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50gal Ugly Tank

57096 Views 224 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  zer0zax
This thread will waste your time! Go away!
Still here? You have been warned....

I am setting up this 50 gal solely to grow out plants, test different soil mixes and try my hand at some DIY. The plan is to fill up the tank with 30 gallons of water and grow some Tropica swords, moss, pellia emersed, and as the plants fill out plant them submersed. So basically a paludarium/growout/DIY experiment tank.

Quick stats:
50 gallon aquarium
2 x 32 watt T8 elcheapo 6,500k
Fountain pump
3.75 cups Topsoil with 1/2 cup bone meal (3-15-0)

#1. No laughing in this thread, I take this hobby very seriously.:tape2:
#2. No talking about anything on topic, this tank will be boring and a waste of breath.:(
#3. Go back to #1.:confused:

Let the journey begin!
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sargent slaughter has a bone to pick with the commander, look out!!!!

Pacific willow trees seems to work better than anything else to cure algae. I need some. I shall call the nursery's and see if they have any willows in. I wonder if it makes a difference what type of willow it is? Have to research that. I want some for I have BBA starting up. It is a chronic problem because the tap water has phosphates in it.

I found the ingredients of the dirt on line.
sargent slaughter has a bone to pick with the commander, look out!!!!

Maybe General Kitty Foo Foo and the Commander can become allies to face Sergeant Slaughter?!
Whom is General Kitty Foo Foo?
Who is General Kitty Foo Foo?
See the last px in post 5. I think that must be his name... sounds right to me!!
I just found this thread and THANK YOU! I needed the laughs. Plaster of paris instead of clay and General Kitty Foo Foo, heeheehee.

It is ridiculously hard to find decent soil that isn't mostly bark/twigs. I also lost over half of my "top soil" when I screened it and the silty powder got all over everything. Mineralizing did help a lot though as I only had a little hair algae on some nearly dead subwassertang I was trying to rescue (it's finally growing) and a bit of dust algae on the glass.

At least General Kitty Foo Foo hasn't belly-flopped into the tank yet. :)
chagovatoloco- THAT was back in the day lol! (crap, just broke rule #1) Those were very turbulent times for the Commander, and for the record everyone of those Cobra foot soldiers who were beaten yet still lived were rewarded with a swift beheading:axe: for stupidity and incompetence:icon_hang. Since you reminded the Commander of these bad memories unresolved, he has dispatched his best assassin:ninja: to take care of that despicable WHINY Sgt.Slautered...or whatever his name is....I have been ordered to document the upcoming battle so no one will EVER think the Commander is slacking off again! Will keep you updated...:slywink:

dawntwister- I think any Salix species will work. I don't think it will be a miracle cure, but it has the possibility of working a little TO well. It might suck up all of your ferts out of the water column and starve the stem plants. I had red mangroves before and read online that if they were used in saltwater aquariums (mangroves), the skimmer would become useless and could be removed. The bad part is the mangroves would also suck up magnesium like there was no tomorrow.

Regarding willows, I read that gardeners make 'willow tea' out of the growing tips of willows and use the tea as a natural root growth stimulant, instead of using products like Rootone. Google 'willow tea' when you get a chance, as you can imagine my head is boiling over with crazy experiments! What would happen if I put a new growth tip under a freshly-planted sword?:rolleyes:

I still have a lot of research to do, but the main thing I gather is a tree is a tree as far as aquariums go, each one has different properties and some will work better, but trees are HUNGRY! I want to form aquarium bonsai in the Ugly Tank and when I have enough plants I will rebuild my big tank. The only roots or wood in the big tank will be live driftwood! If I were you, I would give myself a hug, and then I would find some swamp cypress! Cypress knees look killer, and you never have to worry about root-rot! Wish I could find some cypress here....
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Is this tank his new lair to beat the gi jo's?
Tex Gal- The Commander is VERY shocked that you could possibly think HE would intentionally provoke the General! Nonetheless he did heed your advice and gave the General a peace offering of catnip! I am sure they would like to say hello to you, but they are asleep at the moment....

