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Thanks for your input on the dosing pumps...

Dosing pump - This is the first time I heard about Bubble Magus. These are not closed loop correct? ... ie for ATO, its not going to stop once the tank is filled I assume.

On NILOCG and GLA - I did come across both and I was not sure when I need to start it... so didn't buy them yet!... so you recommend these as a beginner before moving to the DIY method?

T5HO - hmmmm... thought everyone is adopting to LED and technology is also getting better...
If you use a dosing pump head for ATO you just set it to pump a half gallon a day, for example. There wouldnt be a float shut off set up, you just estimate your evaporation and replace it. But on a big tank I wouldnt use it for that, it is easy enough to just dump in a gallon of RO water every few days. Take a look at Marine Depot or Bulk Reef Supply, any of the pumps they have are fine.

The PPS pro chemical package at Niloc or GLA are do-it-yourself ferts and a step above using the mystery pre mix liquids. Youll need a scale to weigh out the powders. A step above that would be mixing your own micro ferts, but for now just use the CSM+B that comes with the package.

On your light fixture, a four foot hydropronic fixture with four T5ho bulbs doesnt cost more than what you would pay for two Aquaskys.

If you want the color shown in my pic with stem plants then you need lights with a lot of red and blue spectrum. As Dennis says on his site, very few LED fixtures have enough red and blue. You also need power, and based on what Jeff Krol said about you light choice, you likely dont have enough. If your tank is going to be more hardscape and/or mostly green plants like swords, crypts, vals, ect, then you r light will be fine.
 

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Hi Ravs,

Welcome to the hobby, it sounds like you have an exciting build in store and many years of joy and strife to come. Look forward to following along if you go the tank journal route!

Certainly not an expert here, so will defer to others on most points. But a couple of thoughts on your kit and journey to come.

It seems to me from my short time in the hobby and from lurking on various boards that when problems arise there are usually multiple explanations for why, and the good will of the forum always comes up against the complexity of the hobby/the difficulty of not "being there." Hence the interest in as much detail/specificity as possible about the tank setup when diagnosing next steps and so on. That can lead to a kind of endless cycle of testing and upgrading, gear acquisition and what not. So it'll be interesting to figure out what your own philosophy is, how you draw on your DIY experience, while integrating new lessons, and so on!

On that note, I think your idea of getting a quarantine tank is a good one. Maybe hold off on giving it to the son until you've set up the tank to your satisfaction. You could get a lot of use early on treating plants from your LFS to remove pest snails/planaria before adding them to the tank. This would be a way of having a "clean" setup without having to rely on tissue culture plants, which can be sensitive. You could use it to transition emersed growth plants to immersed with a bit more control. You could also use it to acclimate livestock comfortably, calibrating them to the water parameters of your main tank. And then there would be the uses as strict quarantine tank in case of issues with fish (the parasite ich comes to mind as one frequent example).

On the dosing pump side, I don't know that I'd consider this a necessary piece of kit. It depends how deep you want to get into customizing different fertilizers and additives, and that will in turn depend on the kind of habitat you want to set up, how you want to approach taking care of plants and livestock. I'd second the suggestion of going with the NilocG premix solutions. They're affordable, and either one would be easily dosed with precision. Based on readings here and elsewhere, I went with the PPM mix to give the fish an easier go of things and because of medium intensity lighting.

Final thought, have you got any water testing kits? Those seem like a useful additional to the early set up. Like everything, these come at different price points with varying degrees of precision. Search the forum for some chatter about that. Salifert, Sera, and Red Sea are highly rated. Technically, you could see if the tank cycled just from an ammonia test (see the 2hr aquarist website for cycling, which is also a whole world of debate), but in the long run you're going to want to test more than that. Nitrite tests are good for cycling, but also for detecting spikes (e.g. in case of hidden fish death/increased bioload). PH/KH/GH are good to know for figuring out stocking, and then here for troubleshooting issues. These things can get pricey. If you know you're going to want to helicopter parent everything then it would make more sense to invest in a full kit from the get go (there's a sera master test kit at $100 that would probably do the trick). If you're not sure, then go with test strips that cover the basics and then you might add in individual tests as you go and you get a sense of your needs.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #23


Bump:
[/url]1 Tank Arrival by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]



Finally got to know how to upload photos! ... thanks Teams :) ...

