40 Gallon Tank 40g Breeder High Tech Tank Journal

Freshfishguy

Hey, so I’m going to start a tank journal in media res for my 40g breeder, as I’m making some significant equipment upgrades and did a pretty significant replanting recently. I’ve included a few of the best moments from my tank in the last year before the major replanting.

This was my first large high tech planted tank that I set up in June 2020; I scaped my first high tech tank few months before which was a 6.8g betta tank. I currently still have this tank, but I actually converted it into a low tech tank.

Equipment/Tank Info:
-Aqueon 40g breeder
-2 Fluval Plant 3.0 LEDs; distance from lights to substrate ranges from 12-14 inches.
-5lb keg of CO2, FZONE Regulator, Aquario Neo CO2 Diffuser
-Fluval Stratum substrate
-Aquaclear 110, Aquaclear 50, and sponge filter
-Ferts: APT Complete by 2hraquarist

I’m upgrading the filtration to an Oase Biomaster Thermo 600, the regulator to a CO2 Art Dual Stage Regulator, and the CO2 diffusion method to a NilocG CO2 Rexx Grigs Reactor.

My major issues this past year were

1) achieving a full, lush dwarf hairgrass carpet in the very front. I believe this first issue arose from the limitations on CO2 distribution I created for myself using the equipment I had.

2) properly maintaining healthy AR mini. I had it looking really nice at points, but I believe I also failed at this point because I had a bonsai tree which shaded parts, I practiced suboptimal plant husbandry and trimming techniques, and again the limits on my CO2 distribution. I’ve added a new batch of AR mini in my replanting to give it another go.

3) maintaining my stem plants. I didn’t understand the trimming techniques to achieve optimal dense clusters of stem plants (such as topping, replanting, etc.).

I have learned so much in this last year, even just in the last month or two, so I’m really looking forward to the results the improved conditions and increased knowledge will bring! I’ll post a picture of what the tank looks like after the replanting soon.

3AEAA3D6-77FE-4C29-8ED2-8E9116CCE30C.jpeg
1B0A2C14-0676-457C-8E0D-B2A5E11B5F1D.jpeg
BDD1EA59-5661-4A15-A080-32CD19D9F172.jpeg
50AB313F-78C5-4B71-84A5-FBD6010814A6.jpeg
D292CAE5-08BB-4FDB-A394-F98FAB098479.jpeg
559AF08A-727A-4E8F-8C60-43AD10566482.jpeg
90A000D7-2D2D-4899-B1DF-B389D59E60B0.jpeg
91B0F918-CC16-4D81-B728-36974EB43F28.jpeg
 

Patman0519

What is the vine plant on the right side of the tank? I would love to have those in my set ups
 

WRWAquarium

That is beautiful, both plants and stocking
 

Freshfishguy

What is the vine plant on the right side of the tank? I would love to have those in my set ups
Are you referring to the big mass of green on the hardscape or what exactly? If you’re referring to the plant I have in the pot, it’s Monte Carlo! A great, mid-level/or slightly more challenging than a super easy carpeting plant. Can also grow floating or attached to hardscape, so really versatile.
 

Freshfishguy

Update time:

The new CO2 Art Dual Stage Regulator came today. It was originally going to possibly take until the weekend, then the ETD was Friday, and then today I got a notification that it would be delivered by EOD today. Very pleased with the expediency of the delivery, given that it was shipped from overseas I believe.

The difference in quality between the $50-60 FZONE regulator and the CO2 Art regulator is insane. The solenoid especially is where I notice the upgrade. The new regulator seems to also be resulting in finer bubbles coming out of my diffuser.

What actually prompted my replanting was that I had to medicate the tank for about a month, which resulted in pretty much every plant except the Anubias and Crypts hurting. I bought a 10g quarantine tank so this never happens again lol. I had also switched from APT Complete to APT Zero, which wasn't the right move for my tank, as I began noticing pinholes in my crypts and some anubias leaves. I've switched back to APT Complete as of last Sunday.

At first I took out all of the stem plants in the back but left the Rotala Rotundifolia. Then I decided I wanted to start new with that as well, as it was a tangled mess and the bottoms were very bare. I also trimmed the DHG, the S. Repens, and what was left of the original batch of AR down to the substrate to give them a chance to come back denser and healthier. I think I'm going to add some more new S. Repens too just to replenish it a bit.

Some pics of the before and after of the replanting/major trimming and some other fun shots from this week. I'll post a picture at some point in the next few days of the crazy growth I've already seen after one week.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2602.jpeg
    IMG_2602.jpeg
    298.8 KB · Views: 37
  • IMG_2607.jpeg
    IMG_2607.jpeg
    254.2 KB · Views: 33
  • IMG_2609.jpeg
    IMG_2609.jpeg
    268.1 KB · Views: 32
  • IMG_2623.jpeg
    IMG_2623.jpeg
    172.5 KB · Views: 33
  • IMG_2624.jpeg
    IMG_2624.jpeg
    303.8 KB · Views: 36
  • IMG_2659.jpeg
    IMG_2659.jpeg
    194.8 KB · Views: 39
  • IMG_2672.jpeg
    IMG_2672.jpeg
    145.1 KB · Views: 39
  • IMG_2667.jpeg
    IMG_2667.jpeg
    97.5 KB · Views: 38

Freshfishguy

So here are the pics that show 12 days of growth. I have 4 types of rotala and ammannia gracilis as my background stem plants. I made the mistake of not writing down the names of the different Rotala, which I will never do again, because the only one I’m 100% certain of and remember is the rotundifolia. The one on the far right that has grown the most and so far has been an absolute beast I believe is Rotala Vietnam. I’ll post pictures of the other 2 Rotalas as well soon, hopefully someone can help ID the 3 I’m not sure about including the one I believe is Rotala Vietnam.

