75 G - 1 week after setup (pics)

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Isabella

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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

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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)
 
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Isabella

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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.
 

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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

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"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.
 
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Isabella

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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

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  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)
 

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

susitna-flower

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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)
 
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Isabella

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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": http://www.plantedtank.net/substratecalculator.html 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

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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)
 
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Isabella

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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

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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
 
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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

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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

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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!
 
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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!
 

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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 trim 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

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Hmm. ok thanks.

That's what I do Jim, don't know if it's right, we'l find out from Isabella
 
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Jim said:
... my question is how you trim 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 trim 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 trim (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 trim them. Though Hornwort has grown longer than 20" already so I am going to have to trim it soon! Like I said, every plant should be trimmed differently. Right now ... I can't really remember how to trim each plant, but I have read about it one of my plant books. I will have to go back to that book before I trim my plants. This book explains very well how to care for plants: (very cheap as well).

I also have this book:
 
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