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Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
02-09-2017, 09:59 AM,
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GreenAmy Offline
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Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
I am picking up a used 125gal aquarium this weekend. I am in no hurry to get it set up. My husband is planning to reinforce the floor in the location we plan to put it. We have a long family room and plan to use the aquarium to decide the room.  We will probably have a couch along one side of it but it will be visable from both sides. I was thinking of trying a canaster filter so as not to have as much stuff hanging over the sides since they will both be visable.  My current tank is a planted tank and I really wanted this to be a planted tank as well. I would like to try some semi aggressive fish but understand that some are not too good with plants.  I was thinking maybe some Angels, Dwarf Gouramis, Neon Blue Gouramies, and Neon Blue Rainbows. My water is quite hard @ 8 dkH with a pH of 8.4.  I would like fish that can thrive in these conditions. With the driftwood in my current tank the water stays at a pH of 8.2.  I am about to add CO2 to my current aquarium so I will be seeing how that effects my pH. I usually take over 2 hours acclimating fish to my tank but I still end up loosing some usually on day 3 after introduced. I don't know if it's the extreme change in pH or the quality of fish I get from the local Petsway.   I want to plan this tank out well. Any suggestions on fish?  Canister filters?  In-line heaters?
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02-09-2017, 01:36 PM,
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GreenAmy Offline
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RE: Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
Thinking about a EHEIM Professional 3 Thermofilter 2180 External Canister for up to 317 US-Gallons or Fluval G6 Advanced for up to 160 US-Gallons. Does anyone have experience with either of these?
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02-09-2017, 05:36 PM,
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Thor Online
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RE: Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
Hi Greenamy, long time no see.

Both EHEIM and Fluval are good brands.  I lean toward EHEIM because I have first hand experience with this brand.   It is a reputable German brand.  Fluval is good too from what I have heard from other users.  

Yeah, canister filter is the best choice for such large aquarium.   It is really efficient and quiet.  

My experience with EHEIM is limited to the classic series.   The professional series should work great too since it is the same brand.   All the reviews I have seen so far at online vendors turn out to be good just as I expected.

As for the fish, one little advice from my first hand experience.  Do not put more than one gourami in the same tank.   Most of the gourami species are aggressive toward each other.   I have watched female Dwarf Gourami attack each other and only to be stopped when a male attacked them both... lol.   So just one gourami per tank please.  Smile

I believe the fish died due to weak stock.   Nowadays it is hard to find high quality fish from local fish stores.   Losing a few of them out of a large batch is normal from my experience.  When I ordered high quality fish from online vendor, I lost none out of dozens.  

With a fish tank that big, I would get Discus.  Smile    I know they are not cheap, but they are awesome.   I also recommend  German Blue Ram.    Both will work in the same tank as Angelfish.  

I just found a video with these fish in one aquarium.  Check it out.  Smile


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02-09-2017, 11:02 PM,
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GreenAmy Offline
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RE: Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
I would absolutely love to have a tank with discus but figured with my hard water and high pH it was not a good choice. I had ran across that video clip myself and loved the idea of angels and discus.
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02-10-2017, 04:23 AM,
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Thor Online
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RE: Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
Most fish can adapt to a wide range of water parameters no problem at all, as long as you give them enough time to acclimate to it.

If you abosutely have to make the water softer, use natural driftwood in your aquarium, and it will softer the water over time in a natural way.

Personally I wouldn't bother with changing the water parameters. I have had plenty of fish species which are supposed to be in different environment than my local water can offer.
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02-10-2017, 12:58 PM,
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GreenAmy Offline
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RE: Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
Was thinking how in the world am I gonna manage 20-30% water exchanges on this size tank when doing my 47gal with buckets makes me skip a week every now and then. So I was thinking I just need to get an aquarium vacuum gravel cleaner with a really long hose so I can empty the water right out the back door onto the lawn and have a bath tube filled with clean perfect temp water and siphon it into the aquarium. So I went surching on Amozon and found a product "Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System, 50-Feet". It looks as though it it hooks to your water faucet and uses the pressure to create the suction needed and then you use it to fill the tank directly from the faucet. Since I have well water, I don't have to treat it before putting it in my tank but I am concerned that it would be hard to maintain the correct temp of the water. Has anyone used this product or one like it? If so what are your thoughts?
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02-10-2017, 04:14 PM,
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Thor Online
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RE: Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
Personally I have not used it. Yes, it is designed for easier partial water changes. The downside is, it can impact the water temperature etc. during water change if the user use the tap water directly.

