Quietbrook - 135g Low Tech Community Tank Journal - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.
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Planted Tank Photos Let's see what you got! Show off your tanks here. Tank journals are encouraged!

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Old 11-02-2016, 10:46 AM   #1
r3quiem
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Default Quietbrook - 135g Low Tech Community Tank Journal

- Background -

Hi everyone, let me start with a bit of background as to why I got started on this tank. I originally had a raised pond I built in the backyard early spring. It was just supposed to be a planted pond with various lilies and a water feature. A few weeks in, the pond is doing well and friends and family want fish in there. Long story short, months later we had several Koi and 4 Goldfish. While the pond itself was large it was not deep; close to 3'. Here in Canada, it wasn't going to work to keep the Fish outside unless the pond was at least 4' or more; so the water won't freeze completely (As I learned later on). With winter coming I wanted to keep them indoors and then build a deeper pond next spring.

Being a student and only working part time the budget wasn't there to get something new or too big. I went with a used 135g on Kijiji which included, Tank, Stand, 6 foot T8 Fixture, & FX5 (no media/filter pads) for $500 (Canadian). It was supposed to be scratch free but unfortunately had lots of little scratches and some bigger ones inside. But given that it was used and one of the better deals available at the time, I can't complain.

So why a planted tank with koi/goldfish? To be honest, I really like the look you can achieve with a planted tank and if I can go with natural plants I was willing to try and experiment. I also kept the Koi & Goldfish with a large variety of submerged, and shallow water plants, so while they nibbled on the watercress, they left everything else alone.

- Intro -


I wanted to started this thread as a journal of sorts to keep track of, and share what I learn as this Aquarium Evolves. I will include the good and the bad so someone else may gain something from it.

My experience in the hobby is still quite lacking as my only other tank was back when I was in grade school. I will be learning as I go so please feel free to make any suggestions or ideas.

One last note, time was really against me as I had just netted the pond due to a weasel that was making visits at night. I wanted to cycle the tank as soon as possible so I could move the fish in. I heard about Tetra SafeStart PLUS but with it being available in the US only, I had to have it shipped near the border and then get it mailed to me. This will take a week, so its the waiting game.


- Day 1 - Sep 11, 2016 -


First Day of Tank Fill up & Cycling


- Additives, Medications, & Supplements -

• Seachem Prime
• Seachem Stability

- Equipment -

• Aquarium 72" x 18" x 24" - 135 Gallon [Pre-owned Turtle Tank]
- Painted Background (Black Semi-gloss w/ 4 coats)

• Black Stand and Canopy [Pre-Owned]
• Fluval FX5 [Pre-Owned]
1st Basket
- Fluval FX5 Fine Filter Polishing Pad [1]
- Seachem Purigen 200 ml
- Seachem Matrix 350 ml
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [2]

2nd Basket
- Biohome Ultimate 1.5 Kg
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [4]

3rd Basket
- Biohome Ultimate 1.5 Kg
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [4]


• EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat - 250W [71 F]
• AquaQuartz Pool Filter Sand #20 - White 100 lbs
• Seachem Ammonia Alert
• Vertex Illumilux Marino Sole 6K - 36" [Pre-Owned - Chopped into Three]
• Aquatic Life Dual T5HO (Roseate + 6000K) - 36" [2 - Pre-Owned]


Last edited by r3quiem; 11-03-2016 at 10:43 PM.. Reason: Text & Layout
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Old 11-02-2016, 05:22 PM   #2
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Looks like a great start :-) psst.. don't worry, we can't see scratches from here.

Any picture updates since september 11th?

i will be following along.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish_luva View Post
Looks like a great start :-) psst.. don't worry, we can't see scratches from here.

Any picture updates since september 11th?

i will be following along.
Thanks fish_luva, I think you may disagree with one of the scratches but I'll see if you can spot it in the photos; eventually =P

I am slowly catching up this thread so there will definitely be more updates as we are already into November.

