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1 Year With The 210

By Pecktec on

Sean: Okay folks, it's been about a year since I set up the 210 and I thought I would give you guys an update. This is one year with the 210, my trials and tribulations. [music] It's hasn't been bad. You'll see that in a minute.

Hey YouTube, this is Pecktec. Yes, it's been about a year since I set up this aquarium. I've had a lot of fun with it. It's been overall a very easy aquarium to keep up and stuff. There's been some unique things that I've had to do to take care of this. I guess the number one thing would be doing water changes. With an aquarium like this, normally, I'd bring a python over and I'd suck it out.

Well, what I found is pretty good, it's not quite as much suction, but it's pretty good, is I just use gravity.

I'll start to siphon here and I just leave the hose out to the yard, maybe just drain it out to the yard. I've got a tree that's downhill from here and I think it's probably benefited quite a bit from the fish water that I've drained out of here. Then of course, when all that's done, I reattach the Python and I fill it up the way. I fill up all the other ones by adding dechlorinator and the water from the tank, just right into the tank.

One thing that's happened with this tank that I don't see in a lot of my other tanks is I started getting cyanobacteria. I've had that once before and I've got a video called a Chemiclean versus Cyanobacteria.

I actually still had that jar of Chemiclean left. I went on their website and I refamiliarized myself with the instructions and I did a treatment actually last night. I got to say the difference between yesterday and today, actually, I should have filmed it. I did not film the cyanobacteria the way it was before. I was disgusted by it and I was like, "Well, maybe the Chemiclean will work and maybe it won't." I got to tell you, overnight, I mean you could still see the faint, you can still see a little faint green tinge on the wood in certain areas and stuff, but it is nowhere near what it was yesterday.

That was a solid patch of blue-green cyanobacteria yesterday and today it's nothing, it's almost gone. All the fish seem unaffected. I don't see a lot of trauma from the plants, but you're supposed to do it like a 20% water change the next day after you do a treatment for cyanobacteria. That's what I'm going to do now. If you're interested, Chemiclean comes in a little tiny bottle like this. This is a powder and it's got a little bitty spoon.

Did I defeat the ancient cyanobacteria again? You do a level scoop for every 10 gallons of aquarium water. I just added 10 more gallons for the sump, just for water volume. None of the fish seem traumatized. Everything seems pretty chill in there right now. The other thing I've got to do today is add some plants, and these plants that you cannot see because I'm about to spill water on the floor.

Those plants there in the bucket are actually plants from my tanks upstairs. I had to trim out a bunch of stuff. There's a bunch of plants getting out of control. I trimmed down a bunch of stuff and I brought it down here. Unfortunately, what I'm finding with the Cichlids here is they like to chew on plants, and I got to tell you, if I had to pick an aquarium plant to try and eat, it would probably be a sword plant, because for some reason my fish find them delicious.

When I first set this up, I was like, "I don't want like a jungle tank and like this. I just want plants to cut certain areas." I did things a certain way, but that hasn't worked out too well because they tend to chew on any new growth that they find. I need stuff that grows very aggressively to even make it past some of the nibblers. The good thing is I don't plan on adding more fish to this tank. If I could just give them enough stuff to nibble on and also some stuff to grow, I think I can make this work.

I'm going to change my plants around a little bit from what I've been using before. I've already started adding this leopard val. I think it's called leopard val. I've been growing it in the 55 upstairs. I've added it to one side. I'm going to add it probably sporadically all through here and just let it go. I've got this other plant that grows in the 56-gallon column upstairs too.

I, a long time ago forgot exactly what the species of this is. It's a type of crypt, I think, and it grows like crazy. This one's really hard to stop, but the most of the tallest I've seen it's been about probably about this tall. That could be a nice thing to just fill it all in there and really make this a jungly tank, which is something I really like to see in here. I really like to get it pretty jungly, pretty thick, where plants do a lot of the filtering.

The filter underneath there is doing really great. I actually did an interview with Custom Aquariums, and I'll put a link to that in the description below, talking all about the filter system, the seamless sump. It's really easy to use, there's a lot of utility in being able to get in there and mess with things without having to get into your aquarium proper. This aquarium is really, really tranquil, it's really a lot of fun to sit in front of.

Of course, right now I've got the bigger Kessil right in the middle. I'm going to change that, but I'm saving up to buy just two more. [chuckles] I thought about just buying one more, like one month I'll get one here and then the next month I'll get one here. I think what I'm going to do is wait a couple of months or until I can't take it anymore. I'm going to buy two more of these things and make the light even across the board.

