williak's SeaClear 50g High tech (T5/CO2) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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williak's SeaClear 50g High tech (T5/CO2)

(I had recently started up a 75 gallon journal here but it was abandoned shortly after due to purchasing a house and moving.)

New 50 gallon Acrylic Planted... I've always been too long-winded in my journal attempts, and lost interest after a few posts, so I'm going to keep this one short and primarily pictures (...I believe )


Equipment list:

SeaClear Acrylic 50 Gallon - 36x15 foot print.
[This is my first ever Seaclear aquarium. I've had other rimless/braceless acrylics in the past which were much thicker but still bowed if longer than 2 feet. This acrylic is much thinner, but the euro bracing on top has made it feel more sturdy and I notice less bowing. Fingers crossed this feeling continues.]

Overflow is an Eshopps 1200. Set up as "Herbie style". Covered with some 20 SS Mesh to prevent skrimp overflowing.
[I really love this set up... first and only method I've ever used for overflow/sump. Completely silent. You can only hear the pumps running. I use a gate valve for titration. Both 1" drain pipes.]

Sump filter - Standard 10 gallon glass aquarium - with one siliconed plexiglass baffle.
[Sump is very simple. Just one baffle... Purigen, some ceramic, then lava rock in a canister filter insert... lastly filtered through some blue/white combo coarse/fine filter pad]

Return pump - Jebao DC 6000
[I run it at 7/10, somewhere around 800 gph turn over I believe.]

CO2 distribution consist of closed loop in the sump
[Rio 1600 pushing into a Rex Grigg style reactor. 3" x 24" PVC. Ball Valve on the output throttled to 40-50% I would guess. No bubbles ever seen in tank except pearling.

[CO2 comes on about 4 hours prior to lights coming on. The aquarium receives alot of light from surrounding windows (south facing room). The CO2 comes on at around noon, when this room starts getting pounded by light. Initially, I had some green water and diatom issues because the sunlight was just too much (even though we have blinds closed). Once I moved back the CO2 start time... levels were rising as sunlight started to brighten the room; the issue resolved]

Lighting - 36" Ecoexotic LED strip and Odyssea 2 x T5 lamp. 39W T5 lamps are (1) Geissman AquaFlora and (1) Geissman MidDay
[The LED fixture is set to 80% brightness and runs for 8 hours with 15 minute ramp intervals. The 2 T5s are on 4 hours.. kind of a mid-late day burst for my viewing hours]

Fertilization is nilocg's Thrive Plus.
[An all in one mixed fertilizer. I have used powder methods for EI for years now, and just got tired of mixing fert solutions and always feeling like I needed to tweak my recipe constantly. Most of the time, I felt things were swinging back and forth and never settled. I know this isn't everyone's experience and that's fine I decided to give this a shot, and I have to say I am pleased after a few months of use. IMO I feel like some additional supplementation may be needed down the road, but I have no plans of switching at this time.]


There are plants...

Acmella Repens

Blyxa Japonica
Buce... some little green one, very small

Cabomba Purple


Echino Diversifolia

Hairgrass. Some is tall and some is short.
Hygro Pinnafida
Hygro Corymbosa

Java Fern- Needle and Narrow Leaf

Limno Aromatica
Limno Wavy
Lobelia Cardinalis Small Form
Ludiwigia Rubin
Ludwigia Lacustris

Mayaca Fluv

Rotala Green
Rotala H'ra
Rotala Wallichi

Syno Negro Giant



~ 20 amano and cherry skrimp
~ 5 Otos
~ 10 Pygmy corys.

A single old tricolor sword platy. Only one left from a group I had previously. Don't have the heart to give him away

There is also a lone small Yoyo loach in there. I had an overpouring of snails and he handled the issue. He can stay for a while longer if he wishes.


More photos to follow
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Stand Build

I always enjoy building the stands for my aquariums, it is actually what got me into woodworking as a hobby now.

Here are some pics of the build as it progressed....

Standard 2x4 inner framing, wrapped with 1/2 birch plywood all around.

Doing some puttying and sanding... handplaner and finishing sander down to 220 grit all over

I also made a set of "faux" doors for the front, which are actually just one large snap on panel for full easy access to the sump. They attach with some standard cabinet/drawer type magnets.

Stiles, panels, and all wrapping made from the same sheet of birch. Stained several coats with "Special Walnut" from Minwax, and sealed with standard water based polyurethane.


FTS around this phase...

Within first week adding some new plants.... At this time I was wanting to concentrate on swords, crypts, sag.... some easier stems..

After a few weeks things started to root and pick up...

As I already knew would happen with even decent lighting and CO2... the Swords got out of hand very quickly... growing from about 10" to 26" in 6 weeks...


Most recently I did a little switch up and added a good amount of narrow and needle leaf ferns, and a large selection of stems to do some trial and error with. I always prefer to purchase maybe 15 species and pile them into a tank when "my parameters" are stable and all values are good. I see what grows best in my water and set up, and concentrate on those.

As I mentioned in the past, I started to get discouraged with the hobby after spending so much time stressing, tweaking ferts, and trying to make 1 or 2 specific stem species thrive.... while 99% others in my tank were doing excellent and I hardly even notice those... Now I am just trying to stick with the idea of trying all sorts of stem species, documenting results in this specific tank, and working off that list in the future.

If it doesn't work, toss it.... if it thrives in my tank, then I'll stick with it


These pics aren't the best unfortunately.. just the ones I have saved from this time (a couple of months ago)

I will be updating weekly or so with new pictures and how it has progressed thus far. Thanks for reading
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 01:53 PM
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Looks great, and that stand is awesome!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 09:15 PM
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Beautiful tank.. I never got the point you were at with stems.. I failed quickly and decided they weren't for me. Are you going to introduce any other fauna or are you done?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 03:35 PM
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Is this tank still up and running? Curious how well the acrylic is holding up and how many scratches have shown up with algae scraping.

- - - - - -
29g Freshwater
30" Finnex Planted+ 24/7
Fluval 206 Canister
Paintball CO2
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co2, dutch, stem

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