Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

This is my first post here. I find other people's tank journals extremely helpful and am hoping that this proves useful for someone too. This is my first ever planted tank...I used to have a 120g SPS tank but have since taken it down. I've been reading lots and lots on the web and in books and have gotten my hands on every publication available from Amano.

The tank was finally setup 08/08/08.

EQUIPMENT
  • Tank: ADA 75P (approximately 29.5" x 17.75" x 17.75"), around 40 gallons
  • Filtration: Eheim Classic 2217 + Eheim Ecco 2232 in Series & Aquarium Systems Micro-jet for circulation
    • Cal Aqua Labs Influx 17mm & Efflux 13mm
  • Lighting: Sfiligoi Zenith 150W HQI + 4x24W T5
    • 1x150W ADA 8000K HQI bulb
    • 4x24W Giesemann 6000K T5 bulbs
    • Icecap MH 150W Electronic Ballast
    • Icecap 660 Electronic Ballast (will be replacing the stock Sfiligoi ballasts with the Icecap)
  • Stand: DIY 29.5" x 17.75" x 39" Walnut Stand
  • CO2: Sumo Regulator with Clippard Solenoid and Ideal Metering Valve
    • ADA Pollen Glass 20 Diffuser
    • ADA CO2 Beetle Counter
    • 5lb CO2 Tank
    • Cal Aqua Labs Double Check CO2 Checker
  • Controller: Reefkeeper Elite Aquarium Controller to monitor / control filters, CO2, temperature, lights, pumps, pH, dosing pump
  • Dosing Pumps: 2 x Drew's Dosing Pumps (on backorder)
  • Heater: Hydor ETH 200
  • UV Sterilizer: Custom Sealife 9W (not put into commission yet)

FERTILIZERS / SUBSTRATE / HARDSCAPE
  • Fertilizer: ADA Brighty K for now (will switch to EI method soon)
  • Substrate: A mix of ADA stuff
    • 4L Power Sand-L (should've used M, but my LFS gave me the L)
    • 18L Aqua Soil Amazonia Regular
    • 12L Aqua Soil Amazonia Powder
    • Tourmaline BC
  • Hardscape: 45 lbs. of Ryuoh Stone

PLANTS / LIVESTOCK
  • Plants: HC, Blyxa Japonica, Eleocharis acicularis, Micro Sword (need to ask my LFS what the scientific name is...he said it's the stuff on pages 48/49 of the latest ADA catalog)
  • Livestock: Undecided on fish (still have at least a few weeks before adding anything) and will have some type of shrimp

Anyways, on to some pics. I'll try to post pics on a somewhat regular basis. There's something leaching color into the water...not sure if it's the substrate or the rocks, but it's been doing it since day 1. The water has a greenish tint to it (well, 'til I do a water change). I've been doing 50% water changes every day since setup (per the recommendation of my LFS).

I'm also going to swap out the stock Eheim tubing with clear tubing and I also need to tidy up all the wires, etc. Also, my CO2 tank is still sitting outside the stand (will hide it soon).

Tank right after finally filling with water and hooking everything up




HC a few hours after being put into the tank


Full tank shot on first day


RKE controller on custom acrylic stand, also a shot of the aquarium stand showing off the walnut


Tank as of today, about 10 days after setup




Thanks for looking.
Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
nice setup!!! as for the 50%wc every day, I would think the bacteria would have a heck of a time getting started with that much water change. Could be wrong.

I seem to remember something about ADA amazonia 1 leaching color? maybe it was something else but i think its was color.

that light hanger looks amazing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
nice setup!!! as for the 50%wc every day, I would think the bacteria would have a heck of a time getting started with that much water change. Could be wrong.

I seem to remember something about ADA amazonia 1 leaching color? maybe it was something else but i think its was color.

that light hanger looks amazing!
Hi Oregon Aqua,

Thanks! Yeah, I've decided to cut back on the water changes since something about it doesn't seem right to me. I also feel like sometimes, it's better not to tinker with stuff and just let things happen on their own....

Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
One thing i forgot to mention is that fresh carbon in the filter may get rid of the color in the water. Im always worried about the bacteria in my new tanks so i try to put used filter floss in the filter from my other tanks along with fresh carbon for a while to clear things up. then i switch to purigen and filter floss, always keeping a little of the old floss with the new.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,865 Posts
That's a great start to your first planted tank. You really went all out. :D Is the front of your cabinet walnut as well? I'm hoping to build a walnut stand in the future myself.

