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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hello-


My first post here, so, please be patient with the mistakes I am sure to make!
I have kept tanks since I was 10, culminating in a 125 gallon reef. Then, tragedy struck, and we had 4 children.So, there went to 125. Fast forward 20 years. Kids moving out (one left!), ex-wife moved out, and I find myself with some time which I havent had for years. I obtained a 75 gallon tank from Craigs List and build a stand for it. I painted the rear of the tank with flat black paint, so I wouldnt have to look at as much piping, walls, cords, etc....I know, I know, lost the corner of the room, but I want it in the living room such that I can enjoy it, and it was the only place it would fit!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Now, here we are, looking at the top. There are two Eheim 2217 intakes with sponges, the two spraybars facing toward the front glass, and for extra circulation, two Kroalia Nano 240's. None of these locations are set in stone...I will quite possibly change locations when water is inside and I see what kind of circulation I have.
The light is an Ecoxotic 120 LED unit.....hopefully enough light. I will eventually does ferts via a liquid EI method (ferts from NilocG)...you can see the tubongholder in the rear of the tank (barely). I had to modify the holder to fit well on the rear, allowing the liquid fert is fall into the tank. I want to avoid a siphon effect should something go wrong there! Will dose with a Jebao DP-4 pump.
 

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Nice job! Always glad to see a returning hobbyist. I will say that dry fert dosing is better for the long run price wise. Nilocg is the go to guy though. I've had great success with his/her (I don't recall) liquid ferts. I'm lost on the light, but all you can do is give it a shot and up it if it isn't enough (additional lighting). The rest looks solid. The two circulatory pumps may be overkill, but to each their own! Just remember that reef tanks and planted tanks share some things but differ greatly. Planted tanks are like the Honda civic of the fish community while the reef tank is like a Saab. One is a heck of a lot more complicated, but they share a lot in common.

If you need anything, quote me, tag me, PM me, etc. I'll fill you in wherever I can, if you need it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ok, so, now below the tank. Please excuse the mess, its not arranged and running yet. Here you see the two 2217's- they have the standard media, plus each 2217 has 2 bags of Purigen. The left 2217 push water by the pH probe (not installed into the T yet) and into the CO2 reactor, then up to the top via the left spraybar. The right 2217 will simply be filtration/circulation. There is quite alot of tubing you cant see there. I have a manifold in the back, which allows me to pump water up from the basement mixing tank (45 gallon plastic trash barrel), with the twist of a valve rather than carrying buckets. The tank is a 20 pounder, the controller being an electionic one from Aquarium Plants....I added another solenoid as well to be controlled by the pH controller...redundant, I know! There is a check valve there as well, just prior to where the CO2 enters the reactor. The controller will control both the electronic regulator and the solenoid....just not sure of the settings yet. The clear boxes to the rear are for ferts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now, Ive checked my water....from the tap, after runnng it for awhile (copper pipes):

pH 6.7-6.8 (API test kit....havent used probe yet)
dKH 4
dGH 5
TDS 57 ppm
Cu about 0, (the dang test kit only goes down to .25ppm, and its less than that)
(I also have RODI water available, just want to avoid it)
My plan here is to add a bit of Seachem alkaline buffer into my mixing tank downstairs to give the water a bit of a nudge in pH prior to me lowering the pH with my CO2, and also to give the water a bit more buffering capacity. Ive got a heater in the mixing tank as well, with some old powerheads, so, in my perfect world, once the mix is done, I can just pump it upstairs to the tank. Using an inline heater for the tank itself, after the right hand 2217 (cant see it in the pic).

I managed to get some Ecocomplete cheap, will be using that (have 140 lbs). I havent started the tank yet, as I have been leeching 3 pieces of Mopani for a month now, changing the water every other day. I am coming to the conclusion that they will forever leech tannins. Cant boil them...too big. The aquascape? No idea yet. One pice of mopani at about 1/3, the other two at 2/3? Have to try it first, see what it looks like!

