help me make my new 60 ube seyup as perfect as possible tom

jazzlvr123

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hello its been almost 2 months since i moved out to Massachusetts and ive been aquarium-less ever since.

tonight i took the initiative and ordered a 60 gallon cube sapphire glass aquarium from glasscages.com
the dimensions of the tank i ordered are 24"x24"x25" so almost a perfect cube some of my favorite tanks are cube gardens so i decided to go that route.

my belief is that depth plays a very crucial role in the presentation if a successful aquascape, I have set up many tanks in my day and have made many mistakes, however i learn from every mistake i have made.

i plan on making this new scape my best yet, by buying the right equipment the first time and doing things correctly right from the get go. Tom barr has showed me that the better flow your tank has the healthier your plants will be via adequate nutrient distribution though the entire tank even in the areas of high plant density which is whyI have already ordered a 5 ply jebo cannister filter which has a flow of 396 gallons per hour giving the 60 cube 6.6 complete turnovers per hour.

I have also ordered a 24" 380W Metal Halide HQI and dual power compact VHO light fixture which will give my tank 6.3 watts per gallon.


my substrate choice will be ADA amazonian 1 powder form I plan to do an iwagami style rock formation using rocks collected from a local river with a very heavily sloped substrate so the back of the tank will be much higher than the front giving the tank a sense of depth.

total damage- about $650 dollars

my hard scape is going to be the biggest challenge as i want to make it very balanced yet subsequently very dynamic. I still have a lot of thinking and planning to do but i will post pics of my tank when it arrives in about a week or so. until then all I will be doing is collecting rocks and planning the best possible rock hard scape I can.

Tom if you have any suggestions on how to improve my setup and or which equipment to purchase I will be greatly appreciative thanks for your time Regards, Kyle
 

Tom Barr

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Well, just having done a few of these......

You can see what I did on the west African tank.

I used a 450 GPH Rena, 2x 65 W 1x150W HQI Coralife hood

Then added an in line Venturi Aqua medic valve(not a true venturi and has no suction). An In line heater.

I still needed much more flow, so I added another power head(200GPH etc) near the top of the tank.

This helped a great deal.

25" is quite tall, so you lose some of the perspective.
If you chose say 18 T all, then you'd keep it.

I had a different idea in mind when I chose the tanks than you.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

jazzlvr123

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Tom Barr;26470 said:
Well, just having done a few of these......

You can see what I did on the west African tank.

I used a 450 GPH Rena, 2x 65 W 1x150W HQI Coralife hood

Then added an in line Venturi Aqua medic valve(not a true venturi and has no suction). An In line heater.

I still needed much more flow, so I added another power head(200GPH etc) near the top of the tank.

This helped a great deal.

25" is quite tall, so you lose some of the perspective.
If you chose say 18 T all, then you'd keep it.

I had a different idea in mind when I chose the tanks than you.

Regards,
Tom Barr

thanks for the comments everyone I have done some serious thinking and I found a local tank builder to make me a 24" cube instead of glasscages this guys a real pro he showed me some of his tanks and the trim and edge work and it is flawless. he has a way of bonding the tanks glass panels to make them look like there is no silicone at all.

I also decided to go extra fancy and use starphire glass panels on all 3 sides except for the back panel

I will be paying significantly more for a 24" cube from this guy than from glasscages ($800 rather than $300 from GC) but i think the end product will be well worth it. I also have decided to ditch the cannister filter and install an ocean clear module filter hooked up to a 1/8 horsepower pump giving my tank about 13 turnovers per hour, significantly more than my original plan.

I asked the guy i found to drill a hole in the bottom of the tank which serve and the ocean clears intake however the output will still be going over the edge via glass lilly pipe (im still concerned however if that fragile glass pipe can handle that much flow)

as far as the light is concerned i don't even plan to use the CFLs that come with the light all i really want to use is the 250w HQI but i couldn't find one that cheap that is HQI alone. so now after.

after my revisions it looks like my initial cost of setup (tank, light, stand, co2, filter, pump, plumbing etc) is now about $1300

funny how my vision of the "perfect" setup is also the perfect money trap
 

Tom Barr

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The lily pipe will not be able to handle the flow.
You need no less than 3/4" ID and and what occurs if you break the glass return pipe?

Plan on having a spare sett up?
Better.

All you have to do is knock it once carelessly.
Amano was not that practical in designing them, but they make stainless steel and other materials also, or you might consider lok line which is infinitiely adjustable and you will never break those nor see the ugly old algae/bacterial film/need to clean them.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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"Fish need it" sells the 250 W MH for 140$ or so.
Looks nice and works great.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

jazzlvr123

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just got a call and my tank is ready for pickup tomorrow.
the light and filter have been waiting for the tank for a month now.
*drool*
cant wait to set it up tomorrow :D
 

Tom Barr

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Take your time.
Get the sucker up and running good, then scape.
The weeds will be there tomorrow, maybe the following day.

Scape etc if you wish, but you will be gone so take that into account.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

jazzlvr123

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just finished setting up the stand, lights, plumbing/filtration, Co2 and aquasoil This weekend.

I decided to go with an 380 watt fixture which includes a 250 watt HQI and two 65 watt compact florescent bulbs on either side of the metal halide. I hung the lights using a DIY ADA light fixture style setup Tom showed me using two 3/4" metal bars bent at 90* to hold the light up which connect to the back side of the stand looks really clean :D

I decided to run a 950 gph mag drive pump which sends the water though a tee which directs it in two different directions: one leads to an ocean clear 340 cannister filter and inline heater with a ball valve (to adjust pressure) and the other leads to a mazzei 384x injector for co2 which bypasses the cannister filter they then both reconnect and flow out of the bulkhead on the other side of the tank.

