Boycottbeef's 40 Breeder Hillstream

boycottbeef

Member
Getting the tank tomorrow, and the filter/media is on its way!

-40b (36x18x16)
-Tidal 110 on one end with the intake extended to the other end. I might double up with an aquaclear powerhead beneath the filter with the intake extended in the same way if it looks like areas of the tank are collecting detritus. Manifold or not, I'd have to experiment.
-72F (the house stays about that warm, so I'll use a small, low watt heater if I use a heater at all
-I'm going to aim for slightly acidic water via driftwood/plants for the species in there
-No idea what kind of lighting at this point...
-stocked with 4 hillstream loaches, 15 wcmm, a couple kuhlis, 1 dojo loach, 3 bamboo shrimp, and a handful of amano/cherry shrimp
-river rock/driftwood hardscape planted with mostly Asian-origin plants
-sand substrate in open areas + maybe hydroponic pumice stone thrown around for BB
-no co2

1) Anyone have any ideas on affordable moderate lighting for a 3 foot tank?
2) Planted aquascape folk: know any less-expensive substitutes for bucephalandra?
3) would you all recommend root tabs or aqua soil in the planted areas?
 

RayClem

Member
I have a 40 gallon breeder that used a 36" Hygger HG 957 programmable light. It is moderately priced. In order to get the light to fully cover the 40 breeder front to back, you will need to build a stand to elevate the light a minimum of 8" above the rim of the tank. You will have that issue no matter which light you purchase. I have Hygger lights in three different sizes. For a 36" tank, I recommend the 60 watt unit which fits tanks from 36-42". However, you can save a few dollars by going with the 48 watt 30-36" light.

https://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Extendable-Dimmable-Spectrum-Freshwater/dp/B086SVNBHC
 
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boycottbeef

Member
RayClem said:
I have a 40 gallon breeder that used a 36" Hygger HG 957 programmable light. It is moderately priced. In order to get the light to fully cover the 40 breeder front to back, you will need to build a stand to elevate the light a minimum of 8" above the rim of the tank. You will have that issue no matter which light you purchase. I have Hygger lights in three different sizes. For a 36" tank, I recommend the 60 watt unit which fits tanks from 36-42". However, you can save a few dollars by going with the 48 watt 30-36" light.

https://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Extendable-Dimmable-Spectrum-Freshwater/dp/B086SVNBHC
The 60W Hygger is on its way!
 

RayClem

Member
I think you will be pleased.

The instructions that come with the Hygger are pitiful, but there are some great videos on YouTube that show you how to program it. Search for hygger hg 957.
 
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boycottbeef

Member
RayClem said:
I think you will be pleased.

The instructions that come with the Hygger are pitiful, but there are some great videos on YouTube that show you how to program it. Search for hygger hg 957.
Thanks for the tip!
 
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boycottbeef

Member
I was reading up a little more deeply on tropical/subtropical or coldwater plants. I'm having a hard time finding how temperature /really/ affects plant health-- should crypts, hygrophila, bucephalandra, echinodorus, and/or water lilies be OK at 72F?
 
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boycottbeef

Member
After some more research, I've got vals, crypts, anubias, and a few other plants on the way. I put together the filter system today (ended up using PVC pipes) and I'm going to do a test run tomorrow to see if the flow is anything like I envisioned it to be. I'll see about putting a picture up when it's all assembled.

Other news: I'm going to try scattering some osmacote plus between two layers of seachem flourite (inert clay substrate) rather than buying a whole dang bag of stratum. Then I'll just make sure to keep up with root tabs. *shrug* Hopefully that'll be enough.
 

RayClem

Member
boycottbeef said:
I was reading up a little more deeply on tropical/subtropical or coldwater plants. I'm having a hard time finding how temperature /really/ affects plant health-- should crypts, hygrophila, bucephalandra, echinodorus, and/or water lilies be OK at 72F?
A temperature of 72 degrees may be cooler than some tropical fish prefer, but I doubt it will be low enough to cause an issue with most plants. If you were going to be down in the 60s, that might be another issue.

I found a web site that recommends plants for even cooler waters. There are quite a few options.

 
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boycottbeef

Member
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boycottbeef

Member
All put together! I'll post a picture once it's planted.

Well, the extended intake on the HOB doesn't work like I'd hoped. It's just not enough power. So, I guess I'll pick up a powerhead tomorrow.
 
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boycottbeef

Member
Well, I'm having a little bit of trouble with the filter (Tidal 110). I have the knob turned all the way so that the intake should be almost entirely coming from the extended intake tube (rather than the surface skimmer), but I notice that it still has *a lot* of suction coming from the surface skimmer. I made a makeshift cover cut from an aquaclear sponge to keep little fish, etc. from being sucked into the surface skimmer for now... Any ideas on how to decrease intake from the skimmer and increase intake from the tube?
 
