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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone!
The end of medical school, moving across country and intern year caused my old 20H tank to be retired. With life having a bit more time now I finally decided to get back into the hobby! I was waiting for a good deal on a larger tank and picked up some free supplies and hardscape recently.

I got lucky with a CL post that was $100 for a 75 gallon tank with a custom made wood stand and the guy gave me all of his equipment for free. The one issue is it was a saltwater tank. So we’ll see what I can actually use between old tank equipment and new stuff from CL. I also found a PMart clearance deal today on a eheim 4+ 350 for $160. So I decided to jump on it.

Here’s a list of what I have:

75 glass tank in pretty decent shape. (Very superficial nickle sized chip on the outside 1/2” above the bottom plastic trim near a corner, some will say that’s a deal breaker but if I epoxy and it’s below the soil line and passes a leak test I feel okay about it I think...)

Equipment:

Eheim 4+350, new Two used magnum 350 canisters in meh shape with all the tubing and some replacement parts. 2 hydor in-line heaters A hydor skimmer, (looks unused and unclear what I could do with that) A small power head A new glass top and old glass tops A couple smaller HOB filters, one with a UV light. Some older tetra air pumps Inkbird thermostat/ controller Sponge filter Extra media: pot scrubbers and cheap k1

Soil/Hardscape:

80lbs STS for cap Nature care organic potting mix and lava rock as base (unsure on volume and best depth for the 48” x 18” footprint) Assorted driftwood that is from the free CL tote of supplies, currently soaking in bleach water because it was covered in dried BBA. Saltwater guy gave me some noncoral rock from his supplies that I’m toying with adding (unsure what’s dead inside of it).

Plants:

I have an order from aquarium plants factory being delivered next week of the following:
Ludwigia Super Red × 2 Dwarf Echinodorus Parviflorus × 2 Cryptocoryne Balansae × 2 Echinodorus Kleiner Prinz × 1 Bucephalandra Alamanda Blue × 2 Dwarf Sagittaria Subulata × 2 Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Brown' Cryptocoryne Lucens


Lighting:

Currently lacking here. I only have a 48” two tube led shop light from Costco. Other random lights: two 48” fluoro hoods, and then a 24” finnex planted plus. I have some random led COBs and flood bulbs I could put in clamp lights if needs be.

Fauna:
Not in a rush. Considering a couple schooling fish like espei reasboras, rummy nose tetras, or tiger barbs, and then a few livebearers like platys then cories or loaches. Something to eat algae. Something to eat platy fry like an angel or beta & maybe some RCS if heavily planted.
Pictures and updates to come soon!




You can see the small chip in the above picture


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Hey welcome back!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Alright resealed the entire tank, added a combo of MGOCPM & Scott’s topsoil with red lava rock as a base capped by STS. (1”+ ~2” with a discrete front to back and left to right slope.

This is the majority of the hardscape I have available. There’s a few other pieces of the darker stone/fossilized wood that I haven’t added, plus that red lava rock arch, and a large piece of local white granite. Unsure if granite is a good idea in this tank...




I’m trying to add some depth with the driftwood + stone hardscape and give a natural look with the manzanita.

Any tips are appreciated!


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Discussion Starter #4
Update: I wanted to be sure the scalloped chip is sealed so I used cold weld epoxy and added a strip of glass over the bottom left edge, completely covering the chipped section. I hope that’s sufficient!

Plants arrived last week and I had them in a Tupperware of water while ensuring the tank is water tight.

Also I finally filled the tank last night, by the time I finished and got my eheim 4+ 350 set up I didn’t have time to actually plant so I just threw all the plants in the tank.

I also am thinking of using a sponge filter so I just threw that in there for now before I get the air pump set up properly.


The filter was fairly easy to set up after I realized I had reversed the intake and output tubes :/. I have a 300W in line heater set up on the return line, which is on my new inkbird thermostat.

No pics of equipment yet since I have a load of cleanup to do.

Picture is from 4 hours after turning on the canister.
Filter is currently full of eheim media with a couple loofahs while I was waiting for my order of pot scrubbers and poret foam to arrive. Hopefully
It clears up soon!

