Some of you may recall that I had a 30 gal "sacred tree" idea. It pretty much went down the tubes as I got too busy with work/school and was unable to keep up the maintenance and ferts on the high-light tank. Algae was pretty much the killer as I spent awhile fighting rhizoclonium and now have a bad case of cladophora. I've had the particular 30 gal tank since my freshman yr of college. It's got scratches on the glass and trim so I figured, "Hey, I think it's time to upgrade to something nicer."
So I decided I'd upgrade to a 75P. I'm not sure what kind of scape I'll be doing yet. I'm still looking for inspiration. For now, I want to plan everything out and do this tank the right way with as much automation as I can.
Here's what I've got so far that I will be reusing in the new setup.
- 5# CO2 Cylinder with Rex Grigg Regulator
- Feeding CO2 inline using T-connector.
- 2 x Hydor Koralia 1
- Glass drop checker with homemade 4DKH solution
- Planting/Pruning accessories
- Ferts and maintenance items
Yea, the list is not very long. I will be switching my eheim 2213 to my 10 gal tank to replace the mini canister. My current light fixture (36" Current Dual Satellite) is too large for the 75P and I would like to keep the light between 2-3WPG this time around. I might be selling the fixture, so keep an eye out for a posting.
Here is a google sketchup of my plans for the new setup sans filtration, tubing, automation.
Let me explain the sketchup. The stand will be built in the ADA style using 3/4" plywood. It will be painted black and will be trimmed in molding (not shown) to match other furniture in my living room. For more details on the stand, I have another thread about it. My 5# CO2 and the 75P is pictured. I will do a DIY light stand using Tom Barr's design. The new light fixture will be a Current Sundial 24" having 4 x T5 bulbs for a total of 96W.
Right now I don't know what kind of aquascape I want. Considering the location in my living room, I would like a scape that will be enjoyable from both sides as well as the front. Any suggestions/links for inspiration on this is greatly appreciated.
I do know that I want to use Flourite Black Sand for my substrate and I intend to purchase 5 bags. I think/hope this will be enough to do whatever aquascape I figure out, but I can always change the quantity depending on what I decide in the future.
The 75P is a 42G tank. I'd like 2-3WPG and I'd like to go the T5 route. CF, although cheaper, seem to give off a lot of heat and the MH doesn't have a low enough wattage. So for T5 fixtures I've selected the following to choose from:
- 24" Current Sundial 4x24W (PURCHASED)
- 20" Current Nova Extreme Pro 6x18W
- 24" Catalina Solar T5
I'm sure each of these fixtures are great lights, though there are pros and cons to each. Here's where I'd really appreciate it if those of you out there who have one of these or all of them, could chime in and let me know what you think of the quality and features of the fixture. Pricing seems to be somewhat similar from the research I've done, so that probably isn't an issue (yes i've calculated the need to replace the actinic bulbs with 6700K bulbs in the current fixtures). Right now, I am leaning toward the Sundial fixture because of its complete "all-in-one" package. Lastly, since I'd like to hang these fixtures, are the Current fixtures hangable? Do they sell hanging kits for them? Or is there a DIY solution?
I will be reusing my 5# Cylinder and regulator. I will try diffusing the CO2 by feeding into the filter intake to eliminate the need for an in-line reactor that decreases flow. I'll just have to keep an eye on my drop checker, the plants and the fish.
The Filtration & Flow
Filtration will be 2 x Eheim 2215. I am planning to place one intake each back corner of the tank. One intake will be sucking from the bottom while the other intake will suck toward the top. The spraybars will be placed on opposite sides, one toward the top and one at the bottom.
Flow will be from the spraybars of the filters and the addition of 2 x Hydor Koralia 1. I plan to place these, one on each side, with one pointing toward the back center and one pointing toward the front. My hope is to create a constant "whirlpool" that will give the optimum amount of flow to all parts of the tank as well as to keep debris from settling and allow it all be captured by the filter.
I will also be plumbing a 15W Gamma UV sterilizer to one of the filters to ensure water quality.
So the major change from my old setup to the new setup will be automation. This excludes lighting, as those will be on timers to simulate a dawn/day/dusk/moon scenario. What I'm talking about here is automatic dosing and topping off.
For the automatic dosing, I've seen a bunch of threads on here and the general recommendation is peristaltic (sp?) pumps. But at $63/pump, it is a bit out of my range and since I will be fertilizing using EI, the precision of the dosing is not as essential if I aim for the mid-range.
After doing some research, I came across the Tom Aquatics Aqua Lifter
. At a mere $10 a pump, it would only be $30 to complete my automation. Of course, it's probably that cheap for a reason. Any input on this pump? Recommendations for other pumps? I don't really want to spend more than $30/pump as I will need 3 (one for macro, one for micro, one for top-off). Any and all input is appreciated!
Well, I think that's about it for what I'm thinking about right now. Sorry for the long post. I will greatly appreciate any and all comments and criticisms. I will probably start purchasing the equipment and the tank sometimes around thanksgiving. So until then, I'll be doing a lot of research and taking in whatever advice you guys give me and tweaking my plans as necessary. Thanks in advance! I will update as I go along, hopefully pictures won't be too far off