I actually went without CO2 for 3 days this week while waiting for the new regulator, so it’s crazy to think what the growth would have been like, especially with the Vietnam, had the CO2 not been interrupted.

Also included just for fun—a pic of my angelfish from a different tank sleeping face down that I thought was hilarious.

I’m planning on getting a lens for my iPhone to take better pics as well, which I’m pretty excited about.
 

Attachments

  • D619816F-AA10-45E3-A826-0735BAA642CC.jpeg
    D619816F-AA10-45E3-A826-0735BAA642CC.jpeg
    268.1 KB · Views: 42
  • DEDA7BD3-C518-4EB8-BF03-E3241B957A04.jpeg
    DEDA7BD3-C518-4EB8-BF03-E3241B957A04.jpeg
    251.6 KB · Views: 43
  • 2097DCFB-6E7C-428E-AD52-7BA6EF83388A.jpeg
    2097DCFB-6E7C-428E-AD52-7BA6EF83388A.jpeg
    155.7 KB · Views: 43

LHAquatics

WoW, beautiful beautiful tank, I am for sure following :D
 

Freshfishguy

Did some trimming over the weekend. The LFS I got the stem plants from identified what I thought was Rotala Vietnam on the far right as Rotala Bossii, but I can’t really find any solid information or pictures regarding Bossii unfortunately. Just going to treat it like a Rotala and hope it does well, so far it’s been a weed. I also picked up some lobelia cardinalis mini and some fresh S. Repens. I planted the lobelia to the left of the S. Repens. Looking forward to the contrast in texture it will provide.

The ammania gracilis still seems to be transitioning to immersed growth, but it’s looking healthy otherwise. The other Rotalas also seem to be taking a little bit longer to transition to my tank and really take off. Seen a lot of side shoots from them though which is good news but slightly annoying because I just want the tank to look like how it’ll look in a month or two from now ASAP lol. Just have to stick with the husbandry and maintenance and have patience and good things will come.

I also picked up a liquid API GH and KH test, as I had only ever tested my water for those parameters with test strips. I was really surprised by the results, as I thought I had a lot harder water than I do. My GH is 7 and my KH is 6, which bodes really well for what I can grow.

I can’t express how much I’m looking forward to not having a heater in the tank that distracts from the aesthetics.

Some FTS and other photos provided!
 

Attachments

  • 1A04CC4C-6F0D-4A2F-94F6-E865AC10A6DD.jpeg
    1A04CC4C-6F0D-4A2F-94F6-E865AC10A6DD.jpeg
    260.7 KB · Views: 35
  • DB034F43-73FE-4CC1-B000-539F73660E00.jpeg
    DB034F43-73FE-4CC1-B000-539F73660E00.jpeg
    181.9 KB · Views: 34
  • 8EDAE0C1-FD2F-4981-917B-A8B339BCBD05.jpeg
    8EDAE0C1-FD2F-4981-917B-A8B339BCBD05.jpeg
    282.4 KB · Views: 31

Freshfishguy

Heyo! Some decent updates today:

I did my first major trim on the ammania gracilis and other 2 rotalas. The rotala bossii has responded really well to being topped and replanted, so I went ahead and did that with the other three stem plants. In the future I plan on cutting the back stems for the plants in the rear and leaving them to branch, but I just want to get some fully immersed top-notch growth before doing so. I've left a good inch and a half on average between the different stem plants to give them room to grow. A bit uncomfortable doing this as I've always planted more closely, but from what I've read I am looking forward to seeing the results. I can always plant more closely in the future if it's an issue.

The AR mini seems to have fully converted to immersed, and I'm getting some pretty decent color out of it. I've decided to upgrade my lights to a Chihiros WRGB II, so I'm expecting to get a lot better color overall pretty soon. I moved my heater over to the left side of the tank until I get the OASE Biomaster to avoid shading issues with the stem plants. I also think it is a bit less distracting overall. Readjusted the CO2 output to be more in the down-current of the HOB, and I've since seen a lot more micro bubbles around the tank, which is a good sign. I forgot to take a pre-trim picture, but looking at last weeks gives a decent sense of where the other three stem plants were prior to being trimmed. I'll update with pics showing how they grow out soon!

FTS as it stands now post trim. Peep the gorgeous Bossii thriving after being topped.

E1125C96-8315-4EFA-A16F-8CC0DF80B218.jpeg
An added bonus to getting the WRGB 2 is that they should straighten up more. The LEDs on my Fluval 3.0s don’t extend the whole way so they are hungrily leaning towards the one I have over the back. This hobby definitely takes some patience, all the visible back wall after the trim drives me crazy!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2712.jpeg
    IMG_2712.jpeg
    368.6 KB · Views: 33
  • IMG_2713.jpeg
    IMG_2713.jpeg
    323.7 KB · Views: 25
  • IMG_2714.jpeg
    IMG_2714.jpeg
    309.3 KB · Views: 23
  • IMG_2715.jpeg
    IMG_2715.jpeg
    297.6 KB · Views: 25
  • IMG_2716.jpeg
    IMG_2716.jpeg
    295.6 KB · Views: 25
  • IMG_2717.jpeg
    IMG_2717.jpeg
    231.4 KB · Views: 27

