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About Me

  1. As if I don't have enough projects going currently, I've decided to add a little 75 gal to the rack to explore aquatic algal ecosystems. I'm fascinated how many aquatic systems are largely algae based, in terms of the photosynthetic organisms. I'd like to play with how that will work in an aquarium setting. I have a terrible 75 gallon aquarium that I got on super sale. The silicone is a mess all over the thing. The glass barely lines up. And the company has a reputation for tanks of this size blowing out. I'll be leak testing it outside on a patio surface for a couple weeks before draining it and moving it into the rack (even though the rack has a floor drain below it). I've also sealed the gaps in the silicone and the ones around the plastic rim. If it holds, the next step is to drill and overflow into it. I don't think the sides are tempered. Well, I certainly hope not. If all of that miraculously comes together, my next step is going to be how to cycle an aquarium while building up algae. I've got "fishless cycle" ammonia and I'll probably do drops of that to get things moving. Normally I use snails and a few fish, but I am afraid the snails might hit the algae too hard before I can get it going. Fortunately, I have an algal mat that I can seed the tank with. I've been growing it for over a decade as a means of cultivating an associated plant. Look how great it looks: Imagine an entire 75 gallon with that floating on the top?! It'll be beautiful! I've been inspired to do this based on a few videos I'd seen of pupfish out west. Like this one: And this one: To me both of these are beautiful examples of algal dominated systems. I'd like to recreate them in my tank. ***Please note that I understand fully that those fish are endangered (ESA listed) and cannot be owned legally. I will not be attempting to replicate this sort of system with those species.*** I may try to do so with related "pupfish" like Florida flag or something. I just think those videos are show particularly beautiful and inspiring scenes. So, this will be a journal of my efforts to do what most people try to avoid, grow a tank full of mucky, matted algae and keep healthy fish in it. It'll be a slow process (like all my projects), but hopefully something interesting will come of it.
  2. This morning we went for a walk and discovered these beauties in a roadside ditch. Here our intrepid botonist gets a closer look. He loves plants, leaves, twigs and cones. He just waded right in. This ditch is normally mowed and will be as soon as the rainy season ends. My hope is to get my 75g setup outside and grab some of these before they disappear. I'm thinking of going bare bottom and setting up a rectangular windowbox plantar hanging in the back of the tank, filled with potting soil and collected plants. Maybe I'll use sts on the bottom and do some lillies or a sword, too? Here is the stand I rigged with leftover (cheap!) lumber and landscape blocks I found thrown along the creek behind the house. Just need to get the tank on there, finish level, and fill. Maybe this afternoon. It gets full sun from 9 to 12, then dappled shade. No filter or pump is planned for now. Just a heater this winter. This pond beside it has a million endlers and clear water, I think from all the lettuce. I harvest half weekly, just to have a place to put their flake food. There is also an elderly black neon tetra and juvi cory that were put in there this summer when the 75g was emptied. It will be interesting to see what happened. The fencing across the top is temp to keep my dog out. He'll spend all day trying to catch them if i didn't block him. The plan is for a trouble free tank, like this pond has been.
  3. Hi all, soon I will be setting up a 75 gallon planted tank with nano fish. I love dwarf chain loaches and am looking forward to finally having a large school of them. But I also have 5 Venezuelan corys in a smallish 20 long and I feel they need more space, plus I would love to see if they might breed in the 75. Both of these species mostly inhabit the bottom of the tank, although the dwarf chain loaches tend to use the whole water column. can I have a good sized school of each that will be happy in the same 75 gallon? TIA!