Bump:
[/url]1.1 Tank - On truck ramp by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Bump:
[/url]2 Waterbox entering home by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Bump:
[/url]2.1 Waterbox entering home by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Bump:
[/url]3 Tank package by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Bump:
[/url]4 Tank - Dimensions by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Bump:
[/url]4 Tank - white powder on seal by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Bump:
[/url]5 Tank seal by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

just showing the seal areas... there are some white powder on the seal... but thats okay as it could be for drying i would assume

Bump: Standing leveling was a nightmare..... if someone wants a detailed instruction... let me know

[/url]6 Stand leveling by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
[/url]7 DIY Stand - Not approved by Wife by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]


My DIY stand... rejected by my wife... :( ... it sits in the garage now! ... it came out very good... 2X4s and 2X6... if anyone needs proper dimension and details, let me know.
as per my calculation, this thing can hold a pickup truck on it!
I told my wife, if there is hurricane & flooding (less than 35"), we can all stand on this...

Bump: Tools used for my DIY stand...

if you plan to do one...do yourself a favor and get these tools...

[/url]7.1 DIY Stand - Not approved by Wife by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Bump: Seachem Matrix... 4L ..rinsed and dried!


[/url]Filter Media + Pur by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

On the right side picture: the top layer is on the right most side, the middle one and the bottom one with Purigen...
On the top layer, i have also loaded ceramic rings along with mechanical filters. Middle layer is fully Matrix.. and bottom is purigen, matrix, fine filter and carbon pad

Bump: Loaded up FX6! beauties...
[/url]FX6 - loaded by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Bump: Clear hose selection for FX6 / 5 / 4

I couldn't find a proper input on this.. hence adding this picture hoping
[/url]Fluval FX6 Tubing fit by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]it could help someone...

Bump: Build a rack for the left side cabinet in the stand.. as it was completely open. Thinking of keeping dosing pump and / or controller and / or ATO... of whatever! hahaha
Just used the scrap wood lying around and built it. Extra things i bought was 2" velcro, water proof spray paint and some small metal brackets

Stand - mfg rack for left cabinet by Ravs Rect, on Flickr

Bump: stand with FX6 and Power strip

[/url]Stand - Right cabinet with FX6 by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Tried to position the Co2 cylinder and reactor... and the UV filter... along with FX 6 while trying the keep the visibility on power strip

Please guide me if I am missing to consider something here ... which i might need to do down the line... i don't want to rip the whole thing apart to redo it! ... I am talking about under the cabinet setup stand point.
I would appreciate if the family here could help me on this...


[/url]Stand - FX6 with DIY Co2 reactor by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]


Planning to put the UV filter on the right side on the cabinet... next to the right side FX6. so Co2 will be connected to the FX6 on the left and UV to the FX6 on the right. will have a reducer to downsize the hose from 1" to 3/4" ID

Bump: Cabinet view! ... seems like it coming up nicely...

[/url]Stand - Inside cabinet view by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]
 

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Discussion Starter #26
[/url]Stand - Front view wo Tank by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Bump: THis is where one can see that the side panels are projecting out and the door sits inside their width... and when the doors open, roughly 5/8" (15mm) of the glass panel of the tank wont be supported!

[/url]Stand - Side view wo Tank by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Bump:
[/url]DIY Co2 reactor by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

DIY reactor.... i anyone needs any help in building this one... ping me and i can assist you with that ... this is similar to NILOCG Advanced model..