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boycottbeef

Member
I just finished putting together a 40 gallon breeder stream tank!

20210130_192059.jpg

Tank: Aqueon 40b (~36x18x16)
Filter: Tidal 110 HOB, intake tube extended with PVC piping under the gravel to the left side of tank (there's also sponge covering the surface skimmer)
Heater: Aqueon submersible 150W, 72F
Powerhead: Marineland
Lights: Hygger 957 36", haven't yet figured out how long to have it on every day. Eight hours for now.
No CO2

Substrate/Hardscape:
Fluval Stratum baselayer, Seachem Flourite on top of that, PFS and Caribsea sand/gravel
river rock, saba wood, spider wood

Plants:
various crypts (petchii, wendtii green, parva, balansea)
lagenandra meeboldii red
anubias nana
nymphaea rubra
vallisneria asiatica/gigantea
dwarf hairgrass
some kind of bacopa (unmarked stem from Petco... I don't like it but haven't gotten rid of it yet)

Species:
(right now only a couple kuhli loaches/wcmm and an african dwarf frog leftover from the 10 gallon that was replaced by this tank)
on their way: 15 wcmm
6 hillstream loaches (jinshaia sinensis)
1 dojo loach
4 bamboo shrimp
12 amano shrimp
16 chocolate cherry shrimp (neo. davidi)


I really like the 18" depth of this tank, which makes it really cool to view from above
 

Gudgie

Member
Looks fantastic! Looks likes you have some great flow for the hillstream loaches when they arrive.
 

Spudsssy

Member
Very nice! Congrats
 

Kribensis27

Member
Looks great!
 

RayClem

Member
You are going to need to block the skimmer intake with something less porous than sponge. Something like a 50 micron polishing pad might do it.
 
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boycottbeef

Member
RayClem said:
You are going to need to block the skimmer intake with something less porous than sponge. Something like a 50 micron polishing pad might do it.
Thank you. Is it important to have a porous surface covering it in the first place, or would it be as sufficient to cover it with something solid?

Gudgie said:
Looks fantastic! Looks likes you have some great flow for the hillstream loaches when they arrive.
Spudsssy said:
Very nice! Congrats
Kribensis27 said:
Looks great!
Thanks, all. I can't wait for the plants to grow in a little bit so I can really go in and clean up the hardscape.
 

The2dCour

Member
I have a similar tank I'm setting up with a circulation pump today. Current filtration is not a problem but flow is.

What size gph is your circulation pump? I have one arriving today but I have a sneaking suspicion it will be too much for 40b.
 
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boycottbeef

Member
The2dCour said:
What size gph is your circulation pump? I have one arriving today but I have a sneaking suspicion it will be too much for 40b.
It's labeled as 750 max, although I don't know how much it's actually doing. It certainly is a lot of power, though.

The2dCour said:
I have a similar tank I'm setting up with a circulation pump today. Current filtration is not a problem but flow is.
Hope it all goes well!
 

Islandvic

Member
Use hot glue gun and run a bead over the skimmer intake slots.

Did you already put your substrate in the tank ?

Asking because I was going to suggest to consider putting a plenum on the tank bottom, then put your substrate on top.

Check out Dr. Kevin Novak's YouTube channel, he has a lot of videos about using plenum in planted tanks.
 

The2dCour

Member
boycottbeef said:
It's labeled as 750 max, although I don't know how much it's actually doing. It certainly is a lot of power, though.
The one I have coming is labeled 425 gph and I was worried about that lol.
 

jake37

Member
I had a plenum on 2 29s for over a year - and to be honest I would recommend against it. They seem to create more issues than they solve. If you use fine sand of a decent depth you will get some decent nitrate eating bacteria. Well I can't promise such but in one of my tanks (without a plenum) i did.

Islandvic said:
Use hot glue gun and run a bead over the skimmer intake slots.

Did you already put your substrate in the tank ?

Asking because I was going to suggest to consider putting a plenum on the tank bottom, then put your substrate on top.

Check out Dr. Kevin Novak's YouTube channel, he has a lot of videos about using plenum in planted tanks.
 
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boycottbeef

Member
The2dCour said:
The one I have coming is labeled 425 gph and I was worried about that lol.
What species are you keeping in it?
 
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boycottbeef

Member
Islandvic said:
Use hot glue gun and run a bead over the skimmer intake slots.

Did you already put your substrate in the tank ?

Asking because I was going to suggest to consider putting a plenum on the tank bottom, then put your substrate on top.

Check out Dr. Kevin Novak's YouTube channel, he has a lot of videos about using plenum in planted tanks.
jake37 said:
I had a plenum on 2 29s for over a year - and to be honest I would recommend against it. They seem to create more issues than they solve. If you use fine sand of a decent depth you will get some decent nitrate eating bacteria. Well I can't promise such but in one of my tanks (without a plenum) i did.
Yeah, the substrate is already in there. I might try something like that to cover up the skimmer intake completely... Thanks for the insight on the plenum. Hadn't heard of that before.

