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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

In late 2019 I started getting the itch again, having not owned a tank in about 15 years. My last tank was a 75 gallon heavily planted with CO2 and a sump filter.
I decided to start "small" and picked up a 25 gallon Landen rimless, low iron tank which I documented here. Once it was up and stabile I started yearning for a larger tank for more room for scaping and especially so that I could give some schooling fish more room. I decided that another 75G was a good size so I embarked on the big task of safely moving the 25g tank contents over to the new tank. I decided to run both tanks in parallel so that I would not be forced into a stressful and possibly disastrous “moving day”. It would allow me to fully cycle and dial-in the new tank. My plan was also to only move some of the old plants since my Java ferns had not done too well. I moved a very big sword over and a lot of Buce, Anubias and Crypts. I also bought a lot of other plants so that I could start with a heavy planting.

New Tank: Here are some specs:
  • Waterbox rimless low iron 120P/75 gallon. 48”x20”x20”
  • Aqua Forest Aquarium Archaea 120P stand.
  • @Bettatail custom made CO2 regulator
  • Oase Biomaster Thermo 600 filter
  • CO2Art inline CO2 Atomizer/Diffusor
  • Twinstar 120SA LED light with dimmer
  • Substrate: Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum mixed with Seachem Fluorite. Pool sand for front “beach”
  • FZONE Aquatic Glass Lily Pipe set with Skimmer
  • Jebao DP-3 Programmable Auto Dosing Pump
  • Kasa Smart HS103P4 Plugs by TP-Link, Smart Home Wi-Fi Outlet
  • Locally sourced stones plus driftwood purchased online.
  • Livestock includes: Nerite snails, Red Cherry shrimp, 12 Pygmy Cories, 5 silver tipped Tetras, 3 Otos, and 20 glowlight Rasboras.

I use the Kasa smart wi-fi outlet with an Amazon Echo Dot to time my CO2 and to turn my pump on and off. With my old tanks I too often would turn off the pump to feed the fish and then just walk away. Also my filter has the heater built in and is on a separate cord. It needs to be turned off whenever the pump goes off. The other reason for the Kasa is that I have on occasion done a water change and forgotten to add Prime. Usually, I remember in time however once with my old 75 I forgot for several hours and had a terrible “Bad Dad” event where fish were lost.

Now I can say “Echo. Turn off pump” and do my water change. When I say “turn on pump” I have Echo programmed to say “Did you remember to add Prime?”.
I also can say “Feed fish” and the pump will turn off for 10 minutes and then back on.

I moved some filter media over to the new tank to help speed up cycling. I also added some bacterial starter, a bit of fish food, and occasional drops of ammonia. Once the chemistry showed that it had cycled I tried moving a few shrimp over. That did not go well. They would race around for a day and then die. Oddly, snails were fine. I eventually did multiple water changes and added both carbon and Purigen to the filter. After a while I was able to keep shrimp and then the big day came and I moved everyone over. So far everyone is thriving. Today I am added 20 Glowlight Rasbora (Trigonostigma hengeli).

I am using an inline diffusor for CO2. I tried a Griggs reactor but it was trapping too much air which caused gurgling, especially when I changed the prefilter in my Oase. Since I clean that weekly, and it takes a day for the air to get expelled from the RG reactor, I went back to the atomizer which is silent and gets the job done. I see no haziness from the microbubbles and I get a Ph drop of about 1.0.

Original 75g tank: ~15+ years ago:

Wet/dry filter with Quiet One pump. Pump output is divided in two to the tank and each then divided in two again to get flow to different areas of the tank.
Substrate: 100% Seachem Fluorite gravel. 3 to 5 inches.
CO2 Added: 10lb tank to bubble counter to diffuser. All bought from Monolith Marine Monsters (great folks). Diffuser in sump with outlet pointed right at inlet of return pump. Diffuser run from split-off of output.
Lighting: AH Lighting PC kits in a wooden hood. 4 x 55w. 2 @ 5300k and 2 @ 6700K
Chemistry: ph ~6.9, kh ~4, gh ~8. Nitrates < 10. Phosphate < .1
Fertilizer: KHCO3, MgSO4, Flourish iron, barley straw extract(Flora APM), and Tropica Master Grow(TMG), Jobe's palm and fern spikes.
Critters: Cories(julii) 7, Rummy Nosed Tetras ~15, SAE 3, Farlowella 1, Red Whiptailed Catfish 1, White Cloud Minnow 7, Rainbow Shrimp ~several, Malaysian Trumpet Snails ~many.
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New tank...
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the kind words.

The Rasboras have settled in and are exploring the tank. I do have one problem however. I have 5 silver tipped Tetras. Two are pale and three are a darker gold. The gold ones are bullies. They bully the pale ones and one in particular bullies the other gold ones.

I blew it. I had originally planned to rehome them when I netted everyone for the move. I relented, due to laziness and thinking that with more space they might chill. Wrong!

They are bullying the Rasboras, especially if they venture into the middle of the tank which the tetras seem to have chosen as their turf. I would love to pull them but having run into this with a white cloud in my old 75g I know how hard it can be to catch one in a well planted tank. Bummer.
 

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Very nice setup. I have never had a planted tank so don't know how hard it is, but when I am going to catch a very fast fish in a big setup I usually feed some flakes that will get all the fish to the top and quickly dip my net in and scoop out the fish. Hope that helps.

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Discussion Starter #6
...when I am going to catch a very fast fish in a big setup I usually feed some flakes that will get all the fish to the top and quickly dip my net in and scoop out the fish.
Thanks. I will try that. Previously I put food in a net and waited until the fish ventured in but that took a loooooong time (days) as the fish had to get used to the net.
 

