tatersalad's 5 foot 120 build - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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tatersalad's 5 foot 120 build

I've been looking for a tank over 100 gallons for quite sometime. Been doing the craigslist thing looking for a good used one. Ended up with a 6 foot 135 with dual corner overflows that was real nice, but the wife said no. Has to be 5 foot or less to fit in the spot that I am "allowed" to use. So I sold that tank the next week for what I paid. Then I really lucked out and got a 5 foot 120 with a stand from Petsmart on Black Friday for $300. The tank is black silicone and the stand is black as well. I have been working on this project off and on since then. As you can see from the pics, the stand will work for me, but it must be modified. This particular stand had two cabinets on either end with doors and a shelf back-plane setup in the center. I plan on using a sump on this tank so I am modifying the stand.
I beefed up the stand with some 2x4s and used the original back-plane for a door to cover the middle section that will house my sump tank.
I have also currently finished the overflow box for this tank as well. I went with cell cast 1/4" thick black acrylic. I believe it turned out well, and it was not very difficult to do on a table saw. This weekend I will be drilling this tank for the overflow. Pics to follow.
Thanks for looking, I will update with more information when I have time.
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post #2 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 03:19 PM
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I'm in process of setting up the same size tank, I'm a big fan of this size 120.

What are you planning on putting in it?
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post #3 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 04:16 PM
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Is that a standard 20g sump or 29g? I wish you had pictures of the actual tank! I'm sure the black silicone looks sharp. Also, on the topic of the overflow, what are the dimensions of the interior box? What's your proposed flow rate as well? I'm always interested in similarly sized tanks and their setup.


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post #4 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyskiffie View Post
I'm in process of setting up the same size tank, I'm a big fan of this size 120.

What are you planning on putting in it?
Well, at this point all I know for sure is that I've always wanted to keep clown loaches. And I want them to get big. I guess really I just want to have sorda a community tank. I would love to have a discus or two in there, but I feel like I won't be able to provide the proper care for them. Maybe a community tank with some nice bosemans rainbows?
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post #5 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemananana View Post
Is that a standard 20g sump or 29g? I wish you had pictures of the actual tank! I'm sure the black silicone looks sharp. Also, on the topic of the overflow, what are the dimensions of the interior box? What's your proposed flow rate as well? I'm always interested in similarly sized tanks and their setup.
The sump is a standard 20 gallon High. I tried to fit a 29 gallon inside that space and it was an inch and a half too long. I did not want to remove the 2 main supports on the stand to fit it so I went with the 20 high and beefed up the 2 main supports instead. I will be posting pics of the main tank soon as I plan on drilling it this coming weekend. The overflow dimensions are approx. 12" x 6" on the front panel and 12" x 6" on the bottom panel. The two side panels are approx. 6" x 5.75". The reason I had to make my own box is because I could not find a pre-made one that I could fit a 1.5" bulkhead with a Elbow attached into it. Most everything was only 3" deep and I needed over 4 inches to get that 90 degree fitting and the bulkhead in there. I am setting it up with a Herbie type overflow. I am going to have a 1" main drain that I can throttle with a valve and the 1.5" is the emergency drain. I will be running a Jaebo DCT-8000 which is a DC drive variable speed pump that can max out at around 2100GPH. If I calculated right, I should be able to flow at least 1800GPH through this box. But honestly with the variable speed pump and being able to control the flow coming in the sump with a valve, I should be able to dial it all in. I filled the 20 high with a 1 gallon jug one gallon at a time and made marks on the tank so that I will know where to position my sump dividers so that I can have enough sump left to get in the amount of water that will drain off the main tank when the power goes down. You can bet I will for sure be testing all of this outside my house before setting this up in my living room!
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post #6 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 05:34 PM
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Nah! Test her on the carpet in the living room. haha. Glad to hear it! That's a ton of flow. Not saying it is too much, it's just a lot. I am going with the same brand of DC pump myself.


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post #7 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 06:03 PM
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Lol, even just 2 gallons on a carpet looks like disaster zone.

Cape Town, South Africa.

