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"Gee, Honey, it's BIG": My 75 gallon freshwater journey

This is a discussion on "Gee, Honey, it's BIG": My 75 gallon freshwater journey within the Freshwater Journals forums, part of the Aquarium Photography category; --> Thanks, Chesherca! And thanks for checking in on my tank. I love your daughter's betta tank BTW; I agree, kitsch and bettas just work ...

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"Gee, Honey, it's BIG": My 75 gallon freshwater journey
Old 02-22-2013, 04:30 PM   #11
 
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Thanks, Chesherca! And thanks for checking in on my tank. I love your daughter's betta tank BTW; I agree, kitsch and bettas just work together somehow.

I hope to find the time to update this thread soon; harder now that the semester is under way.

I love the Crypt spiralis; I now have three in there and may add more if the Vallisneria continues to shrink. I am so eager for something to grow up to the surface and start to trail along, as the top of the tank looks bare and I want to cut the light a bit.

Super glad I did not get a deeper tank!
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:10 PM   #12
 
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I hope your Vals work out for you, I never really had much luck with them. They and my soft water didn't seem to get along, though they were kind of THERE for quite some time, lol. My C.Spiralis doesn't trail. . . it's kind of. . . wooshy instead. You can see it all over my 55g tank to understand what I mean. You might want to look into getting some Water Sprite or Frogbit and letting it float if the Vals don't take off. The fish will LOVE the shade and reward you for it, promise! And I wouldn't worry about buying more crypts - if they like your tank, they'll spread. I started with 3 pieces, too! Just be sure to give them a root tab, and leave them alone. It took mine about 3 months or so to really get going again after the move, even though they didn't melt. . . :) You'll get your jungle sooner or later!
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:29 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesherca View Post
. You might want to look into getting some Water Sprite or Frogbit and letting it float if the Vals don't take off.
Yes; I just did get some water sprite in fact but (and here's a dumb question) how do you get it to float properly, with the roots down and the leaves up? Mine is just floating sideways like it got torn out of the substrate. I've thought about hanging a small bead or something off of the bottom to try and make it float the way I want until it reorients. And I may try and reorient my canister outflow like you did because right now anything floating just swirls around the tank and gets stuck on the filter intake. The fish seem to like the current, though, so I don't know. Just got the plant on Thursday.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:54 PM   #14
 
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Could be right about it being grown in the substrate! WaterSprite can be grown either way - rooted or floating. But it needs bright lighting, so I can't really grow the stuff unless I float it close to the tank lights. It's probably going to go through a bit of an acclimatisation period before it really starts growing again - ESPECIALLY if it was grown at the bottom of the tank - the old leaves will likely die off and new ones will grow that are better suited to floating. It'll fix itself eventually! As long as the roots are IN the water, and the water is somewhat calm - just leave it alone. Water Sprite is amazing in that new bits of plant can grow from leaves that you would have pulled out as dead! It's a pretty cool process to see, but very difficult to be patient!

Warning about that filter flow - floating plants don't like it. I lost a lot of my WS while I was trying to figure out the ideal flow on my filters - and before that when I had a HOB. You have some of the larger types of Tetra, like the Black Skirts - I'm not sure about them, but I *think* most of the smaller Tetra will prefer a slower water flow - it's just the kind of water they're built for. Double check me on this, but it might be something worth looking into.

You could also try building a plant coral to keep the WS from blowing around too much and damaging itself while keeping the output higher. I have a piece of tubing strung between two suction cups to keep the duckweed in place in my 10g tanks, lol. It's crude, but it works :) Do a forum search, member DKRST recently posted up pictures for me on his 'over engineered' floater corral - it's really NICE - not ghetto like mine, and keeps the floaters relatively still on one side of the tank.

