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169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Tank fill date January 1st 2018

53g Hagen Waterhome with buttom trim removed
29g Sump 5 chambers, Mechanical Media, Biological Media, Bio Balls, Plant storage fuge, Return.
Metal stand
OF-1200 HOB Overflow box rated for 150g-200g dual 1" drain Herbie style
Spears Gate Valve 1"
Eheim Jager 150w Heater
Netlea Soil about 4+ years old
Dragon Stones
Oddysea T5HO Quad 156w with timer 3x39w 6500k, 1x39w Giesemann Flora
Plant fuge light, diy gu10 led 4x3w cool white, 1x5w grow lights
20lb Co2 tank with Milwakee MA957 dual outputs, 2xFabco-Air NV-55-18, cheap ebay bubble counter
DIY Cerges co2 reactor, 5-6 bps
3/4"-1" U-Return nozzle tube
Aqueon 6621 Quietflow Utility Pump 3000 397-793gph running at max


Carpeting Plants

Monte Carlo
Staurogyne Repens

Attached Plants

Needle Leaf Java Fern

Mid Ground Plants

Lobelia Cardinalis
Alternanthera Reineckii
Blyxa japonica

Background Plants

Bacopa Coroliniana
Mermaid Weed
Ludwigia Brevipes
Ludwigia Palustris
Giant Baby Tears
unkown Hygro plant


Currently in Tank

6 Adult male Endlers added 1/8/2018 - 5 eaten by Angels :( 1/14/2018
5 SAE added 1/12/2018
7 Amano Shrimp adde 1/11/2018 - Can only find one, the rest eaten by Angels :( 1/14/2018

To be Added for Algae control

4 Otos

To be added for Snail control

2 Botia loaches

Main fish

11 Angels, 1 hockey puck size and 10 bigger than a toonie size as of 1/13/2018

Maintenance Schedule

30%-50% Water change once a month
Mechanical Media cleaning every 1-3 months
biological Media cleaning once every 3 months
Daily dosing of PPS Pro

Let me start off by saying this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for my Dad. Sometime last year in October I was doing my monthly water changes, mind you I have many tanks 8-10 maybe a little more at that time. I literally was holding the siphon hose and draining water when my Dad came home from groceries came downstairs and in an excited voice said “Son someone threw out a big tank, you want to pick it up?” I was like “Ok, no thanks.” I’ve been doing aquarium maintenance for the pass 2 hours or so already (I’m very thorough with my cleanings; scrape the glass with razor, use a sponge to wipe the glass, trim plants, take apart my many canister filters and clean the media, toothbrush!! The dirt in motor, impellar, clean the hoses etc.) I didn’t want or think about fish tanks anymore.
After I was done with my maintenance I had to go to Home Depot for some reason the reason escapes me right now. But on the way I decided to drive by the house that had the “curb alert” since it was on the way. I drove by and saw the fish tank with other furniture around it (couches, bed frame and aquarium stand). At this time it was pouring rain so I just drove by and went to Home Depot. After I was done at Home Depot, I drove by the house again but this time I decided to stop and take a look (it was raining even harder). My first thought was it’s probably cracked at the bottom or something. To my surprise there was no cracks that I could see. It came with a hood, light fixture and as soon as I lifted the hood I knew I had to have it. It was a RIMLESS tank!!! I went home and got my Dad’s SUV and asked him for help since when I inspected the tank the glass was usually thick for a tank that size. I was going to take the aquarium stand but since it was pouring rain I could already see the water damage on it so I left it there.

Leaked tested and inspected the glass, there are scratches here and there but nothing major. It’s only bad on the bottom glass but the substrate will cover that up. Tested outside for a few days using old fish water, it was a lot of work carrying 50+ gallons of water in buckets from the basement to the backyard, maybe I should of just wasted water and used the garden hose… I used a lot of cleaning products to clean the glass since it had a lot of hard water deposits. Took a lot of googling but I found out that this was a Hagen Waterhome 200L about 53g measuring 39.3701L x 15.748W x 19.685H

The tank sat in my garage from October 2017 to January 1st 2018. I simply didn’t have the time nor space to start a new tank. I decided to take a vacation from work. I started to get it going on December 22nd 2017, man oh man it was a lot of work. For this tank to be setup, I had to shut down 4 tanks and move at least 3 tanks. I wanted to replace my show tank in my living room which was a 40G breeder that I have running for at least 5 years now, it’s on a metal stand and also have 1 10G and 2 7.5 cubes under it. I decided to move one of the cubes which I was using as a Red Cherry breeding tank into my cold room. In that cold room there was already a 5.5G Taiwan Bee breeding tank. After that I decided to shut down the 5.5G Taiwan bee tank, I have been trying to breed Crystals since 2010 when it first became popular in GTA and I have nothing but failures. For the pass 7 years I have started and stopped trying to breed CRS at least 4 times and again, decided to throw in the towel. I moved whatever remaining Taiwan Bees into my Red Cherry shrimp tank and shut down the 5.5G. I then moved my other 7.5G cube, this cube was mainly used as a carpeting plant grower for carpeting plants that I got bored of in my main tank. I also used this tank to breed Endlers guppies. I transferred all the guppies and plants to another tank and moved that to the cold room. One more small tank to go which was my 10g Yellow Shrimp breeding tank, I transferred everything to the 7.5 cube and shutdown the 10G for good. Now I had no lights for these 2 cubes since I used a single 36” T5HO to light all the 3 tanks on the bottom of the stand so I decided to brave the cold garage and made some simple gu10 leds for those tanks.