I agree with Jeremy. Try doing small daily water changes, like 10% to allow the bacteria to establish. Make sure to wait about 6 weeks before adding fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's a great start to your first planted tank. You really went all out. :D Is the front of your cabinet walnut as well? I'm hoping to build a walnut stand in the future myself.

I agree with Jeremy. Try doing small daily water changes, like 10% to allow the bacteria to establish. Make sure to wait about 6 weeks before adding fish.
Hi AaronT,

Thanks for the tips!

The carcass of the stand is made out of 3/4" walnut plywood, but the doors are made out of 3/4" MDO. I asked a couple of cabinet makers and lumber yards and they recommended plywood for its added strength, better stability (e.g., less prone to being affected by environment), cheaper price, and availability (e.g., I would've mostly likely had to join pieces together to get boards wide enough).

I was inspired by this Herman Miller piece (I have lots of his furniture at my place): http://www.hermanmiller.com/CDA/SSA/Product/1,1592,a8-c1345-p265,00.html. The doors were inspired by this piece: http://www.designpublic.com/shop/housefish/11981. I wanted to keep the stand in line with the rest of furniture in my place (mid-century modern), but I may swap out the doors to just plain ol' white doors. The stand was built with just a power drill and a pocket jig since I don't have a workshop. :) I used a few coats of a wipe-on poly from Minwax.

The curve in the light stand was also inspired by furniture from the period (e.g., bent plywood that was popular at the time) and also a wave in the water.

Thomas
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,865 Posts
Very cool. Thanks for sharing Thomas. That's certainly the most unique stand I've seen yet. I can see how it would fit in with the furniture you linked to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sweet setup!

246W of light?!?!?
Hi roybot73,

Thanks! I was nervous about that much light but:

1) I may still be a reefer at heart (e.g., you can't have too much light) ;)
2) I had a feeling I may revert back to reef when I ordered the lights
3) I wanted a fixture that looked nice and I couldn't find any lower wattage units.
4) If you can't tell from my setup, I love cool gadgets. :)

I luckily (knock on wood) haven't had too much algae popping up. It might just be too early in the cycle right now. I'm also only using the MH as a 4 hour midday burst. When I ordered the lights (about 2 months ago), I was thinking about possibly just using the MH and having the T5's just in case. I may still go that route, since I love the look when the MH is on.

I've noticed however that my tank is staying warmer than I'd like...I had my lights off all day yesterday since I'm painting the fixture white, and I noticed my tank stays at 80. I decided to get a chiller (again, illogically justifying my purchase thinking I may go reef again) which I'll post about soon. I got a great deal on a Teco Seachill 1/5 HP (if anyone would like to know, let me know...I'll send you their info), but haven't gotten around to hooking it up yet.

Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
love the lights! i was looking at the all t5 sig zenith for my reef, but ended up doing the ati powermodule instead. are you going to run the chiller inline with the filters? any pics of your reef tank?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
love the lights! i was looking at the all t5 sig zenith for my reef, but ended up doing the ati powermodule instead. are you going to run the chiller inline with the filters? any pics of your reef tank?
Hi coseal,

Thanks, I really like the look of the Sfiligoi. I painted it white this weekend and it looks way better than the original gray.

I actually originally ordered the ATI Powermodule for this tank because of all the great reviews on it, but thought I could get the Sfiligoi quicker. It ended up taking the same time after all (almost 2 months), but I'm happy I put a MH on this tank 'cause of the glitter lines...my plants seem to have settled in this week and are growing like crazy right now. I'm noticing new growth on a daily basis right now!

I did get a chiller; a Teco TR15 which is overkill right now,%2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Nice choice of tank, I love my 75P. So far me and you are the only ones on the net with 75P's, at least in a journal that is ;) . You say you couldn't find any less light than what you've got, what about a 150w MH pendant? Without the T5... That's what I've got going, and it seems like almost too much light. Be very careful with the light you've got going, I'd say no more than 5 hours a day with that halide. You can leave the T5's on longer, but much more than 5 or 6 hours of the halide and you'll have a heck of a lot of trouble avoiding algae. Best of luck, fellow 75P user!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks CmLaracy,

Your journal about your tank was how I first found out that the 75P even existed! I was originally going to just get a 60P before I saw your journal. Your tank's really nice BTW, though I don't think you've updated in a while?

