75 G - 1 week after setup (pics)

Isabella

Member
HI all

Here are some pics of the tank after it has been running for 1 week. The water has cleared up nicely and I am not getting any pH changes due to driftwood (which I thought I was going to have). Hornwort and Water Sprite have grown a bit, quite fast, over the course of just 1 week, as for a low-light and "no CO2" tank. Water Wisteria has grown a little too, but less than Hornwort and Water Sprite. Cryptocorynes are losing few leaves but they're also starting to grow new leaves from the bottom. Each of Anubias is growing a new leaf too

I am quite amazed at all of this, as I thought I'd have to wait like a month to see any growth.

This is a picture of Water Wisteria:
 

dsteamn

Member
Isabella,
Your tank looks great. I have a couple of fully planted tanks too. I think they're so much better natural with drift wood and rocks rather than plastic plants and ornaments. It takes a little more, but its well worth it. Careful with that Wisteria, Hornwort and water sprite though. They can all grow right out of your tank if you let them.

I didn't see your anubias plants. They must have been on a different angle. How far down to you plant yours? I have two big bunches on either side of my 75, but have to stand them upright because I've heard if you plant the runner under the gravel, it will not multiply as easily and can die. By doing it that way, they have grown all the way to the top of my tank and are about as big around as cantaloupes. They're a nice contrast to the lighter colored leaves.

What kind of fish are you going to add? I'm sure its going to be beautiful when you get it all put together.

Debbie 8)
 
  • Thread Starter

Isabella

Member
Yes, I know Wisteria, W. Sprite, and Hornwort can grow out of the tank. I'll be trimming them when they get too big. As for the Anubias, one (A. barterI coffeefolia) is on one driftwood piece, at the left side of the tank; and the other (A. barterI nana) is on another driftwood piece, at the right side of the tank. You cannot see them because the pictures came out a bit blurry and they come out very bright on my camera. It must be because of the light. I'll try to take pictures of Anubias later on. So, yes, they're tied to driftwood, and not buried under the gravel. I know they're supposed to be attached to objects in the tank

I absolutely agree: I love tanks that look natural and have only natural "decor" in them, such as plants, driftwood, and rocks. It's like having a little piece of nature in your own home The bigger the planted tank, the more amazing it looks. In the future, I want something like 200 gallon, also planted!

As for the fish, I will transfer 2 of my Angelfish to the 75 gallon tank. I'll also get 3 German Blue Rams, and schools of: Zebra Danios, Harlequin Rasboras, Cherry Barbs, and Diamond Tetras. I'll see how they will all look as I continue to stock my tank. But if, at some point, I decide that "that's enough", I'll stop stocking right there, as I don't want an overstocked tank. Also, planted tanks should have the right balance between plants and fish - it helps with growing plants as plants use fish wastes as nutrients too.
 

susitna-flower

Member
Very nice tank project.   It has inspired me.   I think since it will take awhile to get my filter etc. for my new 50, that I will try to have it planted.   My current tank has two well established Coryptocorynes (red & green) and lots of Java Fern,  then lots of rocks, driftwood, and one piece of artificial extra that is fun, a glass paper weight that has very bright red, pink and blue flowers inside, it looks like one of my plants is flowering!   I will be interested in following your project, since you don't have CO2 .   I know when I really get experienced it would be a good idea to add that also, but for now I want to see how yours progresses without.  

Fish in the Frozen North
 

dsteamn

Member
"I don't want an overstocked tank. Also, planted tanks should have the right balance between plants and fish - it helps with growing plants as plants use fish wastes as nutrients too."

Not to mention naturally taking nitrates out of the water. I had a co2 system on one of my tanks with some fast growing stuff, but had to disconnect it because I couldn't keep up with the growth.

That's a beautiful piece of work you've got going there. Would love to see pics when the fish get settled in.
 
  • Thread Starter

Isabella

Member
Thank you both

Susitna-flower, the reason I chose not to have CO2 injections is because in case of the device's malfunction, all the fish die instantly. And I wouldn't want to risk it. I know the plants grow like crazy with it but ... I can wait, you know
 

susitna-flower

Member
  I know what you mean, I have all the time in the world to watch the plants grow!   I have never been a person in a big hurry.

Fish in the Frozen North. 8)
 

Gunnie

Member
Isabella,
Your tank looks absolutely beautiful! Great job! ;D
 

susitna-flower

Member
I have a couple of questions, how many # of substrate did you use for 75 gal? I read on another thread the type you used, and was looking on Big Als, but was just figuring it might be extremely cost prohibitave to ship enough for a tank. This is one item I have never seen at my LFS. They have sand, and gravel....that is it.

Also to let my newbieness hang out a bit, when you have a tank planted heavily like yours, how do you vacuum the gravel? I wouldn't want a plants only tank, and don't imagine that you can do away with the vacuuming all together if you do have fish.

Fish in the Frozen North. 8)
 
  • Thread Starter

Isabella

Member
Thank you Gunnie

Susitna-flower, the amount of substrate depends on the length and the width of your tank, and the types of plants you'll have. My tank is 48" long x 18" wide. I used 7 bags of Eco-Complete, so that the layer on the front of the tank is 2.5" deep (for smaller plants) and the layer in the back is 3" deep (for larger plants that root deeper into the substrate). Here is a good "substrate calculator": for Eco-Complete, Fluorite, silica sand, and regular gravel. Generally, the substrate should be 2.5" - 3" deep for planted tanks.

About vacuuming the gravel - I asked exactly the same question. And I've been told on Plant Geek that people there with planted tanks do not poke the gravel with the siphoning tube because this will destroy the roots. They only hover the siphon tube over the gravel and you need to be careful with the plants at the same time. Now, even Eco-Complete will give out with time (all of its nutrients will be exhausted after a while), so what you'll have left will be inert substrate. BUT you'll still have plants there. That's when not vacuuming comes in handy. By the time the substrate gives out, you'll have enough fish wastes accumulated in there to feed the plants. Fish wastes are a great natural fertilizer for plants. If the entire bottom of a tank is planted, there are roots all over the bottom. And theoretically, the plants' roots are supposed to keep the bottom aerated and clean as they use the fish wastes as food. Also, the plants DO remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate from the water. So, if you have a lot of plants, you don't have to worry that not performing deep gravel vacs will cause high nitrate or an ammonia or nitrite spike. Although you can use a thin stick to stir the substrate gently from time to time, to prevent the formation of dangerous gas pockets (once they form and escape into the water, they can poison the fish!). The people on Plant Geek said they don't deep-gravel vac and they don't have nitrate problems or ammonia and nitrite problems. So I suppose it works (hopefully).
 

susitna-flower

Member
Thanks Isabella, for the link. I was just waylaid there for 1/2 hr! I figured it was close to what I already use, I guess I was just wanting to hear something else. So what is the consistency of Eco-Complete? Is it like gravel, or compressed pellets of some sort? I've never seen it before.

Since I am doing away with the undergravel filter I can see that deep vacuuming should not be necessary. Thanks so much for your help!

Fish in the Frozen North. 8)
 
  • Thread Starter

Isabella

Member
Eco-Complete is like a very fine grade gravel (but not as fine as sand). Some grains are larger and some are smaller. The finer ones are supposed to settle to the bottom to provide a good rooting medium, while the larger grains stay on the top.

I don't know if this picture will help you because it's hard to see the size of the gravel here:
 

atmmachine816

Member
I have a question for you Isabella concerning the coralife fixture. With the legs do you think they could push the fixture in 2" on each side so for ex. fit a 12" fixture on a 16" long tank?

thanks
 
  • Thread Starter

Isabella

Member
atmmachine said:
for ex. fit a 12" fixture on a 16" long tank?
Hmm, I don't think I understand your question. If you mean to lower the height at which the fixture sits above the water, no, you cannot do that with the legs (both the adjustable and the plain legs).
 

atmmachine816

Member
O I'm wondering if the legs can move in 2" and hold a 12" fixture on a 16" tank. It looks like your legs go straight up almost but I was wondering if you can have them lean in more? I don't know does this picture help at all, excuse the sloppines, it's not easy.
 

Jimold

Member
Isabella, I am SO jelous...lol
Your tank is amazing. I can't wait to see pics of it with fish in it. I imagine they'll love their new home!
 
  • Thread Starter

Isabella

Member
Atm, lol, thanks for the effort of the drawing Very nice! If you have a Coralife fixture, and Coralife legs, I think you should be able to do this (I repeat: I think). Only not with the adjustable legs, but with plain legs such as Clear Plus (or Black Plus). I have the Clear Plus legs on my Coralife fixture right now. And the way you install these legs on a fixture is you slide them into the fixture (on the fixture's sides). I don't know if I am explaining this clearly. Let me know if you don't understand this.

It says here: that these Coralife legs "can be used on any Aqualight fixture, with the exception of the Aqualight Pro fixtures". Your tank is 16" long and the fixture is 12" long, which means you want the fixture to be right above the water, in the middle of the tank, 2" from the end sides of the tank (total 4"). If you do not slide the legs too much into the fixture, I think you should be able to adjust it the way you want.

Like I said, I am not 100% sure. But keep in mind the information on the link from Big Al's Online because I don't know if you have a Coralife fixture, and if you do - which one. If you decide to buy these legs, and they turn out bad, you won't have lost a lot of money anyway because these legs are cheap.

Jim, neither can I wait to put some fish in there!
 

Jimold

Member
Isabella, I have a question... I read your reply to dsteamn about trimming your plants. I don't know if you saw the pics I posted, but you and the others here have inspired me to try my hand at live plants. Although it's no where as lush as yours, they are doing good... In fact I'm very happy to report my grassy stuff has a new sprout already starting about an inch from the tuft I planted...
Anyway, I'm rambling... my question is how you trI'm the plants once they grow too big, do you just use a pair of scissors underwater, or is there some special technique to it?
thanks
 

atmmachine816

Member
Hmm. ok thanks.

That's what I do Jim, don't know if it's right, we'l find out from Isabella
 
  • Thread Starter

Isabella

Member
JI'm said:
... my question is how you trI'm the plants once they grow too big, do you just use a pair of scissors underwater, or is there some special technique to it?
I have stainless steel forceps and stainless steel scissors I bought long scissors and long forceps so that it's easier to trI'm the plants as the tank is pretty deep (20"). I can't be putting my entire arms inside, lol

These are the ones I have:



You don't necessarily have to buy them on a fish website. You can probably buy them in many other stores. Just make sure they're stainless steel and sharp. I bought mine online because I have no time to go around looking for specific scissors and forceps. And the website had exactly what I wanted. Not expensive either.

Yes, I trI'm (that is, cut off decaying leaves for now) the plants underwater. And not every plant is the same. So far I have only cut off decaying leaves as the plants are too short to trI'm them. Though Hornwort has grown longer than 20" already so I am going to have to trI'm it soon! Like I said, every plant should be trimmed differently. Right now ... I can't really remember how to trI'm each plant, but I have read about it one of my plant books. I will have to go back to that book before I trI'm my plants. This book explains very well how to care for plants: (very cheap as well).

I also have this book:
 

Jimold

Member
Isabella, thnk you, now I have another question...
(I'm gonna be really picking your brain on plants...lol)
In another reply here you said something about getting a good balance between plants and fish. OK, that sonds logical. But how do you determine what's a good balance? Is there a specific formula for it, or is it just a "use your best judgement" thing?
 
  • Thread Starter

Isabella

Member
HI JI'm That's how we learn - by asking questions

That's a good question by the way, and I don't have a 100% accurate answer. You may want to ask about it on plant geek - people over there are REALLY knowledgeable about planted tanks. I have learned a lot from Plant Geek.

Anyway, I believe you cannot have too many fish and you cannot have too few fish in a planted tank. I mean, maybe you can have very few fish if you're adding CO2 and lots of fertilizers, but that's not my type of tank and I know nothing about it. In most low-light tanks, such as mine, and especially those without fertilizers or good nutrient-rich substrates, there should be enough fish to produce enough wastes. These fish wastes are then used as nutrients by the plants. But, of course, you do not want too many fish either as too much waste may cause algae. So, I cannot give you an exact answer, but I think (my opinion) a medium fish load is good for a planted tank. Never overstock in any tank, be it a planted or a regular tank. My fish load in my 75 gallon tank will be medium. I guess you do have to use your best judgement, but like I said, you may want to check with Plant Geek on that matter.

I think this book is GREAT in terms of the explanation of the relationship between plants and fish wastes (the correct balance):
 

Jimold

Member
Thanks... I guess you could say my tank is stocked medium, going by the inch per gallon method. And nothing has died...lol... so I guess I'm doing something right. In fact, everything is nice and green.
 
  • Thread Starter

Isabella

Member
JI'm said:
Thanks... I guess you could say my tank is stocked medium, going by the inch per gallon method.  And nothing has died...lol... so I guess I'm doing something right.  In fact, everything is nice and green. 
And that's how it should be I'm glad all is working out well for you. Good luck with your tank
 

Jimold

Member
Good luck to you too... thanks
 

atmmachine816

Member
If possible do you know if there is a difference between the plus and normal legs Isabella, because my dad's going to order a aqualight for me and I don't know if there's a big difference besides a measurement?

thanks
 
  • Thread Starter

Isabella

Member
Atm, I don't really know the difference. All I know is I've been told on Plant Geek to the the Plus legs, and they work for me. But if this helps, here is what the descriptions on Big Al's Online say:

Coralife Aqualight Mounting Legs: "The aqualight mounting legs easily attach to any aqualight fixture. Four mounting legs and hardware are included." ( )

Coralife Aqualight Plus Mounting Legs: "These mounting legs can be used on any Aqualight, with the exception of the Aqualight Pro fixtures. 4 pack, clear colored legs." ( )

Coralife Aqualight Adjustable Mounting Legs: "Aqualight Adjustable Mounting Legs allow your light fixture to be positioned at a 90 degree angle for easy access to the aquarium. These legs can be used with all Aqualights, Freshwater Aqualight and Lunar Aqualight fixtures." ( )
 

atmmachine816

Member
Ok only difference I know is the measurement. I'll get the plus legs, just need to convince my dad that 48w of compact fluerescent lights don't use a lot of electricity.

thanks
 

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