New to Freshwater plant tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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New to Freshwater plant tanks

I recently got the permission from the misses to set up a 120g fresh water plant tank with little restriction on things I can buy. She just wants to make sure it’s a iwagumi style tank with Baby Tear (HC) and Seiyru Stone.

These are the things I am looking on getting, and would like some of your thoughts on why / why I shouldn’t get these items.. and if I should get something else.

1. FLuval or Eheim canister filter. I have not looked at which model to get yet for a 120g, but I know I will go with one of these two brands
2. 2x Kessil 360 Amazon sun or… 3x 160 Kessil Amazon sun (coverage). The wife loves the shimmer...
3. Green leaf Aquarium full co2 set (will decide which to get soon)
4. Atomic co2 Diffuser inline vs. Cal Aqua Labs glass co2 diffuse… (what makes the glass one so much more expensive? Almost 3x)
5. ADA aqua soil + additives

Aside from these above, am I missing anything? Also, any further help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 10:45 PM
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Looking forward to seeing another 120G on the board!

Only two comments on above. For a tank that size, I would recommended getting two filters. Better flow, and you can maintenance one without disturbing the bio field in the other. Also, if there ever is a problem, it's much less of an emergency with one still running.

And as to a diffuser, I would skip it entirely. Once you get started, you will realize with a tank that size it's better and cheaper to build a DIY Cerges or Griggs reactor. Much better diffusion so no bubbles. Might as well just do it now, as you probably will eventually. After I built mine, I thought to myself why didn't I just do that a long time ago?

Also might consider a flow meter rather than a bubble counter. Much easier to adjust CO2 flow and control things.

And be sure to start a journal, as myself and I'm sure many others would like to follow along. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Looking forward to seeing another 120G on the board!

Only two comments on above. For a tank that size, I would recommended getting two filters. Better flow, and you can maintenance one without disturbing the bio field in the other. Also, if there ever is a problem, it's much less of an emergency with one still running.

And as to a diffuser, I would skip it entirely. Once you get started, you will realize with a tank that size it's better and cheaper to build a DIY Cerges or Griggs reactor. Much better diffusion so no bubbles. Might as well just do it now, as you probably will eventually. After I built mine, I thought to myself why didn't I just do that a long time ago?

Also might consider a flow meter rather than a bubble counter. Much easier to adjust CO2 flow and control things.

And be sure to start a journal, as myself and I'm sure many others would like to follow along. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Thanks!

I can probably do 2 fluval canisters and ill research more on the Griggs set up. Is there a reason why you would recommend against the inline co2?

What is a flow meter, also?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 12:12 AM
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Thanks!

I can probably do 2 fluval canisters and ill research more on the Griggs set up. Is there a reason why you would recommend against the inline co2?

What is a flow meter, also?
Yes, there is a reason I would recommend against an inline CO2 diffuser. See the below post, and in general they just work better, and they are inexpensive to build.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8-...ght-panic.html

And more on the flow meter in this page of my journal.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12...-8-15-a-2.html

Hope that helps. And by the way, in the Journals section, you can see how other people approached their build. Lots of great threads with loads of information. A great place to do some research. I still go back and revisit many of them.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 01:15 AM
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+1 on the two filters. I run two 406's on my 75 gallon and I love it. Idk what your bioload will be like, but I'd like to have an FX6 and a 406 on a 120. (Craigslist sometimes has deals on used ones)

I would then use the 406 with a DIY Cerges or Griggs reactor to disperse CO2. The diffuser just isn't gonna give you what you want.

Also, if you haven't looked into Monte Carlo (MC) check it out. Much less demanding than HC. I trim the MC in my high tech tank once a month tho... might be tough in a 120. Dwarf Hairgrass is another option, it wouldn't shade itself out. Plus with taller stones, you could let it just grow taller.

75g Tank Journal:
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I never really read too much into the Griggs method, but i will def. look into either building one, or buying one already made.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 06:58 AM
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I would actually run this tank as low Tech for the first year were it me, to get a feel for plants and how growth is affected by light,nutrient level's,and lower level's of CO2.
Then can add CO2 injection without much change unless lighting level's are increased substantially.(then need more nutrient's.CO2)
Sort of crawl before walking approach.
Bit of a learning curve with CO2 injection/distribution, and you can read more and learn more about the injection of gas while at same time,watch plant's grow albeit slower rate.
My two cent's.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 01:50 PM
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I would actually run this tank as low Tech for the first year were it me, to get a feel for plants and how growth is affected by light,nutrient level's,and lower level's of CO2.
It's not bad advise, but the wife wants an Iwagumi with HC.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 02:01 PM
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Understood.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 01:34 AM
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You will surely need 2 filters for 120. Maybe 3 of them. I run a single eheim 2217 on 40B and I think it is just enough. The stocking will influence the amount of filtration you need. Low bio load requires less filtration.

My recommendations:

1. Get 2x85mm in-tank diffusers from GLA and split the co2 instead of an inline diffuser. The problem with this tank is the size of the tank. It might require an earlier injection start time to ensure CO2 is properly distributed around the tank. I would personally got with CO2 running 24/7 but injecting a lower amount of CO2.
2. Buy a regulator from this forum. Save yourself maybe $100+. I've bought 3 regulators from this site and none of them have failed me yet.
3. Go with black diamond blasting sand. If you have not seen Burr740's journal then check it out. You don't need expensive substrate to get a nice planted tank. I personally have 4 tanks with inert substrate and the fertilization that you'll be doing with inert substrate is the same with the ADA amazonia substrate.
4. Buy all the needed dry ferts and a dosing pump and automate fertilization. Anything to help reduce the maintenance work and let you enjoy the tank more is always a plus. Also dosing pumps ensure consistent dosing once dialed in. You will also need dry ferts for this tank especially if you go with the inert substrate route.
5. A circulation pump might be needed. This will probably depend on your filtration but having that slow consistent flow around the tank is always a plus.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-03-2017, 03:30 AM
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I say go for the Co2 diffusor if you like the way it looks. I think it definitely provides a nice aesthetic.
I think you should also look into the twinstar algae inhibitor.

If money isn't an issue, I would also look into a rimless tank.
I do love kessels--especially the shimmer effect, but have you considered metal halides?

Your wife giving you the green light on this is a HUGE win by the way! I'm happy for ya!

Only dead fish swim with the stream.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-03-2017, 06:37 AM
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I am a sump fan. After switching from canisters to sumps I can't go back... I tried on my latest 35g hex tank and only lasted about 2 months with a canister before I switched to a sump. I hurts to have a practically new Eheim Pro III 2075 sitting unused on the shelf but a canister just doesn't measure up to a we/dry (trickle)sump for me. IMHO a 120g begs for a sump!

BTW, if you decide to go for a sump you pretty much have to drill your tank. Drilling a tank is quite easy. Siphon overflows aren't worth the hassle.
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