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The Beauty of Nature in House (330 liters planted tank)

Fred13

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13 Jul 2016
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322
Location
Athens
Hello guys!

I hope you will enjoy the upcoming journey as much as I will!

I am still working on it, I need some time to finish the hardscape ( I have some thoughts of giving more height), plant it and fill it up. I hope that I will do that in December..

Information about the tank
Dimensions: 120 x 50 x 55 (in cms), 330 liters
Filtration: 2 JBL filters (1502 & 902)
Heating: External JBL heater 500 watt with temperature controller
Light: 2 x 120 B twinstar ( initially, I am going to use only one and increase the intensity later)
Co2: pressurized co2, 5kg bottle, strideways regulator. Diffusion through external reactor.
Substrate: Inert guemmer sand (0.7 - 1.2mm grain size). Some JBL volcano mineral may be added at the corners to increase the height
Hardscape: Iron wood, ancient roots wood, loa rocks and Rio Xingu gravel.
Additional gadgets: Twinstar Yotta Plus ozonator, eheim skimmer 350

My goal is to create a natural planted habitat with fish and plants from America region only.
My only limitation will be the light. I will keep it at medium intensity.

I will update the thread soon! Any comments are more than appreciated!

Thank you,
Fred 20211128_132054.jpg
 

Fred13

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Athens
Happy new year to all!

Updating my journal today!
I have promised myself an easy-going aquarium, however, this isn't the case :) I can't resist putting more details and accept different challenges.

Today, I have glued the hardscape with superglue and I have added several details to the hardscape.

I have also put some lava rock (the jbl one) beneath the sand which proved to be a nightmare because it was very difficult to remove the sand from specific spaces and place the bags without messing the hardscape. I finally did it, however, it isn't much buried and also the bags are full of stone making them so stiff that I doubt the plant rhizomes will find their way in. We will see ;)
I did that to increase the substrate potential since I have only plain coarse sand.

Also, they offered me as a gift a wonderful set of lily pipes with a glass skimmer for my second filter. The problem is that the diameter is wrong. Instead of giving them back, I am thinking of increasing the diameter from 12/16 to 16/22 with an adaptor.

In conclusion, there are many more things to be done. Such as connecting the external reactor that you see in the photo attached.

I will keep you updated and I hope that the tank will be fully planted soon !

Best regards,
Fred 20220104_021058.jpg 20220103_223725.jpg 20220104_022329.jpg 20220104_022917.jpg
 

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Fred13

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Athens
I finally managed to fill the tank with water!
I am still trying to find out the right amount of co2 but it needs some time.
Only running a 120b twinstar LED atm which is about 10-11 lumen/ L. I will probably put a second one that I have after 20 days. Since then, I need the system to be as much more "slow"it can be to prevent any trouble till its stable.

Unfortunately, my external heater gave up on day 2 and fortunately I had a separate internal one that I put on use. Waiting for the replacement since it is under warranty.

Some mobile phone photos, hope you like it ;)

20220322_001008.jpg
 
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Djoko Sauza

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23 Jul 2017
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SE London
Awesome, I really like the hardscape. Just doubting if your light is strong enough for a 50cm deep tank...
Should look really cool when it's a bit grown in 👍
 

Fred13

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Awesome, I really like the hardscape. Just doubting if your light is strong enough for a 50cm deep tank...
Should look really cool when it's a bit grown in 👍
Thank you mate:)
You are absolutely right, light isn't enough. I am doing that on purpose until I have a stable co2 injection. I will put another 120B in the following days.
However, there is some growth, very very slow but still growing. I believe that proves that even under low intensity you can still have healthy plants, provided that you are not limited in other certain elements (co2, ferts).
 

Fred13

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Quick update, happy to share with you some info.
Not much has changed, day 6 , 50% water change.
What you may observe is how much the tank got cleaner after the w/c. Iron wood leeches much of tannins making the water yellowish pretty fast. I thought about purigen but since the tank is immature I believe it would be better to consider that a little bit later.

All the plants seem acclimatized already, however, I am not so optimistic about some of them due to the low substrate height at some spots. I will probably add more juncus repens. I like how the this plant grows, it fills the gaps, stays relatively low and seems easy even under this low light intensity.
As for the background, I think I will replace cabomba aquatica after a while. If not all, most of it. It doesnt root well, it just grows, and it does not suit my taste in any case. I will give it a go under higher light though.
All the plants are on sand. Some clay root tabs are spreaded in some places.
At the backend corners I have some bags of lava stones beneath the substrate. I am not really sure that was a good idea. I filled them too much, I suspect they dont even breathe.

