135gal Planted Tank With Rainbows - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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135gal Planted Tank With Rainbows

After setting up the 65 gallon tank, the next obvious step was to go bigger! Over the last year or so, I have followed this forum and have been in awe of the achievements. I have spent the last 3-4 months visiting various LFS communicating with forum members and equipment suppliers. To all those I am very thankful.

First FTS after initial set up and planting:



The set up:


TANK: VISIO 135 gallon (72” x 18” x 24”) - would have liked to go 24” deep but space was a limiting factor.

STAND: Opted for a readymade stand and canopy - my carpentry skills are absolutely zero and my wife was not too keen on me learning a
new skill that involved power tools!!

SUBSTRATE: Black Diamond Blasting Sand (about 200lbs). First time to use it and hands down much better than Eco-Complete. Cheaper and
easier to plant in.

LIGHT: Based on my experience with the 65 gal setup, I wanted to go the T5HO route. However, with the 72” tank length, choice was
limited. I ended up with 8 x 3ft Nanotech Sunblaster fixtures. I have wired them in 2 “banks” of 4. In addition to the T5HO, there is
also a LED strip light for viewing/moonlight. I also looked into the SB Reef lights…looked very promising except that my canopy was
too short for them.






FILTERS: This is an overkill with a Fluval FX6 used as a filter only and a Hydor 600 that not only acts as a filter but also feeds the CO2 reactor
and has an in line heater attached to it. Wanted the overkill as I plan on a large fish load.

CO2: Lost most of my hair when building the Cerges reactor for my 65 gal. Finally got it right after 3 builds and few modifications. Second
time round opted for a RG type reactor with 3” PVC fittings. The pipe is 24” long and has “T” connectors at either end. The bottom
“T” is closed off with a screw type clean out plug. The reactor is fed by the Hydor canister filter and CO2 is introduced from a 20#
tank using a GLA GRO 1 regulator and Dwyer flow meter. Had to play around with the back pressure to get optimum dissolution and
almost no micro bubbles in the DT. Best guesstimate is that the ball valve at the exit of the RG is closed about 10%.




FERTS: Following a very slightly modified EI procedure:

NO3: 7.5 ppm
PO4: 1.3 ppm
Plantex CSMB: 0.1 ppm Fe
10% DTPA Fe: 0.1 ppm Fe
K2SO4: 2.0ppm K (total K is 7.3)

PLANTS: Mostly acquired from TPT members. Will add more details in future posts.





FISH: Aiming for mostly a rainbow tank. First stocking, acquired from LFS:
3 x Roseline Sharks
4 x Clown Loachs
3 x Otos
4 x Bolivian Rams
2 x Parkinsoni Rainbows

Later added the following (acquired from Wetspot):

2 x Boesemani
2 x Alleni
2 x Irian Red
2 x Kamaka
2 x Millennium
2 x Neon Dwarf
2 x Picta
2 x Goyder River Trifasciata
2 x Hapgood Trifasciata
2 x Turquoise
2 x Yellow




Wife picked out the driftwood - she likened it to a "lion's head" !!!!

Initial setup was a little crazy. Although, the 4ft spirit level showed that the tank was level, it was off by about 0.25 inches end to end. This was evident after filling the tank and noticing the left to right slope of the water at the top edge of the tank. Immediately emptied it to about 2 inches above substrate and then shimmed the tank till the water line was level – measured from the water line to the top edge of the tank. Composite shims were much better than the wooden ones I have used before.

Fishless cycling using ammonia seemed to take forever but that tank cycled in about 4 weeks. Introduced the first batch of fish and plants and within a week the water was a light cloudy green. Partial water changes and reduced photo periods did not help and with the plants in the tank I was reluctant to go with a complete black out. After 2 weeks, “soft” plumbed in a UV light using a submersible pump and flexible tubing loop. Within 2-3 days the water cleared up. This convinced me to hard plumb in the UV light. I now have the Hydor feeding the UV light and heater in series. The UV light is only turned on for a couple of hours after water change. Additionally, 250ml of Purigen has also helped get clear water.