  4. This spring I decided to get a 75 gallon so I’d have room to try lots of different fish and plants. I started April 6th. Aqueon tank from the half off sale DIY stand Nicrew light x 2 Aquaclear 70 HOB with sponge prefilter Powerhead with dual sponge prefilters Fluval Stratum, gravel and pool filter sand Scavenged driftwood and beach cobbles current stocking: Green Neon Tetras Cherry Barbs Panda Corydoras Otocinclus Swordtails Honey Gourami Amano shrimp Neocaridina Shrimp
  5. I’ve been thinking today about the fish I most enjoy. Like a number of other NERMs, we’ve multiplied tanks rapidly over the last few years. But I now find that only a few tanks and a few species really maintain my enduring interest. I think that a 75 gal. tank is about right for the perfect “not small” / “not enormous” tank. I found myself wondering aloud: if I had to go with only one… how would I stock it? I’m torn between a COLD water tank featuring U.S. Natives, and a HOT water tank featuring select Amazon species. For a COLD 75 gal., I’d use a substrate of either Eco-Complete or Activ-Flora. I prefer black. I’d definitely select some choice wood. I’ve been really enjoying the look of a mix between large Mexican beach pebbles and smaller landscaping stones to yield a semi River look. I’d line the back with Valisneria Americana, and plant batches of Bronze Crypt around the tank. I’ve sort of already done this with a 29 gal… I’d add like to see if I can keep a major school of Rainbow Shiners… A small group of amazing Darters… And… if ever really possible, a few Black Banded Sunfish… Or, maybe try the Blue Spotted Sunfish instead… I’d love to see these species live together in peaceful harmony, freed to spawn in the tank if effectively set up. But on the whole, just a beautiful and stable tank. —————————————— Now, if I went with a HOT tank, I’d like to use the same substrate, and a dynamic wood centerpiece. I’d use Amazon Swords in the background, since they do well in warm temps. And I’d probably select some Melon Swords in the foreground. I have found that I like light colored, smooth Great Lakes stones too. I’ve sort of set this up with a 55 gal. already… For featured fish, I definitely love Discus. I like a variety of tank bred, vibrantly colored specimens. I’m not into the wild caught craze… We have always been huge fans of German Blue Rams. Would definitely include a couple trios. We bred some interesting color morphs in the past, crossing Gold and Electric Blue… Also just can’t go wrong with traditional color morph GBRs… I do love Cardinal Tetras, and would love a school of those in there… I’m not sure what sort of Pleco would best enjoy a very warm tank (please suggest!) but I love either a few Zebras… Or (maybe AND) Greg Sage’s Green Dragons… —————————————— Now that I think it all through… I’m seeing 2x 75 gal tanks in my future… HOW ABOUT YOU? WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH A 75 GAL?
  6. Since it's hard at the moment to find a 125 gal tank around my way and the LFS that could try to "order" one wants double the cost. I rather get a 75 tank that's available at another store and I can get my hands on right away. My vision is to have 3 Clown Loaches and 3 Peacock Chilids. This will include a lot of live plants, moss, driftwood and a pleco. Is this doable in a 75 gal or too small overall?
  7. The new 200ltr (~75gl) tank has arrived yesterday. Today I have set it up filled it just under 50% with fresh water and stuck an air stone inside. Tomorrow I plan to plant it, position the wood and fill it with water that will be taken out (~100ltr) from my other tank during the two weekly water change. Also, I plan to move X2 pre filter sponges and X2 sponge trays from the established tank to the new tank and start running the filter, the fish will be moved from the containers on Sunday. Is their something that I have missed or should have done differently? Thanks as always Ben
  8. I liked the idea of having a space to just babble about my tanks. I do have an Instagram, but I always felt like I need to post glamour shots to that, and not more mundane things. So here it is, a place to talk about how duck weed is taking over my house (seriously I find it on our doorknobs). I guess I'll start off by introducing my favorite fish, and therefore my favorite tank. Pooka is a synodontis eupterus who has an incredibly sweet temperament. She's hand tame, and often follows my hand around while I work on the tank. She's currently in a 40 breeder, and I MAY put her in the 75 eventually, but honestly I'm worried to put her in with my bichirs; Dragon (who I will introduce in another post), once took a bite out of a catfish like it was an apple. She seems to have enough room for now, and really isn't that active - her swimming style is doing calm moseys around the tank between long upside down naps. I once drew her as a Pookamon Pokemon.