Freshfishguy

Yo yo, several updates! --

-The Oase Biomaster Thermo 350 came in the mail. Super pumped to get it set up. I'm going to run it in tandem with my HOB for at least two weeks to seed the canister and avoid a mini-cycle just to be safe. Waiting to set it up until the lily pipe intake/outtake I ordered gets here which should be early this week.
-The Rex Griggs-style reactor I ordered from NilocG was delivered too. I included a picture of it--it's a beast. 24" long and like 2 inches wide. After doing some research, it seems the best way to set it up is to have the outtake from my canister go into a pump, then the pump go into the reactor, and the outtake from the reactor to go into the tank all in the same line. That way I'll avoid fluctuating CO2 levels if the flow rate on my canister decreases in between maintenance.
-Did a big trim on the Rotala Vietnam/Sp. Enie. I definitely don't think it is Bossii after doing some research. My best guess is it is either Rotala Vietnam or Sp. Enie, as I'm sure it is not Wallichii.
-The AR Mini is really growing well. I'm looking forward to the color I'll get out of it when the Chihiros WRGB II is set up. I ordered the Chihiros early last week.
- Ordered this lens package for my iPhone to take better pictures:
-Did a bunch of minor trimming around the tank this week and a 50-60% water change today. The other 2 rotalas are looking nice and have grown in a bit since the first trim on them last week. I don't think they will need to be trimmed for at least 2 more weeks, this time I'm going to let them grow to the top.
-The ammania gracilis has stunted a bit on 1-3 of the stems after the trim last week. I'm pretty sure I upset the plant because I trimmed it too early--a lot of the tops I replanted were barely off the substrate. I should have let it grow in more honestly before its first trim. If it hasn't recovered by a month from today, I'm either going to get a new batch or try something new, as I'm not sure the 3 rotalas + the ammania gracilis are going to look as good as I want for the back of the tank.
-Got my PH pen on Monday or Tuesday, so I was able to dial in a 1-1.3 PH drop which my fish seem fine with. Upped my lighting from 6 hours at 70% to 4 hours at 70% and then 2 at 100% last weekend. Today I upped the 100% portion of the 6 hours to 3 hours. Some crazy pearling going on when the light reaches 100%, and I haven't noticed any serious algae, so I'm trying to see how much light I can give this tank now that my maintenance is top notch and it's very established.

I plan on doing another water change of 50% minimum tomorrow. Might try dosing ferts every day instead of 4 days a week, I've heard several people say they think their plants respond better to daily ferts. Will let you guys know if I do next update. I included a pic of my 6.8 betta tank because I'm enjoying it's look recently. I plan on rescaping it in the near future.

Enjoy the pics! Until next time...
 

Attachments

  • tempImageKIjYAt.png
    tempImageKIjYAt.png
    1.7 MB · Views: 30
  • tempImagedBTZu1.png
    tempImagedBTZu1.png
    2.2 MB · Views: 30
  • tempImageQNcDEh.png
    tempImageQNcDEh.png
    2 MB · Views: 28
  • tempImageEE9CBk.png
    tempImageEE9CBk.png
    2.1 MB · Views: 27
  • tempImageEB3qXA.png
    tempImageEB3qXA.png
    2 MB · Views: 32
  • tempImagesrfjlC.png
    tempImagesrfjlC.png
    1.6 MB · Views: 31
  • tempImageNwxoik.png
    tempImageNwxoik.png
    2.2 MB · Views: 30
  • tempImageuttOgT.png
    tempImageuttOgT.png
    2.2 MB · Views: 27
  • tempImagehAD6o3.png
    tempImagehAD6o3.png
    1.5 MB · Views: 31

Freshfishguy

Hey! Big change! The Chihiros WRGB 2 came yesterday. After just one day, the color difference is drastic. Cannot wait to see what this light does to my plants after a month. Comparison pics of the AR mini and FTS with the Fluval 3.0s and the Chihiros:
7B84DCFD-43FF-4AFF-B556-9CD3086437E0.jpeg

E3412B1A-58EC-44D9-B1B9-B5F305E8119A.jpeg
Pretty insane. Just goes to show how 95% or more of LEDs have terrible color rendering, and just getting a light with more Red/green rather than just blue will improve colors drastically. Single most important thing to getting good reds.

Also just got some new plants and tossed them in the tank + took some cool shots. Enjoy!
 

Attachments

  • 103F519D-A10F-43C1-9CA2-AAD9CF2B237D.jpeg
    103F519D-A10F-43C1-9CA2-AAD9CF2B237D.jpeg
    249.2 KB · Views: 26
  • DE7A95C1-A0A6-4678-8CBE-2AE057BBB87F.jpeg
    DE7A95C1-A0A6-4678-8CBE-2AE057BBB87F.jpeg
    274.1 KB · Views: 22
  • B5E7F0F4-B113-475A-87F5-AFF52ACD8A9C.jpeg
    B5E7F0F4-B113-475A-87F5-AFF52ACD8A9C.jpeg
    271.3 KB · Views: 26
  • 608186AD-3357-40D8-955B-F7D4DF7B1818.jpeg
    608186AD-3357-40D8-955B-F7D4DF7B1818.jpeg
    244.8 KB · Views: 27

Freshfishguy

Hey guys!

Did a water change today and took a front tank shot.

Really looking forward to how the tank will look once the Ammania Gracilis has grown. I got a new batch of it that had been grown emersed, so that is currently transitioning. I saved maybe 3 stems that seem to be healthy from the initial batch and threw out the rest that had stunted badly. Like I said I’m pretty sure I ran into issues because I trimmed them too early and way too short.

I’m not in love with the crypts that I have in the midground. Not sure if I’m just going to try and take them all out and have the stem plants go from short to tall, just take out all the taller crypts, or take the crypts out and add different midground plants.

Hopefully by next Sunday I’ll have the new lid made and the Oase Biomaster and lily pipe inlet/outlet and the Rex Griggs reactor set up. Stay tuned!
 