I think you can try to minimize the water temperature fluctuation by limit the amount of water changed. Lets say, instead of doing 20~30% partial water change, you can do 10% at a time.

On the other hand, I have used my canister filter for water changes. First, I take the outflow tube out of the fish tank and place it in a bucket. So the water gets sucked out of the fish tank into the bucket. Then I return the outflow tube back to the fish tank, and place the intake tube of the canister filter into the buckets of water I have prepared. Yeah, I let the water sit for at least 24 hours before using them to make sure the temperature is at least at the room temperature.
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02-13-2017, 02:15 PM,
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RE: Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
Firstly, my advice would be, try to do smaller water changes more often. Second, I would try to find a way to not need to change as much water as often. The primary reasons you NEED to change water (Thor can correct me if I am missing something), is to remove nitrates, to remove phosphates, and to replenish other (trace) minerals.

There are a number of ways to remove/reduce nitrates & phosphates. One is plants. Those are two of the three primary nutrients in ALL fertilizers, aquatic, home, agricultural and otherwise. I have started my first true moderately/heavily planted aquarium, and even though it is moderately stocked with fish and they are well to overfed, I have actually had to buy bottles of nitrogen and phosphorus to add to the aquarium. They eat that stuff up. My 65, I can't do enough to get rid of the stuff, this one, I am trying to add it.

You can also add media to your filtration. SeaChem Purigen is awesome at removing nitrates, and helps with phosphates. They sell other media specifically aimed at removing both, you could look into them of they become a problem, but I'd make sure to test first. Just reducing them marginally could reduce the amount you actually need to change.

As far as trace minerals, there are various supplements you can use, And you don't really need much of any of them.

The python vacuums all work well. Never tried a 50ft version, but they have pump primed, battery powered I think, etc. They are quality products.

Thor, using the canister to do a water change is so damn genius I am embarrassed to admit I never even thought of that.
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02-16-2017, 02:45 PM,
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GreenAmy Offline
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RE: Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
Thanks for the information all! I have been doing a lot of reading lately and as I have mentioned in another thread on this site I ran across a book, Ecology of the Planted Aquarium: A Practical Manual and Scientific Treatise by Diana Louise Walstad. I plan to go low tech on this large tank using her methods with soil and not injecting CO2. Fishbone, what substrate did you use for the tank you mentioned above?
The lady I got the tank from also had a Magnum 350 canaster filter I ended up with so I may start with it.
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02-25-2017, 06:22 PM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
(02-16-2017, 02:45 PM)GreenAmy Wrote: Thanks for the information all!  I have been doing a lot of reading lately and as I have mentioned in another thread on this site I ran across a book, Ecology of the Planted Aquarium:  A Practical Manual and Scientific Treatise by Diana Louise Walstad. I plan to go low tech on this large tank using her methods with soil and not injecting CO2. Fishbone, what substrate did you use for the tank you mentioned above?  
The lady I got the tank from also had a Magnum 350 canaster filter I ended up with so I may start with it.

Hey Green, sorry for the so belated reply. I want to call myself low tech, I am certainly not high tech, but if there were an official "mid tech", I'd be a charter member.  I'm using CarribSea's EcoComplete for a sub.  I think i like it.  I've also started a very low dose DIY citric acid co2 with a ceramic diffuser.  I use Sera Florena fertilizer, as it has no nitrogen or phosphorus, but plenty of potassium.  And when i don't have enough from fish and food waste, I can add them individually as needed.  I also add a bit of iron, solely because I have a lot of red plants.  I have a satellite Plus Pro LED light.  The thing is amazing.  My plants are literally booming into an aquatic jungle.  I've just ordered a trimming kit, because I have to trim AT LEAST once a week.   Damn things are out of control. 

