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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I'm new to this forum but have been on a few others. I'm currently working on a 30 gallon high tech planted tank and wanted to share some pictures of its progress as well as get some feedback and suggestions. Here's some tank info before the pictures:

Fish- 8 assorted Danios, 12 Neon Tetra, 2 Otto Cats, 2 Red Flame Gouramis

Plants- H. Difformis (Wisteria), Echinodorus Argentinensis (Argentine Sword), Microsorum Pteropus (Java Fern), Rotala "Indica", and some java moss that is starting to come back on the driftwood (survived a dry spell as the wood was moved from another tank)

Filtration- Eheim 2013 and an AC 50

Lighting- 2 Spiral CLF 5000K 150 watt equivelent (I know I need to upgrade, any cost effective suggestions?)

Ferts- Osmocote root tabs, dry water column dosing per EI regimen

Co2- Pressurized, 20 lb tank diffused through an external needlewheel modded rio powerhead.

And now for the pics

First plants added, didnt like the Rotala spread out so I changed it when I added more plants. Note the round leaves and compare to how they look in later photos. This was around Sep. 1st


Rest of the plants added Sep. 14. (not quite dosing enough Co2, notice the DC)


Thats the rio. Co2 goes in the grey section and has a chopstick jammed on the tube to make smaller bubbles before the pump.


20 pounder :)


Happy sword, pearling away (this was Sep. 21, before ferts)


A good bit of new growth on the swords and wisteria



Even the Wisteria was pearling before ferts



Is this Anubias Nana?



Otto cleaning up some of the HUGE diatom bloom


Mystery plant looking much healthier, this was after a few days of adding root tabs, one day after starting EI dosing and adding the Otto's





A shot of the whole tank as it sits tonight.



A side shot of the tank, you can see how much the Wisteria has rooted and grown


So what do you all think?

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, its coming along nicley. Hopefully the rotala will reach the top soon so I can trim it and continue planting it along the back.
 

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Nice tank, Matt. I have one just like it. I'm using a Quiet One 1200 (325 gph (yea right)) closed loop CO2 system. It goes into a Cerges reactor then to an inverted L shaped spraybar that runs down the right corner of the tank, and across the top of the water to the front. It certainly puts the DC to yellow. I don't have pix but I will put some up soon.

I've been using three 8.5" clamp lamps (without the clamps - just by the cords) suspended from black pvc pipe and decorative chain over the tank, which is open to the air. I use 13w 6500K bulbs in them, which actually might be a little too much light. I'm going to replace those with Zoo Med (Flukers) deep recess lamps when I have the coin. The generic clamp lamps are shallow for CFLs and bleed light into the room more than I like.

Anyway, that diatom bloom indicates to me that your tank is relatively new. Ottos will clean that up promptly.

Welcome to the forum. Great bunch of people here, and you will learn a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Moose,
Yes the tank is new, started around sep 1st. So do you think I should look into a different light setup, or will this be adequate?

Matt
 

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Ok. I finally got around to taking a few shots of my tank. I had to borrow my niece's camera because all of mine went to college with my kids. Dang kids..

Amano conducts works of art. I conduct controlled chaos. While he seeks meticulous harmony in his tanks, I tend towards recreating the farm pond. With that said:





I will replace those clamp lamps with the Zoo Meds soon. The suspended lights work really well for me. I have three 13 watt 6500K generic Lowes lamps in them.

Cerges reactor and CFS 500:





Plecostam00se: :)



Brittany the cherry barb thinks she's a bass:



It would seem that those spray bars are very visible inside the tank. The reality is that the angle I shot those pix at accentuates their visibility. At normal viewing angles they can't be seen. The bar on the far right is part of an L shaped arrangement that is the output of my CO2 reactor. Intakes are behind that mass of wisteria in the left back corner.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I love the jungle look! Your tank is almost exactly what I would like to achieve. While I like the amano fields and perfectly scaped look.. it isn't practical for me. My girlfriend would kill me if I spent any more time on the fish tank haha. How often do you trim your wisteria? I'm thinking of trimming mine down about 3-4 inches and replanting the cuttings down in front of it to hide the leggy stems. I think that would look great, but I dont want to cut it too soon. Any ideas?

Really your tank looks awesome, have a list of plants that are in there?

Matt
 

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It definitely looks better with the background changed and more plants, but IMO it is way to crowded in the front, though that seems to be what you're going for.

Basically, it looks like you've got the tank backwards. What we see as the front should be the back and what's in the back...I have no idea because we can't see it....should be in the front.
 

