Aquarium Setup • 125g Malawi Tank - Aquaterra Background And More...

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125g Malawi Tank - Aquaterra Background And More...

Postby harveyb27 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:37 pm

I'm bored of the holey rock i have in the current 55g setup, so want a change. I decided i want a 125g and most of the plans are now in motion. I recently bought a 60x24inch aquaterra background, which is the backbone of this project. I will get a Juwel Rio 400 (59x20x24") soon and I am still in the process of aquiring the rock and other stuff. Feel free to share your comments and give some insight/advice as i put it all together!...

Here are some pictures of the background:
(PLEASE CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTGRAPHS)


Front:

Image Image Image Image Image Image


From the left:

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From the right:

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Top:

Image


Behind:

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Close-ups:

Image Image
Last edited by harveyb27 on Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cento » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:55 pm

OOOOooooo... very interested in seeing how that turns out! :popcorn:

Incidentally, what kind Malawi are you planning on keeping?
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Postby harveyb27 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:34 pm

I have debated this for quite some time now. Whether or not i should stock haps/peacocks or mbuna. I have never kept peacock's before, though i can see why people keep them. In the very beginning of brain-storming this tank i intended to stock mbuna, so decided to stick with that route. Part of the reason why i chose to use this background was to mimic the rocky mbuna habitat...

I haven't completely decided what species i will have in the 125g. I have the following fish in a 55g and 30g, though most of them are fry/juvies. The majority will be moved to the 125g:

14 Pseudotropheus Demasoni "Pombo Rocks" (2-4cm)
7 Labidochromis Caeruleus "Lions Cove" (2-3")
6 Pseudotropheus Acei "Kambiri Point" (2-4")
5 Labeotropheus Trewavasae "Chilumba" (3-5cm)
5 Cynotilapia sp. Hara "Gallireya Reef" (2-4cm)
5 Tropheops sp. Red Fin "Kakusa" (2-4cm)


I'm also interested in the following species, incase i change my mind about some of the species above:

Metriaclima sp. Msobo "Magunga"
Cynotilapia sp. Mbamba "Mphanga Rocks"
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Postby pupdawg » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:55 pm

The demansoni's and the yellow labs would look awesome along with that background. In fact the current stocking list is going to look very nice once they grow out to adult size. Be sure to add some regular rock as caves and such too. Cant wait for this to be set up!

What are you going to use for filtration?
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Postby harveyb27 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:11 pm

I have looked everywhere for rocks that match the background. Its always so fustrating when you know what you want but cannot find it anywhere. I came across some Pagoda rock in a lfs that was quite close to the background, and I'm waiting to get some this week from a new order.

As far as filtration goes... I plan on hiding all the pipework, intakes/outakes, heaters etc. behind the background.

Fluval FX5 (filters 2300 lph via twin outlet) - primary filtration.
Eheim 2227 (filters 550 lph via spray bar) - oxygenated biological filter with wave effect flow.
Fluval 405 (filters 1023 lph via twin outlet) - for extra flow and media surface.


3 uptakes, 4 outlets and one spray bar. Total combined circulation - 8 times per hour.

The fluval FX5 already has two directional outlets which are going to be used to direct flow from the right side (to the left) of the tank. The fluval 405 originally has one outlet, though with the use of pvc piping the flow will be split into two paths. The first is out of the background and to the front of the tank (in the centre), and the other will be kept behind the background to direct flow towards the fluval FX5 intake. The eheim spray bar will be positioned at the top left for increased surface agitation as no outlets are positioned there. The eheim uptake is on the far left, the fluval 405 uptake is in the middle, and the FX5 uptake is on the far right (each uptake is close to a meshed hole in the background). I will use two 300w heaters, all positioned between an intake and a hole in the background. One next to the eheim intake (left) and the other next to the FX5 intake.