Attachments

  • A841BA0B-80C8-4829-BFEE-7F832E1102D7.jpeg
    A841BA0B-80C8-4829-BFEE-7F832E1102D7.jpeg
    232.3 KB · Views: 35
  • 4C6750F9-D731-44C7-821C-279ED0FB0C52.jpeg
    4C6750F9-D731-44C7-821C-279ED0FB0C52.jpeg
    178.3 KB · Views: 36

Freshfishguy

Took a FTS last night after the weekly water change and trimming. Mowed the whole DHG lawn (Pain), and trimmed some of the stems. Looks like I’m getting pretty close to a money shot for the tank. Still waiting on the Ammania Gracilis to fill in and for the S Repens to grow a bit taller and show in the front. The polycarbonate sheet I’m going to make a new lid out of was delayed, so I won’t be able to do that and set up the canister/reactor until at least next weekend :/.
9476B79F-4814-4AC2-827B-E78FA61A629C.jpeg

Check out the difference between April 14th before I rescaped a bit and got the new light:

10790943-245E-4E75-B93D-D26B1C23C383.jpeg

And here is the difference between just May 19th and now:

E568D361-010C-4395-BF18-4067E58B0902.jpeg
I definitely recommend the tank journals on the plantedtank forum to get an understanding of the husbandry requirements to maintain a tank like this. I think my results after reading up and learning even more speak for themselves :). Oh and something I’m specifically pretty proud of—zero algae on my slow growers (Anubias and Buce) that are directly under the Chihiros which I have at full intensity.

The only visible algae I have is a bit in two spots in the DHG (which I believe will resolve with better flow once I get the canister and reactor set up), some pretty harmless algae on the rocks under the driftwood, and some on some of the older leaves of the AR Mini. I plan to cut any of the AR Mini leaves with algae this week.

One more cool shot:
6E2FFE2F-22F4-484D-8DF5-11D9DB188709.jpeg
 

JLAquatics

Took a FTS last night after the weekly water change and trimming. Mowed the whole DHG lawn (PITA), and trimmed some of the stems. Looks like I’m getting pretty close to a money shot for the tank. Still waiting on the Ammania Gracilis to fill in and for the S Repens to grow a bit taller and show in the front. The polycarbonate sheet I’m going to make a new lid out of was delayed, so I won’t be able to do that and set up the canister/reactor until at least next weekend :/.
9476B79F-4814-4AC2-827B-E78FA61A629C.jpeg

Check out the difference between April 14th before I rescaped a bit and got the new light:

10790943-245E-4E75-B93D-D26B1C23C383.jpeg

And here is the difference between just May 19th and now:

E568D361-010C-4395-BF18-4067E58B0902.jpeg
I definitely recommend the tank journals on the plantedtank forum to get an understanding of the husbandry requirements to maintain a tank like this. I think my results after reading up and learning even more speak for themselves :). Oh and something I’m specifically pretty proud of—zero algae on my slow growers (Anubias and Buce) that are directly under the Chihiros which I have at full intensity.

The only visible algae I have is a bit in two spots in the DHG (which I believe will resolve with better flow once I get the canister and reactor set up), some pretty harmless algae on the rocks under the driftwood, and some on some of the older leaves of the AR Mini. I plan to cut any of the AR Mini leaves with algae this week.
Looking great there! I just love how planted tanks change over time!
 

Freshfishguy

Looking great there! I just love how planted tanks change over time!
Thank you!! Same here. I love to use the grid/collage shots because it’s pretty mind-blowing when you look back.
 

gray18

Great looking tank! I love 40 breeders!
 

Freshfishguy

Really enjoying the tank since I switched things up in April.

FTS and some other shots of the tank as it is right now:

tempImagegB1TIZ.png

tempImage857YPL.png

tempImageDpYQkS.png
I cleaned up the crypts in the midground significantly to let the background plants show through more. I think it looks a lot better. There is one patch of the DHG that isn't fully filled in on the left front of the tank, so I went ahead and trimmed it to try and encourage it to fill in more, so that is why there is a bit of a bald/thin patch in that area.

I have been changing 30-50% of the water twice a week since about 2 weeks ago, and this week I started doing the APT method of water changes (using a pipette to kick up mulm on the aquasoil straight into a siphon. I believe I've definitely noticed cleaner conditions and happier/fluffier plants especially from the AR Mini.

During the water change (I quite enjoy this type of shot):

Screen Shot 2021-06-07 at 5.36.52 PM.png

Some close ups of some of the different plant groups:
Mystery Rotala (most likely Vietnam or Bossii):

tempImagelMo9EZ.png
Still seems to be happy enough. I have noticed a pretty ridiculous number of side shoots sprouting, which I've read some finicky species can do as a survival mechanism when stressed. But I'm pretty sure its very happy as I don't see any stunting, so it could just be that this type of rotala throws out a lot of side shoots in certain conditions.


tempImageAXkvJt.png
The Ammania Gracilis is starting to really look nice. This plant has been the biggest straggler out of all the species because of my initial misstep of trimming it too low and too soon. Still not showing as much as I want, but its progressing nicely and looking healthy, so I can't complain much. Just have to be patient lol.


tempImageQ7DKjc.png
Lobelia cardinalis mini looking sweet. For sure a new favorite. Will probably use this plant a ton in the years to come.


tempImagekCAuaT.png
Probably the star of the tank. AR Mini looking really healthy. Some leaves have a good amount of GDA, which is par for the course with this plant. Trimmed off some of the worst ones over the weekend, and I'll trim more of the worse ones when I can.

