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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
75 Gallon

Lighting: Sun Blaze 42 dual T5HO 6500k

Filtration: SunSun 704B 525gph

Co2: Aquatek regulator, 5lb tank, Rhinox 5000 ceramic disc diffuser

Substrate: Ecocomplete base with Amazonia cap

Parameters:


PH: 7.6 at night 6.4 at peak co2
GH: 5
KH: 3-4


Whats up guys,

After a 2 year hiatus, Its time for me to get back into the hobby!

I've had a couple smaller tanks, and I have had a larger tank, Now its time to settle in the goldilocks zone with a medium tank, I think a 75 gallon will be perfect. Its large enough to be impressive, yet small enough that I can maintain it and still have a life.


So the first thing I did was hop on craigslist and the forums looking for a good condition used tank and stand. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything that I felt was in good enough shape for the condition I was wanting and ended up going to Pet Smart and haggling with one of the managers into lowering the price on the 75 gallon they had in their store, that came with a light (useless for my needs ) and glass lids. I claimed there was a couple scratches here and there on the trim and he said since it was near a 20% off sign, he would honor that and I got it for $120ish out the door. Pretty good deal on a brand new 75 with a light and glass lids.

Since I bought a tank new, that pretty much ate up the entire budget I had set aside for a tank AND a stand. So I had to build a stand, which I'm fine with, Its easy, cheap and customizable, I like my tanks to be higher up than most pre-made stands put them. I've built a few stands before, they are cheap and easy to make, and super strong, this time I used 2x3s since it just a 75 gallon, not to mention they are lighter, cheaper and easier to work with than 2x4s.

Here is the setup before I painted the back black and wrapped the stand in a black sheet.


Here it is as it sits now


A little perspecitive for where it is in my apartment


I scored a open box, but new SunSun 704B filter for $60 on [Ebay Link Removed] It has a 525gph flow rate.


Here is the life support system, I'm really proud of how it turned out, very tidy and organized. I still need to tuck a heater away in this corner, but I'm confidant that it will remain looking tidy.


Here is a 5lb Co2 tank I grabbed today for $40


Finally the co2 diffuser I got for this tank. its a 5CM diffuser, or 2" diameter. Its the biggest ceramic diffuser I could find. I know they aren't as efficient as reactors, but there are a few things about reactors that I dont like. First of all, they make a " Glug Glug " sound as the Co2 works its way up against the flow of the water in the reactor, and its so annoying to listen to. This tank is in the front room and I dont want to listen to this constant gurgling while I'm trying to watch TV. Also, and most importantly, I enjoy the way diffusers look in the tank, I like watching them bubble.
 

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Sean W. good to see you back in the hobby. We ran across each other a few times on Youtube or other sites over the years. I always enjoyed your videos and enthusiasm, and you seemed to have a "green thumb" with the plants.

The stand and tank look like a very good start. Looking forward to seeing what you do this time around. What's the plan???
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice, looking forward to see what you do with it.

Love those SunSun/Aquatop outflow pipes, that is exactly the way I use mine.
Sean W. good to see you back in the hobby. We ran across each other a few times on Youtube or other sites over the years. I always enjoyed your videos and enthusiasm, and you seemed to have a "green thumb" with the plants.

The stand and tank look like a very good start. Looking forward to seeing what you do this time around. What's the plan???
Thanks for watching my videos! I am perusing video production as a career, so since my old videos, I have gotten a lot more video production hardware. I used to use my cell phone to record video, now I have a proper camera and instead of using windows movie maker to edit, I use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit with.

For this tank, I'm really pulling out all the stops, not cutting any corners. But I'm also not blowing my entire wad by getting ADA glassware for example. I'm taking my time, getting the right stuff and doing it right.

As far as the plan for this tank, I'm taking a lot of inspiration from Tropica's Layout 53 by Mark Evans <- clicky the linky. It was done in a 60" tank, but I think I can make it work fine in a 48" tank too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hey guys!

A little bit of an update. Having been out of the hobby for a few years, it has taken quite some doing to get back into it. Having nothing in terms of hardware to accelerate the assembly of this tank, needing to buy literally everything, down to the suction cups for the air line. This has slowed the progress of this tank, but I have gotten almost everything I need and should be able to get it going by the end of the month!

A big check mark off the list is finding a solution for the lights. The LED light I had gotten originally simply was not bright enough for my intentions. After many weeks of research I could not find a LED light that was going to meet my requirements for this tank, so I turned to a dual 48" T5HO fixture. The fixture is called the Sun Blaze 42, its a hydroponic grow light, with EXCELLENT reflectors and an amazing 3 year warranty. The fixture is usually powder coated white, but I painted mine black. A massive thanks and Shoutout to Burr740 for helping me decide that a dual 4' t5ho light would be the best solution.

