265 rebirth, Congos and friends. LEDS installed!
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:15 PM   #1
Bowles42
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265 rebirth, Congos and friends. LEDS installed!


Been a long time since I've kept a journal on here, about three years. I moved out to Southern California about a month ago, and now I've got my tank up and running. I've been inspired by the thriving and friendly local planted tank community to step up my game a bit and I thought I would share the progress of my tank.

Tank is 265 gallon hi-tech planted with pressurized Co2, four FX5 cannister filters, and ADA aquasoil. The Co2 currently feeds into a Rex Grigg reactor on one side of the tank, but I'm considering getting a manifold for my regulator and feeding both sides of the tank. Thoughts on getting a manifold?

Currently I've got a 48" metal halide suspended over my 84" tank, as I lost a ballast on my old PC fixture. I've ordered three Tesla Svelte LED fixtures which should be here in a couple weeks. I'm keeping the water level low until the lights come in. I've had one congo jump, luckily my girlfriend saw it and the fish survived, also a few Amanos have made their way out. I'm planning on building a cabinet for the top once I have the lights in hand.

The tank acts as a partition between our living room and dining room, so I draped a white sheet on either side for the full tank shots. I designed the scape with my current lighting situation in mind, so all the plants are in the center of the tank, but I'm hoping to add some foreground plants to either side of the hardscape once I get the LEDs. I'm thinking of glosso, UG, staurogyne repens, or maybe crypt parva. I might just acquire some of each and see what thrives/looks good. Suggestions on a foreground plant? I've had trouble growing foreground plants with my old PC fixture on this deep tank, but I'm hoping the LEDs will broaden my options.

Current stocking is as follows:
26 Congo Tetras
9 Honey Gouramis
8 Otos
3 Albino Bristlenose Plecos
Amano Shrimp
Ramshorn Snails
MTS

Plants:
Anubias Nana
Needle Leaf Java Fern
Few species of crypts
Couple stems of sunset hygro I just acquired
Madagascar Lace Plant

Likely to add more fauna in the future but it's not a priority. Also, I'll try and take photos at night next update to hopefully eliminate the glare.

View from the living room.


View from the dining room/kitchen.


Congos


Honey Gourami


Here's my current lighting setup for the lols.

Last edited by Bowles42; 08-11-2013 at 04:34 PM.. Reason: title change
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:17 PM   #2
Bowles42
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Oh, and here's the link to my old journal of this tank from several years ago for those interested.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...light=bowles42
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:21 PM   #3
Chrisinator
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Gorgeous tank!
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:29 PM   #4
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Great tank! How bout a shot under the hood? I'd love to see the 4xfx5's and how you plumbed them.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:44 PM   #5
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looks so clean!
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:24 PM   #6
Bowles42
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Just a small update. Lost one of my male congos this morning. I noticed him swimming oddly two days ago and he was bloated, but not pine-coned. I quarantined him and tried to get him to take some peas soaked in Epsom salt, but he never showed any interest in food. He deteriorated rapidly. I've been keeping fish long enough to know you lose one every now and again, but it's still disheartening. All other fish seem fine fortunately.

Good news is my lights should be in this week and I'm planning on starting construction on my cabinet top as soon as they arrive.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:20 PM   #7
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26 congos!?!? that must have set you back a bit.

Tank looks great! I kinda like the triangular light bar you have going on there.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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That's a gorgeous tank! I look forward to seeing how it matures. Those Congos look right and home and happy in there.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:09 PM   #9
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I love the mound of plants and wood. Just so open and clean !!!
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:24 AM   #10
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So yesterday I started construction on the cabinet top, and the lights should be here tomorrow hopefully. Also I picked up a manifold and some sweet plants from the swap and shop. Pics should be incoming in a day or two.

Ryan
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:54 AM   #11
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One of the best tanks I've seen, great job!
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:33 PM   #12
Bowles42
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Default Cabinet and lights installed!

So the update didn't happen as quickly as promised, but I ran into a little bit of trouble. When the lights arrived one of the power supplies was DOA and it took another week for a new one to arrive. Unfortunate, but the folks at OCreef customer service were very helpful and promptly responded to all my inquiries.

Before I talk about the lights, I'd like to show off my cabinet. I'm no carpenter certainly, but I'm satisfied with my final product. It hides the light fixtures, and prevents jumpers without covering the tank. I wanted the tank to remain open top for two reasons; I didn't want anything obstructing the light, like a glass top, and I wanted heat to be able to escape, the tank already maintains at around 80 degrees. After a few brainstorming sessions I sketched out a design for the cabinet. It features removable panels so that I can work on the tank mostly unhindered.





Carabiners for easy removal of light fixtures.


Mounted power supplies with eye hooks and zip ties.


Cabinet finished and installed.


I measured not twice, but thrice, and success, it fit like a glove on the tank. And the girls both approve, so huzzah!

Here's the obligatory FTS.


So my thoughts on the fixtures. Getting used to the LEDs will take time, they certainly look/feel different then halides or T5HOs. They are very directional as you can tell from the shadows in the image, though the effect is less in person. The fixtures seem well constructed and the hanging hardware they came with impressed me, though the legs for standing them up seemed sturdy, but finicky. They come with LED displays and remotes and are programmable to some degree without a controller. The remotes only work from close distance, so they are more like an extension of the fixture, but I think the lights would need little adjustment once setup. Also the lights come with a tri-fold pamphlet explaining their use, but it has so little information on their operation that I had to contact their customer support for information on how to operate the fixtures.

The fixtures each have three LED panels and operate on four channels. The first two channels are white LEDs, the third is an even mix of red and green, and the last is blue/moonlights. You can program the intensity of each channel from 0-99. The lights come with four season modes and one that is customizable. I am using the summer setting upon OCreef's recommendation. The lights change intensity over the day, but each channel is the same excepting at night when it's just moonlights. IE, in the day all channels are set to 99. This gives the tank an almost bizarre hue, mostly due to the blue LEDs. I'm not sure how much the blue contributes to plant growth so thoughts on that would be nice.

Anyways you can't argue with good plant growth, and here's a shot of my sunset hygrophila after just a few days under the LEDs. Pink as I have ever seen it.

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Last edited by Bowles42; 08-11-2013 at 05:15 PM.. Reason: image tags
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:51 PM   #13
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Looking good man and yes, LEDs put out a ton more par and you will be amazed at the growth and color you get vs halide or t5.
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:57 PM   #14
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hi bowles42,

really like the black stand/hood and gravel combo. makes the greens really pop, imo.

looking forward to updates w/ those led's.

thanks,
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:35 PM   #15
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gorgeous! though, you've convinced me that 30 congos in my 125 would be too many.
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