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Thread: 75g Mbuna Tank
02-10-2012, 02:43 PM #11
The bacteria have caught up and I'm getting daily readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and off the charts nitrate (haven't done a water change yet, since there are no fish in the tank). I've been "feeding" the tank daily with pure ammonia until the fish get here (Wednesday ).
STILL have not gotten around to making the caves but that's a "must do" project for this weekend. I got in a bunch of plants and they're currently just floating around until I have time to plant them (some are rhyzome plants that will be tied to the caves/driftwood).
I actually ended up getting quite a few more plants than originally planned for my tanks and am still trying to sort out what goes where. I'm wishing I would've found out about the eggcrate trick for rooted plants in mbuna tanks before... because now I'm tempted to pull up the big piece eggcrate, put the plant roots through THAT one (since it covers the entire bottom and is not in danger of the mbuna digging it up) and then putting more sand on top.. but we will see if I have enough ambition to do that. I've been meaning to pick up a bit more sand anyway... not sure that 50 lbs is really going to cut it with the eggcrate in there.
Will hopefully be posting updated pics with caves/plants on Monday.
02-10-2012, 02:47 PM #12
I am anticipating much coolness from this tank!125g - 6 Zig Zag Rainbows, 6 Turquoise Rainbows, 6 Boesmani Rainbows, 5 otos, 6 corys
02-10-2012, 02:51 PM #13
02-11-2012, 01:56 AM #14
I may have a problem.
The pH out of my tap is 7.6. The pH in my non-CO2 injected tanks is 7.6.
The pH in this tank is between 8.2 and 8.4.
That in itself is not a problem, since the mbuna would enjoy this kind of water, but WHY is it so high? Something in the blasting sand is causing it to raise... so if it's altering the water chemistry, is it toxic to fish?
Am I going to have to do a substrate change on yet ANOTHER tank?
ETA: Here is my sand: http://www.tccmaterials.com/pdfs/msds/msds_blkBlast.pdf
Is the fact that it's coal slag raising the ph? I believe coal slag is safe to use... I saw on another thread that the black diamond blasting sand that's so popular is coal slag...
Last edited by nikelodeon79; 02-11-2012 at 02:05 AM.
02-11-2012, 03:03 PM #15
I am using sandblasting sand in my freshwater tanks, but due to the same concern of toxicity, which I researched online and couldn't find any consistency either way, I opted to cut the sand with pool sand. Prime treats heavy metals, so I thought if I reduced the concentration then the Prime would take care of any toxicity. And it turns out I really like the salt and pepper look of the tank.
No facts here, keep in mind, just what I've done and my opinion. Lots of people will tell you they use the sand and have no problems, but I figure who knows long term if the fish would have lived longer without the sand. Usually, we never really know what causes a particular fish death.20gal long planted community
02-12-2012, 12:37 AM #16
Made my caves today. I'm quite pleased with how they turned out, but not pleased with how few caves I was able to make with two cases of tiles. I may end up buying more tile to make more caves (it was only about $7 per box) but for now I'll see how they look once the silicone is set.
The cave-making was quite a fiasco. LOL. I learned how to use a caulking gun for the first time. I cut the tip off the silicone, put it in the gun, pulled the trigger and... nothing.
Pulled harder... nothing.
Swore a little.
Decided that I needed to remove the cap inside the end of the silicone tube. Discovered that I was NOT supposed to remove the cap.
Swore A LOT.
Was rescued by hubby, who patiently cleaned up all the silicone, put the cap back in, and put the tube back in the gun. In the meantime, I googled "how to use a silicone gun" and found out I was supposed to use the pin thingamagig to poke a hole in the silicone tube. Did that, pulled the trigger...
And a LOT of silicone came out. And wouldn't stop.
Cue additional swearing.
I ended up very quickly siliconing the rocks together because I couldn't get the dang gun to stop shooting silicone.
But, in the end, I got some nice caves.
Pics coming soon!
02-12-2012, 01:57 PM #17
lol...adventures in aquascaping...I'm sure there are a LOT of good stories out there on that.
You are more adventurous than I am. I bought clay pots, and lava rock from the fs which is the same colour. I then placed the pots - 2 dif sizes, big and small, with the bottoms cut out - and stacked the lava rock over top of them so you can't really see them unless you look for them. I also stacked for gaps with the lava rock where I could. Lesson learned for me while doing this - clay pots need a special drill bit or they shatter. So I don't have as many caves as I initially planned!20gal long planted community
02-14-2012, 09:10 PM #18
Here are my DIY caves:
The taller one:
The shorter one:
Still have to sand down the sharp edges with my Dremel.
02-14-2012, 09:36 PM #19
Slate condos, cool!125g - 6 Zig Zag Rainbows, 6 Turquoise Rainbows, 6 Boesmani Rainbows, 5 otos, 6 corys
02-15-2012, 01:45 PM #20
Got the tank mostly finished. I might try to squeezing in a few more cave structures but it's at least habitable... Fish coming today! Got a bit of bad news, though, one species isn't fit for shipping so I'll only be getting rusties, white tops and saulosis. I'm bummed because the missing species was the one I was most looking forward to, but hopefully I will be able to get them in sometime in the near future.