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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey planted tankers, I’ve been sitting idle for the better part of 2 years without a main display tank. I’ve only being running small nano tanks to keep a few things alive while I waited. Life had gotten really busy rebuilding a 150 year old home, moving in, getting settled, changing jobs and gathering up everything I wanted to set up another tank. Luckily for me, my old man held on to a 45 gallon tank + stand and gave it to me for free. I had enough filter and lighting supplies sitting in my basement to get me started, and I figured I could use this tank as an excuse to gather up the rest of the equipment I want to run a larger 4’ tank ~100 gallons or so in the future.

Feel free to watch the video at the end of this post, there's a few time lapses of me setting it up. I’ll try to keep consistent uploads to that YouTube channel following along with this tank.

45 gallon standard tank with black trim. 48”x12”x18” (44 gallons total water volume, measured upon initial setup).
DIY stand made from Melamine and 2x4’s glued / screwed – skinned with sealed + painted pine.

Filtration / Inline Equipment:
2 x Eheim 2217 (mechanical filtration only).
1 x Eheim 2215 (mechanical filtration only).
1 x 22” Griggs style reactor with nothing inside.
1 x Hydor 200W inline heater (only if I need it, my house sits in the high 60’s).

Lighting:
1 x 48” Aquatic Life T5-HO 2 x 54W with 2 x ZooMed FloraSun bulbs.
1 x 48” Fluval Fresh and Plant 2.0.
1 x 36” Aquatic Life 15W 50% 10,000K 50% Actinic.

CO2:
1 x American Marine Pinpoint CO2 regulator with bubble counter and solenoid.
1 x 10lb CO2 tank.
1 x (Dwyer Flow Meter to come eventually).
1 x pH pen.
1 x Drop Checker with 4dkH solution.

Smart Tech:
1 x Marine Magic auto doser with 3 dosing pumps.
1 x Kasa smart power strip (3 outlet version).

Substrate:
27L ADA Amazonia V2, gentle slope towards back.
ADA Bacter 100.
Sprinkle of Osmocote Plus and 10-50-0+S & Zn.

Water:
100% RO remineralized with CaSO4 and MgSO4.

Fertilizers:
KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4, Flourish Iron, Burr’s Micro package with DTPA 11% Fe, Osmocote Plus and my personal collection of various granular fertilizers.

Water changes:
68% weekly.

Plants:
TBD.

Inverts:
Tangerine Tiger Shrimp.
Blue Velvet Shrimp.
Amano Shrimp.

Fish:
Oto cats.
Hillstream Loach.
Chili Rasbora.
Celestial Pearl Danio.
Pseudomugil luminatus or Pseudomugil paskai (depending on availability).
Pygmy Corydoras.

Hardscape:
None.

Theme:
No theme – possibly “Dutch Inspired” but by no means am I following any guidelines or rules to a particular tank theme.


Let’s start with the hardware:






Lighting (for now):




Time to refurbish the old stand:






Much better:






Substrate going in:





Prepping plants:






Anubias nana ‘Petite’ – using suction cups as anchors:




Marked exactly 18.9L on this jug with tape, so I know exactly how much water I’m putting into the tank with each jug. I also have tape on the rear, least visible corner of the tank with 18.9L increments:



Stem plants in:



Some of the mid / foreground plants in:



Final plants in (for now) and all the lights on:




For now, the filters are stuffed with a bunch of fine filter floss to help clear up the dusts. A lot of the dust in those photo’s are from the CaSO4 and MgSO4 I dumped in just prior to taking the pictures. One Eheim 2217 is rattling quite bad, so I’m going to have to try and lube / replace the internals. I had 1 double tap valve leak on me, I had 1 spare, so it wasn’t too bad.

Initial tank parameters:

CO2: on 2.5 hours before lights.
Lights: 5 our photo period, no ramp up / ramp down, Fluval LED will be at 50% power.

No NO3 or Micro dosing.
No KH boosting.
25ppm Ca
12.5ppm Mg
25ppm K
10ppm PO4 (I expect this to be taken up the substrate rather quickly)

Next steps:

Dial in my auto doser for daily micro dosing – going to look through some tank journals on here using active substrates and come up with some values to start off with.

Dial in a lime green Drop Checker.

