54l planted low tech tank

Discussion in 'Planted Tanks' started by necris, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. OP
    necris

    necris

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    happy days, we have a working prototype.
    per second dual cycle timer. the plan is a sunrise sunset scenario, starting pre dimmed rgb sat at lights on followed by the addition of main 6500k led 30 min after, switching off the reverse.
    next is to figure out how to control rgb spectrum via the arduino, but thats another days saga
     
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  3. OP
    necris

    necris

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    That low lighting looks damn good
    Demo vid
    [​IMG]

    Sent from my ANE-LX2 using Tapatalk
     
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  4. OP
    necris

    necris

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    Slight update on lighting.
    Fried 2 smd strips being stupid and putting relay after power supply. Also tried the same with the dimmer to no joy.
    Fixed the relay wiring.. Well redid wiring and have ordered 12v dimmable supplies.
    Removed one smd strip and replaced with rgb strip. Lower power. 20k lumens at full 6k lumens at low light.

    Didn't bother spraying the new light housing. Want to redo tank light stands next
    [​IMG]

    Sent from my ANE-LX2 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
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  5. OP
    necris

    necris

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    Light stand sorted. 8mm aluminum rod, bent and mounted to the stand.
    Single sided as it isn't supporting much.
    Would use a tube next time to route cables more neatly. Think I may shorten it a smidge.
    Low light and full light pics.
    Please excuse the dirty gravel, wc coming up
    Note. The spiderwood is in the rear of the tank. It's not a support
    ... Yep... I got asked that. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my ANE-LX2 using Tapatalk
     
  6. TetraJacques

    TetraJacques

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    I like. It looks good :thumbup:
     
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  7. A new day

    A new day

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    Yes looks nice :thumbup:
     
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  8. OP
    necris

    necris

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    Fish are much more social too. Think the smd led strip was putting out too much intensity over a small area. Seem to to have stuffed up the low light program. Too late at night to code now. Just making it worse. Will sort it out tomorrow

    Sent from my ANE-LX2 using Tapatalk
     
  9. OP
    necris

    necris

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    So... Good news bad news time.
    Bad news.... Ich is in the building.
    Noticed 3 spots on my pleco 3 days ago, which didn't get worse and later dissapeared. Spotted ich on 2 of the barbs yesterday and am seeing flashing.
    Eating fine. Fully active. Water parameters are looking good. Ammonia low with every test, nitrates and nitrites raised a little but we're solidly in the green before last change. PH stable at 7. 2
    Stress was caused by broken light cycles by manual light timing. Seem a lot calmer since schedule has kicked in.

    Good news... Just picked up the famed 35l that started me down this path.
    Black silicon so no staining from potential treatments.

    So my plan was heat and salt. But as I understand that will nuke my plants.
    So considering cycling this 35l tank as fast as possible using transferred media and seachem stability.
    Ita running a modified sponge and in tank filter with an elite hush 20 hob and a 50w heater.

    Once cycled I'm thinking of transferring my fish to the bare bottom hospital tank and treating with meds.

    That leaves the planted 54l, heat will accelerate the cycle. But how do I eradicate the gravel and water column based ich. Will removing the fish long term break cycle and clear planted tank without a) staining everything and b) nuking my plants and beneifical bacteria

    Sent from my ANE-LX2 using Tapatalk
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

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  11. Cale24

    Cale24

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    Ich is usually pretty easy to beat back if identified early. You could move your livestock to the 35l (and plants even) and then wind up the heat and add salt to the main tank for a couple days, assuming both tanks are fully cycled.
    Salt has to be removed via water changes, and you'd use regular aquarium/ pool salt (not Epsom which has other uses).
    These days I just use Seachem Paraguard if ich shows up - a very good and gentle medication, but have gotten rid of it with heat (sometimes with salt) in the past. I keep mostly warm water fish though, so that helped.

    It should be gone pretty soon and your tank should do fine without livestock for a while, cycled state unaffected.
    Always worth having a quarantine tank - took me a while to commit to one but well worth it!
     
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  12. OP
    necris

    necris

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    Caught this post a little late but doing similar. Fish have been moved to the 40l(measured and checked calcs) and treated with kill ich. In catching them I gave in and stripped the scape almost entirely. Last two barbs just outmaneuverd me. Removed some spiderwood and replanted the majority of the scape. Temp is up to 31c and will hold the empty planted tank there for a week.