As for fish, inverts, plants...I will start the tank with nothing, get parameters straight first. Then, shortly thereafter, add plants. Looking at: Ceratopteris thalictroides, Ludwigia repens, Staurogyne repens, Crypt balansae, Prosperinaca palustris, Java Fern, HC, Alternathera reinecki, and Monoselenium tenerum for plants. Eventually, once cycled, adding Otos, Pygmy Cories, Nerites, and hopefully Cherry shrimp. Have to take my time with this though. If the shrimp establish themselves and I can get a breeding colony, then I would love to add Celestial Pearl Danios (my uncle, an Endler breeder, wants me to use Endlers). I know they wil llikely eat baby shrimp (Endlers AND CPD's), but hopefully I have enough plants to allow the young uns a place to hide! Im avoiding the Endlers as I dont want zillions of fry polluting my tank.

I will start fertilizing as soon as I add plants, with a starting photoperiod of 6-7 hours.

Here's the part where you folks who know ALOT more than me come in! If I am messing up, let me know! I usually learn the hard way, but would love to benefit from other peoples' failures before I make some of my own! Do I have screwy ideas for plants? let me know! Am I crazy for the fish and inverts I have chosen? let me know!

Bump:
Nice job! Always glad to see a returning hobbyist. I will say that dry fert dosing is better for the long run price wise. Nilocg is the go to guy though. I've had great success with his/her (I don't recall) liquid ferts. I'm lost on the light, but all you can do is give it a shot and up it if it isn't enough (additional lighting). The rest looks solid. The two circulatory pumps may be overkill, but to each their own! Just remember that reef tanks and planted tanks share some things but differ greatly. Planted tanks are like the Honda civic of the fish community while the reef tank is like a Saab. One is a heck of a lot more complicated, but they share a lot in common.

If you need anything, quote me, tag me, PM me, etc. I'll fill you in wherever I can, if you need it!

Thank you so much! I got a pretty good deal on the 240's and felt maybe two of them would give me more options than 1 bigger one!
 

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Welcome to the forum! Looks like everything is off to a good start. CPD's will be fine with shrimp especially in a tank that big the population should continue to grow. Like Freeman, I'm also not too sure on how the light is, and if the flows too much you can just take it out. Can't wait to see this planted! By the way I don't think you would have to mess with your tap water to be honest, it has pretty good parameters, even if it's lowered CPD's like acidic water, and RCS can deal with it. I think the driftwood will eventually stop leeching tannins just gotta be patient I guess.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome to the forum! Looks like everything is off to a good start. CPD's will be fine with shrimp especially in a tank that big the population should continue to grow. Like Freeman, I'm also not too sure on how the light is, and if the flows too much you can just take it out. Can't wait to see this planted! By the way I don't think you would have to mess with your tap water to be honest, it has pretty good parameters, even if it's lowered CPD's like acidic water, and RCS can deal with it. I think the driftwood will eventually stop leeching tannins just gotta be patient I guess.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks, Opare! I am hopefully optimistic based on what yourself and Freeman say....now, if I can only avoid becoming the proud owner of an algae-only tank, I:grin2: should be good!
 

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Thanks, Opare! I am hopefully optimistic based on what yourself and Freeman say....now, if I can only avoid becoming the proud owner of an algae-only tank, I:grin2: should be good!
I think it's a worry everyone has. As long as you have control of all the variables (especially light and CO2) algae shouldn't be an issue. The start-up of a new tank is the most exciting, but stressful as well cus you have to find the balance for your tank and let everything mature.
 

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Start the light out on a very low setting or photo period, 4-6 hours. Start with non-demanding plants. Do your month long fishless cycle. After that you should have an idea where you light stands. You can fiddle with your CO2 at this time, but remember that you will need to keep an eye on your fish after adding them to see if you have too high of a concentration of CO2.
 

