Johns 717l / 157G Tank

johnb

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4 Mar 2008
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Hi
So after receiving so much assistance so far thought I would start a journal and see how it goes
The aim is for a planted community tank, the setup is:

Tank
Rena Aqualife 200 x 50
Volume in litres: 717
Tank Volume in imperial gallons: 157
Water Volume in imperial gallons: 146

Filtration provide by 2 FLUVAL FX5 Canister Filters each filter in theory each will do 3500 lph

Heating
2 x In line hydro heaters – 300w

Current lighting (which will be upgraded when I can afford to)

4 x 58W-150cm tubes

CO2
I’m looking at inline diffusers although I have a – I do have a JBL Profi2 which I like, ive signed up with BOC and have 2 large bottles so I may simply get another JBL Profi2, from all the research CO2 is a very variable subject and creates lots of discussion

Substrate
250lbs of Eco-Complete

Picked up loads of accessories (filter media, some cool word and rocks) from my local very friendly LFS – Can I mention that Chris from Maidenhead aquatics in Morden has been so help full and I will be a regular customer.

So I have most of what I need picked up 4 bags of Eco-Complete from Chris on Sat (9 bags on order) and some lovely wood, brought it home sat looking at it, bank holiday so it had to be started. I have setup the filters, put in what substrate I have and popped the wood to allow it to soak so by next weekend it should be saturated and not try to float ?, it was not all plain sailing the hoses that come with the Fluval FX5 are not the most bendy hoses in the world, any way lots of messing around etc and its done, the inlets \ outlets for each filter are at each end of the tank, the filters are very quiet I have one in each cupboard nd you really don’t know they are there, they have an outlet to allow for draining which is perfect so I have attached and routed a pipe to allow for water changes.

I will need to adjust the lid to allow for the hoses going out the back.

I thought a lot about the background and read of some real disasters with internal ones, so I ended up with black wallpaper on the back of the tank, its quite effective and achieves what I wanted.

So now I have the tank just over half full, filters installed and wood soaking, next week end I will begetting the rest of the substrate then I can really get going.

I’m sure ive made some mistakes and im probably to keen to get water in in ?, there are no fish so worst case im wasting time – im optimistic

I have included some pics – I have an old digital camera but im sure I will get better at taking pictures.

John


Yes awull pic but it gives an idea of the size - something i had not really appreciated

Itsbig.jpg


This is a better one shows some of the wood nicely.

ST831190.jpg


Oh im using photobucket so unless i pay a bit im restricted on size (will work on that)
 

ceg4048

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Hi John,
Good start. It was wise of you to join the BOC even though they are a bit expensive. I LOVE your filtration choice mate! :D Don't skimp on the media though. I think the Fluval comes with mostly foam but to take full advantage of the filters you really ought to ditch the foam and go for the ceramic biomedia to give yourself as much surface area as possible.

The wood will take weeks if not months to not float I think. :( The tank appears to be taller than I expected and not as long. I guess that means it fits in the room better but with that depth you really are going to have difficulty getting good CO2 saturation. Are you 7 ft tall? Can you reach down into that beast and touch the bottom? :wideyed: Be sure to study the CO2 article in the Cookbook section for CO2 application and measurement. You definitely want dual CO2 reactors.

240 watts (is that T5?) is actually a blessing in disguise. A mistake that many make in the beginning is to get megawattage only to see an algae farm develop. Take your time on the lights. That should be the last thing on your agenda. 3 or 4 months to get the tank stabilized and when you upgrade the lights you'll have something really spectacular.

Well done mate.

Cheers,
 

TDI-line

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Yaxley, Peterborough
Good luck John, it will soon be up and running.

Just for a comparison, just spent 2 days doing a full strip down (except gravel), re-scape, full re-plant and 300 litre water change of my 720 litre tank, also took a few photos.

But they do look great at the end. :D

What height and width is your tank?

Any plans for plants and fish?
 

planter

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7 Nov 2007
Messages
427
Location
Surrey
Hi John,

Good to see your up and running! cant wait till that wood sinks and you can start aquascaping. I think those rocks will blend niceley with the substrate too. I pressume the Jbl pressure regulator fitted your BOC bottles ok then? are you planning on upgrading the lighting at some point?

