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Akulakat 07-24-2011 07:32 AM

Mikes' Aquarium
 
Ok. I can take it. I'm looking forward to comments / help. doesn't mean I will follow any of it. More fish next weekend.

Current setup. 75G w Fluval 305. Mixed gravel and substrate. I'm willing to make some changes or additions to better it. I have a batch of low light plants coming in Wednesday and if I'm going to be changing, I'd like to do it before.

http://www.bigmikeskites.com/fish/fish1.jpg

Lighting is 1w 40 bulb that came with tank
Lowes light with 2 65000K 32 w bulbs
http://www.bigmikeskites.com/fish/fish2.jpg


I will keep a running history at the below link
http://www.bigmikeskites.com/fish/fish.html

fishyjoe24 07-24-2011 08:34 AM

Re: Mikes' Aquarium
 
i'd add some driftwood, and root tabs in the gravel. looks like you have nearly 2 watts per a gallon you should be able to do vals,sags,fern, and anubias..

Akulakat 07-24-2011 10:43 AM

Re: Mikes' Aquarium
 
ok...whats a root tab?

Also, I have some driftwood, but the bottom is very smooth and when i put it in the water, it has like a goopy film that comes off. The other side is pretty nice. If I could use that, I really like the looks. Whats with the goopy stuff?

Michael 07-24-2011 01:31 PM

Re: Mikes' Aquarium
 
A root tab is a little fertilizer pellet made to be inserted in the gravel near a plant. You can get ones especially made for aquarium use.

Your driftwood may need to be soaked or power washed. Even then, wood often develops a slimy coating when it is submerged. This is usually a harmless bacterial film that goes away by itself.

OK, the design. First, find some examples of tanks that you really like. Post the photos here, and we can help you get as close as possible given the equipment that you have.

Right now your substrate is very uneven, like it was just dumped in the tank. Hills and valleys are fine, but they need to be done in a way that contributes to the look that you want to achieve.

Above all, have fun!

Akulakat 07-26-2011 07:27 PM

Re: Mikes' Aquarium
 
I have a batch of plants coming in tomorrow. I ordered these before I found out about you guys and they were not refundable. So I will see how they fit with what I got from y'all.

Pictures when the smoke clears.

niko 07-26-2011 08:17 PM

Re: Mikes' Aquarium
 
Yeah, start with leveling the substrate. There are 2 best ways to use a credit card and that is one of them. (The other one is to scrub algae off the glass.)

It is best if you make a slope. Meaning less substrate toward the front and more on the back. But having in mind that you have a lot of gravel maybe you can just leave it flat because the thick side may develop bad anaerobic situation (smells like rotten eggs and kills fish, plants, everything).

It would be best if your lights are closer to the front glass. Because when the non-refundable plants start to grow they will turn toward the light. And if it happens to be toward the front glass it all looks very nice.

Consider getting 2 Ikea timers ($5 for both, grounded too). One for each light you have. That way you can blast the plants with all the light you have for a few hours somewhere in the middle of the day. Before and after - lower light (the original light strip). Such light periodization goes a long way against the algae.

And algae you will most likely have if you start dumping fertilizers in the water. That is the main method by which we all run our planted tanks. It is not right but it makes for gorgeous looking tanks. Except when algae strikes we don't have good answers how to handle them. So at least be ready to play with the light because it really helps against the algae.

There is more - filtration, flow, water change schedule. When time comes we'll talk about all that. For now - do not rush to add fertilizers in your water. See what the non-refundable plants will say about your tank first.

--Nikolay

Akulakat 07-30-2011 04:07 AM

Re: Mikes' Aquarium
 
The water has finally cycled. Fish come today. I took some advices.

http://www.bigmikeskites.com/fish/fish7292011.jpg

niko 07-30-2011 05:59 AM

Re: Mikes' Aquarium
 
Allright Mike!

So you have everything in the tank now. The adventure has begun the second you turned the lights on. All sorts of things are happening already but you don't see them. If you don't act "right" we will end up discussing issues.

So:

1. How many hours a day you run the lights?

2. Do you run all lights all the time?

3. What media do you have in your filter?

4. How often do you do water changes?

5. How much water do you change every time?

6. What product do you use as a dechlorinator?

7. Do you use or plant to use CO2?


These 5 questions will give us a good idea what to advise you. Keep in mind that the first 4-8 weeks of any planted tank development are the most important. You must do things right. That is what we are going to do.

-Nikolay

Akulakat 07-30-2011 01:04 PM

Re: Mikes' Aquarium
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by niko (Post 600783)
Allright Mike!

So you have everything in the tank now. The adventure has begun the second you turned the lights on. All sorts of things are happening already but you don't see them. If you don't act "right" we will end up discussing issues.

So:

1. How many hours a day you run the lights?

2. Do you run all lights all the time?

3. What media do you have in your filter?

4. How often do you do water changes?

5. How much water do you change every time?

6. What product do you use as a dechlorinator?

7. Do you use or plant to use CO2?


These 5 questions will give us a good idea what to advise you. Keep in mind that the first 4-8 weeks of any planted tank development are the most important. You must do things right. That is what we are going to do.

-Nikolay

1. Lights Come on at 6 am...go off at 10 pm. on a timer. I can adjust that no problem...let me know

2. answered with 1

3. fluval 305 has foam, some charcoal bags, and cylindrical tube looking thingys.

4. I've done 1 water change..about ready to do another...so every 2 weeks.

5. 5-10 gallons

6. Prime

7. Seacham Excel for CO2. also some trace minerals....also Seacham.

Plants are labeled as 'low light' plants.

Gumbie 07-30-2011 05:47 PM

Re: Mikes' Aquarium
 
I really like how your tank is coming along. It has a nice natural look to it, not edgy or contrived. (No insult intended to fans of underwater forests, mountains or tire tracks.)

I hope you’re keeping a log of everything going on in the tank (good and bad) including names of the plants, fish, shrimp, snails (I love my Nerite snails) and who you got them from, lighting, ferts, water test readings.

I also like to take a picture of my tanks once a week. It seems to give me a different view of them and assures me that the plants actually are growing. Your Hygrophila pinnatifada looks happy. Looking forward to seeing your fauna selection.

:)


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