d2's Planted Tank Adventurama

MrStoffel

Member
Joined
27 Jul 2018
Messages
54
Location
Antwerp
2) Plants often have different shaped leaves when grown submerged, so longer leaves vs rounded ones on stem plants are normal.

3) when cutting stem plants, you should replant the cuttings to create a more dense plantmass. The trimmed stems will get new shoots, most of the time more than one.

Tank is looking great!


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d2creative

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Joined
15 Jan 2019
Messages
94
Location
Houston, TX
2) Plants often have different shaped leaves when grown submerged, so longer leaves vs rounded ones on stem plants are normal.

3) when cutting stem plants, you should replant the cuttings to create a more dense plantmass. The trimmed stems will get new shoots, most of the time more than one.

Tank is looking great!


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2) Oh ok, cool. I got them from my LFS where they were submerged but who knows where they came from originally and I don't think my LFS had them very long.
3) Great, that is exactly what I have been doing. :)

Thanks!
 

d2creative

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Joined
15 Jan 2019
Messages
94
Location
Houston, TX
Doing a little maintenance this morning.
Loving how easy it is to work on the Oase Biomaster filters. That pre-filter is the shiz. :cool:

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Got a little battle I'm going through right now with Staghorn algae growing everywhere.
Trying to get some more algae eaters but would rather find/fix the cause.
I probably need more flow so will probably add a powerhead. Love the oase filters but they do not have a strong flow.
I was trying to increase my light, still having a problem with the Monte Carlo not growing but I guess I'll have to decrease it for a bit.
Is short periods of high light better than long periods of low/medium light?

Current parameters:
GH 11, KH 4.5 (was going to lower these two a bit)
Temp 76.3
pH 6.5-7.2 daily
No3 15ppm

Only thing I'm currently dosing is a little Seachem... Flourish Comprehensive and Potassium.

Finally got my Dwyer CO2 meter and hooking that up this weekend.
 

d2creative

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2019
Messages
94
Location
Houston, TX
Just a couple pics from this week after some maintenance.
I removed the moss from the arching branch. I felt it was throwing of the balance of the overall composition and blocking a lot of the better looking plants behind.
It was nice to have while everything else was growing in, but don't feel it's needed any longer.
Going to head to my LFS this weekend and see if I can find some more fish. :)

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Iain Sutherland

Global Moderator
Staff member
Joined
7 Jul 2011
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3,689
Location
Cambridge
It's a great looking tank, shame about the jumpers!

In answer to your questions... drop checker should be lime green, just to confuse people it should be like the inside of a lime not the skin (dark green) so edging towards yellow is normal.

I didn't see how long your light were on for but I'd think at this stage you wouldnt want more than 6 hours with maybe a 30 minute ramp up and down if you wished. Long light periods are your enemy. Just set the light period for when your home most.

Get a complete fertiliser and dose well. Given the size of tank you may find EI dry powders are the most economical.

Staghorn... often appears in newer tanks, often triggered by a lack of maintenance. Spot dosing during water change is good but increased maintenance is better and generally resolves it.

Dont be too hasty with increasing light, if your confident your flow, co2 and nutrients are good then tweak it a little and leave it a week or two. Monte carlo will happily grow low tech so it's pretty undemanding in regards to light, id suggest flow and nutrients first. Just tweak one thing at a time and observe!

I look forward to watching this come along

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d2creative

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2019
Messages
94
Location
Houston, TX
It's a great looking tank, shame about the jumpers!

In answer to your questions... drop checker should be lime green, just to confuse people it should be like the inside of a lime not the skin (dark green) so edging towards yellow is normal.

I didn't see how long your light were on for but I'd think at this stage you wouldnt want more than 6 hours with maybe a 30 minute ramp up and down if you wished. Long light periods are your enemy. Just set the light period for when your home most.

Get a complete fertiliser and dose well. Given the size of tank you may find EI dry powders are the most economical.

Staghorn... often appears in newer tanks, often triggered by a lack of maintenance. Spot dosing during water change is good but increased maintenance is better and generally resolves it.

Dont be too hasty with increasing light, if your confident your flow, co2 and nutrients are good then tweak it a little and leave it a week or two. Monte carlo will happily grow low tech so it's pretty undemanding in regards to light, id suggest flow and nutrients first. Just tweak one thing at a time and observe!

I look forward to watching this come along

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Thanks so much!
I have cut back on the light period.
And i forgot to mention above but I added a big Tunze powerhead I had laying around from my reefing days. It's dialed way back but I've got lots of plant movement now. Even noticed that all my cory cats and such all seem much more active and out and about.
We'll see how it goes! The algae doesn't seem to be getting any worse so hopefully i nipped it in the bud.
Thanks again!
 

d2creative

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2019
Messages
94
Location
Houston, TX
Time for a long overdue overview of how I set up my Auto Water Change (AWC) and Auto Top-Off (ATO) systems!

First, let's start off with the major components.

Number one is the heart of my system, the GHL Profilux Controller, seen here on the right.

