WetLeaf's 120g Med-High Tech Planted Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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WetLeaf's 120g Med-High Tech Planted Tank

Hello Everyone!

I've just made a big international move back home after a few years in Australia. Now that I'm back and permanent I want to get a fairly large planted tank up and running.

I've started ordering items so it's ready for move in day. The plan is to have the tank filled and running by mid-late February 2019.

As progress is made I'll post updates and pictures but figure no place else to start but the beginning so here's the outline!

Display Tank

48"x24"x24"
Will be drilled on the right side of the tank with overflow into Custom Aquariums Overflow Stealthbox.
The overflow will be modified as a Herbie System to ensure it runs silent.
The returns are also coming from Custom Aquarium, the Siphon Stopper. They will be on the right side of the tank as well on either side of the overflows. I will use additional Locline and Y it allowing 4 different returns to be running to disperse flow significantly below the waterline without risk of back siphon.
I will be using stick on window frosting across the back and the right side of the aquarium
This will be all the "equipment" in the tank

Stand

The stand has been preordered from a Welder in my local area. I want something very modern looking and the options from my LFS's just weren't what I wanted. The only options I did like had a divider under the tank preventing me from running a sump. I'm trying to mimick something similar to the Cade River Series.

Equipment

I was running a 90g high tech planted tank overseas and bought equipment that was small so I could bring it back. I will be lighting the tank with 2 Kessil Tuna Sun 360WE's and the Kessil Light Controller. Only complaint is the lack of dimming under 20%.
CO2 will be pressurized, I have a regulator as well. I just need to buy a new stem and nut for it so it works with CGA threads rather then the BST threading overthere.
I'll be purchasing either a 10lb or 20lb tank depending on what my local HomeBrewing store has available.
I was looking at using a reactor for the CO2 but am now thinking of 2 diffusers. I dont want any equipment outside the sump and haven't seen a reactor setup that isn't overly bulky or a stand alone unit.
I already have a dosing pump, I'm still deciding on EI or PPS method, I've only done EI so might look for a change depending on plants.
If I need more flow in the tank then I have a Ecotech powerhead that I will put on the left side of the tank.
The tank will be run off a Ecotech Vectra M1 that I've already ordered.
I haven't decided on a heater yet, leaning towards 2 Cobalt units but still contemplating that.

Filtration
The sump is a 35g tank I left in storage. It's 36"x12"x19". I've just purchased 7 glass baffles from a local glass shop. It sounds like a lot but it works for what I want.
The drains will be in a 6" section and enter the first baffled area which is a vertically placed sheet of Matala Mat. I've ordered a sheet of each density/colour. Each sheet will be adjacent increasing in density. A baffle will be seperating each sheet forcing water to run through them vertically. Each sheet is 1.5". If the first matala mat is too dense for aquarium use then I will remove it and slide them all forward and have the last baffle as a piece of 30PPI Poret Foam.
That's my mechanical section, I will then have a bio section which will likely be some form of ceramic noodle, I haven't decided on this either.
After the bio section then it enters the last filtration area which is a 4" area that I will use for water polishing and ultrafine filtration. I have a 4" thick piece of 45PPI Poret foam filling this gap and I'll have quilt batting on top of that.
This then feeds into the return pump section where I'll also have the heaters.

Stocking
I have no idea!
Currently I'm leaning towards rainbows but I have a soft spot for longfin mountain minnows so I'm always considering just a monstrous school of those with a massive colony of cherry shrimp.
Plants are also undecided, I know I want a carpet of dwarf hair grass and a bunch of AR mini. everything else will develop over time

Anyways! Thanks for checking this out and hopefully somebody's interested in this as much as I am!

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...if I take the dishwasher out and use paper plates I can put a tank in the kitchen without losing counter space

Last edited by WetLeaf; 12-20-2018 at 03:26 PM. Reason: Title Update!
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 01:51 PM
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To paraphrase the famous saying: Build it .. (and post pics!), and the interest will come!


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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipkiss View Post
To paraphrase the famous saying: Build it .. (and post pics!), and the interest will come!
Another popular saying: "Pics or it didn't happen."

j/k Sounds like it will be great.


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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 03:11 PM
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Mountain minnows!! Everyone does rainbows, be different haha.

You can edit the title once you post it. I've reported the glitch in the tech support forum a few hours ago.

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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Aha pics it is!

I have some equipment piled up but posting just pics of that doesn't seem super interesting. It is proof that the build is happening though so I'll share what I have so far =P

The sump will be built over the Holidays since I have some time off, that will definitely get some pics.