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A big net is your savior. Get the kind with the black mesh, it looks like a nice inviting safe cave. Put it in the tank and let it open up but don't move it around.

Then, the scare hand comes into play. Herd the fish with the scary hand. It wiggles, it thrusts, and look, a nice safe cave!

Scoop.

It takes time and patience. You can also do it on water change day, with 50% they have less room to run.

But, do you like them? I had tiger barbs in my first adult tank. Mean little jerks. I later found out that I just didn't have enough. If you get a larger group they just interact with each other. Google around and find out.

Oh, great tank, before and after!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
A big net is your savior. Get the kind with the black mesh, it looks like a nice inviting safe cave. Put it in the tank and let it open up but don't move it around.

Then, the scare hand comes into play. Herd the fish with the scary hand. It wiggles, it thrusts, and look, a nice safe cave!

Scoop. It takes time and patience. You can also do it on water change day, with 50% they have less room to run.

But, do you like them? I had tiger barbs in my first adult tank. Mean little jerks. I later found out that I just didn't have enough. If you get a larger group they just interact with each other. Google around and find out. Oh, great tank, before and after!
I am pretty tired of their endless chasing. Feeding time is the worst. They very seldom nip but I do like "peace in the land". For me the tank is like a mediation. There is enough aggression and stress in the world and especially here in DC already! So I do not think that I would risk adding more. I was hoping that adding the glowlight rasboras would chill them but that has not worked.

When I had to remove a white cloud "jerk" from my old tank I did just as you suggested. It took a while but worked.

Regarding the diffusor. In my reading I had found that they could be used on tanks much larger than mine but probably just not with the CO2 efficiency of the Cerges and Riggs. I had also seen a number of the YouTube greats like George Farmer use them so I felt safe. The bubbles are very fine and I have mostly easy, low light plants in the tank. I get a 1 point pH drop with about 2 bubbles per second so I am happy.

Thanks for the kind words about the tank!
 

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I am pretty tired of their endless chasing. Feeding time is the worst. They very seldom nip but I do like "peace in the land". For me the tank is like a mediation. There is enough aggression and stress in the world and especially here in DC already!
Then it is time to go! I loved my cichlid tank, but I couldn't take the aggression (nor all the poo!) So I eventually tore it down. Got crap for credit at the LFS, should have rehomed them on facebook.
 

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That sure is a pretty tank. I like your hardscape too.

I've moved most of my stuff over to smart plugs as well, but I think you may have just convinced me to get a few more for the filter.
 

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Nice start to the tank! I am seriously debating getting a waterbox 4820 (this tank?) because it is available now vs waiting an unknown time for a uns 120p. How is the quality of the tank?

Is the oase 600 producing enough flow for you? I am also debating filtration, whether to go canister filter and reactor or sump with a hang on back overflow.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nice start to the tank! I am seriously debating getting a waterbox 4820 (this tank?) because it is available now vs waiting an unknown time for a uns 120p. How is the quality of the tank?

Is the oase 600 producing enough flow for you? I am also debating filtration, whether to go canister filter and reactor or sump with a hang on back overflow.
Yes. I have the 4820. It took almost two months to get it. When I was shopping I could not find any 120P's in stock anywhere. I would have bought the stand from them but I wanted one that was not so high as to make access tough. The Archaea is a bit shorter.

So far the 600 seems fine. I kept the 250 from my old tank thinking that I would need it but am just keeping it for backup for now. Plus I only have one filter to clean :)

I debated over the sump and hang-on overflow but decided that the Biomaster is quiet, has a built-in heater and the great removable prefilter so I went with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Video. I have since added 20 Glowlight Rasboras who are very active and do not hide. My Pygmy Cories are shy and mostly come out when I feed. Too bad as I really enjoy them.

 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Some glamour shots...
Oase Biomaster 600 Thermo. Love it. I installed a pull out shelf to make cleaning the prefilter easy.
CO2 atomizer working well. I tried a Griggs but it made too much noise. The heater and pump are on separate cords but both plugged into the same smart plug.

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Great regulator by @Bettatail working well. The solenoid is on a Kasa smart plug also.
Jebao dosing pump is waiting for the reservoir to arrive. I plan to just use premixed Thrive and dilute it to give a daily morning, pre-light dose.
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Plants are doing great with very little algae. Buce is flowering. Shrimp are now multiplying after a baffling start where adults were dying. Rasboras are wonderful and are still schooling in open view all day long. Wish I could say the same for the Pygmy Cories. I have to sneak into the room to see them!

I may pull the giant sword in the back left. I feel that it is out of balance with the rest of the scape. Also trying to figure out what would take it's place, tall but not needing frequent trimming and will fit in with the easy care low light tankmates.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
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Can Spring be near?

I setup my Jebao doser today. I am using liquid Thrive mixed with some APT in a 5L reservoir with RO water. I am diluting the fertilizer to give a calculated conservative daily dose mixed with 100ml of RO. I figure that the added RO water will help with top-off.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
What are you using for substrate? That pic of the shrimp and nerite looks amazing!
Thanks. They are racing along on pool filter sand that makes up the first ~6" in the front of the tank, forming "The Beach". It is really just meant to form an open area where fish can be seen and where feeding can happen. The rest of the tank is a mix of Seachem Fluorite and Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum for the rooted plants...

For the photos I have moved from my iPhone to my camera. which is a Sony 7R using a Leica R 60mm Macro. Still trying to figure out how to avoid flare from the LED lights.
 
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