Recently i have moved to the new living place, so i had to move my 3 years old 126l aquarium with me. I had to transfer all aquarium plants, fish and all equipment to the new place. It was a big job. In parallel with aquarium restart i decided to start series of posts about my aquarium. I will write a new post when something new will happen or i will notice any interesting thing in my small underwater world.
So this first post will be about aquarium restart. Below are several photos showing my aquarium setup process.
My old aquarium. It has a few scratches on the glass from algae cleaning. But it is still usable. Also i bought a new cabinet for an aquarium. The cabinet has good quality/price ratio and is made by polish company Aquael.
For aquarium substrate i decided to use JBL AquaBasis plus soil for bottom layer. I bought 5l package from the aquarium items store in my town. JBL says that this soil “works for 5 years guaranteed”. I needed long lasting soil because i do not want to restart aquarium every 1 or two years. My aquarium width and length is 80cm x 35cm. So bottom area is 80×35=2800cm2 or 28dm2. I have calculated the thickness of substrate layer which i can get from 5l (or 5dm3) package: if i would have 28l of substrate, layer weight would be 10 cm. But i have a 5l of substrate, so in reality layer height will be (5dm3 / 28dm3) *10cm = 1,78 cm. Again, on a package is written that 5l package is for 60-200l aquariums and AquaBasis substrate layer height must be 2-4 cm. But according to my calculations with my 126l aquarium i only get 1,8 cm layer height. Hmm… very strange JBL calculations, i think. Ok, 1,8cm will be enough, i suppose.
In the aquarium substrate looks like soil mixed with a sand.
For the top layer i selected 1-2 mm black gravel fraction. My seller did not know from which type of stone it is made. I had doubts that it can be to fine, because aeration inside such gravel can be to low. But i decided to risk. Also selecting gravel it is important that it must not harden aquarium water. Because the water in in my country (Lithuania) has high kH and GH values and tropical plants and fishes like soft water.
That’s how two layers looks like. Bottom layer is about 2 cm, top layer is about 5 cm. I had doubts about gravel layer thickness because plants with short roots will hardly reach lower layer with nutrients. But logically thinking, plants with small roots mostly get their nutrients through the water column, so they will not need to reach AquaBasis substrate.
It is time for planting.
Before planting i pour water in to the aquarium, 2-3 cm above gravel layer. Newly planted plants must be wet until i fill full aquarium with water. To prevent gravel wash-out i used empty soil package when filled the water.
Some plants have very long roots so i had to trim them. After trimming roots are about 5 cm long.
Planting is done. It is time to fill aquarium fully with water and to let in several fish.
I have saved 50% of my old aquarium water and filled it to the restarted aquarium. And for the rest 50% i used new water from the tap. External filter with old water was connected to the restarted aquarium. We know that aquarium bacteria mostly lives in the aquarium substrate and filter sponges. The goal was to save beneficial bacterias in order to start nitrogen cycle in the aquarium right after restart. Of course there is other alternative: to buy these bacterias in the store and to put them in to the filter or soil.
Finally restart is done!
So after restart some information about my aquarium:
Aquarium type: freshwater planted aquarium with some fish and Red Cherry shrimps. The biggest attention will be made to the aquarium plants.
Volume: 126 l.
Lighting: moderate brightness LED lighting, cool white, blue and red LEDs.
CO2: 2 bubbles per minute.
Water: i am using tap water, it is quite hard in my town where i live. I change 1/4 per weak. In the future plans is reverse osmosis filter.
Filtering: JBL CristalProfi e902 external filter, max filtration according to manufacturer is 900l/h.
Plants: Nymphaea (red leaves), Vallisneria, Hydrocotyle Leucocephala, Cryptocoryne (all with green leaves, one with brown leaves), Bacopa, Echinodorus Parviflorus, other tall Echinodorus, Rotala Rotundifolia, Lilaeopsis Brazilensis, Anubias. In this list some plants have very different light requirements, so in the future i will discard plants requiring low lighting, such as Anubias.
Inhabitants: 2 Gourami, 3 Gymnocorymbus Ternetzi, 3 Corydoras Julii, 2 Crossocheilus Siamensis, Red Cherry shrimps.