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Puopg's 120P

7756 Views 103 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Frshwtr
Hello and thanks for dropping by my 120P journal!

For my entire life, I've only had tanks under 15 gallons. As a kid, I remember starting from a good ol' fish bowl, to saving up and buying my first tank, the Marineland Eclipse 12. And even as an adult, the largest I've ever ran was my ADA 60P. For my entire life, I've been wanting to have a larger aquarium, and I finally feel like I have the time, budget, and space to have one and do it the way I want to. I'm super curious to see how my experience in the past will translate to this larger scale!

This build is definitely not a budget build. And I definitely don't know exactly what I'm doing. But I look forward to the lessons to learn and experiences coming up. I will do my best to update this journal with my successes and failures, and I hope the community can benefit from them!

With all that said, here is where things are at:

Edited: 10/15/2022
Phase: Growing and fish selection


Last updated: 01/23/2023



Plant Nature Branch Botany Terrestrial plant




Plant Green Botany Wood Water

10/12/2022

Equipment:
  • Cabinet - Custom built 120cm.
    • [Lighting] Armacost Ribbon Flex Pro 3000K, 120 LED's meter.
      [Lighting] Armacost 45W Driver
  • Tank - ADA 120P
  • Automation - Neptune APEX classic
  • Filtration:
    • CPR CS102 HOB overflow box, modified to use a Herbie style drain.
    • Trigger Systems Platinum Sump 26
    • Biohome Ultimate Media
    • COR15 return pump
  • Lighting:
    • Chihiros 90" WRGB2
    • FluxAqua White Light Screen
    • iQuatics stainless steel universal hanging kit
  • CO2
    • Reef Octopus Essence 130 Protein skimmer (as reactor)
    • Linde SS regulator with Parker h3a metering valve.
  • Above tank watering system
    • Kamoer FX-STP Continuous Duty dosing pump
  • ATO
    • Tunze Osmolator 3155
  • Misecellaneous equipment that I really like:
    • Colder 1/2" barb quick connect adapters.
  • Monitoring Equipment
    • Pinpoint pH probe
    • Hanna KH colorimeter
Code Powering the APEX:
For anyone interested in using an APEX and would like an example, below is a link to my github repository where I will be recording stuff for this tank. For my own understanding, I try to comment what each line is doing.



Hardscape
  • Frodo Stone
  • Chamise Wood

Substrate
  • ADA Amazonia Ver. 1
  • ADA La Plata Sand
  • ADA Power Sand Advance M + Pumice blend as base layer

Flora
  • Monte Carlo
  • HC
  • Dwarf Hairgrass
  • Staurogyne Repens
  • Anubias Nana
  • Buce, Wavy Green
  • Buce, Kedagang
  • And 2 other buces
  • Rotala Green
  • Mayaca Fluviatilis
  • Pearlweed
  • Water Wisteria
  • Java Fern, Trident
  • Java Fern, Narrow
  • Mini Pellia
  • Fissidens Miroshaki
  • Hydrocotyle Verticillata
  • Hydrocotyle Tripartita Japan
  • Weeping moss above water
  • Cool plants above water

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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Loving all the emersed growth! Will be interested to see how that orchid does. I have been treating mine like a cactus for years regarding watering, is it constantly damp or is it in an arid location?
Hehe yea me too, I’d say most the plants above are like experiments to see how they do. The orchid is sorta half dry and half damp as for where the roots are.Do you think I should move it to just an entire dry area?
 

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Hehe yea me too, I’d say most the plants above are like experiments to see how they do. The orchid is sorta half dry and half damp as for where the roots are.Do you think I should move it to just an entire dry area?
I am pretty far from an orchid expert. What I found that works for me in a pot on windowsill, is to water them once a week. About as much water as it takes to fill for ice cubes. And then otherwise ignore them.


