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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I thought I would start a tank journal here. I had previously posted up a video of the beginnings of my 55 gallon set up (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=552546&highlight=). The original plan was to use that (along with a sump/wet dry system) for my first real planted tank. However, I recently came across a 72 gal bowfront and decided that will be my planted tank and the 55 is going to be an african cichlid setup.

So I got the 72 bowfront used, and the plan was for it to replace a 29 gallon community tank I had. The 72 had been neglected for some time (as evidenced by the wall of algae that I initially thought was a painted background!) Got it all cleaned up, and over the course of the next few days I dirted it, capped it with sand and gravel, filled it and planted it.

Let me know what you all think; and does anyone know where I can source a nice canopy for this thing (either pre-built or the plans for one?)

Heres what the 72 bowfront looked liked when I got it:




Here it is after a bit of cleaning:





The old 29 gallon that the 72 will be replacing:



The temporary (running for a few days now) holding tank for what was in that 29:


The 72 bowfront in place (it fits!!), and a little glance at a 20 gallon that is setup next to it:






filled for the first time and planted:












I thought I had a few more photos but they must be on the camera at home. Maybe I'll post up some more if anyone is interested. Obviously its still a work in progress and will likely be ever evolving!
 

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I love it!! I love the bowfront footprint and tank look. very clean and very cool. I like your use of different substrates and slates/wood. cant wait to see it fill in, please keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Its always nice to hear some other people's opinions. I am so far pretty pleased with the overall look of it. Need some fine tuning still.
 

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Please make sure it is properly cycled before you introduce for your fish. I have been reading too many forum topics lately that people are losing fish just because they refuse to have patience.

If you are not wanting to keep the plastic container on the floor for an extended amount of time, you can use Seachem Stability to introduce healthy bacteria to the tank immediately. I have used stability on both reef and planted tanks with impeccable results when space became an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reminder. the plastic container has an aquaclear 50 running on it which is fully cycled and has been running for months now. I plan on either running that filter on this new tank; or swapping the media and everything over into the new tank. I also have various bags of gravel in that tub which I scooped out of the old cycled tank, as well as 2 more bags of aquaclear bio media. All that will be going into the new tank when I add in my fish. I'm hopeful that this will allow the cycle to go much quicker than if I were starting from scratch. Obviously I'll be testing the water parameters and will likely be doing lots of water changes in the beginning!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
So I'm back to update the post and to include some of the basics that I never really posted.

72 gallon bowfront
-2 fluval 404s (one of which has what seems to be the pretty infamous leak/drip from the holes just under the clamps. Can anyone offer some advice on how I can go about fixing that permanently?)
-1 Aquaclear 110
-1 Ehim Jaeger 250 watt heater connected via an atc-300a temperature controller
-48" Finnex planted+ LED

Here are a few more photos of how I set everything up:

Sand around the edges before the dirt:


Dirt in:



Some of the hardscaping:



Filling for the first time:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pHosting.php?do=show&type=f&id=53473&title=IMG_2199c.jpg


Some of the plants:

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I was not thrilled with the output from the Fluval 404s so I made some spray bars for them. I'll try to get some shots of them in the tank later if possible.





Some more shots of the setup and what I've done under the stand. Its still a work in progress:


 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
So I filed all my filters with some seeded media out of my other tanks. Tests showed 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite with nitrate at about 10-20. So I felt confident to put my fish in. From that clear plastic bin in the earlier pictures (which is what used to stock my 29 gallon tank) I put the following into this tank:
-2 german blue rams (1 male 1 female)
-4 neon tetras
-1 black skirt tetra
-1 bosemani rainbow
-2 dwarf neon rainbows
-2 harlequin rasboras
-1 rainbow shark
-1 zebra loach

Everyone seemed to be doing great; but now I cannot locate the male GBR and 1 neon tetra. I fear the worst and assume they're dead; but I cant find them anywhere in the tank! I assume they are hidden somewhere amongst some plants or under a rock or piece of driftwood but havent yet had the time to get in there and dig around. Any advice in that regard?

Also, my plants do not look well at all. I've dosed some Flourish and Flourish excel which has not yet shown any results. It seems that just about every plant in the tank other than the swords, are completed melted and most are sort of disappearing! I know I should not yet expect them to thrive or anything, but how much melting should be expected in a new setup and how long should I wait until I start to worry and/or remove some species of plants?

Here are a few shots from today:



 
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