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New World 90gal Low Tech- a Pictoral Journey! 11/11- planned teardown!

122937 Views 1059 Replies 115 Participants Last post by  Karackle
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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Laura maybe the bees thought your new substrate was so "sweet looking" they had to take a closer look ! That should look nice in the tank.

I hope you have better luck with the hatchets then I did. One by one they thought the grass was greener on the other side and dove for it. :icon_cry:
I have always run open top tanks so they were not a good choice and I learned the hard way.

I cant wait to see ya get it up and running and see how it works with the new substrate...
 

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Great to see your tank finally progressing along Laura!

I have learned a lot from your posts and will continue to learn more from this journal.

Hmm those actinics would be okay for viewing purposes. It's also good as you know you always have the option of going high light!

How big is the tank anyway? Footprint and gallons?

Keep updated because I'm subscribing!
 

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Also those clown loaches might wreak havoc to your plants. I know this guy with a half dozen clown loaches in a 90g, he tried to make it planted but every single plant got annihiliated by those fish. So be careful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Sea- if you go to your User Profile you can change your setting to view more posts on one page; sure makes reading long threads faster! :)

James- good thing she's got bad aim? :icon_eek: lol

Buck- I'm quite happy with the bees OUTSIDE, lol

Dekstr- The tank is a standard 90gal AGA; 48"L x 18"W x 25"H I'm nervous about the Clowns loaches, as well... they'll probably go in last, after the plants have had plenty of time to root and establish. I'm hoping they just play in the gravel "river" that won't be planted?
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Layering down the substrate:

I poured in a small bucket of established tank mulm mixed with a few handfulls of Sphagnum moss (peat)



Next I put down a layer of Colorquartz to hold all the mulm and peat in place so I could lay the rest of the substrate without the mulm mixture all getting pushed into one corner of the tank (it worked really well!) I used a garden trowel to lay down one trowelfull at a time. Used about 1/2 the Colorquartz (25 lbs)



Next I sprinkled over just a few more handfulls of peat:


Then I laid down my gravel "river"



Then I laid down the rest of the CQ mixed in with the Fluorite black sand:


And finally capped the planted area with the regular Fluorite black:


And here's a FTS with the stand and light fixture:


SOOO tomorrow I get to design my Manzanita 'scape, figure out how to fill this beast with water, and hopefully start planting what plants I have!!
 

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Laura Lee -

That is one of the most detailed substrate executions that I have ever seen. :)

One thing I would be highly interested in is someone snapping a picture of you putting some plants in there. I have been torn between a 75 and a 90, but I don't have too much perspective on how much more difficult it would be to plant and maintain a 90.

I am interested to see how your tank starts and progresses. Its looking good so far. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 · (Edited)
Fish- the Manzanita is from Badcopno.. in the S&S here on the forum :thumbsup:

Biscuit- I definitely have to use a stepladder and do some serious stretching to reach the bottom of this tank with my little 5'4" self! LOL My 6"1" husband doesn't have any problem, though. For me, it's jus another reason I really hope this tank is low-maintenance. :)

With mostly swords in the long run (I anticipate I'll eventually only keep one stem plant once everything gets established) I'm hoping my hands won't need to go in there all that often? I'll have to see if I can twist my hubby's arm more to take some pics of me planting :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 · (Edited)
INITIAL PLANTING BEGINS:



The plan:

Echinodorus tenellus will surround the driftwood. A carpet of E. tenellus 'narrow' will be planted along the front and run up to the "river."

Twisty E. angustifolius 'vesuvius' will grow up among the driftwood, just in front of "regular" E. angustifolius, which will be in the back right corner of the tank. A total of three E. africanus will be planted to either side of the "stump."

Bacopa caroliniana will be a backdrop across the other 1/2 of the tank (where the Cabomba is currently) and Blood stargrass (Didiplis diandra) and Stargrass (Heteranthera zosterifolia) will go in front (eventually the one stem that does best will probably become the only stem plant in the tank; I'm guessing this will be Bacopa?)

A specimen Echinodorus 'Kleiner bar' will go in front of the "broken limb" and become the focal point of the tank. The "riverbank" will probably be lined with either E. parviflorus 'Tropica' or Hydrocotyle?

Current plants (too bad my photography skills are so lousy! My apologies!): Cabomba furcata, Echinodorus tenellus, E. angustifolius 'vesuvius'







These shots were taken IMMEDIATELY after planting- NO CLOUDY WATER! (All I did was scrape the bubbles off the tank walls.) Drying the substrate before putting it in the tank makes a BIG difference- I didn't cloud the water at all throughout filling the tank or planting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Hmmm looking at the FTS I'm not sure I like the placement of that "broken limb;" the piece sticking up is to centered in the tank? I might play with that some tomorrow... it doesn't look quite so prominent in real life, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Yep the Cabomba furcata will either end up a floating plant or go away all together... it's there now just to be a nutrient hog, and it's planted to make sure it gets some light and keep it out of my way. I still need to set up the filter LOL

I'm going to throw in some MTS, and I'm debating which fish from my other tanks to move over tonight to keep the cycle going...
 
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