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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought the experimental tank today, looks pretty good.
Came with heaps of extras, filter, air pump (really power full and quiet with 2 outlets), an expensive auto fish feeder, and other bits and pieces.
I took a walk down to the beach today looking for rocks and drift wood. Their is a storm water pond along the pathway and i saw the perfect piece of drift wood.

Anyhow, i took it home in a wheel borrow as its huge, and cut off the 2 pieces i will use. At the pond it was half submerged and the other half was on the bank.
I was wondering, how i should prepare it before i put it in the tank with live plants and fish ?

I assume when the driftwood is submerged and lots of little bubbles appear on it, it isnt a good thing?
I dried it out today, and tomorrow im going to scrub off all the algae and dirt.
tomorrow im going to get gravel, 100W heater and hopefully a replacement globe.

The filter is an aqua clear model "20" i have another one exactly the same, should i run them both ?
The only writing on the light is "oceanlife Colour Max" its about 23" long, so i guess it about 24watts?
slight reddish colour.

once the water is settled, temp and ph is right im going to buy some Java moss and see if i can get that to grow, should prove some good shelter for the fry, when i transfer them from the hatchery in my main tank to this tank, which they will grow up in.

The pic doesn't give the wood justice, the layout looks a little shabby now, but will be good once gravel and moss is in there.
 

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Congrats on the tank. Getting a new tank is always fun.

Beach drift wood is ok to use. I've used several pieces I found there.

Just make sure the wood isn't soft at all, isn't greenwood (fresh off a living plant), and has no bark. If it has any of the above then it will rot and foul the tank.

To determine if it is soft scratch it with your fingernail. If you get gunk off, then it isn't suitable. Try scraping the soft stuff away with a metal brush or something until only hardwood remains.

You might also want to boil the wood a bit in water to leach out some tannins and salt.

Bubbles probably aren't anything to worry about, just air trapped in the wood being squeezed out by water replacing it.

Might be a good idea to take a picture of the light bulb with something to give it perspective - like a coin, it would be easier for us to identify it.

Also, the 100w heater should be fine for the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thats good to hear about the bubbles, last time i had tank ornaments have heaps of bubbles on them, all the fish died (due to using buckets and sponges that had been used with soap, now know better.)

i think i might try and split the top piece of wood down the center to try and make it thinner.
Its definatly not green and has pretty much no bark.

It was not on the beach, next to a pond, about 200 yards from the beach.
I will try and boil it as best as i can tomorrow.

is this what you mean, or do you want a whole length shot?
Its a T8 of some sort.
I dont have any American coins.

 

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Ah, T8's. Not particularly good lighting, but it should do for moss and maybe one or two other very low light plants.

Try upgrading to T5's or power compact lights.

Well, no worries about the salt then, just make sure you boil it for a little (maybe an hour) before adding it to the tank, because freshwater wood can spread parasites and algae.
 

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Those look good.

I see 2x24w for 56$, and it comes with the bulbs. That is a pretty good deal. The 4 bulb one for 115 is also a good deal.

The 4 bulb one would be perfect for a highlight tank. Get the 10,000k bulbs.

I've never bought from them before, but if they are for real and the prices are in AU then the deal is very good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What a day!
Went out shopping and had a very succesful trip.
I bought the heater ($24AU)
20kgs of gravel blackish colour ($25)
And asked about the flourite but it was way too expensive, they wanted $90 for this small bag.
I bought this "first layer Pure Laterite stuff, only cause it was half price $15. down from 30.
I also managed to find new charcoal, sponges and the ammonia remover inserts for my 2 aqua clear filters, still need to find an intake pipe for one, might have to ring up HQ for that. All the cartiges were under $3.30.
I also found the carbon stuff for my main tank which i have been needing for a while, Plus finally found the lights for my aqua one!! i got 1 10,000k and 1 6,700k one
the the 10,000k one is a brand called Rudducks Aqua-serene it was only $11
the other is a life glo 2, it was $30, but i got it half price as well.
I dont know if you have those brands in the US.
Tried them out and they look good.

I used a drill with one of those bristle bits to get off the algae and other gunk, it worked a treat, very easily and made some nice patterns in the timber.
I dont think i can boil them, they have been sitting in the sun for 2 days (although submerged last night)
Is it absolutely necessary to boil them ?

Later this afternoon, I will set up the tank.

Here is the difference in the wood,
Left one hasnt been cleaned, right one has.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Finished filling it up.

