30 Gallon Tank LadfromLondon's 112L Tropical Community. (Long read & picture heavy)

  • #1
At last, I've found some time to get writing! This was my first step into keeping a larger tank. Prior to this, I was running multiple nano's, ranging from 25L to 45L, so this was quite a welcomed move further into the hobby.I found this tank on the cheap. Well, as cheap as you can get in the UK! I'm still waiting for the day we're lucky enough to have £/gallon over here! Anyways, £100 + 2 cab journeys later, I got the tank home, with the help from one delightful cab driver! After having some similar sized tanks slip my grasp, I was happy to have gotten this tank with the lid, light and mats at a decent price.

Foolishly, the first few days were spent playing around with the scape, not leak testing. In hindsight, not a great decision. I filled the tank and after a few days, I noticed some fry! I was shocked. I had bred Shrimp before and I was breeding my White Clouds, but I never saw fry in their tank, let alone an empty tank. However, soon after, I kept noticing dried watermarks dripping down from the lid onto the stand. The stand is made of Particleboard-Not a great choice either but I wasn't to know! Anyways, after deciding on a scape, chucking the gravel in and planting the tank up, I noticed water damage to my stand. I had to tear the tank down and leak test to make sure there was no leaks, so out came my 110L 'pond'!

Thankfully, there was no leaks and I recently realised it was due to a buildup inside the tank. I solved this with some insulation strips on the inside of the lid, and acrylic sheets under the stand. It's worked so far the last few days. After the scare was over, I started to rebuild the tank with a similar scape. From there it was pretty much trial and error, and a lot of Ramshorn Snails This tank was the first time I truly stepped away from sponge filters and opted for an Eheim 2215 Canister Filter. As this was going to be a display tank next to my bed, I really wanted minimal equipment and noise coming from the tank, while achieving excellent mechanical filtration. I installed the canister along with a 200W heater and kept the standard planted light with the lid as this is a low tech tank. Since I already had some of the fish in quarantine, I opted to seed my canister with BB from my sponge filters for a quick, small fishless cycle. For the life of me I cannot remember where I read this but I learnt maintaining 29/30C temperature & ensuring plenty of aeration accelerates the cycle of nitrifying bacteria. Anyways, I read it once, tried it many times and have achieved success each time.

I went the fishless cycle route with my tap water, something I do not otherwise use in my tanks. After processing 1.5PPM of ammonia & nitrite, I drained the tank and added Seachem Equilibrium to my RO water & added some of the fish in. If you see white deposits around the tank in some pictures, I promise it's RO minerals not ich! After several weeks of headache, the suckermouths went in first, then 6 Silvertip Tetras. With just 6 Silvertip Tetras in the tank, I noticed one Tetra was definitely more submissive than the others and subsequently, was being chased a little. More chasing than the usual Silvertip chase, but nothing to worry about.

That brings us to now! How's the tank going? Well, fish are still being moved in- 3 Tetras every 3 days. There's still a lot to go into this tank but I'm in no rush. After tearing down several tanks, this tank, along with my QT are the only tanks I'm needing to focus on at the minute. Through the use of RO water and the benefit of this being a planted tank, I'm confident parameters should remain safe and stable. Since the teardown, my time will be dedicated to 2x display tanks in my bedroom, this 112L and a 144L. I'm really enjoying the growth of this eco-system, especially as I know what's in store for this tank! I don't know when I'll update this journal, heck I don't know what the next update will be! However, what I do know is this journal should be a good insight into my methods of aquascaping, fish-keeping and stocking. I stock heavy, and I also like to see overstocked tanks done correctly, so hopefully this may encourage some of you to stock less conservatively

For now, I'll leave you with the specs of this tank.
112L Rimless, 80x35x40 (LxWxH) Guardian Glass.
Eheim 2215 & 200W Heater
7500K LED Light & Digital Strip Thermometer

Substrate & background- Fine black gravel & Jewel Black Backdrop
Hardscape- Various branches of driftwood & Dragonstone
Plants- Anubias: Pangolino, Nana Gold, Nana Petite & Heterophylla
Java Fern: Petite, Trident, Windelov, Bolbitis & Narrow
Background- Vallisneria Spiralis
Midground- Crinum Calamistratum & Water Wisteria
Foreground-Crypt Parva

Maintenance schedule:
API Master Test Kit & GH/KH test fortnightly-This will help determine a W/C schedule.
W/C schedule: See above but likely weekly 10% or biweekly 20%.
3x Root tabs monthly, no liquid ferts.
Lighting: 10x hours a day
Feeding: 1x a day, 2 hours before lights out.

Current Stocking:
9x Silvertip Tetras
5x Red Lizard Whiptails-2 passed in QT.
5x Otocinclus

What's left to add?
15x Silvertip Tetras, at least. (IKR:eek
5x Kuhli Loaches, maybe more.
1x Angelfish, likely a Blue Zebra.
2x Assassin Snails, for obvious reasons
5x Amano Shrimp- Hair algae treatment and then an Angelfish snack.
2x Red Lizard Whiptails (Lost 2)
4x Apistogramma Aggassizii (Maybe)
Many Plants!

#1-6 Tank is home! Messing around with the scape.
#7-9 Draining the tank and surprise fry!
#10-12 Water damaged stand and leak test.
#13-19 Initial setup
#20-35 Livestock.


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  • #2
Really appreciate the write up, and the tank is looking super slick! I'll be watching for more updates.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Really appreciate the write up, and the tank is looking super slick! I'll be watching for more updates.
Thank you! I appreciate you reading it! Hopefully I’ll have an update soon!
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Just a quick update today. I done some routine maintenance yesterday, trimming some plants and stirring up the substrate. I added a few Val runners and an Anubias Coffeefolia I had around. My heater’s position was annoying me, so I’ve moved it to the side. It still needs to go a little higher, probably next week. I did a minimal pure RO top off (3/4L) to make up for evaporation, no minerals and no water change.

Sadly, my Crinum has been in a poor state ever since I transferred it over from my 45L. I decided to strip it down to the little growth that is happening to try and encourage more shoots.

Some harscape has been moved around a little, very minimal. I’m noticing ever so slight bits of debris floating in the water column, this is something which only started recently. I’ll be investing in a Powerhead soon, both for oxygenation and improved circulation.

3 more Silvertip Tetras will be moved in tomorrow.


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  • #5
Your aquascaping is beautiful.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Your aquascaping is beautiful.
Thank you! Sadly, I had to break this tank down as quickly as I set it up. My Eheim 2215 failed on me and it almost flooded the second floor, had I not been in the room at the time. I’ve had to move the fish back into holding and I decided to move the tank on.

Ever since I had it, it’s only given me trouble so I figured I’d move on from it. I’m in the process of selling it and upgrading to a bespoke 160L tank. Similar scape, same stocking but more of a river basin look. It was a real shame
  • #7
Oh no, that is terrible news! I hope you're able to rebuild it pretty soon. BTW, I loved the scape.
  • #8
My Eheim 2215 failed on me

The clips on my 2215 are failing on me. Very definitely making me rethink having external filtration. It's a crapshoot every time I stop the filters to feed. Only saving grace in my case is that the tank is in the basement.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Oh no, that is terrible news! I hope you're able to rebuild it pretty soon. BTW, I loved the scape.
Thank you for your kind words! I honestly have no clue when I‘Ll be able to rebuild. I have another bespoke tank coming next month, but that’s a dedicated Mbuna tank. That will now have to also be pushed back due to this. I’m hoping to place the order next week and then lead time may be up to 8 weeks! So who knows...
The clips on my 2215 are failing on me. Very definitely making me rethink having external filtration. It's a crapshoot every time I stop the filters to feed. Only saving grace in my case is that the tank is in the basement.
I found the 2215 to be a great filter if you’re experienced with canisters, but not so much for a beginner user. I don’t find it very user friendly and I definitely think the design is outdated, but I think it makes up for it in how ‘reliable’ they are.

I’ve bought a Fluval 307 for the tank now. The build of it seems much more efficient than the 2215. However, I won’t know for sure until I’m able to set it up!
  • #10
This was my first Eheim canister, but I got my first Fluval 303 and 403 back when I kept an Oscar. I know to lube the O-rings and the clips are replaceable and whatnot. I just don't think I want the hassle when the Sicce 800 I put in that tank seems to be doing a better job.

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