Patriot, it was your post about the issue that showed me how to get a thread going despite the glitch!
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...if I take the dishwasher out and use paper plates I can put a tank in the kitchen without losing counter space
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WetLeaf View Post
Aha pics it is!



I have some equipment piled up but posting just pics of that doesn't seem super interesting. It is proof that the build is happening though so I'll share what I have so far =P



The sump will be built over the Holidays since I have some time off, that will definitely get some pics.



Patriot, it was your post about the issue that showed me how to get a thread going despite the glitch!
I tried replying to your message. I'm on the Tapatalk app, but it doesn't show that it went through.

Go to the advanced editing to change the title.

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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 08:17 PM
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Subscribed. This looks both entertaining and educational.

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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 08:45 PM
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Subscribed, this should be interesting.

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TPT says I'm an algae grower... I'd like to think of myself as one hell of a Cabomba farmer.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Alright first update!

I got some packages in the mail, I can’t figure out how to post pictures from my iPad so it’ll have to wait till Monday for some photos. Sorry!

I have added pictures!!

The Matala Mats came in a giant box. They were supposed to be 19”x24” but ended up being 24”x36” so more room for mistakes! Luckily, I had so much because cutting this stuff is not as easy as I thought.

[IMG][/IMG]

After 2 takes and maybe 1/3 of a sheet I was able to get a piece the right width to fit snugly into the sump so now I’m ready to start installing baffles! Should have progress on that over the next week or 2.

[IMG][/IMG]

After seeing the 4 different densities I’m wondering if the most coarse Mat is even worth having in the sump. I think I might just take it out and use a sheet of Poret Foam. With the size of these sheets I could really use 3 of the finest Mats before the Poret Foam. Tons of options to work with.

The below pic shows some density however they are not in any order here. Grey is the finest and black is the loosest

[IMG][/IMG]

The LocLine came in for the returns, I certainly regret not buying the clamp to disassemble/build. I’m gonna have to look online and see what work arounds people have come up with.

[IMG][/IMG]

I also cut a piece of cardboard at 24”x24” to replicate the side of the tank so I could start building and shaping the LocLine to how I want it. The visual really helps me and in this case was pretty important. Well this is my first big change! Turns out the overflow box is 17” inch long so if I put it on this side then there won’t be enough room for both of the returns I want to have. I am now considering putting the drains and returns on the back of the tank rather then the right side.

The Left and Front of the tank are the viewing sides so I don’t want to obstruct either of them at all. So if I can’t get everything on the right side then the back it is. Anyone know off hand how close you can drill to the edge of a tank? I could leave an inch maybe inch and a half.

Last thing that came in was the 90degree adaptor for my Kessil lights. This tank is wider then the last so the gooseneck stands for them aren’t long enough. These adaptors change the angle they’re on so they can sit another 6-8” further putting them directly in the centre of the tank.

[IMG][/IMG]

Well I have pictures so when I get back to a computer I’ll edit them in! Check back soon

Last edited by WetLeaf; 12-24-2018 at 03:54 PM. Reason: Added Pictures!
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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So unfortunately after more planning and research that should've been done earlier I don't think I'll be able to have the overflow and returns on the right side of the tank.

This was purely just to keep the tank tight against the wall for aesthetic reasons so it will still work.

I think I'm going to have to put the overflow and returns on the rear of the tank, the biggest downfall is I ordered a bunch of LocLine that I will likely not need now that the returns are so much further apart and only pushing from back to front rather then left to right. I do think this will keep the tank looking cleaner as there will be less equipment in it.

Once I get the overflow and returns in the mail I'll take a picture of them on my cardboard mock up piece for a visual!

Sump to be built over the holidays!
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...if I take the dishwasher out and use paper plates I can put a tank in the kitchen without losing counter space
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 04:34 PM
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I love a good project.

Looks like you are well on your way, and nice start to the journal.

And Rainbows? Yeah, sounds like they may be a good choice for a planted tank!

Subscribed, and looking forward to seeing where this goes.


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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I measured the Baffles to be a bit large. They Should've been closeer to 11 15/16 inches and I cut them to 11 3/4 inches.

I've built a tank before and it was just messy so knowing the size of the gap around the baffles and how thick the silicon would have to be I decided to find a work around.

After walking through Home Depot I came across shower door trim. Sold in 8' sections, so I bought 2 (still need a third) and then just cut them down to 12" to fit the baffles.