Bump:
[/url]Substrate - ADA Soil V2 by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Got the soil... thinking of going for a bag of ADA power soil.. too.

Bump:
[/url]Stones 3 pack - 1L by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

[/url]Stones 3 pack - 2L by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

[/url]Cooking stones by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]


seiryu stones for hardscaping ... 90 lbs in total. Rinsed and cooked them!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
If you use a dosing pump head for ATO you just set it to pump a half gallon a day, for example. There wouldnt be a float shut off set up, you just estimate your evaporation and replace it. But on a big tank I wouldnt use it for that, it is easy enough to just dump in a gallon of RO water every few days. Take a look at Marine Depot or Bulk Reef Supply, any of the pumps they have are fine.

The PPS pro chemical package at Niloc or GLA are do-it-yourself ferts and a step above using the mystery pre mix liquids. Youll need a scale to weigh out the powders. A step above that would be mixing your own micro ferts, but for now just use the CSM+B that comes with the package.

On your light fixture, a four foot hydropronic fixture with four T5ho bulbs doesnt cost more than what you would pay for two Aquaskys.

If you want the color shown in my pic with stem plants then you need lights with a lot of red and blue spectrum. As Dennis says on his site, very few LED fixtures have enough red and blue. You also need power, and based on what Jeff Krol said about you light choice, you likely dont have enough. If your tank is going to be more hardscape and/or mostly green plants like swords, crypts, vals, ect, then you r light will be fine.
ATO - Understood your msg. As I understand, ATO may not be critical for planted tank like it is for reef.

Micro and macro :
Is PPS pro chemical package at Niloc or GLA DIY ferts different than mixing your own micro ferts?
And CSM+B is different from PPS pro chemical package ? could you please explain me in detail?

On light fixture :
Clearly seems like underpowered for getting some bright and attractive colors.
I was researching and still sticking with the LEDs for the looks. sorry to disappoint you.
Between AI prime freshwater (or should i go for reef model) and Prizm Aquarium LED lights... which is better. And how about the flexibility of them being controlled from mobile / loading some spectrum?
Also, on the Prizm LED, there are 2 types of 16" lights ie with and without timer and the channel is different. Not sure what it means. could you please clarify this too.

Think i might need to go for 3 of them ... .even with that its not going to be same as Sun light :)
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Hi Ravs,

Welcome to the hobby, it sounds like you have an exciting build in store and many years of joy and strife to come. Look forward to following along if you go the tank journal route!

Certainly not an expert here, so will defer to others on most points. But a couple of thoughts on your kit and journey to come.

It seems to me from my short time in the hobby and from lurking on various boards that when problems arise there are usually multiple explanations for why, and the good will of the forum always comes up against the complexity of the hobby/the difficulty of not "being there." Hence the interest in as much detail/specificity as possible about the tank setup when diagnosing next steps and so on. That can lead to a kind of endless cycle of testing and upgrading, gear acquisition and what not. So it'll be interesting to figure out what your own philosophy is, how you draw on your DIY experience, while integrating new lessons, and so on!

On that note, I think your idea of getting a quarantine tank is a good one. Maybe hold off on giving it to the son until you've set up the tank to your satisfaction. You could get a lot of use early on treating plants from your LFS to remove pest snails/planaria before adding them to the tank. This would be a way of having a "clean" setup without having to rely on tissue culture plants, which can be sensitive. You could use it to transition emersed growth plants to immersed with a bit more control. You could also use it to acclimate livestock comfortably, calibrating them to the water parameters of your main tank. And then there would be the uses as strict quarantine tank in case of issues with fish (the parasite ich comes to mind as one frequent example).

On the dosing pump side, I don't know that I'd consider this a necessary piece of kit. It depends how deep you want to get into customizing different fertilizers and additives, and that will in turn depend on the kind of habitat you want to set up, how you want to approach taking care of plants and livestock. I'd second the suggestion of going with the NilocG premix solutions. They're affordable, and either one would be easily dosed with precision. Based on readings here and elsewhere, I went with the PPM mix to give the fish an easier go of things and because of medium intensity lighting.