Will enjoy watching this journal :lol:
 

johnb

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4 Mar 2008
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Location
London
ceg4048 said:
Hi John,
Don't skimp on the media though. I think the Fluval comes with mostly foam but to take full advantage of the filters you really ought to ditch the foam and go for the ceramic biomedia to give yourself as much surface area as possible.,

Noted, I have other media, leaving the foam till after next week when i add another 200lbs of substrate, then i will put the real media in


ceg4048 said:
Can you reach down into that beast and touch the bottom? :shock.
Nope have to stand on cofee table, floor to top of tank is 58 inches

ceg4048 said:
You definitely want dual CO2 reactors.
Yes im planning two feeds (got 2 cylinders from BOC)

planter said:
I pressume the Jbl pressure regulator fitted your BOC bottles ok then? .

Well thats what i thought !!!, no its to big, have no idea why but its simply wrong, I have another regulator on order via Ebay so hope that fits ?, learnt the hardway there.



TDI-line said:
Any plans for plants and fish?
Dont have a clue, get some fast growing plants to start with, as for fish dont know were to start, i have so much choice, open to any thoughts :D
 

ceg4048

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johnb said:
ceg4048 said:
Can you reach down into that beast and touch the bottom? :shock.
Nope have to stand on cofee table, floor to top of tank is 58 inches
Ummm..I think your going to have to get a dedicated stand for this (perhaps a fold-away?) Can't imagine the Mrs. will continue to support this kind of behavior. :lol:

johnb said:
planter said:
I pressume the Jbl pressure regulator fitted your BOC bottles ok then? .

Well thats what i thought !!!, no its to big, have no idea why but its simply wrong, I have another regulator on order via Ebay so hope that fits ?, learnt the hardway there.

Which regulator is this JBL? These should be a standard industry coupling nut. Normally, the only way it doesn't fit is if this is a regulator for a non-refillable bottle (and usually it would be too small, not to large). Do you have a photo? I'd be interested to see for future reference.

johnb said:
TDI-line said:
Any plans for plants and fish?
Dont have a clue, get some fast growing plants to start with, as for fish dont know were to start, i have so much choice, open to any thoughts :D

In my opinion the top priority would be to just get this system running and to get the ecology stabilized. Aquascaping and fish should come much later. For about £30 you can get the Greenline 150-180cm XL SUPER Discus Collection (150+ PLANTS) which this tank will swallow easily (so maybe get two packages - 300+ plants). I'd also add groves of hygroplilas such as augustifolia and carymbosa.

The crypts and swords quickly develop root structures which oxygenates the substrate and encourages the growth of ammonia fixing bacteria in the soil. The hygroplila stems augment the swords/crypts to quickly remove ammonia from the water column. These are important functions to minimize algal blooms. Leave the fish out for now while you experiment to determine how to optimize CO2 injection and flow.

After you stabilize the tank, find out what grows well and what doesn't (and why) you can start to move things around, get rid of the plants you don't like and to implement your aquascaping ideas. You can then add fish to complement the aquascape. More than likely, after a time when you can see the plants develop in 3D you will have a much clearer idea about the direction you want the scape to go, which at this point is vague. :rolleyes:

Cheers,
 

johnb

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Location
London
planter said:
I pressume the Jbl pressure regulator fitted your BOC bottles ok then? .

johnb said:
Well thats what i thought !!!, no its to big, have no idea why but its simply wrong, I have another regulator on order via Ebay so hope that fits ?, learnt the hardway there.
planter said:
Which regulator is this JBL? These should be a standard industry coupling nut. Normally, the only way it doesn't fit is if this is a regulator for a non-refillable bottle (and usually it would be too small, not to large). Do you have a photo? I'd be interested to see for future reference.
It was all me, a proper lokk and it fits no problem. Thanks John B
 

johnb

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4 Mar 2008
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London
Some progress so here is an update. Received a further 9 bags of eco-complete today adding them to the existing 4 makes a total of 13 bags (20lbs bags) so I have had a go at scaping, deliberately avoided keeping everything square, so eco added and wood positioned and rocks. Added the Hydro 300w heaters (1 to each filter), what a nightmare - Hydros are 16mm and outlet from FX5 is 25mm, got some reducers from my lfs and after many attempts its all watertight. I have added media to the Filters and its all running ok, it is a little cloudy after all the moving around of the substrate, hoping by the morning it will be nice and clear :D .

