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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Heya folks, long time no see! For those who followed my Temporary Insanity 60 gallon build you'll know that life hit me pretty hard back in 2015. A lot's happened since then and now that I'm back in a pretty stable situation I've started another tank build. Oh yeah, during the hiatus it seems a lot has happened here at Planted Tank and I couldn't get my old account working. Don't worry, it's the same old Phil, only with a new user name. :) Now that I'm back up and running here at PT it's time to start a new thread with all the updates from UKAPS. :) Get ready for walls-of-text-and-pics.

Previous build journal: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...porary-insanity-shallow-60-gal-high-tech.html


Current Specs, 5.10.17-
Tank: 48x24x16 Deep Blue Professional 80 gallon rimless
Filter: CPR 102 overflow w/full siphon modification, Aqualifter priming pump, and CPR sump w/additional reservoir
Lights: 6 bulb AgroBrite T5HO with 3x 6400K and 1x True Lumen Flora 8 hrs/day.
CO2: 1x 21x4" Cerges reactor powered by a Cobalt Aquatics 540gph needlewheel pump
Ferts: (all dry) 1tsp KNO3 3x/wk, 1/8 tsp KH2PO4 3x/wk, 1/16 (ish) tsp traces 3x/wk, 2 tbsp CaSO4 at WC, and 2x tbsp Epsom Salts at WC and 1 tbsp mid-week






8.26.16-

Update time! I was finally released from cryogenic stasis (my head decided it had had enough and broke, which got tossed in the psych ward for a little while), got married, moved, and got a new job. The original tank seen in the previous pics got chipped along the bottom seam during moving and I don't trust my DIY skills enough to replace the pane and live in a 2nd floor apartment. Since I had to replace the tank anyway, I figured it would be wise to upgrade so I got the 80 gallon version made by the same company. That'll give me an extra 4 inches of vertical space to play with. I also cherry picked a few more nice pieces of spiderwood when the store I work at got their last shipment. Gotta love it when you get two giant boxes of the stuff to pick through! No pics yet as the tank's on backorder and the wood's soaking at the moment.


Cheers,
Phil

Bump: Captain's Log 10/4/16-

Well, the new tank and care package from Seachem arrived. With the nano reef taking up valuable real estate on the big stand (needed the light hanger) while I searched for an appropriate and affordable stand and light the plant tank build was on hold for a while. I'm happy to report that the reef has been relocated and the new 80 gallon has been put up on the stand and filled to continue soaking the wood. As happy as I am to have that step completed, I think I'm even happier about getting the mosquito bordello/outdoor wood-soaking tub emptied.

The plan is still the same as before; get as much Java Moss as possible tied to the wood and let it establish while waiting for the plants I've ordered to arrive. Once that happens it's game on.

Deep Blue Professional series 48x24x16 rimless 80 gallon. They certainly know how to pack a tank for shipping!





Overlord approved



Extremely generous gift package from Seachem





Mosquito Bordello



We have wood!



Gratuitous nano reef shot. Please forgive the haze, it had just been re-homed.



Thanks for watching,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Captain's Log, 10/25/16- Finally got the wood all mossed up and arranged. The plan is to run the tank barebottom on low-light mode until the plants arrive in two weeks or so, at which time I'll add the substrate and plants together. Oh yeah, I'll be adding the pair of Ecotech Radion XR15FW pendants at the same time. <3

Current specs:
Light- 2x 24w T5HO 12 hrs/day with an additional two on for 8 hrs/day. The fixture's hanging 18" above the surface and the bulbs are old so there's not a whole lot of PAR getting to the tank. Since it's just Java Fern that's ok with me.
CO2- 8 bubbles/sec with pH at approximately 6.7 and KH of 4 dKH.
Ferts- 12ppm NO3 and 1.5ppm PO4 1x/wk. This may get increased if needs dictate.

A little bit has changed since the original build in Alabama. I've shortened the return outlet so it's closer to the surface and removed most of the hard plumbing. The venturis worked well, but either drained the CO2 tank way too fast or reduced output flow too much for my liking. This time around I decided to go with straight up vinyl tubing for simplicity and to conserve CO2/flow as much as possible. I also changed the impeller running the CO2 from a standard to fractionating model to get better chopping of the CO2 prior to it being pumped to the reactor. It's working very well so far. One of the domestic online retailers had them on clearance for $5, which was a major bonus.