One problem I find I’m having now with it like this is that I’m getting a lot of algae and I wish I could tone it down, but because they’re on a controller, they're all like 100%, they're on by a percent. The only way I'm really going to be able to control them overall without making it too dim on the sides is to lower the overall percentage of brightness.

I could also take the controller off and just manually set everything and then put it on a standard timer, but that would be three timers, or maybe one timer, an extension cord or something complicated like that. A little bit of extra algae isn't a big deal. What I did is I just shortened the cycle by maybe half an hour or so, and it's compensated for that a lot.

These guys, the Blue acaras and the parrot are real chewy. They love chewing on these plants. It’s been quite difficult to really get really thriving plants out of this. The Jungle Val that was in here seem to be doing okay, but it just got too long.

Once it hit about nine feet long, I decided just to pull it out. Well, what was happening, it was growing up on this far side here and then those fronds were just going all the way across almost to here, and just blocking the light from everything that's underneath. I am having moderate success with a couple of plants in here. There's some crypts in here and it seems to be able to outgrow the parts they get chewed on.

I've got a sword here that's like, it’s not looking great, but it's holding its own and it seems to be doing okay. I see all constant new leaves coming up from it, so I guess it's got a good nutrient source at its core that's able to deal with being pecked on all the time. As far as what I feed the fish in here, it's a wide variety of different things. I had to do some sinking pellets for the bicher, Mr. Tubes, when he comes out. He stays under this log pretty much all the way through the day. When he comes out at night, and he'll swim around or in the evening. Sometimes when the lights get real dim, you can see him swimming around.

I do a lot of frozen food too. I like to buy these variety pack frozen foods. I'll just pick two random ones out of there and chuck them in. They seem to enjoy that too. As far as aggression goes the parrot fish is sort of the king of the tank. I will see him spar with the acaras just all the time. Sometimes, if they're the top dog, sometimes he's the top dog or fish, sorry, but it never goes too far, it never gets to the point where it's like really stressful.

For the most part they pick their territories, they work it out and then they leave each other alone for a while. One thing I bought to try and fix maybe three of those problems I listed. The cyanobacteria, the aggression, and also eating all my plants was a power head. It's one of the more powerful CJ powerheads, it’s magnetically attached. I've just got it right up here in the back blowing straight across.

It's a bit more powerful than I anticipated it. I unintentionally cut a big divot into my substrate, because I pointed it right straight down across this path where the plants are. Right here in front, I've got these sword plants and I think that they would probably live and do good, but they get nibbled on by a Snapple here. The same kind of goes for these crypts here, although they're doing better, and so any other plants that have been right along through here, they tend to want to just go along and nibble at them, especially after a food comes out. I don't know if they don't get enough to eat or if there needs to be more vegetables in their diet or what. They'll come along and just nibble at these plants. By putting a current that just goes right along the front of the tank, about circulated water which has been known to help with cyanobacteria. Sometimes in stagnant areas of water and a big volume of water, you need a lot of different things moving around to really get all the water circulated, but in stagnant areas you could potentially get a buildup of cyanobacteria, so I wanted to kind of make sure that there's a good flow through here.

The other thing is picking at the plants and stuff like that. With that current right through here, they can't sit there long enough because they just get blown around. They're actually not able to just sit there and casually pick at those plants as they go. They usually will swim up through the current.

Aggression too works the same way. When they're getting chased and stuff, a lot of times whoever's getting chased will just swim into the current and the other fish can't turn to give them that shoulder that they tend to do when they were being aggressive with one another. I think a lot of the other fish really enjoy getting in that current and swimming around too, especially the rainbows. I'll see them they're just staying in place, but getting right up to it and swimming as fast as they can. It's pretty fun.

Okay. I can't put it off anymore. [chuckles] I'm going to do a water change and plant these plants. I'll be with you in a minute. All right, here's a cool trick that you may or may not know about. I thought it was neat. You want to start a siphon, but all you have is gravity. This tank is pretty tall, so I can get away with this. This will actually send the water quite away, but what you do is, you just fill it up, so you hold the whole sand sweeper or whatever like this and then get some water in there.

You'll have to fill all the way up. Now what I'm going to do is, I'm going to take it. I'm going to lift it up. The water is going to pour down the hose and before it gets done, we'll fill it up again, and boom, water is running all the way out to my yard and a nice productive old siphon there. This is why having a tiled floor has been awesome. That's something else that was new last year when I put this tank together is we just installed this tile floor.

