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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since there are going to be a few more of us setting up some tanks with the Soilmaster Select in the next month or so, I took a few pics while setting mine up tonight.

I added a dusting of peat to the bottom of the tank


added some Soilmaster to hold the peat down, and added mulm to the soilmaster


added more soilmaster (pic 3)


and partially filled the tank


I did not rinse the Soilmaster and filled the tank very slowly. The first ten gallons or so probably took me at least 15 minutes. I also added about 6ppm of KNO3 and 1.2ppm of KH2PO4 to the initial fill water (based on total tank volume). I'm thinking this may get absorbed by the soilmaster since it seems to initially be hydroscopic. Maybe it will absorb a bit of the fertilizers.

I was originally going to fill the tank and let the debris settle out overnight. It is clear enough that I figured I would stop and go ahead and put the plants in tomorrow. If it needs a water change after the plants go in, I will do one then. The Soilmaster Select seems to hold the plants down much better than the Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil I hae in my 55g and it is mixed with Flourite also! Might be due to the smaller grain size, but I think I will still add the sand tomorrow...

I thought I would add that I did not rinse the Soilmaster at all. That is why it looks so light in color when initally added.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The second pic is where I added mulm from my filters. Probably about a quart or so of nasty, dirty, stinky, fish poop water. It is darker in those areas because it is wet.

What everyone saw at the meeting was the black sand. We did not have the Soilmaster until yesterday. The soilmaster is actually charcoal colored but we have been calling it gray. It is lighter than the sand. The soilmaster is also dry in the first couple of pics so it really looks grey. The fourth pic shows what it looks like wet and the last pic has plants to give you an idea of the color balance. I painted the backof the tank black with a can of $.97 spray paint from WalMart. That should also give you a better idea as to the color of the Soilmaster. I think I need a better camera!
 

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Matt, that microncartridge really helped to clear the water as you suggested. However, the water flow from the filter really slows down with it in, causing much gas to build up in my CO2 reactor. I'll go back to the carbon cartridge stuffed with polyester floss like you recommended.

Since I won't be working today, I'll have plenty of time to plant a new glosso patch in the new substrate. Who knows, maybe I'll get a chance to post a pic today.
 

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I can't wait!! Tuesday is the big day for me! Matt, I will be over to go plant shopping (In your tanks of course! lol). Will probably also order a package tomorrow (Saturday) and get some oddities. Anything you're still looking for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Simpte 27 said:
I can't wait!! Tuesday is the big day for me! Matt, I will be over to go plant shopping (In your tanks of course! lol). Will probably also order a package tomorrow (Saturday) and get some oddities. Anything you're still looking for?
I'm not looking for anything in particular right now. Not sure what I will have available for your "plant shopping" trip since I too am setting up a new tank and need fast growers. I had to get mine from Rob (thanks Rob) last night. I wll be working on getting all of my Java Fern and Anubias nana in the tank today but I may have a few stems of H. difformis I can spare!
 

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I am awaiting a response from freshwateraquariumplants.com to see wht will be included in their 55-75 gallon package. You have to e-mail them with your tank setup and they match the plants for you. We will see what they say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I got my first plant order from Don and everything arrived in good shape. The pacakge was tailored to my light setup and CO2 usage. He even sent me some Rotala macrandra and Pogostemon stellatus and they grew well. That type of customer service is pretty scarce these days. Maybe some more retailers should give it a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's a few more pics of the tank. Sorry about the bad pics, but it's the best I can do with a camcorder ;)

Initial setup with aqbout 120w of light:


Today, with 192w of T-8 lighting (3 x $8 Home Depot Shoplights with Nutrigrow lamps).


I added some trimmings to the tank to help with the break in period. So far no algae other than a bit of diatoms and the 6 Otos I added last night have cleaned most of it up already .

Here are a few pics of the new fauna also:

"Powder Blue" Gourami:


I can't remember tha name of this Gourami:


So far, I like these guys a lot but they are a little skittish. Maybe due to the bright lights. They seem to congregate under the anachris canopy that is forming already. Anyone need some anachris ;)
 

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Matt,

Your tank looks great, thanks for setting this all up!

Also, thanks to Jim who brought the tank out to me this afternoon. I got the lights above it, filter set up, substraigh down and plants. So far so good, however...I NEED MORE PLANTS! Anyone willing to bring some to me next weekend i would really appreciate it. Let me know ahead of time and I will bring money to donate to the club.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I will have plenty of plants by the time the meeting rolls around. Definately have some Anachris and Water Sprite, probably some H. difformis and some Blyxa aubertii also. Hopefully some of the others with some Hygro species will be able to lend a hand.

We had agreed at the last meeting on bagging up the plants for the meeting and pricing them at either $1 or $2 depending on the amount or type of plant. Those will of course be donations to the club :)

I will start a thread for plants for the November meeting later in the week so everyone can list what they will be bringing.
 

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That would be a Dwarf gourami, Colisa lalia. A male to be specific. The powder blue is a color variation of said dwarf gourami. The females are of course much drabber in comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
molurus73 said:
That would be a Dwarf gourami, Colisa lalia. A male to be specific. The powder blue is a color variation of said dwarf gourami. The females are of course much drabber in comparison.
Were the blues ones labeled as Powder Blues or Neon Blues? I can't remember now.

I was a bit worried that they may fight with each other but so far so good. I think the tank is large enough that they can all have their own territory. If the do start going after each other, I can always move three of the males to the 75g upstairs and get some more females for that tank;)

I can take good closeups with the camcorder but the total tank shots look horrible. I definately need a better camera!
 
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