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I actually like where you tank is setup. Then you have the whole back corner to hide your supplies, filters, buckets, ect. If you want better circulation with out the need for the powerhead look at the 75g in my sig. They way I have my filter pipes on the ends makes a vortex in the center causing old water to get sucked straight to the intaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's the rub.... Plant heavily. The thing is, I just have no idea how everything is going to work out until AFTER I get the plants, mail-order. There are very few LFS around here, and those which are within 35 miles are pretty much just fish stores.... They don't seem to care much for plants. I stopped at the largest one a while back asking about shrimp, CPDs, etc, and basically got the feeling that if they didn't have it, they were not interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ok, stop laughing and shaking your head in dismay at my lack of aquascaping expertise! Here are 2 pieces of Mopani on the left, and one on the right. Somewhat of a cave effect here, as I would like to create caves and hiding places for shrimp, etc......the plan being that I will try to get something to grow on the Mopani (moss, java ferns, etc) to further close up the cave somewhat, and make it appear to be an ominous weedy entrance, giving the possibility of saving baby shrimp, fry, etc from the more free-swimming adults. I think possibly the cave is too large, but wanted some fair water circulation inside as well. There is a fair bit of room behind the left Pile O' Mopani to plant taller plants, although i wouldnt be averse to pushing the mopani back more on the left.

No need to sugar coat the fact that I have very little, to any aquascaping experience, but please, ideas? Thats 140 lbs of Ecocomplete.....hopefully, when I get the placement correct, I will add water, start pumps, start pH meter, looks for leaks, watch the water cloud, etc....then, off to ordering plants in the above post....just no idea how many!

Pet supply Rectangle Wood Television set Gas


Organism Pet supply Television set Wood Gas


Photograph Dog Wood Fawn Flooring


Food Recipe Ingredient Suckling pig Cooking
 

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Just a couple of thoughts …. There's a triangular area behind the tank that's sort of a void . Do you have access to that space? Maybe via the back of the stand . Somewhere down the line something's gonna fall back there that you'll want to get out. Have you considered spraying your inlet/outlet plumbing black so it blends in to the background more?
Lastly , like @roadmaster said , plant heavily as you can from the start . Check the for sale listings here , I've got some real good stock off the listings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I really like that wood, more ideas for future stuff. I think the two pieces making a gave look good, maybe try standing the other piece up to get a little more height? It might show off the burls and design of the wood better too.

Thanks for the input! What I was trying to achieve, with the right hand piece, was something that gave ne SOME height, up to roughly a third of the height, whereas, the "cave" pieces going to around 2/3 of the height. I guess I was trying to avoid the appearance of too much symmetry? Besides, that right habd pice wouldnt stand up at all for me, and I would rather not kean it against the rear glass....although, standing up would certainly show off the burl better!

Bump: Yes, there is a triangular area behind the tank, the corner. I left the rear of the stand open to I could in fact have access to the rear.....one of the first few pics, which I attached shows that better though.

Bump: Actually, yes, when I built the stand, I left the rear of the stand open such that I could have access to the back....there is an attachment in the first post or two here showing that...I just didnt put them in the thread correctly!


Yes, I hadnt thought of painting the intakes and exhaust pipes black....kinda dumb considering that I did paint the back of the tank! I will look at that soon.


As for planting heavily, I'll do my best! I have to mailorder everything, since the few LFS around dont have much at all for plants.


I put water in the unit today, and one 2217 is running, along with both 240's. Possibly tomorrow I will calibrate the pH probe and start the other 2217 up.....depends on when the girlfriend leaves! :laugh2:


How much surface agitation is enough? The one 2217 does ok with one side, but what are we aiming at here?

Bump:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Good Morning!

Updates to my progress.....

The tank has been filled.....I used tap water. The water specs prior to being added:
pH 6.7
dKH 4
dGH 5
Cu <.25 ppm
TDS 56

Then, added it to the tank, calibrated and started my pH meter, and started the second Eheim 2217. This tank has 140 lbs Ecocomplete and 3 pieces of Mopani driftwood. Checked the specs again (after about 24 hours)....
pH 7.7 (not a typo)
dKH 4
dGH 5
Cu <.25 ppm
TDS 126

So, as Ive read online, some folks do have issues with the Ecocomplete raising pH, and it would appear I am the same. Also have read Mopani can do the same. I tested more tap water with the probe, yea, its 6.6-6.7 out of the tap, which coincided with the lousy API kit I first used to test it.