Now you have to understand that the new tank is my dream tank. I always wanted a large rimless tank, the biggest I have running right now is my 45G tall reef tank and after running a sump on my reef I never want to run a canister filter on my freshwater tanks again. So here is the dilemma, what tank can I use to make a sump? I know I have a spare 20G long in my garage but I wanted something bigger so I can have taller baffles and more water volume. Well I have a 29G show tank upstairs, that tank was made in 2009 and the silicone is almost gone so it gave me a great excuse to shut down that tank and transfer everything into my spare 20G long. The substrate I used in that tank was eco complete and I really wanted to rinse it to get rid of all the build up organics since I’m suffering from old tank syndrome (BBA like crazy but co2, water parameters was on point) Here is what the “new” 20G long looks like, it’s about two weeks old.

Took about 3 days or so from start to finish to clean the 29G, scrape all the old silicone off, cut the glass for baffles and apply new silicone, let it dry for a day or two and leak tested it. I wish I took some pics of the process but I just wanted to get it done at this point. And of course my silicone dried out… But luckily I had an extra I keep around just in case. Now that it’s done it was on to my 40G breeder, this was a lot of work. It could have been easy but my dumb ass decide to rinse the aquasoil which cannot be rinsed…. The reason I wanted to rinse it is because this tank is full blown old tank syndrome. I rescaped and nuked the tank with H2O2 at least 8 times and evertime BBA would come back. I found that it usually comes out after I pull out a plant. I know it’s the substrate because it’s about 4-5 years old. This year alone I tore down this tank 3 times just combat BBA. In the end what worked was to replace the substrate but the substrate I replaced it with was Black Blasting Sand and it was a killer literally, even though my tank was cycled (I never tested my tank so much this year, felt like I was a beginner again…) My fish were just dropping like flies, MTS snails which are known to survive in damp/almost dry substrate out of water for months dies in 10 seconds, I lost about 30 fish, this is not an exaggeration. I decided to put the old aquasoil back since I already dried it in the sun over the summer. I had a ton of plants and no where to put it luckily I had the 10G and the 5.5G that was shut down so I just filled them with old tank water and dumped a bunch of plants in there while I setup the 53G rimless. This is what the 40G breeder looked like before I shut it down.

I cleaned the 53G more and started to paint the back black, I don’t even know how many coats of paint I used since it was freezing in my garage, I did this over the course of a few days to let the paint dry and reapply more. Paint does not dry fast in freezing temperature lol. I moved (with help of course) the tank to my basement and set it up on my stand for the 40G breeder. I have already tested the overflow box many times to test for leaks and noise. I hate aquarium noise, waterfall noise from an Aquarclear, buzzing from pumps, I’m glad my Vertex in80-100 died, it was loud as hell. Now I always drilled my tanks but since its winter time I decided to just use an overflow box instead. It’s been a while since I used a HOB overflow box and I flooded the bucket like 3 times and the floor as well, my wife was pissed!! This install was not smooth, for whatever reason I decided I didn’t want to glue the pvc to the overflow box and decide to use pink Teflon tape to seal it. I managed to crack the bulkhead twice…. But I ordered spares so I was ok, after everything was set up I saw some leaks and gave up. Got into the car went to Home Depot because my glue was already dried from the last time I used it and glued everything. I’m running this overflow box rated for 150G-200G in a Herbie drain because as I mentioned, I don’t like aquarium noise. The tank was fully setup without plants since January 1st 2018 now here is where I died a little inside. Remember I said that I rinsed the aquasoil, my god mud soup. I think I did at least a 200G worth of water changes on this tank to get rid of all the dust in the water from the aquasoil. I don’t even remember how many times I washed the mechanical media (filter floss, sponges in tap water) Here is where we are at, I took out all the media from my Eheim 2217 and Fluval 406 and put it in the sump. The tank is murky right now, It’s going through a mini cycle because of all the water changes I done (I forgot to use water conditional for some of it, oops). I had to modify my cerges co2 reactor so that the fittings works with ¾” tubing. The tank is dead silent and fully planted I expect some melting to happen since the plants were in water for a few days without light.

Oh man that was a lot of writing, I feel like I’m in college again lol but it’s not over. I’m going to do a gu10 led test on this tank (sump) but that will come a little bit later. I been doing fish stuff for at least 3 hours a day for the past 2 weeks and one day, my wife has said to me many times aren’t you on vacation shouldn’t you be relaxing and not doing fish stuff. I’m glad it’s over for now.

169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I decided to remove Needle leaf Java from from the back right corner. I originally put very little substrate in that area knowing I would have a small piece of wood with Java Fern. I pulled some plants that are melting and even out the substrate, What a messed mud water again....