cs_gardener- I think everyone could use a few laughs in this day and age, but the Commander doesn't understand what you people find so humorous...General Kitty Foo Foo is way to smart for that! However my sister did have a cat that fell into a 20G long one time...he swam so frantically that his feet never touched bottom (big cat to!), and we were stunned for a few seconds before we rescued him! I think he was scared to death because the guppies would nibble anything that was put into that tank, even him! That same cat liked to watch the toilet flush also, his head would follow the water 'round and 'round, all the way down to the point that he would end up swimming in toilet water. This happened on more than one occasion. I'm just happy I didn't have to fish him out...:rolleyes: By the way, I happen to have around 50#s of plaster of paris laying around...let me know if you want some, I can bring it to the next swap:p

Here are some pics of the plants I got at the swap (thanks again cs_gardener!)

Bolbitis, anubias 'nana, anubias barteri, hemianthus micranthemoides?, limnophila aromatica, flame sword (awesome!), marsilia quadrifolia, frogbit (been wanting this for awhile, thanks again!)

In case no one has figured this out, my camera skills are horrible! I can't get the colors to show for anything! Here is the freshly planted Ugly Tank:

I just spread them out a bit haphazardly, once I find out how everything grows I will rearrange things.

Next time I take pics I will at least wipe the glass, and play with the manual settings. Someday I will figure this camera out! Another Ugly point is that the tank sits against a kitchen divider, and a wall is 3 feet from the front glass, so full tank shots are just about impossible! I don't think the limnophila aromatica will be happy in this tank, but it is my favorite stem plant. I'm very tempted to add 1L of DIY co2, not only for the stem but also because the spray bar is creating a lot of splashing. If I do add co2 I only want to add enough to cancel out the excessive splashing, or maybe just target the stems with it somehow. The bad part about co2 is my tropica swords will get bigger and I want them to stay as small as possible while still being healthy, this will let the future scape appear a little larger. If I don't use co2, I will just let the limnophila aromatica grow emersed so it will survive. Even though it will turn green, at least it will live!

Well that is some heavy posting on my part, not a lot of pics but I will have plenty tomorrow! I picked up my soil (really! It's dirt!) today, so a lot more fun coming up:p
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chagovatoloco- Shhh!:-$ It's still under construction! Not ready for warfare... yet. The Commander won't use this as a battleground, merely a convenient way to get rid of dead joes. The main inhabitant will be his 11" long pet dragon (that's huge in the world Of Mice & Joes!).

The Commander salutes you! He also wishes you many successful battles and much joy in pillaging!!
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hey, you are prettifying it....

Lord Starscream likes it.
So nice to see that the commander and the General have made peace. Sergeant Slaughter won't have a chance. Now I know why the Commander was reading about the "Ariel Advantage" That must be where General Kitty Foo Foo comes in. S.Slaughter won't know what hit him!

So why aren't you filling up your tank? You could still have a moss wall, but submersed.
Tex Gal- I'm not filling up my tank because I am building an ugly plant shelf to grow swords emersed. Hopefully the swords above the water line will grow and flower a lot quicker, and this will give me a greater yield of plants! I gave up on the co2 idea also, the main substrate will be normal dirt El Natural style and I will use coco pots for the experimental soils (mineralized soils and crazy combinations). I will also let the stem plants grow emersed to keep the tank healthy, when plants break the waterline they gain access to unlimited amounts of co2! They might not look pretty, but the growth rate should put a co2 enriched aquarium to shame (based on same light levels).:rolleyes:

Another reason the tank is not filled up is because I want to grow out my bonsai trees in the tank, I will keep them trimmed and not let them grow out of the hood. Hopefully this will be a good grow-out tank and after I have propagated enough plants and run enough experiments I will transfer everything over to the big tank. But that is a long way off and destined for another journal!