  9. Hello all! I hope you are enjoying your tanks. I’ve been eyeing this part of the forum because I thought it would be fun to keep a journal of my tank’s progression in a public place. Hopefully, we can discuss some of the successes, failures, and works in progress going on with my 75 gallon aquarium. Here is a little info on my tank. I setup this 75 gallon around the middle of May. 1/3 of the gravel and sand substrate came from my 25 gallon aquarium. I also moved over 30 mixed mollies (mostly fry), 1 neon tetra, three Corydora (2 peppered and 1 Sterbaii), 7 Rasboras, 4 otocinclus, 65 red cherry shrimp, and three mystery snails. I also moved over a lot of plants. My 25 had been my testing site for plants. So I have a variety. here are some images of my tank. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
  10. My 75 gallon dream tank which I finally managed to put together last year after collecting and saving for a good long while. The fish are strictly South American, the plants, snails, and shrimp are a more fishkeeper friendly combo designed to recreate the spirit of the Amazon jungle rather than to be an "Amazon biotope". The Cardinals and Rummynose are wild caughts from my LFS and Project Piaba sourced. After seeing one of Aquarium Co Op Cory's tanks with crypts in the foreground I decided to forego the S. repens lawn and just place a few interlaced with crypts and my fish love it; although the Rummynose and Rams now love to hide and the only time I see everyone together is feeding time LOL. My wife calls it our "Mini Jungle Book". The shimmer from the surface movement under the Kessil lights lets the Cardinals shine like little jewels; an old man's 52 year long dream since I started keeping fish. Let me know what you think, or if you like it. Here are the specs: Livestock: -35 Cardinal Tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi) -13 Rummynose Tetras (Hemigrammus bleheri) -8 Otocinclus -6 Bolivian Rams (Mikrogeophagus altispinosa) -15 Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata) -at least 50 Blue Velvet Shrimp as they have multiplied rapidly and some in genetic throwbacks are red, some Crystal shrimp now and some Black Riilis -several Zebra Nerite snails, some other Nerites, including Military Helmet snails, and the occasional bladder snail hitchhiker. Hardscape: Substrate: One thin layer of Mironekuton Deep Sea Mineral Powder, followed by ADA Tourmaline BC. ADA Clear Super, ADA Bacter 100 sprinkled over the Deep Sea minerals. Next a layer of small crushed lava rock, a thin layer of pebbles mixed with Fluval Shrimp Substrate, and finally a thick layer of Soft Belly Amazon Soil. Mopani, Pacific driftwood, & Spiderwood (well pre-soaked for about three months with frequent water changes), diverse rocks among them Brazilian Carnelian, Flint, Agate, and Obsidian, a few pieces of lava rock on which I mounted Anubias Plants: -Echinodorus Red Flame -Echinodorus Rubin -Echinodorus Ozelot Green -Pogostemon erectus (Gone, as of July 2020 because my now huge Amano shrimp developed a distinct hankering for the fine leaves of this Pogostemon, expensive salad for shrimp) -Ludwigia repens -Lobelia cardinalis -Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) -Anubias afzelli -Anubias nana -Anubias nana petite -Cryptocoryne wendtii Green Gecko -Cryptocoryne willisii -Cryptocoryne parva -Bucephalandra wavy green -Bucephalandra biblis blue -Bucephalandra Kedagang -Staurogyne repens -Christmas moss (Vesicularia montagnei) Equipment: Stand: (manufactured locally to my design) White oak treated like a boat with polyurethane finish in mission style with slate inserts in doors( gotta keep my wife happy), doors can be opened to 170 degrees, or removed completely with two clicks each, built in metal square tubing frame rests on 8 adjustable feet which can hold 2,500 lbs. each (the living room floor turned out to be uneven) the back of the stand is open to reach the power strip I mounted on the wall for better access and to allow for drip loops, the CO2 cylinders (1 active, 1 spare) rest in a box which keeps them from falling over, the bottom wood plates can be removed to adjust the feet Lights: -2EA Kessil A360X Tuna Sun on Goosenecks with Spectral X Controller -small lunar light (blue) on night timer for 6 hours Filtration: -Fluval 407 Canister Filter, loaded with fine and coarse sponge mechanical filtration, and Sera Siporax sintered glass biological filtration, as well as a polishing pad, also equipped with an Eheim Pre-filter with two sponges -Eheim Skim 350 Surface Skimmer Oxygen: -Tetra 100 Whisper Air pump with air wand on timer for night oxygen Heater: -Eheim Ebo/Jaeger fully submersible 300 Watt Heater CO2 System: Operating one hour before photo period and shutting off one hour before end of photo period -GreenLeaf Aquarium Dual Stage CO2 Regulator w/solenoid & bubble counter -CO2 line -Dennerle CO2 Check Valve -Aquario Neo CO2 Diffuser L from Aquarium Co-Op -Glass CO2 Drop Checker