I have a 54W Sunblater T5-HO in shipping, I may or may not run it, space is limited atop a 12” tank, those LED bulbs look promising and should save me space.

Start large water changes every other day (68% by my math’s).

Watch PO4 levels / dose more if the substrate is eating it up.

Build a front door panel for the stand.

Build a canopy to house lighting (possibly, as the Fluval LED gets HOT and would need a fan).

Get my hands on a 29 gallon or so quarantine tank.

Assess my shrimp inventory in my 10 gallon tank and begin taking it down.


Initial Setup:

 

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Now THAT'S the way you do it! Great opening post showing all the details on the setup.

And the video was particularly entertaining. You captured the frenzy of putting a tank together quite well.

Now here is the funny part. When we read a persons post for years, we get a mental image in our head of that person. Kind of like with radio personalities you haven't seen a picture. So it's always interesting when you actually get to see someone.

So no offense but my mental image of you was more like the Professor in Gilligan's Island!!:LOL:

I am expecting great things from this set up and am looking forward to following along. Now if can just figure out how to subscribe or follow or whatever we are doing these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
And the video was particularly entertaining. You captured the frenzy of putting a tank together quite well.
What it didn't catch was the overflows from filling 18.9L jugs, leaking filter connections, wet socks, stubbed toes, sore shoulders, plant scraps EVERYWHERE and a few rum's drank in attempt to calm things down ;) (Actually, at about the 5 minute mark you can catch me having "diet coke" if you look hard enough.

Now here is the funny part. When we read a persons post for years, we get a mental image in our head of that person. Kind of like with radio personalities you haven't seen a picture. So it's always interesting when you actually get to see someone.

So no offense but my mental image of you was more like the Professor in Gilligan's Island!!:LOL:
Now this made me laugh! For one, it shows my age because I had to look up what Gilligan's Island actually was, and for two, because my Dad looks pretty similar to the Professor, and I look pretty similar to my Dad so.... I guess you aren't wrong???

I bet a lot of people's idea of what I might look like could surprise them, I'll get better at filming and post more videos trying to capture what it's like running a larger planted tank, and the MESS that comes with it. My office was trashed after setting up this tank last night!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Took apart the loud filter, lubed the impeller parts, it quieted it down a little, but not enough, so I ordered a new impeller, shaft and bushings.

Here is a pic 24 after setup, water is fairly clear.

 

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What it didn't catch was the overflows from filling 18.9L jugs, leaking filter connections, wet socks, stubbed toes, sore shoulders, plant scraps EVERYWHERE and a few rum's drank in attempt to calm things down ;) (Actually, at about the 5 minute mark you can catch me having "diet coke" if you look hard enough.



Now this made me laugh! For one, it shows my age because I had to look up what Gilligan's Island actually was, and for two, because my Dad looks pretty similar to the Professor, and I look pretty similar to my Dad so.... I guess you aren't wrong???

I bet a lot of people's idea of what I might look like could surprise them, I'll get better at filming and post more videos trying to capture what it's like running a larger planted tank, and the MESS that comes with it. My office was trashed after setting up this tank last night!
Great initial group of posts. Really had to chuckle on Gregg's Gilligan's Island comment (and yes, I used to watch it alot). But, what Gregg said is so true - you develop a picture in your mind what various people look like. Even has happened where you were thinking one sex and it turns out you were very wrong.

Wish some of us had better video skills (me in particular) as doing trimming / maintenance / water change on 3 tanks in 1 day can be a little crazy - would make for some interesting videos and many of us to get to know each other a bit more.

Look forward to continued progress on your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Little bit more math, and lots of head scratching. I wrongly assumed this was a 55 gallon tank, turns out it is a 45 gallon long - That's the second time in a row I took on a used tank that was sold / given to me with the wrong information.

48" x 12" x 18" = 44.88 gallons or a 45 gallon standard per Google.

That would explain the 44 gallons of actual water volume I measured out. Now back to performing the first water change.

Tested PO4 24 hours after dosing 10ppm and it's around 1ppm, so I'll dose another 10ppm today and test again. (expired test kit - new one is in shipping).
 

