crshadow's 125 Gallon High Journal *56K Warning* - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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crshadow's 125 Gallon High Journal *56K Warning*

Hello everyone, I've been a member here for almost 2 years now and just wanted to start off by giving a big thanks to all the members that come to this forum to share their knowledge and experience. Without everyone, I surely would have had a much longer learning curve. Also, thanks go out to Kyle for providing us with this great forum in the first place!

Now, on to the journal!

The story begins with my 80 gallon bowfront that's been running for close to 2 years. After catching the planted tank bug, this tank became quickly overfilled with plants and I began yearning for a larger tank. Although it's an 80 gallon, the planting area is quite a bit smaller than that of a 75 gallon because of the shape, and to make matters worse, it was "reef ready" with a large overflow and return tube on either side of the tank, which further subtracted from the planting area. I was hoping to get a 180 to 215 gallon 6 footer, but with bills and everything, it just never panned out. I finally decided to give up and try to make the most of what I had for the time being. To accomplish this I decided to empty the tank and move it to another location where it'd look a little nicer, and I decided I would plug the bulkheads and remove the overflow/returns to get some extra space in the tank...

Well, I started the whole project, moved the fish and plants to some rubbermaid tubs, plugged up the bulkhead fittings and stopped at that point to finish it another day...

Later, we had to go to petsmart to get some stuff for our dog.... Then, I saw it..... It was a 5 foot wide 125 Gallon High Tank, with black silicone seals. The tank was $329.00 and the stand only $179.00... I was finding it very difficult to resist the temptation... Here was a tank that wasn't too expensive, and yet would still satisfy my urge for a larger tank. It was the perfect happy medium. I looked to my wife so that she could talk me out of it, but she was actually quite supportive so we both agreed to get it!

Attached is a pic of the 80 gallon. Boy, that laterite sure is messy....

-Jeremiah
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post #2 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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So, here's the new tank!

I meant to start this journal a while back, so the first few posts will be catching everyone up to the current point. I actually purchased the tank on 3/19/2005.

This pic shows the tank after I installed the background and after starting with the plumbing. I was testing a few pieces of driftwood that I had purchased prior to all this. (You never know when you might need some nice driftwood.)

If I'm not mistaken this was around 3/23/2005.
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post #3 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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The background material I used is called "Oceanvisions." It comes in several colors and attaches to the back of the tank like window tint. Overall, I'm very happy with the results. It's a great option if you want a smoother appearance than a traditional background, and are unwilling to paint.

I bought this product from www.aquaricare.org
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post #4 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a pic of Oceanvisions "Crystal Black" and Oceanvisions "Midnight Blue."
I had purchased a piece of both colors as I wasn't sure what color I was going to settle on. In the end, good old black won.
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post #5 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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The stand only has two small cabinets on either side, which makes it a little difficult to fit a lot of equipment in the stand.

On the left side, I have a bucket where I will store topoff water. The attached pic shows the pump that will pump the topoff water out of the bucket and into the tank whenever I've lost some water due to evaporation.

The second pic shows a piece I whipped together to spray the topoff water into the aquarium without disturbing everything in the thank. It's basically a sprinkler head that sprays left and right only...
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post #6 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 02:13 AM
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Looking good, those pieces of driftwood look unique.
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post #7 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 02:28 AM
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Yup, that's some beautiful driftwood you have there, crshadow. More pics, more pics!!!

Nolan


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post #8 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the complements!

As you requested here come some more pics!

This is the right side cabinet which houses a Rena Filstar XP3 and some plumbing to adjust the flow to the Aquamedic CO2 reactor in the back, etc. The brass fitting on the right side of the plumbing is a quick disconnect so that I can easily attach a hose/python and use the power of the Filstar to drain the tank for water changes.
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post #9 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Back around 4/1/2005, we moved the tank into its final position. To my horror, I discover that the floor is uneven! Arg! It turns out that there was a high spot that sits right in the middle of the stands footprint, which allowed the tank to wobble quite a bit. After much pondering, I ended up removing two floor tiles, where the bump was in order to alleviate this problem. This was just enough for the stand to sit level. Without the floor tiles, there is a small area of the tank that is not supported, but I'd rather have that than the other situation... As an added precaution, I cut a piece of foam insulation to sit under the entire stand to help even out the pressure.

Here's a pic of the type of insulation I used.
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post #10 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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4/3/2005

With the tank finally in place, it was time to add the substrate. I had originally purchased 8 bags of Eco-Complete which were intended for the 80 gallon, but had to order 4 more bags for the 125 gallon. The first 8 bags were nice and clean.... However, the other 4 had this strange white substance all throughout the bag. I realize that this substrate is supposed to be packed with beneficial bacteria and all, but this stuff didn't seem right... It didn't smell too great either... I added one of the bags as is, but the other 3 I tried to drain off the liquid before adding the substrate to the tank.

This is how cloudy the stuff was as I was filling the tank with water. I seem to recall reading recently that others have had this problem lately...... If all the bags had been this way, I can imagine that it would have been a lot worse.
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post #11 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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This is after a couple of days, once the water cleared.

-Jeremiah
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post #12 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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This was actually two separate pieces of driftwood. After deciding how I wanted them, I screwed them together and then screwed them to a piece of slate.

EDIT: Please excuse the mess all over the floor.

-Jeremiah
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post #13 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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The tank didn't come with a canopy, so to save on money, I decided to build my own. Thanks go to Aftica, George Booth, and everyone else who posted pics of their DIY hoods. They were all great inspiration for me.

I started by taking measurements of the the tank. Then I went to Home Depot and took measurements of the various stock sizes of finish poplar that they had. With all these measurements in hand, I transferred everything into a 3d modeling program so that I could more easily visualize and plan everything out. The 3d rendering is color coded for the different size stock pieces of wood, so that I could easily figure out what I needed to buy when I went to get the material. This also enabled me to easily decide where to put the AH Supply lights that I had ordered.

EDIT: I wanted a canopy that I could flip the entire front half back onto the rear half, so that I could easily reach the bottom of the tank and have light at the same time. The problem was I was planning to have 3 rows of lights, so I'd either have to split the canopy so that 1 row of lights would flip back or 2 rows would flip back. Two rows flipping back would give me more room to move around and less risk of burning myself, but would give less light to work with... Whereas 1 row flipping back would give me a lot of light to work with, but not as much space. My preference was for two rows to be flipped back with the front of the canopy, but I still wasn't sure what to do. Then my wife comes along and suggests "Why don't you just split the front down the middle?"
Bingo! So that's what I decided to do with the design...
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Last edited by crshadow; 04-19-2005 at 02:17 PM.
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post #14 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 03:50 AM
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nice progress so far and i love the driftwood. cant wait to see ur plants.
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post #15 of 184 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 05:36 AM
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That wood looks awsome...Cant wait to see more!

Imagination is more important than knowledge...
Albert Einstein


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