Back to black

seangee

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Have been considering switching the substrate in the 55G community tank to black for some time (ok years), but have always balked at the effort involved. I already have "black" sand in my nano and recently used the leftover to setup this tank. I am really pleased with the look but the 2 tanks with dark substrate are in my home office where nobody gets to see them and the community tank is on display in the living room.

I will start over the weekend. Here is the before pic
20190919_210230 (2).jpg


I have recently stopped adding tannins to the tank. That goes in cycles, some months I do and some months I don't :). I have also let the frogbit go pretty wild and am loving the look. The fish seem to be enjoying the environment but it does mean that I am not getting enough flow on the surface to clear the oily deposits or food that gets caught up in the roots, so I will be replacing the canister with a HOB. I have been really impressed with the Seachem Tidal I used in the other tank so have bought the bigger version. It also suits my general laziness when it comes to cleaning. Yes I know cleaning a canister is not hard but rinsing sponges is much easier and I only plan to have sponge in it. I also replaced the powerhead I removed with a stronger unit. It only runs 20 minutes every 4 hours during the light period.

My only maintenance at present is a weekly 75% water change and plant thinning. I do the canister quarterly (it has a sponge pre-filter and I rinse the sponges with every w/c). I am going to lose the pre-filter and simply rinse the HOB sponges weekly.

Here is the frogbit from above
20190919_210552.jpg
 

PheonixKingZ

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Have been considering switching the substrate in the 55G community tank to black for some time (ok years), but have always balked at the effort involved. I already have "black" sand in my nano and recently used the leftover to setup this tank. I am really pleased with the look but the 2 tanks with dark substrate are in my home office where nobody gets to see them and the community tank is on display in the living room.

I will start over the weekend. Here is the before picView attachment 94008

I have recently stopped adding tannins to the tank. That goes in cycles, some months I do and some months I don't :). I have also let the frogbit go pretty wild and am loving the look. The fish seem to be enjoying the environment but it does mean that I am not getting enough flow on the surface to clear the oily deposits or food that gets caught up in the roots, so I will be replacing the canister with a HOB. I have been really impressed with the Seachem Tidal I used in the other tank so have bought the bigger version. It also suits my general laziness when it comes to cleaning. Yes I know cleaning a canister is not hard but rinsing sponges is much easier and I only plan to have sponge in it. I also replaced the powerhead I removed with a stronger unit. It only runs 20 minutes every 4 hours during the light period.

My only maintenance at present is a weekly 75% water change and plant thinning. I do the canister quarterly (it has a sponge pre-filter and I rinse the sponges with every w/c). I am going to lose the pre-filter and simply rinse the HOB sponges weekly.

Here is the frogbit from above
View attachment 94009
Now why can’t my plants look like that? :lol:
 

FishGuest5123

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How long did it take for your frogbit to really take off? I’ve had some for about 6 weeks and it’s just now starting group.
 
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seangee

seangee

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Just realised I can start referring to it as my S American tank now thet the sids have moved out :good:
 

PheonixKingZ

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How long did it take for your frogbit to really take off? I’ve had some for about 6 weeks and it’s just now starting group.
Same here. The problem for me, is that my surface water movement is to strong for floating plants. :rolleyes:
 
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seangee

seangee

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How long did it take for your frogbit to really take off? I’ve had some for about 6 weeks and it’s just now starting group.
I put in a single pot of frogbit in June. Since then I have cleared almost all of the salvinia I had. Its only started to grow up out of the tank in the last month or so, but has been spreading like mad before that. The great thing about the large leaf size is thinning it out is a doddle. I have been chucking the surplus into my golfish pond - but have stopped now that the weather has started cooling. Hopefully by next summer I'll have plants big enough that they won't eat everything I put in - but I'm not holding my breath.

If you let it go as far as mine and have plants that need a lot of light in the substrate they will be affected because it does a great job of blocking the light. Im OK with that because all the fish in this tank are blackwater forest fish, so it helps to simulate their natural environment.
 
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seangee

seangee

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Same here. The problem for me, is that my surface water movement is to strong for floating plants. :rolleyes:
I really don't think that's an issue. Mine are similar in the tank with the sids which is very high flow. I do have a lot less in there because they are not blackwater fish - about 50% of the surface is covered.

This tank had a fairly good surface flow courtesy of the 2 air columns in the pic. But once the coverage started getting close to 100% the plants effectively blocked the flow.
 

FishGuest5123

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I put in a single pot of frogbit in June. Since then I have cleared almost all of the salvinia I had. Its only started to grow up out of the tank in the last month or so, but has been spreading like mad before that. The great thing about the large leaf size is thinning it out is a doddle. I have been chucking the surplus into my golfish pond - but have stopped now that the weather has started cooling. Hopefully by next summer I'll have plants big enough that they won't eat everything I put in - but I'm not holding my breath.

If you let it go as far as mine and have plants that need a lot of light in the substrate they will be affected because it does a great job of blocking the light. Im OK with that because all the fish in this tank are blackwater forest fish, so it helps to simulate their natural environment.
I didn't realize there was a large size leaf.
 

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