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Old 06-29-2011, 11:03 AM   #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, 01:05 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, 11:20 AM   #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, 01:18 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, 09:41 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 07-13-2011, 11:30 PM   #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 07-13-2011, 11:38 PM   #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 07-13-2011, 11:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
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, 11:34 AM   #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, 04:00 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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Old 07-23-2011, 12:01 AM   #11
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Finally got it planted for the most part. Still have to plant the grass.

So far:


Next step is to assemble sump and drill some holes in the floor....
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:26 AM   #12
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Epic Fail

Well, my worst nightmare came true while sitting on the couch watching the Mets lose....

75 gallons emptied in about 10 seconds...






What a mess
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:07 AM   #13
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Holy cow!!!! Did it just crack??
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:07 PM   #14
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Yup, all the way from end to end in a half moon shape. Crack...Splash...Tidal wave in LR.

It looks like the rear corner of the bottom frame cracked...Hard to really tell if glass cracked and then cracked frame or crack in frame caused the glass to give way.

Either way, same result

You know you are in trouble when you have bloodfin tetras swimming across your LR. Not even an exaggeration...Literally swimming across the floor Would have taken video, but I thought that would not have been in the fishes best interest.

Saved most of the fish...I believe I lost 3 bloodfins (possibly still swimming in AC ducts).


Thankfully I had a shop vac or my floors would probably be trashed....
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:45 AM   #15
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Rough luck. You going to be able to rebuild?
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:52 AM   #16
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That sort of thing happens when the pessure accross the bottom of the tank is not equal. I think that is what happened to the seam on my 70. At least it wasn't saltwater.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:35 AM   #17
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Hi everyone! I am new to the site and was doing some lurking as I was curious about turnover rates for a 75 gal planted that I am setting up. I have had tanks in the past, but never planted and not this big. My plan is to have a wet/dry sump to keep all the stuff out of the display tank.... Anyway I digress... What did "cabezon" mean when he was talking about the pressure being unequal? Pressure due to different depths of substrate? Pressure unequal because the tank was not seated level on the stand? Or something else that I am not even thinking about? Thanks for any advice.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:45 AM   #18
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Turnover rates: Are you planting heavily enough to have the plants be your primary filtration? If so, you don't need a lot of turnover. Net bioload and habits of the fish matter quite a bit for turnover.

Pressure Points: 75 gallon tanks are big enough that not being level, or having a stand that's not perfectly flat and smooth can cause pressure points that stress the glass and can cause breakage. Use a stand that's built specifically for that size tank, and level it carefully. Some people making homemade stands use a layer of foam on the top to smooth out any bumps, but it's debated if this can do more harm than good if the wrong kind/thickness of foam.
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:09 PM   #19
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dskidmore, thanks for getting back. I still am in the research phase of this project. That being said, I am thinking that I want a moderately planted tank, whatever that means... something like picture below? I like the idea of a sump to keep the display tank clutter free. I was looking into return pumps and was thinking that a pump that turned the tank over once an hour might be sufficient, but don't really know. I am also toying with converting a tank into a sump. What size is the minimum for a 75? And can I keep it very simple with just mechanical filtration and biological media without having several other sections for as I have seen? I'm sorry if my thoughts are all over the place.

Matt Helgesons's Aquarium
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:32 PM   #20
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I suggest you start a new thread rather than posting in an old one that just happens to be about the same size tank...

You need to think about the animals that you will be keeping as well... this going to be a haven for shrimp? Is there some star fish that tickles your fancy? Or do you want a school of small fish? Or no animals at all in your aquatic garden? Do you like plants/fish in general, or do you have a particular biotope in mind?

Sumps are more critical for saltwater invertabrate tanks where turnover is very high and the water needs to be crystal clear. In a planted freshwater tank, the plants do a lot of filtration for you, so the inhabitants/biotope is of more concern when setting up turnover/fitration/heating/oxegenation.

Converting an existing tank into a sump makes a lot of sense if you want a sump. You can do a very simple single chamber, or make it fancy with dividers for holding filtration media or removing bubbles.

If you're going for a sump setup, a thing to think about very early is if your main tank will be drilled or if you will use an overflow box. Drilling is more expesive and difficult to set up, but is much less likely to fail in a way that spills water all over your living room floor.

If your sump needs are very basic, you might just consider a canister filter instead. You can use a large variety of medias there, and use an in-line heater to still keep everything outside the aquarium.
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