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Discussion Starter · #141 · (Edited)
UPDATE
The tank is taking off. Turning into a jungle really. So very soon I have to turn my attention back to aquascaping, and take the attention off new growth. The growth is happening in a major way. Now it needs to be planned growth - the right stuff in the right places.

Also, have ordered my fish! Can't wait to show them to you. Since I'm doing native fish, I could have just used what I can catch myself, but most of those are a bit too big. I need native fish that won't eat my non-native cleaners... i.e. - I don't want my SAE, Amano shrimp, and zebra loaches being lunch. So by ordering the fish, I could get the size I wanted. But eventually they'll get too big, and have to go back into our good ole native waters.



PJAN said:
Working together : allright. Use me as a second opnion. Maybe I know something extra. So, letts not hijack Steve's thread further !
Gr. PJAN
Happy to see you guys chatting PJAN! You can hijack my thread any time when it benefits the community like this! :proud:



unirdna said:
Maybe you'll get lucky and have a "smooth" transition of emerse to submersed growth, but if your like the most of us, be prepared for a die-off. It will, of course, regrow. But, watching it metamophose is somewhat painful .

Also, could I press you for a room photo. I would love to see how this tank affects the surroundings.
Everyone advised me to snip off the tops of the dwarf hairgrass, which I did early on. It made a mess! But new shoots are coming out everywhere now, and they don't have those fuzzy tops, so I assume it is the submersed form. Thanks.

And I'll try to get room photo. But I've got to wait until my kids have cleaned up their toys and such. If I'm going to put pics of the house out on the Internet, they better be pics my wife won't care about!



unirdna said:
I love that the giant hairgrass doesn't even reach the surface.
:hihi: Are you kidding Ted? That's a joke, right?

I have to take the scissors to that stuff every other day. I just came back from a week away, and some was growing INTO my light fixture. It's outta control!



donaldbyrd said:
I just finished reading the previous threads, looks like it has been quite the trip, but the way the tank is looking I would say it had to have been worth it.
Thanks pal. It was hard. But it has been worth it! The level of satisfaction I've gained has only been enhanced by the blood (yes, a little) sweat, and tears shed getting here. I'd advise anyone to do it, but only if you are ready to stick with it. If you can do that, it is way, way worth it!



metfan581 said:
I love the tank its aswome one of the best i have ever seen
It's kind of hard to respond to such extreme compliments, except to say "I dunno, it's got a long way to go IMO. But it does seem like a pretty good start!" Thanks. :icon_wink



Betowess said:
You might try only running both banks of the TEK for maybe 5 hours, fwiw
Welcome back Bob!

It is a Tek, a 6 bulb. So I'm not running both banks (a two bank and a four bank) ever! That's a lot of light. Enough for a tan certainly! So I assume you mean running 4 bulbs. And for that I'm going to stick with the 3 hours only until I get the ferts right, and the algae on the glass and sand goes bye-bye.



BlueRam said:
I need to clear out some Ludwgia soon
Thanks! I'll send you a PM.



travdawg said:
even when my 10 gallon has green dust all over it, & my plants are growing out of control, & I have crap uprooting, it still looks better than the tanks that my friends have with the red gravel & plastic plants with a sunken ship background.
You know it dawg! And that IS something to be proud of!


travdawg said:
UNDER the hood is something else for you to take pride in! Some people could detract from what you have done by saying "if I had the money...."
Wow. I know I have to tread lightly on the "money thing". But I've spent a great deal of my life without two nickels to rub together. So I'm not going hide now what can be done if you have a little extra money to support the hobby. We spend a great deal of time on DIY (and I have DIY in my stand too!). It seems only reasonable to show what you could do if you had an additional buck or two.

To anyone that has taken this as "showing off" vs. "showing, sharing, and learning together", please accept my sincere apologies. Showing off is not my intention, and I hope that comes across.



travdawg said:
I cant imagine what a dogged employee you would make!
I'll be sure and tell my boss about your observation. Maybe he'll be so impressed he'll give me a raise, and I'll be able to get that Aquamedic Aquacontroller Jr that Hop got me lusting over!



nemesis1337 said:
regarding the water level, aren't you worried fish might escape?
Thanks for the kind words, but worried? Not at all. Maybe certain would be a better word.

I've already lost a confirmed 2 Amano shrimp - found them dried out on the floor. And goodness knows where the others are. I can find 2 out of 6 or 8. As for the fish. Well, I'm kind of taking a Darwinian approach. If they jump out of a healthy environment into a hostile one, that's just natural selection in action.

