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Old 04-14-2014, 03:23 AM   #1
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First Planted 120g


It's a novel, read if you'd like! Ok, these seem to be time consuming so.....i have time as i wait for my new baby boy! Poor wife and horrible husband....yeah yeah i know! Had my in laws donate me their 120g tank. First off i started and ran it for 5 years as a reef tank. During this period i never maintained it like i should have and eventually lost the interest and motivation to continue up keep. Drained, sold rock corals etc, cleaned and let it remain in my man cave empty till i decide wether to sell it of donate it or utilize it. After a long internal mind stuggle with myself i decide to delve into the freshwater planted realm. Started by just switching my x3 250w mh to 8k bulbs, adding fluorite substrate mixed with soil, sand and shell to keep hardness up. Grabbed a cheap marine land magnum for filtration and a cheap pond pump for some added circulation. Threw in some fish, plants and let it ride for a while. As with anything else i start, i research and buy and buy and it goes on and on. So next came a 30lb co2 tank with milwaukee ph meter and solenoid/gauge setup. Built a diy co2 reactor and plumbed it to the existing power head and the old spray bar from the saltwater tank. Added driftwood, let it ride and neglected the tank and bulbs like always. No water changes and had yellow, green brown and everything in between color of water. changed the bulbs and capacitors etc thinking that was the issue and not my horrible house keeping. Well i was wrong as usual and threw money down the drain like always. Had a daughter and she changed my world. My free time is now spent with her in the house and not being a married man with no kids free to ride the harley, rip the sti and do whatever else i pleased. So being in the house more made me releize it what matters most besides family. So i wanted to rid of the algae and maintain my life long passion of fish tanks. Having 3 reef tanks and one fresh now that i am paying a nasty electric bill to grow algae in didn't seem reasonable. Again i pondered a tear down and complete walk away from the hobby. my wife knowing me all to well said no. So i decide to become a responsible man and upkeep my water worlds. So once i decide to go all in i wanted to be 100% pleased with all the tanks in every way...lighting, filters, pumps, skimmers, etc. So i went and started the upgrade process. skimmer, wave maker controller and led lighting for my 34 gallon reef is where i began. I will say that is all i needed.....to see the light. Literally i mean light. THE 150 HQI over that tank died ironically the day after i swapped out the skimmer and pumps. So to the lfs i went. Wanted led for sure and all they had was a jbj unibody. Pulled the trigger due to a sale and saving 75 on it. Wow what a difference. Didn't care for the mounting location/placement and moved it to my 6 gallon reef and picked up a used kessil a350w locally. That was all it took. The adjustability, the crisp lighting, the heat, electrical savings and most of all the pop of my fish and corals just completely reinvigorated my drive to want these tanks to flourish. Once those were complete it was time to tackle the monster, well to me 120g is a monster especially when i was used to doing zero maintenance on the tanks. Started by adding more plants and fish but ultimately wantd to rid of the energy drawing mh and heat producers that they were. Looked at all lighting options and everything was gonna be upwards of 800-1000 to get the same lighting or close to what i had. after hearing so many times to keep my mh i reached out on this forum, it was the reason i signed up and my first post. "mh to led...please help." Just cause it was the most tweakble, energy efficient and i could build it myself. I will mainly give the member on here "Mark Allred" most of the credit for my build, setup and inspiration. He went throughout the same dormant phase in tanks and got reenergized. Spent a lot of time talking with me, sending specs, layouts, templates, and just gray information. So here are some photos........i'll add more commentary but pictures are way better......and ill try to keep it waaaayyyyy shorter! recommendations, and constructive criticism is always welcomed and wanted!!! And there have been many more that i will credit with ideas of my placements, plants, rearrangements as i research my posts and who contributed to my tank in their free unpaid time! I thank you all for the assistance and time to read and post on your free time!

The fill........4/4/2012[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:28 AM   #2
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4/20/2012.......added wood and still clearing up the water[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:36 AM   #3
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Your date has me confused in the previous post.

What light fixture did you end up picking out?

Are you still planning on going high tech on this one?
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:02 AM   #4
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4/30/2012 range.....[IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:06 AM   #5
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laura.....lol sorry for confusion...these 2012 photos are the original metal halides i had that i just swapped bulbs to 8k's. just showing time line here...bare with me
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:07 AM   #6
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5/5/2012.......[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:10 AM   #7
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5/13/2012.....[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:11 AM   #8
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Ohhhh gotchya. I'll be patient. (I love evolution threads!)
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:12 AM   #9
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long lapse of neglect till 5/20/13......[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:13 AM   #10
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and this was high tech from the get go i guess......
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:14 AM   #11
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then another large lapse of partial neglect before my resurgence of late......here we go.....very ashamed of myself looking back at these photos......
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:24 AM   #12
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2/27/14.....then the 100% dedication kicked in and thanks to Mark Allred i found my new led diy lighting setup.........[IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:30 AM   #13
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3/2/14......[IMG][/IMG]proof of neglect....thanks to several members to find the cause...ill get their names in later thank you post.....[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:33 AM   #14
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3/4/14 after water change......[IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:36 AM   #15
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3/18/14......[IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]
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