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Lisya's 75G High-tech - 56K Warning - new pics 9/28

6497 Views 22 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  lisya
This is my 2nd attempt at a planted tank. The first one, I'll just call that a learning experience and move on.:hihi:

Here's what it looked like in mid-January:

It was still cycling. Had some tiny SAEs and some cories.

It's a 75G All-glass with Fluval 405, Milwaukee compressed CO2 w/airstone (diffuser/reactor is on my list of things to get), a pair of T5 HO lights, with eco-complete under "natural" rocks and Flora-pride supplements.

I ended up getting a lot of stem plants and a pair of red ruben swords that just took over the top of the tank. I sold those back to the LFS (Aquarium World in Houston - the swords are still floating in their discus tank today).

After several bouts of green water, I installed a Turbo Twist 3X on the outflow of the Fluval. A week after I began running the UV sterilizer, I saw this:

creeping along my substrate. Yuck! I did water changes, two rounds of Maracyn, no luck. I finally went to the LFS (Aquarium World again) for advice. They prescribed removing the carbon (which I had just left in from the original installation, but apparently sometimes old carbon can begin kicking the stuff it absorbed back out into the water) and Chemiclean.

Chemiclean requires turning off the UV sterilizer and 20% water changes every-other-day. I did one more water change before turning the sterilizer back on, and that was today. Not a microbe of cyanobacteria in sight. I will be watching it daily for signs of return.

Taken yesterday:

Denizens include:
1 dwarf gourami
2 SAEs
2 furcata rainbow fish
2 julii cories
2 albino cories
2 bronze cories
2 clown loaches
4 neon tetras
4 glowlight tetras
6 red eye tetras

Flora include:
java moss
java fern
corkscrew val
crypt spiralis
crypt wendtii

Taken today after a minor re-arrange:

One of my juliis actually posed for me:

I do have a question. Several of the anubias' leaves are covered with a black algae. The SAEs are very industrious about eating every form of algae (even some of this black stuff) but they just can't seem to get ahead of it. Any thoughts?

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What kind of airstone are you using...for a few dollars the coralife limewood diffusers work great. You could also try to break off a chop stick and put it in the air line, works much better than a regular air stone. The algae is likely due to inconsistent or insufficient CO2
I'll give that a try. Will pick one up next time I'm in the fish store (probably next weekend). Thanks!
Have you considered changing the substrate to something a little more plant friendly?
I would cut the affected anubias leaves off if the algae doesn't rub off easily. Do you know what the CO2 level is?

Have you considered changing the substrate to something a little more plant friendly?
there's eco-complete under the gravel
Like FSM said, I too would cut the algae leaves off the plant, it will stimulate growth.
I would clean up all the bba i could, up the co2, pack more plants and start some dosing. What kind of lights are you running
Martin: Yeah, there is eco-complete under the gravel, but I'm considering adding additional substrate. Perhaps sand in the non-planted (open-swimming) areas and more eco-complete for the plants.

FSM & Coltonrr: Will do that.

Boink: T5 HO lights that probably need bulb replacement. They've been running since January. Also looking at increasing the amount of plant-growing light.

Right now, the tank is under close observation until I figure out what's going on with the fish (and any thoughts would be helpful). One of the SAEs had a fungus before I went to work Tuesday morning. By the time I got home from work, it was dead. Two hours later, one of the Furcata Rainbows was swimming upside down at the top of the tank (I'm thinking swim bladder problem). It was dead shortly thereafter, but no one else was showing any signs of distress. This morning, the other Furcata was floating, dead. No idea what got him. I haven't seen any signs of aggression in the tank and the parameters are all normal (0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates). The water's been warm (right at 80) so I turned off the UV sterilizer this morning. Hopefully that will bring the temp back down.
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If the fish are new you may just have a bad batch of fish.

And just a heads up: corys do not really school outside their type so you really need to have more of each type of cory to give them some company. Corys should be in groups of 6 at least.
Sand is only going to settle to the bottom of the tank, unless you make clear cut areas. The larger gravel will rise to the top.
t5 bulbs have a much better life span than the old t12s, you shouldn't have to replace them until they are 1 1/2 to 2 years old at least.
I was concerned about two of my neons a few days ago, but everything seems to be stable again. My photoperiod was out-of-whack (something like 14 hours) so I cut it back to 15 minutes at 7 am so I can check the tank before work, then 8 hours in the afternoon.

I pulled the anubias that had the worst BBA and scraped quite a bit of it off into the sink. That was two days ago. Both are showing new growth.

