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120 Gal Dutchy Freestyle - Now with 35% less water volume!

406635 Views 1923 Replies 214 Participants Last post by  Joeyvan172
So this is a journal for my new 120, which replaces my long running 75 gallon. For anyone who followed the previous tank, this one will be basically the same style with just a bigger footprint.

First planting, about 2 months ago.


48" x 24" x 24" Marineland 120 gal


GLA Grow 1 regulator, 10 lb tank.

DIY PVC reactor. Main pipe is 3" x 24"

CO2 cuts on 90 min before the lights, goes off 1 hour before. PH drops 1.1 by lights on, proceeds on down 1.3-1.4 at peak. Livestock are fine at this level, heavy flow and good surface agitation helps.


Two canisters: 1 Aquatop CF 500, and 1 Hydor Pro 600

Measured flow combined is about 600 gph.

1 Koralia Nano 425 for added circulation

Both canisters have SunSun intakes with the skimmer

Left corner is the the Aquatop. Using a 1" outflow pipe to reduce velocity (the in-tank flow is crazy!)

Right corner is the Hydor. The CO2 runs inline with this one.

^also you can see my LED night lights, mounted on each end of the main fixture.


Black Diamond blasting sand


6 bulb T5HO hydroponic unit

Bulbs are front to back:

TrueLumen Flora
Agrobrite 6400K
Zoo-med Flora
Plantmax 3000K
ATI Purple
TrueLumen Flora

Fixture is 9" above the tank, PAR at the sub is around 120. Having lots of red bulbs help keep it down, not to mention awesome color rendition. PAR would be a lot higher at this distance with more 6500Ks, for example


Macros 3x week
7.5 ppm KNO3
1.3 ppm K2PO4
3 ppm K2SO4 (for 6-7 total K)

Micros 3x week
.015 Fe from csmb
.02 ppm Fe dtpa

** Micros are more now because Im rolling my own instead of using csmb. Will update the amounts once I arrive at the sweet spot.

50%-60% water change every 6-7 days


25 Harlequin Rasboras, will soon get this up to maybe 30 or so
6-7 otos
Trio of young German Blue Rams, just coming into their adult colors
10-12 Amano shrimp

Here's the latest rendition. Plant groups are no way shaped for height or footprints. Mainly just tentative placeholders of where things are going to be. Have lots of ideas to try, and open to any suggestions! :)

Detailed plant pics to follow....
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I remembered we have similar water from when I bought those nice shrimp from you a few months ago. They're in the actual Dutch btw. I threw 10 more fire reds from a different source in there to tighten up the bloodline...done had a few babies :)

I use straight tap with KH ~5, these are in sand but it grows about the same in soil. It can be a finicky plant, quick to stunt if it doesnt like something. On any given day I probably have 1 out of 9-10 that is stunted. Thats about as good as I can grow it and I just pinch those off and let new side branches come in. Dont show them in pics and dont sell them, lol. Thats how I solve it!

Now if yours are doing worse, say 50% or more stunted...idk. Probably needs a little more something. In my set ups it tends to balk at too little, not too much

Either way its not your KH or inert sub. Clean tank and good co2, Im sure you have that too. Light I run about 120-130 uMol at the sub, no idea what it would do under more or less
how long did it take your samo red to look big and send runners?
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