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New 55g Project (Finally!)

Discussion in 'Articles' started by David, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Well, it has been a long time coming, but I'm finally going to fill my tank, probably in the next week.

    Things have been hectic for me in terms of my job, so I haven't really had the time to start a thread outlining all of my progress so far. That being said, I have been taking pictures of my DSM (Its been going for over two months) as I've sourced out all of the hardware that I need for my tank.

    I'm going to take some pictures and post them here tonight of my regulator build (Many thanks to Matt F., Left C, and all of the other posters too numerous to mention in the CO2 forum for their wisdom) -- I've picked up an aluminum 20# cylinder, Smith 223 stainless dual stage (Thanks Nvladik!) regulator, Burkert 6011 SS Buna-N solenoid, swagelok SS fittings, an Ideal V54-1-12, and CAL AQUA bubble counter and pressure resistant tubing. This will be fed into the tank via a Supreme model 7 w/ needle wheel and venturi.

    I'm at the office currently but should be able to get some pictures uploaded and added here tomorrow.

    Cheers for now!
     
  2. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Regulator Components, ready for assembly

    So, I was waiting for the wiring connector for my Burkert to come in; it was out of stock at the time when I ordered the solenoid and they came in different shipments. Low and behold, it was waiting for me when I got home a few minutes ago :D

    I now have all of the components to assemble my regulator.

    The Smith 223 (316 stainless) dual stage regulator:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The Ideal V54-1-12 Needle Valve:

    [​IMG]

    The Burkert 6011 SS Solenoid with wiring connector (no varistor):

    [​IMG]

    And finally, my Swagelok SS fittings that arrived today with the wiring connector. Many thanks for Matt F. for the recommendations and his excellent guide - it's stickied in the CO2 Enrichment board for anyone who hasn't seen it. Definitely give a thorough read if you're in the process of putting a CO2 rig together:

    [​IMG]


    That's it for now. I have some commitments tonight otherwise I'd be wiring the solenoid and putting together this badboy tonight :mad:

    More pictures to follow. On another note, I just looked at my tank and one of my tall Hygrophila stems has 4 purple flowers on it! :cool:
     
  3. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    One more, I can't resist :p

    [​IMG]

    I'll get a FTS of my DSM up tomorrow or later tonight.
     
  4. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Got home a little late today, so I didn't really have much time to work on the tank besides put my regulators post-body together:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I'm still trying to track down a place around the London, ON area for filling my cylinder. Once I do, I'll get it filled and give this guy a soap and water test. Once again, thanks to Matt F. for the wonderful guides and advice.

    Next will be plumbing my Danner Model 7 w/ needle wheel inline with one of my Eheim canisters. After that it's basically go time outside of devising some stock solutions for my ferts.

    I'll get some FTS's of my dry start up here tomorrow or shortly thereafter.

    Cheers, have a good night.
     
  5. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Pictures will be coming this weekend, schedule is full right now :(

    I've been soaking the Manzanita I got from Tom for about three months, and last night I put the pieces I wanted into the tank, and rescaped the plants I'd just kind of thrown in there over the course of my DSM.

    My list includes so far:

    HC - I've only been able to get one pot of it in the area I live in, so this is what I'm relying on to grow my foreground carpet. It's went from about 1.5"x1.5" to around 3"x3" in a couple weeks. I'm guessing its slow because of the temperatures here - it's hard for me to keep the humidity up in the tank. Any comments on this?

    bacopa australis - this plant has done fantastically in my DSM. I purchased four 6" stems with about 4 nodes of leaves on each - it has since grown into a carpet about 24"x6" in size and is completely dense with leaves. With regular trimming I should be able to keep its carpeted appearance once I get the height I'm aiming for...probably 2-2.5".

    moneywort - picked up some of this at my LFS - it's also done quite well in my DSM and has probably quadrupled in size.

    c. spiralis - just got this a few days ago, its starting to grow and looks healthy

    h. corymbosa - I love this stem plant. I've cloned it from 3 stems into about 12 and it grows like mad. Some of the stems have flowered as you can see in the post above.

    giant hairgrass - one of the first plants I added. It has been growing slowly but surely, there are daughter plants coming off on runners in about 4 different places. I expect that it will grow like crazy once I fill the tank.

    a. barteri - just picked this little guy up at my LFS a couple days ago, so I can't really comment on its growth. A couple of leaves were damaged so I removed them -- there are about four on the rhizome that are quite healthy so I'm sure it will have no problem.