    Will be doing daily water changes on the 40l for that period in case of filters not being cycled yet. Added a pvc elbow and a small rock from the main tank but bare otherwise.
    Ps, 2 water spills and 1 gravel spill... 20.9n before the in laws arrived.. Fun times [​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my ANE-LX2 using Tapatalk
     
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  13. Cale24

    Cale24

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    This sort of scenario often resembles my own Sundays :/
     
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  14. OP
    necris

    necris

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    minor update:
    barbs showing 1 or two spots of ich on tail fins, no other signs noted on the rts or two plecos.
    main tank emptied of all livestock and temps were bordering 31 this morning, nervous of ading salt due to plants, but hoping i can starve out the cycle with lack of livestock hosts.
    judging by the minimal visible ich on the fish since initial diagnosis i'm venturing a guess and saying i caught it either in very early stages or a minor outbreak of it in full swing.
    either way im glad the fish were spared the major discomfort.
    in truth, i left the lfs with a bag o barbs abd a bottle of ich meds, i was aware of this possibility.
    im researching uv sterilizers going forward as a preventive measure, feels like somehting i can diy(@Reafer didnt think that was a great idea :) , but damn they are pricey)


    felt so bad,pre move out 3 were grooming each other in a whirling dance of itchyness.
    the schooling behaviour of the barbs is truly interesting,but my real surpirse was the rts...boom, attitude baby, his tank, his filter, his pipe, all must perish. chases all 6 barbs around.
    plecos of course couldnt give 2 shits, the golden ancistrus(aka trevor) literally hung onto his stick until he was 10cm out of the water and plopped into my hand for move, the other hopped into the net like he was going for a drive to see the sea.
     
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  15. Cale24

    Cale24

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    Ich is a classic example of why its important to actually take the time to look at one's tank in detail. I got back into the hobby after my brother lost basically all his livestock during a bad outbreak. He was under major pressure on some work job and couldn't get meds in time - it was too far along for heat/ salt.
    After losing his few loaches he was so depressed he just walked away and I took over his tank with nothing left but 3 neons. 3 or 4 Years later I'm still trying to get him back into the hobby!

    I also did a lot of thinking about whether to get a UV steriliser. If you are planning a bigger tank, then an inline solution is a good bet. Few people on the forum use the Ultrazap ones: https://www.tropicalaquarium.co.za/threads/ultra-zap-uv-steriliser.27417/
    In the end, considering I have multiple smaller tanks, I needed a smaller, modular option and I ended up getting the Green Killing Machine via Amazon UK: https://aquariumadviser.com/best-uv..._15_Watt_Advantage_2000_Hang_On_UV_Sterilizer

    Here is some good info on them in general here:http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/AquariumUVSterilization.html#whatsize I read initially that only 15W+ will kill parasites but that's not true- its all about dwell time.
    That site is in fact worth bookmarking - good content. Better to have a QT tank than a UV though- I only committed to one after I had suspected fish TB/ hell on earth, but I think it was ultimately something else.
     
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  16. OP
    necris

    necris

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    well, after a day of obsessive uv research the diy aspect has been put to bed, not financially viable using retail parts, its cheaper just to buy an ultrazap or similar.
    Day 2 of 30' in empty planted tank, nematodes are having a field day, biofilm has gone next level and looks like its forming new layers, brushed them both into the water column and bumped up the filtration.

    Hospital tank temp increased slightly but the 50w heater i got free really isn't worth the glass its housed in, will pick up another today to get stable temps in the hospital tank.
    definitely caught it before it got too bad, ich on the barbs appears to be getting worse slowly. no real change in behaviour.
    continued daily water changes every evening followed by a redose of kill ich(1 drop per 5l, ie: 8 drops total)

    lastly, and this is highly speculative,my one female barb is looking a little heavy in the belly, very active, clearly biggest of of the ladies. i wonder if there may be eggs. will be doing a bit of research on behaviors today. will be pretty pissed if i stuff up a spawn
     
  17. OP
    necris

    necris

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    I think i'm being sparing in saying i must spend at least 10 minutes every hour im home checking out those 9 fish, glad i caught it when i did.
    i can see how repeat issues will break the spirit quite easily, a minor ich outbreak had me spinning in circles with so much conflicting info and so many products, and thats on a tank of fish that were possibly the cheapest item, per unit in the tank.
    I see the old man getting a tank again soon, spends hours staring at my tanks in the lounge :), critiquing my setup at every turn :|
    "what do you mean you dont rinse your gravel monthly, i emptied my tank and cleaned the gravel entirely,take that shit out of there man"...yep, you also had an undergravel filter,no internet and no plants,but Yah sure definitely.

    UV wise the hang on/clip on sterilizers grabbed me initially but i realize they are limited in their function. don't seem to find any of the sunsun uv in tank filters locally either and from what i have read i don't really want a uv canister filter, or uvb anywhere near my filter media or plastics for that matter.
    i realize im barely breaking the 100l mark spanning both tanks(thats terrible to see written down, poor show dude, pull finger) so dropping a grand on a solution now is difficult, cheaping out leads me to self correct to quality, that leads me to plumbing, no point in an inline just plumbed into a tank, will need a sump, googles trickle sump, watches vid, prices plastic organiser and tub.....whooooaaaa nellie. suddenly this is a rebuild with a 2k budget and im wondering how the vrou will take to sump noises
     
