Shane's 'Oh crap that's alot of water!' - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Shane's 'Oh crap that's alot of water!'

Im long winded so forgive me ahead of time.


In the beginning stages of this build. It will take me a while to get this one going. I have a house that I have to repaint and replace flooring in so I can sell it before I can do this at my new house. For now this will be a planning thread only. Open to suggestions as this is the largest ( by far ) project Ive done. I purchased a tank, stand, light fixtures x2, HOB filters x2, pressurized CO2 setup, pH controller, heaters, 30 gallon trashcan full of Flourite, power heads etc. for $200 I couldnt pass it up. It means I cant put up the two 40B tanks I just purchased ( no space now ) but I will be OK I think

Tank; Oceanic 180 gallon ( 6'x2'x2' ) with matching stand

Filtration; still undecided. Trying to decide if I want to risk drilling the bottom of the tank like Tom Barr did or if I will just hide the canister filter plumbing. I got the tank so cheap that I dont want to risk having to replace it because of breakage during drilling. My wife tolerates my hobby but would NOT let me buy a new tank this size. Maybe a wet/dry? Maybe 2x canister ( FX5, Eheim Pro III, Odyssea 500, XP3 ??) filters? Im sure I will need a powerhead in there as well.

Heating; Dual inline Hydor 300W heaters ( I read Tom's journal and he says that wasnt enough to keep his at higher temps--I plan to keep mine around 77*, hopefully this will work-if not I can add an intank heater.

Lighting; Also undecided. Possible some MH or T5HO. The tank came with 2 36" fixtures with dual PC bulbs in each one. The seller said they stopped working recently and Im unsure of wattage or the issue with operation.

CO2 and ferts ; Pressurized with pH controller and dosing EI with dry ferts.

Substrate ; came with all that Flourite so I hate to waste it, but I plan a sand foreground for all the catfish. May try MTS with a Flourite cap in the rear and sand in the front.

Plumbing ; At this point I am most likely going to run two canisters with all of the plumbing hidden in the rear corners with corner boxes. I may have the filter intakes in the center of the tank and just hide them with paint and plants. Behind and under the tank I will have inline heaters, inline CO2 and a water changing connection. This tank is going in my basement and I already have a fishroom with water supply and drains. I plan to do large water changes weekly or smaller daily water changes. Still researching that.

Ive got a huge piece of driftwood picked out at a LFS ( its been there forever and I always liked it. ) Gotta find some large rocks to go with it. 3.28.11 driftwood is purchased---and huge.

Stocking list will likely change many times. I had considered doing an African Cichlid tank but I like the looks of plants more so Im going that route. I honestly have no real clue on how many fish I can put in this thing. Tom's stocking list blew me away with the sheer number of critters he had planned. 450 critters counting the shrimp I dont think he actually ended up with that many though--I never saw any Apistos in his pics.

Tetras of some sort. I like Congos but I also like the smaller tetras like Neon Greens and Cardinals. May even consider Flame or Lemon tetras. I would like a bunch of em whatever I choose. Maybe 70-80 if I go smaller? 30 Congos if I go with them?

3.28.11 Ive fallen in love with blackwater biotope tanks----Amazon

Plecos. I dont have the budget for any of the real expensive plecos but I will have some Ancistrus and maybe one higher end Plec. 5 or 6 small specimens.

Want to try Farlowella cats. Ive always liked them and think they are cool. Never had any though.

Mid sized school of Corydoras of some sort. I look forward to seeing them in the sand substrate in a school. Maybe 20? Maybe 50 Pygmy Corydoras--man that would be cool.

I know for sure it will have at least a pair of Kribensis. Maybe a couple of pairs.

This only leaves the upper level with no critters. I dont like hatchets at all so Im not sure what I will pick.

Several Otos, Im sure I will never see them.

Maybe some Amano or Cherry shrimp but I fear that they will just be a snack for the cichlids because I plan a somewhat open scape. Maybe I can put the Cherries in earlier than the cichlids to let them get established.

This only leaves the upper level with no critters. I dont like hatchets at all so Im not sure what I will pick.


Plant selection ; For scaping Im planning something similar to Jason Baliban's 178--but only in the sense that it will have two seperate groupings of plants and wood. No foreground plants in the center of the tank, sand only--possibly some Staur. 049 in the corners at the front. Some swords and Vals to take advantage of the height and provide some shade for the Tetras. Not gonna get too carried away with multiple species of plants--Ive got other tanks for that.


Last edited by shane3fan; 03-28-2011 at 09:37 PM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 08:25 PM
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fish need it sells metal halides for very resonable. 3 150w should get you where you are going...


My 180 has duel overflows and a 40B sump with a DIY wet/dry... I really like having a sump. I also run 2 Eheim proII 2028 cans on it because I have a lot of large african cichlids and the tank is overstocked to curb aggression...


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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this tank creates a few problems that I have to work through.

1st ; Im not sure that I dont need to get an electrician to come in and run a new circuit to my fish room just for this tank. Ive got 2x 20 long, 40B, 50B, 29, 2x 10, 5.5, 2.5 and now a 180 gallon ( plus possible 40B sump ) all in one room on one electrical feed. Thats a lot of load I think. I might consult an electrician to advise me on what would be best. Just off the top of my head I would have over 800 watts in lighting, 1600 watts in heaters and I have no idea on wattage of pumps. This would all have to be converted to amps to give a true indicator---but its enough to concern me. This tank will more than double my current electrical load.

Stocking ; I have never stocked a tank like this so Im not sure how many critters I can put in at one time without crashing the tank. I have to nail down a stock list so I can decide for sure on what order to purchase critters.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for input on this tank please. Its kindof overwhelming thinking of the magnitude of this tank compared to the smaller tanks ( 50 g being the largest ) Ive already got.

