blank slate tank 135 gallons - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 63
blank slate tank 135 gallons

I have a big ole 72" x18" x25"tall 135 gallon tank that's been sitting empty for almost 10 years. It's lived previous lives as a lab tank testing flexible CPVC liner in a marine environment, and then as a general catchall of any odd, ugly, mismatched fish that I didn't have a plan for. Then it sprung a leak and I lost interest.

Now it's resealed, holding water and all the gravel's been removed. It really is a blank slate that I don't know what to do with.

It sits on a homemade stand running down the middle of my "fishroom" and any scape I go with is going to need to be viewable from both sides.
I do have the big wet/dry available, or might be interested in doing a Hamburg Mattfilter on each end.. or I have about 20 penguin 330 HOB filters that I could use as many as needed.

A rather limiting factor I think I have is our water is quite hard kh of 7 and gh of 7 out of the tap....with a ph of 8.4

I'm not sure I understand why my 55gallon tank with safe-t-sorb has a tested kh of 1 and gh of 40.... maybe it needs some waterchanges.

I'd like to plant this big tank, and don't intend to ever try to use co2 on it... I'll use DIY co2 on the 55 or my hex tank but I don't think I want to make the investment in a tank and regulator.

Lighting wise I think I'm going to go with 2 double tube shoplights with 6500k t12 bulbs, mostly because the fixtures, and the tubes will be about as cheap as I can get, but be fairly efficient.. I thought about a 400w metal halide highbay at one time, but don't want to fight the heat in the summer. I currently cover 4ft of the tank with a glass tabletop from a coffee table, and could cover the rest with some window glass I have left over.

The big question is really substrate and plants with the limitation of no co2 and I'm guessing fairly low light, at least compared to a reeftank.

I'm comfortable with safe-t-sorb over using gravel, but would dirt and then safe-t-sorb be a better option? I don't think I could do mineralized topsoil since it's below freezing here, and I'd really like to have the tank ready to plant before Feb 9th, when the closest aquarium society to me has their auction and I can get really good quality plants that are actually aquatic plants.

What would you do???

oh ps, I keep the room around 72 and wouldn't even attempt to heat this tank higher than that.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:20 AM
Wannabe Guru
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: St. Pete Fl
Posts: 1,446
My tanks stay at 72* and I don't have anything fancy either. I'm not sure that the shop lights would be enough, but I'm no expert there. Personally if you could get the Black Diamond blasting sand I would use that. I've used planting soil before and while plants to grow very well for quite a while in it, it turned by water brown. I redid my 75g with Tahitian Moon Sand and love it. I'll stuff some root tabs in there when I get a moment. I'm now redoing a couple more tanks with Tahitian Moon sand because it looks so good.
If that were my tank, I'd look for some huge driftwood stumps and put them in there and then some large river stones and driftwood branches... Oh man, the fun I could have with that tank! I'd get a huge community going! Maybe Synodontis cats or Cory's for the bottom, some Rams or Apisto's, torpedo barbs, a huge community!

That tank really tied the room together
Fraternity of Dirt
Just because its dirt doesn't make it low tech
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 63
I can get the black diamond... theres a TSC here.

I have some in my 15gal rack tanks, I was really impressed with the look of it, and it made the fish stop acting all weird from the light showing thru the painted bottom of a bare tank.

TPT has been awesome for me since I found it a couple months ago, I'd really lost interest in my tanks till then. Now I've insulated the fishroom, set 2/3rds of the rack systems back up, put in drain plumbing so I don't have to bucket water all the time, and rescued the 150 from my hammer.
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