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90 Gallons Of Jungle

Discussion in 'Journals' started by nodima, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. nodima

    nodima New Member

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    Been wanting to start a journal on my 90gallon planted tank for a while, but now seemed like a good time.

    Background

    Been keeping aquariums since the late 80’s, and have had a planted tank since the mid 90’s. My main interest in aquariums over the years is split between Lake Tanganyikan cichlids, and planted tanks. Currently running 6 tanks in the house, ranging from 6 to 180 gallons. My main planted tank is the 90.

    Recently, my wife and I were talking about repainting the dining room which is where the 90 resides. At the time, it was a 75 gallon tank, and my thought was that it would be a good time to go bigger. The tank had to be taken down completely anyway, and we’ve always thought having some additional height would be good for the plants. Thanks to an assist to Kendall-Jackson, she agreed. At same time, I’d admired the look of several other tanks here that use BDBS as a substrate, so why not change that out too?

    So the weekend before Thanksgiving I picked up a new 90 gallon tank with black trim and silicone. Painted the back with black paint, and got everything together for the move. 100lbs of BDBS rinsed and in buckets, extra buckets and towels etc. Room painted and tank move went smoothly. This is what it looked like on that Monday night.


    IMG_1611.JPG


    Tank Specs

    Tank 90 gallon, 48” wide, 24” tall, and 18” front to back.
    Filtration: 2 Eheim 2028 canisters, return spraybar on far left, other return a jet on far left, both intakes low at far left
    Heater: 2 Ebo-Jager
    Lighting: 3x T5HO 54 watt, slightly staggered. 2 run for 8 hours, the third for 6 hours. All 3 are Flora Sun bulbs
    CO2: pressurized using a 2”x12” Griggs reactor in line with filter return
    Substrate: BDBS
    Fertilizer: Basic EI mix for 60-80g tank, 3x a week, micros (CSM) 3x a week

    Fauna:
    ~20 Devario (sp)
    ~10 Harlequin Raspbora
    ~24 Cardinal Tetra
    1 Pricilla Tetra
    6 Jelly Bean Tetra
    9 Red and Blue Columbian tetra
    4 Bristlenose Ancistrus
    3 Pearl Gourami

    Flora:
    Red Crypt Wentii
    Green crypt Wentii
    Crypt usteriana
    Aponogeton (sp)
    Java Fern wide
    Java Fern narrow
    Java Fern Windlev
    Crypt Spiralis
    Water Sprite fine
    Water Sprite coarse
    Helianthium Tenellus
    Helianthium Quadricostatus
    Pogostemon (sp)
    Limnophila sp
    Hygrophila
    Bucephalandra sp
    Bacopa (sp)
    Rotala (sp)
    2 Anubius (sp)

    The 75 became overrun with crypt spiralis, so as part of the move, most of it was removed. Since the tank swap, I’ve seen a significant amount of melt from the cryptocoryne wentii and some from the spiralis. Most of the other plants are showing new growth.

    My goals for this journal are to get feedback, improve the health and growth of the tank, improve my maintenance routines, develop a better aquascape, and dive deeper into fertilization and lighting to further those goals. Bonus may be better identification of some of the plants I don’t have correctly named.

    Other notes

    One thing that has to improve is the BBA situation. The 75 had been set up in one form or another for 19 years. It had two major shifts in that time, going from a 75 down to a 29 for a few years, then back to a 75. The substrate was last altered/changed in 2008 when the tank was changed back to the 75. From reading other journals and posts, one thing that may have contributed to BBA was the substrate. It had not been deep cleaned or vacuumed in years, so there may have been a lot of dissolved organics held there. I’m hoping that the swap to sand will eliminate that as a source.

    Water Parameters

    Tank
    Water Parameters measured on Sunday, prior to lights and CO2 coming on and before a water change. I let the tank go 2 weeks without a change as it was setting up. Will be doing a water change shortly, and will update these values this evening, post change and after CO2 has been running.

    pH 7.4
    NO3 80ppm
    gH 8 degrees or 142ppm
    kH 6 degrees or 106 ppm

    Retested the water parameters after the 60% water change, and the CO2 running for ~6 hours
    pH 6.6
    NO3 40 ppm
    gH 5 degrees
    kH 5 degrees

    This looks to give me a .8 drop in pH, which might indicate that I could increase it a bit, is that right?

    FWIW, the tap has the following values:
    pH 7.4
    NO3 0ppm
    gH 4 degrees or 71ppm
    kH 4 degrees or 71ppm
     
  2. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    At that alkalinity a little more CO2 should get a full 1.0 pH drop easily.

    Pearl gourami's are nice phish and they get rather large, I like em!

    Sand cap with BDBS is pretty tight but an occasional vacuum of the substrate will help.
     
  3. geektom

    geektom Junior Poster

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    Looks fantastic! Will be even better as it fills in. I have always wanted to keep Pearl Gouramis.

    Can we see a FTS from farther back? I always enjoy seeing how tanks fit in with the rest of the room.