Regarding my light; I couldn't find a light fixture with less light that I liked. I considered ADA, Aqua Medic, and Giesemann single MH fixtures, but didn't care for the aesthetics. I also looked at Elos and Aqua Photon, but didn't care for the look for their fixtures either. There's a huge gap in fixture available in the U.S. that I think look decent. The Sfiligoi fit the bill for both looks and quality, and I'm actually really happy with it. It was expensive and a pain, but I'm still happy with it over all.

For the MH, I'm only doing a 4.5 hour burst now (increased from 4 hours) in the middle of the light cycle (during which the plants go crazy). Total photo period is at 8 hours.

Thomas

Nice choice of tank, I love my 75P. So far me and you are the only ones on the net with 75P's, at least in a journal that is ;) . You say you couldn't find any less light than what you've got, what about a 150w MH pendant? Without the T5... That's what I've got going, and it seems like almost too much light. Be very careful with the light you've got going, I'd say no more than 5 hours a day with that halide. You can leave the T5's on longer, but much more than 5 or 6 hours of the halide and you'll have a heck of a lot of trouble avoiding algae. Best of luck, fellow 75P user!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK, have some updates. I think I may have added too many fish too fast, but all my tests looked good. Hopefully I won't regret it.

I've since hooked up my chiller since my tank wasn't getting lower than about 80F even at night. It was also getting to about 86 during the warmer days, so I decided to go with a Teco TR15 chiller. The chiller's Italian (like my light fixture) and a main motivator for me picking it was the aesthetics (just like my lights). It's also received many good reviews and is super quiet. It also has a 2 year warranty, which matches the best warranties from other chiller manufacturers. There's also a UV and heater option. Again, a lot of my equipment will most likely some day be used for a reef tank.



I did something stupid during a water change...I left my filters running instead of putting them in standby (via the controller). It stirred up a bunch of stuff and the next day, I had green water. I read up on it and tried running a UV, but it only cleared it up partially. I then decided to try a diatom filter and that did the trick! Cleared it up in about an hour! I'll keep an eye on my parameters, but hopefully it won't come back.

Anyways, a couple of updated pics. I think it's pretty evident that there's been some growth. :p





I still haven't gotten around to tidying up all my wires and hoses and such, so that's why I don't have pics of the inside of my stand yet. ;)

Thanks for looking!
Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
567 Posts
I really like how this scape is going. Love the feel and look.
I notice that you have some tuft of what looks like BGA on the aquasoil, in the 2nd pic of the closeup of the HC. I always wonder why aquasoil is prone to that. I'll give you my advice on how I clean it up, which is tedious. I grab my siphon and hold above the substrate, 2-3" and gently with a fine paintbrush (a clean one now). Lightly swirl or scribble with the brush, like on a canvas, but gently move the AS around. It will take some time. Or you can do what everyone else does, add more current. Hope that helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Nice to an appreciation for the design of tank hardware in addition to the aquascape itself.
Any more close up shots of the tank stand, inside and out? Perhaps with some light so we can see the stand better, looks nice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Eriku & thatguy,

Thanks for the kind words.

Eriku, thanks for the advice on the algae. I may try your suggestion with the paintbrush. It's funny, I thought I had enough flow at first since I have 2 canisters and an Eheim (running the chiller), but with the additional plant growth, it doesn't seem as much as I'd initially thought. I may either take the diffuser off of the chiller return (to get more of a directed flow) or put in a powerhead. I've had my eye on the Vortech MP20 (hee hee, new excuse for more toys). :)

thatguy, I'll try to take more pics of my stand with better lighting. I don't like the way my pics look with the flash, so I'll have to take pics on the weekend when I'm home during the day and there's more natural light.

Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
WOW, how thick is your substrate?
It's pretty thick...about 3" up front, and then in the back left corner, about 8" at the highest. I really wanted a sloping effect, but I think it's too thick up front...I over did it on the soil. ;) I'm thinking of redoing my plant scheme though and maybe yanking out all the hairgrass...it's growing like crazy. It's about 6" tall...I'll trim it down to about 2" or 3" and within a week or so, it's out of control again and at like 4"! In addition to growing tall, it's also spreading like wildfire. I've stopped dosing add'l fertilizers to see what effect there is, and the growth hasn't really slowed down much. I've also tried playing with photoperiods (shortening) and no noticeable changes...still growing like crazy. I wonder if it's 'cause there's so much soil that it's still putting out fertilizers into the water column?

Anyone have any tips on how to remove hairgrass? Do I just yank it out? I'm a little nervous about disturbing the substrate....

Thomas
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top