[IMG][/IMG]

They have a channel in them that fits the glass and then about a 3/4" flap making it so much easier to apply silicon. It also beefed them up a bit so I dont need as mu ch silicon to hold them in place.

I cut all the trim I had and made 6 of my 7 Baffles to look like this

[IMG][/IMG]

Getting them in the sump with these trim pieces on is way easier then just putting glass in. I dont need to tape anything in place, they're large enough to hold themselves up and the flap on the end is giving me way more space to work with.

As of this post I have 2 baffled installed and when I get back from work today I'll put in the third one!

The Matala Mat seen in my previous post that is acting as my mechanical filtration, well I got all pieces cut to fit in the tank nice and snug between the baffles. However, I ran into the issue that the trim on the tank has a small lip which prevents an easy removal. So I took the trim off and hit it with a grinder to remove the lips that would support a lid in the area that the Mats are going.

Once I get this third baffle in I'll post a picture of the progress there!
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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So I started installing the baffles.

I ran into a bit of an issue with having only 1.5" gap between baffles. It's impossible for me to silicon one side of the glass once its installed since I cant get the Caulking Gun or my hand in the gap to put in a bead.

I tried to install the silicon onto the glass and then install it but it made a bit of a mess on the glass and I couldnt run anything along the silicon to clean the edge up.

Either way I have 3 of my 7 baffles installed. Excuse the quality of the pic I took it this morning while everyone was asleep so the living room was a bit dark!

[IMG][/IMG]

Cory from Aquarium Co-Op uses the Matala Mat to filter his giant tank. His sump just has them vertically like this against each other. I thought I'd take it a step further and put baffles around them to get more filtration out of each piece. Force the water to run through 12" of Mat rather then just the 1.5".

Next Pic should be a completed sump and I'll make sure the lights are on :P

...if I take the dishwasher out and use paper plates I can put a tank in the kitchen without losing counter space
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Well holidays are over and I have built a sump!

Unfortunately it's not as clean as I was hoping so I am going to take a razor blade and clean up some of my very messy edges but it's not a display so as long as it serves it's purpose then I don't really care with how it looks!



7 Baffles total, earlier posts showed them with the shower door trim, I still think this made it easier to work with but only when I could access both sides of the baffle. Several of the baffles could only be reached from a single side which is where the silicon got real messy.

First Chamber is where my drain pipes will be. Water enters from a 2" gap under the first baffle and is forced to travel vertically through 12" of Green Matala Mat. This then overflows into the second Blue Matala Mat where it travels 14" vertically until it reaches the next Matala Mat, this time Grey, their finest. The fourth section here I am still debating on what to use, I originally intended to use Poret Foam. I have a 45PPI piece cut to fit but I think that may be too fine and will clog too frequently. I have a second Grey Matala Mat in this fourth section at the moment. All pieces of Matala and Poret are 1.5" thick



That will be my mechanical filtration however it will absolutely contribute to my biological but the middle portion of this sump I want to have additional/dedicated bio media. I have a significant amount of Black Matala Mat that I deemed to coarse for mechanical filtration but still has significant surface area so I may fill this section with that. Otherwise I was going to do a number of bags of Ceramic Noodles. Thoughts? I would love to make it a moving bed section but this tank is going in the living room so it needs to be 100% silent

After this media section it goes through what I'm calling my polishing section. It is 4" thick of 30PPI Poret Foam. I have yet to decide if I want to trim it down and put quilt batting on top, not sure if that's necessary.



I get my overflow box and returns on Monday so I will start experimenting with plumbing concepts then but I don't want to get ahead of myself. I need to wait for the stand to be finished and my welder said mid-late January

...if I take the dishwasher out and use paper plates I can put a tank in the kitchen without losing counter space
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 04:43 PM
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I don't mean to be critical, but how will this sump even work? As soon as the filter media gets just a little bit clogged, it looks like the water will start flowing over the tops and bypass all the filter media.

In your sump, the water needs to travel lengthwise through the sponge material, which means that there is a very small leading edge surface that will clog very quickly.

I'm not saying this is wrong, just that I've never seen a sump like this. In the sumps I have seen, the over-under chambers are filled with something like ceramic bio material that doesn't restrict water flow.

You could just sandwich all the mechanical media together in one layer (say, held together with egg crate on both sides), and the water would flow from right to left, using the entire surface area of each layer, and would go much longer before it needed cleaning, and have higher effective surface area.

The reason to use chambers is to hold loose bio media that doesnt restrict flow.
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