Neglected tank

Discussion in 'The Planted Tank' started by PghSteeler, Apr 15, 2012.

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  1. PghSteeler

    PghSteeler Tassled File Fish

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    So as many of you may now i recently set up my first SW aquarium. However, I have done FW for awhile and a few years ago went planted.

    Well during the past year I got married, moved, and set up the SW tank. The FW tank I have had for 4+ years stayed at my old place and because of this maintence has been less then ideal to say the least. It is overstocked and the fish grew rather large, the plants grow like weeds to the point that it was a shaded jungle of willow hydro and java moss covering everything, and nitrates through the roof. The penguin 350 filter has become a nitrate factory and no matter how well I clean it the propeller has become very loud and the flow very low compared to its original state. and my old t5 ho light is partially broken (1 of the 2 lights does not turn on at this time zoomed is a bulky cheaply made fixture but while working the plants loved it!)

    I built a stand that I have yet to stain so I can move it to my new residence and decided to try and revive the tank before it crashes. Everything looked fine and nothing has died in quite awhile but I felt the tank needed a lot of TLC. I did a 90% WC ( removing all fish and plants first so I could reacclimate everyone in a 5 gal pale to avoid any shock issue (everyone survived to my surprise!!) and got rid of most of the moss and cut back a lot of hygro and anubias that had excessive algae grown on the leaves.

    I plan on buying a new light fixture with bulbs since the old one is partially broken and the bulbs 2+ years old (has lead to soem GSA issue the past few months) and a new filter to replace the penguin 350. Was thinking of addign a small powerhead to help with flow but am undecided on if this would be a good or bad thing. When I do move the tank in a couple months I will repalce the substrate entirely.

    Lesson learned, never let life get in the way of your tank maintenece because you will spend 10X the time trying to restore their beauty and health then if you jsut took care of it in the first place!
     
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  3. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Definitely post pics when the project is done.

    A small powerhead will not hurt and will probably help. I would go with a canister filter for the tank. They have more capacity, can be hidden in the stand and generally have better flow rates although they are more expensive.
     
  4. PghSteeler

    PghSteeler Tassled File Fish

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    You know I really wanted a canister and was abotu to order one before I set up my SW tank. Then when looking around for filter for the SW I saw the bad rep the canisters have and decided agaisnt one for my FW tank. I put a Fluval C4 HOB on my SW tank and love the thing, was thinking about ordering another for my FW or trying an aquaclear. Also lighting wisw I was thinking about going with the Aquaticlife linkable FW fixture and if I like it ordering a second on for the SW tank. Powerhead was thinkign a Koralia 425 would be perfect
     
  5. PghSteeler

    PghSteeler Tassled File Fish

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    I forgot to mention, this was originaly a cichlid tank so the pH was around an 8 and t he kH was 20+. THis always made it hard to select plants but I have let to pH drop to 7.4-7.6 and the kH is at 5 and the plants grow much better! I have Willow hygro, anubia barteri, anubias coffeefoila, anubia nana petite, crinkled onion, tropica java fern, windolov javafern, and phillipine java fern. Like I said, it was a jungle for a 26gallon that needed weeded! I will post some pics once I am not embarassed by the current condition of the aquarium! lol My windolov java fern has been the best grower in the tank and has turned into a rather large bush of a plant in itself.
     
  6. Ford101

    Ford101 Fire Shrimp

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    I recently added a weak powerhead to my planted, it certainly does help as i have noticed overall healthier looking plants. I do believe that some plants actually hate flow so just be sure yours aren't candidates of that. I think it helps to move around fresh co2 and nutrients for the plants to gather, so it cant hurt really.
     
  7. PghSteeler

    PghSteeler Tassled File Fish

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    Yea that is the one thing I was afaid of. I do however think that anubias and java prefer high flow areas to help keep algae off their leaves and since they often live in rivers and flood plains but have to doublecheck that.
     
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  9. ZC42

    ZC42 Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    Wait how can the the nitrates are through the roof if there a ton of plants in the tank? I thought they sucked up nitrates :)
     
  10. PghSteeler

    PghSteeler Tassled File Fish

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    Well I did use an old kit, but even if it was inaccurate it is possible you just need to have mroe waste than a plant can handle. Think of puttign a small piece of macro in a 55gal and calling it a fuge, will it work, prob not lol
     
  11. PghSteeler

    PghSteeler Tassled File Fish

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    Been a couple weeks, I have done a few more WC, bought and installed a new light fixture, filter, and even heater since it was a few years old. Nitrates still go high within a few days of a WC but at least they are not off the charts anymore. I think I need to replace the substrate as well and get rid of some of the monstersized fish in the tank.
     
  12. PghSteeler

    PghSteeler Tassled File Fish

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    Update time. I found some pictures of inhabits from awhile ago along with some shots from when I was actually taking care of it. Not to much more to update, The new Fluval HOB filter works great did not experience any minicycles when switching filters. Plants happy with the new light switched out a bulb so its not the 6000k and a 10k bulb(I didnt like the look of the pink roseate). Still doing waterchanges to try and keep nitrates under control but I feel like it is an endless battle and until I unload some of the fish and change out the substrate will be a constant battle. I do have a new stand built that I am ready to stain, when I move the tank I think I am going to replace the whole substrate and add a 3D intank backround.

    This was one of my favorite guys and added right after the tank cycled as a 1/2inch juvie. Now around 3+inches
    [​IMG]
    Another group of first additions. Of the original 14 I have 4 males left they are 5+ years old at this point. Did breed them awhile ago with some success, the fry reminded me of little aliens
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Of the 4 left one has been stuck with his mouth open. Still eats so besides cosmetical issues he does just fine
    [​IMG]