Last edited by r3quiem; 11-02-2016 at 10:39 PM..
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:35 PM   #4
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- Day 6 - Sept 16, 2016 -


Cycling the Tank & First Batch of Plants


Got some plants purchased and ready to go. There were just temporarily dropped in for the time being as I had to go sooner after taking this picture.

At this point in time I made one mistake I plan to never do again. I brought in the Bio-Filter balls from the pond filter to help seed the aquarium so I could cycle faster. This was due to the weasel visiting the backyard pond more often. I figured this was the case because the fish who normally come out during feeding, were extremely skittish and wouldn't come out easily even for food. The Tetra safe start was still a few days away and I wasn't sure how long before the weasel found a way around the netting. I had to leave some small gaps due to a large water feature I could not get around.

What I did to Cycle so far:

+ Temp - 82 F
+ Filter Starter Gel Balls [10]
+ Added Temporary Airstones
- In theory Bacteria Prefer Higher Temp = Less Dissolved Oxygen | Airstones = More Oxygen Through Exchange | More Oxygen + Higher Temp = More Bacteria
+ Seachem Stability - 35 ml Daily

• Seeded Drift Wood from Shrimp Tank
- Had some white fungus but this went away within a few days

x Seeded Bio-Filter Balls from Pond
- Ended up with Dragonfly Larvae and some other unwanted leeches?


**As a side note the Anubias & Javafern on rocks/driftwood were actually acquired from Guppymen here on Gtaaquaria.


- Plants -

• Javafern - Microsorum pteropus - [2]
• Water wisteria - Hygrophila difformis - [2]
• Water Sprite - Ceratopteris thalictroides - [2]
• Amazon sword - Echinodorus grisebachii - [1]
• Anubias barteri - [3]
• Vallisneria americana 'Natans' - [1]
• Red Tiger Lotus - Nymphaea lotus zenkeri - [1]
• Cabomba - [2]

- Scape -

• Malayasian Driftwood - Medium [Seeded]

- Equipment -

• Fluval Q2 Air Pump
• Uxcell Airstone [Temporary]
• Uxcell Airwand [Temporary]
• Bio-Filter Balls [6 - Seeded & Temporary]


Last edited by r3quiem; 11-02-2016 at 10:38 PM..
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:42 PM   #5
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- Day 10 - Sep 21, 2016 -


Tank Stocked & Prepared with Tetra Safestart Plus


Today was not a good day. I prepared for so long and having had the Tetra Safestart Plus finally come in, I went outside to the pond to gather the fish. I saw a small hole where the net seemed to have been either ripped of moved, anyway I didn't think much of it and started to drain the pond. I found it odd that I only spotted two or three of the Koi/Goldfish out of the ten or so in the pond, but I blamed it on the visibility of the net or them hiding. Little did I realize I would only find half. After draining the pond I saw that only five of the ten survived and that the weasel had come in overnight. I had been watching these ten fish grow out for the past four months or so. They were quite friendly and ate out of my hands even though I only had them for such a short period of time. I really could not believe I only had 3 Comet Goldfish and 2 Koi survive. I lost 5 of my Koi. If there was any silver lining to this, it could only be that the Comet Goldfish had fry, and the 7 or so ghost shrimp I added a long while back all survived in a pond outside.

Having spent a significant amount to make sure I'd have adequate filtration, space, and care for these 10 fish now with the FX5 & FX6 I really wanted to stop and find a way to donate everything. However at this point realistically speaking it was unreasonable to expect that to happen and in the back of my mind I really wanted to continue. I felt I owed it to these guys who managed to make it out alive after all this.

I convinced myself in the end to make this work and turn it into a well planted tank with the survivors and any new additions I would make. I also wanted to grow out the fry and find them a new place. I finally arranged the tank to a state I thought looked alright to start and got them all in there. It was a long day both physically & mentally. Draining the pond, cleaning it all up, setting up the tank and then introducing the fish as smoothly as I could.

