125 Gallon Planted Journal - Advice Welcome - Updated 11/10/07 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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125 Gallon Planted Journal - Advice Welcome - Updated 11/10/07

Okay, my other thread ended up with a few extra posts, etc.... and I wasn't getting much response so I decided it would be best to start a new thread.

I'm all ears for advice as I want this tank to be perfect. I'm starting from the beginning, but also know I'm on a tight budget at the moment.

1.) I picked up the tank of our local Craigslist for $200 w/ the Stand and Canopy. I know very little about Sumps (just from what I have read here so far) so decided not to use a sump at this time.



2.) This is after I got the tank inside. I chose Play sand as I have had much better luck with it in the past and I believe the Flourite was a large cause of some of my Algae problems in the 46G after I did some research. Yes, I failed to rinse the playsand (I was being lazy) so it was pretty cloudy. I installed the bulkheads and put plugs in them. Unfortunately I didn't use plumbers tape so I later installed 6" PVC in the bottom with Ball Valves (which sealed them well). I also added a few plants from the 46 Gallon.



3.) This picture was taken on the second day, with no filteration in yet as my Ehiem hadn't arrived.



4.) This picture was taken on the second day after I had installed the Ehiem, moved over most of the plants from the 46G, and created my "Ghetto internal filter" from the Overflows. The Ghetto filters consist of an ViaAqua 1300 Pump on the bottom of the overflows with PVC running up and over and into the tank. Currently I'm looking for my drill to create spraybars. (Put the drill up because I couldn't find the battery. Now I found the battery and can't find the drill).



5.) These were taken on Day 3, as you can see the tank is almost completely clear (it is clear now) and all the fish/plants were moved.






6.) This last picture is the Pipe coming into the tank from the ViaAqua set in the Overflows.




Now, I'm ready for the critiques, etc... I have the canopy, just no "Retrofit" lighting. I've thought about purchasing an AHSupply 1x96W Kit and 3 Reflectors. I was hoping to have a 4x96W Jebo CF Lighting that the person who I purchased the aquarium from thinks he has, but as of yet I have yet to hear if he has found it in his storage unit.

Any advice, criticism, critiques, are welcome. Co2 is now in the tank by a "Airstone" until my Reactor arrives from Rex, along with this I have ferts coming.

125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort

Last edited by enchanted; 11-10-2007 at 05:22 AM. Reason: Updated
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 07:12 PM
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Hey great deal, I sure hope RoseHawk doesn't see this. jk

I like that you made use of the overflows and turned them into Matten filters.
If you ever upgrade the lighting (I have 4 X 96 AHSupply, and it's a lot of light), have a good plan in place to get CO2 throughout the tank.

IMO you should get some extra stems in there, and some more hardscape.

Why do you think Fluorite was the problem in your 46?

Walter

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Well, after talking with AH Supply I think a good solution is what they recommended (as I can't afford a 4x96W Kit right now and would really rather have 6x96W so each is on it's own timer).

I moved the lights off the legs and set them down on the braces directly. I then placed the canopy on top. I now intend to order a 1x96W AH Supply kit now, then add more later.

Here is what it looks like today.

125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazcrash69 View Post
Hey great deal, I sure hope RoseHawk doesn't see this. jk

I like that you made use of the overflows and turned them into Matten filters.
If you ever upgrade the lighting (I have 4 X 96 AHSupply, and it's a lot of light), have a good plan in place to get CO2 throughout the tank.

IMO you should get some extra stems in there, and some more hardscape.

Why do you think Fluorite was the problem in your 46?
It had to do with the rinsing of it. I don't believe I was able to get it fully rinsed properly. Every time I did a water change I would end up stirring up Red Dust and shortly there after I would have an Algae bloom. The longer I went without water changes, the less Algae I would have.

As I mentioned in the post I just made, I'm looking at moving to the AH Supply kits, just slowly (budget is tight right now).

As for the Co2, I'm waiting on a Rex Grigg Reactor to go inline with my Ehiem. I already have a 5lbs Co2 Tank (being refilled today) from the 46G which is going low light, along with the Rex Grigg Regulator, Bubble Counter, and a Milwaukee SMS122 PH Controller.

125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 07:30 PM
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A background will improve things a lot, without all the cables and pipes and stuff there is more focus on the actual aquascape.

When you take pictures of your tank, try to do it at night with room lights off, or close curtains during the day, etc, to avoid reflections.

Personally I have not had good experiences with play sand, hope it works for you.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazcrash69 View Post
"Hey great deal, I sure hope RoseHawk doesn't see this. jk. . ."
Haha. Very funny .

I like it a lot better with the canopy, but personally I've never been a fan of the lights on legs anyway. Pendants look good, but I suspect that some of us would have a cat in the tank if we went that route. I've heard (from tazcrash maybe?) that a 1x96 would be sufficient for a 125 (at least for some types of plants,) although that's on the lower end of the scale obviously, more in keeping with a low-tech tank approach. Personally, having been the hight light route before (4x55 on a 55) I don't want to go there again. Some people can keep up with their tanks when they're pushed like that, I'm not one of them .

Wasserpest's right about the background. You can go the ghetto route and put a couple black plastic trash bags on the back which would at least give you an idea of what it would look like until you can get a "proper" background. The plants will show up much better. Also I think that sucker cries out for a BIG piece of driftwood .

Sláinte!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:44 PM
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I've run my tank for about 6 months pretty much on a 2X96 AHSupply, and growing medium light plants.
Not sure I would say 1 X 96.

And I agree the background will help a lot.

