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My 75 Gallon Community Journal - Mitch


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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. 

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29 minutes ago, LumberZack said:

Looks pretty good to me.

Are you running just the one sponge filter?

How long did you wait before moving any fish over since I assume the gravel you moved would have jump started the cycle?

Thank you. 
 

I have two large sponge filters (wish I had gone with the medium), and one of those has a medium stacked on it. I could probably drop down to the two large now. The medium was in my 25 gallon and I used it to seed the new ones. A few months ago I bought a cheap canister filter just to “polish” the water. It is stacked with sponges and filter floss. I just couldn’t get the water clear enough for me with the course sponges only. 
 

I moved everything over same day. I put all of the fish in buckets with air stones and a heater while I moved the gravel and sand. I then added the new substrate, plants, and finally water. I also used some of the water from the 25 gallon. Not for bacteria, but just to help with the water chemistry. 
 

Everything went smoothly. I saw a small spike in nitrates, but it was well below 20 ppm. I have to feed heavy and dose to get 20 ppm with my water. I did lose some red cherry shrimp in the process, but that was it. 

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37 minutes ago, Sleepy said:

I'm a big fan of the jungle look!

Thanks Sleepy. It started as an experiment. My for attempt at plants was disastrous, actually so was my second. 
 

So when I did the 25 gallon I bought a bunch of different plants to see what I could find success with. The one I kept killing was Lloydiella, but I am growing it now!

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29 minutes ago, Mitch Norton said:

Thanks Sleepy. It started as an experiment. My for attempt at plants was disastrous, actually so was my second. 
 

So when I did the 25 gallon I bought a bunch of different plants to see what I could find success with. The one I kept killing was Lloydiella, but I am growing it now!

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Dont feel bad the amount of money I've wasted on plants that wont grow in my water or needs co2 etc. really bothers me lol but its all been part of the learning experience! I'm not familiar with that one whats the common name if it has one?

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13 minutes ago, Sleepy said:

Dont feel bad the amount of money I've wasted on plants that wont grow in my water or needs co2 etc. really bothers me lol but its all been part of the learning experience! I'm not familiar with that one whats the common name if it has one?

I believe it is called Creepying Jenny. I killed it many, many times before I was able to grow it. It’s still slow though. 

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This little gal happens to be my favorite fish in my 75 gallon at the moment. She is a third third generation Molly that is completely black. We currently have a lot of mixed mollies. One of our first mollies was a Black Molly. We have looked at purchasing another, but they have all appeared very thin and not very darkly colored. I have been very proud of this little one from the day I noticed the completely black fry darting around. 
 

Can anyone who has/breeds mollies tell me how often I need to introduce a new fish to keep from stagnating the genetics? I wanted to get rid of mollies, but the kids love them. 

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I thought I would do some plant profiles. I have four Amazon Swords in my 75 gallon. The oldest was one of the first plants that I put in my 25 gallon. When I bought it there was a stem with three little swords growing from it. The guy who ran the store said to let them grow roots and then I could remove them from the plant and plant them in my tank. 
 

I’ve always loved these swords and I have experimented somewhat with their feeding. The main one grew to the full height of my 25 gallon tank (20” I think) and it filled most of that tank. I wanted to hold onto the little plants in hopes of adding more tanks or a bigger tank. A week before buying the 75 gallon tank I made a huge mistake with my plants. I had started seeing black beard algae. One of my disaster plus attempts at a planted tank had included a very bad bba takeover. After some research I decided to try a peroxide dip. Let me tell you... it was a disaster. Within a couple of days all of my plants were clear of bba. Within a week all of my plants were melting back. My “mother” Amazon Sword melted back to one tiny, puny leaf that was tucked in the middle. I cut everything back and replanted. Hoping I wouldn’t lose this plant. 
 

All four melted back, and all four grew back. Some have done better than others. You can see that one is still tiny in these pictures. I wonder if it is the sand or if I have not supplied enough root tabs for it. I love how large these plants are, and how they look in the tank. I don’t see my 75 ever being without them. 

