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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after about a 7 year hiatus from serious planted tank keeping I finally have the time and energy to get back into it. I've managed to keep up 2 low tech 10 gallons through multiple moves and have a decent supply of plants to help stock the new tank. I've had a new 75 gallon sitting in the garage for nearly 3 months and have finally gotten around to building the canopy. Been lurking on the forum again and still trying to decide what to plant/stock the tank with, but I'll have plenty of time to decide on that. I've done the high light, pressurized CO2 tanks in the past and I don't want to deal with the maintenance so I'm going for a lower maintenance non-pressurized CO2 setup. I'm apparently stuck in the past and will be using T5HO, but maybe I'll convert to LED sometime in the future. Luckily I grabbed a couple of AH Supply's T5HO kits in December and just found out they will be discontinuing them if they haven't already.

Current equipment:
Filstar XP-M and Marineland Magniflow 220 (loved my C220 so I'm curious to see how the new model is)
Two AHSupply 54 watt T5HO with individual ballasts
6-7 gallons of aquariumplants.com substrate
Partially built canopy

Just a few pictures of my canopy progress. Need to add some trim and stain, but I'll wait until I've built the stand to finish them both together. Also a shot of one of my ten gallons that is badly overgrown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
7 months later and I finally have the tank up and running. This was my first major woodworking project and it was fun, even though it took forever to finish. Planted the tank today with half the plants from one of my overgrown 10 gallons (ludwigia repens, anubias, crypts, some java moss, and some snails). It's not pretty, but we'll see how it grows in. Plan is to grab some more fast growing stems this weekend and let the tank settle in before rescaping and adding plants I'd prefer in the future.

Progress over the past 7 months






 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
2 week update: Plants are doing well, added watersprite, ludwigia ovalis, and dwarf sagittaria. The silent cycle did not work out as planned unfortunately. Had 2 false julii corys and 2 otos in the tank for a week and ammonia was stable at or less than 1ppm (dosing prime to bind), 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate. As everything was growing and looking good I added 12 zebra danios and 3 more false julii corys a week later. I mistakenly assumed this was a low enough bioload for a 75 gallon and now my nitrites are spiking so I've been doing daily water changes, dosing extra prime, and just added some nitrazorb to one of the filters today. Figured I'd also add Stability as it won't hurt at this point and we'll see if the tank can finish cycling a little sooner. Next time I'll likely forgo the silent cycle attempt and stay patient with the fishless cycle. Lesson learned. I'm thinking either I did not have enough fast growers or that I'd need CO2 to boost plant growth enough to successfully complete a silent cycle.


 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
1 month update: Things have grown in well and are needing another trim today. Nitrites disappeared in ~5 days thankfully and all the fish survived my impatience. Nitrates are running at zero which I'm hoping is because the plants are utilizing it and not because the nitrazorb is still active (never re-activated it and it's been in 2 weeks now). I'll remove it next time that filter needs to be cleaned. I've had a large piece of driftwood soaking submerged for a month now waiting to go in front of the stems on the right and it still floats. May end up giving up on it
Currently dosing Flourish Excel daily with K, PO4, Iron, and "Comprehensive" twice weekly. Photoperiod is 11 hours with only 3.5 hours where both T5's are on. I am debating increasing the overlap time, but as things are growing well enough I should probably just leave that alone. Tank temperature fluctuates between 80-82 degrees, so the heater has yet to be needed but it will get "cold" here soon.

 

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BigPaul, whatever you are doing seems to be working. The plants all look healthy, are filling in nicely, and the tank is really starting to come along (8 months later!!).

As to the driftwood, I weighted mine down with a couple of pieces of slate tile from Home Depot. I drilled a hole in them, then screwed them to the wood with stainless steel screws. I kind of shimmied it into/under the substrate so it was covered.

About six months later, I took them off, but really I didn't need to.

And nice job on the stand. I built my own and I know how much work it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Greggz! If I was more skilled at wood working/staining etc. maybe it wouldn't have taken so long, but it was a fun process. Next one will go smoother if/when the wife allows another tank. I may give the slate idea a shot this weekend and see how it goes. I've used that in the past and completely forgot about it.
 
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