All the above has taken about 2 months. Now the real work and hopefully satisfaction begins.

Lights schedule is as follows:

6:00am – 1:00pm : LED viewing lights
1:00pm – 8:00pm : Row 1 and 3 of T5HOs (6500k and True Lumen Flora)
3:00pm – 6:00pm : Row 2 and 4 of T5HOs (6500k and Zoo Med Flora)

I also have the top of the tank covered with a screen. With the lights only 5” from the surface, I think the PAR levels may be too high. Will have to play around till I get the sweet spot

CO2 runs from 11:30am to 7:00pm set at 20 cc/min. pH levels:

Degassed: 7.8
Morning: 7.0
At Lights On: 6.6
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post #2 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 04:52 AM
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That is a killer setup. And I feel you can never overkill the filtration. Now you can stager maintenance and never worry about the bb. I do the same thing with a Fluval fx4 for filtration only and then a Fluval 306 for filtration, co2 and also inline heater. lol I also have the same inline heater. It works great.


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post #3 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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@clownplanted Thank you for the positive comments. Hopefully, I will be able to grow healthy plants and colorful rainbows!
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post #4 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 07:21 AM
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Nice work on the tank. I really like your plumbing setup. I'm currently fixing my 54 gallon that went in to disrepair. I have a new to me 100 gallon tank in the garage waiting for me to build a stand. Your build is similar to what I'd like to accomplish so thank you for posting.


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post #5 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 11:19 AM
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Wow! I guess it's no surprise as soon as I read the title of the this thread I subscribed!

Very, very nicely done. Love the scape, equipment, fish, stand.....everything. And very nicely documented as well.

I am really looking forward to following your progress. You are going to enjoy watching those Bows mature. And when those plants start filling and taking off, I think you are going to have something really spectacular there.
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post #6 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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@Greggz Thank you for the compliments and I am sure you will not be surprised when I say bulk of the inspiration for this tank came from your setup. Just a fantastic balance of colors from plants and fish!!

I have lost count as to how many times I have read and re-read your thread. And with each read I learnt more.

This is my first experience with Rainbows. When I first introduced the 2 Parkinsonis into the tank they went into hiding, kept to themselves..even during feeding time. This all changed when I added more Rainbows. What a view....the whole tank came to life. Fish swimming back and forth. Feeding time is very eventful..seems like they are starving!!

Just in a couple of weeks, I have seen a noticeable change in color.. especially in the younger ones. Definitely looking forward to see them mature.

As far as plants go, right now the main issue is dialing in the lights. They are only 5" from the top and with no ability to measure PAR, it is a trial and error game.
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post #7 of 103 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OreoP View Post
@Greggz Thank you for the compliments and I am sure you will not be surprised when I say bulk of the inspiration for this tank came from your setup. Just a fantastic balance of colors from plants and fish!!

I have lost count as to how many times I have read and re-read your thread. And with each read I learnt more.
Thanks for the kind words. It's nice to know the journal was useful to you. Like I said, you are well on your way now, and I'll be keeping a close eye on this. As time goes by, I am sure I will learn some helpful things from you as well. I got to tell you, I'm a little jealous. I wish I had the space for a six foot tank, but five feet is all I could comfortably get into my space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OreoP View Post
This is my first experience with Rainbows. When I first introduced the 2 Parkinsonis into the tank they went into hiding, kept to themselves..even during feeding time. This all changed when I added more Rainbows. What a view....the whole tank came to life. Fish swimming back and forth. Feeding time is very eventful..seems like they are starving!!
Rainbows are ALWAYS hungry. Try to resist over feeding them, as it's better from the planted tank perspective.