I remember tom talking about adding something to the mazzei to have it inject O2 when the co2 and lights are off but I have to go back and read up on it. so basically I'm looking at a fully setup 60 cube with nothing but aquasoil in it ATM.

I'm a bit surprised with myself as this is the cleanest looking setup I've ever done. now to work on the best part........ The Scape!! ;) pic's coming soon
 

Tom Barr

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for the O2, you simply add a check valve(2 good brass ones) and a Tee on the CO2 line, then to your small air pump set on a timer.

This way the CO2 goes past and cannot back up into the air pump and out(losing CO2 to the air outside). When the air pump comes on, the solenoid for the CO2 is closed, so the air opens to check valve from this direction, and enters the mazzei.

An air pump + a check valve etc cost less than a solenoid.
You can do it with a solenoid also.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

jazzlvr123

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well the tank is already plumbed, assembled and running I'm just waiting for plants. but heres some teaser shots of everything before it Was set up:
The tank
IMG_0927.jpg


the stand I built myself:
IMG_0890.jpg


the light
IMG_0894.jpg


the other crap:
IMG_0924.jpg
 

VaughnH

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Is the tank drilled? I can't see the holes. Are you going to put a door in that stand, so you can hide the machinery under the tank?
 

Tom Barr

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You will need a small power head at the surface to provide more flow there.
Regards,
Tom Barr
 

jazzlvr123

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VaughnH;30021 said:
Is the tank drilled? I can't see the holes. Are you going to put a door in that stand, so you can hide the machinery under the tank?

yeah. the tank was drilled after that pic was taken.

also a door was installed after that pic was taken lol (I get so caught up in the setup i forget to take pics along the way) as a result old pics get posted really late in the game

6 discus are on their way to me from my friend tony in daily city (owner of sunride tropicals) so ill post pics when they arrive :D
 

jazzlvr123

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Tom Barr;30027 said:
You will need a small power head at the surface to provide more flow there.
Regards,
Tom Barr

can do! your the expert :D considering i modeled this entire tank, filtration, lighting off of your setups. (yes I'm a copy cat i know)

this is more for surface agitation rather than flow correct?

what gph pump do you suggest?
 

Tom Barr

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Yes, you can go about 200gph up to 600gph, depends on fish load really.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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Make sure the Canister is raised up so you can siphon water out of the canister easily. Otherwise you make a wet mess every time.

I redid the 60 Cube again, added more CO2 gas(slowly).
What do you know?

Fissedens is growing like crazy, Bolbitus is doing very well, fish are still fine. Went a tad too high and the behavior changed, then went back down just a tad.
Repositioned the wood, added larger placement rocks to make the wood more stable and give more flow through room to allow for better circulation.
No Green spot on any of the Anubias etc.
Yes, I take my own advice:p

I think you need another ball valve between the pump and venturi.
Otherwise you have to choke the canister to get backpressure to flow into the venturi.

Add an easy to drain hose on the outlet below the Pressure gauge for cleaning etc and draining the water out of the cansiter.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

jazzlvr123

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Tom Barr;30204 said:
Make sure the Canister is raised up so you can siphon water out of the canister easily. Otherwise you make a wet mess every time.

yeah at this point the hose fits perfectly onto the cannister all I have do is run the hose out the window and my pump does the rest of the work its really hassle free as I'm sure you know lol



Tom Barr;30204 said:
I redid the 60 Cube again, added more CO2 gas(slowly).
What do you know?

Fissedens is growing like crazy, Bolbitus is doing very well, fish are still fine. Went a tad too high and the behavior changed, then went back down just a tad.
Repositioned the wood, added larger placement rocks to make the wood more stable and give more flow through room to allow for better circulation.
No Green spot on any of the Anubias etc.
Yes, I take my own advice

hehe sometimes we need to step back and take our own medicine before we can move ahead I find this to be valid with music too. I remember how much you grew out the fissidens from when i gave it too you at your last open house meeting. by now you must have it coming out of your ears

Tom Barr;30204 said:
I think you need another ball valve between the pump and venturi.
Otherwise you have to choke the canister to get backpressure to flow into the venturi.

I had planned to do that, i also planned to add unions in placed other than where i ended up installing them the big problem I ran into was space, the inside of the stand was so small that everything I wanted to do I did not have enough space for so it was a choice between adding a bunch more 90* elbows and restricting the flow or going without some of the plumbing parts for fine tuning I chose the ladder fearing that restricted flow would be one of the biggest obstacles in my plumbing job



four months and two thousand dollars after my first post the tank is FINALLY ready for planting:

the tank got three bags of ADA aquasoil
IMG_0975.jpg

heres a couple updates I took put the little giant pump because of poor flow rate and replaced it with a Mag Drive 9.5 (950 gph) you can also see I split the co2 line on the mazzei so that one goes to co2 while the other goes to O2. this way when lights and Co2 are off the O2 gets injected into the tank helping the fish
IMG_0994.jpg


the amount of Co2 misting in the Tank now is RIDICULOUS I was blown away to see my entire tank filled with tiny co2 bubbles. with the mazzei setup, inadequate co2 levels are now a thing of the past, you can see the fine co2 mist in the pictures:
IMG_0978.jpg

IMG_0979.jpg


I have a wholesale order of plants coming from florida aquatic nurseries tomorrow morning so after four months of preparation Ill be planting this sucker in less than 8 hours
 

jazzlvr123

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plants arrived and the tank is all planted now:
IMG_1002.jpg


its not the final scape by any stretch of the imagination but its a start. Ill be swapping out and moving out some of the plants as the scape grows out the background plants need to grow out and I want to swap one of the species out with tonina belem once i can find some
IMG_1059.jpg

IMG_1053.jpg

IMG_1049.jpg


comments welcome as always