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Multi Tank Rehab

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Got back into aquariums pretty heavily a little over 4 years ago. Grown to 5 tanks. 

Since about 6 months ago they've all become a bit sad and not great looking. Big need of a rehab. FInally motivated enough to get started on it. Been cleaning them all up good and starting some plants over since the beginning of the year.  They all look the same now with all the same plants and I want them all to look different. 

This post center arounds the 45 In the living room.

36 inches long, 12 inches wide and 24 inches tall. Same foot print as a 30 gallon but it's 5 inches taller. Biggest challenge is the lighting with it being so tall.

Current inhabitants are 1 upside down cat, 15 endlers, couple ember tetras, couple neons. I know the embers and neons need a larger group but until I get the tank back on track, I don't want to add any new fish. Until I get my 20l and 40b started, I don't have a quarantine setup.

Been setup with a HOB, pea gravel substrate, T5 lighting of a SunBlaster fixture with a Geiseman Power Chrome Super Flora bulb. Also a Tetra AP150 air pump running sponge filters on both tanks. Corey's vids always talking about running air stones for years got me back into running air stones. I was always using undergravel filters til about 10 years ago when I got a canister filter and started phasing out air. The filters on all my tanks are needing impellers or replacement so I'm converting to all air and sponges. 


Best pic I could find. I never took a whole lot of pics of this tank. September/2020 which the following pic. 


Fast forward to March 12, 2023 and we have the pic below. Not a pretty sight. Although I am impressed with the Java moss. LFS put a small piece in a bag for shrimp to hold on to. Shrimp ended up not making it but I got the moss to grow. I pushed it out of the way in the pic but I have an entire bottom of a 3 foot tank worth of Java moss. Going to try and trade off the majority of the moss and incorporate some into the redo of the tank. I didn't completely remove the HOB but I turned it off and took out the intake. I'm leaving it attached to the tank. I'll just be using it a couple times a month for a few hours to polish off the water.  I added one of my DIY sponge filters. When it gets established, I'm going to replace the left side sponge because it's huge and takes up too much space. The tetra ap150 puts out a ton of air. I added just an air stone in the middle. The right side has a knock off of the ziss no clog I found on amazon. Not near as nice as the ziss looks but it works great and now I know I can order a bunch of the ziss ones. Impulse buy and no shipping which is why I grabbed them. The knock off isn't weighted nor does it come with any extra discs. Has to be hidden considering it's bright blue. 


3/23/23 I started switching out the substrate. Never really liked the pea gravel, it was just cheap and before I started using Safe T Sorb in all my tanks. Way back in the 90's I would use a blasting sand with my oscars. Can't remember the name but there's a good chance I used the same Cemex stuff Corey uses. heard that name in a vid and googling it , looked darn near identical to what I used to use. I've always wanted to use that stuff again in a tank. Couldn't find it locally and the freight made a 50lb bag like 150 bucks with shipping. I have a cemex concrete plant locally to me and I couldn't get them to answer an email or call me back if they could get me a bag. I found a local abrasive place that sells to the public. I paid 5 bucks for 100 lbs of a course blasting sand called "Alabama Sand". They do coal slag blasting media as well (like black beauty) so there's some bits of that mixed in. Looks almost identical to Caribsea Carolina Creek. pic for comparison. Looks nice in the tank. Wish the brown and tans would show through better. Pretty white looking. But it's grown on me and the upside down cat seems to like rooting in it. I'm sure it will darken up some as it ages in the tank. I only pulled out half the original substrate to avoid a crash in the cycle. About 10-14 days, I'll pull out the rest. I may incorporate some of the pea gravel back in down the line or hunt down to more interesting looking stone.

Carolina Creek from Caribsea


Alabama Sand


In the Tank20230325_012122.jpg.e436f9ac47a6a1124d3418b9837bfef6.jpg

The above pic is with my 4ft hydrofarm t5ho light I've had for like 10 years and was on a 55g that was my first serious dive into planted tanks. Brought it with me when I moved from Denver. Wanted to see with a different color temp. Dawned on me to turn on the color enhancing bulb also. Looks pretty nice with the 2 bulbs. Pic below is with the 2 bulbs. Might be on the lookout for an led in the red spectrum but I think I might be taking a page from Reefing. Have a hybrid t5/led setup with the color bulb and a couple 6500k led strip lights in a simple canopy. I came across a thread on plantedtank (I think) where someone made reflectors using aluminum roof flashing that comes in a roll from lowes/hd. I love DIY so I'm going that route. Works out on this tank then I'm going to adapt it to at least a couple of the my other tanks as this approach will be about 10 bucks per fixture.20230325_012108.jpg.af0aa9a9ee3651b321a7c74a86fdc459.jpg


The above pic is the newest photo. I've divided up that java fern. It was mostly one clump that grew across the substrate. There was one little Java Fern Trident plant mixed in with it but isn't visible in the photo. Moss is filthy from pulling out the old substrate. Water change tomorrow and i'll try to vac it. 

How it's going to look for the next couple weeks. I want to get it to where I'm getting plants to grow decent again before I think about really any sort of scaping. 

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On 3/26/2023 at 10:25 AM, TheSwissAquarist said:

Nice tanks! It’s an interesting idea to have two different kinds of surface substrates…maybe overlapping one over the other would give it an even more natural look?

I quite like the look of 2 substrates together after staring at it for a few days now. I'm still  not a fan of this pea gravel. it's the vigaro from home depot if I remember.  I have about 3 or 4 non chain landscape/garden stores around me. I'm going to hit up in the next week and see what I can find for potentially another type of fine gravel and or some stone to put in there. Time being I'm still going to switch  out the whole substrate and then go from there. I can always take some out. 

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This the other tank in the living room. 10g. Old incandecent hood using cfl lights. Safe T Sorb substrate. Started out with an Aqueon HOB filter with an intake sponge as well as a second sponge filter running off of air. Same air pump as the 45g. Sat pretty much empty for a while. This one (as well as my other 10 I'll be posting about ) have always had black beard algae problems that creeped up. This one got it the worst Below pic Is  one of it's better days.


The next pic below is what it looks like now. I am going to work on it but there's a good chance It's going to get switched out for the 20g tall in my bedroom and use this 10 for more propogating plants. Might start trying to sell/trade off some of my extras to fund the hobby as I hate having toss out plant cuttings.


Probably won't end up a very interesting tank. No pic unfortunately of what it looked like when I started hacking out a lot of the BBA but it was pretty bad. i'd clean it up or cut it out and it would keep coming back. Since hacking it back a couple weeks ago, I've had a diatom bloom. It's had some ramhorns in it the whole time. I added 5 or 6 more ramshorns from another tank to start combating the diatoms. Left sponge filter was removed and allowed to dry out to kill the BBA. Been back in for 2 weeks. My other knock off Ziss aiar stone has been running on the right side for a while.  The CFL bulbs had become quite old and were looking a little dim. I had a couple household 5000k led light bulbs I switched out in the. Did brighten it up. Have to see how it goes. Bulbs didn't quite fit so had to find a longer screw to get the plastic cover over the bulbs. Added a few more cuttings of blue hygro and a stem of wisteria to start getting some more plant life in there. The bronze crypts have been in there forever and have never done anything other than exist instead of growing. Stuck a couple root tabs under them and still haven't done anything in like 3 weeks now.

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