7' refurbishment

danmil3s

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11 Jan 2010
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Put some plants in massive thanks to Dave at Aquarium Gardens who spent over an hour working out what was required and got it spot on:thumbup:.

we added more rock to the right which I really like but this meant changing the wood layout. the wife (who is now very much into this tank as a proper plant tank) loves the new wood me I’m not so sure:crazy:.

Fish choice has changed again :lol: thinking of a big shoal of threadfin rainbowfish with 50 Amano shrimp, Cherry over spill from the smaller high tec tank will probably end up in here as well.

I don’t have time to list all the 30 plus species that came in 85 pots but I’ll lay the tags out as they were planted and upload a photo so you can get a rough idea of what we did. Off to tidy up the mess we left now planting till 1 AM (followed by 2 hours filling the tank) and finish the stand.
whole tank.jpg
far right.jpg
 

tiger15

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14 Mar 2018
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I also started a 6 ft planted tank a year ago after success with a smaller 4 ft tank. Having experience with a smaller tank before moving into a bigger tank has the advantage of making fewer mistakes and utilize the plant stock to fill up the big tank. It will be price prohibitive if one has to fill up a big tank with high plant mass right from start. My layout of the 6 ft tank is also roughly triangular.

I used to be a cichlid keeper so fish is just as important to me as plants. I used to keep very big cichlid, so I have to down size the fish to fit my planted set up, but not too small to the exclusion of small schooling tetra only. I still keep a many medium size cichlid, up to 6 inch maximum, but I have to be selective of what type of fish and plants can be housed together. Tough plants like ferns, anubias, and Buces are fine, soft tissue stem plants are not. Non digging male only mouthbrooders and egg layers are fine, but not breeding groups larger than 4 inch that will rearrange scape to make nests. Large rainbows are colorful and popular for planted tank, but not my cup as they look stupid to me with small head and big body. I am partial to smart cichlid. Clown loach are bad choice due to eventual large size and habit to burrow and push plants aside to make nest. When you keep big fish, there are individuals that just behave badly and I have no choice but to get rid of them to make peace with plants.

Fish and plants will show good on dark substrate, but irrelevant if you are going cover it up with carpet plants. White substrate reflects light and provides better light distribution to the bottom region of the tank. No wonder Takashi Amano preferred white sand for his big nature aquariums.
 

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danmil3s

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11 Jan 2010
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floaters.jpg
Bit of a disaster today the Perspex that I siliconed over the old 2-inch hole to the sump didn’t bond although it should have and it held up during the 2 day test I did .So the tank leaked a bit followed by a lot.

bodge.jpg


As per the advise of Steve at aquarium Gardens I removed the air sensitive plants then drained the tank misted and covered the rest.





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Getting glass at short notice was a challenge so I used a small cheap aquarium panel cut and doubled up with a lot of wet sticky stuff mastic (sets under water).

I can’t decide which of the following routes to take now….

option 1) re fill tank Sunday evening best for plants but only 24hr for mastic to cure (can be longer in presence of water)

Option 2) fill tank Monday evening best for repair but over 48hr out of water for the plants.
 
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danmil3s

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11 Jan 2010
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thank you Kezzab shame about the leak but we will rebuild
Louis the plan is not to to use co2 mainly due to cost but also maintenance I've been down that road.
Hi tiger i agree starting small and moving up is a good idea i learnt this the hard way. i also have some cichlids they are in with my turtle i cant remember the species as the wrong one was delivered. my wife now has a 4" tank all to herself that the clown loach will be moving in to so no need to worry. i've kept rainbows before and really enjoy them but your right they do have funny proportions:lol:. i've always had black substrate but the i see what you are saying reference the white i just don't like it personally.
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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threadfin rainbowfish
These would look great, though I’d do rather more in a tank this size - note they are a more delicate, harder to maintain longterm species (& not as short lived as some of the pseudomugil types) ... they pretty much need to be the priority fish ie choose suitable tankmates ensuring there’s no subtle bullying/aggression etc, establish the threadfins first so it’s apparent in their behaviour whether new tankmates are an issue

Commiserations on the leak :eek:

Blocking off drilled holes is always better done with the recommended “plugs” (sorry can’t think of the proper name) and then just obscuring this from view

I’d definitely wait until Monday before refilling - you may lose a few delicate plants (maybe post the labels) but most will do fine as long as they are kept damp and humid

Perspex that I siliconed over the old 2-inch hole to the sump didn’t bond although it should have
How did you prep the surfaces?
 

danmil3s

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11 Jan 2010
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Hi Alto,

i was thinking threadfin species only maybe some bottom dwellers and shrimp, i also hope the thread fin breed if not I'll add more.
i'm gutted about the leak wasted a whole day and impacted the start of the tank. had to remove all the wood and half the rock pile to repair as well.

i'll look in to the plugs I've not seen plugs . i have used bulkhead connectors with stop ends before but they are ugly. i'm thinking Monday and pop home lunch time to mist. the delicate plants are in my high tec tank so fingers crossed they will be ok.. i will post labels but today has been non stop and tomorrow will be playing catch up until the tank is finished i cab't finish my DIY.
with the perspex i just cleaned it with soapy water. should i have sand papered do you think?
 

