75-gallon Planted Tanks Project – Part 6 – Filtration

I had intended to try to cover filtration, lighting and CO2 all in one video, but it would have been too long.  Here is an episode on filtration.  You will hear me describe a new product my Boyd Enterprises… ChemiPure Green.  That product is not on the market yet, but I really like it.  I am sure that it will be released soon.

Current USA’s Satellite Freshwater LED+

Ahhhh…. LED lighting….  Finally, someone has come up with an affordable LED light that has the color spectrum needed for growing live plants.  Current USA has it on the market already:  Satellite Freshwater LED +.  I have a couple of them that I am putting through their paces.  Here is a video overview of the fixture and how it works.  The only con I have for the light is that I wish that it was more powerful.  It uses a relatively low 12 volt transformer, and the light intensity struggles to permeate water more than 16″ deep.  Over my 30 long planted tank the lighting is fine.  Over the 75… a little dim.  But intensity is not everything, and the Satellite Freshwater LED + makes up for its lack of intensity with highly customizable color spectrum.  It has 36 RGB diodes spaced close enough together to be useful.  Plus, I am told that I higher powered edition is on its way.  Check out this first video… more to come!


I have a LOT of plants arriving tomorrow.  The plant table at the bottom of the livestock list has been updated, and we have a good window of opportunity to ship on Tuesday – Thursday this week.

Singapore Plant Order Time!!!!


Where can you get cool plants like this Mayaca seweliniana?  I get them from Singapore when I am able to put in an order.  Unfortunately, I am only able to take advantage of it a few times a year.  Now is one of those times, so I thought that we might try something different.  I very, very, very rarely do pre-orders for anything.  I prefer to get stock in, acclimate it and then offer it once I know it is good.  Plants are different than fish though.  They come in GREAT and are best when they can be sent out as fast as possible.  So let’s see if doing pre-orders works out.

Please note that this list is all the aquatic plant species that the exporter MIGHT have, and that the fill rate is usually 70% or less.  So please do not get mad at me if they do not send that really rare plant you desperately want.  The stem plants are priced per stem, and will come to you as loose stems… no rubber band or lead weight.  You should also assume that if the description says ‘bulb’ that it will not have a shoot coming out of it.

I need orders (use the contact button above) by Tuesday, January 22.  The plants will arrive to me the following Monday.  I will let you know what filled and give you a chance to add to it from other stock, then invoices will go out.  I need to be able to ship on that Tuesday or Wednesday.

Here is a link to the plant list:  SINGAPORE PLANT PRE-ORDER LIST

Blooming Crinum natans

The aquatic plants of the genus Crinum have interested me ever since seeing them in the wild in Cameroon and Gabon.  These aquatic onions have a reputation in the hobby of being difficult and slow growing.  While I agree with slow growing, I do nto think that they are all that hard to work with.  Probably the biggest detractor is their size.  Very few species are available in the hobby, and all of them can grow to large for most aquariums.  The most common varieties (from west Africa) are C. calamistratum and C. natans.  The former is a smaller plant with very narrow leaves… almost like wrinkled strings.  C. natans can grow into a real monster.  I have several of both, and the individual in this video I have had around my fish room since 2008.

The aquarium in the video is a 75-gallon aquarium that I started in June, 2010.  I used a very nutrient rich layered soil substrate, which I credit for the incredible growth of this crinum.  The plant dominates the tank with huge leaves that fill the space from pane to pane.  Around our house we have nicknamed it ‘The Kraken’.  The aquarium is lit by four 48″ HO T5 tubes (2 x 6700K and 2 x 10,000K) for 10 hours a day.  The tank holds a LOT of plants, so I fertilize with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer every other day.  I also supplement the heavy root feeders (like The Kraken) with commercial potted plant food sticks (one every 3-4 months).  CO2 is provided by a yeast bottle, and the aquarium gets a 50% water change each week.  There is not heater in the tank, and in the summer the temperature averages 76-78 F, and in the Winter that average drops to 70-72.

Other plants include crypts (wendtii, becketii, blassii, pontederifolia, balansae), Aponogeton ‘lace’, Nypheaea lilies, jungle val and a large red rubin sword plant.  The only fish in the tank are a colony of Skiffia bilineata and a few Sycidium sp. gobies (for algae control).

The blooming of the crinum started on July 21, 2012.  I have never seen a crinum bloom inside before.  I do not really know if this is much of an accomplishment or not, but I am certainly enjoying it!  I am going to try to pollinate the blooms, but I am not sure if they will self-pollinate or not.  Hopefully I will have another video soon of the seed pods and seed germination….