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New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:06 am
by freshfish
Started the new tank setup today.

Got the substrate laid (1-2" of Miracle Gro Organic topsoil topped with mix of Flourite black and Colorquartz from the old setup) and the hardscape done.

The rock supporting the driftwood all ended up covered with substrate, but I think after it settles some the rocks will show through again.

I like the hardscape better in person than it shows up in the pics.

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Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:59 am
by J.B.
It looks great thus far, Laura...I'm sure being as it's your tank, it's going to be a real stunner once you finish.

BTW, I love that wood!

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:20 am
by essabee
So you have settled down enough to start the tank - Happy New Year! Laura.

Twiddle dee -Twiddle dum : Mirror opposite that you have chosen - :D

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:46 am
by freshfish
Thanks, both of you!

I really like this Manzanita wood alot, there's some nice and unique pieces. The tank is much clearer today, but I'll wait a bit more and then get a better pic of this one piece that twists back on itself several times... I really like it. I have one more massive stump from the package I bought that doesn't fit... I'll probably sell that piece, I suppose?

I'm still debating about the softscape, but I'm leaning towards a Lilaeopsis mauritiana carpet like I have in my 29gal.

Then I'm debating between Anubias or Java fern in the driftwood.

I'm planning on keeping this very clean and simple. Keep the emphasis on the driftwood.

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:50 am
by freshfish
Oh I never posted the tank stats in this thread:

EQUIPMENT:
Filtration- Rena XP4, Rena XP3
Lighting- 4x54 Solar T5HO (only run 2x 54 watts at a time)
Heater- 300 watt Hydor ETH inline

SUBSTRATE:
1" of Miracle Gro Organic potting soil capped with 2" of mix of Flourite black and T grade Colorquartz (recycled from the old setup)

LIVESTOCK:
I got rid of more than 1/2 my fish before the move, so I'm left with:

54x Cardinal tetras
13x Otocinclus (mix of O. affinis and viattus)
3x BN plecos (one female albino and one male and one female Calico)
1x Corydoras schwartzi (the one that managed to disappear when I was catching the rest to take to my LFS)
8x P. weitzmani
8x Amano shrimp (I had many more Amanos- they must have gone on walkabout and become treats for the Four Furry Furies over the past year or so )

I'm thinking of getting a school of Panda Cories and a large school of Black Neon tetras to restock the tank. Or maybe a school of Ember tetras instead of Black Neons, and also some more dwarf cichlids (probably Rams)? But I'll make those decisions a little down the road...

HARDSCAPE:
I got the Manzanita package from Tom Barr. He's been collecting and selling some really nice driftwood and selling it to other hobbyists. (I need to find something like that to help fund my own hobby LOL)

I picked up 140 lbs of "black luster" rock from a local rockyard today for $30. IDK exactly what type of rock it is, but it's definitely metamorphic and I think it's mostly quartz and granite. It's about the size of slate. I may add a bit more into the tank so it shows up more, right now there's maybe 50 lbs of it in there.

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:06 pm
by kb46
It's going to look great!

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:42 pm
by freshfish
Thanks Kylie!

Ordered 15 potts of Lilaeopsis mauritiana for the carpet.

Closing in on some narrow leaf Java fern to put in the driftwood.

Debating on whether I want any stem plants at all in this scape. I sorta do for help with nutrient control... but I also don't want to have to keep up with trimming. I may just get a few bunches of somekthing like Hygro kompakt or Lobelia small form....

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:29 pm
by freshfish
Still waiting on the Lilaeopsis and Java ferns to arrive.

Today I cleaned both the XP3 and the XP4. I don't usually clean both at the same time, but they were pretty dirty. I intentionally hadn't cleaned them for about a month before the move to make sure I didn't disturb the N-bacteria, so between that and all the debris from re-doing the substrate, they were pretty clogged.

I replaced both Purigen bags (which were almost black) and I'm watching to see if they make much of a dent in the tannins in the tank. The driftwood is still throwing off massive tannins. I'll suspect it's going to be more than just 2 bags of Purigen can handle and I'll have to step up the water changes instead.

Found a dead Cardinal last week but everyone else seems to be doing fine. I'm watching all the Otos go bonkers in one corner of the tank right now, I suspect they might be spawning. I need to remember to pick them up some fresh veggies next time I'm at the grocery store, I'm out.

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:09 pm
by freshfish
Alrighty. Needle leaf Java fern and 15 pots of Lilaeopsis mauritiana are now in place. Took me 2 days to plant all the Lilaeopsis LOL

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The next step is filling in the midground. Sunset Hygro and Hygro kompakt are the plan.

I may also add some Anubias in there somewhere, I'll see what it looks like after all the stems are in. They should arrive next week.

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:27 pm
by Hurriken
Your really aquiring the touch. It looks beautiful...and I have to admit... :secret:...I like the Cardinals in there.

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:28 pm
by Cpt NAPA
great looking set up. That is a real fine piece of driftwood. Is that a well bleachedout piece of Manzanita?

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:30 pm
by Cpt NAPA
I guess if I would have read the thread from the start I would not have asked about the Manzanita. It is a great piece of wood.

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:34 pm
by J.B.
Wow, that Lilaeopsis mauritiana looks really good, Laura! I think I would have probably moved the wood a bit more out of the corner, but it's still really pleasing to look at. :clap:

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:59 pm
by freshfish
Yeah, it's a little too "heavy" on the right side right now, I agree. I'm hoping that I can work an arrangement with the Hygros that helps balance things out a bit.

Re: New Year, new 90gal low tech planted journal

PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:37 pm
by boet
I just came across this Laura Lee and I am so impressed! I like that you are using low fert soil - I am looking forward to trying that on a smaller scale soon :) Has your water parameters changed much in your new location?