    I still have quite a bit of room in my background and well as the mid and foreground of the right side of the tank. I'm ordering some a. coffefolia, a. hastifolia, a. congensis, and micro swords to fill the fore- and mid-ground of the right side. With the assumption that the giant HG will take up a portion of the background on the right, I think one more background plant and that will be it in terms of plants.

    Some red plants I suppose will be added in as well, red cabomba or red ludwidgia I think, unless someone else can give me some suggestions.

    Once again, sorry for the lack of pictures -- I'll try to get them up tomorrow when I have some free time.
     
  6. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Hi everyone,

    Work has (not surprisingly) kept me chaotically busy -- emergency trips to the oilfields in Saskatchewan have kept me from posting everything I should have in my build here.

    That being said, the tank has been filled and everything is running well. I've got my CO2 dialled in almost perfectly, I'm playing around with increasing the levels slightly as the feeder goldfish I've got in the tank to get it cycled aren't gasping and are happy as clams playing around in the bottom of the tank.

    I've been dosing EI with 1/2tsp KNO3 and 1/16tsp KHPO4 M-W-F with CSM+B on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1/2tsp. 50% water changes every Sunday -- I did my first one yesterday.

    Here's a Full Tank Shot taken on Friday the 9th:

    [​IMG]


    The purple Cabomba in the back is growing like an absolute weed, it was also planted Friday the 9th and has grown about 3 inches since. I was lucky enough to get all of the Anubias in the tank for free from a friend I made at my LFS. The coffeefolia has a new leaf almost fully matured and there appears to be another one starting. There is an anubias nana in there with some algae that I cannot remove manually; BBA perhaps? I'll take a closeup of it tonight or tomorrow depending on when I have time.

    After the tank is cycled I will be adding olive nerites, otocinclus and RCS. Then I'll have to decide on a schooling fish for the main fauna.

    I'm absolutely in love with Roseline barbs, but as I've learned, they're jumpers and my tank is open-top. Does anyone have experience with keeping these in an open-top and their tendency to jump?

    More to come, thanks for following my build.

    EDIT: I should also note that the ludwigia/cabomba in the mid/foreground on the right side will be relocated to the left side mid/background once they establish some roots. I find them hellishly difficult to keep in my substrate the way they are. Perhaps as the Eco-Complete compacts a little it will become easier to keep stem cuttings in as well. There is also a Java Fern on the right side that I will be attaching to the "eye-shaped" knot in the leftmost piece of wood at some point.
     
  7. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Tank re-scape

    My friend Larry gave me another huge batch of plants he got rid of after pruning his tank.

    I'm not sure what the species are, I feel like they are both a type of crypt but maybe someone could help me:

    [​IMG]

    The two plants I'm referring to are in the background in the center, between the two pieces of wood, and along the back of the right-side piece of wood growing along the bottom of the tank.

    The other species is the tall, broad-leafed plant growing on the right side. Is this a variety of echinodorus or sword plant?
     
  8. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    New Plants and Fish Update

    Hi everyone,

    I'll have my last batch of plants coming in on Thursday.

    I have my tank almost stocked with fish; I have a school of rummynose tetras and emerald eye rasboras as well as otocinclus. I'm trying to track down some olive nerites and then my stocking will be complete. I was thinking about getting some RCS but this had yet to be decided.

    I'll post some pics tomorrow once I have my new plants in the tank.
     
  9. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    [​IMG]


    Taken today.
     
  10. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Moving this thread to The Planted Tank.

    I'll post the link once it's there.
     
  11. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Picture update

    Here's an update picture, two weeks growth.