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Hey planted tankers, I’ve been sitting idle for the better part of 2 years without a main display tank. I’ve only being running small nano tanks to keep a few things alive while I waited. Life had gotten really busy rebuilding a 150 year old home, moving in, getting settled, changing jobs and gathering up everything I wanted to set up another tank. Luckily for me, my old man held on to a 45 gallon tank + stand and gave it to me for free. I had enough filter and lighting supplies sitting in my basement to get me started, and I figured I could use this tank as an excuse to gather up the rest of the equipment I want to run a larger 4’ tank ~100 gallons or so in the future.

Feel free to watch the video at the end of this post, there's a few time lapses of me setting it up. I’ll try to keep consistent uploads to that YouTube channel following along with this tank.

45 gallon standard tank with black trim. 48”x12”x18” (44 gallons total water volume, measured upon initial setup).
DIY stand made from Melamine and 2x4’s glued / screwed – skinned with sealed + painted pine.

Filtration / Inline Equipment:
2 x Eheim 2217 (mechanical filtration only).
1 x Eheim 2215 (mechanical filtration only).
1 x 22” Griggs style reactor with nothing inside.
1 x Hydor 200W inline heater (only if I need it, my house sits in the high 60’s).

Lighting:
1 x 48” Aquatic Life T5-HO 2 x 54W with 2 x ZooMed FloraSun bulbs.
1 x 48” Fluval Fresh and Plant 2.0.
1 x 36” Aquatic Life 15W 50% 10,000K 50% Actinic.

CO2:
1 x American Marine Pinpoint CO2 regulator with bubble counter and solenoid.
1 x 10lb CO2 tank.
1 x (Dwyer Flow Meter to come eventually).
1 x pH pen.
1 x Drop Checker with 4dkH solution.

Smart Tech:
1 x Marine Magic auto doser with 3 dosing pumps.
1 x Kasa smart power strip (3 outlet version).

Substrate:
27L ADA Amazonia V2, gentle slope towards back.
ADA Bacter 100.
Sprinkle of Osmocote Plus and 10-50-0+S & Zn.

Water:
100% RO remineralized with CaSO4 and MgSO4.

Fertilizers:
KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4, Flourish Iron, Burr’s Micro package with DTPA 11% Fe, Osmocote Plus and my personal collection of various granular fertilizers.

Water changes:
68% weekly.

Plants:
TBD.

Inverts:
Tangerine Tiger Shrimp.
Blue Velvet Shrimp.
Amano Shrimp.

Fish:
Oto cats.
Hillstream Loach.
Chili Rasbora.
Celestial Pearl Danio.
Pseudomugil luminatus or Pseudomugil paskai (depending on availability).
Pygmy Corydoras.

Hardscape:
None.

Theme:
No theme – possibly “Dutch Inspired” but by no means am I following any guidelines or rules to a particular tank theme.


Let’s start with the hardware:






Lighting (for now):




Time to refurbish the old stand:






Much better:






Substrate going in:





Prepping plants:






Anubias nana ‘Petite’ – using suction cups as anchors:




Marked exactly 18.9L on this jug with tape, so I know exactly how much water I’m putting into the tank with each jug. I also have tape on the rear, least visible corner of the tank with 18.9L increments:



Stem plants in:



Some of the mid / foreground plants in:



Final plants in (for now) and all the lights on:




For now, the filters are stuffed with a bunch of fine filter floss to help clear up the dusts. A lot of the dust in those photo’s are from the CaSO4 and MgSO4 I dumped in just prior to taking the pictures. One Eheim 2217 is rattling quite bad, so I’m going to have to try and lube / replace the internals. I had 1 double tap valve leak on me, I had 1 spare, so it wasn’t too bad.

Initial tank parameters:

CO2: on 2.5 hours before lights.
Lights: 5 our photo period, no ramp up / ramp down, Fluval LED will be at 50% power.

No NO3 or Micro dosing.
No KH boosting.
25ppm Ca
12.5ppm Mg
25ppm K
10ppm PO4 (I expect this to be taken up the substrate rather quickly)

Next steps:

Dial in my auto doser for daily micro dosing – going to look through some tank journals on here using active substrates and come up with some values to start off with.

Dial in a lime green Drop Checker.

I have a 54W Sunblater T5-HO in shipping, I may or may not run it, space is limited atop a 12” tank, those LED bulbs look promising and should save me space.

