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Hello everyone! My name is Spencer and this my first post on this site. I would like to thank everyone in advance for taking the time to read and respond to my post :) Please let me know if I posted wrong or broke any rules as I am new to this wonderful site.

I have been keeping fish for over 10 years and have gotten more serious in adult hood(currently 21). I have successfully kept African Cichlids for 6 years in a 75 gallon. I currently keep 4 clown loach (2-3.5 in), 2 silver dollars (want a few more) and a 6 in common pleco in my dorm room (Mobile Al) in a 45 gallon tall (36x24x12) I know they will soon outgrow the 45 so I have set up my 125 gallon (in Cincinnati) over holiday so my clowns at university will have a nice home once they get too big. I plan on adding 5 small clowns to the 125 and some angelfish before I transfer the fish at school. The 125 has pool filter sand substrate (2-3 in) and two large piles of river rocks in the corners. I recently found some driftwood to place in the middle and will properly treat it before adding it. The tank has a 50 gallon sump (storage bin) and a DIY wet dry filter made from a plastic storage drawer. I use poly-fill for the mechanical filter and plastic pot scrubbers for bio media. The pump is rated for 1200 gph but probably does about 1000 gph. I have the returns placed on the right side of the tank at different levels which creates a strong current on the right side while the left side is pretty calm (for the angels) I also designed a continuous drip auto water change system which is currently set a 7 gpd (should I increase or decrease the flow)? The light is a single tube (2, 3 foot bulbs) which have brand new aqua glow bulbs in them. The tank currently has 3 small angel fish which appear to be doing very well. I also have added a nice bunch of java fern which I attached to the rocks close to the surface. I have a few smaller java ferns tied to some artificial drift wood currently. I planted a single jungle val (all the LFS had) in the sand and it is beginning to brown. I leave the light on for about 10-12 hrs a day (still need to get a timer) and dosed the tank with some liquid ferts I had laying around about a week ago (it was a few years old and I only had enough for 2/3 dose) The java had some brown when I bought it and its condition appears to be the same.

I understand my lighting or substraight is not sufficient for most pants but I am only interested in growing java fern/moss, anubias, and jungle val. I read that the java fern and anubias don't rely on substraight for nutrients so I'm not concerned about them as much as the jungle val. I read about iron tablets and was considering them for the jungle val. I know I need more fertilizer but I'm not sure what kind I should get (liquid or dry) and how much to dose. Also, how many hours should the tank be lit (more or less because its new)? I have a twin tube 4 ft that needs a new ballast but that will need till wait till the summer :( Will my filter cause too much CO2 loss (it is not currently sealed, I plan on using the bin lids cut with holes for the plumbing to accomplish this) Should I seal it or would that not allow enough O2 into the system?

I apologize for the long post and will be adding a few pics when I get the chance. Thank you again for everyone who takes the time to read and respond. I want to give my fish and plants the best environment possible to thrive!
 

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I understand my lighting or substraight is not sufficient for most pants but I am only interested in growing java fern/moss, anubias, and jungle val. I read that the java fern and anubias don't rely on substraight for nutrients so I'm not concerned about them as much as the jungle val. I read about iron tablets and was considering them for the jungle val. I know I need more fertilizer but I'm not sure what kind I should get (liquid or dry) and how much to dose. Also, how many hours should the tank be lit (more or less because its new)? I have a twin tube 4 ft that needs a new ballast but that will need till wait till the summer :( Will my filter cause too much CO2 loss (it is not currently sealed, I plan on using the bin lids cut with holes for the plumbing to accomplish this) Should I seal it or would that not allow enough O2 into the system?
I have a 125 Gallon and used the stock single bulb t8x2, which I am assuming what you are using. I put 'grow' bulbs in them and it didn't matter it was not enough to grow anything for me. I switched to 2 Aquatic life dual lamp t5ho fixtures (have since added 2 more) 1 on each end and I was able to grow java fern quite well. It grows well enough that I have populated several areas of the tank with just one original sprig. Anubias would also grow but it is at a much slower rate. I have no experience with Val.

I have never used a wet dry filter but it seams most people think they cause co2 loss, but I remember a few weeks ago seeing a post where somebody had sealed the sump and it was supposed to help.
 
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