Dadofthree

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15 Jul 2018
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If it was my tank i would remove the patch and use a proper bulk head fitting i would not sleep at night with that patch
 

danmil3s

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11 Jan 2010
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Hi Dadofthree the problem with the bulk head fitting is it would be the first thing you'd see walking in to the living room. Its in a corner that used to have rad pipes, a power socket and incoming BT located. i've moved all that for a clan look so dont want a little barnacle hanging of the side of the tank.

Before half way through emptying the old set up
before.jpg


tonight (still a building site)
corner.jpg
 

danmil3s

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11 Jan 2010
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oh yeah took a photo of the plant labels i know some are in the wrong place if anyone is really interested i can spend a bit more time sorting them but i think the general scheme is obvious, and in a few months hopefully the real thing will speak for its self .
lables.jpg
 

danmil3s

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11 Jan 2010
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so filled the tank again yesterday plants looked OK (thanks Steve Aquarium Gardens). Did the first 50% water change tonight takes over an hour! thoughts on lights/water levels being off/low for that long?

And some photos, probably a days labour left on the stand (the doors aren't hanging just leaning) lights are on 15:00 to 21:00 50% power warm white
warm white.jpg



just a shot at 100% power cool white just for comparison normally i lean towards cool white but i quite like the warm if the plants don't care can i alternate

cool white.jpg
 

danmil3s

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11 Jan 2010
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Did another 50% water change left the lights on and lid shut this time. The java and bolbitis stayed damp so hopefully this method works. some of the crypt leaves have/are melting i hope this is normal. 2 doors have been hung.
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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crypt leaves have/are melting
Normal :D

Some varieties are more prone to this than others, melt may be accelerated by the events of the last few days
Just cut back the melting leaves to remove completely - crypt melt can act almost like a contagion, affecting other more distant crypts in the same tank (as well as those adjacent)

Just keep a spray bottle handy and use intermittently to ensure plant leafs remain wet (during water change)
 

alto

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I’m unclear on the patch - is it on the outside of the tank or glass plates on inside and outside?
(even my question sounds confusing :oops:)
 

danmil3s

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11 Jan 2010
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Hi alto,
Ill keep removing leaves as they melt, hopefully they grow back . I have a spare mist king in the cupboard I might set that up to mist the plants while the tank fills an hour of full supervision is something I want to avoid.

The glass patch is on the inside, the outside has a thin piece of pespsex that just allowed me to mass fill the hole with silicone. The inside patch is doing the work.
 

alto

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As long as crypts are good quality plants to begin with, they’ll grow back surprisingly fast

Jurijs mit JS actually cuts the emerse leaves off during planting, this way the new (submerse) leafs aren’t shaded or affected by melt of older leafs
 

danmil3s

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11 Jan 2010
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crypts continue to melt so i'll continue with daily water changing( till Thursday I'm away for 3 nights) one or two leaves on java, bobbites, and anubias have died...to worry or not to worry? i did turn the lights up 25% after adding 3mm perspex condensation tray, as i couldn't tell the lights were on.
i'd forgotten how hard maintenance is on this tank i'll be glad when its just weekly changes.
 

alto

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If crypt melt is continuing, just cut back all the old/original leafs, you’ll see rapid regrowth (with CO2, slower regrowth without added CO2)
Note this is true of aquatic nursery pot grown crypts, rather less so for crypts which have been transferred to rock wool pots just prior to sale (with care, some of these recover but it’s a slow process)


Remove any significantly damaged leafs on Microsorum (java) ferns
Anubias seems to hold better unless leaf is extensively damaged BUT if leafs are actually “melting” on Anubias plants, I’d remove and check rhizome for damage, cutting aggressively to remove any soft rhizome areas

Bolbitis heudelotii will slowly replace all the emerse grown leafs with submerse growth (that may look surprisingly similar), again you can trim all the old leafs and wait for new (rather quick with good conditions of light, CO2, nutrients) or just remove heavily damaged older leafs
 

alto

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adding 3mm perspex condensation tray, as i couldn't tell the lights were on.
Check the transmission specification of the Perspex sheet you purchased
Those droplets are phenomenal light scatterers ;)
 
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