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 New 55G - Community with Plants

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Nick_B
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PostSubject: New 55G - Community with Plants   Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:18 pm

Just a quick note about my most recent adventure....
I had started raising some angels in a 40g breeder which started to leak.  I had an extra 55 which I placed on some insulation board on the floor next to the 40g.  After transferring 50% of the water I moved the fish and finished filling and transferred the sponge filters along with a Marineland 350.  Since then, I've built a stand, moved the angels, bought several different cory species, black neons, peppermint tetras, and two bristlenose.  I also bought three plants at the Raleigh auction along with an L200.  Plants are Cryptocoryne Spiralis, Anubias Nana, and Trident fern (a java species?)  This all happened in the past two months.  Pictures attached.  I have purchased a bag of eco-complete for the plants but wanted to get some opinions of how to "plant" the plants.  I have been told of potting, using as substrate, etc.  If I go the substrate method, should I just use a cup and dip from bag to tank and then plant the Cyrptocoryne?  I have the other two attached to the driftwood.  I did purchase a Fluval aquatic plant light that spans the 55g.  It was 1/2 price at Petco about three weeks ago.  Any suggestions welcomed.  Thanks.







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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:38 pm

Love your L200! besotted  You can tell it's a true green phantom because the dorsal fin and the adipose fin are clearly separated.  

As to the Eco-Complete, will you be adding it on top of another substrate?  To a bare tank?  I see gravel in the above pics so I just want to be sure I understand what you want to do.  

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:43 pm

The gravel you see is very thin. If fact, the glass bottom can be seen in most places. I could either take it out, move it to one end. I'm open to anything at this point.

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:41 pm

It might be a good idea to keep the gravel you have and add the Eco to it.  But first, take out a scoop of the existing gravel, and mix it with some of the Eco to make sure you like the look.

If you do, then just just add the Eco on top of the gravel and mix it gently.  Using a cup, as you mentioned, is fine.  In time the two will mix in a natural way, with the finer particles ending up on the bottom.  There will be no way to avoid it, especially with the number of catfish you have.  In case you were wondering, Eco-Complete is supposed to be fine for corys.  I have Eco fine grade in my 55 but no cory catfish in that tank so I can't say from experience, but many others say so.  

The reason I think you ought to keep the gravel, if you can, is that the Eco-complete by itself might be too rich for the easy-growing crypts.  Others may have a different view, but I've been growing great crypts for 13 years in very ordinary substrates.

For how to plant Cryptocoryne, see our article http://cvas.forumotion.com/t607-cryptocoryne-wendtii-green-green-crypt , and skip down to "How to Plant."

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:55 pm

Thanks, Deb.

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:33 am

Looking good Nick.
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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:28 am

Looking good Nick. I love the Angelfish. Prefer very ordinary substrates too. I like to keep it simple... Smile

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:37 am

Thanks for the encouragement. While I'm not ready

It looks like I'm going to pick up some more driftwood since I had to relocate that piece on the right to a 10g tank.

Deb, I do have another complete 20# bag of the same gravel and that same gravel in my 29g German Red breeding tank. I was thinking about taking it out of the 29g and relocating it here with the eco-complete. Thoughts?

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:57 am

Yes that would be fine if you like the look of the two substrates, the gravel and the Eco, mixed.  I do think the mixed substrates will be better for the crypts, as said above, but if you don't like the look, don't do it.  Decide on a proportion by experimenting with handfuls of each.    

When you remove gravel from an established tank (the 29) you remove an important source of beneficial bacteria, so do not remove too much at once.  Are you thinking of removing all of the gravel from the 29?  If so, do it in stages, let's say one fourth of the total amount per week until the transfer is complete.  Some people just scoop it out all at once, especially if they have a really strong biofilter running.  It all depends on what you think will work with the fish you have.  I'm a cautious type. *lol*

If your question is "is it a good idea to use gravel from another tank?" then, yes, it is because it already has the good bacteria growing and you are adding it to a tank with fish, who will need it.  I feel like you must already know this so don't mind me if I state the obvious. *lol*

But what will become of the 29 German red breeding tank?  Was it only temporary?  Will you add some of the new bag of gravel to it?  Keep some of the old gravel and mix in some new?

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:23 am

For now, the German Reds will remain in place. However, I am not collecting/removing any new eggs/fry to raise. I probably have 75 now that I'm going to need to find a place. I want to exchange the gravel in there to a crushed coral. I have a couple of bags for that purpose. I think it would aid in buffering up the pH and increase hardness.
I did purchase three San Juan Corys today along with a new piece of driftwood for the 55. I must have gone Cory crazy. Every time PAW gets in a new type, I end up buying some.

