Greggz 120G Planted Rainbow Tank

Greggz

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I’ve been lurking here for some time. I have found this forum to be a wealth of information, and the members here have provided me many teaching moments over the last year or so.

So I thought it was about time I gave myself some type of a proper introduction. I’ve been keeping aquariums since the early 80’s. My focus has been mostly on keeping Rainbow fish. I always kept some plants, basically low light easy ones, although I didn’t know it at the time. I grew some pretty impressive crypts, swords, ferns, etc. Dabbled in stems once in a while, but not with much success.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to give this whole crazy high tech planted world a try.

Here’s a picture just before I went high tech. I already pulled many of the low tech plants, and right after this picture was taken the transformation began.
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It’s a long story, but here is where I am today.

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It’s been an interesting ride, with lots of twists and turns. In particular, Burr740 has been a great source of inspiration. And also Pikez here, although he probably doesn’t know it. I have read those two threads front to back more times than I care to count.

I hope to continue to learn more, as I still consider myself a bit of a beginner. Getting a little better all the time, but eager to continue to try new things and improve wherever I can.
 
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Greggz

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So in a few posts, I’ll try to describe my current set up. Here are the basics.

120XH Marineland Tank – 60” x 18” x 26”

DIY custom built stand. All solid oak dimensional lumber. No 2x4’s or plywood.
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Filtration 2 x Rena Filstar XP3 (L) and 1 x Rena Filstar XP4 (XL).

2 x Hydor ETH 300 In Line Heaters

Inkbird Temperature Controller (controls heaters and cooling fans).

Whisper AP150 Deep Water Air Pump (night time aeration).

XP3’s output to spray bars angled up to for surface agitation.
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2 x Sunsun JVP 530GPH circulation pumps

10lb tank, GLA CO2 system

20” Cerges reactor, driven by the XP4. Inlets and outlets split to provide CO2 to both sides of the tank.

American Pinpoint pH Controller.

Here’s the whole set up inside the stand.
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Greggz

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Now on to the lighting. For quite a while, I was running 4 x 48” T5H0 bulbs, mounted up inside the cabinet. When I finally tested my par, it was quite a bit lower than I expected. And with 48” bulbs on a 60” tank, quite a dramatic drop off at the ends of the tank.

Based on a conversation with Burr740, I ended up adding 2 x 60” T5H0 in the rear. Due to some restrictions in the manner in which I built the canopy, I used 4 x 48” T5H0 in the middle and front, staggered to provide better coverage to the edges of the tank.
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Top to bottom bulbs:

Giesemann Super Flora 54w
Zoo Med Ocean Sun 10,000K 54w
ATI Purple Plus 54w
TrueLumen Flora 54w
Giesemann Tropic 80w
Giesemann Super Flora 80w

This produced quite an increase in par readings. Here they are with all 6 bulbs on.
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I stagger the lighting period. Starts off with just 2 bulbs, then 4, then all 6 for 4 hours, then 4, then 2. Total lighting duration is 8 hours (at least for right now). A quick note on my thoughts on lighting. Again, my thoughts based on my own experience.

There’s a fine line between too little and too much light. And they both present their own set of issues. We spend hours debating ferts and CO2, but very little time on lighting. Using a PAR meter was a revelation, and increasing my lighting opened a whole new world. Knowing what your PAR should help drive all your other decisions. All the CO2 and ferts in the world won’t overcome too little light, and the same for too much. Somewhere in between there is the right amount, and paying attention to getting it can pay dividends.

So now on to ferts. My tank is very heavily stocked with Rainbows, Roseline Sharks, and Clown Loaches. Seemingly I could get by with little or no ferts. Never works for me. I dose pretty much EI, with a bit less N. Micros is a long conversation. I’ve dosed them very high, and very, very low. Right now I am testing out a batch of Burr custom micro’s, and so far it seems to working quite well.

KN03 4.0ppm
KH2P04 2.3ppm
K2S04 4.4ppm (Plus about 27 total K from K2C03)
Burr Micros based on .15 Fe
Water is from RO set up in basement. Tank is drained and filled with plumbing running up in the wall behind the canopy.

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My GH & KH are pretty much rock steady. GH at 6, KH at 4, pH at 7.5.

And while I’m at it, here’s the pH readings from various times of the day.

Degassed pH 7.5
Morning pH 7.2
Light on pH 6.2
Peak pH 6.0


So there you have it, the state of the state. Next post is on to what got me started in the first place……Rainbows!
 
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burr740

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Its great to see you make a journal over here, Greggz.

Great pics, as usual!
 
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Jason King

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Cool Greg had the album set as private, not public.

@Greggz if you require a private album create another, one for forum use and one for personal private use :)
 

Greggz

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OK Guys, I finally start a journal on here last night.......wake up to a tank that had already leaked about 40 gallons at 6:15 this morning. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say I just sat down at 8:30PM tonight. So here's the photo journal so you get the idea of how the day went.


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Phishless

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I am not so much worried about the new 80G.
Old 55G has two bows present, the brace really counts here.
75G has 1/2" thick glass and is a real tank with no center brace, but very old.

I did come home to a dead full spectrum LED that brought one of my pucks down to about "zero" PAR.
Replaced 1 LED and all is good now.
First full spectrum LED I have ever lost though!