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6ft Sumped Discus Tank

NorthernDan

Member
Joined
2 Aug 2016
Messages
97
Location
Newcastle
Hello guys.
So after a 18 month stint of getting back into the hobby with a practice tank I'm now close to embarking on my dream tank. I've kept and bred Discus in the past (some 10 years ago now) but always wanted to get back into them incorporating what I've hopefully learned since then about aquascaping.
(Some very old photos)
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The tank and equipment

165x55x52cm braceless aquarium sitting on a home made stand.
Eshopps Ecplise overflow.
2 x Jebao dcp pumps.
2 x External heaters (500w).
Temperature Controller.
Ato.
2x Week Aqua Z400 pro lights.
Co2 Art regulator (5kg Fe).
Yidao external reactor.

Aquascaping

Seiryu stone.
Redmoor roots.
Combination of cat litter (bagged up to get height), tropica soil and cosmetic sand substrate.


Plant list

Limnophilia Sessiflora
Rotala H'ra
Java Fern Trident
Cryptocoryne Wendti
Lagenandra meedboldi
Alternananthera reineckii mini
Anubias Nana
Bucephalandra Kedagang
Blyxa Japonica
Crypt Parva
Java moss

In my head I want to go for a double triangular / V shaped layout with plenty of open swimming with which to watch the the stars of the show and also plenty of "beach" area to make it easier for myself cleaning leftover food etc.

It's unfortunately going to be a bit of a slow burner this one as I'm still a month away from receiving the tank and starting the journey properly.

I do however have a few pictures of the stand I built.
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Thanks for reading!
 

NorthernDan

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Thread starter
Joined
2 Aug 2016
Messages
97
Location
Newcastle
Not the most exciting of updates but since its such a lovely morning I decided to bag up some cat litter that I'll be using as a base to gain some height.
Took it in the garden for a good hosing down. I'm sure it'll take quite a few rinsings to get the dust off it though. Tempted to leave it outside to let the wind and rain do the job for me unless there is a issue I'm missing with doing that.
IMG_20220414_101651_2.jpg
 

seedoubleyou

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Joined
29 Mar 2022
Messages
560
Location
Windsor
Not the most exciting of updates but since its such a lovely morning I decided to bag up some cat litter that I'll be using as a base to gain some height.
Took it in the garden for a good hosing down. I'm sure it'll take quite a few rinsings to get the dust off it though. Tempted to leave it outside to let the wind and rain do the job for me unless there is a issue I'm missing with doing that.
View attachment 186677
What is the cat litter, is it just pumice stone?
Plenty of people leave hardscape outside, I’d just be worried about two things, it starting to smell and nuisance algae growing on it.
Can you leave it soaking in a tub somewhere?
 

NorthernDan

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Thread starter
Joined
2 Aug 2016
Messages
97
Location
Newcastle
How are you setting up your sump?
I haven't fully decided on the filters socks yet but it will be very similar to a red sea aquarium layout, it's gonna be more of a cube sump, I still wanted to have plenty of cupboard space to house Fe/Reactor/doser/plugs etc. I also took I guess an unusual route of having two external heaters despite having a sump.

Will essentially come down into a filter sock, over in sponges, under into pot scrubbers, then over again into return section. Nothing fancy.
My thought process for going external heaters was with Discus needing higher temps, I couldn't see an efficient way of placing the heater inside the sump without it being bypassed so I figured I'd just two external. Hopefully this will use less electricity to get the tank up to temp.

edit: i found this rough (very) drawing of my plan.
Sump.png
 
Last edited:

NorthernDan

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Thread starter
Joined
2 Aug 2016
Messages
97
Location
Newcastle
What is the cat litter, is it just pumice stone?
Plenty of people leave hardscape outside, I’d just be worried about two things, it starting to smell and nuisance algae growing on it.
Can you leave it soaking in a tub somewhere?
It's just moler clay. I was pointed in the right direction on another thread when searching for a cost effective way of building up the back.
 

seedoubleyou

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Joined
29 Mar 2022
Messages
560
Location
Windsor
It's just moler clay. I was pointed in the right direction on another thread when searching for a cost effective way of building up the back.
Ah I see, I’ve never thought about that but a pretty good idea. Using gravel is another option but probably far heavier than your method, so saving stress on the tank.
 