Final thought, have you got any water testing kits? Those seem like a useful additional to the early set up. Like everything, these come at different price points with varying degrees of precision. Search the forum for some chatter about that. Salifert, Sera, and Red Sea are highly rated. Technically, you could see if the tank cycled just from an ammonia test (see the 2hr aquarist website for cycling, which is also a whole world of debate), but in the long run you're going to want to test more than that. Nitrite tests are good for cycling, but also for detecting spikes (e.g. in case of hidden fish death/increased bioload). PH/KH/GH are good to know for figuring out stocking, and then here for troubleshooting issues. These things can get pricey. If you know you're going to want to helicopter parent everything then it would make more sense to invest in a full kit from the get go (there's a sera master test kit at $100 that would probably do the trick). If you're not sure, then go with test strips that cover the basics and then you might add in individual tests as you go and you get a sense of your needs.

Good luck!
Thank you carseatdust! ... interesting name indeed...

As i mentioned earlier... I am new to forums (any of them)... and the unique piece i noticed is... in comparison to real life..

If one is walking on the road and if he / she has a question... a random person comes to help you or guide you or tries to understand what you are doing and helps you... may be he/she (even myself) will be comfortable for sometime but then human nature kicks in...we will start doubting them why they want to do it, how it benefits them or what is their agenda...
But in contrast to the above, in forums like this we are looking out for unknown people.. asking for help or we voluntarily come out to help... this is amazing... world will be so much peaceful if this happens in real world every time!

sorry to bore you guys to death with the above... !!!

Coming back to the topic! :)
a) "being there." - i will try to be as specific as possible and capture as much detail as possible in the forum...so if i face any problem, it will be easy for you guys to dissect it to provide some feedback. I agree with you 200%
b) "quarantine tank" - Yeah, stole it back from my kid! hahaha... he wants to put a star fish in it... FYI - my kids are 7 years and 2 years old....
[/url]ATO and Quar Tank by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]
c) Fertz - Little confused at this point. Hate to be like that... will appreciate any input on this
d) Test kit... I got the API master test kit for freshwater... Hope it works!
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Eheim 300W Heater by Ravs Rect, on Flickr

Heater... may not be required in Houston!

Bump: Temp controller - Inkbird by Ravs Rect, on Flickr

Temp controller


Tank Cycle pack by Ravs Rect, on Flickr

Tank cycling starter pack!

[/url]Lily Pipes by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

2 sets of these lily pipes...


[/url]Air Pump - IN case by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

just in case air pump


[/url]Co2 reg + Drop checker by Ravs Rect, on Flickr[/IMG]

Co2 regulator + drop checker.. Big shout out to JP Gomes of CO2 Art... he is the man you need to go to. He got my business forever. Very trust worthy!
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Just posted some of the photos as I am progressing to setting up my tank... the journey begins..
Thanks everyone for your support and input... helps me to move forward confidently and hopefully shorten my learning curve...
Happy New Year!
 

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Just posted some of the photos as I am progressing to setting up my tank... the journey begins..
Thanks everyone for your support and input... helps me to move forward confidently and hopefully shorten my learning curve...
Happy New Year!
I assume you know 95% of your photos arent showing?

Anyway on the fertilizer package here it is:
https://www.nilocg.com/shop/nilocg-pps-pro-aquarium-plant-fertilizer-package/

On your lighting, those units are better than your initial choice but I dont know about either in detail. On the Al prime , you want the plant version, different spectrum for fresh. Im not a big fan of puck systems because of the issues I had with kessils on my reef, shadows. Twinstar S series LED are worth looking at since you like slick looking LEDs; Dennis Wong likes them; this tank is lit by their 900 model:

 

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Discussion Starter #33
I noticed that the pictures are not showing up on cell phone but visible on a computer or laptop.. not sure why! I am a mechanical guy ..may not be able to solve the prob :) ...

