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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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Tank specs:
Going cheap on the equipment as usual :)

75 gallon tank
green element 48" led unit (64 x 3 watt LED's)
Sun Sun 304B filter (525 GPH)
Aquatek regulator set-up
Cerges reactor
Background is using some frosted film with a single T5 bulb in the back to illuminate

Substrate:
Topsoil from my garden
white play sand
capped with black diamond sand

Flora:
Looking for a medium tech easy tank (lots of java, crypts, anubias, sagittaria)
foreground will be crypt parva, blyxa and s.repens

Fauna:
Mainly german blue rams, angels and danisoni barbs
with some bristlenose plecos, ottos and kuhli loaches

Dosing:
EI dosing

So that is about it! I got a bunch of plants from our great members here, as well as a killer deal from craigslist. So the tank is pretty loaded right now with plants, the parva is a slow grower but hopefully it will fill in nicely. The S. repens will fill in the front and along with the curvy plant (don't know what it is) on the right.

I will likely be adding some stems in the future, but likely as little accent bushes.

Thanks for looking! I will be adding update pics of the progress here!

General opinions of my set-up so far:

I really like the sun-sun filter, it works really well and is providing great flow so far.

The LED light is OK, I am not super happy with it, it seems a little dark to be honest, but I know that it grows plants well and I like the shimmery goodness that the LED provides.

The Aquatek is good, it seems more stable than the milwaukee regulator. I have had two milwaukees and the aquatek doesn't seem to stray as much.

I really like the black diamond sand, although it was crazy dirty. It took forever to rinse off all the oily stuff that comes with it. But I really like it.

The background is good as well, although it comes with some sort of applicator solution that has essentially glued it to the back of my tank. It will be a huge PITA when I want to remove it. For now it is ok though. I have a white T5 behind the tank for now, but I am looking into an led strip, I kinda want to get different colors depending on my mood :)

So far so good with the plants, I am getting some crypt melt but nothing too serious just yet. I am worried about algae with all the anubias, so I am only using half the LED's for now on for 6 hours. Will slowly increase to see how much they can take.

9-6-15



10-18-15


10-20-15


11-03015
 

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Love your tank. Which size filter housing did you go with for the reactor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

I am using this one, I wanted a clear one to see if the bubbles are entering or not, but they didn't have them.

Last night I went onto amazon and purchased
one.

I have a thread in the DIY section about my cerges reactor. It doesn't look like the CO2 is flowing into the housing, so I suspect some sort of pressurization problem with the CO2, whether it is the regulator or a leak in the tubing, I don't know yet, I will troubleshoot it today.

In any case, a clear housing may help to diagnose the problem!
 

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Thanks!

I am using this one, I wanted a clear one to see if the bubbles are entering or not, but they didn't have them.

Last night I went onto amazon and purchased this one.

I have a thread in the DIY section about my cerges reactor. It doesn't look like the CO2 is flowing into the housing, so I suspect some sort of pressurization problem with the CO2, whether it is the regulator or a leak in the tubing, I don't know yet, I will troubleshoot it today.

In any case, a clear housing may help to diagnose the problem!
Keep us updated please. If yours work well then I won't have to buy the 20 inch version of a filter housing. I was told the longer the better, but the 20" seem like over kill for a 80 gallon tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have the CO2 with a pretty strong flow right now so that the CO2 actually enters into the reactor and I am getting bubbles in the tank, so it may not be a good option. I am using it with the 304B so it is probably too much flow for that small of a reactor.

I used this size of reactor before on my 75 gallon but it was with the smaller Sun sun 303 filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just switched out the whirlpool whole house filter (from Lowes) for the omni (from amazon) and I notice that it seems to be working alot better.

Alot less bubbles escaping the reactor, I think it has a lot to do with the location of the air release valve. The Omni one is a little off to the side whereas the whirlpool is directly in the flow of the water.

In any case, I am slowly getting the CO2 dialed in, and the tank is working through it's early stage growing pains.
 

