From SW to FW. 120G high tech build.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:58 AM   #1
seahunter
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From SW to FW. 120G high tech build.


New to freshwater but not so new to aquariums. Before i begin let me give you a small background as to what I kept in the past( about 3 years now) I won’t go into detail about all the saltwater aquariums Iv had but ill try and describe my last setup a little. 180g starfire tank with 120g sump and a 77g refugium. We sold our house and I had to take it all down. I decided to sell everything and take a brake from the hobby. In my new home about a year and a half ago I put together a small freshwater tank for my son. It was basically a tetra tank and I added one plant that actually did great till just recently. The lights were left on 24-7 and I didn’t do a water change or even clean the filter in prolly over 6 months! lol Tank started to look like crap! BBA algae covered the entire tank. I decided to convert the tank to SW and went online looking for an old friend that had drilled some tanks for me in the past. I accidently fell on some FW forums. Out of curiosity, i took a look around and was shocked to see how gorgeous FW tanks are today! I mean WOW!! Amazing! And so the journey begins! I cleaned out the 40g added new substrate, picked up a fluval co2 system, LED lights....

And before you know it, you have a 120 up and running..

Equipment.
- 120g 4X2X2 drilled
- 2 X fluval 406
- 10lbs co2 tank
- Aquarium plants.com co2 regulator
- EXT 5000 co2 reactor
- TurboTwist 9w UV Sterilizer on 24/7
- 300w hydor inline heater
- 2X Max spec LED 160w fixture
- 2X glo single 54w T5 HO
- 95g water change holding bin(big garbage can)
- Substrate is a mix. Flourite on the bottom, Fluval stratum on top


First FTS


FTS (15-01-12)


FTS (20-01-12)


FTS (24-01-12)


FTS (15-04112)


FTS (27-01-12)


My equipment room.

Last edited by seahunter; 04-15-2012 at 07:37 PM..
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:15 AM   #2
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the substrate I added was, my old sandbed for seeding purposes, added 3 bags of seachem flourite and one bag of fluval stratum on top of it all. Filtration is handled by a fluval 405. One big mistake I may have made was keeping my old rocks covered in BBA and not cleaning them before putting them back in the tank. My thought was that, once I get the tanks parameters all in check it will just die off. At least that was the case in SW. I hope that’s the case in FW as well. after that, I went out and purchased my plants. I wish I was able to name them all for you but I dont think I can remember even ONE of their names. Hopefully you guys can help me out once I get some pics up. The tank has been up and running for a few days now. I did my final touches tonight to the lights I purchased. MAX-S leds. There was 18 leds on the unit that were blue and I changed them tonight for 4 greens, 4 ambers and 10 white. The plants are already looking great. I see some new growth and purling on them. The addiction has kicked in again and I already started planning my new tank! After a monster system with salt I cant satisfy my addiction with a 40g. I’m thinking minimum 120g with a 75g sump. Ill post my thought on that tomorrow and hopefully get some feedback. Ill also try and get some pics of my tank up tomorrow. Cheers
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:50 AM   #3
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here are some old pics from my SW days to try and make the thread a little more interesting. Ill get some new pics up when my system starts to look good.










my 90g. just before the 180

Last edited by seahunter; 01-10-2012 at 05:26 AM..
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:39 PM   #4
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Sweet pics, is that a dwarf angel in the 3rd photo? The hard corals look awesome. Looking forward to see what you do with a planted tank.
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micr0 View Post
Sweet pics, is that a dwarf angel in the 3rd photo? The hard corals look awesome. Looking forward to see what you do with a planted tank.
Thanks! thatís a Watanabei Angel, one of the few reef safe angels. I have my little 40g up and running right now and Iv started collecting some equipment for my next build. Iím really excited about getting into fresh water. Itís all new to me or at least allot of it is. Hoping to get some feedback and help from you guys as to how I should build my new planted tank. For instance, I want to build a sump for easy water changes and to keep all the equipment like heaters ect out of the tank, but Iím lost as to how to build the over flow. In SW we just put an over flow box and skim the surface of the water. Which in turn helps bring all detritus to the sump where itís easily removed. Iív herd that in FW itís not a good idea... How else am I supposed to do this?
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:51 AM   #6
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My 40g I have up and running(please excuse the iphone pics). I also took some pics of the equipment and the BBA I should have never put into the tank. I see allot of new growth on the plants tonight, so I know I’m doing something right lol. I also gathered some old equipment I had almost forgot about from my old systems that I can use on my upcoming planted tank build. Really hoping I can get some help from you guys as I start it up.

Some test results: Kh=3, Gh=5, Nitrate=5ppm, CO2=30

Max spec LED lights

The first row of lights isnt showing. Just like in the last, theres another two greens on the outside and to whites.


The controller/timer


Fluval Pressurised CO2


FTS(looks like crap I know but im sure itll look better as the plants start to grow in.) Im going to keep the 40g going as a test bench for trial and error so i get it right when I setup my new tank.