I'll just keep sticking more Amano's in until I'm left with a batch that isn't inclined to climb out.



John P. said:
Looking forward to pictures!
I'll try to do some pics tonight, and post them soon. After that I think it might be time to start that aquascaping, and let the tank grow in a bit.

Who knows? With the bed of riccia taking off unexpectedly like this, I might actually make the AGA 2005 contest deadline!
 

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Discussion Starter · #142 ·
Pics

A few clickable full tank at 3 weeks...


Left front

Right front


And finally, not quite the requested view of the room that the tank goes in. But this is the angle it is frequently viewed at...

Full room shots will have to come later.

Obviously the swords are getting huge. They are going to have to be replaced before they take over the tank.

And the riccia is actually ripping the HC out! It's wacky. It has so much buoyancy, that it begins pulling the stuff out by the roots! I think it looks nice, but only when it stays rooted! Gonna have to keep my eye on this.

More later when the fish arrive. That event will spell the end of the Java Fern driftwood in the center. I'll leave it in long enough to soak up the ammonia for a week or so, after that I need to find a home for it. Any takers? The driftwood by itself cost $25 or so... Lemme know if you are interested.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #146 ·
Yeah, I've got a real love-hate relationship with riccia too! But since it is doing it's natural thing - being a pain in the a** weed - and since it is providing a nice ground cover, I'm willing to watch and wait a little while.

All I wanted out of the HC was ground cover to keep the sand/substrate line in place. If HC covered with riccia can do the sam thing, that's OK by me. Time will tell.
 

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have you considered hydrocotyle as an option at all, scolley? I don't know about the particular area where you grew up, but it's definitely an american south plant, as it's all over the place around here (plenty of swamps in arkansas, too ;) )

by the way, the brevipes i'm putting aside for you should be ready in about a week. if the timing of that is inconvenient (i know you travel for work quite a bit), then let me know and I'll get it to you on your schedule. I'll throw in some hydrocotyle verticillata and lysimachia (both grow wild very near my house) if you're not opposed to them.

Tank is looking GREAT, by the way. I'm a big fan of the giant hairgrass background, even if it is a bit high maintenance. sand looks very nice in the foreground, and I'm very intruiged about your upcoming fish selections.

Oqsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #148 ·
Thanks Osqy! That is great! I've got no travel plans for a few weeks at least.

Yeah, some hydrocotyle would be great to look at and research anyway. I can put it in my 20g for a little while as I try to find out if it is suitable. I just picked up some hydrocotyle up from a lake in New Hampshire on vacation. I need to take a pic to see if someone can tell me what it is. It has nice round green leaves, maybe 2" in diameter, and purple stems and undersides to the leaves. Beautiful, but I'm not sure about it's geographic distribution. New Hampshire is a long way from the Gulf Coast. (BTW - my home town got hammered by a hurricane yesterday - again!)

Trimming the giant hairgrass is a PITA, but not too bad. It's the first plant I've had that I can trim and not even get my hands wet!

The fish will be cool! But they are juveniles, so I'm not expecting them to look too cool from the onset. Will be gun to watch them mature though.
 

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Amazing healthy growth!
I agree the Echinodorus is becomming too big.
Also impressive pictures : very good quality.

One remark about the living room :
The tank is standing in the wrong living room....

Gr. PJAN
 

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Discussion Starter · #150 ·
Thanks PJAN! :proud:

New topics - Fish getting too big!

I've got some native fish on the way, and in previous post in indicated that they would eventually get too big for the tank. In that same post I said I'd just return them to native waters. Well, it appears that many amateur aquarists like myself have had the same idea with disastrous consequences. Take a read here.

Not good news for the fish arriving tomorrow though. They are already in transit. So I suppose I've got some fish coming that had better grow real slow, and then hope I can find them new homes when they outgrow my puny 75. :icon_frow
 

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Discussion Starter · #151 ·
Need Advice! Quick!!!

One of the fish I've been trying really hard to get for my tank is a gar. Those nasty critters were a constant presence in swamps growing up, and this biotope just did not seem complete in my mind without one. Problem is, they get big. And they are all really, really hard to find. Chinese "needle nosed gar" are fairly readily available, and are smaller. But they aren't native, and they really aren't even gar - just gar-like.

One of the only vendors that sells native fish that I can find, Jonah's Aquarium, suddenly came up with a few Longnosed Gar in stock - something they don't carry. Stupidly, I jumped on it, even though I remembered that that was one of the larger kinds of gar. And since they are so hard to find, and replacement shipping is so expensive, I only wanted one, but I ordered two - just in case.

