Jump to content

Side by Side 40's Journal


Recommended Posts

I recently decided that I both wanted to redo my existing no CO2 tank with a planted tank substrate and to add a tank for Saulosi Mbuna cichlids. So what do I decide? Buy a new 40, set it up as the CO2 tank, then redo the existing sand substrate tank as the cichlid tank. The plants, hardscape, and fish from the current tank will be transferred from the current tank to the new tank. 

Here is the current tank. The 5 gallon and the terrarium are being relocated. See my terrarium stand build in the Off Topic section. 20210930_201448.jpg.036d7221db46ce6408a3a43b7f5f0071.jpg

I was a little worried when I saw my CO2 Art regulator shipped from Germany, but am very impressed that I came in less than a week and that the plug is adaptable to multiple plugs. Can't wait to try it out. 20210930_200206.jpg.d74d494fb68e45548b98aa29bd043544.jpg20210930_200303.jpg.895ff031d058a5b4618b1b9da9deae16.jpg

I also got the 2nd 40 breeder from Petco's 50% off sale today. 20210930_180813.jpg.1ec2338f7ec3dc8059c13e5dbbaadac5.jpg

Substrate and light have shipped, so updates on them to come! 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Substrate arrived today! I'm going to use @Bentley Pascoe's simple mix,  likely lasagna method for this tank. I have Brightwell Aquatics Rio Cafe and Eco Complete red (now Eco Planted?). I am also going to a base layer of laterite powder under the planted substrate. 20211001_182918.jpg.9d91427154185de843beef1f99870221.jpg

20211001_183000.jpg.19adc50a13c9b20fd4cc9928ce2dedbb.jpg

 

I also moved tanks around today and got the new tank set into its spot.20211001_171818.jpg.c3cfa0e0d108aba6b62ae3cc428b1c33.jpg

Already level! I leveled the whole stand when I initially set up the first 40. 20211001_162834.jpg.802cc7e1ea68b6f8e2e473b05e18c517.jpg

I forgot to order the blackout cling to do the background, so now I wait. It's supposed to arrive Sunday. Which is fine, I wouldn't get anything done tomorrow due to a few things the family has going on. And the Coop order with the light is en route as well.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blackout window film came in today (thank you Amazon!), so I added it to the new tank and to the side of my existing tank that will be next to the new tank. I want to keep the fish from setting each other and hop this helps keep the different light settings from hitting the tracks. The left tank will be much higher light than the right tank. 20211003_170023.jpg.faf7e31db846bb925289cfcc31c0372e.jpg

20211003_164614.jpg.487549c19909c0a2ef4b081992d32ca2.jpg

20211003_170018.jpg.89be29ebceb3ce3f0d089a655b2b6395.jpg

20211003_170029.jpg.0b7731d1f4345d4a079370ac5a542366.jpg

 

After the tank was set back, I rechecked my level. You can see one of my "assistants" in this one. 20211003_171008.jpg.1e053e9c4ab3430fec682a1faa90268c.jpg

20211003_170932.jpg.87361bcaa421408b70cc908c912a20a9.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/3/2021 at 9:23 PM, Beardedbillygoat1975 said:

I like Bentleys method, I used it with Fluval stratum and it’s worked great. Can’t wait to see how things turnout. Have an idea of what your plant list will be? 

For now, mostly pulling from the other 40, with the addition of a Coop Crypt Pink Flamingo currently en route. Existing plants are Cryptocoryne wendtii green and red, several anubias (gold coin, coffeefolia,  golden), crypt spiralis, crypt lucens, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus, and water wisteria. I am not planning to have floaters. I'll likely add harder plants once I get used to the CO2.

