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Old 06-29-2011, 12:03 PM   #1
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75 Gallon Planted build w/sump

My 55 gallon is becoming too small for my Clown Loaches, so it's time to upgrade.

I was searching Craigslist for a 110 gallon, but could not find one reasonably priced. I came across a 75 gallon with a homemade log stand(I live in log cabin, so it matches perfectly.) With the tank came a bunch of chemicals/filter media, air pump, and 2 fluval 305 canister filters. One of the fluvals worked fine and the other needed a $5 shaft assembly. The nice part is I already own a 405 and all the parts are the same.

I decided to turn the 55 gallon into a sump/refuge. I like the idea of having all my filters/etc outside of the main tank. Plus by being in the basement, it makes my water changes much easier. I also figure the added 35 gallons or so(not sure how much I can fill 55 gallon yet without overflowing), will allow me to keep more fish. I'm thinking of using PFS in the sump and adding some FW clams for additional filtration.

Here are my mad MS paint skills....

*there is a float switch for display tank not pictured to prevent overflowing in case overflow box fails.




I have a few questions...

1- Where is the best place to put my co2 reactor? I have one with built in powerhead. Can it be placed near return pump? Or should I just place in the display tank?

2- What would be a good turnover rate? I have a Maxi-Jet 3000 utility pump that is rated for 775 gal/hr with 110" max head. I will probably be rising about 72", which will reduce flow greatly, but according to chart should still be between 200-300 gal/hr(possibly a little higher).

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Old 06-29-2011, 02:05 PM   #2
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Consider drilling the back of the 75 gallon and puting in an internal overflow instead of using an over the side overflow box. This will be much less failure prone. Most tempered tanks in that size only have a tempered bottom, and the back is safe to drill. See if you have a saltwater club in the area, someone is likely to have a setup for glass drilling, or a saltwater shop can do the job for you.

CO2 reactor: you want as little air contact as possible after this, should be fine to put in the sump if you have an underwater return, but if you have a waterfall return leave it in the display.

Turnover rate should be determined by the occupants of the display tank. What kind of current do they like? 200-300 gph/75 gallons is reasonable, but your filtration rate might be overboard for that turnover rate. The bioballs and extra filter media chamber are like having an extra canister filter in the system.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply...


I've called every glass shop in my area and even some pretty far away, but not one could do it or even recommend someone. I have nerve damage in both arms and am prone to twitch on occasion, so drilling it myself would be a risky en devour, possibly resulting in a cracked tank and useless possession of a pretty drill bit I am going to keep looking..

I already have overflow box(Eshopps PF-300), which I guess answers my own question on flow rate , since box maxes out at 300 gal/hr. I tested out the box and found if I put airline tubing in U tube going to venturi intake on powerhead, even if I induce air into overflow via airstone, it keeps it's siphon.

I have float switch on display tank to prevent the return pump from flooding the upstairs.

-Is a 216 watt T5 fixture(4x54w) sufficient for medium light plants?

-Which bulb mix would be best?

I have a 110w fixture on 55 with 1x6500k and 1x10k and it seems to do well, but I do have trouble growing grasses. I was not using co2 at the time, but dosing with excel.

Should begin project on Monday....

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Old 07-12-2011, 02:18 AM   #4
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Now I understand why some of you have so many tanks..

Due to circumstances I haven't been able to start the 75gal yet. It's in place and cleaned awaiting substrate, water and some ammonia. I'm waiting on 2 more bags of Flourite black sand.

I was looking for a 125gal when I came across the 75gal on CL. Well, as luck would have it my local LFS has a used 125 now

I know my Clown Loaches will need(IMO) a 125gal eventually...Should I just bite the bullet and go with the 125gal I'd just hate to set up the 75gal only to realize I need a bigger tank.....

I don't know how you married guys do it. I feel guilty thinking about it and I have no one to yell at me lol..
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparyky74
Now I understand why some of you have so many tanks..

Due to circumstances I haven't been able to start the 75gal yet. It's in place and cleaned awaiting substrate, water and some ammonia. I'm waiting on 2 more bags of Flourite black sand.

I was looking for a 125gal when I came across the 75gal on CL. Well, as luck would have it my local LFS has a used 125 now

I know my Clown Loaches will need(IMO) a 125gal eventually...Should I just bite the bullet and go with the 125gal I'd just hate to set up the 75gal only to realize I need a bigger tank.....