Start large water changes every other day (68% by my math’s).

Watch PO4 levels / dose more if the substrate is eating it up.

Build a front door panel for the stand.

Build a canopy to house lighting (possibly, as the Fluval LED gets HOT and would need a fan).

Get my hands on a 29 gallon or so quarantine tank.

Assess my shrimp inventory in my 10 gallon tank and begin taking it down.


Initial Setup:

Beautiful tank, can’t wait to see how it fills in. I’m curious as to how you used suction cups for nana petite?
I know they can’t be in substrate , will you put them on the glass?
Thank you :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Good to have you back into the hobby with a bigger tank.You've been a great help to a lot of us. Time for you to enjoy a show tank! It is great to see it thought out in such detail. Judging by your projects, you'd be pretty great to get along with. I flip homes on the weekends for something to do to keep me busy. Keep us updated, Q!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Beautiful tank, can’t wait to see how it fills in. I’m curious as to how you used suction cups for nana petite?
I know they can’t be in substrate , will you put them on the glass?
Thank you :)
Thank you!

I took the clip part of the suction cup and stuffed the rhizomes into it, trimmed the roots fairly close to the rhizome, and gently pressed the suction cup into the substrate, leaving the rhizome completely above and in the water column. Now I can either leave them be and let the roots grow into the substrate, or I can move them and place them on the glass using the suction cups if I want to down the road.

Good to have you back into the hobby with a bigger tank.You've been a great help to a lot of us. Time for you to enjoy a show tank! It is great to see it thought out in such detail. Judging by your projects, you'd be pretty great to get along with. I flip homes on the weekends for something to do to keep me busy. Keep us updated, Q!
Thank you!

I've rebuilt several places, my father and grandfather used to both be custom home builders and I tagged along with many of their flip or new build projects. My dad was the one who convinced me to buy this place and shine it up, turns out I did such a good job I decided to move into it!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Initial Plant Stock:

Didiplis diandra
Anubias nana ‘Petite’
Ludwigia peruensis
Crypt ‘Flamingo’
Ludwigia repens ‘Rubin’
Rotala Macrandra
Rotala wallichii
Mayaca fluviatilis
Rotala indica ‘Bonsai'
Proserpinaca palustris
Ludwigia ovalis
Echinodorus aflame
Ludwigia palustris
Alternanthera reineckii 'Cardinalis'
Blyxa japonica
Microsorum windelov
Crypt lutea ‘Hobbit’
Lagenandra meeboldii red
Myriophyllum tuberculatum
Cabomba piauhyensis
Ludwigia arcuata
Tonina fluviatilis
Lindernia rotundifolia 'variegated'

A few plants are in rough shape, just barely hanging on - I'll try and nurse them back as best I can.
Green Eheim intake's need to go, still waiting on glassware to be in stock at my preferred LFS.
Micro mix solution has been made, now I need to calibrate my auto doser but I won't have time until next week likely. Manual doses starting tomorrow.
Dosed the full tank with another 10ppm PO4.
Dosed the incoming water up to 25ppm K (taking into account K from dosing the full tank volume with KH2PO4) and 25ppm Ca, 12.5ppm Mg.

1st water change, hard to believe this is what 68% total water volume looks like:




RO being tranfered from storage tote into mixing tote:




All filled back up, don't mind the yellowy colour, I haven't got the lights set just right yet:





 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Performed another water change yesterday, planning on doing them every other day for a week or so and then start testing for the nitrogen cycle's progression. My 2 x 800gph pumps claiming 10' lift height can't bring water up high enough to fill the tank (8' or so), so I'm returning them today and have a 1600gph pump with a claimed 16 1/2 ' lift height, more than enough I hope, being delivered tomorrow - hopefully just in time for a water change.

I also received a 48" 54W SunBlaster fixture, and I'm in the process of ordering material for a front door panel and a canopy to house all the lighting. My bulb inventory is limited, but that will change in good time.

Lastly, I received a new impeller for the loud filter, but sadly the bushings and shaft kit have not shipped - that order also contains a new PO4 and NO3 test kit as mine are expired. I'll wait for all the parts to arrive before I rebuild the internals - I'll lube the other two filter's internals while I'm at it and I'll try the noisy impeller in the smaller 2215 filter - it fits and can boost output a little bit. If it's the bushings that are bad and not the impeller this could help me boost the smaller filters performance.

