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3449 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  flagg
Hi Folks!

Well, after several years of keeping NPTs I was finally able to set up a big one, my 125! I had this set up originally as a Tanganyikan tank, but tore it down because I wasn't happy with it. I then tore down my 30 gal and repotted all the plants from there into this tank. (I turned the 30 gal into a julie tank (much more managable and without the shell dwellers, hopefully they'll breed for me)). I just finished planting it today with some more plants that I got from a friend of mine. I'm quite pleased with the outcome and am actually about to sit in front of it for a while! But first here's the tank...

Jebo 300W heater
Jebo 838 canister filter
3x 96W AH Supply power compacts (retrofitted into old fixtures)
72 x 18 x 24 custom aquarium w/ custom-made stand

Flora (too much to remember all, but I'll give it a try):
Vallisneria americana (or spiralis, don't remember!)
Echinodorus bleheri
E. cordifolius
E. "ozelot" (?)
E. tenellus
Rotala indica
Cryptocoryne wendtii "bronze" and "red"
C. sp. (unsure which one)
Aponogenton sp. (crispus, I think)
Eleocharis parvula
Microsorum pteropus
M. pteropus "windelov"
Vesicularia dubyana
V. sp. "Christmas"
Riccia fluitans

Xiphophorus helleri (2 green (M/F) 2 orange (M/F) and too many fry!)
Ancistrus sp.

With only a little over 2WPG the riccia won't do well, if I plant it so it's currently on the surface, lightly pinched between the outflow tube and heater line. I'm gonna see what happens if I grow it slightly emerged. There's another plant that I can't ID. I'll post a pic of it later, for now, here's how the tank looks...

Here're the swordtails, orange male and fry and a green female...

Orange male again...

fry! (from my first batch, now about .5 - .75")
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Your off to a nice start with your tank. What is the oval white thing in the middle of the back? Is that just a leaf reflecting light or something else? Nice looking swordtails, too.
Very nice. I love it! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see it in a few months.
I am SO jealous!! That looks awesome.

Are you using the filter just for water movement and still all the elements of NPT?
Thanks, everybody for you kind comments. Catherine: Yes, that's light reflecting off of one of the sword plants.

Since I posted this, the tank got a nasty case of green water algae. It got progressively worse for about three day, now, for the past two days, it's actually been clearing up on its own. Gotta get some floaters and do some water changes. I'm also getting what appears to be some blue-green algae on the substrate, not happy about that. Just gonna get those floating plants and do some frequent water changes for a couple of weeks. That should take care of it. If anybody has any suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them.


PS Oh, rohape, yes, the filter is mostly just for water movement. The media in the filter is for mechanical filtration, filter floss and stuff.
Hello Flagg,

Nice tank.

Here's a few things to consider for your tank during the critical break-in period.

  • Change water and add charcoal to the filter
  • Add floating plants
  • Reduce (temporarily) light intensity. You have much more light than you need at this stage; once the plants start filling in the tank and take off, you can ramp up the lighting to 3 X 96 watts of CFL
  • Add a UV sterilizing filter that will definitely kill the green water algae
  • Add antibiotics (kanamycin/erthromycin) to kill the blue-green algae

Your tank will probably work out fine in the end. Hopefully, one of my suggestions will help you out!
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Thanks for the tips Diana!

I'm def. going to be changing the water until the problem goes away. I hadn't thought about adding charcoal to the filter. I'll do that tomorrow when I change the water. I also did reduce the light to 2 X 96W of CFL. I have a tiny bit of duckweed in there, hopefully it'll take off. So, it looks like I'm on the right track. I can't a afford a UV sterilizer at this point, but I don't think it's needed. That would be a quick easy solution, but I've learned the value of patience when keeping NPTs.

I was thinking about dosing antibiotics, but I'll only do that as a last resort, as you might know by now, I'm not big on adding chemicals to NPTs, being a purist of the "El Natural" method I believe that doing so should always be a very last resort.

I'll keep people updated....

So I ended up adding carbon to the filter and things have gotten worse. While on the one hand, the BGA seems to have disappeared, the green water algae, which was getting better, has since gotten much worse. Also, the tank is now also getting a cloudy white color too leading me to believe that it's getting a bacterial bloom. Does anybody know if the carbon could be contributing to this? I'm thinking that if things haven't reversed themselves tomorrow, I'm going to remove the carbon. This, of course, reinforces my long-standing belief that I should have stuck with: if it ain't broke (or if it's getting better) then leave well enough alone.... sheesh, after all the times I've advise others to do the same things, here I am not doing so!

I'm still waiting to get some floating plants for this tank....

Are you having trouble getting the floating plants? I have some Water Lettuce if your interested. I could send the "mother" plant with a nice 14" root.
Along these lines, if your having trouble getting floating plants I have a LFS with plenty of Hornwort I can swing by and grab.

I would think removing the carbon, do a water change and adding some floating plants would do it for you.
rohape: that's very nice of you to offer! I sent a PM.

Ok, so I added a UV sterilizer that my friend is lending me. Three days and the green water algae is all cleared up. It's also even taken care of the bacterial bloom. Should be crystal clear in another day or two. Then, when I get some water lettuce going, I'll get rid of the sterilizer and see what happens.

Plants have been going gangbusters! I'll post updated photos this week some time.

I can give you floaters : hornwort, guppy grass, duckweed, salvinia if you're having trouble getting them :)
Ok, so here's an update of this tank, about 3 months after setup. It's doing great! I had that green water algae outbreak which was taken care of by a UV sterilizer which a friend of mine lent me. I also added some carbon to the filter which I'm sure helped. The blue-green algae disappeared on its own. The growth has been amazing. I have added only a few extra plants as you can see in the pics, the rest is the natural growth of the original plants. I also added a half dozen false altum angelfish. I'm getting some MTS since there's quite a bit of fish waste and extra stuff that I want the snails to take care of. The water lettuce that I got isn't growing well. I don't know if it's because of my ridiculously hard water (over 350 ppm carbonate hardness!) but it barely struggles. With water that hard, the vals love it! There's a weird whitish/yellowish crusty substance on the vals. Could it be possible that in precipitating CO2 from the hard water it's leaving behind a layer of calcium on the surface of the leaves? Other than that, there's some weird algae like stuff on the substrate. I didn't get a pic of it to see if anyone can help ID it, I'll try that later. For now, here's the tank as of yesterday....

Oh, also, I'm trimming this week so if anyone wants some vals, all you have to do is pay for the shipping and I'll send some. Just drop me a PM.

Comments, questions, tips and suggestions welcomed and encouraged.

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