I tested the tank for pH (7.2), iron (test is expired. The scale is purple but my results were yellow), phosphates (0.75 ppm) and nitrates (0 ppm). I think this weekend I will find a new CO2 diffuser and gradually increase the CO2 in the tank, and set-up nitrate/potassium dosing.
Also, I'm looking to add more fish to the tank (not this weekend, no $$, but before the end of the year). What I've got:

6 cories
2 clown loaches
4 neons
4 glowlights
6 red-eyes
1 dwarf gourami

I'd like to add a pair of kribs and maybe more cories. Thoughts?
The husband decided to return his surviving over-aggressive tiger barb yesterday. The LFS had a few German Blue Rams, two of which are now hanging out near the java moss in my tank:

Other changes this weekend:
3 more Corydoras julii
2 more Corydoras aeneus
Background material changed to black foam board
Flourish root tabs placed for subulata, crypts and vals.
Airstone replaced with Lee's wood diffuser.

New FTS:

I've got potassium and nitrogen on order from as well as a selection of plants not available at my LFS. Next up: mesh for the java moss. I think I want it to grow closer to the substrate on the left side.
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Pics to come later...

One of the rams didn't make it. :icon_cry: If I had to guess, the gourami bullied it. The other one likes to give me a lot of heartache by hiding for twelve hours at a time.

In the last week and a half, I've gotten my ferts and plants from I ordered 10 contortionist val; I got 11 :eek:. I also ordered two bundles of A. reineckii and two java ferns v. 'windelov.' The reineckii showed up looking a little droopy, but they perked right up under the lights.

This weekend I declared war on BBA. It's all over the C. wendtii and C. spiralis. It's gaining ground on the subulata, java ferns and A. natans. The anubias are finally sprouting leaves that don't have any on it, but their battle is far from over. I sent CO2 onto the battlefield for all-over cover, and ordered H2O2 to do a surgical strike on affected areas. The photoperiod was ordered to a fall-back position of 8 hours.

This weekend was also a weekend for cheap aquascaping projects. For about $5 I wrapped java moss around a pair of rocks with hairnets, and bound some more around plastic mesh (also covered with hairnets) to make a groundcover effect. I pulled the filter out and cleaned it. When I put it back together, the impeller was rattling. When I tried to pull the impeller cover off to fix it, the darn clip snapped in my hand! :mad: Then the UV sterilizer brackets gave out (I mean, right after the clip snapped, the sterilizer fell).:eek5: Now it's sitting at an angle between the filter and the side of the stand so that the tubes don't kink or build up too much pressure, but Deanzlo's next job is to fix the sterilizer mount (like, today or tomorrow).

My next big project is a CO2 reactor. I'm leaning toward a submersible reactor made out of an old gravel vac, possibly on the filter outflow. That would make my outflow look like Fluval 405 -> UV sterilizer -> DIY reactor -> tank. Would that put too much back flow pressure on the filter? Right now it's got pretty good current, I'm just wary of making it work too hard.

My next aesthetic project is to add drawer/cabinet handles to the stand, and install an organizer system in the bottom. Maybe some kind of hose reel for the python, too.
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Here's a shot of the left-side of the tank with the A. reineckii between some bunches of sunset hygro (and a dwarf gourami who says, "hi!"):

Here's a right-side shot:
I started off with two bunches of windelov on the rock, but one of them just did not want to stay tied down so it's going to hang out on the substrate.

School is in session (original, I know!):

My clowns spend about 23 hours per day hanging out in this rock. Here's one on a rare jaunt out in view:

These are the two, "stars," of my tank:

I swear that ram knows when I've got the camera out and he deliberately hides or swims so fast I can't get a good shot of him...


And one question... This little bugger has the biggest attitude of any fish in my tank. He could probably bully Deanzlo's tiger barbs into a corner. I'm pretty sure he's a C. siamensis, but they're supposed to be pretty peaceful. What do y'all think - is he a false siamensis, or the one-in-a-hundred genuine siamensis with a chip on his shoulder/dorsal fin?
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Your tank is looking nice. There was a thread showing all the variants of these SAEs. Unfortunately I didn't bookmark it.
That is a true 100% SAE. I have heard of other people having some aggression problems with them as well. I had 2 fairly large ones and they never harassed any of the other fish. However though as they got bigger they started eating my fine needle leaved plants so I had to get rid of them.

I feel a bit like a doofus; I put corkscrew val in the background. I'll be moving that forward at some point, then deciding what other background plant I want in its place.

I should qualify about the SAE aggression: he usually does it when there's food involved. When he's just hanging out in the tank, he's pretty quiet.
Personally i would put your reactor and UV on a seperate loop with a powerhead and pre filter...

this will improve your circulation and hence ensure c02 is well distrbuted... and have the benefit of making sure you are getting maximum bang out of your biofilter.

I aim for a minimum of 8 times turnover in all my tanks and never have algae problems...
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