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:14 pm

Just a quick update --
I added some eco-complete to one end of the tank and attempting to plant the Cryptocoryne Spiralis.  I've attached some pics but I have some questions.  I did plant the roots that appear to be white but I'm not sure if I should have planted deeper.  Next, can I separate it.  I tried pulling some apart but was nervous about using too much force.  Adding the eco-complete was easier than I thought.  I just used a plastic cup, made sure I drained the water from the bag, and just basically put the cup down in the water and poured where I wanted the material.  I'm thinking about adding some sand areas in towards the middle and maybe using the pea gravel as edging.  Thoughts, advice appreciated.

The last picture shows a rock I had in my African tank.  It had a fair amount of algae.  As you can see, it is spotless now...the plecos really do a great job.  I had put in there to see if the Angelfish would use it as a spawning site.






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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:55 pm

@Nick_B wrote:
Just a quick update --
I added some eco-complete to one end of the tank and attempting to plant the Cryptocoryne Spiralis.  I've attached some pics but I have some questions.  I did plant the roots that appear to be white but I'm not sure if I should have planted deeper.  Next, can I separate it.  I tried pulling some apart but was nervous about using too much force.  Adding the eco-complete was easier than I thought.  I just used a plastic cup, made sure I drained the water from the bag, and just basically put the cup down in the water and poured where I wanted the material.  I'm thinking about adding some sand areas in towards the middle and maybe using the pea gravel as edging.  Thoughts, advice appreciated.

The last picture shows a rock I had in my African tank.  It had a fair amount of algae.  As you can see, it is spotless now...the plecos really do a great job.  I had put in there to see if the Angelfish would use it as a spawning site.

I think you have made a great start. I also think that I would continue to add more of the substrate of your choice. It will help take advantage of those thick plant roots.  The appearance of your substrate will change over time as the different media mix together. Continue to think in the long term as you make substrate color and tone choices.

I prefer to use sponge filters in my bare bottom tanks. IMO, sponge filters give a tank a sort of sci-fi look. It's never too early to provide a breeding site for Angelfish. It's better to have one and not need one than to need one and not have one. It's great how the Bristlenose Pleco cleaned it for you. They are the best thing since sliced bread.

Most importantly, please enjoy...Smile

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:42 am

The white roots of Cryptocoryne species can be trimmed a bit to make planting easier.  If you have trimmed them and they are still popping up, simply push them gently under the substrate.  The important thing with crypts is the crown.  Gently holding the crown - that is, the juncture of where the leaves and roots come together in a thick circular whorl - drag your plant GENTLY over to where you want to plant it.  As you drag, start to push it down into the substrate.  When you have the plant where you want it, slightly pull it up so that the very top of the crown shows.  Push in your white roots at this point.  This might be explained better in the site article I wrote, but maybe not! *lol*  However, with practice this is fairly easy to do, especially in good substrate like you have.  
 
If you do not see a natural separation in the root system of the plants you have, do not try to separate them, yet.  Crypts will eventually send out runners and you can separate these and plant them as separate plants.  Most crypts form dense clumps, which can be separated.  If you need to make adjustments to the way you have planted your C. spiralis, do it now and then let the plant settle in for several weeks.  Do not crowd it but make sure it has enough room for its extensive root system.

Johnny is right about the appearance of the substrate changing over time as the materials mix together or stratify themselves.  Honestly, I would not go to three different substrates.  What is your primary concern?  Do you want sand for the corys?  Eco for the plants?  If you want sand for the corys, I would add the sand to the middle, choosing a brown sand which will "go with" your other substrate.  For example, CaribSea Sunset Gold is a beautiful brownish gold sand that would work for you.  Mix some of the pea gravel with the Eco around the edges, feathering it in a few inches.  That is as far as I would go with the pea gravel.  There will be too many stark color demarcations and media changes otherwise.

@ On a side note, if I lived closer to PAW I'd be in there every other week buying San Juan corys!  They are one of my favorites - of the ones I've had, the San Juan and Corydoras sodalis are my favorites.

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Fri May 08, 2015 5:34 am

I came home earlier this week to find the intake of my Marineland 350 had fallen off or been knock off leaving a large square hole open to the tank. I found what was left of a cory in the filter and my male BN pleco lodged in the intake tube expired. I noticed this because the bio-wheels were not turning and I couldn't believe I had left the filter powered off. I usually do turn it off for feeding and then on when finished. But, the filter was powered on but could not get flow past the BN. Really sad about losing him, he was a great dad to the three spawns he and the female produced.