I should take a video sometime of my daily feeding frenzy. Tank is a blur of colors darting all over the tank. It really is something to see.
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post #8 of 103 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 10:46 PM
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Very nice setup, how do you like the sunblaster lights? Any updated Pics?
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post #9 of 103 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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@markf Thank you for the compliments. I have nothing but praise for the Sunblaster lights. I have them on my 65 gal set up to. For me they were the only option for T5HOs - 65 gal is 36" and the 135 is 72".

Have not taken any pics recently. I am struggling with a serious case of diatoms. As far as water chemistry and dosing is concerned, both my tanks are identical. The 65 gal has been set up for over a year and is crystal clear with almost no algae. Unfortunately, cannot say the same for the 135gal. The only major difference I can really point to is the PAR level on the 135 is much higher. My understanding of conventional wisdom was that high light was an enemy for diatoms. Guess not. Right now I am playing around with light times, and different T5HO tubes. Hopefully I will find the sweet spot soon!!

If you do opt for the Sunblaster, I would highly recommend that you shop around. I bought mine for about $30.00 but have seen them as high as $50.00.
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post #10 of 103 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 08:18 PM
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I mentioned this on your other thread but I would just be patient with the diatoms and not change to much to in an attempt to solve them. Since you have a relatively new tank and are using So Cal tap water this is pretty common. I suffered through a terrible case of them and just tried to wipe them off as much as possible. Nerite snails will help and ottos will definitely help if they take to your tank. Eventually they will slow down and go away (the waiting is the hardest part).

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post #11 of 103 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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@sdwindansea thank you...waiting is the hardest part!!. I do have a few Otto's and snails in the tank. It's a game of patience...went through the same issue with my 65 gal set up.
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post #12 of 103 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 02:01 PM
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Is Oreo the name of the puppy in the photo?? My Mother adopted a puppy that looks just like that (They called it a teddy bear) and named him Oreo 12 days before she passed away suddenly. The joy that little puppy brought her in those few days is something I'll never forget. Yes the only thing keeping my Dad going.
As to the tank I've been there... You just have to wait it out and treat the algae until it balances. I've got 4 Nerites and 5 Oto's in my 75 and I spot treated with hydrogen peroxide and metricide a couple times a week for several weeks. It looks great
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post #13 of 103 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 03:15 PM
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nice!
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post #14 of 103 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Is Oreo the name of the puppy in the photo?? My Mother adopted a puppy that looks just like that (They called it a teddy bear) and named him Oreo 12 days before she passed away suddenly. The joy that little puppy brought her in those few days is something I'll never forget. Yes the only thing keeping my Dad going.
As to the tank I've been there... You just have to wait it out and treat the algae until it balances. I've got 4 Nerites and 5 Oto's in my 75 and I spot treated with hydrogen peroxide and metricide a couple times a week for several weeks. It looks great
Sorry about your mother. Yes, that's Oreo, our 18 month old Havanese!! Just an amazing guy, full of life and gives me so much without any expectations.

Thank you for the advice on the algae. I was expecting an algae hit when I first set up the tank, but not this bad. But hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel. As least I do not see tank maintenance as a chore..I actually enjoy it.
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post #15 of 103 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Been some time since my last post. As mentioned in previous post, I have been struggling with diatoms. Aggressive weekly cleaning helped a little but they just kept on keeping back.

Two weeks ago I uprooted all the plants, trimmed them and cleaned off the diatoms as best I could and replanted. Also added some additional plants and modified my micro dosing from 0.1ppm CSMB and 0.1ppm 10% DTPA Fe to 0.03ppm CSMB and 0.02ppm 10% DTPA Fe.

Since then I have seen a considerable reduction in diatoms - I would guess almost down by 85%. Whether the diatoms have naturally cycled out or the reduction in micros have depleted them is hard to tell but the progress is there in the right direction.




This FTS was taken at 5:00am with just the moonlight leds on.



Right hand side of tank.





Left hand side of tank.
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