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Redone 350 Gallon tank, another gravel swap

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Tom Barr, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    resized300gallonOct07.jpg

    That's what the tank has pretty much appeared like for the the last 3 years, so it was time to switch things around.

    So, without removing all the fish, and wanting a nicer color for the gravel as well as a finer grain sizing, I removed all 500lbs of flourite and added black flourite.

    I did this in two stages:

    Day one:
    1. Uproot, clean off the plant roots of old flourite
    2. Remove and store in trash bags, remove all wood
    3. Remove all Rock
    4. Water changes while mucking the tank up(3x 70%)
    5. Rinse, add new flourite
    6. Fill, run filter over night, add Seachem Prime, purigen, Zeolite, Matrix carbon

    Day two:
    Scaping:
    1 50% water change
    2 Wood placement
    3 Wood secured
    4 Rocks
    5 Planting
    6 50% water change

    Redonebckflourite.gif

    And after planting:
    replanted26.gif

    I'll touch up plantings later now.
    The plants will straighten up and I'll fill in various sections.

    I removed about 40% of the plant biomass that was there prior in this picture.

    Lot of work, about 12 hours worth.
    Still, worked pretty fast redoing an entire 350 gallon tank and lost only one rummy nose in the process. I can touch up later after things settle down and the tank goes through its cycle a bit.

    BTW, I cannot have Gloss, whimpy frail plants, Amano shrimp, moss etc, the plecos will maul and eat it.
    With this stocking, I have to contend with trade offs.
    I did manage to get some gloss going for awhile, I might try again later.

    The flourite is really nice, much better than the Eco complete....which if you mat recall, I removed all the ADA As out and replaced with EC in a 1600 gallon tank not too long ago, so I am very well versed with each and every type of sediment at a large scale.

    I learned the hard and large way I suppose:(


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Here's 2 pics right before I redid the tank:

    sizeview26.gif

    Roselinesgreengecko26.gif

    The rose lines have grown rapidly in the tank.
    They have 2x in size in a few months and will be approaching full size in a year or so.
    Some are 5" now.

    There are 2 A. adonis plecos in here, they are 12" long and maul many plants namely from their large size and ripping through the plants, not eating them.
    I'd like to find them homes, they are gorgeous and dramatic, wood gnawing.

    I'd say the wood last about 5 years in this tank due to the plecos.


    BTW, if anyone would like 100 Crypt Green gecko, 100 C undulatus, 100 C spiralis, 4-5 massive Crinum calamistratum, email me and make an offer.
    They all came out of this tank and that's only 1/3 of what was not taken by some stores like Aqua Forest etc.

    But, in 2 month's time, the tank will be cranking along.
    So more will come from this tank.

    I think I'm going to leave that large weight rock on the redwood root there, I can add plants and make it appear like the rock's base is at the bottom of the tank.
    The wood takes about a week to sink, so I often use placement stones till the wood sinks on it's own, then remove later.

    Here's the fish after the rework:
    fish2607.gif

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Here's the tank at week 3:

    resized3rdweek4.jpg

    And

    resized3rdweekafterredo1.jpg

    And

    resized3rdweek5.gif

    Looky at all those sick fish in an algae infested tank all due to EI dosing..........

    resized3rdweek2.gif

    Tank is still several weeks away from where I'd like it, I'll be mixing dutch and nature styles.
    The tank is cloudy due to a filter cleaning, water change, just turned the lights on and trim.

    Most of the rear is Java fern+wood and the rest is more Dutch.




    regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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  5. DisgruntledUser

    DisgruntledUser Junior Poster

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    I like the style of this tank! this is a very large display. great job!
     
  6. geministudios54

    geministudios54 Junior Poster

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    Tom, this tank looks just surreal!!...Dutch and Nature combo kinda sorta-ish...Love it...Is the tank 30" deep?. Do you get in or just scape on a ladder?.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, it'll fill out a bit more and look a bit better.
    The rose lines are not full sized.

    I'll likely take a Video of the tank, that way folks will get an idea of the fish load and how they interact.

    I have limited choices for aquatic plants
    So trial and error.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    whats the name of the fish on the fifth picture with black line and half red line above it? i been trying to finde out but no luck?
    thanks
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Those are rose lines barbs from India.