Here is an almost complete tank overview, a few things are not in there such as my pH drop:

 

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Performed another water change yesterday, planning on doing them every other day for a week or so and then start testing for the nitrogen cycle's progression. My 2 x 800gph pumps claiming 10' lift height can't bring water up high enough to fill the tank (8' or so), so I'm returning them today and have a 1600gph pump with a claimed 16 1/2 ' lift height, more than enough I hope, being delivered tomorrow - hopefully just in time for a water change.

I also received a 48" 54W SunBlaster fixture, and I'm in the process of ordering material for a front door panel and a canopy to house all the lighting. My bulb inventory is limited, but that will change in good time.

Lastly, I received a new impeller for the loud filter, but sadly the bushings and shaft kit have not shipped - that order also contains a new PO4 and NO3 test kit as mine are expired. I'll wait for all the parts to arrive before I rebuild the internals - I'll lube the other two filter's internals while I'm at it and I'll try the noisy impeller in the smaller 2215 filter - it fits and can boost output a little bit. If it's the bushings that are bad and not the impeller this could help me boost the smaller filters performance.

Here is an almost complete tank overview, a few things are not in there such as my pH drop:

I do not know if you know this but pumps lose considerable output with head pressure with exception to high dollar pumps. For example, that pump you ordered rated at 800gph; without being sure I'm thinking that 800gph number is at 0 feet head loss. As you add head feet, the pump will drop exponentially. The 1600gph pump with 16.5 lift height may have a rough time getting the real gph output to the tank you are desiring. I would recommend looking at the head loss curves associated with whatever pump you buy. Reason being, not all pumps are created equal and some pumps are specifically designed and built for dealing with head pressure. Like I said, perhaps you already know all of this but my aim is to be helpful.

Those single SunBlaster fixtures with the reflector are nice. It's unfortunate that they really jumped the price on them in the last year or so. What lamp will you be running in it?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I do not know if you know this but pumps lose considerable output with head pressure with exception to high dollar pumps. For example, that pump you ordered rated at 800gph; without being sure I'm thinking that 800gph number is at 0 feet head loss. As you add head feet, the pump will drop exponentially. The 1600gph pump with 16.5 lift height may have a rough time getting the real gph output to the tank you are desiring. I would recommend looking at the head loss curves associated with whatever pump you buy. Reason being, not all pumps are created equal and some pumps are specifically designed and built for dealing with head pressure. Like I said, perhaps you already know all of this but my aim is to be helpful.

Those single SunBlaster fixtures with the reflector are nice. It's unfortunate that they really jumped the price on them in the last year or so. What lamp will you be running in it?
Yeah, I knew all of that already! But thank you for sharing anyway. I don't care how much flow I actually get -- whether it takes 10 mins or 20, or 30 to pump 30 gallons of water into the tank makes no difference to me, as long as the pump can reach that high. Amazon's return policy is great, so if the pump can't do it, I'll return and order the next size up until I find a pump that can do it LOL!

It came with a 6500K bulb, but I doubt I'll run it with that one, the tank is washed out in colour as is, I'll need more blues and reds.

Possible combo front - back (or vise versa) :

Red or FloraSun Tube
Blue or Purple Tube
7000K Fluval LED
FloraSun Tube


I'm building a canopy for the lighting, so now I'll be able to make full use of the space atop the tank without running into the filter inlets / outlets so I might be able to squeeze another T5 up there, so a total of 4 T5 Tubes and the Fluval LED, we will have to see!
 

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In an off-topic comment...

Everytime I see your user name I cannot help but thinking of the song in the link below and substituting "Quagulator"! I do not know what types of music you like but if you like this one then you have to listen to it cranked up on a good stereo!

 

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Discussion Starter #20
In an off-topic comment...

Everytime I see your user name I cannot help but thinking of the song in the link below and substituting "Quagulator"! I do not know what types of music you like but if you like this one then you have to listen to it cranked up on a good stereo!

LOL! That type of music is right up my alley!

Maybe one day I'll disclose how I came up with my username ;)
 
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