My Planted Community Setup (150 cm, 420 L, light CO2 and ferts)

Discussion in 'Full tank shots' started by JimmyHD, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. JimmyHD

    JimmyHD

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    Hi Fishkeepers!

    I've been a long-time follower of this site, so thought I'd finally post some material of my own.

    I have a heavily planted community tank:
    20200120_181710.jpg
    Main specs are:
    • It is an AKWA Elegance tank.
    • Dimensions: 150 cm (L) x 49 cm (D) x 64 cm (H), about 420 L.
    • I have a sump filter below. I guess about 100 L.
    • Lighting = 120 W LED. On for about 8 hours a day.
    • I use light CO2 and ferts.
    • Random collection of fish and shrimp.

    This tank is nearly two years old. Initially, I planned a mixed hardscape and planted layout. But my hardscape was too small so the plants totally outgrew it! I'm okay with that now, I like the lush look of the plants and the hardscape serves as a platform to raise the height of some of the plants.

    I have a really random collection of plants, bought in stages from various suppliers just based on what was available. Crypts and buce towards the front. Java and anubias towards the back and on wood. Various ludwigia in the mid and back. Some moss (not sure what kind) lying around too.

    Closer shot of middle:
    20200120_181752.jpg

    I really like buce (various species) and I have a few types. It's pretty slow growing. I do have a slight algae issue, mainly BBA on the very slow-growing plants. Not too bad, so I don't mind it. My crystal eye Ancistrus is making a nice cameo appearance behind a buce clump.

    Substrate:
    20200120_181805.jpg

    The substrate is Langa Aquarium Soil -- good and reasonably priced. I have struggled to grow good carpet plants because I only have medium lighting and it's a tallish tank (64 cm high). S. repens sort of survives but doesn't flourish. Luckily, some moss seems to be slowly growing across the substrate in various places. My shrimp enjoy foraging in the moss.

    I have a lot of ordinary/Neocaridina shrimp -- they breed like crazy. I have four Amanos:
    20200120_181914 (2).jpg

    This is a corner of my tank where leaf litter collects, probably something to do with circulation patterns. Amanos are great! Sadly, they don't really bread in freshwater, I think they need brackish water.

    As for the fish, I have a real mixed bag. Stock (approx.):
    • 10 Endler guppies
    • 10 cardinals
    • 10 rummy nose tetras
    • 10 harlequin rasboras
    • 3 pearl gouramis
    • 3 Ancistrus (one orange, two normal)
    • 6 ottos
    • one kuhli loach (somewhere, I think)
    • one electric ram (was part of a pair, but the male had enough of this crual world)
    • one Siamese fighter

    Siamese guy (red/blue light in the evening during feeding time):
    20200120_193956 (2).jpg

    He's one of my favs. Actually bought him to try and stop the endler breeding so much. Thought he might munch on the fry. Half worked, I guess. At first, he struggled in the tank with the fast-moving fish and moderate water flow, but now he owns it.

    Generally not satisfied with my fish stock. The rummy noses keep eating my buce flowers, so I won't replace them. I love the cardinals and harlequins, will get more of them. Not happy with the ram and gouramis. Will let them live out their lives and not replace them. What next? Maybe some Boesemani rainbows. Comments?

    This is my technical setup:
    20200120_194329.jpg

    Details:
    • 5 kg CO2 cylinder. Running at about 5 bpm (quite low for the size of the tank). Cylinder lasts about 6 months.
    • Dose with Seachem flourish or Scape complete. Every day except when I forget (so like 4-5 times a week, haha). Half the recommended dose, otherwise too expensive.
    • I also have Seachem Excel which I don't really need because of the CO2 but it is a good additive and I use if for spot-treating algae (hence the syringe in pic).
    • 4-chamber sump. 1st chamber = filter floss and other mechanical media. 2nd-3rd chambers = biological media (a lot, about 10 kgs). 4th chamber = heaters and returns pump.
    • Timer - Sonoff 4-channel. Really good, I highly recommend it.

    I don't do water changes very often. Perhaps a point of criticism. I do a 25% water change every 3 weeks and also clean the 1st chamber (mechanical media) of the sump. I really over-specced the biological filter media so the water stays totally clean and clear. Also, the plants soak up so much of the fish waste.

    Anyway, that's it for now. Good first post, eh? Let me know if you have comments or questions. Quite interested to hear any fish stocking suggestions you might have.

    Thanks,
    Jim.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
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  3. rsa

    rsa

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  4. iMG

    iMG

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    Wow, now that right there is what my 5ft needs to look like, amazing tank @JimmyHD
     
  5. OP
    JimmyHD

    JimmyHD

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    Thanks, guys. :thumbup:
     
  6. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

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    Hi @JimmyHD

    Welcome to the forum

    Absolutely stunning tank!
     
  7. fux940510

    fux940510

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    Awesome tank, congrats!

    How are you injecting the CO2? I've read that sumps make it difficult to get CO2 concentrations up because of the extra surface agitation that they have.

    Also, any idea what the lighting unit is? I really like the spectrum it has, and seems to have no problem with plants
     
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  8. Pezulu

    Pezulu Moderator Comp Coordinator

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    Welcome to the forum.
    That tank of yours looks great.

    I have always had a soft spot for Rainbows, whether Boesemani, Red Rainbows or Dwarf Neons.
    Harlequin Rasbora are also peaceful schooling fish that inhabit the top portion of the tank, while Rainbows take up the middle portion.

