Over the coarse of being on this forum I have read many of y'alls journals and have enjoyed them very much. I thought I would do one of my own since I am redoing my tank. Here is a pic of how the tank did look. 2011-07-06 12.07.10.jpg
That tank had issuse from the beginning. It was a used tank that I picked up years ago. It always had this "film" on the glass that would never come off. I tryed several different things on the it. I original bought the tank to hold firebelly toads. It was setup that way for 5 years. When they finally past I convinced my wife to let me turn it into a fish tank. It first looked like this. 1301514205340.jpg
That was my first attempt at a tank that size and with plants. Many of those plant didn't make it as I didn't have enough lighting for them. The purple Cabomba is one that comes to mind right off hand. It just didn't do good at. Most of the stems would lose the leaves at the bottom. I now know that is a sign of poor lighting for that plant. I eventually pulled out those and some other plants. I collected some wood and took advice for many of you on this forum and ended u with this 2011-07-06 12.07.10.jpg
Well from day one that tank had signs of ammonia in it. I never knew where it came from. It always rode about .25. That tank was like that for 5 months. I couldn't take it so I decided that it I had to do something to figure out where it was coming from. Well I went to Petco the other day and noticed they were having their $1 per gallon sale going on so I picked up a new 55 gallon tank. 2011-09-04 17.25.00.jpg
Not sure where the ammonia was coming form. Thinking it was the substrate as it was really dirty. I knew it was as I could see it under the surface. I just didn't reallize it was that dirty. It had large peices of dead plants in it.
I had thought I had gotten all of those guess not. With that said I decide I was going to use a different substrate altogether as I have heard eco-complete is to rough on some bottom feeders.
Since day one I have always wanted to try using soil in the substrate. I have read several different post on using soil on this forum and some other forums as well. Well I thought since I was starting over I would try doing it. So Sunday I spent most of the day sifting though dirt and cleaning sand off as I am using that as a cap for the soil. 2011-09-04 17.46.07.jpg
The soil consists of some cheap topsoil I bought and some topsoil from my yard. The soil from my yard consists of more clay then dirt so I thought that would be good to mix in. 2011-09-04 17.46.37.jpg
Last night after my daughter went to bed my wife and I started on the tank (this is the only time we really had to do the swap out.).
I took the fish and put them in a tote I had. I put the heater in the tank along with a airstone. I also put some driftwood and a plant in there in hopes it wouldnt be soo stressful for them. I know it may not be ideal but its all I had they could fit in. 2011-09-05 00.01.12.jpg
all the plants I had in there along with some of the driftwood. 2011-09-05 00.01.21.jpg
That leave the tank looking something like this 2011-09-05 00.00.59.jpg
very dirty and you can see that film I was taking about earlier. It is a little worse now and some of it will come off but I have never been able to get it all off.
Now that the tank is empty we moved that tank to the floor and I put the new tank up there on the stand and begin to put the substrate in it as my wife is digging though the old tank for MTS lol
With the substrate I made it layers so to speak. There is 5 total.
1st is all soil
2nd 25% sand, 75% soil
4 75% sand 25% soil
5 all sand 2011-09-05 00.42.37.jpg
thats a bad pic! LoL I could see sthe layers but it didn't show up in the pic.
From there I put some driftwood in there filled it up very slowly LoL added some plants and finally the fish. Now this was very late at night when I finally got most of this done. Here is a pic of what it looks like for the time being. 2011-09-05 11.19.35.jpg
This going to change as I was tired last night. I noticed something I am going to change. I am going to take the sword on the right and move it probably to another tank. then I am going to take anubias and put in that corner so it will be shaded by the vals. After that I am going to move some of the smaller swords around and I don't know from there. I am going to out today and look for some sort of floating plant. I think I have see some water sprite so I might try to get that today. If not then I will order it or maybe pennywort instead or prehaps both.
Looking at it now there is BIG difference but hopefully it will do better this time around.
Thanks for looking at this thread and looking forward to any and all comments and advice.