Last edited by Chesh; 02-22-2013 at 11:01 PM..
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:32 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesherca View Post
Could be right about it being grown in the substrate! ...It's probably going to go through a bit of an acclimatisation period before it really starts growing again - ESPECIALLY if it was grown at the bottom of the tank - the old leaves will likely die off and new ones will grow that are better suited to floating. It'll fix itself eventually!

Warning about that filter flow - floating plants don't like it. I lost a lot of my WS while I was trying to figure out the ideal flow on my filters - and before that when I had a HOB.
Aha, it must have been grown in the substrate then. I may well adjust the outflow on the canister to have it pointing at the wall...funny, I did that at first because I did not have the tank completely filled yet and I could not stand the sound of the water falling (so noisy). As long as you have had no issues with oxygenation I will try it. I don't like the current myself, not sure about the fish! I think they can handle "slow moving streams," whatever rate that is. So thanks again for the advice.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:22 AM   #16
 
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Just keep an eye on things, you'll know if they're having oxygen issues. Only suggest that you do wait until the medication has been cleared from the tank before making any dramatic changes ;) So far, I'm really loving the gentle flow, and my fish seem to be also. *crosses fingers* that it stays that way!
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:52 PM   #17
 
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What's growing in the 75 gallon?

Let me start with the good:
Java fern: this did not impress me much at first, but now that the roots are starting to grow and new leaves are coming out of the rhizomes I am liking it more. Plus there are little plantlets all over the original leaves (which were what did not impress me...too big and pointy), three of which I have already detached and tied to the Roman ruins in the betta tank.
Crypt spiralis: LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! It is tall, wavy, kind of curly, and easy to keep in the substrate. And it is growing happily.
Amazon sword plants, two varieties: The taller one is growing new leaves and I am pruning away the older ones as they get brown. I'll be curious to see if it ever grows any taller. The smaller one is holding its own, considering I've moved it three times since planting. I have a rock on top of it to keep it in the substrate, and it has a runner with little baby sword plants growing so in time I should have more of them, although I'm not sure where I'll PUT them!
Bacopa caroliniana: I love these, too. I planted them too far apart I suppose but they are growing taller, have not shed all their lower leaves, and stay in the substrate.
Now the bad:
My beloved Cabomba caroliniana, which was growing at the top and looked great until it decided to break off and float around, and each time I put it back in it is smaller. I finally took the shortest bits out and put them in the betta tank and the new 10 gallon QT/hospital/grow out tank.
And the ugly:
Vallisneria: Not a happy plant. I moved it away from the filter uptake tube thinking it did not like something there, but the leaves are snapping off at an alarming rate. I threw away the ickiest looking plants when I replanted, and am waiting to see if anything happens. Neither this nor the Cabomba is supposed to be a tricky plant to grow, so I'm beginning to wonder if they just don't like the neighborhood.

Sooo...in the new grow out etc. tank I have: Hygrophilia corymbosa, Ludwigia repens, and Hydrocotyle leucocephala waiting to grow up a bit before joining the larger tank. And there is Ceratopteris thalictroides (Water Sprite) floating in the 75 gallon. I may plant it in the substrate just to offer more plants to swim in, as the Cabomba have disappointed.

The picture is of the java fern leaf roots.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:53 PM   #18
 
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Awww, sorry about the Vals and the Cabomba :( Getting a tank started with plants is always a process. Some plants will do really well in one tank and fail in another, even though conditions seem the same, and regardless of research done that implies that a particular plant should thrive. . . sometimes they just don't! Stick to what you KNOW likes your tank. Crypts come in a ridiculous array of different types, and even JavaFern has different leaf forms. Sword plants . . .depending on the type that you have, can grow to be very large, so you have quite a broad range of options available for replacing those that didn't do quite so well :)

LOVE the picture of the Java fern with all its daughters. I've always really liked how they reproduce. Very cool. . . and congrats on your little daughter sword plant! :D
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:02 PM   #19
 
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Casualties

Well, yes, there have been a few. The water parameters have remained stable, and the tank never did spike ammonia. I tested every day initially and now I am testing a few times a week and doing 33%-50% water changes weekly.

