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jjp2 02-06-2009 04:18 PM

JJP2's 135 Gallon Planted Rainbow tank
This is a bit late as its been up and running since Oct'08. I've shared some of it in posts on other's threads, so its long over due that I create a journal.

I started with a 60 gallon tank (tall 55) on 1/07 as my first tank ever. When that got too small, I upgraded to this 135 in 10/08. I started low light and with anubias and java fern. Then I upgraded lighting and was forced to go to CO2 and dry ferts. This was when I found TPT.

Tank Placement
It is setup as a room divider with a sitting room on the front side, my office/desk on the back side, one end facing a wall and the other end facing out.

Tank, Stand, Canopy
135 AGA tank gotten used (72x18x23)
AGA stand which I refinished and reinforced by inserting 1/2 plywood between the 2x4's. It just seemed too flimsy to put 1200lbs on for my liking.

Canopy - DIY see pictures in another post below

Lighting - 2 2x 80w T5HO TEKII retrofit kits
Bulbs - 2 Geisemann Midday, 2 Geisemann Aquablue.
Duration - 1 pair of bulbs (1 of each) from 10 am - 3 pm), 1 pair from 1 pm - 8 pm. This gives 10 hrs of lighting with a 1 hour burst.
Moon lighting - 3 white current lunar links. On 2 hrs before the lights and 2 hours after.

I did debate over the amount and whether to go with the 5ft bulbs (80W) or the 3 ft (39w) bulbs. I decided based on cost. The 80W retrofits where slightly more but the difference between 4 bulbs and 8 bulbs was quite a bit. Looking at the tank now, it has full light coverage as the bulbs were staggered slightly and are 3-4 inches higher than the tank which allows for some disbursion.

Filter - Fluval FX5
UV - 40 watt gamma (its a monster and too big, its 3 ft long)

Both of these were purchased off ebay, relatively cheaply. The 40 watt gamma is big, cumbersome and likely too much for the tank, a 25 watt would have sufficed, but I got this one cheaper than a 25 watt.

CO2 - Rex Regulator with fabco NV-55 and 20 lb tank
Diffusion - T'ed into return line.

12 bags of Flourite Bag Sand

The current plants are
large Rubin Red Sword,
small red devil sword,
medium Kleiner Bar sword,
Madagascar Lace plant,
Limnophila Aromatica,
Windelov Java Fern,
Coffee Anubias,
Anubias Nana,
brown wendtii crypts,
parva crypts,
pogostemon erectum,
Najas Roraima,
Rotala Rotunfolia,
Tiger Lotus
and some others.

The current fish are
various species of Rainbows,
Clown Loaches,
Opaline Gourimis
a columbia tetra (first fish I got in Jan 07),
julia cory's,
hillstream loachs,
albino brusselnose,
regular brusselnose,
whiptail catfish
gold nugget,
and Otto's.

jjp2 02-06-2009 04:36 PM

Tank shots as of February 6, 2009
5 Attachment(s)
The tank is well established and a bit overgrown as shown in the pictures. It also needs some aquascaping so any suggestions would be great.

1312 - Front Left
1313 - Front Right
1314 - Full Front Shot
1315 - Full Front shot straight on
1316 - Outward End Shot

jjp2 02-06-2009 04:45 PM

Tank shots Feb 06, 2009 cont
3 Attachment(s)
More shots as it would only allow so many in a post..

1317 - Back side full tank (ignore the messy desk, and for those curious, I am a document management consultant so it shouldn't look that way.)
1318 - Back side left end as facing the back.
1319 - Back side right end as facing the back

jjp2 02-06-2009 04:51 PM

Tank Plumbing
4 Attachment(s)
Here is a picture of my plumbing.

In the picture 1288.jpg, the ribbed hose is the intake, comes from the tank into the FX5. The clear reinforced hose is the outlet. It goes into a T (hiding behind the ribbed hose) were the CO2 goes in. This then goes into the Gamma UV shown in 1290.jpg going behind the fx5 and co2 tank (also shown in 1291.jpg). 1289.jpg shows the outlet of the UV going into another T where air enters at night. This is all 1 inch hose. It is then split into 2 3/4 hose's and returned to each end of the tank with the outlets pointing forward and toward the middle. My outlets are mid tank, to allow for CO2 distribution before the mist floats to the top.

jjp2 02-06-2009 04:57 PM

5 Attachment(s)
This is my canopy (1306).

The front has 3 2ft mini doors which open upward to allow feeding and use of tweezers, scissors, etc without opening the full top (1307, 1309). I can get to most of the tank through it but can't get my arm fully in. I couldn't make it wider due to the space needed for the lighting.

Pictures 1310 and 1311 show the canopy with the top fully open and the lights mounted. I do have the lunar link lights in the middle.

I put the fans in for cooling. The only real heat are the ballasts that are mounted under the lights in the canopy.

ben314z 02-06-2009 06:12 PM

:thumbsup: Not too shabby!

seds 02-06-2009 08:58 PM

Pretty nice! The plants sure look healthy.

Madagascar laceleaf has a reputation of being difficult. That proves your skills of a master.

If you want my opinion, the plants in the middle are taller than the edges, most people try for an amphitheater look, with a big non living piece (such as a rock or log) As the centerpiece. Sooo you could work around that. If there was an open area perhaps the rainbows would form better shoals there, who knows.

You can also see a little hole without vegetation near the centre but to the right of the tank, at the top half. They will probably eventually grow in to it though.

jjp2 02-07-2009 01:00 PM


Originally Posted by seds (Post 781022)
Madagascar laceleaf has a reputation of being difficult. That proves your skills of a master.

I don't know about this one. I can't grow Eriocaulon at all. I've put the Madagascar Lace in, left it alone and it just grows and flowers. It's had a dormant period for about 6-8 weeks and came back strong. If its doing well, I try not to mess with it.

When I initially laid out the scape, I was trying to have 2 open areas for the rainbows to swim, kind of like a discus tank. I had that till it got over grown but not totally happy with it but haven't come up with an idea.

Thanks for looking.

brotherd 02-07-2009 07:29 PM

moon lights
How long are the moon lights on?I am thinking of getting some for my 110.Are they blue?

jjp2 02-08-2009 04:25 PM

I have the white ones. The blue are really blue, and I didn't care for that look. I run them for 3 hours at night and 2 hours in the morning.

brotherd 02-08-2009 06:00 PM

Next question,do you use a controller?I am getting one because all my lights and 2 Koralia pumps come on at the same time.I only have 1 timer and don't want to buy a bunch more.

brotherd 02-08-2009 06:03 PM

Ok,on closer inspection of the pics I see the timers.

Florida_Larry 02-19-2009 12:36 AM

looks like a hardware store under there.

and for anyone else thinking of getting some of his clippings, i can vuch for them, good and hardy, i had doubts due to the cold weather when i picked some up from him, i stuck them right inide my sweatshirt for protection from the cold, and it was a bit nippy.

Plants survived so nicely i have had to trim them once already.

Hope to see ya all sunday

jjp2 02-19-2009 01:09 AM

A couple hours in a zip lock is less time then it takes to mail, so I knew they would be fine.

Plants deal well with the cold unless they freeze. Frozen plants are dead plants. Heat causes them to dry out, wilt or turn to mush kills them.

Glad they are doing well.

jjp2 02-23-2009 08:15 PM

3 Attachment(s)
New picts after a rescape and trim. Moved the red rubin to the far side so it doesn't take most of the tank now.

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