Now, on to the pictures! Please forgive the poor quality, I've got a crap phone



















Another gratuitous shot of the nano reef:



Thanks for watching,
Phil
 

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I'm new here, but I'm still glad you are back. Great re-intro. :laugh2: I'm pretty certain there are more than a few around who've been lurking around the asylum.>:) Can't wait for walls of stories and pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Captain's Log, 10/29/16-

This past week has been one of great satisfaction and great frustration on the aquatic front. The pair of Radion XR15FW showed up on Thursday to replace the old(ish) T5 fixtures. This is something I've been wanting to do for some time now that LED technology has advanced as far as it has. I'd been on the fence about which brand to use, Kessil or Ecotech, and after using Radions at the old job and on the nano reef the choice was clear. Even though both brands are high quality, and are reputed to grow plants almost equally well, the programming and spectral customizability of the Radions pushed me over the edge. I'm not a brand-whore, but I do follow the philosophy of "Buy the best in the beginning and you won't need to buy again later.". I think I can safely say that I've got the best with what I can afford (sorry, ADA fans) and won't need to be replacing anything anytime soon.

For those who are curious, the lights are currently running on a 12 hr photoperiod at 7K CRI and a parabolic increase/decrease in intensity maxing out (currently) at 35% total output which the program estimates is about 53 watts for two fixtures at max intensity.

On the downside, when installing the lights, I knocked the whole left side over and jostled the right side wood group enough to necessitate a re-scape. I'd spent hours getting the arrangement just right and I don't think my wife has seen me as angry as I was that night. That being said, the disaster created an opportunity for renewal. As happy as I was with the old woodwork, I'm even more pleased with the new one. Plus, now that I can dim the lights as much as I want I was able to put the substrate in and not worry about algae problems while waiting for the plants to arrive. All of that combined has made for a very happy Phil.

The substrate is 20 bags of AquaVitro Aquasolum with a little substrate additive I whipped up during my time with Brightwell. I've been sitting on the jar for the past year and a half waiting to use it on this build. I'm debating doing a fine cover of 1mm substrate for the fine rooters, but Seachem was so kind in donating the substrate that I'm not sure I should do it. I've scrupulously followed the standard ADA set up method so far and I think if I didn't use the powder coat that it'll bug me every time I look at the tank from now on. We'll see what wins out in the end, appreciation or OCD. LOL!

On to the pictures!

Unboxing the lights-












New basic hardscape, now with substrate-













Thanks for watching,
Phil

Bump:
looks like it's gonna be an awesome build


From hobby to addiction

HAHAHA, you have no idea. First came the hobby, then came 6 years of school studying botany and water resources, then came work in the aquatics industry. Not too bad for a former music teacher. :)

Bump:
I'm new here, but I'm still glad you are back. Great re-intro. :laugh2: I'm pretty certain there are more than a few around who've been lurking around the asylum.>:) Can't wait for walls of stories and pictures.
Thanks Brian, it's nice to meet you.
 

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I've been following the build on UKAPS and I'm glad to see you've made it back here. Threads like this always make me want to rescape :).
 

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Phil, believe it or not I have a new tank in the works too. I haven't had the nerve to post anything for fear it would sit in its present state the next 2 years. I hope to make more progress and get something posted soon.

Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been following the build on UKAPS and I'm glad to see you've made it back here. Threads like this always make me want to rescape :).
Thanks Jeff, I appreciate the kind words. I feel your pain, seeing other peoples' threads often make me want to do the same thing. :)

Bump:
I've been following the build on UKAPS and I'm glad to see you've made it back here. Threads like this always make me want to rescape :).
Phil, believe it or not I have a new tank in the works too. I haven't had the nerve to post anything for fear it would sit in its present state the next 2 years. I hope to make more progress and get something posted soon.

Ben
Ben, now that I'm back in the Charlotte area do I need to drive up there and kick your rear into gear? ;)

Bump:
I've been following the build on UKAPS and I'm glad to see you've made it back here. Threads like this always make me want to rescape :).
I was hoping you were going to leave it bare bottom and throw some discus in there!
HAHAHA Ichy, my discus keeping days are over for now. This tank is a bit too shallow for my liking to risk keeping them in an open top system. Perhaps I'll venture into keeping them again in the future.
 

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Ive also been following on UKaps, glad to see you made it over here!

This entire set up just blows my mind, and that's not even counting the awesome scape.

Quick question if you dont mind. The return pipe going into the tank, it looks like a 3/4" flexible tube that goes into maybe 1" hard pipe?

Does having the bigger pipe allow you to move more water at less velocity? Im trying to figure out the best way to do that using a strong filter without turning the flow down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ive also been following on UKaps, glad to see you made it over here!

This entire set up just blows my mind, and that's not even counting the awesome scape.

Quick question if you dont mind. The return pipe going into the tank, it looks like a 3/4" flexible tube that goes into maybe 1" hard pipe?

