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Fresh Fish Freak
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, the time has FINALLY come, I start the final setup tonight, and hope to start planting by this weekend. I started working on this tank back in January, believe it or not- and it has become quite a project! This is going to be a VERY abbreviated pictoral journal- if you want to read through the whole thing, see the link in my Sig. There will be lots of posts at first to bring it all up to speed...

I started this with a $500 budget, and so Tank #1 was a major fixer-upper:







After some time, lots of elbow grease (involving vinegar, CLR and acetone), removing the background and refinishing the canopy and stand, I ended up with this:





Which I then promptly sold!!! Honestly, I only broke even on the deal, but I learned so much reasearching in the meantime that I was able to replace what I had with better equipment for about the same money.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Tank #2 came from Tpt's own Forddna, it has sat here in my office next to me for the last century, it seems...:



The stand came from Drs.F&S, and will be assembled (hopefully) by tonight.

I'm VERY happy with my new light fixture; for only $40 more I upgraded from an Odyssea 260w PC (it went with the old tank) to this Solar T5HO with individual reflectors and moonlights:





There are currently 2 actinic bulbs and 2 10k bulbs, which I'm calculating will give me 108 watts of T5HO 10k lighting for the plants. Remember, this is a low tech tank! I'm going to start with 8 hours of 10k, run the actinics during the rest of the day for my own viewing pleasure, and then moonlights at night. This tank is in my home office, and since I work from home (spending a lot of time in my office!) I want to be able to view the fish all the time.

For filtration I'll pair a Rena Filstar XP2 with an HOB filter; first an Emperor 400 (used) though I'll likely upgrade in a little while to a new Aquaclear.

I plan on using a heater for the first time in probably 15 years... I got a Hydor 300watt inline, and will start with about 80 degrees for the tank. If/when I get discus I'll bump it up to 82/83.

Substrate issues sparked a huge amount of research for me. I originally was going to use EcoComplete, but after purchase learned that Eco has a tendency to raise and buffer pH and hardness. As this tank may house discus in the near future, I took it back and traded for Fluorite black and Fluorite black sand. My entire substrate plan:
-bottom layer of peat mixed with established tank mulm
-mixture of 2 bags Fluorite black, 4 bags Fluorite black sand, + 50lbs black Colorquartz T grade
-35lbs of black gravel for an unplanted "river" (I HATE white sand! LOL)

I'm going to see how this tank does with no fert dosing. Instead I'll be using WonderGro fert tabs (from TPT's own Orlando).
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OMG I cannot wait to see this tank up and running. What ar you going to do plant wise?
Lots and lots of swords- I'm totally infatuated with them!!

Echinodorus tenellus and E. tenellus 'narrow' will be the carpet. An E. "Kleiner bar" will be my Specimen plant. I have a new species, E. africanus on order that should come in next week. I have some E. angustifolius 'vesuvius' floating in my 10gal ATM waiting. I also want to try E. parvaflorus 'tropica,' though I hear that they may need additional lighting. I keep going back and forth whether I want Jungle vals, V. nana, or E. angustifolius in the background... I may also go for some Rubins and/or Indian Reds.

For stems I have Cabomba floating in another tank ATM, Bacopa carolinia and Blood Stargrass (Didiplis diandra) on the way next week.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
You would ask... LOL :icon_mrgr

These are pics I've collected from various places for inspiration:

Echinodorus angustifolius 'vesuvius'


Vallisneria nana:


OR

E. angustifolius:


E. tenellus 'narrow' (carpet plant, these are some of the actual plants since this is my 10gal I will be pulling from, that cory cat (Corydoras schwartzii) will go over, too ;) )


E. 'Indian red'


E. 'Kleiner bar'


E. parviflorus 'tropica'


E. 'Red Rubin'


Oh yeah - Frontinalis antipyretica (Willow moss) will go on the Manzanita driftwood


Didiplis diandra (Blood stargrass)


Bacopa caroliniana


Cabomba furcata (on the left)


This tank has the only pics of E. africanus I can locate ATM, they're in the back (I'm buying them from this owner, I REALLY like this tank :D ):
 

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:drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool:

I am so subscribing to this thread now lol. And of course I would ask :). Let me know how that Didiplis diandra does. I heard it needs high light.

BTW I would go with the Echinodrous angustifolia over Vals. Keep it in the Echino Family(Yes I too have an unnatural infatuation with Sword Plants aswell lol)!
 

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Experiment with it.....thats always fun! I just read about your gravel desicion. You are using flourite black and black sand as the main substrate right? Then you are going to have a black gravel river stream thing :confused:. Are they different shades or is the work you put into it going to be worthless?

Also is this going to be a biotope or something down those lines. Maybe I missed it(doing homework and this at one time lol).
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
wait, willow moss isn't SA, is it?
Nope it's a New World themed tank, not a straight up biotope. There are some plants included from the USA (aka willow moss), plus some that are cultivars. I'll also have Amano and RCS, LOL

James, I'm not looking for contrast with my river, just with the totally gravel portion there should be no or minimal plant growth... this strategy worked pretty well for me in the past when I had a pea gravel "river" surrounded by regular Fluorite...
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I hope it ends up low-maintenance, Eyebeat! Not sure what bulbs you were referring to, though, and swords don't grow from bulbs? I'm going to try and get away without dosing the water column at all, just stick with fert tabs; we'll see how it goes.

Here's my stocking plan ATM:

10 Amano shrimp Caridina japonica
10 Red cherry shrimp Neocaridina denticulata sinensis
10 Oto cats Otocinclus affinis
10 Cory cats Corydoras trilineatus
2 6" Clown loaches Chromobotia macracanthus
1 Clown pleco Panaque maccu
50 Cardinal tetras Paracheirodon axelrodi
20 Rummy-nose tetras Hemigrammus bleheri
12 Colombian tetras Hyphessobrycon columbianus
12 Dwarf silver hatchets Carnegiella schereri

Amano shrimp


Red cherry shrimp
http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj72/lauraleellbp/NeocaridinadenticulatasinensisvarRe.jpg

Oto cats


Cory cats


Clown loaches (these are the 2 that are moving up in the world from my 46gal)


Clown pleco


Cardinal tetras


Rummy-nosed tetras


Colombian tetras


Dwarf silver hatchets
 
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