And now: NEW ADDITIONS! :).


tempImagenXwBZ3.png
Got bored with the pot of monte carlo. I'm pretty sure the soil I had in it was depleted, so I added new soil and picked up this bad boy: crypt flamingo (tissue culture). Pretty excited to see if I can grow it and how it turns out. I had a lot left over after I added some of the culture into this pot, so I put another clump of the flamingo in my betta tank (high light, no CO2, rich ferts, aqua-soil), and I put the last clump in my Angelfish community tank (low/medium light, no CO2, inert substrate w/ a fresh NilocG root tab directly under it), so I will update in the future on how it grows in the three different setups.


tempImagenU5A4f.png
Bucephalandra Brownie Ghost (also tissue culture)!!! Very pumped to see if I can get it to turn blue. The Chihiros is a beast, and so far I've found buces to be really easy, so I don't think it should be an issue.
Another tank shot:

tempImageYSKgNz.png

The polycarbonate sheet I ordered came this past week, and I was able to get it cut. However, I went with 3/32" thick polycarbonate without realizing how thin it was, which ended up being way too flimsy. So over the weekend I actually found a local manufacturer that had ¼" clear polycarbonate and was able to get a sheet cut to size from a remnant. I'll be getting the lid cut and finally set up this week, along with the reactor, lily pipe, and canister filter.
 

Vishaquatics

I really love this journal, just had the chance to read through it. I know I've said this to you before, but your improvement in plant husbandry is very evident from the starting photo to present photo. Things will only continue to improve over time as the plants become more established and your husbandry efforts are performed over the long-term! Fair warning on Ammania gracilis, it starts slow but suddenly picks up once the roots get established. It can become a real monster of a plant over time :)
 

Freshfishguy

I really love this journal, just had the chance to read through it. I know I've said this to you before, but your improvement in plant husbandry is very evident from the starting photo to present photo. Things will only continue to improve over time as the plants become more established and your husbandry efforts are performed over the long-term! Fair warning on Ammania gracilis, it starts slow but suddenly picks up once the roots get established. It can become a real monster of a plant over time :)
Thanks, Vish!!! I almost tagged you in some of my updates multiple times to be honest lol. You have been such an invaluable resource and help to me getting things more figured out, very much appreciated. Looking forward to introducing my scissors to the future beastly Ammania :).
 

Vishaquatics

Thanks, Vish!!! I almost tagged you in some of my updates multiple times to be honest lol. You have been such an invaluable resource and help to me getting things more figured out, very much appreciated. Looking forward to introducing my scissors to the future beastly Ammania :).

I was happy to make recommendations, but it is ultimately your hard work that makes this possible. The ammania will meet those scissors very soon, and it will be glorious when it happens haha
 

wrs2

Your tank looks great! This makes me want to scrap my 40 breeder and start from scratch! Jealous!!
 

Freshfishguy

Your tank looks great! This makes me want to scrap my 40 breeder and start from scratch! Jealous!!
Thank you, I really appreciate it :).
 

Freshfishguy

Got the new lid, canister, and lily pipe and outtake all set up!

tempImageklneTp.png

tempImageYNoBn3.png

tempImagepRZdNM.png

tempImagexQehy7.png
There are a few things I learned through the lid process. I would honestly have gone with even thicker than ¼". ¼" works, but bends just enough to be annoying. Also, I would play around with the placement of the lily pipes on the tank and see how they look before committing to the cuts. Part of me wishes they were on the other side of the tank, because the side that they are on blocks my side view of the tank from my desk.

I was finally able to take the heater out of the tank too because my canister filter has one built in :). I'm still running the Aquaclear 110 while the canister gets seeded, which I'll probably do for 3 weeks or so. I am pretty sure I'll take the HOB off after and just run the canister. Might add a second circulation pump just in case too, we'll see.

Now I just need to get the reactor + external pump set up. The outtake of the pump isn't large enough for my filter tubing, so I ordered an adaptor and am now waiting on that.

FTS of the tank now:

tempImagewkoVHR.png
 

Freshfishguy

Hey guys! Been a while so definitely is time for an update. Here are some of the major things that have changed since my last post:

-Took down the Aquaclear 110 and sponge filter, so now the Oase Biomaster is the only filter on the tank. Maintenance has been really easy so far.
-Set up a surface skimmer in the back left corner which pushes the flow towards the right side of the tank and helps the circular pattern of flow.
-Finally set up the NilocG reactor and got rid of the in-tank diffuser! Loving the reactor and not having the in-tank diffuser distracting from the aesthetics. Here is the set up:

tempImageb5qSqt.png

I just bought another surface skimmer to increase the surface agitation and help a bit with flow. Actually don't think it's super necessary, but I am leaning towards setting it up in the back right corner pointing straight forward at the lily pipe and return in conjunction with the circular flow pattern.

The Limnophila Green Wavy, Rotala Vietnam, and Pogostemon Stellatus have pretty much grown in how I wanted them. Here is a pic before and after trimming 2 weeks ago:

Before:

tempImagemzDY7I.png
After:

tempImage8xYTco.png

This weekend I mowed the DHG all the way down because it had gotten a bit out of control lol. I went 2 weeks without a water change for the first time since April, and as a result some GSA popped up on the glass and the AR Mini suffered a lot (a lot of deterioration and GDA on the leaves) so I mowed the AR mini down a bit and got rid of most of the bad leaves. Going to be more diligent about 2 water changes a week of about 40% or at the very least one 60% water change. Because I have a high fish load and I'm not dosing leanly in a high tech environment, things can get a bit out of control very quickly if I go longer than a week without water changes. I also took off a big chunk of some beautiful Anubias that was hanging over the left side of the driftwood:

tempImagebbGkog.png

After Sunday's mowing, water change, and setup of the reactor/removal of the in-tank diffuser:

tempImageAgBbvu.png

I wasn't liking the Ammania Gracilis. Based on my research, I'm pretty sure Ammanias tend to like leaner conditions than what I'm dosing. It could be that or my KH of 6-7. There wasn't the best color from it and it wasn't growing perfectly--there was some twisting in the leaves and such, so I decided to go with Rotala Blood Red for that section. Going to take at least 6 weeks I would think before it's nice and bushy like the Rotala Vietnam, but I am absolutely loving the color from it:

tempImageOMIj4d.png

I also wasn't loving the Oldenlandia Salzamannii which was the green plant right behind the AR Mini. I picked up some Limnophila Hippuridoides for that section, and I'm pretty excited to see how it grows in. I think it might have been grown emersed, so it will take a while to transition:

tempImagePX2Dd0.png

I added another limnophila, limnophila aromatica on the left side behind the pearl weed:

tempImageuygzuT.png

The crypt flamingo tissue culture has melted as expected and sprouted its new leaves which I'm expecting to be pretty spectacular:

tempImageiAdkkB.png

So there you have it :). There is still a lot of growing left to do. I still have to decide what I'm going to do in the back left corner where the sponge filter used to be. Considering maybe a hygrophila. Next week I'm planning on mowing down the lobelia cardinalis mini in the front a bit because it's grown pretty high. Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by!
 

Vishaquatics

Tank is looking absolutely gorgeous! Glad to see you got a reactor, looks like it's working nicely. Rotala blood red is a fantastic choice. Much easier than ammanias in harder water, and when fertilized with a relatively lean/moderate fert like APT Complete, it turns a gorgeous pink/red color that I haven't found in any other types of plants.

If you're looking for a good hygro to use in a back corner, I'd highly recommend Hygrophila balsamica. It's a slower/moderate grower compared to most others which makes it easy to manage. It also gets thick and lush. The pinnate leaves and texture can't be beaten. I like to think of this plant as the ultimate form of water wisteria. Better internode spacing, more manageable growth rate, more intricate pinnate leaf pattern, not a total weed, denser growth, mostly vertical growth habit, etc.

Pogostemon erectus is also another good choice.


IMG_0432.JPG
IMG_0452.JPG
 

Freshfishguy

Tank is looking absolutely gorgeous! Glad to see you got a reactor, looks like it's working nicely. Rotala blood red is a fantastic choice. Much easier than ammanias in harder water, and when fertilized with a relatively lean/moderate fert like APT Complete, it turns a gorgeous pink/red color that I haven't found in any other types of plants.

If you're looking for a good hygro to use in a back corner, I'd highly recommend Hygrophila balsamica. It's a slower/moderate grower compared to most others which makes it easy to manage. It also gets thick and lush. The pinnate leaves and texture can't be beaten. I like to think of this plant as the ultimate form of water wisteria. Better internode spacing, more manageable growth rate, more intricate pinnate leaf pattern, not a total weed, denser growth, mostly vertical growth habit, etc.

Pogostemon erectus is also another good choice.


IMG_0432.JPG
IMG_0452.JPG
Thanks, Vish, for the kind words!! Still getting the tank where I want it lol, but it’s definitely come far.

I actually might drop the KH in my tank to around 1-2 with some HCL also. Talked to Burr/Joe about it and he gave me some tips. Maybe not even worth it for this tank, but I’m curious as to the effect on the plants.

The hygro balsamica and pogostemon erectus are excellent suggestions!! I think I’ll definitely go with one of them for that corner.

I take it you think that it’s more likely the Ammania Gracilis was having a bit of trouble because of my KH then rather than APT Complete?

EDIT: Wow hygro balsamica is pretty rare. Couldn’t find it anywhere :O.
 

Vishaquatics

Dropping KH is a good idea, but not really necessary if your KH isn't too extreme. Ammania gracilis is a sensitive to KH like most plants in the Lythraceae family, BUT you can still technically grow it in a higher KH water. The key is to maintain stable conditions, dose lean/moderate in the water column, and have a nutrient-rich substrate. It's also much easier to grow ammanias when the substrate is rich in ammonia.

I personally am growing Ammania gracilis and Ammania pedicellata golden in hard-ish water (gracilis left, golden right in picture). KH is around 4-5 degrees, aquasoil is multiple years old and buffering capacity is long gone. I am fertilizing with APT Complete at the recommended dosage. However, I am using my new root tab formula under it which is adding some ammonia to the roots. That really seemed to help it takeoff and become fat/lush.

IMG_0442.JPG

Also PM me if you can't find a source for the balsamica, I know some people that currently sell it.
 

Freshfishguy

Things have grown in a lot since the last update.

I went on vacation from Thursday of last week until Tuesday of this week. I dosed 2 days worth of ferts before leaving, but the tank definitely bottomed out—had the most GSA I’ve had on the front glass when I got back. Other than that, everything was totally fine.

This is how the tank looked before leaving:

FBBDD9E9-770B-4E76-BFAE-2BBC80044473.jpeg
And this is what the tank looked like when I got back:

4D123ED6-2933-4F2E-9855-42E5555433D0.jpeg
And this is after yesterday’s water change and trim:

87697C8E-99EB-4B05-B67A-01AB579400CC.jpeg

I added a dwarf water lily to the front left side as an accent piece. This is how it looked a day or two after I put it in the tank on July 31st:

D5766986-9F5B-4E70-8FC4-73F196831A65.jpeg
And here is how it looked last night after about a week and a half of being in the tank:

53CB2F5D-154A-4B55-B6D5-B87E0E9BC03F.jpeg

Some other pics of the plants that have really grown in:

140C4BC5-EB41-4C59-8348-35913EE0FC66.jpeg

C500FAF6-165E-4D5D-AE7B-E7E291CE1D10.jpeg

8ABCB053-ACE1-4B75-B706-74B6EB1302DA.jpeg
At this point I’m mostly waiting on the Pearl weed wall to fully grow in on the left side and for the Rotala Blood Red to fill in. It’s going to take at least a couple trimmings to get the Rotala where I want it.