    Keep us updated!
     
  4. nodima

    nodima New Member

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    Thanks Tom. Funny you should ask for the FTS. One thing I've wondered now that the tank is in a corner, is should the driftwood be rotated 180* so that the stump end is towards the right, rather than the left? Only issue is that the side seen now is definitely the 'A' side. My thought is that the natural slope of the tank aquascape could then flow up and to the right.

    Here is the shot:

    IMG_1634.JPG
     
  5. geektom

    geektom Junior Poster

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    I think it looks great just as it is!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. nodima

    nodima New Member

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    Now the tank is at 3 weeks since the big change. The diatoms don't seem as bad as they were a week or so ago. Did the normal 50% change on Sunday, and mixed up a new batch of EI ferts using the 100-120gal mix vs the old 60-80 mix previously used.
    IMG_1650.JPG
    Seeing a lot of good growth, most notable are the runners and new plants from the h. Tenellus.
    IMG_1652.JPG
    Most of the plants have visible growth on them, except for the aponogeton, which seem to be still in shock. Seeing a lot of pearling from various plants. IMG_1653.JPG

    On the negative side, I'm seeing more bba than I'd like to see. Some is visible on lower leaves of the bacopa in the last picture. Since this seems to be generally traced back to CO2 issues, I'm wondering what to change? I'm running pressurized CO2 through a reactor on the outlet of a Eheim 2128 which enters the tank via a spraybar on the top left end, pointing across the surface. The CO2 had been on the same timer as the lights, but research indicated that it might be better to start the CO2 a couple hours before lights on. Just connected another timer, and set it up to come on before the lights. Thoughts on if this is something that might help reduce the BBA? Otherwise, not sure what to do, CO2 is bubbling good, last time I measured the pH drop it was .8, and I upped the CO2 rate slightly since then.
    I don't want to just throw changes at the tank and not be able to tell what has an impact, so I'll make a series of changes over time as suggested.

    Also, might the narrow leaved plant behind the photoboming Columbian Tetra be pogostemon stellatus? The leaves have bumps on them.
    IMG_1651.JPG

    Thanks
     
    #6 nodima, Dec 10, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  7. nodima

    nodima New Member

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    Now here we are at 4 weeks in.

    First major cutting and rearrangement of plants. Additionally, this week, I got a new red bulb based on seeing the results in Burr's journal. Installed it as the front most bulb, and it really seems to change the look of the tank, the red on the Columbian Tetras and Cardinals really pops now. The rotala was also noticeably redder as well. One of the incentives to make the changes was a change in the flow in the tank. Previously, the right to left flow low in the tank was apparent, but as the plants grew, the flow weakened. I wanted to try to improve that.

    Here is what I started with: IMG_1654.JPG

    In no particular order, the changes made.

    Removed the large java fern to the left of the stump - this was put into my 125 for later.
    Trimmed and replanted the pink hygro in place of the Java Fern
    Moved a bunch of h Quadristatus to join the other bunch in the far left.
    Added some new Pogostemon Helferi in front of the stump
    Removed the bacopa from right of stump, and cut/replanted it a bit to the right. In the process learned I stink at getting that nice flow from short to tall. More practice to follow. Behind the stumps branch trimmed the bunch of bacopa and tried to give it flow. The concept was a try at a diagonal row going mid to back crossing the stump. It might work in another trim or two. I was also curious to see how the plants would react to trimming and saved/replanted 3 types. The rooted bottoms, some mid cuts, and tops.
    Did same thing as Bacopa to the rotala on far right
    Removed the watersprite from the back right corner
    planted Saurogyne Repens in front, right of center

    Here is where we sit now - ignore the bit of rotala that unbuttoned - did not want to wade again!

    IMG_1657.JPG

    So now, the stump is much more visible, and what i think might be pogostemon is the tallest plant. I got it from a friend who was growing it in a lower tech tank, and the difference in the size of leaves is astounding. Newest ones are almost 6" long, and about 1/4" wide. As given, they were 3" long and 1/8th wide if that.
     
  8. nodima

    nodima New Member

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    Been a couple of weeks since the last update, and I did do a reasonably involved rescape this weekend with the extra time at home.

    IMG_1685.JPG
    In a nutshell, I realized there were too many red plants, too close together on the right side.

    I moved the Pogostemon to the back middle, and moved the Ludwigia to that spot. Moved some Hydrocotyle to the far right front corner, so now there is some green there offsetting the red of the crypts. At some point, I'll add some green behind the crypts, in front of the rotala.

    In the center, the h. tenellus was trimmed on both ends and back by cutting the runners, and removing some plants. The staurogrens is now to the left of the h tenellus. Trimmed back the bacopa tall stalks.

    On the left side, the hygro pink was trimmed significantly, freeing up space for the crypt spiralis and the hygro difformis to grow.

    Pardon the water spots on the glass, as I did not get to that one.
     
    KeeperOfASilentWorld and Greggz like this.
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