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davemonkey's 50 gal journal

47774 Views 290 Replies 49 Participants Last post by  mudboots
Okay, this is my first planted tank set-up. My goal is low-maintenance, low (or moderate) tech, and just to get a good feel for planted aquaria.

-Tank is 48"x13" and 18"tall (50 gal...or more like 48...).
-Substrate is "planted aquarium substrate" from, 3" deep.
-Filters: emperor w/bio-wheel; 1 powerhead on undergravel filter for right side of tank only.
-Lighting is 130 W PC of 50/50 10,000K and Actinic and a 2x15W "aquarium bulb" (came with original hood). Light duration is for 10 hrs (but only 8 with the PC hood).
-DIY CO2, 2x 1 gallon jugs with same ingredients for smaller containers (gives just a bit of CO2)
-dose excel and ferts

Plants are val, swords, crypts, anubia, egeria, mosses, java fern, hygo. difformis...low-mod light (due to half my light being actinic and non-productive)

Fish are random fellows I've been trying out, haven't yet decided what to keep in there. Getting rid of 5 SAE's and a Pictus Cat soon.

Many of the plants still need to do ALOT of filling in. Feel free to critique/comment. I am totally open to suggestions (unless it involves buying more plants for awhile). ;)

Here is the moss-rock I just tied-up a couple days ago. The SAE's liked it alot...yummy treat...hence, I'll be trading them in soon...:boxing:

Thanks for looking,
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Really looks good. I'll have enough duckweed by the fall to send you some. I get covered everytime I go for a swim. :)
'Inareverie85' and 'Oldman', thanks. My favorite pic was the left side where the Val seemed to flow up and over the large piece of wood...almost like a volcano. Believe it or not, the picture there actually looks better than the real thing! :rolleyes: I guess it's the angle I took the pic vs. the angle I see it when I'm standing in the living room.

Glenn, I'd definitely take some more duckweed! I know most people see it as a pest, but it's a real treat for my fish. :D

Oh, and I just ordered some petite anubias from 'Six'! She is shipping them next Monday.
gorgeous tank! I love the driftwood! trying to get my tank going as well. Yours looks like it will just be freakin amazing when it's all settled in!
My C. willisii x lucens 'bronze' carpet plants haven't done much since splitting and replanting. Each plantlet has put on 1 new leaf, and so far they are still 'low-growing'. I was heavily tempted to 're-bunch' it all and buy some Hemianthus micranthemoides this afternoon after Church (we took a trip to PetsMart for some food and they actualy had some nice aquatic plants...even some of that lacey-topped Java Fern that I forget the name). :p
But, I really want to give these little guys a chance to reacclimate and start spreading. I'm a very impatient person by nature, but I'm giving these plants every bit of patience I can muster. I don't think they'll let me down. ;) Maybe in another couple weeks they'll start spreading again.

BTW, "Hagrid's Woods" is looking WONDERFUL!
I have the same exact plant and it was labeled as echinodorus tenellus (which it is NOT). I am definitely leaning on the C. willisii species. Anyway, I think you gotta be a little extra patient. I had gotten a small pot and split them into separate plants, 6 months ago. They didn't look like much in the beginning. the first three weeks they might have put out a leaf or two and they always seemed to look "lifeless" as they seem to lie flat. However, since then many people have told me I got a "highlight" setup, and suggested to make some lighting changes which I did. I ended up decreasing my lighting time periods. The results were less algae growth and better plant growth. Most important was the C. willisii health. the plants are getting lush and full.

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Thanks, ferris89! Hopefully I won't get transferred with work before it gets filled in. Otherwise it will get torn down and I'll have to start over from scratch! Of coarse, I'd be going in with at least some good experience.

wrkucera, that's neat about getting the willisii labeled as E.tenellus. I've noticed that mine also grow more upright when they are shaded by my Vals or when I only run the main light (without the extra foreground lamp).
No updates, Akaizhar. I wish I did, though. I have had very little algae growth lately and the tank looks fabulous. I just don't have a camera yet. It's a bit of a 'sneaky' issue to "borrow" the one from work...kinda' a Federal Offense... And I've gotten really poor quality from disposables.

The plants grew SUPER FAST after the last pics. I did a major trim to get them shaped up and in place (but allowed room for growth). Then I pulled out TONS of Vallisneria (but there is still a good chunck behind the driftwood). Everything is going great. I promise I'll get some shots in the next week or so before my luck runs out with the algae.

Also, I just put in for a transfer/promotion in the Houston area, so if all goes well this tank will get torn down in a month or two. I'm going to try to keep as much as I can and do a copy-cat of this current set-up. But, we'll just have to play it by ear for now.

