Hi-tech 125 build thread - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2018, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Hi-tech 125 build thread

Alright! Just got done sending my big aggressive fish to their new homes! Now the deconstruction begins! I'm going to document my hi-tech planted build from start to finish on this thread. I've had 1 super low-tech planted tank in the past, and loved how it looked! As I go, I look forward to advice and critiques from all of you! I'm very much a noob when it comes to planted systems!

The attached picture is right after all the big fish left. I'm keeping it running until the API Algae Fix kills off all the diatoms in the tank, then I'll get it torn down and get to work.

One question, should I preserve my biological media in my 2 Rena canisters(XP-XL 4 basket & XP-L 3 basket), or just start over with brand new media? If I'm to preserve it, how should I go about doing that? I have 2 other tanks, both 20 gallons so installing them on those isn't an option. I'm thinking I'll probably just go to square one and do all new media...

I look forward to sharing this journey with all of you!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 10:45 PM
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Why not just clean them if you need to (filter material) and keep the tank running and plant it?? I rehomed all the Africans from my 150 a couple weeks ago. Took out some of the crushed coral substrate and replaced it with pool filter sand, cleaned out all the sponge material, and then just started scaping. It was ready to go for fish immediately. I've added 75-80 fish in the last 2-3 weeks and not a single hiccup.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Why not just clean them if you need to (filter material) and keep the tank running and plant it?? I rehomed all the Africans from my 150 a couple weeks ago. Took out some of the crushed coral substrate and replaced it with pool filter sand, cleaned out all the sponge material, and then just started scaping. It was ready to go for fish immediately. I've added 75-80 fish in the last 2-3 weeks and not a single hiccup.
I'm refinishing/modifying the stand, building a matching hood, running hard lines for the filters, and not to mention, I'll have to take a couple of months to accumulate the new equipment (lighting, Co2 setup, heaters, etc.) The plan I've come up with is to setup a large Rubbermaid bin in my shop with holes drilled in the lid for the filter lines, filled with existing water from the tank, a heater, and regular doses of some old goldfish flakes I have hanging around.

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Alright, so I'm doing some research and have my lighting narrowed down to 2 possibilities. 1 is the Finnex 24/7 Planted CC 36" x2. The other is the Beamswork DA FSPEC fixture 72". Any thoughts on either of these?

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-29-2018 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 11:22 PM
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Alright, so I'm doing some research and have my lighting narrowed down to 2 possibilities. 1 is the Finnex 24/7 Planted CC 36" x2. The other is the Beamswork DA FSPEC fixture 72". Any thoughts on either of these?

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2 of the finnex would cost you $260 in order to light your tank but one 72 Beamswork can do that for half the price. You could buy two Beamswork for the same price as the finnex and get significantly more light. But the finnex is feature rich and looks pretty nice. It depends on what you are looking for. Personally I would get two of the Beamswork and not worry about lighting in the future rather than having to upgrade to get higher light in the future. If the light is too bright than you can get some inline dimmers to go with the Beamswork.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 11:35 PM
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Don't have anything to add, but a nice size tank going high tech planted always gets my attention.

Looking forward to seeing how the build develops.

Good luck and I hope everything goes well.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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2 of the finnex would cost you $260 in order to light your tank but one 72 Beamswork can do that for half the price. You could buy two Beamswork for the same price as the finnex and get significantly more light. But the finnex is feature rich and looks pretty nice. It depends on what you are looking for. Personally I would get two of the Beamswork and not worry about lighting in the future rather than having to upgrade to get higher light in the future. If the light is too bright than you can get some inline dimmers to go with the Beamswork.


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I'm definitely leaning toward the Beamswork. I have 2 36" Beamswork fixtures now, just basic ones, and I love how durable they are! I've had the same fixtures on this tank for 5+ years, and the only problem I've had was the old style AC adapters were poorly made and didn't last. When I ordered replacements a couple years ago, they seem to have improved the design.

Does anyone have the Beamswork FSPEC? I'm curious how much heat they put off? I plan on installing a couple cooling fans when I build the hood, just trying to figure out sizing for the fans...

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 12:04 AM
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I have a Beamswork FSPEC and the DA model on my 150. Even with C02 right on the edge of gassing the fish and EI dosing I'm already having a problem with algae. I am pleased with what they are, but being as it's in my entry it would be cool to have color adjustability, fading, sunlight/sunset, and those thunderstorm effects. They are fantastic for what they are.
I should emphasize that I have 2 Beamswork fixtures. A single FSPEC or DA would not be adequate lighting. I don't know enough about the Finnex ones... had a Ray2 that just completely crapped out 7 months after I bought it and Finnex thought that was perfectly reasonable. One of my Beamswork fixtures is 3 years old and has been splashed and dropped into the tank several times... not a single LED is out.

Twin high tech 75's -
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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I'm hoping my choices in livestock will help keep algae at bay... The plan is RCS, a couple good size groups of Corydoras, snails (not sure on species yet) Otos, algae eaters, a large school of Tetras, and a couple centerpiece fish that I haven't decided on yet...

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 01:47 AM
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A good algae crew is key. I find amano shrimp, otos, SAE's, and certain catfish species can do an excellent job of keeping it in check.

Looking forward to the 125g planted tank. It's one of my favorite size tanks for planting because it offers a nice wide view and isn't too deep to achieve good lighting.

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