On to the GU10 LED test

What got me wanting to try gu10 led on a planted tank was because I used it on my 45g tall reef which is 24" tall. When I first started the tank I was using 4x39w T5HO. My corals grew very slowly and honestly didn't look that nice. So I decided to try gu10 leds on the reef. The speed of growth was amazing, I only had softies and LPS, no SPS but I heard that these grow less demanding sps easily. I used this style of lighting for about 1.5-2 years with no issues, I had 2 rows 32 bulbs 96w total. In that time I lost maybe 4-5 bulbs out of that number maybe 3-4 was my fault only one died naturally.

This is a very old pic, I think I only had these leds for less than 6 months when this pic was taken.

Now I already know that these lights can grow low-medium plants without co2 or fertilizers. But I want to try something more light demanding plants, the two plants I decided to test is Monte Carlo and Brazilian Micro Sword. The test area is the fuge of my sump. The fixture sits 1/2" on top of a glass cover

The height of the sump is 18.5" and the water line is about 9.5" in the fuge

The cups are about 3" lifted from the bottom

Pic taken January 6th 2017

Here is a small guide on how to build these lights if anyone is interested in using gu10 led in a planted tank. You can get these bulbs on Fleabay just search for gu10 led 3w cool white same with the sockets search for gu10 sockets. When I bought these bulbs they were around $2usd per bulb the sockets were something like 20 for $5-$10usd

Specs on bulbs

Epistar Chips
gu10 led 3w cool white 6000k-7000k
Luminous Flux: 270-300lm
Color Rendering Index (CRI): >85 Ra
Lifespan: 30,000-50,000hours
60 degree optics (you can easily remove the optics for max spread but it will decrease the par)

The formula to build the fixture is take the length of your tank divide that by two and substrate two. For Example

On my 45g reef tank it's 36"Lx12"Wx24"H

36/2=18-2=16 Bulbs

I like to mount the sockets about 1.15" apart from each other, if you decide to get higher watt gu10 (9w-15w) you will have to spread the sockets further apart since the heatsink will be bigger.

Solder the wires in parallel, I think I read that is perfectly safe to have 24 bulbs per plug (don't quote me on this)

once that is done solder on a plug, I use two prung extension cords from Dollarama. After that just screw in the bulbs.

Let there be light.


169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Display tank is looking decent. All of the stem plants had issues adjusting since they were in water without filter or light for 4-5 days.

Bacopa Coroliniana - no issues adjusting
Mermaid Weed - 98% melted
Ludwigia Brevipes - 100% melted
Ludwigia Palustris - 70% melted
Giant Baby Tears - 80% melted
unkown Hygro plant - 100% melted

pic taken 1/13/2018

All carpeting and midground plants are doing fine with very little melt. I also added 11 bigger than toonie size marble and koi angels and 1 hockey puck size Marble Angel today.


169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Angels are doing very well, they were a little shy for the first two days but now they are happy and exploring the tank. When they see me they come up to the surface expecting to be fed.

I decided to make a diy float switch so I can keep the overflow level always constant. I was hoping to use a regular 2.5g tank since that's the only thing that will fit on the stand beside the Co2 reactor but I couldn't find one so I decided to use my 2g fluval spec which look kind of strange. So I decided to visit dollarama on my lunch break and pick up a plastic container. I think it's about 3-3.5g.

It's been almost 3 years since I made a diy float switch so I had do some try and error with the positive and negative leads. I'm using a simple 3w DC pump to pump the water from the ATO container.


169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Has anyone kept angels with Blyxa Japonica? Mines been looking rough. I first though it was because it was left in water with no filter or light for too long and it's melting. But I had this plant melt before and it looks nothing like it. The tips of all my Blyxa is torned, I caught the culprit today a bunch of angels where eating and tearing the plant, I noticed my S. Repens is in the same shape. I googled it and apparently angels have a taste for Blyxa. They were fed an hour prior and I feed them everyday.

Was getting some BBA only on the monte carlo in the sump. I took one pot out and put it in the display tank, a SAE started to eat the BBA (about a quarter size one worth of BBA). No exaggeration 30 minutes later the pot is completely free of BBA, I just feed the fish like 30 minutes earlier too. I thought it was going to take a week, I love these fish lol

I put in 13 pots of monte carlo in the display tank, they all had various sizes of BBA from pea size to a nickel coin size. Came back in 30 minutes and all BBA is gone, CRAZY!!


169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A little over two months has passed and this is what the monte carlo cups looks like, I would say that 3w gu10 leds can grow monte carlo without issue.

Pic taken March 10th 2018


169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not a big fan of LEDs for a High Light High Tech Tank, but I'm willing to give a powerful LED known for pure par output a try. This fixture is meant for reefs but I removed like 90% of the blue LEDS and put in more Red/Green/Whites, I also removed all the Lens so I can get max coverage on a 40" tank. Lets see if it will grow my Rotala Bonsai and Rotala Wallichii because my quad T5Ho is not doing it properly for these two plants (or the angels are picking at it I'm not sure). I'm going to lower the fixture since the spill from removing the lens is lighting up half my living room.....

FTS July 6th 2018

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