I don't know how you married guys do it. I feel guilty thinking about it and I have no one to yell at me lol..
Get the 125 and use the 75 as the sump
Or the 55, and then use the 75 as another DT.
Oh the possibilities!
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:30 AM   #6
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Day 1

Well, upon further inspection of the 125gal, I decided against it. It was already resealed(not well) and it looked as if they scrubbed the algae off with rocks Even though the filters were almost worth the tank......Anyone want a brilloed fish tank???

But there was a used saltwater Oceanic 30gal Biocube with stand, full hood, all accessories, protein skimmer, circulation pumps, 5 gallon bucket of salt, and master test kit, in very good shape. Everything works, including the bulbs and led's. Pretty much just need live rock to get it going...

It's sitting in the garage now Doh!



Now I have to learn about SW...


Anyway back to the project at hand....I finally began the 75 gallon.
Step 1: Clean

-I had already cleaned it over a week ago, but decided since I was doing fishless cycle, I'd clean tank using the ammonia.

Step 2: Add substrate

I decided to use a combo of Floramax(on sale at Petsmart and it was black) and Flourite black sand...



Best way I can describe the texture....Like the dirt you get with earthworms, but it doesn't crumble. It's kind of soft to the touch. I find regular flourite to be much sharper and coarse.

Now the Flourite sand...



Feels like umm.....sand A lot finer than I thought it was going to be.


Next a little landscaping...Please feel free to make suggestions, as I am a noob to the planted tank.





Insomnia Rocks!

Time for the plants.....


On a side note:

I did not rinse the substrate....I know you should, but figure since it's a fishless cycle, who cares? I will run my spare fluval with filter floss in every bin and it will clear up fast....Or so I hope. If it's really cloudy I'll just do WC's till it clears.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:38 AM   #7
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Are those the retainer walls from live aquaria? I also wondered how large those were, and that gives a pretty good idea.
Looks good so far. I think it will look Ruhr nice once it's planted and filled.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HalfMoon B View Post
Are those the retainer walls from live aquaria? I also wondered how large those were, and that gives a pretty good idea.
Looks good so far. I think it will look Ruhr nice once it's planted and filled.
Thanks, yeah they are from Live Aquaria..They were having a really good sale a while back. I think these may have been on clearance. They actually look quite real and after some time in tank should blend well. They've been sitting in the box for a month lol...

I could have easily went all the way across the back easily with them, but I wanted one side low, and the other high(for now lol)..I'm sure I'll hate how I did it once it's done

Fog under water....I thought it looked cool. Probably wouldn't have seen it had I rinsed it lol. It's almost crystal clear already with 1 404 running.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:34 PM   #9
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Depends on the substrate if you really have to rinse. I used an unrinsed sand once that had a lot of this really fine dust in it. Every time I replanted or put root tabs in the soil it would kick up. Got a little better over time, as it would work up to the surface and get vaccummed up during water changes, but when I took down that tank and reused the sand I rinsed it well.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:00 PM   #10
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I figured it's a lot easier to carry that stuff once and dry.....I just keep stirring up bottom a little and then run siphon out window and the sink hooked up to tank. Once I get the flow rates matched, I sit back and wait for it to clear, then stir it up some more.

To be honest, its really no different than doing it in a bucket...I just used the fish tank as a really big bucket. When I did 55gal, I rinsed in a bucket, and it was still cloudy. I think I actually saved time by not rinsing it and just doing a "flush" on the tank while stirring it up. The 55 wasn't this clear this quick, and I rinsed it(but did not do a flush, just partial WC's).

Right now it's almost as clear as my established 55gal and I've been occasionally stirring up bottom. I am waiting for delivery of 2 more flourite black sand bags Was supposed to be here today, but that's not happening.


Stuff is just scattered about right now....Waiting on the sand.


As long as the bag says it does not need to be rinsed, I'm not rinsing it....


Should not have gone to Petco today lol....

They had a 55gal left...**** you $/gal! Of course I had to get a 10gal quarantine tank as well. Thank god they were out of 40gal breeders . Oh, and that 10gal needs a heater...Oh and a filter...and..LOL.....
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