  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Added substrate last night. Used 600 grams of Brightwell Aquatics Laterite powder, a 24 lbs back of Brightwell Aquatics Rio Cafe F, and two 20 lbs bags of red Eco Complete. The substrates are layered using a modified version of Bentley Pascoe's lasagna method. The Laterite is all on the bottom, followed by about 1/3 of the bag of Rio Cafe. The 2 bags of Eco Complete are layered next, with the remainder of the Rio Cafe on top. My oddest son was excited to help me with the substrate layering, and you can see him below. Resized_20211003_172909.jpg.4fdf34d1e63328fa56ee24d5a8efccc4.jpg

20211003_171953.jpg.f7943d71cf54547aec98daf11b1221e7.jpg

20211003_172230.jpg.bf1a90ad77ddc5d537a7845af06e4fdc.jpg

20211003_172424.jpg.86db00ed2c58dc14f1a18905a6726a53.jpg

20211003_173143.jpg.064213204420d163300f8f18bfac1127.jpg

20211003_174930.jpg.09870412de2c5422ce7f6cb669c7ea4e.jpg

I forgot to put the root tabs into the substrate before I layered it down, so you can see where I added some after substrate. 

I then filled and hooked up CO2. My youngest son helped this morning while his siblings were at school. CO2 test successful! Now we wait for that Coop order to arrive. 20211004_110206.jpg.a7b9f9966632fef077061d901bc63e68.jpg

Resized_20211004_105530.jpg.2caf865215d3d31db70fdff46e689a53.jpg

20211004_110214.jpg.2c1e2cee9063e82bbc73c9358a6a3663.jpg

20211004_110225.jpg.74f5795d93297df9753d3effccb81ffc.jpg

20211004_113527.jpg.da9d035e74e68d3106b9940cae7ee146.jpg

20211003_175750.jpg.adab5cbbbfc05d76e3bd05d9baaf4d95.jpg

  • Like 3
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today, I moved fish and reshaped the right hand tank. I also got in the rest of my coop order with the powerhead and crypt pink flamingo. First, I removed all substrate from the tank. There was a layer of super naturals sand on top of pool filter sand. I kept the top layer, mostly the super naturals (rubbermade tote), and kept out the majority of the pool filter sand (bucket). 20211006_131108.jpg.ca182e471cb00b412bdf8f1dc256c8b0.jpg

20211006_131103.jpg.536f0739ce013de55d72112a0d31d813.jpg

20211006_131105.jpg.a42808512989b921ed696fd197e89209.jpg

20211006_133454.jpg.0a13a4aed9d5961ca4d6cc27cd0e3d9e.jpg

I mixed about 8 lbs of aragonite into the super naturals sand to help buffer up the pH for the cichlids. I then laid down egg crate light diffuser and pit down small layer of sand to keep the egg crate in place.  20211006_134931.jpg.b206eb9401b7513a106295a9629fb083.jpg

20211006_135212.jpg.921464375be1269ee2f0a500b5c3372b.jpg

I added my rock scape making lots of little caves and crevices. A number go through to the back side forming tunnels. This is fine before the majority of the substrate is added so that the rocks are directly on the egg crate. This will prevent digging fish from causing a rock slide. The rest of the sand was added, followed by water. 20211006_142312.jpg.1af1a500dd8b8996f405c9e08be7d11b.jpg20211006_145606.jpg.3be94df8308623e9384a5ce85c3d9a60.jpg

My pencilfish and SAE stayed in the old tank with the old sponge filter now powered by powerhead to keep it cycled. The pencil fish because i gunk they'll be easier to catch than cories, and the SAE because he's a bulldozer and I want to let the plants establish roots before I add him to the new tank. The old canister filter and a new sponge filter were put into the new tank with the rest of the fish. I'll be testing at least daily for the next week to make sure there are no ammonia spikes, and will be pulling back on feeding a bit as well. 20211006_191208.jpg.6ebe0c6e95b56540376b85f0ed670025.jpg20211006_191221.jpg.02c7dfbf3c32ca8e3451c71260e1f2c2.jpg20211006_145611.jpg.d7082a9a5ca5f36b7c80627e5fafd5b7.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/6/2021 at 10:51 PM, carefulest said:

Is that BBA on the wood?

Yes. Its been contained to the wood, so I haven't fought it too hard. It seems content to live on the wood, leaving my plants alone. When I pulled the wood to move it, I treated it with hydrogen peroxide. I do see some of it changing color, so I think that killed some. Once I get things balanced in the tank, I may get some Easy Carbon to spot treat what remains. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Decided on naming the tanks for simplicity. The left tank is now the Planted Tank. The right tank is now the Mbuna Tank. 