I have also started daily fertilization.
Already mixed ferts including generic micro fert, NPK and extra N.
I am dosing the minimum suggested atm.
When I double the light intensity I will also adapt a new fertilization schedule.

Last but not least, I had some trouble with bubbles escaping the reactor. I did some adjustments on the bypass and I think I did the trick. Injecting 6-7 bps seems to be adequate for the 75 gallons, at least now.

In conclusion, I will put some amano shrimps on Saturday. I will delay the introduction of fish until the plants get well rooted.

Ps. JBL accepted the replacement of the external heater. 20220324_013528.jpg

I ll keep you update in the following days :)
 

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Fred13

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Hello,

Quick update on my 80 gallons tank.
22 days old and things seem to go on smoothly without any particular issues.
Brown algae have started developing on glass (not plants), as a result of the filter's cycling.

I dose macros and micros daily, not EI but much more than the manufacturer's suggestion. I have also put clay nutrition tablets in the substrate since my substrate is inert sand.
The plants correspond great to the high CO2 injection (about 14 bps) through the external reactor. I have also increased the light intensity without any side effects.

I removed most of the supporting plants (Green Cabomba) and planted Pogostemon Erectus in the left corner. I also planted Ludwigia Palustris super red among those branches at the right corner which is still low and thus not visible in photos.

I believe that if not something unexpected happens the first trim will take place on day 50.
20220405_234619 (3).jpg 20220403_172800.jpg 20220403_172808.jpg
 

Fred13

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Quick update on my 80 gallons.

Plants are growing rapidly on sand without any special treatments. Just some daily fertilization including micros and macros.
Had a diatom bloom, still having some and also some green hair algae on stems which seem to struggle a little bit. I haven't figured out the reasons yet, I am working on it.
In general, the progress is fine for 1.5 months of life.
Next week, I will probably do the first actual trimming.

Ps. The monte carlo on the wood and rocks is pretty awesome. 20220501_230911.jpg
 

Fred13

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Hello quick update!
It seems fine but in reality I struggle with bba.
It's the first time I encounter that type of algae, thus I am a bit confused.
Co2 is fine, ferts are fine, light intensity medium.
Any suggestions?

Unfortunately I lack of time so I can't devote many hours on trimming and maintenance.
I am trying not to lose control though. 20220526_232943.jpg 20220526_232937.jpg
 

Yugang

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13 Mar 2021
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390
Location
Hong Kong
Beautiful tank !

It seems fine but in reality I struggle with bba.
Co2 is fine

Assuming that you do regular water changes and cleaning, no problem with organics, CO2 is usually the prime suspect for a BBA problem

Don't see drop checker? A quite large tank and needs a lot of CO2. Using two filters, but one reactor. Are you indeed sure that CO2 is fine?
Apart from CO2 injection rate, you may want to check if your flow is good (using two lily pipes in opposite direction may not work well).

In summary, double check CO2 and flow as most likely cause.
 
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Fred13

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13 Jul 2016
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Athens
Beautiful tank !




Assuming that you do regular water changes and cleaning, no problem with organics, CO2 is usually the prime suspect for a BBA problem

Don't see drop checker? A quite large tank and needs a lot of CO2. Using two filters, but one reactor. Are you indeed sure that CO2 is fine?
Apart from CO2 injection rate, you may want to check if your flow is good (using two lily pipes in opposite direction may not work well).

In summary, double check CO2 and flow as most likely cause.
Thank you mate.
Drop checker is almost yellow during the whole photoperiod, however, I suspect that inconsistencies occur.
I should examine the values.

Any remedies suggested? Do excel works?
 

Yugang

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Hong Kong
The real profi's (that's not me), setting up and maintaining clients tanks, state that 90% of BBA problems are CO2 related. This is especially related to stability during photoperiod (to be verified with a pH probe profile) and flow. Very few hobbyists have perfectly BBA free tanks.

I spot treat my tank every 4-6 weeks with Excel, especially wood and slow growing epiphytes.

My suggestion, hope that others will chime in as well, is three fold:
  • post some picture to assess if indeed your BBA is a significant problem (or just at the level that we all experience)
  • confirm if indeed you keep your tank and filter clean, with regular water changes. No problem with organics in the tank
  • have still another look if CO2 is stable (typically <0.1 pH variation over photo period) and a good flow.

Hope this helps

ps please note that some plants (vallisneria, mosses, etc) do not take Excel / Glut well, and make sure you understand do’s and don’ts before proceeding with this.

many interesting reads on this form, for example General advice, almost ready to call it a day!
 
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