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Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:09 pm
by clipclop
My multiple tank syndrome persists. Now that Fishlet the freebie fry has matured into a turquoise rainbow, it is quite obvious he needs a larger tank. I'm slowly setting up a 55 gallon for him. Eventually I'll get him some more rainbow buddies.

The stand is partially completed here. Spouse wanted some experience working with knotty pine before tackling a wainscoting project, so we decided to use shiplap to sheath the frame. The picture shows where the planks for the doors have been cut out. We're lining up the remaining planks prior to tacking them down.
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We built the doors by butting two pieces of shiplap together and securing them with some scrap lathe. The lathe isn't exactly gorgeous, but it won't be visible when the doors are shut.
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Stand with the doors closed. It still needs one more plank on the end. The tank will sit between a wall and an entertainment console, so we don't need to cover the sides or back of the stand.
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The mostly complete stand is now shoehorned into its location. Still need knobs for the doors. We did a rough job of leveling the stand, but we can't level it properly until water goes in.
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I had wanted to do a tank filled with crockery, but I wasn't able to find enough free cups and such. I went to my nearby Habitat for Humanity thrift shop. No luck there either. They had an eclectic mixture of stuff, but none of it was to my taste. Then I ended up at a party for one of the cousins, where the smallest guests were shrieking loudly. I escaped from the baby bedlam by taking a long walk on a nearby slate beach. I brought home a number of interesting rocks.
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I've been cleaning the rocks by putting them in an old broiler pan, covering them with water, and putting them into a 375 degree oven. It usually takes about an hour for the water to come to a rolling boil. I then let the pan cool off overnight in the oven before draining the water. I haven't decided which rocks I'll use yet. I know they won't all fit in the tank.

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:31 am
by ScottFish
Excellent! All because of a free fry you got! Yep, that's how we role around here.

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:33 am
by CatWhat
The stand looks awesome. Wow that is a lot of prep work for the beach rocks, I usually just rinse them in hot tap water and let them sit for an hour to cool off and dry. But I try to get the beach rocks furthest from the salt water.

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:44 am
by Crazygar
I usually make Rock Soup. Either method boils the badness from them. Looking forward to seeing this tank come to completion! And yes, Fishlet will need buddies.

Gary

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:10 pm
by clipclop
Got the tank set up today. Pictures to follow in a day or two; I'm not in the mood to wrassle Photobucket tonight.

I'm using Floramax substrate this time around. I needed to go with a prewashed substrate, as it's going to be at least another month before I can rinse stuff outside. I figured I might as well try something geared towards plants while I was at it.

Filter is a Fluval G3 again. The model has worked decently in my 75 for the past year.

Current plant life is three echinodorus swords (ocelot and red flame), a crypt, and a pair of anubias plants. I'm a little nervous about the anubias, as my last one died spectacularly. (I'd very carefully anchored its roots in the substrate with the rhizome sitting fully exposed on the surface; it still croaked.) This time I've tied the roots around a small rock with some cotton twine and set the rocks on the substrate. Hopefully the anubias decide this arrangement is acceptable.

I also tossed in a handful of trumpet snails.

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:27 am
by Crazygar
Put the Anubias close to water flow and you should give it a fighting chance. The flow usually helps in preventing algae building up and for helping the plant grow, as after all, they are spray zone plants.

Gary

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:57 pm
by clipclop
I'm not really happy with how any of the photos came out. They don't show the rocks very well. I should also have scraped off more bubbles. Oh well. The tank is wicked cloudy today, so there's no point in trying for anything better at present.
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I was a bit concerned about substrate compaction and dead spots under the rocks. The way I got around the issue was not to put the rocks on the substrate at all. Each rock is seated on another flat rock. (Apart from the two anubias rocks; I wanted the roots to have the opportunity to anchor in the substrate.) The substrate is deep enough to hide the lower rock and lightly mound around the bases of the upper rocks.

The crypt is in the front left corner, and the three swords are in the middle. Gary, I had already dropped the anubias in when I saw your post. Right now I've got one in each back corner, where I was able to hide their roots behind other rocks. Hmm. I suppose that position doesn't qualify as high water flow. I'm probably going to put the filter intake tube in one of those corners, so the plant there should get some cross-flow. I suppose I could swap out one of the spray bars with the nozzle and point the flow at the other corner.

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:29 pm
by clipclop
The water cleared up, so I took another picture. I think the white rocks are doomed to look like glowing energy blobs until I either figure out photography lighting or else grow algae on them.

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The crypt is looking a bit stressed. I've read about crypt melt, but this is the first time one of mine has shown any kind of transplant shock. Then again, I haven't had vast amounts of experience with them either.

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:46 am
by Crazygar
Crypts will always go into a state of "shock" when even being moved in the same tank. Best to leave them alone, they will grow back, they are the most bullet proof plants you can ever plant. Looking forward to the tank filling out and watching it grow, thanks for the pictures!

Gary

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:20 pm
by clipclop
Got a bit of an algae outbreak starting. I assume the issue is too long a photoperiod combined with too few competing plants. Right now the lights are on for over 12 hours as I haven't figured out the timer programming yet. :rant:

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:38 pm
by ScottFish
12 hours. Yep. That would be a problem.

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:25 pm
by freshfish
Yeah, plus you only have pretty slow-growing plants in there so far. Stuffing a bunch of cheap fast-growing stem plants in there, at least temporarily, can help bring stability and cut down on some of the excess nutrients that can trigger algae.

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:33 am
by Crazygar
As already suggested;

> Reduce photoperiod
> Add fast growing plants such as Hygrophila and/or Water Sprite to the tank
> Small daily water changes

How is Fishlet doing though?

Gary

Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:16 pm
by clipclop
I need to scrub some algae off the glass. Fortunately the growth of new algae seems to have stabilized. My options on fast growing plants are surprisingly limited. The big box stores simply don't sell aquatic plants. (They sell lots of stuff they pretend is aquatic, like lucky bamboo and small peace lily plants. :rant: ) The indy LFS doesn't carry water sprite. I suppose I can mail order something now that the weather has finally warmed up.

I didn't actually move Fishlet until yesterday. I wanted to make sure the new tank was stable and also that I had enough time to acclimate him properly. I finally had a big block of time open last night. I plopped him in a Ziploc bag and added a splash of water from the new tank every 10 minutes or so for two hours.

Here he is hiding behind the anubias this afternoon. His orange nose fades if I spend too long looking at him, but he's just gorgeous if I leave him alone.



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Re: Fishlet's New Digs

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:19 pm
by freshfish
Have you checked to see if any of your stores will special-order any plants in for you? 'Tis the season for people to want to be "planting things," after all. lol