plant is Ludwigia repens but I wasnt 100% positive. I have a few issues to work out but I am happy with the growth and my fish are doing well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
75G - Rescaped

I was just not happy with my 75. I couldnt keep the sand white as I havent the time to properly care for it. One amazing thing. I had shrimp in this tank and I moved as many as I could back over to my shrimp tank. I removed all of my plants and put them in a 5 gallon bucket of water. The bucket was in a room that is cold, 60 degrees or so. When I replanted everything I will be dog gone if I dont have a cherry shrimp swimming around. That shrimp survived 3 days in a 60 degree bucket of water with no air air or circulation of any kind. Pretty amazing I think. I have some more dwarf sag to add, that stuff grows good and I had a lot more than I figured I did, and I have some alternanthera reineckii roseafolia tops to add yet. Here she is and in my opinion looks 10 times better.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That is straight potting soil capped with 30/60 black diamond blasting sand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thought I would post an update. I installed a home built water polisher that contains floss and purigen. Works well. Here is a pic:

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Immortal1 and @Jeff5614 Thanks for the response and compliments. I dose glut every day, root tabs every few months (o+ in gel caps) other than that no ferts. No fancy lighting. I have been lucky and the tank has a balance. I do water changes of around 30% every week or two. I wish I was more artistic and could come up with that fancy layout every one oohs over lol. But hey I will take the growth and healthy eco system any day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You don't need fancy aquascaping to get oohs and aahs. I think it's beautiful. But could use a little more red ;)
Thanks. I keep topping the roseafolia and planting new. It has more now than it did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

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I wish I was more artistic and could come up with that fancy layout every one oohs over lol. But hey I will take the growth and healthy eco system any day.
After the dwarf sag fills in the front I'll be oohing and ahhing over this tank. This is my kind of tank! I love the densely planted, low tech, tanks. Probably because that's what I have done and am doing with my tank, but whatever; I'm biased. I like the tank more than the ones with the so called 'fancy' layouts.
 
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