You've got the makings of a really beautiful tank there. I have the same 5' 120G tank as you.
Yeah, I really searched for this exact footprint. 4' is too short, and 1' isn't deep enough, but we only had so much room a the foot of our bed, so 18" it was. Loving the size and depth, for sure!
I also run two filters with spray bars aimed at the surface. It creates a nice constant ripple. Good for the tank, and the fish will really appreciate the extra oxygen. At some point you may want to add some circulation pumps as well.
I have read so much back and forth about the filtration power of two Eheim 2217s on one tank. My feeling in the end is that it's enough filtration, but I might need more motion down the road, as you suggest. That's fine with me; coming from the world of saltwater I've a good store of circulation pumps in house already.
About surface ripples: in troubleshooting my CO2 system, one thing that the GLA responder said was that rippling was the reason I couldn't get CO2 up to where I want it. He said that spray bars were passe
, and that most planted tank enthusiasts don't use them. But I've read so much about the need to oxygenate as well as gas the plants. Thoughts?
With a tank that size, you will need a good flow of co2. I started out with a inline diffuser, but recently built a Cerges reactor. It wasn't really that hard and I wish I would have done it long ago.
So, yeah. I'm a bit confused on reactors. I had hoped that my manifold would work as a reactor, since most reactors (at least the DIY ones) seem to simply be a large channel of water that gives CO2 time to more fully dissolve. Is that not the case? Do reactors do more than that?
At first, we were getting NOTHING through our diffuser. After running it at 50 psi, we "cracked" it (according to GLA advisors) and now there are good bubbles going through. I know that the bubbles need to be diffused in order to spread through the tank well... right? CO2 is totally new to me! Today will be the first time that we can confidently run the CO2 for the full 8-hour photo period to see if we can gain a green drop checker. How fast is your CO2 stream?
We ARE having trouble getting enough CO2 to register on the drop checker the tank. Did you remove your inline diffuser altogether and just run the CO2 straight through the reactor? IF so, do you think it would be worth a try to run it straight through my manifold?
I see you have a large canopy there. Just curious, does it open for daily access? I built mine and it is a beast to get on and off the tank (which I very rarely have to do).
It does open, and also it has slits in the top (near the front) so one can drop in food/ferts. Handy. But I end up opening it a lot. It rests well against the back wall, and/or it has two supports (like on a car hood)--one on each end--that prop it mostly open. It is a BEAST to lift: I can't do it even with Hubs. We had to have a 3rd person when assembling the tank.
The stand is really cool: I have a sweet 18" rimless cube in that lower, open space, with a nice LED on it. We have options: it can be quarantine, it can be species, and it can be grow out for plants. Not sure what we'll end with: probably a mix of all three. Right now, it's cycling.
Once again, really nice start on the tank, and I look forward to following the progress.
Thanks! And thanks for your comments! I love talking with people who have similar setups and can compare notes!