It looks like wood, but it's actually tile and I can sling water allover it without no consequences. Benches would though, we need to dry that off. Draining in tank in the 210 takes so long. What I usually do is, I'll do a bucket water change with my other systems and I've found that I've got plenty of time to go through and do a really basic water change. Water change, scrape the glass, inspect and see if there's anything I need to deal with, maybe pluck a plant if it's grown where I don't want it to. I can do all that in the time it takes to drain down the tank for like a 20% water change on the 210.

That's it. One year with this aquarium. It's been a great experience having a larger tank to mess with. I really don't think I'm going to stock much more in there, at least in the short term. I'm just waiting as I see how some things play out with the stocking choices that I've made. It is really tough to find big fish that don't destroy plants. That's probably been my most difficult thing to overcome with this tank.

My other concern is that the rainbows, even though they're quite large, full-grown adult specimens, they might not be big enough once the Bicher gets full-grown. I'm not sure. It depends on how long lived the two different ones are, though the Bichers can live for any number of years for quite a long time. This one's probably, well, he's at least one year old, maybe two years old. I'm not sure how long it took him to get from the- to the size where I purchased him.

Maybe just a few months. My guess is about maybe a year and a half old, though he has potential to get, I'd say he's at least 18 inches now. I think full-grown, they're between 18 to 24 inches and then they just start getting wider and stuff. I don't think we're really at the full growth of Mr. Tube, so we'll have to wait and see exactly how big Mr. Tubes gets. Even though I don't see him a lot, the tank is sort of centered around him, he was sort of that central species, really large fish that you can at least possibly keep with planted tanks. Even he could rip them up, thrashing through plants and stuff like that, but he doesn't actively pick at anything and I think that's-- or dig and that's the big difference. It's been interesting too that the electric-blue acaras have have made it two or three times now. I know for sure twice and I think a third time I saw they were doing something similar.

They'll start doing this mating behavior where they'll clean an area somewhere in the tank, usually around this log. Then pretty soon they're defending it pretty ardently against anybody that comes around. Then I see them do in the past, they just take turns doing little passes over the surface, obviously spreading eggs and then fertilizing the eggs.

I've yet to see anything out of it and I don't imagine fry would survive in this tank very long at. Although, it is possible that they could guard them to some degree. I'm not sure how. I haven't really done any research as to how a good a parents these guys are or if they would just eat the fry right away, I don't know, or protect them like rams protect their fry. I don't know which one they do.

If I can put something removable in there and then trick them into spawning on it somehow, then I could actually take it and remove it. Right now the stuff that they'reusing is too big. It's too big a piece of the aquarium to even pull out easily. Having this tank has been pretty fun. It has altered the way I do my water changes and quite a bit of the maintenance routine.

Actually, what I've been doing is downstairs, in the time it takes to drain this, I can do water changes on all the other aquariums. I got at least plenty of time to do something similar for this one, but I can drain and refill them in the time that it takes this thing just to drain down using gravity. It works out pretty well. I'll do my downstairs water changes one week and I'll do the upstairs water changes the next week and nothing goes more than two weeks.

Most of my tanks are really stable, and so a whole two-week run without a water change isn't too bad. If it looks like something's starting to fall off the wagon or looking a little shaky, I'll give it a extra water change sometime during the week. If you guys have any questions about this tank, if you want to know anything that I've done with it, just leave me a question down below.

There's also a playlist where I've included every video where this tank is sort of the hero and you'll be able to catch that at the end of this video. Until next time, follow your bliss, keep a clean tank. I'll see you soon. Bye-bye

Do they have potential for-- [music] Hey YouTube, this is Peck-- oh wait. Hey guys, so I-- What up. Today's the typical maintenance day. One thing that's--okay. Around this time-- I sneezed. All right.

About Pecktec

Sean Peck (PeckTec on YouTube) uses a Seamless Sump filter system to clean his 220-gallon freshwater planted display aquarium.

Sean's tank is a freshwater planted tank with a seamless sump system. Sean really wanted to solve the issue of filtering a really large aquarium. Sean actually interviewed members of Custom Aquariums staff and that is where Sean learned about Custom Aquariums seamless sump system and is quite impressed.

Pecktec posts videos every Sunday about his aquarium projects, so stay tuned!

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