NorthernDan

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Joined
2 Aug 2016
Messages
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Location
Newcastle
Ah I see, I’ve never thought about that but a pretty good idea. Using gravel is another option but probably far heavier than your method, so saving stress on the tank.
I believe the cat litter also has a reasonable CEC value aswell. At least more than a gravel or sand. I see it as a kinda half way house between a gravel and a soil but obviously far cheaper. As you can imagine building up 15-25cm height in tropica soil on a nearly 6ft tank would be bank breaking.
 

john6

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23 Mar 2022
Messages
206
Location
Scunthorpe
I was going to suggest using 2 return pumps but your drawing says 'return pumps', I think 2 will be needed for redundancy. I will be setting up my Reefer 425xl in about a month, so first time using a sump for freshwater, I have the X-Filter1.0 already installed so will be using that, i got sick of changing socks every couple of days very quickly.
Your heater/s will be fine in your sump, i always had both stuck to the bottom of the sump in my reef tank, never missed a beat.
 

NorthernDan

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Thread starter
Joined
2 Aug 2016
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97
Location
Newcastle
Little update on this.

Tank and sump have arrived. I have started setting things up although everything is a bit of a mess at the moment.
Went to start plumbing the overflow in and realised the bulkheads are actually 32mm and the £100 worth of plumbing I've got is 25mm 😡. After a mini heart attack I've ordered some reducer parts that should work fine. I'm not planning on using anywhere near the flow the overflow can take so the reduced diameter shouldn't effect me at all.
Stupidly I forgot to get some pictures while I had the sump out the stand and it's quite tight to get a decent picture. Apologies for the glare too.
To be honest I can't wait to be done with the "setting up" part and get into the more enjoyable bit of scaping and planting.
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NorthernDan

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2 Aug 2016
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Location
Newcastle
And they’re used for mechanical filtration? Or do you plan on them housing bacteria?
They're mainly biological. But I'd imagine in a heavily planted tank they actually do very little.
Mechanical comes from firstly a sponge in the overflow box itself ( this is a trial and mainly to keep shrimps out my sump. If it effects flow too much or becomes a possible flood hazard it will be removed.) Then the filter sock, then down through layers of sponges.
 

NorthernDan

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2 Aug 2016
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Location
Newcastle
A little more progress on the tank. Seems likes it's dragging but I haven't been pushing myself due to knowing I wouldn't be receiving plants for a week or two.
First off I got the plumbing finished...
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I had some issues with the aforementioned reducers. They weren't a particularly tight fit into the bulk head, I thought I'd slathered enough pvc cement to make up any gap but obviously not. First tests showed a few drips were making it through on each bulkhead which meant I had the pita task of lathering layer after layer of pvc cement around the piping to fill any gaps. Took a while as I was waiting for each coat to dry between testing for leaks again, got there in the end. It won't win any beauty prizes but it's not leaking which is what counts.

Next up I filled and ran the system for a few days without anything in the tank. The went surprisingly well with very few issues. The overflow will take a bit of playing to get absolutely silent but I had it almost there and was certainly quieter than canisters I've had.

Now the fun begins! I emptied the tank and starting placing my bags of cat litter and soil I'd rescued from my previous setup.
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I then placed the Seiryu stone in. Trying to replicate what I had in my head of a V shaped layout but leaving a nice beach area which hopefully makes cleaning up after messy Discus that bit easier.
I didn't have tons and tons of sand, so used loose lava rock to fill any particularly big gaps and holes.
Was at this point I decided I needed the lights on, was getting difficult to see a proper overview.
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I don't know if anyone is completely happy when scaping. There is definitely things I'd have liked to add had I had unlimited resources and mounds of spare rock lying around and on a tank this size Its quite difficult to see the final look without getting hung up on small things.
Overall I'm say 80% happy with it up to now. I have a ton of nice wood to go in to soften up the very wall like appearance it currently has. Being happy enough I placed a inch of sand under the rocks then started the task of putting the sand on the two "islands".
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And this is where I am currently. Still far away from the end product, but I feel like my vision for what I want is starting to get there.
Next in is the wood, which I'm really looking forward to messing around with. I have around 40kg of sand in total. 10kg of which is slightly lighter than what you see used here. This will be used ( probably mixed with a little darker) for top layer and beach area once I get the wood in.

Thanks for reading along ☺️
 

DTM61

Member
Joined
1 Dec 2020
Messages
86
Location
West Yorkshire
Sorry mate - the leaky bits. You can't rely on bits you know leaked. Glue won't fix it, years take their toll. Please just replace them instead of making a mess of the house. Perhaps I'm too careful but I don't like stone on glass either.

Looks like a cracking setup, looking forward to seeing it developing. I'd love a sump again. 👍
 
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