I do have about 40+ of his fry growing. The probability of genetics stayed true to form...I have about 25% albinos which I'm guessing both m and f had the recessive gene.

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Fri May 08, 2015 7:29 am

I was sorry to hear about your tank mishap. I lost the male to my GBR pair last night. He had started to act odd yesterday afternoon. So I did a 25% PWC like I normally do on the weekends and checked the water parameters and temp(all looked good). I guess I will be moving my surviving male from my second GBR pair back into my 40g from my 20g to see if they attempt to pair off at some point.
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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Fri May 08, 2015 9:42 am

@Nick_B wrote:
I came home earlier this week to find the intake of my Marineland 350 had fallen off or been knock off leaving a large square hole open to the tank. I found what was left of a cory in the filter and my male BN pleco lodged in the intake tube expired.  I noticed this because the bio-wheels were not turning and I couldn't believe I had left the filter powered off.  I usually do turn it off for feeding and then on when finished.  But, the filter was powered on but could not get flow past the BN.  Really sad about losing him, he was a great dad to the three spawns he and the female produced.

I do have about 40+ of his fry growing.  The probability of genetics stayed true to form...I have about 25% albinos which I'm guessing both m and f had the recessive gene.

I'm sorry to hear that Sad. Why don't you just go double sponge for your 55 gal or put something in your filter intake like a sponge??? So you will never have the same problems again. I'm sure everyone has their own horror stories about filter intake.
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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Fri May 08, 2015 1:42 pm

Oh dear - that is bad news. I think there is wisdom in the common breeder practice of using sponge filters, since there's nothing forcible going on at all in the tank, though things can always go wrong! 

I guess I have had the intake basket come off but I saw it or noticed it soon enough to prevent any casualties. I tell you one thing, though, when I get home I'm going to check the intake tubes on all my filters!!

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Fri May 08, 2015 1:47 pm

I had the same thing happen to one of my cories in my 20g. But I had pulled the bottom section off the intake to remove plant debris and was in the process of unplugging power when the cory got curious to soon about the open intake tube.. lesson learned....
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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Fri May 08, 2015 7:03 pm

One time I had some pleco fry that kept getting inside of the sponge filter and I had to take them out every feeding but luckily no casualties. The only way I could keep the pleco fry from getting inside is by increasing the flow of the sponge filter, so they wouldn't be able to get inside. Personally,  I love using sponge filter because of the ease of maintenance, reliability and how cheap they are Razz. It honestly doesn't matter if you have canister filter or sponge filter and long as you set it up properly.  Cool

If anyone is having trouble keeping their fish out of the filter intake try pre filter sponge or put a sponge in your intake. Not only will it stop your fish from getting inside you can also use it as a mechanical filter.

Pre filter sponge



I have 3 of the pre filter in the 75 gallon. Two of those are in the canister filter and one of them is in a power head. These pre filters are great for fry tank, shrimp tank or any tank that has a lot of small fish.
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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Fri May 08, 2015 8:57 pm

@Nick_B wrote:
I came home earlier this week to find the intake of my Marineland 350 had fallen off or been knock off leaving a large square hole open to the tank. I found what was left of a cory in the filter and my male BN pleco lodged in the intake tube expired.  I noticed this because the bio-wheels were not turning and I couldn't believe I had left the filter powered off.  I usually do turn it off for feeding and then on when finished.  But, the filter was powered on but could not get flow past the BN.  Really sad about losing him, he was a great dad to the three spawns he and the female produced.

I do have about 40+ of his fry growing.  The probability of genetics stayed true to form...I have about 25% albinos which I'm guessing both m and f had the recessive gene.

Nick - really sorry to read about this....

I have this same filter on one of my tanks and since you were kind enough to post about this terrible expereince it creates learning and awareness. From now on I will routinely double check the filter inlet attachment to make sure it is secure - I can see how this could happen.

Thanks for sharing we are all a little wiser from your experiences...

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PostSubject: Re: New 55G - Community with Plants   Sat May 09, 2015 11:51 am

Nick it is outstanding that you have 40+ of his fry growing out. It's unfortunate that you lost a couple of fish but stuff happens. Sometimes netting is a good alterative to adding sponge to cover the filter tube intakes on HOBs to prevent accidents. It does not restrict water flow as much. Enjoy watching your fry grow...Smile

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
(Guppies and Bristled Nose Plecos)
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