So maybe you are okay?
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 · (Edited)
A couple of issues this week:

1. A branch that I had used the cloth + super glue bond seems to have broke from its anchoring points. I ended up having to do a late night patch which I have no idea will actually hold, but I hope it can hold out for a while. Im not sure if its the bond strength or the fact that the bond was between wood and wood, vs rock and rock. Kinda sucks, but that's the learning process I guess.

2. I added in a horde of amanos and some otocinclus and SAE just went in. The amano's were literally swimming against the current and had an affinity to find the overflow and ended up in my overflow box. I built a hella jank grate for the overflow which hopefully doesn't impede the skimming ability too much.

3. Some amano's are struggling, some dying. Tank is just barely reading nitrites, so maybe I was too hasty on dropping them in. Hopefully the majority of em live.

Plants are doing ok, really most in a recovery mode of sorts, so ima grow them out, and then replant the tops likely.

Plant Green Wood Branch Terrestrial plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Some good news and bad news.

Bad news is, I noticed a fish with a white dot, and I'm pretty sure I know what it is. Everytime I think its nothing, it always ends up being ICH. Anyways, im not surprised really, I just wish I had quarantined the fish for 2 weeks before introducing em, but they did clean up some of the tank, so thats convenient.

Good news, I was able to wrangle all the fish in the tank in 1.5 hours, which with plants and wood all over the place, is not a fun and easy task. Thankfully, the fish herding gods were nice to me, and they are all in quarantine now being treated for ICH. Im hoping this is it, and after a few weeks, things can go back to normal!
 

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Some good news and bad news.

Bad news is, I noticed a fish with a white dot, and I'm pretty sure I know what it is. Everytime I think its nothing, it always ends up being ICH. Anyways, im not surprised really, I just wish I had quarantined the fish for 2 weeks before introducing em, but they did clean up some of the tank, so thats convenient.

Good news, I was able to wrangle all the fish in the tank in 1.5 hours, which with plants and wood all over the place, is not a fun and easy task. Thankfully, the fish herding gods were nice to me, and they are all in quarantine now being treated for ICH. Im hoping this is it, and after a few weeks, things can go back to normal!
It sucks but its better to treat them early then let it get out of hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Just another text based update:

Epoxy putty seems to be an ok fix for my broken branch. Though I cant tell for sure since during my testing, the JB Water Weld stuff was pretty hard to stick together. I read to use some super glue to help during its curing process so i hope that everything is solid now.

Plant health wise, I've been looking into some flow distribution improvements. S. Repens is dropping a lot of leaves, and in areas where the above the water plants has started to block out some light, they are struggling. My main focus right now is to see if the S Repens can recover. The flow to the left side of the tank is pretty good, but from the back middle to the right side, the flow is very low. So I've increased the pump speed and am looking into adding a tiny power head or something to add a tad of flow in that area. My suspicion is that the Repens is unhappy with either:

  • Changed the CO2 rate since fish were showing signs of stress
  • Lack of adequate flow

So, im not entirely sure what it is yet, I wanna say its more CO2 and getting established.

Otherwise, i got some fish in quaratine right now, scheduled to go in if everything looks good in a week!
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Is your cor15 providing all the flow? Perhaps you could turn that up and adjust the main overflow to match it.
It is currently, and yea I can bump it up, but given the placement of the outflow how much stuff is on the left side of the tank, it still doesn't really add a good flow to the back opposite side. Plus, although not too bad, I can start to hear the pump which impacts the living space, but if I absolutely have to increase it to that extent I can.
 

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In that case, I would recommend the smallest jebao SLW. Which I think is the SLW10. I have the 20 in my reef tank. It’s completely silent, and controlable. You could use this to get the flow right on that side of the tank.

or another such small power head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Just some photos showing some of the things we're dealing with in this tank currently.

S. Repens is still adjusting to its new environment. That or its on its way out haha. I think the stems though they look bad, have rooted. So if that's true, Im thinking they will be ok eventually.

Brown Plant Plant community Natural landscape Wood
Plant Terrestrial plant Grass Aquatic plant Flowering plant


Little bit of what looks like cyano to me on the sand. I may just suck it out with some sand and replace the removed sand.