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In the case of the AWC, I created a Timer. 8x per day, the Profilux turns on the AWC pump for a specified amount of time.
It's also controlling ATO. The water level in the tank needs to be monitored, so I installed an optical level sensor.
The level sensor is seen here on the right.

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It's held in place by my magnetic probe holder attached to the back glass, along with my pH and Temp probes.
All three sensors are connected to the Profilux.
When the water level drops, the Profilux turns on the ATO pump, and then shuts it off when the original water level is reached.

The next major component is my water storage and mixing station.
Our tap water from the city is pretty bad. Full of chlorine/chloramines and high TDS.
So I prefer to start with a clean slate and make my own RO/DI water. This also makes things easier IMO to always have stable parameters and easier to adjust levels when needed.
Our weather is more mild here in the south so I have everything outdoors in enclosures just to provide some protection from the sun and weather in general.
Here's my RO/DI...

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The RO/DI cabinet is mounted on the wall next to my plastic shed that houses my two 60g water storage tanks.

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The RO/DI creates the water and sends it to the tank on the left. When this side is full, I turn valves and turn on the mixing pump and send the water to the tank on the right. Once the right tank is full, I turn valves so that water is circulating out from the bottom, through the pump and back into the top. While that is running I throw in my salts for GH/KH/MAG and let it mix for a few hours. Meanwhile, the tank on the left is refilled by the RO/DI, which shuts off automatically when the tank is full. There is a mechanical float valve inside the top of the tank which creates backpressure in the RO/DI and shuts it down.

I needed a way to push and pull water to and from the aquarium. Reliability is key! So I went with the pumps that are used in the medical and scientific industries, able to run 24/7/365... Continuous duty. Cole Parmer Masterflex peristaltic pumps. These can be regularly found on Ebay. The Masterflex (big one on the right) typically runs in the $400 range for the noisier brushed motor models, if you are lucky it will come with an Easy Load head. The brushless models are quiet but more expensive. In my case, a little noise is fine since they are outside. The smaller unit is a cheap, steady flow rate model with standard head found for about $99. This is the one I use for my ATO, which pulls water from the RO/DI tank on the left. The larger MasterFlex is running my AWC using two Easy Load heads. When it turns on, both heads run simultaneously but I have them set up in opposite directions. So one is pulling water out while the other head is pushing water in. They are identical heads, with identical size tubing, running at identical speeds. So the amount of water pulled out, is the same amount of water pulled in. This pump is pulling remineralized water from the tank on the right. The two best things about using peristaltic pumps like this is they pump far, and you don't have to worry about back-siphon so they don't need to be mounted higher than the aquarium.

Now that all major components were in place and ready to go, it was time to get water from the storage tanks to the aquarium.
I ran 3/8" semi-rigid tubing from the shed, up under the eve of the house, passed the sliding glass doors, down the other side to the base of the wall, where I punched a hole to get inside next to the aquarium.

In this pic here, you can see the water storage shed at the bottom left of the pic (the smaller one on the other side holds some pool equipment). And the aquarium is right behind our cat Pigeon (his foster mom gave him that name and we kept it, LOL) at the top right side of the pic.

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Here you can see the water lines coming in through the wall right next to the tank.
And FWIW, I have run this type of tubing (usually the 1/4") through attics, behind baseboard molding, etc.
In order for the Profilux controller to talk to the pumps in the shed, I had to run a Cat5 cable as well and install a GHL Powerbar in the shed that the pumps could plug into. The Cat5 runs from the controller to the PowerBar which has 6 sockets. Now the controller can turn sockets on and off as needed.

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Once inside the house and near the tank, I switched to a more flexible tubing so it was easier to work with and much more flexible.
This is some silicone tubing. Stretches right over the ends of the rigid stuff and is held in place with a ziptie for safety.

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Now normally, I'm running these lines to my sump, but this aquarium doesn't have a sump.
So I needed to figure out a way to get the water into the display tank and not have it look terrible.
After some searching online, I came across some stainless steel u-shaped barbed tubes used in the refrigeration industry.
They come in a 3/8" size so it was perfect. And they sit right over the glass!

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Here are the current locations.
In this pic, this is the line that pulls old water out of the tank on the left side. (that's my powerhead cord next to it)

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I had some black flexible tubing laying around that I used as a coupling between the u-shaped tube and a short piece of 3/8" semi-rigid to extend it down several inches into the water.

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On the right side of the tank is where I have the new water line and the ATO line.

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Since this is where water is being pushed in, I didn't want it entering straight down, especially since my soil comes up pretty high on this side of the tank.
So i used some more of that black flexible tubing as a coupling between the stainless u-tube and a piece of the 3/8" semi-rigid tubing. I heated up the semi-rigid tubing until it was soft enough to bend and dunked in cool water. Now the water shoots out at an angle away from the rear corner of the aquarium. I did this for both lines.