Bump: Anyway on the fertilizer package here it is:
https://www.nilocg.com/shop/nilocg-pps-pro-aquarium-plant-fertilizer-package/


As soon as I saw your msg... jumped on it to order the item... plus some soil from NILOCG....
Got the below msg just above the cart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

" SORRY, WE CAN'T SHIP DRY FERTILIZER PRODUCT(S) TO TEXAS. YOU'LL HAVE TO REMOVE ALL DRY FERTILIZER PRODUCTS FROM YOUR CART TO CONTINUE CHECK OUT." ...

Dang.... Not sure what to do now.... any recommendation from anyone? :confused:
 

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Quick question...

any feedback on this light:

https://www.amazon.com/Spider-Farme...dp/B07TVD1Y3K/ref=psdc_14252941_t3_B083432HQQ

came across these in Amazon...its not mentioned for aquarium but will it work for aquarium?
I would re read what the 2hr Aquarist, greggz and jeffkrol, or myself have advised above. I dont know anything about that light, but from the picture, you need red and blue and not so many white bulbs. Thats the problem with a lot of LED fixtures. Have you looked at SB Reef lights?, they have a freshwater version.
 

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Quick question...

any feedback on this light:

https://www.amazon.com/Spider-Farme...dp/B07TVD1Y3K/ref=psdc_14252941_t3_B083432HQQ

came across these in Amazon...its not mentioned for aquarium but will it work for aquarium?

Generally considered too warm for an aquarium if on full or not channel controlled.


Also those model numbers in no qay reflect what they output wattage wise.
Uses meanwell HG "AB" driver. Why that is kind of good is a longish story.
https://www.meanwell.com/Upload/PDF/XLG-100/XLG-100-SPEC.PDF


Channel dimmable by 10V PWM, 10v analog, or a potentiometer.


Def looks usable and has some desirable characteristics,

CORRECTION.. only "overall" dimming not per channel so that removes most of the good functionality.
Overall may be more warm than many prefer.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I would re read what the 2hr Aquarist, greggz and jeffkrol, or myself have advised above. I dont know anything about that light, but from the picture, you need red and blue and not so many white bulbs. Thats the problem with a lot of LED fixtures. Have you looked at SB Reef lights?, they have a freshwater version.
mboley:
Thanks... still reading lot of stuff.
No, i haven't heard about SB reef light. Looked into it after reading your msg. Looks similar to NILOCG light.

Bump: Thanks Jeffkrol. Noted.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Sorry, got busy with my day job hence couldn't visit the site to update my journal.

a) After lot of research, finally decided to go with Fluval 3.0 Planted LED - 60" long. I was more convinced with PAR and the coverage with these. Ordered 2 units and it arrived today.
I just wanted to start with these and then see how things workout as I progress. Looked at ADA, Twinstar 1200 S Series VR III and UNS TITAN too.

Please don't get mad at me guys as you have suggested a lot...I am just experimenting with Fluval...

b) Received the pH controller - https://milwaukeeinstruments.com/ph-controller/
planning to use this with Co2...
Filled my Co2 cylinder this week...

c) Received the XP Aqua Ultimate ATO... was on clearance at Bulk Reef Supply! not sure why!... hopefully it functions well

d) ordered one more Kasa power strip...

e) started working on my layout with Seriyu Stones..roughly 120lbs. Checking out different layouts on the floor. Not getting convinced. hmmm... its also cold hence not able to spend more time in the garage to try many options in the night.

f) Bought 2 bags of NILOCG nature soil and Thrive+ Fertz as dry fertz cant be shipped to Texas....

Behind schedule on the project.. taking it easy...but doing it with lot of love.
Hopefully I am able to make some progress in the coming weeks... with long weekend around the corner!
 
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