  11. I’ve been working on a redo of my 75 gallon tank that has a rescued pair of adult Jack Dempseys and the 2 subadult common plecos that came with them (both male, or course 🙄). The original owner thought they were jewel cichlids but they are very clearly Jacks. They were in horrible conditions with mulm piled up so deep the gravel was not visible. As soon as I could I moved them from the 55 G they came with into the 75 G they’re in now. I have the temp on the low end of their optimal to inhibit breeding. I tried to do plants with them, raised on some shelves that held substrate, but no matter how deep I buried them or whether I piled rocks up around them, the Jacks would rearrange and plants would be floating. Almost 3 weeks ago @Steve A posted about nitrates and emerse grown plants and @dasaltemelosguy posted a picture of his tank that I loved and thought I could make work in my Jack tank. He had cichlids in the some lucky bamboo and rocks around the bases of the bamboo to hold them in place. Thus started my redo plans. Since the tank was just a bunch of yucky, semi-algae coated, plastic plants, it couldn’t possibly be worse no matter what I came up with. It had the scattered gravel substrate that was *supposed* to stay in the shelves for the live plants but Jacks and plecos had shoveled it out and thrown it around. First step was ordering the extra tall lucky bamboo and shower caddies to brace the tops of the plants. Rocks to put in the pots on top of the planting media. I already had some rounded river rocks from large to small. The dirt was collected from a farm yard in Oklahoma (with permission from the owner, of course) and is very red, so I’m hoping it’s high in iron. 😆 I’ve got this in several tanks and they always test negative for iron on the strips. Guess I need to get *another* test kit. Next step was getting rid of the plastic shelves and the old substrate along with a very thorough cleaning (big fish poop a LOT). I cut some starts off my marble pothos to get them started on rooting. Then I separated some spathiphyllum plants, rinsed the roots well, and stuck those in water so they could start adjusting. I ordered jungle Vallisneria to go in pots - baked, heavy clay dirt with some Osmocote mixed in, then capped with sand, then topped that with the “pebbles” - 1-2” black polished stones around the plants. I also used a first layer of pebbles that I already had of assorted colors, then used some black over top. The first bunch of Val melted like crazy but seems to be starting to come back already. The second batch of Val looked much better when it arrived and I just trimmed the leaves right off and it seems to be doing much better. I’m glad I’ve got a local source that’s got very good prices on plants! The first shower caddy shattered when we tried to drill holes in it the size of the lucky bamboo stems. So I ordered new ones that specifically said they were made of flexible plastic. Those were easy to drill so they went in the tank today! Everything is potted, including a couple Crinums I bought today (and I already forgot which species, 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️). I’m pretty sure they’re natans. And some nice tall “mother” swords - 2 pots gave me 5 big plants, 2 small ones, and a bunch of babies on runners that I’m leaving for now because they’re cute! Dallas Aquatic Expo! I have my Spathiphyllum plants and pothos starts tucked into the shower caddies. I had intended to also use egg crate grid over top of the shower caddies and braced on the tank trim, but I don’t think I’ll need to do that. The bamboo feels pretty solidly braced right now. I don’t have any rocks around the pots yet and I’m not sure I will, now. After seeing all the pots in place (except the Val, it’s not grown in enough to give the fish anywhere to hide, so I’ll wait until it’s growing a little more convincingly). I still have some plastic plants in here, but they will come out once the Val is actually, you know, plants instead of melted stumps. I’m crossing my fingers that I have enough rocks bracing the swords and Crinums I bought today. I don’t have any place else to put these since my Val pots are taking up all the space I had available. Once I get Vals in, I’ll make a decision on if I add the river rocks. I bought more big river rocks at the expo today, too! The pots on their sides will likely stay in depending on how *full* things look once I get Vals in place. Here’s the “before” pics.
  12. Hello all, I just added a male pearl gourami to my 75 gal tank. Tank has a few female powder blue gouramis, some honey gouramis, and a smattering of tetras. This is my first pearl. He has been staying very close to the water surface, over in one corner for the past several days. He eats just fine, but just seems.....very shy or timid, which surprised me since I thought they were more assertive fish. Everyone else is happy and zooming around. All water parameters are normal and tank has been established for a long time. Is this normal "oh my goodness this huge tank is overwhelming and I am a single PG" behavior? Thinking of picking up a couple more so he feels more comfortable. Perhaps two females? Or would you suggest two more males? TIA for advice on my new guy
  13. So, the wife and I just bought a bigger house, which means I get a bigger living room display tank! (Don't tell her that yet.) I'm upgrading from a 29 to a 75, and have a 24 inch fluval 3.0 on the 29 (a 30 inch tank). That is plenty of light, I actually have it dialed back about 50%. For a 75 gal, would you guys think the 36 inch fluval would enough or just bite the bullet and get a 48 in?