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And that's basically it!
This system has been working flawlessly for a couple of months now. And all components are pretty much invisible to anyone looking at the tank.
As I mentioned earlier, the Profilux turns on the Masterflex pump 8x per day. It's running at 500 ml/min and is running for 5 min each time. So approximately 5.25g per day or 37g per week. That's only 25% tank volume so I may increase it at some point but I wanted to see how it goes. I also plan on doing a regular large water change every few months.

I know this may not be the simplest way of doing this but it works great.
The use of the Masterflex with dual heads ensures that the same amount of water pumped out is replaced so no change in water level in the aquarium.
There are also some nice advantages to doing small incremental changes throughout the day, seven days per week instead of one large change every week. Parameters do not shift. I don't have to worry about water temp. Dosing is always the same.

Feel free to ask questions if anything isn't clear.
Hoping this might be able to help someone set up a similar system or at least give you some ideas for creating your own. :)

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d2creative

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Joined
15 Jan 2019
Messages
94
Location
Houston, TX
Some pics of the new additions... Threadfin Rainbows and Blue Ram Cichlids. :)
Was originally worried about the Threadfins with feeding but they swim high and don't seem to have an issue.
The Rams on the other hand... low swimmers and very chill personalities. May be a challenge.

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Kezzab

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Joined
18 Jan 2016
Messages
1,126
Location
Carlisle
Your tank build is insane! I'm impressed and kind of intimidated. Makes my buckets and garden hoses seem a little neanderthal....
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,479
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Your tank build is insane! I'm impressed and kind of intimidated. Makes my buckets and garden hoses seem a little neanderthal.
Just what I was thinking.
Was originally worried about the Threadfins with feeding
They like really small food items. I kept them with Corydoras pygmaeus/hastatus, and they both used to go mad for micro-worms.

cheers Darrel
 

d2creative

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Joined
15 Jan 2019
Messages
94
Location
Houston, TX
Lovely additions.
How many of each did you add?
Thanks! 7 of the Threafins... a mix of male/female, and 4 of the Blue Rams.

Your tank build is insane! I'm impressed and kind of intimidated. Makes my buckets and garden hoses seem a little neanderthal....
LOL, thanks :)
Coming from the saltwater reef side... i can't help myself. haha

Hi all,Just what I was thinking.They like really small food items. I kept them with Corydoras pygmaeus/hastatus, and they both used to go mad for micro-worms.

cheers Darrel
Hmmm... will have to look for these micro-worms. I have frozen cubes I thaw in a bottle and squirt into the tank. There's always a big variation in particle size so everyone seems to be able to get something.
And then flakes I crush between my fingers as I feed, again to provide a better variety of size. Hopefully that works well enough.
 

Chris25

Member
Joined
14 Nov 2013
Messages
37
Location
Southampton
Hi,

This is absolutely incredible and the tank looks amazing!

I have a couple of questions about your AWC and ATO if you don't mind?

For the AWC if the pipe pumping water out of the tank got blocked for any reason, would the system realise this and stop pumping water into the tank or would it overflow it?
Also, could you not have the AWC just have the pipe sucking out the water and then the ATO would kick in and top it up? May alleviate the risk (if it exists) of flooding if the water removal pipe did become blocked somehow?

Thanks,
Chris
 

d2creative

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2019
Messages
94
Location
Houston, TX
Hi,

This is absolutely incredible and the tank looks amazing!

I have a couple of questions about your AWC and ATO if you don't mind?

For the AWC if the pipe pumping water out of the tank got blocked for any reason, would the system realise this and stop pumping water into the tank or would it overflow it?
Also, could you not have the AWC just have the pipe sucking out the water and then the ATO would kick in and top it up? May alleviate the risk (if it exists) of flooding if the water removal pipe did become blocked somehow?

Thanks,
Chris
Thanks!

Technically, yes I suppose it is possible for something like a dead fish maybe to block it. In my case it would probably have to be blocked for at least a couple of days before it filled enough water to overflow. I'm around enough that I'd catch the rising water.
I could install a second level sensor that could be set to disable AWC and ATO if the water got that high.
You do need to occasionally give things like that a visual check, clean your ATO sensor, replace the tubing on the dosing pumps periodically, etc.

My ATO water is straight RO/DI, since evaporated water leaves the salts behind. The AWC is using the remineralized water.
If you were just using tap water for both, then sure, I don't see why you couldn't just do what you said. :)
 

Gill

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Joined
17 Mar 2008
Messages
3,217
Location
Stenson Fields South Derby
Threadfins are great fish. And once you get dominance you will really see a difference. That male has vertical stripes and a large silver nuchal type lump on its lower jaw. And when they spare it's so nice to watch.

Also those red rainbows look very nice.

Insane amount of planning as gone into this tank, which in the long run will aide you in its upkeep.

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d2creative

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2019
Messages
94
Location
Houston, TX
Threadfins are great fish. And once you get dominance you will really see a difference. That male has vertical stripes and a large silver nuchal type lump on its lower jaw. And when they spare it's so nice to watch.

Also those red rainbows look very nice.

Insane amount of planning as gone into this tank, which in the long run will aide you in its upkeep.

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
Very cool! Thanks!
 

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