    I have 4 Boesemani and 5 Red Rainbows in a 4 ft tank, and they will go well with all the fish you have in your tank.
    Seeing as you are in Centurion as well, you're welcome to come through any time to view them.
     
  9. A new day

    A new day

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    Looks amaaaazing :thumbup:
    Hi and welcome to the forum! And yes it is a very first good post, thanks for the write up & details :) Very nice setup you have there!

    Nice fish selection also. I had no idea that rummy noses would eat buce flowers :eek:
    What is it that you don’t like about the pearl gouramis? I loved mine, but to each his own :)
    How about bulking up the harlequin and cardinal schools first? Rainbows sound nice.
    I love my diamond tetra. Congo tetra could also be nice.
    How about corys?
     
  10. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    Welcome to the Forum

    Fantastic show tank :thumbup:
     
  11. OP
    JimmyHD

    JimmyHD

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    Thanks!

    CO2: I use a cerges reactor in the return line of the sump pump. The reactor works very well to ensure that all CO2 dissolves into the water. Ja, I think that the sump does allow a little CO2 to escape. Could only get my drop checker to turn greeny-blue; now I don't bother with one because I know that with my lowish bpm count I won't overdose.

    Light: Not sure. It's an "own brand" that came with the tank. I was a little skeptical at first, but it works well. It is 120 W LED with mainly white LEDs (about 80%) and some blue and red LEDs (about 20%). No fancy controller, just two switches: one for the whites and the other for the red/blue. Using my Sonoff timer, I turn the red/blue on first and then the main whites about 30 minutes later. I tried to download a phone app to test the colour spectrum but the app was useless. Haha.
     
  12. OP
    JimmyHD

    JimmyHD

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    Cool, I think I'll look into getting some rainbows. Maybe a school of 8 or something. I'll do some Google image searches to see which kind I like. They seem to swim in nice active schools. Thanks
     
  13. OP
    JimmyHD

    JimmyHD

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    Thanks!

    Ja, who new rummy noses were selective vegetarians? Haha.

    Pearl gouramis are actually very good fish: peaceful, attractive, and relatively large (well, compared with the tetras and rasboras). I guess I'm just bored with them. I wanted a "large" main fish but discus were problematic so I went for those. Now I'm more interested in smaller schools of fish, I think.

    Ah, corys are a good suggestion. Initially, I didn't get any because I was unsure how my shrimp would fare and wanted to make sure that any leftover food in the substrate would be available to the shrimp. But now that they're well established (over-established, maybe), I think a little competition would be totally fine. What type and how many corys would you suggest?
     
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  14. iMG

    iMG

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    That's exactly how I intend to run co2 in my sump, I even removed the wet dry chamber from mine to avoid further co2 loss once I pull the trigger... Makes me feel alot more confident knowing you've had success
     
  15. A new day

    A new day

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    Corys won’t bother your shrimp, they’re one of the most shrimp safe fish out there in my experience. The type of cory will depend upon your temp. Most are cooler water species, but some like c. Aeneus (eg bronze corys) and Sterbai can handle higher temps. They’ll fare best if you get at least 6 of the same type.

    Yes in your tank size you can pull off large schools of small fish, which will look spectacular!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
  16. fux940510

    fux940510

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    Fantastic, thanks for the info.

    For your stocking questions, cories are a delight, and add a lot of activity to the aquarium. As mentioned by @A new day, they are basically as shrimp safe as it gets. For a tank that size, a nice school of 10 would be a good start. They can rummage around a bit, but seeing as you don't have any decorative sand you won't need to worry about them making a mess. When i had a carpet of Glosso, i did see them uproot it and wriggle around underneath, but never had that happen with my helanthium tenellum carpet. For species, i'm a fan of Panda Cories which are fairly small, but there is apparently an issue with the supply of healthy ones lately. Julii cories are about twice the size of Pandas, but difficult to find. Bronze cories are a crowd favourite, especially as the albino cory is actually the same species and will integrate into the rest of the school if you want some variety.

    For the lower mid water, i've been really enjoying Green Neon Tetras. Similar to the vanilla Neons, but the iridescent blue stripe goes down the side, and smaller than Cardinals. Also like fairly warm water, around 25c, which is a good match for your other inhabitants. I had some Lambchop Rasboras, very similar to the Harlequins but unfortunately lost all of them due to the lights freaking them out when they were turned on. I personally found them a bit timid, but the colours were amazing. Bulking up the numbers can't go wrong, especially with a tank that size
     
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  17. OP
    JimmyHD

    JimmyHD

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    Correction: 5 bps (bubbles per second)
     
  18. OP
    JimmyHD

    JimmyHD

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    Okay, will definitely get some corys. Will do some Googling and see what's available at the local fish shops. The julii cories look great. My normal temp. is 24-25 C but it can get higher in summer because I don't have a chiller.

    I've never seen green or vanilla neon tetras in shops (only in pics online). Maybe I'm not hanging around the right places!

    Thanks for your input.
     
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  19. A new day

    A new day

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    I have bronze corys that thrive at 25C. Might be too warm for panda corys?
     
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  20. BradK

    BradK

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    Great looking tank, my favorite look in a planted tank.
     
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  21. fux940510

    fux940510

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    24-25 is a touch warm for something like a Panda cory, but Julii, Bronze and Sterbai cories should be fine :thumbup:

    If you're willing to go for a drive from Centurion, Aqua Empire in Randpark Ridge had both the normal Neon Tetra and Green Neon Tetra (last i checked).
     
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