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Old 08-22-2013, 02:04 AM   #1
MarkM
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Start on 120 Set Up


Bought a 120 and stand from RichyRich several weeks ago. I just got it on its stand today and in place. The plan is to build a planted tank with some Angel fish and friends. I have refinished the stand and added a few oak supports. I have not put the door back on yet, maybe this weekend. I have a hundred pounds of flurite black gravel, a FX6, a buildmyled light system, a nice piece of driftwood, and I found two chunks of white marble at a plant place today. I am going to do a fishless cycle, add plants, then finally add fish. I am maybe three months away from my first end point and lots to do.

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Old 08-22-2013, 04:20 AM   #2
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You can just deliver that bad boy to my house this weekend, I'll be home all weekend

Nice looking tank, so jealous of it, and makes me want to get off my butt and reseal my 100 gallon tank (72"x18"x18").
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:19 AM   #3
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Made progress this evening after work. I rinsed my flourite using a colander and got it into the tank. I set up my FX6 including some additional mechanical media and less the carbon media supplied. I crossed my fingers and filled the tank with water. I was surprised when there was little muck in the water and you could see through the tank side to side. I started the filter and now the tank is opaic so will wait till it clears. Maybe I'll clean the media before starting with the cycle. Set up the LED light bar and it works.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:05 PM   #4
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I'm looking forward to the updates, keep it up!
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:44 PM   #5
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The filter has been running for 18 hours now and the water is still cloudy. My HOB on the 50 cleared things up more quickly than the FX6 is able to on the 120. Different substrate, different filters, and different size tanks. I may open the FX6 later today and take a look at the media and see how much dust it has trapped.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:25 AM   #6
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Hum, I did take my FX6 apart yesterday. Not much dirt or dust had been trapped. I have some 20 .and 30ppi foam and some synth glass pads. The synth glass did catch more than the foam but still not a lot. I cut up an old T shirt and put a few layers of that between the layers of synth glass. Not much change over night so that does not seem like a good idea. I am now 2.5 days of filtering time and the tank is still cloudy??

I was going to start my cycle by adding some ammonia but was going to wait until the tank cleared. I wait another day or two I guess.

Meanwhile, I am working on a auto top off system. I added the fittings under the kitchen sink, (Tee, reducer to 6mm, pressure reducer, elec valve, elec valve, 6mm plastic to tank) I found two really cool micro float switches and mounted them in a 1/2" glass tube to place in the tank. A 24vdc power adapter, two small relays, and I'm done. It works at the sink and I'll get that installed later today maybe.

Initial Par reading in the new tank are encouraging. Even with the silt or dust in my water I can get high in the medium light range with the new LEDs. Idea is to adjust the light to 75% of the low range so I have plenty of light.

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Old 08-28-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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The tank has finally cleared and is crystal now. I started a fishless cycle three days ago and the ammonia level remains at 4.0 Driftwood is soaking in a spare bathtub. I checked this morning and it is leeching tannin as the water is tinted like weak tea. Driftwood still floats after 36 hours of soaking. If it does not eventually sink I will have to find a piece of slate or similar and screw it to the bottom as a weight.
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:59 PM   #8
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well back from the garden shop and the hardware store, my driftwood is still floating after a week of soaking so I bought a piece of slate to use as an anchor, I got a masonry bit and stainless steel screws and plan to drill the slate and run a couple of screws into the wood, I also picked up a piece of 1/2 dowel and will drill a 1/2 hole and make a new foot so that the piece will sit like I'd like
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
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Here is the driftwood mounted on a piece of slate. It was easier to drill the slate than I thought it would be. I cut a flat near the mid point and used two 3" stainless screws through the slate and into the wood. I had to add 11 pounds of water to make the wood sink in my bath tub. The slate is 19 pounds so I should be good. Have decided to wait until the tank cycles before adding the driftwood. I found out that the wood is cedar when I cut the flat for mounting.

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Last edited by MarkM; 09-01-2013 at 04:21 PM.. Reason: type of wood note
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:24 PM   #10
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Badass piece of driftwood! Interested to see the tank finished
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:35 PM   #11
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Here are two white marble rocks I have just cleaned up.

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Old 09-01-2013, 06:48 PM   #12
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But man does that driftwood look awesome. Can't wait to see it finished.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:30 PM   #13
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Love the wood!!! Tank is gonna look good with it. Any updates????? Join in the 6 foot plus club ( link in my sig).
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:02 PM   #14
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My bacteria bloom has subsided, water is not crystal but much clearer. I decided that since something had changed, the water got clearer, I'd check my nitrites and they are beginning to build. So, the second part of my cycle has started.

The water was clear enough to look at my LED's in relation to the par value. My 50 measures 34 micromoles and it is growing plants. The new LED for this tank has a dimmer. I adjusted the LED output to 40 micromoles which should be a good starting point. I can get 71 at max so I have a wide margin to play with.

I spent an hour mounting a power strip in the stand and tying back all of the cords so it does not look like a jungle under there.



Light on and FX6 going it is much quieter than the 50 with its HOB w/o the light. With the light, well I am going to have to replace it as it has always been loud.
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Last edited by MarkM; 09-03-2013 at 02:46 AM.. Reason: add pict
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:19 AM   #15
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My cycle is proceeding apparently as it should, the nitrites are high now and the test strip is red, ammonia dropped to 0.25 this evening. Added more ammonia and continue to watch.
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