As you can also see, I am battling some bba again. After adding some plants my balance is off. I haven’t quite dialed in the ferts yet, and I am currently dealing with some bba and green spot algae. 

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Plant Profile

Cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze and Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green

I bought both of these plants at a local store. The green was potted, and it was huge! I wasn’t sure if I should break it up when I first got it and it grew near the center of my tank for months. The one that I call bronze was just a loose plant they had from a local aquarist. It was tiny when I first got it. It had three or four brown leaves that layer horizontal on my substrate. It was a weird looking plant for a long time. 
 

I planted them booth near the center of my tank in the mid ground. I knew they should get about 4-6” leaves, and I was looking forward to them filling in the middle of the tank. I have been giving them root tabs every other month, but honestly they are probably ready to take them once a month now. The bronze did sprout a runner and I have left them next to one another for now. The green started producing runners like crazy. When I needed to add to my substrate I removed them and I split the green up. Now there are healthy crypts all over the middle of my tank. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the texture of the leaves, but I love them. The broad leaves are great for my otos and shrimp. The one plants that I separated and replanted are growing much slower than my original plants did, but that may be because I wasn’t quick enough to add root tabs. 
 

I know a lot of people experience melt when they plant crypts, but I did not. What is stranger is that the store that I bought mine from uses RO water and I do not. My biggest issue right now is that I have some green spot algae that I am battling and I am seeing it on some of the crypts. I had very little algae until I added tiger lotus to my aquarium. I love the look of the plant, but it through off the balance of my aquarium and I am apparently not experienced enough to dial it in quickly. 

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I know I just added to this journal today, but I noticed something this morning while watching the tank on my break. I haven’t been using Flourish Excel recently, but the black beard algae on my Amazon Swords has turned pink and it is dying off!

Hopefully I am close to finding balance in the tank again. 
 

 

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We’ve decided to embrace the Gold Dust Mollies. After some sales and deaths I ended up down to one female and too many males. Last weekend when I bought the 10g I moved the lone (very pregnant) female over to it. 

I knew I would have to keep her in the 10 until I bought more females or got rid of some males... so I am doing both. This tank is salted to help her with some stress she was experiencing from the boys. Everything has healed up nicely, but I will probably keep salting it for the next couple of weeks while I make sure the newbies are all good. 

They are gorgeous. The orange is much more vibrant and the black is very deep. They are extremely young. I tried to pick out four females. I am a little worried that one is a male (could it have a fan tail because it is young?). The one in the second pic is a fan tail. The end of it is orange and the rest of the fan is black so it is kind of hard to see. 

Apparently someone moved my black background when I had to get rid of my leaky 10g. So the background has junk in it and looks bad. I’ll get a new one soon. 

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Edited by Mitch Norton
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  • 5 weeks later...

It’s time to update this thread. I’ve posted in other areas as I’m working through some algae issues right now. 
 

I’ve done a lot of trimming to remove BBA and GSA. I have recently stopped dosing Easy Green. Some forum users recommended using more root tabs and less liquid for my plants. I’m going to try that and see if it helps with the algae. 

I also added a few bunches of Ludwigia to the tank last night... and today I noticed a planeria. Trying not to freak out. I know Cory says they are harmless. Looks like I’m doing some research.

Those Mollies are killing me. I have so many fry in the tank. They are everywhere. I recently bought four Gold Dust Mollies that I thought were female. They must have been too young. Two are definitely males. I don’t see a lot of breeding going on currently. I’ll be watching to see how off I am on the male to female ratio. I have some older fry that should be ok’d enough to sex soon. They all appear to be female. 

Im pretty sure I am down to two mystery snails. Which is very discouraging because I hatched two small egg clutches in the tank. I guess I haven’t been feeding enough... but I feed heavy with all of the fry, shrimp, and snails. I’m surprised that I wouldn’t be feeding enough. 
 