Hi. I'm back.
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post #8 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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I'm planning a spray bar for the return, so I'm sure I'll lose some flow there. I'm just trying to take my time with this project and not screw it up. This is the biggest "new" tank I've ever owned. My display tank in the house now is an old Oceanic 67 gallon "show" tank. It's 24" deep and looks good, but I've had it for like 15 years and it was used when I got it. I'm kind of looking forward to having a brand new tank with no scratches.
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post #9 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 12:05 AM
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This is fantastic!!!! I love it. Tell the Mrs to go find a hairdryer and a dressing table that will keep her happy.

How did you find a tank that size so cheap? In the UK can't find anything line that. I have a 240 litre tank with stand bout paid over £700 for it.

Have you got pictures of your tank


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post #10 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 12:37 AM
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Just a FYI, you can calculate the height change into volume and back into height change fairly easily since water has know values. I ended up buying the same pump. I'm very interested in seeing your return! I have no clue what I'm going to do with mine yet, so seeing some more examples and ideas is super useful. I do have to say that was quite the pickup for a NEW tank. Very good deal! I bet that sucker is heavy though.


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post #11 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatersalad View Post
Well, at this point all I know for sure is that I've always wanted to keep clown loaches. And I want them to get big. I guess really I just want to have sorda a community tank. I would love to have a discus or two in there, but I feel like I won't be able to provide the proper care for them. Maybe a community tank with some nice bosemans rainbows?
Looks like a great build. Like how you are modifying the stock stand. Looks like it's going to work out well for you.

And I also have a 5ft 120G. Great size for Rainbows and loaches too. The Rainbows and loaches create a nice layering, as Rainbows stay near the middle/top, and loaches near the bottom. Another one you see often with Rainbows are Roseline Sharks. Also stay near the middle/bottom of the tank.

Good luck and looking forward to seeing how things progress. Lots of possibilities there.
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post #12 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemananana View Post
Just a FYI, you can calculate the height change into volume and back into height change fairly easily since water has know values. I ended up buying the same pump. I'm very interested in seeing your return! I have no clue what I'm going to do with mine yet, so seeing some more examples and ideas is super useful. I do have to say that was quite the pickup for a NEW tank. Very good deal! I bet that sucker is heavy though.
Thanks, the tank is very heavy. I actually don't normally do the Black Friday thing, but this year I came across a leaked ad for Petsmart showing the 120 and 125's being on sale for $300 before noon on Black Friday. I scouted out my local Petsmart 3 or 4 days before Thanksgiving and the manager told me they only had one of the 5 foot 120 gallon setups. He even went in the back and took a pic of it with his phone to show me. I got to the store 2 hours before they opened that Friday. I was first in line and when the manager opened the door he handed me a ticket and said that they never even unpacked the 120 setup because he knew I was coming. I just paid for it right then and drove around back and they loaded it up in my truck with a fork lift! I was in the store like 5 minutes. Best shopping experience I've ever had, LOL
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post #13 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 02:29 PM
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Holy smokes! I really don't do the Black Friday thing either, but there are some good deals to be had from time to time. That really is a steal. I'm VERY stoked to see this come to fruition.


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post #14 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Freemananana View Post
Holy smokes! I really don't do the Black Friday thing either, but there are some good deals to be had from time to time. That really is a steal. I'm VERY stoked to see this come to fruition.
Well, I must ask for grace and patience because it will probably take me awhile to complete
I have 3 kids and my wife works sometimes when I'm not working on the weekends so sometimes I get a chance to work on this project and sometimes other things take over. But I promise to take pics and document it in this journal when I do finally get it going.
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post #15 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Drilled

Ok, everything worked out and I was able to drill my tank and install the bulkheads and the overflow I made. I am going to try to insert these photos as I go, hopefully.
I got my wife to help me set the tank up on my sawhorses that I covered in some old bath towels as to not scratch the glass.

Bump: Then I laid everything out. Brought the overflow box up into position and traced out the inside diameter of it. Then I positioned my bulkheads and traced out their inside dimensions as well.

Bump: Then the fun began! Just so you guys and gals know: this is not my first tank to drill. I had 2 old tanks laying around outside that had either been cracked at some point or were just discarded for whatever reason. I practiced on those in the weeks leading up to this. I will say this though, none of them had as thick of glass as this 120 had. To me, the thicker the glass the easier it was to drill.
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