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Old 01-22-2007, 03:43 PM   #1
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***Diary of the 25 Gallon***

Hello all,

I thought that i'd create a diary of my tank for those who are interested, to help or assist to those who are setting up a tank and to keep a 'log' if you like that i can refer back to. Also i have been posting quite a few questions recently all regarding this tank, so this should keep it more organised. Before i start i'd like to thank the people that have helped me so far.

I thought i'd start with a summary of what i have done so far. (I wouldn't blame you for not reading all of it!)

How i aquried the tank...
I came accross an old 'Europa' tank during the autumn, it was sitting in someones greenhouse and had been for many years. I was estimating it to be a 30 gallon but it looked bigger than my other tank so i wasnt too bothered.
Anyway, i finally got hold of the owner and she was more than happy for me to take it off her hands.

Cleaning The Tank...
When i took it home i measured it and it worked out to be a 20 gallon long, (36" x 12" x 15") then i rinsed it out before filling it and leaving it outside overnight to check for any leaks.
By Morning there seemed to be no leaks so i then emptyed the tank and started scrubbing with washing up liquid and then bleach. Rinse after rinse and scrub after scrub i then filled the tank again to double check for leaks, meanwhile i was thinking about what exactly to do with it. After rinsing the tank out numerous times i was confident that any bleach or detergent residue had been eliminated and the tank was safe to house fish.

The Ryukin...
The tank then became a temporary home for a ryukin who outgrew the biorb and needed a bigger home. We couldn't offer him a larger home as i wanted to use the tank for something else so i asked my LFS if they would have him and they seemed happy to take him. Sadly i now think that he has passed away as i saw some fin rot on him when i visted the LFS a couple of weeks later. The assistant said "He's out the back being treated" but he hasn't been brought back into the shop so one can only assume.

Heavily Planted Route...
So, i had came to the conclusion that i wanted to try and create a healthy, heavily planted tank. I had always admired these tanks and never really thought about creating one as they seemed beyond me, i wasn't too confident about trying one either.
I then thought 'why not' and started to read up on certain things and research products and equipment needed.

Setting up the tank...
I had ordered a Fluval 205 Filter, 2 bags of Eco Complete, Fluval 100W Heater and a Current USA Satelitte 96W CF Light Fixture. I also attached a black background and bought some bogwood.
I then replaced some of the sealant as it looked dirty and i didn't really trust it, this procedure was a bit messy but i'm glad i done it.

I then put the Eco in and also made my first mistake by adding ammonia to cycle the tank with the light on for 8 hours a day and about 10 Elodea Densa in the tank. I did add some seeded material from my established tank and ran an old filter in my established tank before putting it in the new one. I inevitably encountered algae! After going over the tank with an algae scraper and algae magnet i then stirred up the substrate and syphoned out as much algae as i could. After encountering algae once i then came accross it again! This time i done what i did before but used a toothbrush on the hard to get areas, heater, filter and ther 'in tank' equipment! (I reccomend one!)
Thanks to some help on here i soon found out that i shouldn't be adding ammonia and needed to get the CO2 going and plant up the tank. (Still found out too late though! Research is vital!)

Buying Plants & Ferts...
Last week i bought some Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Sulphate, Flourish, Hemianthus Callitrichoides and Bacopa Caroliniana. I had to go for a driving lesson within minutes after opening the order up so i had a brief check before going on the lesson. I decided to plant up the tank the next day as it made more sense. So the next day i then began planting the HC, i was surprised that it only took me an hour and a half and that included planting the Bacopa's aswell.

First Tankmates!
I Yesterday I performed my weekly 50% water change and then took a trip to the LFS. I didnt intend on buying anything really but my brother wanted a male GBR so i just went along with him.
I saw some Amano or (Cardina Japonica) shrimp and saw that they go over the substrate thoroughly to eat. These werent labelled correctly but i was 90% sure of what they were and what they eat, i also knew that i had to adopt 'silent stocking' and stock with fish or inverts very slowly. I aquired 2 of these little shrimp before coming to the conclusion that they were perfect for the tank as they eat algae and are very small, also i would like to add shrimp first so they have an advantage over any potential 'predators' like bolivian rams.

I also added my first dosage of ferts in 1/8 tsp Potassium Nitrate and 1/32 tsp of Potassium Sulphate.

Today...
After work i turned my light on and saw the shrimp whizzing around, then i added 1/3 capfull of Flourish.

I hope to keep this post updated and add some pictures to it aswell. I do have some i want to upload now but i have "reached my upload limit of 2MB" Any idea of how i can upload some pictures?

Thanks for reading, or more likely skim reading.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dsc09937_645.jpg (48.1 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg dsc09998_153.jpg (66.4 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg dsc09947_194.jpg (60.8 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg dsc00023_997.jpg (57.5 KB, 45 views)

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Old 01-22-2007, 04:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Thanks for reading, or more likely skim reading.
I'll have you know I never skim and shame on those who do.

Great thread and I'll be awaiting the pics.