Plant Grass Wood Tints and shades Panda
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 · (Edited)
Fish just went in! Some congo tetras and some White Fin Ornate Tetras.

Below the tank, I've been trying to improve water clarity. Overall the fleece rollermat is convenient, but it doesn't polish the water as effectively as I would have hoped. Too much detritus gets through. Kinda sucks since this sump is built with that in, so removing it for filter socks isn't an option. However, I do have a reactor / protein skimmer below, which moves the water in the main chamber of the sump, so I have retro fit the outflow of the skimmer to feed into a filter sock, which is really improved the water clarity.

However, it also has changed the flow rate of the skimmer, to the point where too much water is being pushed through the collection cup, and that causes noise as it drains out, as well as increases the potential for overflows. So to address this issue, I decided I favor the water clarity more, so a small leak detection probe to shut the skimmer off if a overflow scenario occurs, Im hoping will be adequate. Honeslty, it shouldn't ever get to that point, given its in the chamber after the primary fleece roller. But just in case.


Plant Plant community Water Nature Leaf


Plant Green Water Rectangle Wood
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 · (Edited)
Protein Skimmer as CO2 reactor update after a few months of use.

So far so good. pH drop is consistent, I can reach the 1.0 drop in 30 minutes, but Im currently pushing for around a 1.3 drop.

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Biggest issue that I was able to resolve thankfully was noise. Not from the pump but actually from the water that would overflow into the collection cup. Since I made a few modifications to dual purpose the reactor as another part of my mechanical filtration, the water pressure increased in the main chamber of the skimmer, causing the water to overflow out into the collection cup. As the water is directed back down into the sump, it pulls a lot of air down if the rate of water entering the collection cup is just right. Functionally, makes no difference, but annoying when in a living space.

To resolve this, I found a 2" expandable rubber stopper, removed the bolt running through it to expose the hole through the stopper, and then just slapped that thing on the outflow on the top of the skimmer. The result is a reduction in water pressure in the body of the skimmer, which then allows just a trickle of water to be exiting the collection cup, so now it's quiet again. I learned, you do not want to fully seal it as the pressure inside the skimmer body is too much for the pump to handle and then there is less hang time of co2 and swirling of co2.

Cosmetics Liquid Serveware Drinkware Food
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Liquid Drinkware Water Solution Barware



Video of the setup: 120p - Sump and reactor

Note the black thing near the top of the skimmer, thats the rubber stopper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 · (Edited)
I’m interested in why you chose to use a protein skimmer as your co2 reactor and how you have it rigged. It’s impressive you can get your co2 levels on point so quickly.
Video linked above shows the entire sump setup!

I went with a skimmer cuz:
  • I have a sump and I can take advantage of that space.
  • I wanted something that stood on its own, most DIY stuff or rex-griggs reactors is an awkward PVC pipe of sorts, and needs to be anchored in some way.
  • It's an all in one unit, so no needing to plumb it into part of the return. Nice and compact, no tubing to connect.
  • I wanted something that was replaceable. Generally, if something goes wrong with it, I can literally just throw money at the problem and get a new same or equivalent skimmer.
  • Decent hang time, movement, and the bubble plate of this skimmer although im not sure if it matters, seems to keep the bubble size small.
  • Kinda looks nice.
  • Testing out a theory, was also a big part of it, it just seemed like it should work but no one was really doing it that much, so I figured, ill document it and see what happens.

It's not the highest value option, but looks pretty nice, operates well, and well, skimmers are everywhere in reefing so it's never going away. And theres tons of manufacturers to choose from. How many places can you find a rex-griggs style reactor online in comparison?
 

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I ended up plumbing a closed loop into a fairly large rex griggs style reactor I built myself (2" diameter) in my sump. My tank is smaller than yours but still large. I had issues with CO2 dissolution and had to upgrade my pump size to increase flow rate of water to get enough pH drop.

Is efficiency a problem with your skimmer setup? Or do you just need to increase CO2 a bit to hit your desired pH drop?
 
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