Almost all of the canister filters I have ever tried are decent, the Fluval FX series being the crazy efficient ones.  But I can't see any need for something like that on a heavily planted freshwater tank.  Personally, I like the SunSun in bang for the buck.  They are finicky things, once you get them primed (really meaning the air out of them) they work fabulously.  I have two (a 304b and a 402b).  ANd the added UV filter is an awesome value.  But that brings me to the point of why there are so many reviews on them leaking.   And this is something I know from decades of keeping reptiles.  UVB warps plastic.  Period.  If you get one of these, and just leave the UV on, the canister will warp, the seals won't fit tightly, and it will not stay waterproof as long as it should.   That's why there is a separate switch to turn the UVB on and off.  It isn't meant to be left on 24/7.  Anytime I have ever had a HO UVB fluorescent in a cheap aquarium top fixture on a cage for a reptile, it is warped noticeably in less than six months with the light on for 8-12 hours a day.  Trying to keep a watertight seal, with the light on 24/7, I am amazed some of these people make it 3 months.
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06-22-2017, 01:12 AM,
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GreenAmy Offline
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RE: Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
I finally got my 125gal tank filled and am in the process of cycling it. It took several try's to get it set up using soil substrate like I wanted because I am planing a planted tank. I had read this book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium where the author shares her method of using soil for a balanced planted aquarium. She claims that she doesn't have to add liquid fertilizers or root tabs and that the soil lasts years. The organic garden soil I got had too much organic stuff and not enough soil, it just wanted to float. So then we dug up soil from our place to layer over it. Our property has been in the family for over 50 years so I know it has not been treated with fertilizers or pesticides and we obtained it from an area that would not have run off from farm lands around. We live on top of a big hill. I was thinking the book said 2in of soil and 1/2 to 1in of gravel or sand. I used 1/2in sand. I had two big pieces of drift wood in there so I couldn't put anything flat on the bottom to keep the water from disturbing the sand. I ended up with the soil coming to the top in a lot of places. It took forever for it to settle and couldn't really vacuum it out without disturbing more soil. I went back and read the book again and realized it was only supposed to be one inch of soil. She warns that if greater than 1in of soil and 1in of gravel or sand are used then it can become anaerobic and toxic to the plants. So I drained the thing a second time and removed all but an inch of the soil. I then layered it with closer to an inch of sand. I decided that the big pieces of drift wood I had were soft wood and I didn't want to use them any way so I left them out and decided to fill the tank before doing the hardscaping so I could lay a flat piece of plastic on the bottom while filling the tank with water so I could do so without disturbing the sand. It finally worked. I went on the search for driftwood in the streams and creaks around our place and found some pretty cool pieces. I have some of the smaller ones in the tank now. Ones I was able to boil. The large pieces I am treating in my tub using the method mentioned in this article. http://www.aquariumadvice.com/driftwood/
I also have added a few plants.
I am trying to decide if I really want to try discus. With my hard water (kh 8) and high ph (8.2) I don't know how well they will adapt. If I do try discus is it best to get them younger like 2" or a little older like 3 1/2- 4"? Should I do 10 of them all at one time or start with 4 to see how they are going to do in my water? Should I use a drip method to acclimate them over several hours or maybe even a day? I asked that question of a site that sells them and the response was, no just float them 15-20 minutes and release them they will take weeks to acclimate to the new water perimeters. Also, has anyone used or heard of Discus Guy or Mac's Discus for buying discus?
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07-08-2017, 06:08 AM,
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JenSTL Offline
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RE: Help me plan my 125gal aquarium
I'm new to the forum, but this whole design process is fascinating. Do you have any pics of the "finished" aquarium?
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