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Thanks Matt and JR. Yes it does appear that the foreground and background are out of balance in those pix. The reason is because I had been battling a BBA problem and took all of the plants out of the tank and H2O2'd them. The valisneria on the right rear used to be much thicker and spread over that side of the tank and over-arched the top side of the tank as valisneria are wont to do. The center plant, roseafolia, didn't like the bath so much, and I lost 90% of it. I plan to leave it as is and let the plant recover. In the meantime it does kind of look like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Tank, doesn't it? It's not quite so dramatic in real life. Pictures are very unforgiving.

Matt, wisteria will grow in just about anything, and I believe it's indestructible. You could take the smallest clipping and plunge it into the substrate and it would root. Don't be shy. That wisteria you see in my pix was a $1.50 bunch I bought from Petsmart 5 months ago that I've cloned it 10 times since then, and I've probably thrown out a solid gallon's worth of it.

Two things I took away from the H2O2 experiment: Valisneria really doesn't like it. It melted almost all of it and I've patiently waited for it to bounce back. Two months in, and now it's looking much better. Also, wisteria gets brittle. I mean "try and pick me up and watch me break into 10,000 little pieces" brittle. While I didn't see any real die-off on them, they did take a month or so to recover enough to start growing again. That mass of weeds you see on the left is actually wisteria that was so weak that I couldn't plant it, so I left it there, it grew, and I like it so much it stays. The fish and snails love it, so it's a win IMO.

The tank was set up in April of this year with the plants and substrate (Flourite) coming out of a desktop 12 gallon Eclipse I started with. I tried to manage with DIY CO2 for 2 months or so, but quickly realized it wasn't cutting it. In that period I developed all kinds of algae (BGA - hair - BBA) so my effort was primarily to get that under control, and the only way I saw fit to do so was via the admittedly extreme full strength H2O2 treatment. As a result of that treatment and the addition of pressurized CO2, I have nipped the algae problem at least for now. I dose dry with the macros and Flourish Comprehensive.

:)
 

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Oh, and that pesky background!!! I didn't realize until after I took those shots that moisture had gotten between that plastic film background stuff they sell at Petsmart. It works well but if the slightest bit of water gets between it and the glass, it will wick it.

Unfortunately by the time I caught that my niece had her 800 thousand dollar Canon SLR back (yes I'm exaggerating - no, it may as well be that expensive the way she covets it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks nonconductive- I found that on the shore of a local lake, I wish I could find another like that!

And moose thanks alot for the info, I'll get hacking and post a picture of the result!
 

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I would like to learn more about your Rio set up. I thought about going the skimmer impeller route before I settled on the cerges format, but honestly I'm not happy with the Quiet One pump. I get a 3 degree temp rise in the water from it, and it puts me into the 78-80F range. I want to reduce that to 74-76F if I can. My apartment temperature is regulated from outside of my control and is set year round for 74F. This is good and bad. With just the CFS 500 it sits at 76F, which is perfect. So, I'm wondering what you see temperature-wise with the Rio? Any insight?

I think eventually I might go back and try the CO2 into the CFS 500 intake again. I had it set up that way when I first got the pressurized system, but I didn't have a drop checker so I don't know how well it was mixing the CO2. As canisters go, the CFS is great for this because the pump is in the bottom of the can, so no airlock can happen. I'm just concerned I might not get the results with it. Heck, I might just experiment and try it anyway!

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Right now I'm actually having trouble getting temps down, But I think that's due to the glass top and having the lights sit right on top with no venting. If I lift the lights about 3 inches the temp will go down to about 78. My heater hasn't kicked on once since I set the tank up.... I do like the rio set up a lot though, since it makes very fine bubbles and they are sprayed throughout the tank. They get a long time to dissolve as they are so fine, and float around forever. I like the misting look, some don't though. Basically I have one intake, back right, that feeds a pvc manifold. This has valves to shut off each intake, one for the eheim, and one for the rio. The intake that goes to the rio had a hole drilled in a piece of pipe that the co2 tube goes into, and the I shoved a chopstick in the end to make small bubbles before the pump. The rio impeller is snipped to make extra blades to help with chopping. Below is a picture of tim barr's modded impeller:


It is then plumbed back up to the tank and lets out through the flat nozzle on the top left. They pump and co2 solenoid are on the same timer and come on an hour and a half before the lights, and shut down an hour before lights out.

Any pictures you want I can get them when I take some of the wisteria. I cut it and replanted it towards the back, with the cuttings in front. Looks much more natural now, but wow there were alot of roots under there!
 

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Thanks Matt. This always made me curious whether the output was higher/lower/the same as the unmodified impeller. Then I was musing over the idea of using a venturi of some kind (Mazzei-style or other (cheaper) type) to mince the bubbles. All intruiging!

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think the output is slightly slower, but I am not sure since I bought the co2 tank, reg, and pump from someone who was already using that type of setup. Still though, it has a ton of flow
 
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