4 years later, 350 Gallon planted tank redone

Discussion in 'Journals' started by plantbrain, 8 Dec 2009.

  1. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert



    I replanted and removed all the black flourite and switched to good old cheap dolomite. I reduced the light from about 50-60 micromols at the bottom , to 30.

    Easier to see the fish, nice sediment, happier client.

    Tank is about 2 weeks old after the redo and complete tear down.
    Tank is far from done, but should grow in a bit, I'll make some plant changes. Moss should take over the tree in the slightly off center spot. Sort of a leaf effect on a bonsai. On the left wall, there will be 1-2 EcoTech wavemakers to provide a high current experience for the fish and to clean the tank nicely. This means 3000-6000 Gallon/hr pulsed floweds down to about 800 gph.

    Right now there is about 1000gph through the wet/dry filter, and separate loop for a large Ehiem 2250. And a 1500-2000gph wave continuous flow(this will be removed for the Ecotechs).
    Added new white moon lights on a reverse light switch, so when the lights go off, the moon lights come on.

    Still to do:
    1. Add new return pump that's quieter.
    2. Replumb to reduce bends/turns, head pressure.
    3. Provide access to change a very old UV bulb.
    4. Remove chiller loop and unit.
    5. Add drip dosing
    6. Add another auto feeder(one fell into the aquarium and is toast)
    7. Install micro freezer for frozen food access at tank location(where chiller was)
    8. Test lower lighting without HQI's running.

    The issue for me is that removing the Metal halides also means no ripple sunlight effect, but I get better growth without them and cleaner etc.
    The fish loading is high, some other issues occur since the tank is not touched much all week often times due to acess, but these can/are be/being addressed.

    Tom Barr
  2. AdAndrews

    AdAndrews Member

    Kidderminster, Worcs
    Thats absolutely stunning, Tom :thumbup:
  3. Maurits

    Maurits Member

    Wow, the perfect size for a lot of different plants
  4. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Surrey UK
    That is one gorgeous tank Tom

  5. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Or lots of different fish :thumbup:

    I'll be removing the rummies at some point, then going mostly cardinals.
    They suit the color and the sediment better.

    The needle leaf fern is easy to care for, sells for lots of $$$ all the time, why bother with stem plants and have more work/plants I cannot sell? I also need all the wood you cannot really see for hiding places for all the plecos and catfish and other more cryptic species.

    A sting ray would not be out of the question also.
    I had considered a Dutch style for this tank at one point, however, the folks simply do not have enough care skills to take care of the aquarium that way. The plants do poorly. I try to make improvements etc here and there.
    So a lower light fern, Crypt, Aunbias, etc, with a few grassy species is about it.

    With the fish load and the species they chose, the fish would shed many species(and have) of plants, this tank has a massive fish load, much more than ADA or any dutch tank I've ever seen a picture of or seen in person.
    So plant selection is a choice and practical matter for the fish.

    Not the other way around.

    Tom Barr

    Tom Barr
  6. Mark Webb

    Mark Webb Member

    Stunning Tank Tom :thumbup: What are the tank dimensions? Is the needle leaf fern fast growing, and how often does it require thinning?
  7. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Very nice, Tom. Thanks for sharing. I really like the needle fern. Gorgeous texture in a large tank. :thumbup:

    Interesting on the high fish load. I assume there's dosing full EI with dry powders added directly?

    How much CO2 does this go through?

    Nice to see 'proper' lighting measurement too... Pity PAR meters are so expensive. A friend has one and long term we'd like to build up a database of lighting levels vs. depth vs. type etc. There's some good stuff on the web by reefkeepers, as I'm sure you're aware.
  8. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

    Kendal, Cumbria
    Tom mentions adding 'drip dosing', so it might be EI via homebrewed all-in-one - be interested to find out...
  9. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert


    240cm x 70cm x 70cm about.
    It's moderately fast growing, I prune about once every month.
    A head sized piece or so, sometimes two, that gives me about 30-60$ a month in fern alone and it's easy to ship/sell/always a market for it.

    Tom Barr
  10. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Dosing is suppose to be 1 teaspoon of KNO3 day, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of KH2PO4 per day, 75 mls of traces, 150mls of Excel if there's any algae. I add about 3 teaspoons KNO3, 1-2 teaspoons of KH2PO4, 2 Tablespoons of GH booster on the water change days.

    But, as things go, that is not always the case and getting them to add things is rather tough.
    Some weeks are good, some not so good. CO2 runs out and is idle for a week sometimes.

    That's the way these things go.

    CO2 is about 6 bubbles a second on a pair of AM reactors.
    Maybe a 8 kg bottle once every 3-4 months?

    Light PAR meters are not that expensive. I would suggest the Club buy one, they can be had for about 200-240$ USD$, shipping and group buys etc. Then the club can share it. You do not use them often typically, just to adjust and set, and then maybe to test out a new light fixture etc later.

    So sharing one is a wise idea.

    If you pool the $, then the cost is only 20-30$ amongst 10 people.

    Every light will be different, every reflector will be different, the spread, the angles etc.
    You can measure for brands, but they must be specific, no measurements of T5's and then apply that info to every T5 for examples, there's good sized differences between brands. Reflectors are the same issue.

    Folks want easy ways out and to avoid the test kits/measurements.
    This is more true for light ironically than nutrients :crazy:
    But a light meter is 10-20X easier to use and the largest factor driving the rates of growth, CO2/nutrient uptake/demands etc.

    I don't get it :!:

    Tom Barr
  11. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    I have not added this yet.
    I will do a macro nutrients+ Excel for a larger container(2.5 gal) and then a trace mix using 1400mls.

    Tom Barr
  12. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Tom - I'd appreciate any information you have the time to share about the drip dosing solutions when you get around to setting them up (not least because I have two peristaltic pumps sitting waiting for me to hook up to my tank :thumbup: ).

    Nice tank by the way :D
  13. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Surrey, UK
    i echo that, its one area where i havent much of a clue so any info for matt would be a good read up for me (and probably other members) :D
  14. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

  15. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Did you say there are rays in here?! Do they bother the plants much? I was always sure they can't be mixed with plants?

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