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Experimental 125

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My 125 Gallon Experiment

Tank: 125 Gal Marineland with Overflows
Filtration: 30 gal sump with bioballs and poret foam
Substrate: BDBS
Lighting: Currently 2x24” Beamswork FSPEC, single 48” Elive LED pod
Fish: 2 Angels, 1 Threadfin Acara, 1 Severum, 1 Yellow Firemouth, 3 Festivum, 12 giant danios, 4 Bristlenose

Fertilization TBD, but likely to start with EI
CO2 Planned, via reactor plumbed into Sump

An overall shot of the tank prior to swapping substrates.

Nature Green Blue Natural environment Yellow


The tank as currently constituted has some rock piles and a number of longer branchy pieces of wood. Long term goal is to plant it. I want to do the opposite of my 90 and limit the plant species to three -thinking a carpet of tenellus, with java fern attached to the branches, and something else to the rock/branches, possibly Anubius. These are all plants that have grown very well for me in my 90. What I want to avoid is a lot of maintenance, so stems are out.

The tenellus seems to grow about 3 or 4 inches tall, and spreads like grass in my other tank, i’m envisioning this across the bottom, and then I’m torn about which java fern - I have both the large variety as well as the narrow leaf variety. I sort of like the narrow better, but the danger is that it is similar in shape to the tenellus. Either way, it will be attached to the driftwood. The anubias will be in and around the rockwork, both on the left and right sides.

I’m aware the current fish mix is not really optimal for plants, but the tank will evolve around them as I’ve had them for years. Eventually, I”d like a few more Festivum and another couple angels.

Some of my concerns about this set up are that it is a sump filter and the potential for being quite inefficient with CO2. Reading up on it, there are some possible options to modify the stock overflows to reduce this. The sump may need to be redone at some point also, but for now it will remain as is.

Considering running a closed loop in the sump with a PVC reactor and powerhead. The CO2 will be distributed on a timer, probably as done in my 90, offset an hour earlier than the lights. I have a dedicated 20lb cylinder for this tank.

Fertilization will be DIY with dry’s, and I’m not sure how to approach this. Probably start with EI as a base, but adjust as needed. The tenellus grows rapidly for me, but the java fern and anubias are much slower growing. Am I off base in thinking that this mix of plants being mostly slower growing varieties might reduce the overall needs for fertilizer? Heck, what about CO2 as well? Should I still be shooting for that 1 point drop with these plants? Or would going with a more moderate drop be sufficient?

I’m looking through one of Amano’s books, Nature Aquarium World and on page 60 is conceptually what I’m proposing, a tank mainly with tenellus across the bottom. The specs for the tank show CO2 at once per 5 seconds, and no fert needed.

Below is a picture of it as it sits now after changing to BDBS.

Nature Branch Organism Photograph Atmosphere
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Grabbed some plants from my other tank. Planted a bunch of tenellus, thought I had more in the 90, but turned out not to be. Hopefully it sticks and takes off. A few Anubias and java fern - the java ferns are so big, they don't look right at this point.

Nature Organism Green Leaf Aquarium decor
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hate just replying/begging for any feedback, but not sure on fertilization to use.

Am I right/wrong about needing less ferts with slower growing/lower light plants?

CO2 - again lower need?

Any help is appreciated.
 

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I don't have the answers to your questions, but think maybe they are already out there on the forum. I just did a quick search and came up with a few links to other discussions:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/...078889-effect-co2-plant-growth-low-light.html

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/...07303-diy-co2-newbie-setup-3.html#post9526289

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/...41-fertilizing-regime-low-light-low-tech.html

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/...-i-need-dosing-fertilizers-low-tech-tank.html

Perhaps begin there, and see where that takes you. If you get to where you've more specific questions, perhaps take them over to the "Fertilizer" etc. forums on this site, with a link back here so people can see your Tank Journal.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, time really does fly by.

Learned a few things with this tank. First, no matter how much you feed them, Festivums just destroy the tenellus. Tank was doing fine otherwise with some slow growth of java fern and anubius.

A second hand CO2 tank followed me home, so I was able to add a reactor to the sump and start a slow feed of CO2, figuring some is better than none.

I decided to order a second set of beamswork 36" fixtures in November, and the day before they were scheduled to be delivered, wouldn't you know it, the tank sprung a leak. Fortunately, I was home, and working in the basement, so damage to carpet was minimal, and the tank was able to be drained.

After researching and deciding to reseal, the tank was filled up again in late December. Added the school of Devarios to it, and planted it with the java fern, anubius, and some tenellus. (I don't learn, and figured if they got a head start, perhaps the festivums would not uproot them as quickly.) Additionally, found some jungle val at the LFS which was planted at the far right side of tank, in hopes it will soon grow up and across the top.

I'll add current pictures shortly.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some of the stats have evolved.

Lighting 2 24" DA Fspec Beamswork and 2 36" EA Fspec Beamswork (made error and got the lesser of the two)

CO2 running approx 2 bubbles per second

Fertilization - Aquarium Fertilizer's premix - (1/4 cup per 500 mil, dosed at 30 ml/day)

Fish - Now 6 Festivum, a shoal of Devarios, and a trio of Apistogramma Cacatuoides.

Plants are growing reasonably well, the new Giant Val have new leaves, plus a pair of child plants have appeared. Getting some green algae on some of the higher java ferns.
 
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