Made the shelf for my overhead sump filter for the Mbuna Tank. I am going to run water from the powerhead to the planter, and make a couple of dividers for filter floss, a emersed plants, and the return section. I have ordered bulkheads for the inlet and outlet. 20211007_185443.jpg.4bdfc22d7c319f18cf1360bf39e13f69.jpg

20211007_191312.jpg.286308a8e3577d2dbd1801b47d4a4819.jpg

The legs for the shelf are 2x4's resting directly on the floor behind my aquarium stand. They are attached to the stand for stability. I stained them black with some stain I had in the garage from another project. The shelf is prefabricated, so no finishing required. It is attached to the legs with standard shelf hardware, resting directly on them. 20211007_191258.jpg.da187f949e7bde96121893de321906ff.jpg

20211007_191242.jpg.23bdd6ef6e8b9cbb9840a62521735f57.jpg

20211007_200358.jpg.3f21ed474141a1f7e18493c165f4565b.jpg

I took this week off, as my kids were off for half the week on fall break. This allowed me to get a lot done, so progress will likely slow from here on out. The next parts I need aren't arriving until next week. 

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Made progress on the overhead sump for the Mbuna Tank. I am using a planter for this. First, I made a template of the cross section out of cardboard. 20211016_131511.jpg.938e7a380a9d7e9c482dd5f0d43b98c1.jpg

I then drilled and dry fit the bulkheads. I forgot to grab pictures if this. I then cut egg crate to create dividers. First set will hold sponge, and the last will keep the biomedia from the return section. 20211016_131459.jpg.8703e5ae4e9a5fb3ef32d6b545c14fa2.jpg

Then I silicone the egg crate in place. 20211016_134203.jpg.cbb72811ecfff630b7d9dbf5005d5228.jpg

I then dry fit a PVC elbow on the inlet bulkhead to direct the majority of the flow down. I drilled a small hole as a siphon breaker. 20211016_140622.jpg.362707cb684c9f04f2ed752f384d6d6c.jpg

20211016_143436.jpg.8542075f40ee2084537e3c4a431800f3.jpg

Here is a picture of the finished product. The fitting inside are just dry fit. The exterior elbows are glued to prevent leaks. 

20211016_143442.jpg.ffe938b79a5663d1a3958d0dd663ed00.jpg

20211016_174405.jpg.92ab19be25968bbb8d9842996139769f.jpg

 

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

More progress on the Mbuna Tank filter, kinda. Hooked up the hoses to the filter. Did a water test in the bathroom, and everything looked good. So I brought the filter to the tank and set everything up. Fired up the powerhead, and water started flowing. The 2 returns keep up, but barely. I'll be adding either a third return or making one of them larger. Since I have everything to add a third return, that's likely what will happen. 

Anyway, let everything run for about an hour, went back, and a small drip was coming from one of the bulkheads. 😔

It's too late to fix, so I shut off the filter and am running the sponge on air. I'm happy with how it came out, just need to fix the leak later this week. 

Here is the filter with and without its lid. The lid will be separated into a few pieces, with a few holes for the planters, as I will have pothos and creeping Jenny growing. 20211017_200747.jpg.ab83b305f9198d7e5de4c81e71bf186e.jpg

20211017_200753.jpg.5fb755e1b83725fd96a8c3357ede8403.jpg

Here is the powehead hooked up. Not a fan of the hose, but it works for now. 20211017_200820.jpg.65cc30f8e8435ab27ea38b033263b0b5.jpg

Finally, here are the 2 return lines. I put elbows on them to help direct flow. Not sure if they will stay or not. 20211017_200828.jpg.eb102d34276616c7e762781ab3251e92.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Really interesting build, love the side by side contrasting styles. The overhead sump is an excellent way to get plants helping with filtration. Great looks like I’ll be spending more money stealing on this idea. I’m sure wife will love that 😬
On the mbuna tank what is the purpose for the egg creat under the substrate? Is it just to keep the rocks off the glass? Help to sturdy the rocks?

anyway everything looks great! Can’t wait to see when all plants fill in and mbuna tank gets finished.

and that you can get the kids involved is amazing. 

Edited by Atitagain
Can’t forget the kids
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...