Lighting is currently a FEIT LED shop light in front with two 25 watt RGB outdoor floodlights in back. Unsure of the settings on the floodlights, I need to do some tinkering to get them to the right color setting and brightness level.




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congrats on finishing medschool and intern year :) how much more do you have left in your residency? We are currently setting up a 125 gallon (very slowly) and I'm trying to plan for a very low maintenance tank since clerkship year is next year for me :p

This 75g is coming together really nicely! can't wait to see how it evolves!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Finally an update, I made some modifications to the filter.

Filter:
Eheim 4+ 350, 10 ppi poret at the base, pot scrubbies in the other trays, the top tray with white fine foam is replaced with a 20 ppi poret with Eheim Prefilter.
I also removed all the k1 for now. We’ll see what happens. My thought is a combo of durable low PPI foam with a lot of high CEC pot scrubbers should be fairly low maintenance.

The Hydor 300W in line heater with inkbird controller is keeping the tank at 77 degrees.

I also have a 3W aquaneat powerhead that is waiting for me this weekend.


Lighting:
I’m 25W RGB LED floodlights but didn’t like the shadows so I threw on my old 24” finnex ac

I don’t love the look of the 25W RGB LED floodlights with the old 24” finnex so I saw a deal on the hygger 48” HG-957 that ended up under $60. This model seems newer & I don’t see anything about it here on the forums. It may be the same as the model I saw in a recent hygger v NICREW thread in APC forum.

For comparison this photo is of the two floodlights plus 24” finnex and where things currently stand.




I’ve moved around a couple things and I have a few more sets of plants coming including from APF with more crypt wendtii green, more parva plus a Barclaya longifolia and more buce and some flame moss on slate.
I also have blyxa j., some floaters with some bacopa from fellow hobbyists en route.


congrats on finishing medschool and intern year :) how much more do you have left in your residency? We are currently setting up a 125 gallon (very slowly) and I'm trying to plan for a very low maintenance tank since clerkship year is next year for me :p



This 75g is coming together really nicely! can't wait to see how it evolves!

Thanks! I have 4.5 more years. It goes by incredibly fast and slow simultaneously. Time is a flat circle or something :)






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Discussion Starter #8
I forgot to include the current parameters and some early growth pics:

have been filling from the tap so far.
The pH was <6.0 last week and I added 3 tsp of baking soda.
These are the readings from my tank yesterday . (From the expired free test kit I have, yea I need a new one.) PH: 7.0 kH: 40 GH: 120 nitrates: 5 ammonia 0.25 ppm. No idea if these are accurate.

This is my tap from a strip test: ~7.35pH ~60kH ~150GH nitrates ~20 nitrites ~0.5

New TDS/pH meters are waiting at my PO Box. Will report back.

The good news is I have seen some growth in some plants in the last week. The crypts and a few of the swords especially. The Ludwigia is not losing leaves and appears to be growing as well.

I had intermittently put in some fertilizer in the water column but I’m unsure it’s necessary. Otherwise there are some diatoms/ light brown fungus on some driftwood.

Here are some pictures: (the lead weights on the buce are holding down the manzanita, so ignore the jankyness.

Also one of the swords which I imagine were all grown emerged had a stem of a flower which now appears to be opening.

As I get the new shipment of plants I’ll send new photos.

Any suggestions appreciated!




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Discussion Starter #9
APF plants arrived
. Added the new larger buce, additional crypt parva & wendtii green and some Christmas moss on slate.
Still waiting on floaters and blyxa.

My new HG-957 hygger light came! I need to figure out the settings on the thing but it looks great. Trying to decide whether it’s enough light on its own for low-medium light (or Whatever will keep my red plants looking nice). I’m considering keeping my finnex 24” along the back for the stem plants.
I took a picture of it with and without the 24”.

Otherwise there is good growth in the swords, a couple smaller ones have melted slightly and I think everything is growing. Now that I have a stable lighting regimen I imagine it should continue to improve.

I also got the TDS & pH meters which measured 220 & pH of 6.5 respectively.

My gh/kh kit arrives tomorrow. When I have a chance I’ll retest everything with my master kit.


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