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Great to hear, Dave. :) It would be sad if you had to tear down your tank, but I seem to find such excitement at the prospect of a new project. As you've seen, I'm redoing my main tank for the third time. :p Once I'm satisfied with that, I'm buying another CO2 unit and t5 lighting for my 14 gallon to do another scape :p These will have to hold me over until I can get my 90 gallon next year. SO ADDICTIVE!! O_O
Yeah, this hobby really is addicting. >.>
Well, it becomes increasingly certain that I'll be moving in several weeks. So, here are the last pics I'll take until after I move. Not much change except there's been a ton of growth since a trim I did after the last pics I took. I'm due for another trim, but I'm going to keep as much plant material in the tank as possible so I can start off "heavy" when I set up in the new location (still not sure which town it'll be, but definitely in the Greater Houston area).

Pics from left to right. The last two are Potamogeton nodosus (American pondweed). The small submerged plant is a 'pup' from the parent plant. The second pic of these are the floating leaves that the plant prefers, and winds up with. These guys need good light and if any part of them is shaded by other large plants, they will rot away.

Thanks for looking.

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Dave your plants look fantastic! Hate to think of having to tear it down. I guess you can just think of all the rescaping fun you will have! :D
Thanks, TexGal! The Blyxa has settled in very nicely after acclimating. ;)

Seriously though, I'm sure I'll have fun rescaping once I get it all there ALIVE! Trying to keep everything alive and healthy is stressing me out. I've got it all planned out in my head (how to do it), but when the day comes I'm sure I'll be feeling the pressure. :shock:

But, once it's all set up again, I'll be able to relax because I'll have my aquarium to de-stress me. :D
:bounce: What a great tank you got, Dave, I haven’t seen it for a while! It looks really awesome! :D

I am having the same stressful thoughts though. I might be moving sometime soon and thinking of how to keep everything alive while tearing it out makes me totally sick. I keep thinking about the filter and how not to kill the bacteria in there, how to move my fish and tanks and… Oh dear!... :rolleyes:

I hope it will go smoothly for you, I’ll be waiting for your new story about re-scaping and distressing!
Good luck! :D
You guys are pros! I have complete faith in you. You have fought algae before and WON! No worries!!! (Keep the excel handy)
Hey Shurik and Tex Gal! I just got back from ANOTHER long weekend!

Shurik, I've decided I'm not going to try too hard on the move. I'm going to get a large rubbermaid and set my UG filter with power head running the day I tear down and throw everything in there except the large driftwood piece. (I'll keep the UG filter plate held down with a smaller driftwood and some rocks.)

As far as the bacteria and majority of snails that are there, they are on their own. If they survive the gravel being thrown into a 5-gallon bucket and the filter being shut off and packed away for a couple or so days, so be it. If they all be it. I'll have enough plants coming with me for a HEAVY planted tank, so I think it will be enough for the fish as far as ammonia control. And if I'm wrong, then I'll chalk it up to experience. ;) And, Tex Gal, that's a big 10-4 on the excel! I've got a big bottle set aside ready for action. [smilie=n:

Anyway, once it all happens I will certainly update with all the juicy details. :D

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I'm saving you some duckweed and hornwort for when you get here. Seriously, if you need anything keep in touch and let me know. Anxious to take you to a NASH meeting and go fish shopping.
Thanks, OldMan! It's always good to know where I can get some duckweed. ;) And I'd certainly like to attend a NASH meeting. I should know something in two to three weeks for certain.

AHHHHHHHHH!! I think I've gone completely MAD :rolleyes: , blocking out all common sense and reason from my mind! :lalala:

Okay, so I still have not heard a final word on whether or not I'm getting a transfer to the Houston Area (except, now I know for sure it will be Anahuac if I DO get it...probably would live around Channelview). But, I've been preparing mentaly in regards to my aquarium. I drew out what I want my re-scape to look like using the same plants I have. It wouldn't change a whole lot, just get a cleaner look and easier to maintain layout.

Well, last night I flipped my lid. :wacko: The suspense was too much and I decided to knuckle down and rip the whole tank apart today. (Mostly to remove the UnderGravel Filter Plate and suck up some of the crud that's built up under there.) So, I'm about to get started.

Since I'll likely wind up going through 'bacteria bloom cloudiness' all over again, I'll wait a few days to post pics. By the end of next week I SHOULD find out if I get to do it all over again to MOVE!

Wish me luck....and some sanity. ;)

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sanity is over rated but good luck none the less
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