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Nice to here that things are working out. The early stages are the hardest, but it will be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quick pics taken for posterity. I plan on doing a small rescape tomorrow during my water change.





Things are growing well. The Anubias got a lot of algae in the beginning but I seem to have the CO2 and lights balanced now. The new leaves coming in are algae free (knock on wood).





I bought some Downoi and .... can't remember the name right now from Petsmart, so I am letting those grow in.



I am slowly going to remove the crypts and add in some stems. Want to go for a natural dutch type scape.

I added some sweet jet-black angels, some neons, some german rams, some red-line barbs.

 

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I can't believe that is a 75g! haha. It looks so proportionate that it could pass as a much smaller tank. The angels really made it seem larger.

Red lined barbs are Denison barbs/Rosaline sharks, right? I think I saw those at Petco last weekend. My local Petsmart sells them as denisons.
 

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Will be very nice once everything fills in. Very good layout IMO. Excellent use of driftwood
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thanks! Yes they are the Denison barbs, I have seen them with many different names haha. I really like them in a 75 gallon tank, great schoolers and they zip around the tank like fighter jets. And they are a nice size as well. I wish they were a little cheaper though! at 10$ a pop in my area, a school can certainly break the bank!

I really wanted to get the proportions right with this tank, which is why I chose the big leaved anubias.

I ended up doing a quick rescape, took out the mound on the left, those anubias were getting over run with algae. Atleast the ones on the right are being shaded by the java.

I think I am going to try for a more dutch inspired area, so the crypts are just temporary. I am getting some stems tomorrow so hopefully the scape will be finalized for awhile while things grow in.

In the front, I will have crypt parva on the left, which will kind of flow into the blyxa. Then I will have a central patch of downoi, the s.repens will be kept as a narrow band to contour the mid ground areas and then probably some AR mini on the right.

I really want to get lots of 'flowy' lines to really draw the eye around the tank.

Anyways, here is a pic as of now!

 

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I found my Denisons on sale for $5 and snatched up 8 of them. Definitely worth buying when the petstores have them on sale. They are beautiful! They will likely be my main schooling fish in my tanks to come. They school far better than any Tetra of Barb I've had.

I think the new layout looks better without the anubias on the left. The main focal point on the right looks amazing. The fern is radical. The blyxa looks great. I think it really ties the main portion of plant mass to the rest of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am definitely going to keep on eye out for a sale for them, I have 3 now but want to add atleast 5 more. I want to add a big school of cardinals as well and probably some Kribensis, those guys are always fun to watch as well.

As for the layout, yeah I am really happy that I pulled the trigger on pulling out the left hand side anubias, they were going to be a total PITA and I find it looks better with out them.

I am going to keep the AR a couple inches taller I think, with a slope down to the left, to contour the Blyxa and then have a small group of Limno aromatica where the ludwigia is. Then have a big bush of Rotalas where the crypts are on the left.
 

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I wanted kribs in my tank. They are super neat. I ended up going with rams. I regret it. I think my pair was two males in the end. I'm not sure how similar kribs are, as far as bullying goes. Just keep that in mind with dwarf cichlids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah Kribs are great, I have kept them before. They are pretty similar to rams and apistos in terms of aggression towards each other but they seem a bit more active and adventurous. They flare up a lot to show off so their little pink bellies glow like a neon sign.

On another note, I am thinking of making a light box for the back of the tank. I want to illuminate the background (like in the first post) but I want something whiter and more evenly spread.

Has anyone used these led strips from amazon?

Amazon.com: LE® 16.4ft 12V Flexible LED Strip Lights, 6000K Daylight White, 82 Lumens / 1.5 Watts per foot, 300 Units 3528 LEDs, Non-waterproof, Light Strips, LED Tape, Pack of 16.4ft/5m: Home Improvement

I am thinking of building a frame and then lining it with the LEDs.
 

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I've used those LEDs. Work great. I used them as illumination on a motor bike. I've also used them as replacements for LED hood lights on a nano tank and I've used them as work lights in the garage. Very versatile.
 
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