Anyway, I will be making a detailed update video soon, but wanted to get this teaser up for now!





I decided to go with 60lbs of eco complete capped with 40lbs of ADA Amazonia


Here you can see how I hung the light from the ceiling


 

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Nice job on the light, looks great!

Wish I could drill my ceilings, house was built in the 50s and the walls are plaster. I avoid drilling holes unless absolutely necessary.

Do you plan on using the glass tops?
 

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This is looking quite nice. I'm looking forward to watching it develop. :drool:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice job on the light, looks great!

Wish I could drill my ceilings, house was built in the 50s and the walls are plaster. I avoid drilling holes unless absolutely necessary.

Do you plan on using the glass tops?
Yea, my last few tanks didnt have lids and I think im going to use them this time to reduce evaporation.

I think im going to name this layout " Dueling Valcanos ". That name will make sense when I put the hardscape in... :)


Ive put together a preliminary plant list for this tank, what do you think:

AR Mini
DHG Belem
S Repens
Lobellia cardinallis mini
Limnophila aromatica hippuroides
Rotala Bonsai
pogostemon helferi
Pogostemon erectus
Blyxa Japonica
 

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Where did you order your plants from?
Love the tank, going to look amazing!
Have you used sun sun filters before? I'm setting up a 90 gallon, looking at filters, hard to decide!
 

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Your setup and stand look great. Wish I were as handy with woodwork. I had a 75 in the past also, and hope to get one back going again sometime. I still have the stand lights and everything. I just need time and willpower.

1. You mentioned not wanting a reactor, so I was going to ask you if you had ever tried one of the inline diffusers. I had one on my 75. I have to agree; however, that the bubbles rising are magical. I also am getting together a tank, and have been having this exact same debate with myself. I don't want more crap in the tank, but the disk diffusers are easy and fun to look at. F it. I am going to do disk. Can always add an inline later if I want.

2. I had T5 on my 75. You won't regret it. Someone on here (maybe it was burr740) mentioned that LED is just too much a pain with all the variables you have to figure out before you can buy one. T5 is much easier and straight forward. Also some nice bulb color choices. I have LED for the tank I am working on, but that is because I wanted to try it and not completely be the old guy stuck in the past.

Bump:
Where did you order your plants from?
They look like aquariumplants.com pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Where did you order your plants from?
Love the tank, going to look amazing!
Have you used sun sun filters before? I'm setting up a 90 gallon, looking at filters, hard to decide!
I have not personally used SunSun before, but a buddy of mine had one of their lower flow units and loved it, so I figured Id give it a shot.

As Belton mentioned, they are from aquariumplants.com

Your setup and stand look great. Wish I were as handy with woodwork. I had a 75 in the past also, and hope to get one back going again sometime. I still have the stand lights and everything. I just need time and willpower.

1. You mentioned not wanting a reactor, so I was going to ask you if you had ever tried one of the inline diffusers. I had one on my 75. I have to agree; however, that the bubbles rising are magical. I also am getting together a tank, and have been having this exact same debate with myself. I don't want more crap in the tank, but the disk diffusers are easy and fun to look at. F it. I am going to do disk. Can always add an inline later if I want.

2. I had T5 on my 75. You won't regret it. Someone on here (maybe it was burr740) mentioned that LED is just too much a pain with all the variables you have to figure out before you can buy one. T5 is much easier and straight forward. Also some nice bulb color choices. I have LED for the tank I am working on, but that is because I wanted to try it and not completely be the old guy stuck in the past.

Bump:
They look like aquariumplants.com pictures.
Thanks for the complements, there really wasnt much "woodwork " in the stand. just some 2x3s wrapped with a black sheet :)

I have used the inline diffuses before, I dont like them. They just spray micro bubbles all over the tank. From what I remember, they were quite loud too, I could here this constant hissing. Im very noise sensitive, I cannot stand little white noise sounds.

I have had great success with LEDs on my other tanks. But with this tank being as deep as it is and with the plants I want to keep, I just couldnt find a cost effective LED solution. Im happy with the T5ho unit I got, I think its going to work great!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Alright guys,

This is going to be the LAST update until I set this bad boy up! I have literally everything I need to get this going, except for the plants, which will be here on Wednesday!

I have budgeted around 6-8 hours to add the substrate, hardscape, plant and get everything going. Sore back is a promise.

So, I got a black Aqueon pro 250W heater, and my buddy gave me his Aquatek regulator. I finalized all the pluming and ran the co2 line. Mounted the power strip, managed the cables and dialed in the co2 at 4bps to start.

The next time you see this tank (barring any disasters) it will be 100% setup, and the real fun will begin!

Here is the hardware corner, very tidy I feel.


and here is the inside of the stand!
 
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