What ill be dosing


some new growth


" a plant" lol


left side of tank


equipment Im starting to put together for my new build


Last edited by seahunter; 12-01-2011 at 06:18 AM..
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:31 AM   #7
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More growth from the plants again today. Im really happy with the way the tank is looking. Id really love to get some feedback from you guys on the overflow question.( do I skim the surface of the water or do I absolutely have to find another way) Im going to be shopping around for my new tank this week and would love to have some feedback and suggestions.
Test results 40g. December 1, 2011. After a 50% water change. I dosed MR root medic macro and MR root medic mico. Lights off for an hour before I tested.
Nitrate = 5
PH = 6.6 I need to calibrate my new probe tomorrow to make sure this is correct.
CO2 = 30
GH = 4
KH = 3
Phosphate = 0 undetectable
Iron – free non chelated = 0 undetectable
Iron – chelated = 0.5
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:11 AM   #8
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Wish I knew the answer on your sump question, all I know is that they aren't preferred for planted tanks because of co2 loss...I've not heard of successful workarounds, but I haven't looked for them either. Come to think of it, i did recently read something about closed/air tight sumps vs open ones. You might look into that Looking forward to seeing what you put together.
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghotifish View Post
Wish I knew the answer on your sump question, all I know is that they aren't preferred for planted tanks because of co2 loss...I've not heard of successful workarounds, but I haven't looked for them either. Come to think of it, i did recently read something about closed/air tight sumps vs open ones. You might look into that Looking forward to seeing what you put together.
Thanks. Im going to look around, ask around search around...ill eventually figure it out.. I really want to get everything right and be 100% sure of what i want to do before buying the tank. Iv made the mistake in the past with an aquarium and hated myself for not researching more before ordering the tank. It eventually bothered me so much that I ended up selling it and ordered a new one..Definitely don’t want to do that again. Once again, your tank is gorgeous!
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:35 PM   #10
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Here's a new FTS as of this AM. The new growth on the plants looks nice and healthy with good coloration. The BBA on the rocks looks as if it may be going away!! Woohoooo
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:51 PM   #11
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New goodies..

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Old 12-05-2011, 01:40 AM   #12
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You've got a nice layout going with that group of plants. How are you gooing to deal with the RO/DI? We were considering it, but the idea of storing water seemed like a bit of a pain. Do you fill up a reservoir or something else?
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:00 AM   #13
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Having come from reef tanks I know the pain of not having a sump, on a small tank you will drive off a lot of the CO2 that is beneficial to the plants, in something bigger it will be less of a concern, remember flow rates in a planted tank are a lot lower than your old reef tank, Tom Barr has done tanks with sumps and had no issues, he doesn't use extremely high light though so he may have lower CO2 levels, I'm not sure here. I would look through some of the build journals on here also as check out some of the ways Amano (my planted tank inspiration) has built his tanks, you will see that even with large tanks closed loop canister filters are the norm but with some innovation I'm sure you could make a sump work.

Len
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghotifish View Post
You've got a nice layout going with that group of plants. How are you gooing to deal with the RO/DI? We were considering it, but the idea of storing water seemed like a bit of a pain. Do you fill up a reservoir or something else?
Thanks! itís actually really starting to look good. At least to me it does . I know Im prolly going to have a hard time taking it down once the new one is in.
The RO/DI unit wonít be used. My house is already equipped with a de-chlorinator and a water softener. I tested the water right out of the tap and its right on the money. If I were to use it, Iím afraid it would actually make it too soft. I had the unit and thought why not but after testing I guess its going to need to go back from where I dug it out of. Im going to use a reservoir to hold water for water changes. RO/DI or not. That way I can fill it the day before I plan to do a water change and get the temp to match for the next day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lbacha View Post
Having come from reef tanks I know the pain of not having a sump, on a small tank you will drive off a lot of the CO2 that is beneficial to the plants, in something bigger it will be less of a concern, remember flow rates in a planted tank are a lot lower than your old reef tank, Tom Barr has done tanks with sumps and had no issues, he doesn't use extremely high light though so he may have lower CO2 levels, I'm not sure here. I would look through some of the build journals on here also as check out some of the ways Amano (my planted tank inspiration) has built his tanks, you will see that even with large tanks closed loop canister filters are the norm but with some innovation I'm sure you could make a sump work.

Len

After searching the net and talking to many people I decided to go with a closed loop canister filter. I actually ordered my tank today and hope HOPE! I can change the order tomorrow from a 90 to a 120 or 150. Iím having it drilled on the bottom to build a similar system to that of fluvals new tanks, the profile I believe. Ill post pics of the build as I go. Thanks for the info. Ill try and find those threads and read through them.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:10 PM   #15
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I recommend the 120, the extra depth is nice the 150 is ok but you will find that 30" is really hard to plant and that there aren't a ton of plants that will be able to fill up that height
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