    Silver aquatic rats:)

    They are pigs, they mow the algae wafers till they are gone.
    So do all the plecos, cories etc.
    They are nice schooling and active critters.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. helgymatt

    helgymatt Guru Class Expert

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    What kinda rocks are in this tank? Any ideas how I can get my hands on something like that (in Iowa)?
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    They are suiryu stones.

    Some guy was selling small ones on TPT.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Where can one find Flourite Black. Not much luck on net. Looked on Seachem's site and it is not listed?
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd just email Seachem and give them your location and say you want some.

    They are very good about taking care of those demands.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Great, thanks Tom.
     
  15. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Received the Flourite Black today:)

    Very small size:( compared to Flourite red?

    Looking at Tom pics FB has bigger granules, see pic

    Edit: after getting the Flourite Black in the tank it looks very similar to Tom's. Small particles went down, large particles stay on top.

    Aquarium058.gif
     
  16. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Tom,

    The tank looks great! Wonderful job! Any recent pics?

    A couple of practical questions if I may:

    1. How did you remove the old substrate?

    I just use a big square wide net and scoop a net at a time. This allows water to drain and captures a lot of the crud as well, but is pretty sloooooowwww. Plus, the tank gets real dirty quickly due to the cloud of dust/mud that is released and I have to stop frequently until it clears.

    This then goes into the heavy duty doubled trash bags, but is pretty labor intensive.

    Is there an easier or better/quicker way?

    2. How much rinsing did the flourite black require? Was it very dusty, or not too bad? How does it compare to the red in this regard?

    Thanks.
     
  17. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Gerry,

    If you don't mind I'll tell you what I did.

    First moved fish to small temporary tank. Then used 1" diameter hose to suck out old substrate. This drained into 5 gal bucket with a discharge pump hanging near the top of the bucket. This allowed the substrate to be deposited in the bottom while the dirty water was pumped out to the lawn. This does use a bit more water but makes quick work of the substrate change.


    I did prerinse the Flourite Black and it was worth it. After filling the tank it was nearly clear. My other option which I used on another tank was to not prerinse and run a diatom to clear. This worked well also.
     
  18. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for sharing. Exactly what I wanted.

    1. I thought of that, but didn't know what to do with the water that came with it. I didn't want to do a bunch of little buckets as they would fill up quickly.

    I have some 40gal strong rubbermaid containers I use to move the tank when I relocate every 3-4 years. I can pump the substrate into this and place a small rio inside to pump the water to the drain. This should work fairly quickly. I still have probably 100 lbs of gravel still in the tank.

    Great idea! I will leave the fish in the tank, though, as I am doing 1/3 per week..........

    2. I figured I would rinse at least a bit, but wanted to know if it rinses easily or takes a long time per bucket, so I can set my expectations :)

    Thanks again for all of your help.

    BTW, my flourite has not come in yet, so last night and just now I removed the top 1" of old stuff as it was nasty with slime and brush algae.

    I then did a couple of 70% WC and while refilling, gently vacummed the remaining subsrate. This allowed me to clean a lot of the sediment that gets stirred up.....Will make the replace go a little cleaner :)

    Looks better already. I will vacuum more later as it settles again, and replant until the new substrate arrives.

    Gives me a chance to play with the design, even though I do have a plan that I would like to try first.

    Am off to find some more plants, as not all I wanted got shipped.......

    Later and thanks again!
     
  19. Russ

    Russ Guest

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    In regards to the grain size of the Flourite black.

    I have always thought Flourite Gravel was too big, so I tried Flourite Black Sand and found it to be way too fine. It seems more like dust than sand and the result with my crypts has been generally poor compared to other substrates. I would have preferred something on the order of the size of Onyx Sand. The picture of the "Black Gravel" you posted above seems about right to me, so I'm going to try it. Of course I now have 100lbs of the sand I don't want. Ugh!

    -Russ
     
  20. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Recent Pics/question?

    Hi Tom,

    Two questions please:

    1. Any recent pics?:D

    2. Did you have any algae or other issues or a mini-cycle since you did this?

    I have some brown algae/diatoms now that I have replaced the entire substrate over the last 3 weeks. Showed up about 3-4 days after the last 50% was replaced.

    Am doing every other day 50% WC with prime and EI dosing with NORMAL Excel dosing (not sure why folks go over that???) and seems to be going away, but a bit early to tell.

    Fish are fine and plants are doing well, just look brown.....

    Thanks again for all of your help...
     
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