The 35 Gal hex setup


The hex tank has been running now for around 10 years since it's last tear down, but it has only been planted since 4/96.
It has a Aquaclear 300 power filter which only has a sponge in it, it also has a sponge on the uplift tube to keep large debris out of the filter. The Aquaclear 300 is running about half throttle. Occasionally I will add Carbon if needed, but typically that is only once a year at most. There is also a Under Gravel Filter (UGF) with an Aquaclear power head 301. I have a sponge on the output side of the power head to reduce the currents, it also helps absorb the CO2 slowing it's release into the tank. The power head is running at the minimum flow rate it can.
The Ebo-jager heater is 100 watts.
The light is provided by two 15 watt Tritons and 2 GE Daylights, and I always keep the hood very clean and have aluminized mylar on the inside of the light fixtures for improved reflection.
My tap pH is about 7.6 but the tanks run around 6.9. I have hard tap water and the tank KH is around 60ppm- 150ppm and GH about 150ppm-300ppm.
I feed the plants a personalized mix of PMDD approximately 40 drops daily and 50 drops at my weekly 20% water changes. I also add teaspoon of Potassium sulfate at water changes. My mix now is the basic with Potassium sulfate replacing the Potassium nitrate and a little extra Potassium sulfate to boot due to my higher fish loads.
The fish eat a combination of Tetra Rudy, Tetra brine shrimp flake, Wardleys cichlid pellets, Tetra floating dorimine sticks, frozen blood worms and other frozen foods.

On 10-25-96 I replaced the DIY CO2 injection with a 5# pressurized CO2 bottle. I now have a more consistent CO2 injection rate, and am running 1 bubble of CO2 every 9 seconds. I was having trouble getting all the leaks out of the DIY system and the injection rates were consistently changing. I am maintaining a KH above 3 or 53ppm and the pH remains constant. I will keep you informed. Leaks in the compressed gas system can be a problem too, so make sure to snoop the connections before use. To do this mix a little dish soap with water and spray/pour it on all the connections and observe for bubbles. The CO2 setup is a 5 pound pressurized bottle with a low pressure regulator. The regulator is an old one from a beer tap setup. Next there is a needle valve to further throttle the flow down to a bubble every few seconds and the tube just runs from the valve into a simple reactor in the tank. The 5 pound bottle lasted for 1 year between fill ups($9).

And the Numbers are:

pH

6.8

 

KH

55ppm

GH

150ppm-

300ppm

 

Ammo

0ppm

NO2

0ppm

 

NO3

<45ppm

Temp

77F (25C)

 

Fe

<.1ppm

PO4

<.1ppm

 

CO2

14ppm


The Fish were chosen as the main exhibit when I kept angels, and an army of helpers. But as time passes, well things change.  Now the main course has become the clown and Yoyo loaches.  The two loaches I now refer to as the cronies are probably near 8 years old now.  Also the load is kept at a level to help maintain the water quality necessary for healthy plant growth. i.e. lower nitrates and phosphate. The plecos are of the type that will remain relatively small and the loaches help in snail control and the.

#

size

Type

Scientific Name

max

Description

1

5

Clown Loach

Botia Macracanthus

10

Very nice and fun to watch, but does nibble holes in leaves. Snail control

1

6

Pakastani Botia

Botia alamorha

4.5

Fun to watch and Snail control

1

4

Bristle Nose Pleco

Ancistrus

4.5

Algae eater, general scavenger, stays small

1

4

Clown Pleco

 

10

Algae eater, larger size will make him leave soon

1

1

Ottos

Otocinclus affinis

2

 

4

2

Pulchra Loaches

Botia Pulchra

5

 

The Plants have gone through many changes like the fish.  When you pay less attention to things, the most aggressive plant will win:) 

#

Common Name

Scientific Name

Description

1

Java Fern

Microsorium pteropus

Large low light plant, constantly producing advantageous babies.  This beast took over the tank and now controls about half the volume.

1

Anubias

Anubias batrteri var. nana

Slow but constant grower, low light plant, blooms under water. Do not bury the rhizome

2

Vals

Vallisneria gigantea

I assume Gigantea because the leaves are 50+ inches long

1

Eloda

Eloda densa

Everyone knows Anacharis



Jeff Dietsch (jdietsch@ptd.net)

Back to the main zoo page

Last Updated 10/06/02