The fish are arriving today, and I've had a chance to do the research, and these fish, Lepisosteus osseus, get HUGE. From the limited information available that I can find, it looks like I'll be lucky if will take about 12 months before these little fish to outgrow my 75.

They are wicked fast swimmers, and I've learned that it can be really hard to remove a fast animal out of a planted tank if it doesn't want to go.

Now I'm afraid to put these fish in the tank. They arrive today.

Advice? :confused: I'm stumped.
 

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order the glass for the "bigger clear kahuna" right now. you should be able to build a 400 gallon tank by the time those guys outgrow your 75.

is that the species that gets 6-8 ft long?

maybe you can find a zoo / aquarium that's interested in taking them once they outgrow your setup?

Oqsy
 

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scolley said:
They are wicked fast swimmers, and I've learned that it can be really hard to remove a fast animal out of a planted tank if it doesn't want to go.

Now I'm afraid to put these fish in the tank. They arrive today.

Advice? :confused: I'm stumped.
Let's see, 8 lbs test ought to do it. :icon_bigg

Or you could not feed 'em for a couple of days, and reach in to arrange your plants. When it latches onto your arm, pull it out. :icon_bigg :icon_bigg

I have been thinking about adding some needle nose gars to my tank. I can't wait to see how they look if you decide to keep them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #154 ·
Thanks Osqy, you're a barrel of laughs. Baby Gar Pate, and Gar Fritters have also been put forth as solutions. :hihi:

These things get bigger than 2 feet in length, and somewhat less than 8 feet. Big. With razor sharp teeth. Did I leave that part out?


Here's a couple of links:

http://crypto.stanford.edu/~eujin/pics/aquarium/slides/batimoreaquarium01.html
http://ezinearticles.com/?Keeping-Gars----A-Short-Review&id=27621


So I figure I have a few practical options:
1) Into the Tank - let removing them in a year or so resolve itself when it's time to re-scape.
2) Find someone here that wants them - I've got a few PM's out. Speak up if you are interested. They are free if you come and get them.
3) Give them to an LFS - will be exploring that today.
4) Euthanasia - :icon_frow​


Any feedback is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #155 ·
Safado said:
Let's see, 8 lbs test ought to do it. :icon_bigg

Or you could not feed 'em for a couple of days, and reach in to arrange your plants. When it latches onto your arm, pull it out. :icon_bigg :icon_bigg

I have been thinking about adding some needle nose gars to my tank. I can't wait to see how they look if you decide to keep them.
That's another option. But I was thinking about opening a door so I could get a decent back-cast with my flyrod...

They should be cute, and they are supposed to be rather timid (not biters) if you don't look like a small fish. Might want to watch any excess finger wiggling though...
 

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" aligator gar" :icon_mrgr

O, boy, all those little fingers from kids touching the surface in your OPEN tank. SNAP...
Beautifull fish though. I also can't wait to see them.
You are sure making a true and dangerous biotope there, mate.

You didn't mention what you're gonna feed these creatures?
Your loaches are just a snack.
Best is to feed them with little goldfishes. Better warn your family when it's feeding time.

Oh,
option 5 : on the BBQ tonight

Gr. PJAN
 

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Discussion Starter · #157 ·
They're not "Alligator Gar", they are "Longnose Gag" - smaller and not as mean, and right now very, very cute in their bag in their shipping box that just arrived!

The small one is about 5 inches long, the big one maybe 6.




Assuming they are from the same batch of fry... Maybe I keep the small one? Like it's the runt of the litter, won't grow as fast or as large? Or maybe it's a female, also smaller.

Decisions, decisions...
 

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Discussion Starter · #159 ·
Jdinh04 said:
Those are sweet fish but I don't think they look good in planted aquariums, you might be better off getting a good selection of discus from www.greatlakesdiscus.com
Thanks. I'm inclined to agree on the "how they look" question. And I do intend on making this a discus tank one of these days. But not right now.

Now I'm trying create a Cypress Forrest biotope, and they don't have discus. Thanks for the suggestion ;) - I will do it - but later.

On that topic, I should mention that I also got a couple Largemouth Bass, and a handful of really cute Longear Sunfish. The sunfish are going to have to go into the 20g for a few months though. They are about 1/2" long, and look for all the world like baby gar snacks.

BTW - not of these fish are what most people would call pretty. They are however found in large numbers in cypress swamps.
 
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