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Discussion Starter #1
Well I am moving up from my 20g to a 75g as an early Christmas present! Link to 20g:
http://www.aquariumforum.com/f15/20g-planted-tank-1080.html

However, I ran into several early problems with my substrate, but I am back on track again. I got 6 bags of fluorite which I rinsed once and layed out into the tank. I layed out the drift wood and started filling the tank slowly. It got really cloudy and stayed that way for over 4 days. During that time 2 pieces of wood refused to sink. I tried Clarity which just made it more cloudy...there was just too much clay powder for it to handle. My only option was to completely empty the tank and start over!

I removed all the water and put the substrate into smaller buckets that I rinsed and dumped about 8-10 times until it was no longer cloudy. I ended up having to boil the wood for about 6hrs and then left them overnight in a full bath tub until they started to sink.

I then re-added the clean fluorite to the tank, filled it about a quarter of the way to check for cloudyness. Once it passed I added acid/akaline buffers (raise kH), prime, and began a DiY CO2 bottle. I then began transplanting some of the foreground plants like the dwarf grass and dwarf baby tears. I adde more water and added the background plants like the onion plant, amazon sword and ludwigia. These were rooted soo deep that they turned my 20g into a muddy mess like my 75g, but the Magnum filter was strong enough to clear that out in a few hours...poor fish!

I will start adding pics to this thread soon but for now here is one of the original 75g mess:
 

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u could have just used the gravel from the 20 gal...your tank might need to recycle now...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
u could have just used the gravel from the 20 gal...your tank might need to recycle now...
My new tank is using Fluorite as a substrate, my old tank had regular gravel with cat litter and peat on the bottom. The CO2 is at a stable 16-20ppm where I like it, the ammonia and nitrates went from 0.25 and 0.1 to zero in 2 days...probably due to the plants, a few large rocks transplanted, and moving my Magnum filter over to help with polishing. That little Magnum seems stronger than my new Fluval 305!

Here is a picture of the repeated setup prior to adding water again:


I am now at the stage, where the driftwood is barely staying in place. They are sunk but not quite stable....and they are growing all kinds of slime. I know that is normal for some, but the slime seems a bit excessive, so I am not sure if it was due to all the clay nutrients floating around or from the boiling. Should I take it out and rinse it off every couple of days or just let it take care of itself? I am also using a rubber scraper to clean the glass every couple days until all the remaining cloudiness is cleared up. More pictures to come.
 

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fishboydanny
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looks like it's going to look great! what kinds of fish will you put in there? angelfish would look cool in there; marble, gold, black.......
 

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after a while cardinal tets would look amazing in that tank. u r right about super quick cycling. we used gravel from an established 15 gal freshwater in our 45 gal and we put fish in within less than 12 hours! maybe because there was also a few plants the cycle sped up a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here is another picture I took of the planting. I filled the tank 1/4 full then planted the foreground smaller plants like dwarf baby tears, and micro swords. Then I filled it the rest of the way. As you can see, it is still a bit cloudy, but no where close to what it was before!

 

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looking good!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
the only thing i would say is try to start with more plants in the begining
You mean like this? ;) That was just the first step. I was transferring all the plants from my 20g tank to this one. Here is the finished tank with the drifwoods in place.

Right side:


Left side:


The Magnum got moved from the 20g tank to help clean the 75g for a bit.
 

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fishboydanny
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Omg :eek::eek::eek: that looks amazing! keep us updated!!!!!!
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Slowly adding to the tank. I have 14 cardinal tetras, 5 golden white clouds, 2 otos, 2 peacock gudgeons, 1 angel fish, 2 golden panchax killifish, 1 german ram and some shrimp. I found the killifish at a local petstore that had them listed as "rummy nose tetras"....lol

Angelfish:


Golden Wonder Killifish


German Ram:
 

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the angel has a pattern that resembles a moorish idol...cool. german rams r extremely delicate. they should be in a tank that has been around 4 a while, not a new one like yours...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
the angel has a pattern that resembles a moorish idol...cool. german rams r extremely delicate. they should be in a tank that has been around 4 a while, not a new one like yours...
Thanks for the input. The ram is doing great though. It is swimming all over and gets chased by the angel fish ocassionally but has plenty of hiding space. It eats well...actually I think it is eating all my red cherry shrimp, so I have started feeding it some small bits of algae wafers, which it picks at.

I have only had one fish die since the tank has been up and the fish died from injuries it substained from the pet store. The girl at the pet store was violently chasing one of the emperor tetras around the tank and took forever to net it. It looked ok in the bag, but once I got it home and in my tank it had some off colors throughout its body (bruising/missing scales). It died 2 days later.

My ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all undetectible. I am now at the point where I might actually have to add nitrate to my tank because my fish don't produce enough for my plants.:fish-gift:
 

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wow i can see some cardinal tets, but what are those reddish fish in the back? i'm glad to hear your ram is still alive.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
wow i can see some cardinal tets, but what are those reddish fish in the back? i'm glad to hear your ram is still alive.
Those are golden white clouds. I have never seen a good picture of them on the net. They always look light yellow in pictures, when in fact they are a deep orange with red, white, and black on their fins and some black speckles on their belly. They are beautiful in schools and stay near the top 1/3 of the tank most of the time.
 

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fishboydanny
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i've never seen them bright red.... interesting.... i've had them before and they were golden, just like their name describes them.
 
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