Does having the bigger pipe allow you to move more water at less velocity? Im trying to figure out the best way to do that using a strong filter without turning the flow down.

Burr,

Yeah, that's 3/4 ID vinyl tubing going to 1" hard pipe for exactly the reason you mentioned. The larger output reduces velocity (discharge = cross-sectional area x velocity) while maintaining the same discharge. It's not moving any more water than it would with a 3/4" outlet, it's just more gentle.

Cheers,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks like a very very good setup. Do you think or not think moss is gonna get algae with the lighting situation you have?
That's a great question and is something I had to consider carefully. I'm fairly confident that the moss won't start getting algae until I put the rest of the plants in there and turn the light intensity up. Hopefully that won't happen, but we all know how new tanks can behave while getting settled in.

Right now the pendants are maxing out at 35% intensity for less than an hour a day. Until that point the intensity is either ramping up from 0 or decreasing to 0 over the preceeding or following 6 hours. If I had to guess, I'd say the average intensity is about 20-23% with shorter periods of lower or higher irradiation. I haven't busted out the PAR meter yet, but so far everything's doing fine.

Dosing is currently 1tsp KNO3, 1/8tsp KH2PO4, 1/32 tsp traces, and 1 tbsp GH booster 1x/week with CO2 going fairly high for the amount of light.

Cheers,
Phil
 

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That's a great question and is something I had to consider carefully. I'm fairly confident that the moss won't start getting algae until I put the rest of the plants in there and turn the light intensity up. Hopefully that won't happen, but we all know how new tanks can behave while getting settled in.

Right now the pendants are maxing out at 35% intensity for less than an hour a day. Until that point the intensity is either ramping up from 0 or decreasing to 0 over the preceeding or following 6 hours. If I had to guess, I'd say the average intensity is about 20-23% with shorter periods of lower or higher irradiation. I haven't busted out the PAR meter yet, but so far everything's doing fine.

Dosing is currently 1tsp KNO3, 1/8tsp KH2PO4, 1/32 tsp traces, and 1 tbsp GH booster 1x/week with CO2 going fairly high for the amount of light.

Cheers,
Phil
With java moss, I might see this as doable. With other high tech mosses I see even more doable, like say liverworts where they go with the co2 as well. Time will tell, but this Hardscape is looking great already. Don't see many USA doers these days :)
 

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Looks like a great build. Really looking forward to following this. Subscribed!

And by the way, what kind of speaker is that to the right of the tank? Looks like you'll be sitting back and doing some listening while admiring your efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
StrungOut,

Thanks for the kind words about the hardscape. The rest of the plants should be here sometime next week and the full light/fert regimen will begin then. The moss will be fine until then.

Cheers,
Phil

Bump:
Looks like a great build. Really looking forward to following this. Subscribed!

And by the way, what kind of speaker is that to the right of the tank? Looks like you'll be sitting back and doing some listening while admiring your efforts.
Thank you Greggz. There should be fairly frequent updates over the next couple of weeks as things progress. I'm getting VERY impatient for the plants to arrive and get this up and running for real. The speakers are just some old Sony towers I got 16 or so years ago to go with the receiver etc I got for a birthday. Sadly, they see more use as cat perches than speakers these days. That may change though now that the tank's making progress. :)

Cheers,
Phil

Bump:
Lookin' good. Love big rimless. Why not grab some dark grey or black Krylon and clean up that pvc return?
Hello vanish,

First off, nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by my little corner of TPT and for the kind words. Your comment about painting the return is by far the most frequent one I've received on the old build and this one too. I know it's an eyesore as far as pictures go and I'll get around to painting the outlet eventually, but it's fairly low on my list. The U-tube has a union on it for easy "SERIOUS PHOTO" removal. Right now it doesn't bother me too much and I may be making a new one with an even shorter pipe on the in-tank side if the plants need it and my laziness can be overcome. ;)

Cheers,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Heya folks,

Quick update. I did a 24 hour PAR log run at 7K CRI, averaging readings taken every 30 seconds each hour. The sensor was in the front left corner of the tank where it's farthest from the light, both horizontally and vertically. With the pendant on 100% intensity, the average min was 24 and average max was 65. I haven't run log readings in more illuminated areas since it's the front corners that are what I would call the limiting factor. However, in the more illuminated areas, at the substrate, individual samples read close to 100, which I'm happy with. With these readings in mind, I've set the lights to max out at 75% intensity. Being able to change intensity, light cycles, and CRI as needed was the big selling point for these lights and I couldn't be happier with them!

Now that AE is over the plants should be coming in soon. It's a good thing too, my patience is running out. HAHAHA

Cheers,
Phil
 
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