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Old 11-30-2011, 10:00 PM   #1 
EvilVOG
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Location: Detroit, Mi
20 Gallon NPT + homemade stand

First off many thanks go to Oldfishlady who helped me with advice to make this tank happen.

Started off as a freebie tank with probably the worst lime scaling anyone's ever seen, and a week of scraping and vinegar, CLR, soft scrub and even metal polish and i still couldn't get it all.

Then there was Sunday, when i got bored and decided to use my scrap wood to make an all-inclusive stand. Attached a 2 bulb light fixture and hard-wired it to a switch.

first, the Tank:

Plants-
Swords:
Echinodorus Amazonicus
Echinodorus green (green ozelot)
Echinodorus Barthii (red melon)
Wisteria:
2 bunches
Other:
Microsorium pteropus (Java fern)
Anubias nana
Cryptocoryne Wendii
Alternanthera reinekii
Horwart
Floating:
Duckweed
Driftwood

Lighting: 2x 6500k

And the stand:






My CT male is in the 3 gallon Eclipse on top, Girls are in the Middle, and the breeding tank on the bottom (just holding plants atm)

now my girls need a neighbor or 2... any suggestions? Besides snails/shrimp?
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:24 AM   #2 
Kytkattin
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How nice! I can't wait to see it again once the plants have established themselves!
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:44 AM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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Nice job....it looks great.....and you built that stand.....wow...great job.....

Nearly all my tanks I got either free or for pennies on the dollar...they take a bit of elbow grease...but worth it in the long run.....

A little time and that 20gal is going to look awesome as it fill in/grows.....good job.....
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:57 AM   #4 
Brian10962001
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Good work! One of the tricks I've used in the past for really crusted up tanks is to fill them with water and give it some time, then scrape the glass with a razor, works wonders I have to ask, on these NPTs, what do you do about stirring the sand? Do the roots of the plants keep gas from getting trapped?
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:54 AM   #5 
EvilVOG
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sand stays down for the most part, it's the dirt that gets above that i had to siphon out, but mostly if you're careful putting the water in it's not a problem
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:08 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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With soil based tank you can get anaerobic spot-especially during the first couple of months....but you can prevent this by either adding trumpet snail that will burrow into the soil pulling oxygen down or you can manually do it by poking the soil/sand layer with something like a chopstick until the stem plants start to send roots with oxygen down into the soil layer......

Usually by the second month you will be safe-provided that you have enough stem plants...

You know your soil has went anaerobic by the smell..rotten egg smell, poor plant growth and/or roots/stem of plants rotting.....you may or may not see the soil/sand turning black..but that doesn't always mean it will be problematic....

Its normal to see the soil/sand layer "burp" or to see it bubble...this isn't always a bad sign either...often it is harmless gas.....
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:18 PM   #7 
EvilVOG
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Thanks again for all your help. If i had this to do over i would have waited another day or two before putting my fish in. My two girls didn't survive the night. Tested the water and it was nominal across the board so idk what happened.

Still need ideas of what to put in here besides snails and shrimp.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:19 AM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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Wow...sorry for your loss....I place my livestock...snail, shrimp and fish all the same day of setup and have never lost any.....did you add enough dechlorinator......I am sure you did....but sometimes with all the back to back water changes it can be easily forgotten.....
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:33 AM   #9 
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Oldfishlady, I wish we had a rep system here because I would give you a plus right now! I ordered from Sweet aquatics last night, what a source! That place is great, and it's only 70 miles from my home! I looked up a bunch of reviews and everyone has good things to say about them. OH and this morning I looked in my 10 gallon and noticed the Java Fern is about to produce some youngsters! They're sprouting on the ends of one of the longest leaves

EvilVog, I'm sorry to hear the fish didn't survive. Any clue what might have happened? Maybe a PH spike, or big temp swing? I've heard that planted tanks can really bounce PH up and that's one of the main reasons you should add co2 (or Excel).
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:25 PM   #10 
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Yeah i dechlorinated all the water that went in, even for the initial changes. Had the temp to 80 before the fish went in. Maybe they were a little sick already. Their temp. holding tank was a little overdue for a water change, plus 1/2 the plants were in with them and i took them out probably stressed them.

Maybe there's not enough oxygen? i put my giant in there and she won't hardly leave the bio-wheel.
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