I changed the water yesterday so I’ll be testing the water tomorrow to see how I’m doing in nitrates. 16E54766-1A97-4312-90D3-BDBAC5DE2E87.jpeg.93c007f4ebeb0b25a4a8b4cd9c4cabf0.jpeg

 

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I put in some extra work yesterday. 

I am trying to lower the nutrients in my water column and increase the nutrients in my substrate. So last night was the second water change of the week. I’m hoping to get my nitrates below 20 ppm. They were around 30 ppm when I tested yesterday. I may do another before the end of the week. 
 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Did work yesterday!

After my 9-5 (which working from home is no longer a 9-5, but I digress), I started work on my 75 gallon. I had a lot to to. I pulled all of my Vallisneria, Dwarf Sagittaria, and anubias because of black beard algae. I sprayed everything with hydrogen peroxide and then rinsed. I am going to leave them in a black out bucket for a couple of days before replanting. 
 

Removing these plants opened up my sand area... and I really like it. Depending on how the I habitants do with the open space I may be rescaping the 75... 

I also cleaned my large Aquarium Co-op prefilter for the first time since adding it. It’s big! And I couldn’t get it out of the tank without making a mess... I didn’t want to cut it down, but I might have to. Because of the mess on the sand I vacuumed the area. 
 

Because my males STILL out number my female Mollies my largest female was looking stressed again. I moved her to my QT tank with a fresh water change and a light salt concentration to sooth her. I checked on her this morning and she is living the good life. I need to get a small tank for her to retire in. She’s produced a lot of babies over the years. 
 

I tested water parameters and my nitrates are still below 5 ppm. I’m trying to starve off the algae. The only plants that seem to be affected are the tiger lotus. Which, as badly as I wanted them... I don’t know that I care. Those beasts eat 24/7. 
 

I also added about 15 root tabs to the substrate. My new Ludwigia is taking off, but I’ve had a few free-floating leaves recently. I figured it was time. I am very thankful for Aquarium Co-op’s 60 pack. Very affordable. 
 

Anyway, it was a busy evening. I’ll post a pic after the lights come on. 

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I’ve made some changes to the 75 gallon. The battle against the BBA and GSA continues. I turned down my light concentration. I have a lot of BBA on my gravel. I figure that is a sign that I’m dealing with too much light. 
 

My nitrates are staying around 5 ppm without dosing. This weekend I picked up a phosphate test and it appears that my phosphates are elevated. Somewhere between 2 and 5 ppm. I’m not really sure what (if anything) should be done about the phosphates. 
 

I decided to pull the tiger lotus. I’ve had nothing but problems in my tank ever since a I added them. I also pulled the totally indica and bacopa carollinia. These plants agave never looked great in my tank and I am constantly cutting the BBA off them. I actually need some space for healthy plants to grow. I also pulled out several pogostemon stellatus octopus that had too much BBA on them. I still have plenty. 
 

I reintroduced my anubias after doing a hydrogen peroxide treatment. I cut off any leaves that were still plagued by GSA. I really hope I can get these plants growing well... I am thinking about removing them from my old Malaysian driftwood and putting them on my large piece of spider wood. 
 

I went about a week longer than I wanted to before adding root tabs. My new stem plants are starting to look rough now. I’m not sure if they just need to bounce back or if I need to do some trimming. I am going to wait and see. 
 

As for inhabitants, I found two dead fish this week. A Rasbora and a Black Molly. Neither had shown any signs of stress or complications in the days leading up to their passing. The rasboras are no doubt getting old... we’ve had them more than four years. By the time I found him there were already snails eating away so I couldn’t see if there had been issues. The Black Molly is more disheartening. She had been born and raised in my tank for the past few months. Black Mollies never look healthy in my area, and she was one of the best I have ever seen. Black as could be. Last I saw her she looked fine. I still have a high male to female ratio (since two of my latest additions grew up to be males). I’m afraid she was harassed to death, but I have never seen anyone chase her. I guess I need to take a few more males to my local shop. 
 

Anyway, slowly rescaping. I think I am about to buy a 32 g trash can to make water changes easier. 

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