I’m going to drop my KH from 6-7 to 1-2 today. Going to be very interesting how the plants react. The Rotala Blood Red has some greenish/yellowish tinges here and there, which I’m attributing to my higher than optimal KH, so that will be one of the plants I will be closely observing after the drop for a reaction.
 

LilyPipeDreams

Really enjoy your journal! Beauty tank and your plant maintenance skills are excellent. The AR Mini is very well kept. ;)
 

Freshfishguy

Really enjoy your journal! Beauty tank and your plant maintenance skills are excellent. The AR Mini is very well kept. ;)
Thank you so much! Glad you’ve enjoyed it :).
 

Freshfishguy

Heyo! Been too long since an update. A lot has changed in the last two months as one might expect. I think I did see a benefit from lowering the KH to 1-2, but I decided against continuing playing mad scientist on this tank for the livestock's sake and living with the 6.5 KH as it's not like that is ridiculously high.

Here are some highlights of the tank in the last few months from what I think is the best the tank looked in this iteration to completely overgrown:

tempImageSgTKts.png


tempImageYsHa1G.png


tempImageis0KkI.png

After the tank got to this point, I decided I wanted to try something a bit different. I got especially tired of the mid ground of red/brown crypts, dwarf hair grass, and AR mini, so I pulled those all out XD. This is what the tank looked like after:


tempImageXpjf9x.png

I filled pretty much an entire shopping bag with the crypts. It was pretty ridiculous. Here is one impressive bunch:

tempImageURoGij.png

And here is what the tank looks like now:


tempImageeDiGRN.png
I moved the limnophila green wavy out from behind the hardscape and in front of the back corner grassy plant because the Java Fern completely obscures anything behind it now. I also added hygro corymbosa compacta on the right side as a substitute for the leaf texture of the AR Mini. I want to try not having a red plant in a corner, as I read and think agree that it can draw one's eye unnaturally towards it immediately and mess with the cohesiveness of a scape.

My plan right now is to add a bush of hydrocotyle japan and a red plant street where the crypts were as the main part of the mid ground. Also hoping to incorporate downoi into the foreground, as I really like the look of it from images I've seen in other scapes. I'm not sure if I like the limnophila hippuridoides anymore either. I moved it between the pogostemon stellatus and the corner plant for now, but it's subject to be moved or replaced.

I've decided to provide some pics of my other tanks on this thread too just for fun. I put some trimmings of the Rotala Blood Red in my Angelfish community tank:

tempImageagBFds.png
Going to try water wisteria in the back right corner and I may add some type of mid ground plant in front of the myrio on the left.

Here is my ridiculously overgrown 7g betta tank:

tempImagezyMnH7.png
I'm going to redo it sometime in the near future in favor of a much more open and lower maintenance look. I added what I thought was dwarf sag to the tank over a year ago, and it turned out to be something that grows much larger and absolutely engulfed the tank, so I haven't been very happy with it for a while. Here is what the tank look liked when I first added it for reference:


IMG_1891.jpg

I'm going to try and be better about updating more frequently again! That's all for now.
 

BradleyH2O

You got mad skills bro
 

Ambie

Have you had any air purging issues with the biomaster 350?

I'm setting up my own 40B high tech and I'm stuck between a Biomaster 350 & Fluval 407. I'm really leaning to the Oase thermo, but I keep hearing about tons of air purging issues. And my tank would be in my bedroom, So the quieter the better.
 

Freshfishguy

Have you had any air purging issues with the biomaster 350?

I'm setting up my own 40B high tech and I'm stuck between a Biomaster 350 & Fluval 407. I'm really leaning to the Oase thermo, but I keep hearing about tons of air purging issues. And my tank would be in my bedroom, So the quieter the better.
Nope, no issues. It’s completely silent. You’ve heard about people having issues with the 350 model? I have heard of issues with the 600, but the issues may even be resolved now. I did a lot of research on canisters before I bought mine, and my top 3 came down to Oase, Fluval, and Aquael, so very similar to you. I would highly recommend Aquael or Oase because they have prefilters. Makes maintenance on them a lot easier than canisters like the Fluval where you have to completely open them up to clean. FWIW my tank is in my bedroom too lol.

Also, a brief update.

Post water change and trim over the weekend:

10093C96-4655-42DA-850A-A518C0DF379F.jpeg

of my favorite critters in the tank posed yesterday for me:

BDF5392A-157D-40D6-AF5B-43149D3F8A9D.jpeg

Decided to play mad scientist again and drop the KH in the tank from around 7 to 1-2 over this week. But, this time I’m adding my water change water to a 20g tub and aerating it over night before adding it into my tank so I don’t have to dose any HCL straight into my tank. I’m keeping each change in KH under a 3kh swing, as I’ve read that can stress sensitive species. I did the first change today—added 3kh water into my tank after taking out 50%. It worked seamlessly and brought the KH in my tank down to 5. This next time I’ll be adding 1kh water to drop it down to 3 and so on.

I have a bunch of plants coming in the mail this week too, so things are going to look pretty different very soon!
 

Freshfishguy

Here’s how the tank is looking after the major replanting this week:


tempImagegH78L4.jpg

I ended up pulling out the Limnophila hippuridoides, Pogostemon Stellatus octopus, and Limnophila green wavy.

