Hi everyone, first post here. First of all, thank you to everyone on here for creating such an incredible resource. This forum is my number 1 source of information.
Start with pictures!
-HC (just planted, not in most pics)
-Red Stem Plant
-Green Stem Plant
(Some of the stem plants will be replaced as the tank settles in. Planning to add Riccia Rocks near driftwood, more Anubias in shady spots, maybe a crypt or two)
7 Black Phantom Tetras
3 Botia Striata (Zebra Loaches)
13 Amano Shrimp
(planning to add a small group of Angelfish)
-Mr. Aqua 48 gallon, 36"x18"x18", rimless glass tank.
-Fishneedit 150W metal halide, hanging from ceiling.
-Fluval FX5 with biomax, a handful of old eheim bio media with good bacteria, and one coarse filter pad and one polishing pad. Yes, I know that is a huge filter for this tank. More on that later.
-Pressurized CO2 with a Milwaukee regulator, and an Ista mix max inline reactor.
-Hydor 300W inline heater.
-Flourite/gravel mix (reused, with lots of mulm), capped with pool filter sand.
-Driftwood from the LFS.
Here is my thinking behind the huge filter: I know from my last tank that you can get by less filtration, but it takes more work. Also, if your filtration is low, you probably need to add pump(s) for circulation. I chose the FX5 because it is the highest flow rate and most media volume for the price, and it gets mostly positive reviews for maintenance and reliability.
Also, once you do the numbers, the FX5 makes sense for this tank: Pump is rates at 925 GPH, but that is just the pump without the filter. Once you add the filter, you get a rating of 563 GPH, but that is without media. I not only added media, but also an inline CO2 reactor and an inline heater. On top of all that, I am using a PVC manifold to connect them all. One you add it all up, flow rate is probably less than 10X tank volume.
There are a couple problems with using inline equipment with an FX5. First, the huge 1” tubing doesn’t match any other items (heaters, reactors, UV filters, lily pipes). Second, the flow rate is probably too high anyway (UV filters and CO2 reactors, specifically). So, instead of reducing the tubing diameter and running all of the equipment inline, I decided to make a PVC contraption that allows me to run up to 3 devices in parallel. To make changing out equipment and adjusting flow rates easier, I added ball valves, and also included a bypass so that I can maximize flow and/or run the filter without sending any water through the reactor or heater of whatever I choose to add. The main sections of the manifold at 1” PVC, and the device loops are ˝” PVC with removable hose barbs to attach 13 or 17mm tubing. Right now there is an extra loop that I am not using, that may someday hold a UV filter, inline drop checker (anyone try that? Might be fun to build. As you can tell I do not like clutter in the tank), or ???
Here is the tanks progression so far:
After 2 weeks, the tank is running great! Zero ammonia and nitrites. Started EI dosing a week ago, and plants are growing well. Heading to the LFS later today to get some more plants and maybe a small group of Angelfish as the centerpiece.
Let me know what you think! Any recommendations for plants or fish?