  14. Hi all I am relatively new to the aquarium hobby. Currently I have a 75 gallon tank with an aquatic turtle in it that I have managed to do great with, but turtles are heartier than fish and I didn't need to worry about cycling the water too much in the beginning My question today deals with a new tank that I just started 9 days ago. It is a 40g breeder and there is no fish in it yet as it is not cycled. My setup is as follows: -Crushed coral substrate -2x sponge filter with fluval air pump (both had been used in previous tanks, but were not taken directly from one tank to another so IDK if they had any live bacteria when I started using them). -fluval nano wave maker -seachem tidal 55 filter with seachem matrix and fluval peat (to lower the PH because of the crushed coral substrate) -6x aquarium co-op easy planters with some various java fern and amazon sword. -A small piece of driftwood for lowering PH -Fluval Plant light 3.0, 36 inch Products I have used -Seachem flourish tabs under each plant -seachem flourish (realized later this may not be the best for the plants I am using) -fluval plant care iron+ -aquavitro seed bacteria -seachem prime for dichlorination I have been adding pinches of fish food for around 4 or 5 days trying to get some ammonia in the water. I have also taken a big lava rock and a few small live plants and easy planters from my other tank in an effort to speed up the cycling process. My water readings currently are as follows: (taken using API master test kit) Water temp: around 77 PH: Around 7.6 ammonia: Around .25 or .5 PPM Nitrites and Nitrates: basically none yet. I understand the basics of wanting to see a spike in ammonia and then some nitrites and nitrates, but none of my readings have moved in the past 3 or 4 days. I am just wondering if I am doing something wrong or if I just need to be more patient. My eventual goal for this tank is to have various types of guppies in it and I am getting a little impatient waiting for the tank to cycle. A basic picture of the tank is attached.
  15. Looking for advice on other fish to add to my 75 gallon community tank. Currently I have: 10 cherry barbs 3 honey gourami These guys are getting along very well, but the tank looks nearly empty, so I would like to add some more species. One thing to note is that my water is very hard with a pH around 8.0. So far I have only kept species that are generally considered "easy" to care for, but I would be willing to try fish that are recommended towards more intermediate-experienced fish keepers. Thanks in advance!
  16. I have a Longfin Albino Oscar and 3 pictus catfish in quarenteen while I cycle their 75 gallon tank. What would be a good mid swimming tank mate that would go well with the Oscar if any. Right now he's only 2" so want to introduce him early. Got a local breeder of Polar Blue Parrots, would 1 of those work?
  17. Hey everyone. I’m looking at getting a new tank around 75-125 gallon. Need it to be no longer than 65”. Looking for recommendations on favorite brands. Looking at Marineland, aqueon and Topfin but nervous of the comments stating them leaking at the seams.
  18. First thing I see when I get home from a long day of work, 75 gallons of bliss.
  19. I have a 75g planted with jungle val anubias and java ferns and will be getting some crypts. My tank is filled with driftwood and I was thinking of stocking yellow labs and demasoni cichlids is there any other fish that go well with them and how many should I stock?
  20. Hello! I had a quick question about moving aquariums. I have a 75g that I have to put in storage and I was wondering if it would be safe to put the tank in a POD. My only concern is the tank's silicone degrading with heat. Do you know if it would stand up to the weather? Thanks!
  21. Thinking about adding a bubble wand to my 75 gallon. Does anyone have any good recommendations?
  22. Would a stand that's is 48x16 be able to hold a 75 gal tank, measuring 48x18? I have a stand for my 55g that is 16" wide and would like to get a bigger tank but don't know if I can just use the old stand. What if I get a piece of plywood 48*18 and place it under the tank that should support the extra 2in. Or do I need a new stand?
  23. We’re slowly setting up a 75 gal. heavily planted tank. Looking for lighting recommendations. Would like this to be a densely planted, but low tech set up (no CO2). Using Activ-flora substrate. Probably stocking with discus, tetras, and L??? Plecos. Temperature will be hot ... so that will limit plant choices some.
  24. I plan on setting up a 75 gallon tank in the near future and was going to let the aquariumcoop forum build it. Everything from substrate and decor to filtration,live stock and lighting. I would like to have live plants and a lot of color. Ready go....
  25. I recently added small peacocks and jewel cichlids to my 75 gallon planted barb tank. No aggression at all.
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