First step of 75 gallons aquarium aquascaping
75 gallons aquarium aquascaping Chicago. We placed egg crate on the bottom of the aquarium to prevent rocks from going down into the substrate and save the bottom of the tank from too much pressure from the stones. It is 75 gallons acrylic aquarium which we polished before aquascaping (still visible smudges which will disappear when we will add water). On the sides there are regular two color rocks from Lurveys garden store. They sell it in a big bags for like 8 dollars each. You will have to wash them first 2-3 times in a bucket if you want water immediately to be clear after filling up the tank. The brighter orange color rocks are callet sunset stones.
Aquarium was polished by hand with 1200 grit wet-dry sanding paper. We cleaned up the tank and put some water into the bowl, dipping the paper in from time to time. This will assure you won't be scratching the tank additionally withe remaining residue or dust coming from sanding. Later on we polished it with car polishing liquid and special drill cloth attachment. We had to polish it 2 times. All together took about 3 hours. If you have deeper scratches you will have to use a small sanding machine and 2 kinds of paper.
The aquarium has new model of sb reef lights wi-fi version 45 inches long. Wi-fi doesn't connect properly with samsung therefore you will need iphone to manage it. On the very bottom I put 2 scoops of osmocote using the spoon which came with it inside.
Second step of 75g aquascaping
Second step was adding established eco-complete substrate, rinsed previously in aquarium water. This was a 75g rescape so we used more than a half of the previous substrate underneath to add some beneficial bacteria from the start. On the top of the eco-complete base, I put:
- Azomite - rich mix of the minerals from the mine in US.
- Crashed tourmaline - mineral used in ADA additives know as a medium which increase electric exchange in the substrate.
- AE bacter - additive of beneficial bacteria helping with biofilm production.
- Activated charcoal - which will suck up some of the initial ammonia and give it back to plants later.
Third step of 75g aquascaping
Time for a driftwood placement. First we tried many times with rocks and substrate to build something what we will like and what will be easy to maintain. We wanted to go with more natural look with rocks on the one side and lower carpet plants on front and wood on the other. One piece of wood in the middle more to the front is breaking it thru the rocks complementing everything. It makes better and more natural rocks to wood transition.
malaysian driftwood in aquarium
Adding bacter AE and additives
Tropica aquarium aquasoil substrate
Final look on the aquascape right after refilling with water
Final effect - this is how the aquascape looked right after refilling with water and placing all the substrate additives, eco-complete, tropica aquasoil, malaysian driftwood, seiryu stones. You can still see bubbles of oxygen on the walls after refilling. On the right side of the tank, in the back, there is a 290gph powerhead with double sponges. Lights sb reef were set on about 30-40% on this picture. Aquascaping took us another 2-3 hours to total time for the finishing project I could estimate for approximately 6 hours. That time includes sanding, polishing, cleaning, aquascaping the tank, refilling with water and setting up equipment.
Update 5 weeks after setting up
Aquarium is running on fx6 filter established 6 months and powerhead with double sponges. The fx6 for 3 weeks was running together with fish and plants in temporary 40g breeder. This 75g aquarium was cycled only on the powerhead and that was enough. I was monitoring all 3 levels ammonia nitrites and nitrates. There was no need for additional water changes rather than 50% a week. Seems like everything goes pretty well. Aquarium is running on RO water half and half with tap water which has kh of 6 and gh of 6. Seiryu are rising kh approximately 3kh points per week. Therefore I am adding 1-2 buckets of RO during the week since I have 2 kinds of Erio inside until I figure something out.