This is why the Commander has been reading up on 'The Aerial Advantage', healthy plants and good strategies the General can use against Sgt. Stands-no-chance Slaughtered! Here is a pic of the dirt I finally got:

Diana helped me out and gave some very good tips, you can read about it here:

I will need to devise a way to add some of this new dirt to the substrate, basically I am aiming for a quarter inch of dirt on the left side of the tank and sand on the right side for the dragon. Tree roots will hopefully keep the sand from going anaerobic. As mulm builds up on the right side I will move it to the left side to help the lean substrate (hopefully!). I will take plenty of pics during this process, but I need to take some time to think this through very carefully as I might end up cooked! Being prepared at the beginning of this build and making sure I had all of the materials to be used laid out and accounted for would probably have been a smart move! Hopefully someone will take note and learn from my mistakes, but honestly I am having fun shooting from the hip! John Wayne would stand no chance against me!:p
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'The Aerial Advantage' might keep sgt slaughters comrade algae at bay? Slaughter is worried that it might be enough to stop all of the algae jo's 8-[.
Chagovatoloco you cursed me! full on algae warfare already! I bet you people didn't see this one coming, did you? Lots of events have happened and I think it is only day 4 or somewhere around there (3? 5?!), I will have to check out Sunstar's journal to see what earthdate it is again.

I have many pictures to upload, so run while you still can! I was to busy to add separate events to this journal as I was fighting chaos and shear terror in my aquarium, plus I had to get my oil changed and that always takes awhile... In case you are wondering "What's wrong with that guy?:twitch:", well, the docters haven't figured that one out yet, but for one thing I'm not human, I'm actually a mech. The guy pictured in my avatar is actually my maintenance man named Bob. I prefer to use his picture so I won't scare people.

Here is a picture of yours truly next to the Commander (he's my favorite villain!):

And here's a headshot of me:

A couple days ago the Commander and I had to clean up our base, he told me the twisted metal happened to be the remains of one Octopus Plime, or something like that (sounds like dinner). This junk pile started oozing out some blue coolant and I let the Commander clean up the mess by himself, as I was afraid that the Octopus might have been infected with nano-bots (I don't know where that guy has been, you just can't tell nowadays). As the Commander was removing the head for Lord Starscream, coolant started spraying EVERYWHERE, all over the Commander! It was hilarious and I leaked oil all over myself! I guess it was one of those 'you would have to be there' kind of moments...Anyways, here are a couple of pics:

After removing the head, we both decided that we didn't want to clean the rest up, so we got Bob to do it for us. Bob always cleans up, things like water changes and taking out the trash...that kind of stuff. He is incredibly anti-smart and he would burn the whole base down if we didn't keep an eye on him, but he is cheap labor after all. I always call him 'Dumb Bob'. The second we turn our backs on him, look what he does! He starts cleaning coolant....

And now he's eating it! What a moron!

Shortly after ingesting the foul stuff, Dumb Bob muttered something about it tasting sugary, then he was out cold.

That idiot reminds me of the golom character straight out from Lord of the Rings. We called an ambulance for him and off to the hospital he goes.

After laughing for hours the Commander and I felt kind of bad for the guy. He is to dumb to breed and most likely a gelding, but he does our DIRTY dirty work for us, so we both decided to fly to the hospital to pay him a visit. Here is a pic of the Commander hopping in for a ride. I keep telling him he needs to lose some weight, but does he listen? Nooooo!

We flew at mach 3.2 and grabbed some Starbucks on the way. It took 40 seconds to get to the hospital (Starbucks was kind of busy).

Alright, that's enough about me. I will quite thread-hogging my own thread! Next up: Chaos, Algae warfare, and ninjas oh-my!
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that robot it a type of lego?

I do that sort of thing from time to time on my own website... so minor highjack.

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I would find some swamp cypress! Cypress knees look killer, and you never have to worry about root-rot.

Well I going down to Florida in a month. Perhaps I can find some swamp cypress there.

Did you have to pay fee to go to the plant swap? The swap here GA required a $50 fee. Not worth the fee to me.

Lol, Sunstar you are aghast!!!
would those work in a brackish tank?
I should print all this out and read it to my daughter for a bedtime story. It's almost like the Superbowl. You stay tuned just for the commercials....what's the theme of this thread again? :lol:

I wish I had half the creativity!
The El Natural style suggest adding bone meal to the dirt. All of the bone meal, except that made by KAL for people, that I found on the internet had high phosphates.

If you add moderate amount of phosphate to substrates containing a lot of clay colloids and then cap that with sand and/or gravel; the clay colloids will hold on to the phosphate and not allow it to leach into the water column. I do that and don't worry about algae.
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