Took my first readings today

PH7
Nitrite 0.3
Nitrate 20
Ammonia 0
Will do hardness tomorrow once the CO2 has been on for a few hours, do have a visual CO2 indication and it went from blue to light yellow once the CO2 had been on a while, so whilst the amount of CO2 in the water may not be correct at least i know its working.
Tomorrow is planting day - Cant wait
I have added some pics (im getting better at pics.

Regards to all

John B

I seem to fail at inserting the images here or gettingthem full size so i have included links which should open in a new window

General view x 2
http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm105/johnb_001/ST831349.jpg

http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm105/johnb_001/ST831342.jpg
 

Ed Seeley

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Nottingham
In your album just click below the pictures where it says, "IMG CODE" and paste them into your post.

ST831349.jpg


ST831342.jpg
 

planter

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Getting there john! The wood looks fantastic. You might slope the substrate to add some depth as the 2m Rena aqualife is long tall and narrow. Nice tank (very jealous).
 

Martin

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North Wales
Wow 13 bags of eco complete :wideyed: that's one hell of an investment! Good stuff though, I'm using it in my tanks. Nice set up , looking good so far John.
 

LondonDragon

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Now this is a huge tank, wish I had the space for something this size!! Can't wait to see it develop :)
Keep us posted with photos, good luck with the project :)
 

johnb

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London
Well got some plants in, im no aquatic gardener, however I like it, im aware that it wont be long and I shall be pruning but we will see how it goes

The pictures are below, I have planted;

Limnophilla aromatica
Rotala wallichii
Hygrophilla corymbosa
Hygrophila rosae australis
Heteranthera zosterifolia
(and a few other but cant find the tags)

I see some plants have bubbles on them which is good, and some don’t ? (see pictures)
I think somewhere on the forum there is a chart that I can use to determine PPM using the PH and DKH ?
I see some plants have bubbles on them which is good, and some don’t ? (see pictures)

I have included some water results taken after the CO2 has been on for 3 hours, the info is listed below, its only day 2 but comments appreciated

Tap Water Tank Tank
27-Mar 28-Mar
PH 8 7 7
Ammonia 0 0 0
Nitrate (NO2) 0.1 0.1 0.3
Nitrite (NO3) 5 20 20
KH Carbonate Hardness in dKH 12 12 14
Dissolved C02 in PPM



Regards

John B

General Views
planted1.jpg

planted2.jpg


Bubbles and no bubbles
bubbles.jpg

nobubbles.jpg
 

ceg4048

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planter said:
...heres a link john to a co2 calculator - http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm ...

Hi,
This calculator will not work properly if you are measuring the pH and kH of your tank water to use in those calculations. You will always calculate a higher CO2 ppm than you actually have in the tank and this will cause you no end to grief, especially in a tank that size. You should get a drop checker and use 4 dKH water in the dropchecker. See this article regarding CO2 measurement with a dropchecker: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=467

Cheers,
 

Ed Seeley

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Looking good. I like the wood and the space you've got is going to look great when everything grows in. I think however you really need to spread the clumps of plants out more. The Lileaopsis especially will look best spread out in much smaller clumps to grow out into a nice lawn.

As Clive says, get a drop checker to measure your CO2 levels. Other things apart from the KH effect the pH in a tank and will mean the CO2 calcuation could be miles off, whereas in a 4dKH drop checker only the CO2 concentration will alter the colour of the drop checker.
 

planter

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Have to admit its been a looong time since I bothered to check my Co2 level. Pearling plants and No algae and im happy :) Used the Co2 tables (chucks/Tropica) on recommendation when I started out and spent a long time cross referencing the table results with a drop checker and they always seemed to tally up. I soon gave up on testing regualrly as you begin to instinctivley (spelling?) know when all is well. Have to say have never (touch wood) had problems. I guess thats the joy of the forum John, when given conflicting advice you can choose to go with the majority! Im sure Ceg knows what hes talking about! You only need to take a look at his tanks/plants.
 
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