    [​IMG]

    FULL-SIZE: http://imageshack.us/a/img829/820/twoweeksgrowth.jpg

    Plants and Fauna as of today:

    Vallisneria
    Corkscrew Vallisneria
    Giant hairgrass (melting)
    Ludwidia
    Reg Ludwidgia
    Anacharis
    Hygrophila Corymbosa
    Hygrophila Sunset
    Hygrophila Willow
    Hygrophila Difformis
    Stargrass
    Echinodorus Parviflorus
    Echinodorus Tenellus
    Cryptocoryne Wendtii green
    Cryptocoryne Wendtii brown
    Cryptocoryne Willisii
    Cryptocoryne Lutea
    A broad-leafed crypt; unsure of the name.
    Anubias Coffeefolia
    Anubias Barteri Petite
    Anubias Barteri Nana
    Aponogeton Boivinianus
    Hornwort
    Bacopa Monnieri
    Bacopa Australis
    Pennywort
    A variety of Eriocaulon


    Fauna:

    30 Rummynose Tetras
    20 Pristella Gold Tetras
    5 Harlequin Rasboras
    8 Otocinlus vitatus
    MANY MANY MANY MANY nuisance snails. Assassin snails are a much needed addition.
     
    #11 David, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2013
  12. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Can anyone shed some advice on using assassin snails? How many should I keep?
     
  13. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    If you are trying to get rid of pest snails, I keep only two in my 34 gallon tank and have rid my tank of pest snails. The assassins now eat the small amounts of left over food that makes it to the bottom. For your tank, I would think that three to five assassins would be plenty.
     
  14. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Update (White Balance Fixed!)

    Hi Everyone,

    I read an article on TPT about tuning a camera's settings to take better aquarium pictures. My relatively old Canon PowerShot S80 (quite expensive when I got it) has many manual features that allowed me quite a bit of control over aperture, ISO, shutter speed etc.

    This is the result: My tank pictures are no longer a sea of fluorescent green!

    Cheers

    [​IMG]

    Full-Size: http://imageshack.us/a/img248/7091/1142013.jpg
     
  15. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Additionally, I added 5 assassin snails yesterday, and also a split-tail blue Betta (couldn't resist, haha). The Betta seems quite happy feasting on blood worms and brine shrimp when I feed them; can't say he's taken too much of a liking to flake.

    I also added a few Ramshorns that I got for free today from the LFS. I'm hoping they will be able to get a small colony down before the assassins get to them....Anyone think the assassins will go for the nuisance snails before the rams?


    Once I have my algae under control I'm going to add 3-5 zebra loaches. I just love them.
     
  16. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    Photo looks great! Can you provide me with a link to the article that you are talking about? Hopefully I can get a nice shot like that with my Canon 5D or G1X:D
     
  17. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    It looks great. I love the good # of fish visible! The aponogeton boivianus is really nice. The color and texture are great. I had one go wild in my 180 years ago..

    Keep up the good work..Yes even the point and shoots have many settings in manual mode. Glad you found them...
     
  18. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    PM sent with a link.

    cheers
     
  19. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Gerry,

    I've been pulling the flower stalks off of the apono to keep it growing. There is a new stalk forming right now that I may let blossom to get some daughter plants...haven't decided yet.

    My LFS said they would be happy to give me some store credit for the baby apono's so I may just do that.

    BTW I love your tank Gerry. Thanks for sharing!
     
  20. David

    David Prolific Poster

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    Forgot to mention,

    When I was at my LFS last night I also picked up a really really nice Bolbitis that someone else had traded in earlier in the day (It is in the background on the far left side). The rhizome is about 5-6" long and has 5 very healthy stems growing off of it. I will try and get a better picture of it in the next few days.

    I also removed the giant hairgrass that I've had since my dry start; I didn't go a great job of getting the mineral wool off of the roots when I first got it and the growth has never been great. I may try again sometime in the future but I'm running out of room! :confused:

    Picked up a nice healthy ball of Java Moss as well; spread this over a piece of slate, secured with fishing line and placed in the darker spot below the a. boivinianus, just to the right of the vertical piece of wood. I don't expect anyone to be able to see this in pictures for a few months, but I'm sure it will look great when it's done (my RCS will appreciate it too I'm sure)
     
    #20 David, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2013
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