Ok, where do I start....
So I bought the tank 120x60x76 ( double 10mm base )second hand with cabinet for £270 with a sump 60x30x20, auto top up tank with pump ( which I am not using ) and 3000lph return pump.
In the process of getting the pipework from tank to sump set up I managed to drop a bend into the sump cracking the base! I fixed this with a piece of 5mm perspex cut to size and siliconed to the base of the sump with the same done inside the sump. In total for the perspex and silicone it cost approx £35
Then I had the problem of lighting which I am sure many of you know by my numerous questions on the subject.
I decided on x2 T5 light units with each taking x2 54w HO bulbs so a total of x4 54w T5HO 6500k bulbs are being used. Which in total for the two units, 4 bulbs, 10m twin and earth wiring, x2 plugs has cost approx £80
The lights are approx 8" above the surface of the water and approx 33" above the substrate.
I then had to decide on substrate and decoration..... I decided I woudl go for a dirt tank because I like the idea of the plants have a good source of food and also the way the dirt can absorb the waste from the tank and then feed the plants with it.
I have used John Inns No3 as I saw recommend on here and other forums with a google search. I have used 1" of this and capped with 1" of a fine sand which you may of noticed has had me worried today that it may not allow sufficient water circulation into the dirt. I have spent approx £15 on dirt and sand. Approx 23kg of dirt and approx 27kg of sand, not sure how many litres of each that would be.
So now decoration... I first though about using wood and purchased a massive piece of wood which cost a fortune then to decide after having it soaking in the tank for a week or so I did not like lol and that I would use rock only!
So I hunted a few rock merchants and finally found two very nice and big and damn heavy ( approx 25-30kg each ) pieces of slate which have cost £10 for the two. Now getting these rocks into the tank was a whole different story! I had to do them one at a time ad prop them on a step ladder while with one leg in the tank and the other on the step ladder cautiously get them to the bottom of the tank!
That was stressful but successful! I thought of it as make or break the tank as these will have the wow factor lol
Now I Have the tank filled and cycling and some plants will be added in the next few days so here is a run down on my equipment.
Tank: 120x60x76 ( 547L - 120g )
Sump: 60x30x30 ( 63L - 11.88g )
Combined volume: ( 610L - 131.88g approx )
I also have an old tank that will be used as the quarantine for new plants and fish that is 60x30x35 ( 63L - 13.8g )
In the sump I have;
section 1: 3" of each course-medium-fine pads
Section 2: 2kg of Alfa Grog, 100 30mm Bio Balls with x2 power heads for added circulation one of 300lh and the other 400lh, x1 200w Fluval Tronic heater.
Section 3: 3000lh return pump and x1 200w Fluval Tronic heater.
So here are some pictures to give you guys a picture of what is what so far,
The beginning, here you can see the water bottle on the sump weighing it down where I added the perspex to the base. Excuse the mess lol
The piece of wood I decided against
The bare tank with rock added
The dry start with dirt and rocks
The dirt capped with sand and filled with water
Now I know surface agitation is a great thing so here are a few pics and a super slow motion vid of mine, it does not actually break the water
And the video
Tank from the sides
The future quarantine tank
And the full view
Think I have covered everything up to now so any questions just ask and comments welcome.
Also I am still deciding on using Co2 and a UV.
I will update as things progress.