Walter

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 05:53 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=tazcrash69;478350]Hey great deal, I sure hope RoseHawk doesn't see this. jk

I like that you made use of the overflows and turned them into Matten filters.
[QUOTE]

Thanks for the compliment on how I used the overflows. I did them this way in order to leave them available to later easily add a sump. Right now I'm just worried that all my cherry shrimp might be hiding in them (can't find them anywhere else).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
A background will improve things a lot, without all the cables and pipes and stuff there is more focus on the actual aquascape.
I agree, so I did just that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
When you take pictures of your tank, try to do it at night with room lights off, or close curtains during the day, etc, to avoid reflections.
The best one out of my night [censored][censored][censored][censored]s are with the room light on. I need to learn more about how this camera works to start getting the really good night shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Personally I have not had good experiences with play sand, hope it works for you.
My last 125G (about 2/3 years ago) had Playsand. Personally I had very good luck with it using Seachem root fert tabs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseHawke View Post
Haha. Very funny .

I like it a lot better with the canopy, but personally I've never been a fan of the lights on legs anyway. Pendants look good, but I suspect that some of us would have a cat in the tank if we went that route. I've heard (from tazcrash maybe?) that a 1x96 would be sufficient for a 125 (at least for some types of plants,) although that's on the lower end of the scale obviously, more in keeping with a low-tech tank approach. Personally, having been the hight light route before (4x55 on a 55) I don't want to go there again. Some people can keep up with their tanks when they're pushed like that, I'm not one of them .
Honestly, I want this tank perfect due to the fact I intend to sell plants, shrimp, some cories, etc... on here and locally to cover all my hobby costs plus hopefully a few dollars. Unfortunately I'm not going to pull off the plant growth with low light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseHawke View Post
Wasserpest's right about the background. You can go the ghetto route and put a couple black plastic trash bags on the back which would at least give you an idea of what it would look like until you can get a "proper" background. The plants will show up much better. Also I think that sucker cries out for a BIG piece of driftwood .

Good Advice. It has a "BIG PIECE" of wood in it now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tazcrash69 View Post
I've run my tank for about 6 months pretty much on a 2X96 AHSupply, and growing medium light plants.
Not sure I would say 1 X 96.

And I agree the background will help a lot.
How did your tank do with 2x96W? Do you have any pictures of that era?

125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Per all the advice I got, I made a few changes:

1.) Added a nice "Big Piece of Wood!".

2.) Added a black background (now I have to figure out how to wash the back of a tank that is 18" deep and only has 4" between it and the wall)

3.) Removed all the dwarf hairgrass (will be selling this).

4.) Added in Rotala Indica and something that starts with a B (botucus or something like that).

New Pictures:




125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 12:53 PM
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Looking much, much better!!!
I'll try to find some low-light pics of my tank for you. At first I ran 4 X 96 with fast growing stems, and then life stepped in and I didn't have as much time to trim all that growth, so I moved to rosette plants, and cut the lighting to 2 X 96.

Just a couple other things:
When you add the extra lights, mount the ballasts on the outside of the canopy. I mounted them inside at first, and it got warm in there running 4 X 96. It's much better now that I have them on the outside of the canopy.
Also, I used 1" blocks of wood to provide some air-space to help cool both the ballasts, and reflectors. Also 2 4" salvaged Power supply fans do wonders

As for washing the back of the tank: Squeegee on a painters stick?

Could the plant name you are looking for be bolbitus (african water fern?)

Walter

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazcrash69 View Post
Just a couple other things:
When you add the extra lights, mount the ballasts on the outside of the canopy. I mounted them inside at first, and it got warm in there running 4 X 96. It's much better now that I have them on the outside of the canopy.
Also, I used 1" blocks of wood to provide some air-space to help cool both the ballasts, and reflectors. Also 2 4" salvaged Power supply fans do wonders
I've actually been considering putting the ballasts in the stand and running the wires up, enclosed, with a quick connect towards the top (so I can easily remove the canopy).
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazcrash69 View Post
As for washing the back of the tank: Squeegee on a painters stick?
Good idea, but more effort than I want to put out right this minute to take the background off. I may consider moving the tank partway out to clean it and then paint it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazcrash69 View Post
Could the plant name you are looking for be bolbitus (african water fern?)
That isn't it, but here is a picture of it.


125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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I just went and looked it up. It's Bacopa. Most of these plants are "Temporary" to me since once I get the tank completely stable I will be replacing/relocating a lot of them.

125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 07:16 PM
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How did your tank do with 2x96W? Do you have any pictures of that era?
It did well (then again it was stocked with low to medium light plants, 2 X 96 with AH supply reflectors, CO2, flourite, and dosing. Oh, this was befoer a major prune.

Walter

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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I only "Hope" I can get my tank that nice.

Time for an update after I just did my weekly water change. I'm still missing 8 Neon Tetra's that just up and dissapeared Saturday after I bought them.

Currently I did a "Massive" trim and replaced a bunch of plants, specifically all the Cabomba and Ludwigia. I did this due to some BGA problems that were flat over running both of them. I still have some BGA issues, but not near as bad now and this water change I cleared out a few more. I am also having some issues with the string algae again (don't know what else to call it) so that was part of the reason for the massive trim.

I figure since I just got the Co2 Reactor in and started dosing, along with getting it on a 6 Hour Lighting regimen I should give it a week or two to let the plants start to over run the algae (hopefully).



This is a picture of the new driftwood I put in along with this you can see the Cabomba starting to peak it's head over it. When I first put it in a few days agao (3 or 4) it was still over an inch short of showing up above the driftwood. The other plant is Moneywort that you can see towards the front.



This is the worst infested piece of driftwood. I cleared off a bunch of the algae/BGA but still have a bunch on it.


125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 07:34 PM
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I only "Hope" I can get my tank that nice.
Thanks, it's what I call overgrown mess. It's really trickery. It's all low-tech low-light plants allowed to run wild, and what you don't see is the thread algae I was plagued by at the time.

Walter

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