I put a drop checker in, reading blue. So, CO2 not where I want it, but fine, started the CO2. About 1-2 bpm right now. I set the setpoints on the controller to turn on (the CO2 and solenoid) at pH of 6.8, and turn it off at 6.45. Got up the next day, to a pH of 6.67, and green in the drop checker, perfectly matching the reference. So, it looks like the CO2 is doing its job. Now is the time to find this out, prior to anything alive in the tank! I will leave the settings alone for today, and see what the drop checker tells me at lower pH's. Its entirely likely I will need to raise the lower setpoint, as there *might* be too much CO2 for critters at that point, but my plan is not to introduce any animals for awhile.

That being said, I did order plants yesterday.....ordered a fair bit, but it will be tough to tell how heavily planted it will be without actually planting it...the order looks big to me! So, waiting on that.

I have done nothing with my dosing pumps yet, maybe later this week calibrate and program them...will start dosing as soon as the plants go in.

Some observations:

I have a CarbonDoser EXT5000 from aquarium plants as a reactor. This is a nice unit, but ALOT of fittings on it. I tightened everything prior to use, but still had oodles of leaks. I ended up taking the unit apart and retaping the connections with teflon tape....I dont think they had enough on there.

The regulator, also a CarbonDoser is pretty cool....electronic, negating the need for an electronic solenoid.....but I put one on anyhow....I like redundancy. My pH controller controls them both, turning them on and off with my pH. There is a very slight tick when it activates and spits a bubble.....I cant hear it unless I am under the tank, monkeying with stuff. I like the fact I am not counting bubbles though.

Calibrating the pH probe.....my calibration fluids were pH 7 and pH 10......the 7 was fine, but the 10 is not ideal when we are measuring lower pH's. I ordered a pH 4 calibration fluid, will recalibrate when I get it. The unit came standard with the 7 and the 10.

Sometimes Koralia 240's can be noisy, with cavitation-like sounds.....mine are a couple inches below the surfact, not sucking air, so, still have to figure this out. They are easily the most noisy thing in the system, the Eheim 2217's being totally silent...love it!

Surface Agitation. I think I have alot- put my spraybars right below the surface....the only issue here is when some water evaporates, they start to fizz water up onto the lights...cant be good....might have to lower them a bit, at the risk of some agitation loss

Said this before....Ecocomplete raising pH by a full point....something important to note for some folks? Maybe.
 

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No experience with most of what you noted, EXCEPT the light issue. There are some simple DIY alternatives to store bought glass lids. I made lids for my 55g and it cost me $15. They slide in flooring tracks. Very simple and they don't look half bad. Check out some of the DIY lids around here. Or you can check my signature thread. I made some on my 75g also. It keeps the evaporation down a lot and keeps your lights from taking a beating. I do suggest mounting them the way I did on my 55g though. It makes for mounting LED lights a lot easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No experience with most of what you noted, EXCEPT the light issue. There are some simple DIY alternatives to store bought glass lids. I made lids for my 55g and it cost me $15. They slide in flooring tracks. Very simple and they don't look half bad. Check out some of the DIY lids around here. Or you can check my signature thread. I made some on my 75g also. It keeps the evaporation down a lot and keeps your lights from taking a beating. I do suggest mounting them the way I did on my 55g though. It makes for mounting LED lights a lot easier.
Thanks for the advice! I will check it out tonight! Yes, I do need something for splash protection......I was considering a piece of glass near the light- I have a centerbar on the top of the tank, but of course, I worry about me breaking the glass at some point- will check out your system- Im at work now....shhhh!
 

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Thanks for the advice! I will check it out tonight! Yes, I do need something for splash protection......I was considering a piece of glass near the light- I have a centerbar on the top of the tank, but of course, I worry about me breaking the glass at some point- will check out your system- Im at work now....shhhh!

I dug out my recent post on the lids. You can see what they look like and how the function in this video. I put handles on my lids before. My LFS carries replacement handles for glass lids. Just a plastic tab with double sided sticky tape. You can silicone any hardware to the glass most likely.

But you can see what I mean about mounting LEDs in the video. The glass lid gets close to the legs of the lights. If you mount the slides for the glass the opposite way, on the sides and not the front/back, you can't drop the LED light legs in place.

Today I made my signature budget lids, sort of. Here's one side, perfection!




And another video, just showing how they slide. I do love these lids.


 
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