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  18. Cale24

    Cale24

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    Yeah, one of the biggest frustrations back in the hobby was digesting all the products and medications that are out there. Ich-X is apparently great but we don't get it here, and Paraguard was the first broad spectrum medication I found to be tangibly good.
    More important is the overall tank health - low stress levels; good aeration (especially with warm temperatures - got myself some USB airpumps off Banggood for that); appropriate minerals/ hardness for fish health; good food + vitamin C, good, stable parameters, etc.
    Also a 50% w/c before any meds go into the tank.
    You should be able to sort that ich out, just keep at it!
    Lol@ your old man being interested - my dad took a casual interest and I sometimes show him some pics and whatnot. Have offered to set a tank up for him but no dice as yet ;)

    The UV model I got is pretty compact and I only add it to a tank as needed- read extensive reviews (and the bulb is completely concealed). If one ever does have fish TB, it's a vital tool, but they're otherwise useful just as preventative measures.
    I ran mine for 4 hours a day for a week, across two tanks, and then packed it away and now only bring it out when needed, or sometimes when I have fish in QT.
    I wouldn't worry about them for now - as you say there are better things to spend some dough on.

    Sumps work very well but I'd only ever consider one with a tank over 120l personally. A smaller tank, with a sensible fish/ bio load and routine maintenance, does perfectly fine with traditional filters.
    I'm tempted to set up a matten/ HMF filter on one of them- they can actually look pretty good if done right and work very well for an appropriate setup. Quite surprised I don't see them more often.
     
  19. OP
    necris

    necris

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    I will be grabbing a bottle of paraguard for future issues,local place has stock but at R350 a bottle i will shop around.
    the uv sterilzer is more long term, just thought it may speed things up a little in the top, but more haste less speed, i shall wait.
    have been looking into battery backup for the entire rack to be honest, my arduino timer doesnt take lightly to power dips and the hob filters arent eskom friendly either.
    will check out the matten/ HMF filter

    the 40l cannot become permanent,it will silently treat my beasties and get packed into a cupboard for hospital tank, or left as a qt tank running in my study, but as a display its days are numbered
    a) regardless of volume, its counted as a tank, if i can only have two, fine, but it will be a 2ft and a 4ft, not a frikken marltons starter pack for danios
    b) its so low down i feel like i'm doing the worm every time i need to work in the tank,not to mention the barbs check me out like i'm batty

    regarding tank health, i will be the first to admit the greatest source of stress initially was my two hands, intermittent light cycles, bad scaping leaching castings into the water(pre fish) and just generally learning the ways of maintaining cubes of water in general.
    i have since rescaped, added a thicker gravel cap(twice) and have removed a lot of clutter put in before i had considered the movement and visibility of the stars of the show.
    What still remains is light cycle, the barbs do not respond well to pm light cycles, i suspect ambient in the daytime is too bright. will be removing my morning cycle entirely(added for an am headcount and a minor co2 production/uptake boost) and try running just evening cycle to see if their response is in line with what i noted this weekend
     
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  20. Cale24

    Cale24

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    Cool, so far so good - its all part of the process I guess.
    Paraguard ain't cheap but I just mention it as a consideration at some point. I try use in only in QT/ small tanks as it goes pretty quick.
    Not fun getting a siphon going on low tanks either, lol.

    Not done a programmable DIY light, but I wired a 20W LED flood over one tank and given the intense on/off effect I tend to have it turn on once the room has plenty of ambient light in it, for less shock.
    When you do your 4 foot, I can certainly recommend using aquasoil if you go planted, even if only in some areas as the stuff is expensive. Areas can be built up with lava rock or similar underneath. Not having to do gravel vacs (just a siphon swirl above it), and being free of related scratches when cleaning, quickly justified the expense for me - nevermind how well things grow in it!
    I took down my 130l tank and have spent ages polishing fine scratches out of it thanks to black blasting sand + a dodgy sponge cleaning utensil. Wish I started on a cheaper 2 foot tank as I've compromised a nice rounded glass tank :(
    I mention it only as it was part of my learning curve.
     
  21. OP
    necris

    necris

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    i notice few things worthwile in fishkeeping are cheap, especially liquids...if it says seachem its going to work, but its going to cost you.
    the scratches on the tank sound familiar, i'm very happy the 2ft and stand only ran me R300, its been scratched bumped and superglued at one point even(dodgy light stand offs)
    lol yeah picked up on the syphon issue last night, had to whip out the submersible pump after a few mouthfuls of tankwater.

    i do have my lighting on a sunrise sunset scenario currently, starts with an rgb strip cool white dimmed,3k lumens followed by the 6500k smd strip, total of about 10k lumens at water surface. i am noticing brown algae so i think maybe my low light is too long, will drop it to 15 min adjustment time.

    aquasoil scared me off cost wise in honesty, but i then spent easily R350+ on frikken gravel anyway to cap the castings, excluding the bags of gravel the 250l will be exponentially more expensive, probably do river or pfs sand with aquasoil islands.
    i did a fair amount of researching into the capped casting substrate, and will admit, knowing what i know now i would not do it again. like it or not, i have a black water tank 75% of the time and frankly the stem plants aren't looking stellar, only thriving is the floating plant pulling its nutes out of the water column.
     
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