Those should all be fine, right? I guess if it's too much, you could put the powerhead somewhere where the flow is interrupted/redirected. But those species seem to tolerate higher flow pretty well in what I've read and seen (I've only kept zebra danios myself, and that was in low flow, so I am speaking from research, not experience). Good luck!
 

RayClem

Member
boycottbeef said:
Thank you. Is it important to have a porous surface covering it in the first place, or would it be as sufficient to cover it with something solid?

If you did not want the surface skimmer, then another brand of filter might have been a better choice. You can always cover the skimmer intake with a non-toxic material if you do not want the skimmer.
 
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boycottbeef

Member
RayClem said:
If you did not want the surface skimmer, then another brand of filter might have been a better choice. You can always cover the skimmer intake with a non-toxic material if you do not want the skimmer.
Well the biggest sell on the Tidal was that it self-primes. (I live in an area that is prone to power-outages, so self-priming is a humongous plus.) Judging by the manufacturer explanations/instructions, I also expected the designated knob to sufficiently redirect the intake from the skimmer to the water column intake... I guess I'll research materials that won't leach toxins into the water and use something to block it as much as I can.
 
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boycottbeef

Member
Just put in 16 amano shrimp, 4 bamboo shrimp, 6 hillstream loaches (jinshaia sinensis), and a dojo loach! They all colored right up, and seem to be doing perfectly well! I ordered (on Sunday) 15 wcmm and 16 neocaridina davidi from aquahuna, but it looks like the shipping was delayed at usps and they won't be here until Friday. I really hope they survive. Does anyone have experience with livestock and shipping delays?
 
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boycottbeef

Member
Lost an African Dwarf Frog who was moved to the 40b after upgrading from a 10g. He got stuck, I think, in a cave and wasn't able to get out for air... Everyone else is doing fine! The kuhlis (of which I have at least 7/who knows how many are actually there of the 14 I bought because they stay out of sight) are starting to pick up on routine feeding time. The dojo has uprooted nearly all my crypt parva, but I don't mind because I love to see him violently thrash around in the sand scavenging. He's ferocious and I love him. The WCMMs are nearly 150% of the size they were when they were introduced only a month ago, and a number of them are bearing eggs already. The shrimp (4 bamboo, ~15 amano, a dozen cherry) are well, as are the 6 hillstream loaches (jinshaia sinensis), who are constantly in a wonderful game of tag. I exchange 2 gallons of water every day before feeding time, and that seems to be working just great so far. I'm hopeful that that will keep larger water changes down to every-other month or so. (Buckets = no fun and there's no hope or chance of attaching anything to my corroded apartment faucets.)

I had the lights on about 11 hours a day for the first 3 weeks to establish a good coat of algae. I've since dialed it down to 8 hours a day and I'll see how the plants do with that. They're all fed with a combination of omega one/hikari flakes, pellets, wafers, and bloodworms. No frozen or live at this point.

One more note about water changes: I'm really enjoying the ease and routine of exchanging 2 gallons a day (and replenishing any amount lost to evaporation after that). It forces me to get my hands wet, which in turn encourages me to do regular maintenance, also making me spend more time with the tank and its inhabitants. The fish swim around my hands I imagine because they're comfortable and know that my hands in the water indicates feeding time, and the more time I spend with the tank, the more I enjoy it and want to spend time with it. I often find that an hour or so has passed just watching it.
 
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boycottbeef

Member
I was lucky enough to count 12 (out of 13) kuhli loaches this evening-- a real treat to see them all out at once!

Two of the four bamboo shrimp have been MIA for several days... I wonder if they are hiding after a molt? The other two have not been filter feeding recently either, at last not that I've seen. I hope they're alright.

Water parameters as of two days ago:
Ammonia = 0ppm
Nitrite = 0ppm
Nitrate = 15ppm
pH = 7.5
I don't remember the GH... I just read GH off a test strip, so who knows how accurate it is anyway. (API kit for everything else)

I change 2 gallons of water every day instead of doing less frequent large volume water changes. I sometimes (eh, maybe once a week?) dose with Flourish and/or Excel.

Nice healthy coating of green algae, and plenty of diatoms to go around... I'm going to cut the lighting back an hour one of these days soon.

Does anyone know why the bamboo shrimp haven't been filter feeding? Also, the plants are all doing very well EXCEPT for the anubias nana, which every single plant has dark brown and bright green splotches on the leaves. Any input is appreciated!
 

RayClem

Member
boycottbeef said:
I was lucky enough to count 12 (out of 13) kuhli loaches this evening-- a real treat to see them all out at once!