Pretty much all the plants came emersed, so they’ll have to convert over the next couple weeks. Here is a close up of the right side of the tank:


tempImageqWGGUK.jpg

Added Cacomba Caroliniana in place of the Stellatus Octopus. I decided to go with the Ludwigia sp red over the macrandra mini for now. Behind it is Ludwigia inclinata var. verticallata white, and behind that is a street of bacopa salzmanni purple. I plan on taking out the cyprus helferi in the back right and moving the ammania pedicellata golden to its spot. It’s going to be a bit of a fruit stand when it all grows in in the best way lol.

Ammania pedicellata golden: Used to be called Nasea pedicellate, but was moved to the Ammania family.


tempImageiMQhhC.jpg

Flamingo crypts:


tempImageSGqKLh.jpg

Eriocaulon cerineum: Supposed to be one of the more forgiving erios that doesn't necessarily need 0-2dKH water.


tempImageuKd2ag.jpg

And pogostemon helferi/downoi and anubias nana white:


tempImageTl1NK5.jpg

I've managed to drop my KH from 7 to 3 this week. Will get it down to 1ish this week. Can't wait for everything to grow in!
 

Freshfishguy

FTS after another week of progress:


IMG_3730.jpeg

I cut a good amount of the Anubias off of the front of the wood and took out the Java Fern. Replaced the Java with hygrophila pinnatifida, which is yet another new plant for me. I’ve read that it can grow like crazy with CO2, but it’s looked so beautiful and I got tired enough of the Java that I had to try it for myself.

I’m trying to let the new plants grow in as much as possible before trimming them for the first time. I think I see some new submersed shoots on the Ludwigia inclinata white and the bacopa salzmannii purple, but they really have just been sitting in the tank thus far. Hopefully will see more definitive progress over the next week or so.

The Ludwigia sp. red is growing in beautifully, I love its dark deep red color and how when it’s closed up the tops kind of look like roses:


tempImageD0Mzoa.jpg

Snagged a pretty nice shot of my Red Back Amapa Angelfish:


tempImageXULxSa.jpg

The emersed flamingo crypts have seemed to be a lot easier to transition then the tissue culture I tried to transition a couple months back. You can see new leaves coming out:


tempImageXIEcoA.jpg

Pretty surprised at the dark shade of the pink crypts under my light, but definitely not disappointed. Excited to see them fully grown in.

The Hydrocotyle has also filled in a lot and is starting to peak over the driftwood:


tempImageH1JrYW.jpg
 

Linda1234

Pretty surprised at the dark shade of the pink crypts under my light, but definitely not disappointed. Excited to see them fully grown in.
What light do you have on the aquarium - or better yet do you know the par value at the substrate? In my tank I have a bit over 100 par at the substrate and the flamingo is fairly pink; but every now and then stuff floats over it until the next time i do work on the tank and it quickly darkens and point up (the leaves move from flat on the substrate to pointing upwards); so it doesn't take a lot for it to darken.
 

Freshfishguy

What light do you have on the aquarium - or better yet do you know the par value at the substrate? In my tank I have a bit over 100 par at the substrate and the flamingo is fairly pink; but every now and then stuff floats over it until the next time i do work on the tank and it quickly darkens and point up (the leaves move from flat on the substrate to pointing upwards); so it doesn't take a lot for it to darken.
Unfortunately I have no clue. I would love to get my hands on a PAR meter though.
 

Freshfishguy

Been a while again. Thought I'd update on how the tank is looking. Changed some plants and others have grown in much better.

Here is how the tank was looking over the course of a couple weeks recently before a 3 hour trimming session this last weekend.


tempImageQNo9Ei.png


tempImageBoeOzk.png

And after the trimming, this is how it is looking now.


tempImagelh6JVy.png
 

SamMe

VERY nice looking tank!
 

Freshfishguy

Sup everyone! Mid-week update.

Here is the tank:

tempImagefEqYTM.jpg

Decided to get rid of the hydrocotyle. It did not want to stay rooted in the substrate. I think it would have looked much better and been easier to deal with attached to some hardscape like lava rock. One big bonus is you can now see the pogostemon erectus which I added forever ago and has been transitioning to my tank the whole time. One of the stems I added just completely melted into mush and shed its needles all over the surface of the tank, but it looks like the rest of it is growing in nicely.

In the hydrocotyle's place I've chosen to use rotala indica bonsai and rotala florida. I'm pretty certain both were grown emersed, but they have already started to perk up and show some new growth since being added over the weekend. The rotala florida is starting to turn purple which is very cool to see.


tempImageJqRmPY.jpg

The mermaid weed continues to grow in nicely too:

tempImageRN9KhO.jpg
And here is another fun picture of the ludwigia super red:

tempImage1BlYfO.jpg

I took these last three pictures underwater with my iPhone 13 Pro. Very fun to play around with some underwater shots.

I don't think I'm getting enough contrast between s repens and the lobelia cardinalis mini, so I'm planning on going with some buces in place of one of them. I may also switch out the other one too, as I've had them both for a while now and wouldn't mind trying something new.

In other news, I finishing rescaping my 7 gallon betta tank. Here is what it looked like before:

tempImage98pkcn.jpg

And here is how it looks now:

tempImagewPMlbG.jpg
I definitely need to thicken up the plants on the right side more, but very happy with how it turned out, and it should be a lot less maintenance than before.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
16
Views
336
titusxander
Replies
3
Views
139
PlantedCommunityTank132
Replies
38
Views
956
Basil
Replies
1
Views
143
Fishnturtleguy933
Replies
4
Views
445
VibrantOrange

Random Great Thread!

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom