My 75g Birthday Build

Basil

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See my profile for how I ended up with way too many fish in a 29g. The short story is that I took the remaining fish that had not been given away after the passing of my friend's father.
I then set up a 40g breeder and moved some fish to that but had the dilemma of a lone clown loach in the bunch. Not being one to rehome an animal, I decided to just go ahead and set up an appropriate size tank and get him some friends. yes, I know there are opinions that one needs a 125g for clowns but I'm going with the 75 for now.
My wonderful hubby was generous enough to purchase a 75 for my birthday. I've been planning the aquascape for the last 6 weeks and finally got everything together enough to get started.
I have a very large kitchen so it is actually a kitchen tank!
empty 75.jpg


Several hours later, I had the tank up and running. The rocks are local. I first made sure they passed the vinegar test and they did. I forget the name but they are hard, quartz type of rocks. We also have an abundance of fieldstone but that is too soft for an aquarium. Then I soaked, scrubbed, and rinsed with boiling water.
The sand is a mixture of Black Diamond blasting sand and white National Geographic sand. I am doing a 100% planted tank so I just started with a package of 10 easy aquarium plants. I'll see what grows and probably purchase more of that kind. Oh, and I put Seachem Flourish tabs in the sand.
This is the first LED light I have ever used and the blue nighttime light is so cool!
Still a bit cloudy in this picture. Once it clears up, I'll start my fishless cycle.
75 new.jpg


The middle dark spot on the back of the tank is my homemade java moss wall. Or at least, I hope that is what it will turn out to be LOL! I found the instructions to put the moss between mesh (I used fiberglass screen mesh) and attach to the tank with suction cups. I was hoping to create a sort of waterfall effect, so there is an airstone between the rocks. I attached more moss to the two rocks on each end.
Eventually, I will add a piece of driftwood that goes from the right side of the tank and set it on top of the rocks. I'm still soaking the driftwood. And I am going to try to attach moss to a couple of pieces of PVC pipe as caves for the loaches. Not sure if I will need to score the PVC first or not. I am thinking the moss needs something rough to grab onto?
Here is a closeup of the "waterfall".
75 waterfall.jpg
 

danhutchins

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The middle dark spot on the back of the tank is my homemade java moss wall. Or at least, I hope that is what it will turn out to be LOL! I found the instructions to put the moss between mesh (I used fiberglass screen mesh) and attach to the tank with suction cups. I was hoping to create a sort of waterfall effect, so there is an airstone between the rocks. I attached more moss to the two rocks on each end.
Eventually, I will add a piece of driftwood that goes from the right side of the tank and set it on top of the rocks. I'm still soaking the driftwood. And I am going to try to attach moss to a couple of pieces of PVC pipe as caves for the loaches. Not sure if I will need to score the PVC first or not. I am thinking the moss needs something rough to grab onto?
Here is a closeup of the "waterfall".
View attachment 436108
Looks good. I'm doing a Christmas moss wall. Not to familiar with java but Christmas grows slow even with co2 and ferts. Its been 3 months and this is where it's at.
1525868395240.jpg
 
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Basil

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Looks good. I'm doing a Christmas moss wall. Not to familiar with java but Christmas grows slow even with co2 and ferts. Its been 3 months and this is where it's at.View attachment 436740
Oh cool. That looks great! I am actually going to redo mine LOL! I didn't order enough moss to adequately cover the mesh and my mesh is too small. Hubby said he had fiberglass mesh I could use but it was fine screen mesh. I wanted to get the moss in the water so I just used that. But I purchased a larger hole mesh and more moss which should be delivered by my day off next week.
 

danhutchins

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Oh cool. That looks great! I am actually going to redo mine LOL! I didn't order enough moss to adequately cover the mesh and my mesh is too small. Hubby said he had fiberglass mesh I could use but it was fine screen mesh. I wanted to get the moss in the water so I just used that. But I purchased a larger hole mesh and more moss which should be delivered by my day off next week.
Nice, keep us posted!!!! I plan to get more as well the little I got only covers about a third of my tank maybe a bit less. It's just super slow growing. I started out with too little for my mesh to but I just let it grow then pulled it out and re positioned it and it covered it all, now just waiting for it to grow out. I love the look of Christmas moss. Might even get some flame moss for my rocks.
 
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Basil

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So I think the third time is the charm for re-doing my moss wall LOL!
I also implemented my original design of the tall rock as my "waterfall". And of the group of plants that I purchased, 6 seem to be doing well.
Time to cycle, but I am going away for a week for work training so it will wait until I return.
I am also still getting some cloudy water, but I think I didn't rinse the BDBS well enough. After placing it in the tank and having the cloudy water, I went back and reread threads (yeah, should have done that at first!) and realized I probably washed too large of a sand amount at a time. Oh well, live and learn! This is my first sand and planted tank.
moss wall.jpg
You can't tell from the picture, but I have an air stone between the small rocks in front and it sends a plume of bubbles up the tall rock face. I love watching it!
 
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Basil

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My moss is growing! Slowly, but it is growing! This picture looks odd but it is taken of the moss wall from the side and I was excited to see little mosslings peeking out from the mesh.
mosswall4.JPG


My moss rock:
moss wall2.jpg


And since this is my first effort with a planted tank, I am happy with my plants also:
mosswall3.JPG
 
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Basil

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So a question....This aquarium is a bit of an experiment as I sourced the rocks and driftwood from my farm. The rocks passed the vinegar test. I had planned to let them soak and test the pH over time but didn't get that set up. But since I have a couple rocks left over, I am setting that up now. I just have the rocks in a bucket of water and I will test the pH over time.
The driftwood is either mulberry or cherry. It was a piece that was laying under those two trees for some time and was well weathered.
And my sand is a mixture of BDBS and National geographic aquarium sand.
This tank has been set up for some weeks now and I am starting a fishless cycle this weekend. So I have only tested the parameters once and was a bit surprised to find the pH a 7.6. My well water runs at 6-6.4 which is what my other two tanks (29 g and 40 g breeder) test at as well.
So any ideas what is causing the rise in pH? Could it be the rocks?
Obviously I will monitor all the paramaters over the next few weeks as I monitor the cycle but am worried that it will stay at 7.6 and will cause issues when I go to do water changes with my 6.0 well water!
 
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Basil

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Love the tank, looks soooo cool! Mosllings! Great name! The rock look cool to, what is it? Granite?
Thank you! I am quite happy with the results although I am a bit worried that the rocks may be contributing to the pH rise. I don't want to have to re-scape!
Not sure what the rocks are but I have found articles describing a quartz-like rock that runs from the Appalachians into the area I live on the MD/PA border. I don't think it is limestone as I am north of where the limestone runs in MD. This stuff is very hard though, unlike the field stone that is also common here.
 
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Basil

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I am not the most experienced in the technical stuff, but I have heard that different rocks will change the hardness of the water, I would maybe take the rocks out for a week and watch it closely for changes.
Thanks! I have read that also.
Funny, but I just purchased a python water changer from Amazon. In the package was also an API GH and KH test kit. I didn't pay for or order it but hey, I'll put it to good use!
It would be difficult to remove that large rock so I am just going to see how my bucket of same rocks tests in the next few weeks. It is sitting on my screened porch so there will be no rainwater to muddle results. I do admit that the science geek in me is loving my new hobby LOL!
 

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OK, I have a bunch of opinions so bare with me.

Your rock looks just like the quartz I collected in the California gold country. I tested mine, 1/2 full bucket barely covered with water , then tested the PH after a week. Same as the tap. I would leave the rocks. They are beautiful and 7.6 is not bad.

Use your KH and GK test kit and see what your hardness is. If it’s low, that could cause a fluctuation in PH. If that is the case, there are ways to add hardness without affecting PH.

I love the moss wall idea, first time I ever saw one. I can imagine what it will look like in 6 months or a hear so now I gotta have one.

Thanks for showing.
 
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Basil

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mosspvc.JPG
OK, I have a bunch of opinions so bare with me.

Your rock looks just like the quartz I collected in the California gold country. I tested mine, 1/2 full bucket barely covered with water , then tested the PH after a week. Same as the tap. I would leave the rocks. They are beautiful and 7.6 is not bad.

Use your KH and GK test kit and see what your hardness is. If it’s low, that could cause a fluctuation in PH. If that is the case, there are ways to add hardness without affecting PH.

I love the moss wall idea, first time I ever saw one. I can imagine what it will look like in 6 months or a hear so now I gotta have one.




Thanks for showing.
Thanks Hunter!
The rocks will stay put for now and I will see hat pH readings my bucket of the same type of rocks yields over the next few weeks.
I may have gotten a bit carried away with the java moss lol! I also have it on 2 pieces of PVC.
 
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Basil

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Woohoo I have cycling! Doing fishless with TSS and straight ammonia.
It’s clearing 2+ ppm of ammonia to 0 and 0 nitrites in about 3 days right now.
IMG_1716.JPG


I’m also cycling a 10 g quarantine so that is on the left and the 75 on the right. Just ammonia and nitrite test tubes.
 
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Basil

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First residents: 4 golden diamond barbs ( that’s what the LFS called them; I’ve seen several different names).
 
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Basil

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About a week after adding the barbs, I added 4 more but lost 2 of the original. So I have 6 golden diamond barbs now.
I love them! Very active fish and they are little piggies lol!
Today I moved my 4 rescue Tiger barbs in. All the barbs are happily swimming together.
So after watching them for a while, I went to my LFS and bought 2 green tiger barbs and an albino. I wanted 2 albinos but they only had 1. So I’ll get another when they get more in.
So the new tiger barbs are in the 29 g that I just moved my original tigers from. They’ll hang out there for a while.
 
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Basil

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Crappy picture as I had the light off but all the barbs together!
 
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Basil

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Oh gosh! So cool to watch. Just had to remark that this tank is in my kitchen. And I cook a lot so it’s the room I spend about 50% of my time in. My other 2 tanks are in my Great room.
The light is off in the tank now since I introduced the Tigers. But the room lights illuminate it enough to see the fish.
The Tigers were having a ball current surfing in the current from the output tube.
Now all the barbs are all on the other side of the tank and it looks like they maybe settling down for the night.
This is going to be an awesome tank when I finish the stocking!
 
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Basil

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Lost the small albino tiger barb .
She never really joined the barb herd as I think she was a bit timid with the larger hooligans. I think I may get another green or 2. I like them!

I’ve also come to the conclusion that my moss wall has to go. I’ve tried numerous times to get it flush against the back glass with no luck. I’ve even added more suction cups. I had to just about dismantle it to remove the albino barb who picked behind it to die.

As I want to stock loaches in this tank, I don’t need any spaces they can try to cram themselves into!
So my plan is to add some vertical pieces of driftwood to one side of my waterfall and attach the java moss to it.
Then add some taller plants like maybe crypt balansae to the other side.
 
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