Two of the four bamboo shrimp have been MIA for several days... I wonder if they are hiding after a molt? The other two have not been filter feeding recently either, at last not that I've seen. I hope they're alright.

Water parameters as of two days ago:
Ammonia = 0ppm
Nitrite = 0ppm
Nitrate = 15ppm
pH = 7.5
I don't remember the GH... I just read GH off a test strip, so who knows how accurate it is anyway. (API kit for everything else)

I change 2 gallons of water every day instead of doing less frequent large volume water changes. I sometimes (eh, maybe once a week?) dose with Flourish and/or Excel.

Nice healthy coating of green algae, and plenty of diatoms to go around... I'm going to cut the lighting back an hour one of these days soon.

Does anyone know why the bamboo shrimp haven't been filter feeding? Also, the plants are all doing very well EXCEPT for the anubias nana, which every single plant has dark brown and bright green splotches on the leaves. Any input is appreciated!

Since you are keeping shrimp, I would suggest that you get a titration type of hardness test. The combined API GH/KH test kit is less than $10 on Amazon.

Shrimp shells are comprised largely of a protein called chitin and calcium carbonate. If the water is too soft the shrimp will have a difficult time getting sufficient calcium to harden their shells after a molt. Since you are indicating your shrimp are having some difficulty after molting, it might be a good idea to test your hardness. If your test strip is showing your water has at least 120 ppm hardness (7 dGH), then you do not need the titration kit, but if you have softer water, it might be good to have a more accurate test.

You can also supplement the calcium in your tank with cuttlebone or feeding your shrimp some blanched spinach. This is especially important if you also have snails in your tanks as well as they also require calcium for their shells.

Seachem Flourish Comprehensive is an excellent source of micronutrients for your plants. However, it contains very little in the way of macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). I do not consider myself to be an expert in plant nutrition, but you might find some help from this web site:



From your description of your Anubias, it sounds like you might need more macronutrients. Seachem also sells products under its Flourish line for adding Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. I use the Nitrogen and Potassium products as needed, but add my Phosphorus through a phosphate based pH buffer.

If you are trying to encourage the growth of algae to feed your bamboo shrimp you need to be careful of using Seachem Excel as it is an algaecide.

Bamboo shrimp are filter feeders as you indicated. They are also omnivores meaning they will appreciate both plant and animal based foods. They like high flow conditions that will bring food past the fans they use to capture foods. You can even supplement their feeding by grinding up some fish food to a fine powder and injecting it near their location. I use a mortar and pestle when I need tiny food particles.
 
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boycottbeef

Member
RayClem said:
Since you are keeping shrimp, I would suggest that you get a titration type of hardness test. The combined API GH/KH test kit is less than $10 on Amazon.

Shrimp shells are comprised largely of a protein called chitin and calcium carbonate. If the water is too soft the shrimp will have a difficult time getting sufficient calcium to harden their shells after a molt. Since you are indicating your shrimp are having some difficulty after molting, it might be a good idea to test your hardness. If your test strip is showing your water has at least 120 ppm hardness (7 dGH), then you do not need the titration kit, but if you have softer water, it might be good to have a more accurate test.

You can also supplement the calcium in your tank with cuttlebone or feeding your shrimp some blanched spinach. This is especially important if you also have snails in your tanks as well as they also require calcium for their shells.

Seachem Flourish Comprehensive is an excellent source of micronutrients for your plants. However, it contains very little in the way of macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). I do not consider myself to be an expert in plant nutrition, but you might find some help from this web site:



From your description of your Anubias, it sounds like you might need more macronutrients. Seachem also sells products under its Flourish line for adding Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. I use the Nitrogen and Potassium products as needed, but add my Phosphorus through a phosphate based pH buffer.

If you are trying to encourage the growth of algae to feed your bamboo shrimp you need to be careful of using Seachem Excel as it is an algaecide.

Bamboo shrimp are filter feeders as you indicated. They are also omnivores meaning they will appreciate both plant and animal based foods. They like high flow conditions that will bring food past the fans they use to capture foods. You can even supplement their feeding by grinding up some fish food to a fine powder and injecting it near their location. I use a mortar and pestle when I need tiny food particles.
This is hugely helpful! Thanks!
 
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boycottbeef

Member
Did a big cleaning today, and finally got around to modifying the HOB so that the intake comes from where I wanted it to. All I had to do was put hot glue strips over the surface skimmer slots. But then it ended up making all kinds of super loud, awful gurgling noises. After a lot of messing around, I discovered that leaving a couple of the skimmer intake slots uncovered shut it up. *shrug* In any case, the intake is /mostly/ coming from the extension as planned instead of entirely coming from the skimmer. So that's good. In other news, everything is doing fine. Still doing a 2 gallon WC every day before feeding time. Still totally enjoying the ever-living **** out of this tank.
 

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