*Edit - Forget the pic thing. Go to your profile at the bottom of your first post. You will see on the bottom right an "upload manager". Click there and all your pic attachments will be displayed. You can delete those that are no longer relevant (aka "Old").
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:34 PM   #3
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A 20 gal long, don't they measure 30x12x12, my 30 gal measures 36x12x16, just a thought.

alright, were are the pics?????
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:51 PM   #4
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I'm pretty sure i gave the correct measurements, they are from memory though so might be a bit out. It's a 3 footer though so its definately 36" long.

My pictures are too big, i've re-sized them on imageshack but how do i post a picture of them on here?

TIA
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:57 PM   #5
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I have a 30 long and it sounds like what you have. I am looking forward to the pictures and the further updates on your tank.
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:55 PM   #6
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i'll measure the tank and double check what it works out to be but im sure it's a 20gal long.

I'll try and post some pictures of the tank tommorow and hopefully some of my shrimp but if not then i'll have some of the tank to post. How do you re-size a picture on imageshack then post it on here?
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:38 PM   #7
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I measured my tank and it works out to be... 14" tall, 12" back to front and 36" long. So i was a little off with my estimating.

Also i have a question on ferts.
How do dose Potassium Sulphate? Do you need to grind it up first?
When i dosed some i put the measurement in a cup of tank water and crushed it up with a spoon and then poured it in.
I'm lost!
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
When i dosed some i put the measurement in a cup of tank water and crushed it up with a spoon and then poured it in.
Thats how I do it.

So you have a 25 gallon.
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:35 PM   #9
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Surely if you crushed all of it up then it would be easier to dose?

It's a 26 U.S gallon and a 21.8 UK gallon according to this... http://www.tropicalfishcentre.co.uk/Calc.htm
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Old 01-24-2007, 04:17 PM   #10
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I was watching my shrimp today and after reading that amano's eat all types of algae i must admit i have never seen them eat any algae.
When i was looking at them they were picking up bits of the eco and 'cleaning it' then putting it back down.
Sometimes they would leap onto the elodea and go over the leaves but then i saw one walk right into a piece of algae and it ignored it. Its not like the algae wasn't seen or anything as it walked right into it straight on.

I think i'll have to add some oto's aswell as there are diatoms and various types of algae.

Also my CO2 is working but ive noticed that i need to shake the bottle up to get some CO2 in the tank. I emptied the diffuser and then went away for a couple of hours, when i came back there were no bubbles in the diffuser.
It must be the distance the CO2 has to travel or something to do with the tubing. So annoying though!
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Old 01-24-2007, 05:50 PM   #11
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Shaking one of the generator bottles for DIY CO2 is a very bad idea. It can lead to the mix bubbling it's way into your tank. Not a mess you want to deal with.

Try to shorten up the length of tubing between the tank and the bottles as much as possible. You may need to relocate the bottles to get a better position for them. If you can put them directly behind the tank that would be ideal. Something else that can affect CO2 production is the room temperature. If the room is too cool you may need to find a way to warm the bottles up. Putting them in a bucket of water with a heater is supposed to be a good solution. I've also heard of people place a reptile heating pad under the bottles or placing the bottles on top of the light fixture.

The Amanos won't eat all types of algae (I don't know off hand which kinds they prefer) and many have reported that they prefer flake food to algae. Cutting back on feedin the tank should help some. Of course just 2 of these shrimp in a 25 gallon isn't likely to put much of a dent in the algae. Increasing their numbers would be the biggest help.
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Old 01-25-2007, 09:07 AM   #12
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Ooooooooh, do I see an acrylic tank?

Jealousy.

Jealousy.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 01-25-2007, 11:22 AM   #13
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No Travis. It's glass.
I've since spun the tank around aswell so that black Europa logo is on the otherside.
I also got that black sticker off which was the remains of the thermometer which i peeled off.

Thanks for that Purrbox. Yeah there's no doubt its a dodgy procedure but the mixture is at a safe level and i carefully shake it. I read about that happening and i'm glad i did!

If you look at the 2nd pic you can firstly see the CO2 bottles. Then if you look at the third pic you can see the journey the CO2 has to go on to get in the tank. Where the bucket is on the third pic is where the bottles sit, the CO2 has to go behind the tank and then over the top to get in. There is some slack though and i could shorten and make the journey easier.
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:36 PM   #14
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Ooooh, that's even better. A rimless glass tank. Now I'm even more jealous dang it!
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:46 PM   #15
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CO2 is working just fine now.
My only problem is the diffuser staying in place although i think i might've sorted that aswell now.

I do have a problem with my next plan of action though...
The thing i need to do next is design the hardscape and generally plant up the tank but i dont have a full-time job yet so i dont have a stable amount of money behind me.
I think the best quality to have when doing something like this is patience, so if i wait until i get a job then i should have enough money behind me to carry this through the best i can.
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:55 PM   #16
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Would you like pounds Sterling or Euros? :P
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:02 PM   #17
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Pounds Sterling Please!
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Old 01-27-2007, 12:48 PM   #18
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I dosed KNO3 and KS04 today. I'm still not keen on the KS04 i dont like having to crush it up before dosing I think i do a fairly good job though. I just get 2 spoons, put the right amount on one spoon then press down on the fert with the other spoon and in doing so crush it. Does anyone else have any better ways of dosing KS04?
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