As the journal grows I'll make one big post with all my equipment and dosing but for now i'll add any new additions on the days I made/acquired them.


- Livestock -

Comet Goldfish [2 - Red & White | 1 - Calico]
Koi [1 - Black, Blue, Red & White | 1 - Orange & White]
Comet Goldfish Fry [4 Calico | 6 Black]
Ghost Shrimp [7]

- Injuries -

Koi had a gouge on his head
Two of the Goldfish had badly damaged fins

- Lost -

Koi [5 - Predation - Weasel]

- Additives, Medications, & Supplements -

Seachem Excel [12.5 ml - Daily]
Seachem Flourish [30 ml - Weekly]
Seachem Flourish Advance [30 ml - Every Second Day]
Seachem Freshwater Trace [30 ml - Weekly]
Tetra SafeStart PLUS [375 ml - Once]

- Scape -

Fluval Mopani Driftwood - Large [3] - Medium [1]

- Equipment -

Fluval FX6
1st Basket
- Fluval FX6 Bio-Foam Pad [2]
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [2]

2nd Basket
- Biohome Ultimate 1 Kg
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [4]

3rd Basket
- Fluval Biomax 1 Kg
- Filter Starter Gel Balls [4]


EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat - 300W [71 F]
Uxcell Sponge Filter - Large
Mag Float


- Day 11 - Sep 22, 2016 -

Pictured Below

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Old 11-03-2016, 10:46 PM   #6
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Beautiful tank. I love the white sand. Where did you get it?

Thanks
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Beautiful tank. I love the white sand. Where did you get it?

Thanks
Thanks Cb, I got the sand from Canadiantire. Its called AquaQuartz Pool Filter Sand, about $12 for 20lbs; Link below

http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/po...-0814253p.html

Just make sure you go to a store with more than 1 bag in stock. Their inventory system is not very accurate.

Added benefit of this sand is that it comes super clean and requires very little cleaning other than a 5-10 minute or so stir with water running.
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:42 PM   #8
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Very nice. I'm just wondering what your running a heater I didn't think the Koi or goldfish needed one. The plants would also be OK without one
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planter View Post
Very nice. I'm just wondering what your running a heater I didn't think the Koi or goldfish needed one. The plants would also be OK without one
I initially planned for just one heater as an emergency, if the temperature dropped below 70 F / 21 C, but I was at the BigAl's tent sale and got a hold of a new Ehiem 300w for $15. Decided why not, I rather have the temperature be stable regardless of what we do with our heating inside. - We have different day and night temps at our home and a hvac system that's able to let in cold air at night for a cooler sleeping temps.

The heaters currently only come on during water changes once a week. In fact due to the canopy my water temp is actually around 74 F, so I'm currently trying to find a way to adapt some PC fans to AC power to exhaust the heat out.
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:11 AM   #10
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- Day 11 - Sep 22, 2016 -


Some Close up Shots:



One of the Koi & Comets on the day of the transition from Pond to Tank



Shot of one end of the tank. That upright piece of Mopani was a struggle to keep in that position. I had to put small rocks in the bottom to balance and distribute the weight so that it would not tip over. Its still in a precarious position but I'm hoping once its fully soaked in, in a few months, it will stay that way.



This is the other side of the tank. To be honest I am not too fond of the piece near the end of the tank but it gives a good place for the fish to hide and get away from my line of sight if they need to. So i kept it for now.



This is 8 out of the 10 Comet Goldfish Fry in the Tank. They seem to have taken a liking to the moss & fungus on the old seeded driftwood. I take it as a good thing since they had tons of algae to eat in the pond but not much now. I managed to get some fry food for when they've picked the driftwood clean.



Finally some of the Ghost Shrimp that somehow survived in the Pond. They seem to be carrying but now that they are in the tank I doubt the eggs will survive once hatched as the filters don't have fine mesh on the intakes.
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