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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I've had aquariums for about 38years now, but for the last 25 I've been all about SW, and reefs for the last 5 yrs, and this is my first planted.
Like many, I've come into this a little reckless and random, so I decided to join this sight for advice, photo log/documentation, and hopefully less headaches!
Any opinions/guidance appreciated
Tank is 75g, w/ 4xT5 lights(nova) and Fluval 304 and eco-complete sub.
No C02 as of yet, that may change.
I had this running about 6mo w/ a mixed substrate that didn't look appealing, so just switched to the eco yesterday.
This is tank today, still a lil cloudy.

 

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Congratulations, that tank looks damn good for a first, and especially knowing that it's been alive for 6 months! Good job! That's one nice, low-tech tank, and it just goes to show that you don't need CO2 for a nice looking tank.

Just a little constructive criticism, now... I think the hardscape could use a little rearranging. Right now you almost have the rocks on the left and the wood on the right looking a little too symmetrical. They are almost identically placed on their respective sides of the tank. I think you should try to incorporate the rocks into the driftwood layout, and then place it all a little off-center (in the way that people who follow the "golden ratio" do it).

Still, great job, and it looks fine the way it is. The fish look happy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, need to read up on golden ratio.
The plants you see there are about a quarter of what I actually have, thinned way down, that Val grows like crazy.
Only issues are a recent slight bloom of what looks like some hair algae, but not so bad I can't pick out manually.
I'll be adding otto's to help w/ that, maybe a dwarf pleco(emporer, starrynight, maybe queen though I'm not sure if thats a dwarf)
Does flow affect algae issues, and is a 304 enough for a 75g?
Also, having 4x54w T5's for light, would that be considered med or heavy light?
 

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Oh, wow, I missed that before. You have high light, and you really should have a CO2 setup for that.

Does it have 2 banks, where you can turn off 2 lamps and keep the others on? If not, I think you might eventually have a bad algae problem over time. I really can't say for sure. Amano shrimp might help out with the hair algae, but otos tend to gravitate toward the brown diatoms. But there's lots of other kinds that no one's gonna eat, and it will look nasty. :(

As far as your filtration, I don't know much about Fluval canisters, so I can't speak on that.

Seriously, get yourself a CO2 setup. Green Leaf Aquariums (a site sponsor) has awesome, low-cost kits that include the tank. And you definitely have at least one business in town that'll fill it for you. It's the best investment you'll ever make, seriously.

And while you're at it, don't forget to order some ferts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, it has 2 seperate switches, but seems low lit on just 2 bulbs(though I'm used to my heavy lit reefs)
I originally set this up as low maint, since my reefs are a bit involved, but I'm starting to think I may have to adjust my plan.
My sub is eco, 2-5" deep, and I use flourish excel, and API leafzone.
I also have vortech mp10 that I could add for more flow if needed.
 

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Okay, just use the 2 bulbs for now until you get CO2. Trust me on that one! I'm sure other people will chime in and agree. I came from reef tanks, too, so I understand what you mean when you say it seems dimly lit. But dude, 108w of high output T5 lighting is already putting you up in the lowish-medium light category. 216w is just waaaay too much for a non-CO2 tank.

It's perfect for a CO2 injected tank, though! ;)
 

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Nice tank! Love the jungle vals.

I agree that you're going to have algae trouble with that much light...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lol, oh boy, this tank is going to suck me in, I can see it now!
Nothing like gear suggestions in these addictive hobbies, and I'm weak to resist.
So, I shut off one bank last night, and after a bit got used to lower light.
I just need to switch bulbs around.
I'm using Currents FW bulbs, 2x daylight, and 2x pink.
I think 1x pink and 1x day will appease me.
When I get C02, I'll hit both back on maybe.
So, in listening to Church's advice, how would you go about shifting scape a lil while all is wet and running, and what would you suggest?
I could just add a couple small rocks by driftwood, but I'm trying not to be too cluttered as well.
Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK, so a slight update, I moved/added a couple small rocks to balance things out a lil, still not sure if I'm happy w/ this, may add a small rock ledge in center(mainly for my new pleco) or may redo alltogether, and place all to the right, and open on left.
Thoughts?
Also, I did drop to just 2 bulbs on my 4x T5, and added a fluval 405.
Oh, and here's my new peppermint pleco too.







 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, I have 2 variations of micro sword in there still in baskets, trying to decide if I'm sticking w/ this layout before I plant them.
I just saw a similar layout that did look real nice w/ a little more color(some red) and foreground growth, so I may stick w/ this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, I am liking the black and green for now, but I'm hoping the black will disappear w/ plant growth, so I expect the need for some color contrast.
I just got back from rock hunting, found a couple nice pieces, so I'm going to change this a little, and see if I can make this flow w/out tearing it all apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK, I think I'm happy w/ this.
Feel free to give comments/opinions



 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, couple small changes, added some reds.
Water still hasn't cleared up since scape change, but getting there.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks, think I'm finally happy w/ the scape enough that now I just need to sit back and let it grow out...I hope!
That val has been doing well before and after swap, hopefully it stays that way, and hopefully the plants I have now do OK w/out C02, but I am considering adding it not too far down the road.
 

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wow cool tank! hey i noticed that you placed it right infront of the windows. i used to have my tank infront of windows as well and i got like huge algae blooms. does it ever happen to you? even though you have blinds.
 
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