Im not going to run it until the sediment has settled as they will reduce the life of the filter sponges.
Also i have the driftwood in my laundry sink in scorching hot water.

First level stuff, (should have bought a 2nd pack)


Mixed with 1 inch of gravel.


All the gravel, has a gentle slope forward.


I rinsed the gravel using a bucket with heaps of drilled holes in it the best i could, but still ended up pretty murky. The depth of the gravel is about 2 and a half inches to 3 inches.
 

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Wow, looks good so far. Sounds like a professional setup job to me :)

T5 lights will suite your tank very well, and serve you well for many years.

It isn't absolutely necessary to boil the wood, but it does help to release tannins which will stain the water a tea color for weeks.

A hot water bath in the sink will do the trick of killing parasites and whatever else is on there.

Good job with the drill by the way! It looks like it did the trick!

I'm looking forwards t some pics of the tank once it has been planted.

Also, don't use the ammonia pads in the filter, they are not helpful for freshwater planted tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I will take the pads out and replace them with those ceramic things that harvest bacteria.
the water has not cleared much at all.

But, My t5 unit Arrived today!
It fits perfectly in the original hood, i just had to cut a hole out so i could use the on/off switch.

Its so bright!! even in this merky water. Cant wait to see its full potential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I forgot to ask, Im going to start doing weekly 25% water changes.
Do i use water straight from the tap?
I usually add a little "alkalinity down" to it, to try and even out the difference. I dont know what your water is in the US, but ours is about 7.5
Also, they are 2 10,000k light bulbs, is it worth getting 1 or 2 6500k ones, or should i just see how the plants go on these.
In a couple weeks i might have a stab at diy CO2

Here is a pic of the light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mods if you see this, Could you please move this thread into journals, as thats what it seems to be turning into:rolleyes:

After realising i had all the parts i needed for a c02 unit except the diffuser, i went ahead and made one,

this is what it is.
Im open to all comments and criticism, no matter how harsh:cool:
It features, 1.5 litre bottle.
375ml "safety" bottle (to catch escaping particles)
one way valve.
and a sponge diffuser (until i find one locally)
The diffuser works surprisingly well, a little too well#-o
I still have to trim the tubing to length.


Sorry about long posts and multiple questions.
 

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Not a bad DIY! It looks like it will work nicely.

I like the DIY hood, very nicely constructed. You might want to paint it and the stand at some point because the water vapor will warp the wood eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I was supposed to paint it before i filled the tank, But was too impatient. lol

I will just have to do what i can with the tank on it.

Not sure if i mentioned this, I bought some java moss today, and split it up, half in my main tank and half in this one,
1st of many experiments to come

I added 2 taps to the small bottle, because i overlooked the fact that when i put the cap back on, the tubes twist.
Ill get a photos once the sealant dries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Have some Horrible news.
My guppy girls gave birth yesterday, and my hatchery is still in the post !

so I bet my fish had a feast last night.
I have caught a couple and are moving them into the new 2 footer now. I hope the water is right. But it is there only chance of survival.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have saved 6 fry so far.
Here is one hangin in the moss.

In the main tank, they all seem to be taking up refuge in the moss. I am feeding them flakes, crushed up to an almost powder.

Experiment 1 - DIY CO2
Complete success.
Bought the yeast today, followed the recipe on this forum and within 2 hours i had bubles.
I put the hose into the HOB filter intake.
Has anyone had any problems with cavitaion using this method ?
I added 2 taps to the small bottle, because i over looked the fact that the hoses twist when you put the lid on. And added another one way valve between the large and small bottle.


Experiment 2 - Grow moss on drift wood.
I have placed some java moss around the drift wood, hoping in a couple weeks it will completely engulf the 2 pieces. with added co2 and t5 lights it should grow well.
still trying to get that tightly rapped look.
water is still murky, might do a water change in the next few days.
 

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Yes, there is a danger of the bottle imploding. When the bottle stops producing CO2 the filter can suck the contents of the bottle into the tank. Several members have reported this happening.

You can avoid this by using a more rigid bottle instead of a soda bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
the filter can suck the contents of the bottle into the tank. Several members have reported this happening.
Isnt that what the small 2nd bottle stops ?
It traps the contents from the large bottle in it, whilst only letting the air/c02 continue through the next pipe?

Ps, i Have saved almost 10 fry, still catching more.
 
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