So in addition to Goldie the gold mystery snail, I have lost two black widow tetras and one serpae. The one black widow was not a surprise, as it was very small and rather oddly shaped. The only time I saw it eat was when I put blood worms in the tank (I use my turkey baster so I can try and feed everyone). The other was a complete surprise and I do not know how to account for it.

The serpae caused me some anxiety, as I have not been quarantining my new shoals. I have been buying from good stores with healthy tanks, and I don't have a suitable quarantine tank available (my husband would NEVER consent to the purchase of another tank!). The worrisome fish began to have what looked like mold growing on its face. Of course I researched ich immediately, but the symptoms did not seem to correlate. The fish was hiding in a corner behind the Amazon sword and not swimming with the others, but did not appear to be in discomfort.

Imagine how hard it is to net one small fish in the midst of all that greenery...with the distortion of the water working against you...and your wife and two kids shouting less-than-helpful advice from the periphery! Yet somehow my husband managed to do it and we placed the fish in the only other tank available, an ancient hexagonal 2 gallon. I wanted to observe it. I don't know if the stress of netting and relocating it contributed to its demise, but the fish died two days later. Fortunately no one else in the tank has shown similar symptoms, although there are two bloodfins who looks rather scraggly compared to the others, and another black widow who is small and whom I don't see eat much. Of course if I lose another black widow I will be down to 5 and will have to get more.

On February 12 and 13 I lost the two scraggly-looking bloodfins. The larger of the two was definitely bowed in shape, and each had a less sleek look to them, like they were ruffled. I can't describe it, but their fins were jagged along the edges and all their scales looked--well, like velvet does when you rub it against the nap.

Then I read on Tropical Fishkeeping Forum that it might be parasitic, and that others had successfully treated fish that were not eating. So I read up and decided to try it. While at the shop buying API General Cure I also bought a 10 gallon tank and decided to set up a QT/hospital/grow-out tank. I told my husband it was temporary, but necessary. I donít think he was too happy with me.

This tank has playground sand as its base. I am using my original filter from the other 10 gallon (the crappy TopFin that came with the tank, but it still runs!) and 6500K daylight CFLs from Lowe's. It is in the family room, as I could not find room in the library where the other two tanks reside.

I did a course of API's General Cure on the main tank and also fed some medicated flake for 5 days. The two small gaunt ones do not eat the flake, but I was concerned that the problem might be crossing species and so I wanted to treat the tank.

What a lot of stress I caused! The black widows are showing no more signs of it, but the bloodfins and the serpaes began schooling and zipping around the tank like they were scared. This behavior appears to be worse when the tank lights are on, as if they have become photosensitive. When the lights are off they are swimming at the surface and are not grouped as tightly. I dropped the photoperiod to 4 hours and had the lights come on during the day, when there is already ambient light in the room. I could not wait to get the carbon to put in the tank!

It has now been two weeks and three 33% water changes since I put the carbon in the filter. The only fish who still seem photosensitive are the bloodfins, but they are getting better.

I had successfully put the two small, gaunt black widows in my QT/hospital tank, but the smaller one died yesterday. He had been behaving stangely, so I was not too surprise. His tankmate however will eat any frozen food, but turns his nose up at flakes or pellets! Ah well. He seems lonely in there so I am considering adding two more black widows at some point. I want to continue to fatten him up and make sure he is OK before adding him back to the main tank, which only has 4 black widows in it. They are not nipping, but they do seem to be chasing each other around more now that their numbers have decreased.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:05 PM   #20
 
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I was just about to send you a PM to see how things were going over there!
I'm sorry you've been having a bit of a rough patch. . . sometimes things that fish have been carrying for ages just get out of hand when they're under stress from being shipped/moved. Stocking, to me, has always been an exciting, but nerve-wracking process. I really hope that things settle down for you soon. . .
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