Im not sure about filtration--Im honestly scared to do an overflow after some of the horror stories Ive read about tanks losing prime and overflowing. Im thinking I can use some sort of float switch to control the return pump and avoid pumping all of the sump water out and overflowing the tank.

So; 40 gallon sump with auto water changer ( drip method ) plumbed in. 2x canister filters--one 3ft spraybar on each side at the top. Return pump from sump to tank plumbed to spraybar near substrate. Overkill? Too much flow?


Stocking list is pretty much complete as laid out above--I would like to add one mdium-large fish to the mid level though. Im not sure what to add--I dont know of a fish that I can add that fits what Im looking for. Colorful, peaceful, 6" length ( approx ) wont eat all of my tetras and wont harass the catfish and Kribensis in the lower levels. Still undecided on an upper level fish also. I just dont like hatchet fish and that seems to be the most common pick for upper level fish. I may add in my current stock of Harlequin Rasboras and WCMMs from my 29g. That would make too many different species though?

Filtration is my biggest hurdle right now though--I want enough flow to keep the tank sparkling but not enough to blow the fish around more than they are comfortable with. I also want to avoid flooding my basement.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 03:25 PM
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The sump alone will work fine, but it sounds like the tank isn't drilled. That means the overflow will still rely on a siphon feed, which as you mentioned can fail. The system should not be able to overflow either the tank or the sump if the overflow or pump quit; remember that the pump output will back siphon into the sump when the pump is off, so incorporate a siphon break (small hole in the pipe at the water line) and also don't fill your sump up so much that the excess water will overflow the tank.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 03:55 PM
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Look forward to seeing what you make of this. Large tanks with large schools of fish are really a sight to see. I am planning to do a lot of small fish in my 75G that I just set up.

Kribs are really good at eating cherry shrimp. The nice part of that is the Kribs get great colors from eating them!


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 04:02 PM
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Ive never had a tank this size but... If it were mine, I'd definitely drill it and use an overflow like this: http://www.beananimal.com/projects/s...ow-system.aspx I liked this style because it has redundant drains to prevent overflowing. Id also go with redundant overflow switches just to be safe. Then go with a wet/dry sump. Tom Barr has convinced me of their benefits to fish. Sumps also are great because they keep the display tank water level constant, you can keep equipment out of the display tank (Cheaper heaters, etc) and they make lots of automation systems easier. For a large tank like that i would want at least a semi-automated water change system.

As far as a surface fish you could go with some nice male guppies. I would stick to just male. My tank has females and I have to constantly find ways to get rid of fish. You could also try and find some half-beak livebearers, they are pretty cool.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Ive never had a tank this size but... If it were mine, I'd definitely drill it and use an overflow like this: http://www.beananimal.com/projects/s...ow-system.aspx I liked this style because it has redundant drains to prevent overflowing. Id also go with redundant overflow switches just to be safe. Then go with a wet/dry sump. Tom Barr has convinced me of their benefits to fish. Sumps also are great because they keep the display tank water level constant, you can keep equipment out of the display tank (Cheaper heaters, etc) and they make lots of automation systems easier. For a large tank like that i would want at least a semi-automated water change system.

As far as a surface fish you could go with some nice male guppies. I would stick to just male. My tank has females and I have to constantly find ways to get rid of fish. You could also try and find some half-beak livebearers, they are pretty cool.

Not really into the half-beaks. Guppies would be considered--but more along the lines of Endlers. Also considering some Gourami.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Seriously considering a blackwater biotope. Ive purchased the driftwood, filtration and heaters. Next thing is to tackle drilling the tank and building a different stand. The current stand is too short for my tastes. I dont mind using a ladder to work in the tank, I want it to be more on eye level instead of having to bend over to see the top levels.

Any input as to stocking and maintaining a blackwater setup is much appreciated. Im doing some research later today.


flora ; Swords and Vals plus some floaters of some sort.

fauna ; Not sure--I like the look of wild Angels but not the more common ones. I dont really care for discus at all. Blackwater opens up stocking more than a full planted tank. I suppose things like Firemouth and other medium sized South American cichlids are possible with this setup. I know I will have a pair of Kribensis, some Ancistrus cats, maybe some Raphael cats, Farlowella, Corydoras etc. Lots of bottom feeders. No shrimp because of the cichlids.


sand substrate covered in leaf litter and river stones/gravel
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 05:24 PM
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What about a pearl gourami for a centerpiece fish?


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 08:28 PM
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The wattages that you listed aren't as important when determining load on an electrical circuit as amperage would be. The larger the amperage load, the more likely you are to require a more stout or multiple circuits run to your fish room. A typical plug is 15 amps. Since you're already doing some home renovations for the sale of the home, then it may benefit you and the prospective buyer to have more circuits to work with.

Good luck,

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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The wattages that you listed aren't as important when determining load on an electrical circuit as amperage would be. The larger the amperage load, the more likely you are to require a more stout or multiple circuits run to your fish room. A typical plug is 15 amps. Since you're already doing some home renovations for the sale of the home, then it may benefit you and the prospective buyer to have more circuits to work with.

Good luck,

Charlie

hmmm--not sure where you got the idea I was gonna sell the house. This house is probably the home I will die in.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 09:31 PM
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I have a house that I have to repaint and replace flooring in so I can sell it.
I think he got the idea from your first post.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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I think he got the idea from your first post.

OHHH---doh--lol. Different house. I have finished that stuff and rented that house out since then. I edited the original post for clarity.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 09:47 PM
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This sounds cool. When will we see some pics?

My 65g jungle October rain
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