Diagram of filtration setup:
Image
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Postby Cento » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:51 pm

Holy Moses... You really got this planned out well! Let me guess, Engineering background? :wink:

All kidding aside, though, well thought out. I'm sure you've done your research, but just a point, since your're running three canister filters, you may want to dedicate them individually to increase efficiency in the three types of filtration (i.e, 2 biological, 1 mechanical or 2 mostly geared for bio, 1 geared for mech, etc, etc). Also, another point i've seen posted here before and i agree, is to place heaters near outakes or powerheads or other sources of water flow to increase efficency of heat distribution and avoid other possible problems...

All in all, WOW. Looks like a Museum display or an Aquaria habitat at Marineworld..

Keep posting your progress.. :thumb:
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Postby harveyb27 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:15 pm

I'm a student studying in univeristy/college, im only 20 :lol: im no engineer. I've just had a lot of time to plan this. I've had a lot of advice on this forum which has helped a lot. Also got advice from others with 3D backgrounds.

The eheim 2227 is a biological wet/dry canister filter. Its rubbish for mechanical, so bio is its only use really. The 305 intake is positioned near the part of the background where a cave forms. The cave is quite deep, so i decided one of the holes in the background would be there. One benafit is that it will be hidden, as it will be on the roof of the cave area. The other positive is that the intake there will draw water from that area which will most likely have a lot of dirt settle there. The flow from its outake behind the background will also increase the flow drawn through this hole. The FX5 will be the force behind most of the mechanical and chemical filtration as the intake should draw a lot of water through the right hole. Hopefully i have this right. :thumb:

If the heating is not sufficient i may get a powerhead and aim it at one of the heaters, or alternatively i was advised that using an external heater would be good.
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Postby Cento » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:27 pm

I myself use an In-line heater. I use the Hydor ETH 200w. With a tank your size, you may want 2x 300w IMO, and it will definitely help with heat distribution and help prevent cold spots in your tank..

Good luck with it all!! :)
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Postby harveyb27 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:33 am

I was recommended the Hydor ETH 300w by others too. I found out it would not fit on the FX5 piping, people have used it on a 405, however they had to fix leaks because the connection is not perfect. Plus it would be difficult to adjust the temp if its was connected to the 405, as it will be positioned behind the tank in the centre. It would be a nightmare to reach over just to change the temp or fix a leak. I could use one on the eheim, but again i dont want to take the chances of having leaks and i dont really want to cut the pipework for the eheim, incase i change my mind.

I think i may get a Rena Smart Heater 300w, position and connect it to the intake of the eheim with an adapter. That way the water being pumped out the spray bar should provide heating for the left side. As for placing a heater on the right side, i was thinking of just using the standard 300w i will get with the tank. What do you think?
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Postby Cento » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:24 pm

Well, as far as leaking issues are concerned, I haven't had any problems with my in-line and its connected to an EHEIM. And the heaters come with 3/4 inch and 1/2 inch connections which fit most pipes, and if not there are reducers/expander adapters that can tackle the diameter issue.

As far as ajustment or emergency work is concerned, I don't know exactly your setup with the stand and where the canister's will be situated, but with me, i placed the heater inside my cabinet with the EHEIM and other stuff hidden from sight but easily accessible.

The Rena Smart Heater is well reviewed, and realistically, that will probably work for you just as well. With good placement and using 2 good heaters (preferably submersible), it should be fine. The review section here is good, you just need to read ALL of the reviews to get the whole context of the performance of these products (some people don't know the meaning of an "objective" review). You may benefit from 2 thermometers as well.

Hope that helps.. :)

Out of pure curiosity, what floor of your flat/house will you be placing this beauty of a tank?
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Postby harveyb27 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:53 pm

The tank will be in a house on the lowest possible level. The floor has held up against my 60g, and im more than sure it will be okay for the 125g. I have no basement so its the strongest support availiable.

I currently have around 70lbs of Caribsea Aragamax Select sand. Do you think this will be enough for a five-foot tank, considering that the background takes up a little floor space too? I want a 2-3" sand bed depth.
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Postby Cento » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:47 pm

Hmm... thats a good question, I know that dry sand has the density of 100 lbs per cubic foot.

So it would be:
square feet value * (3"/12)= cubic feet
Cubic feet value * 100 lbs/cubic foot = total lbs
Total lbs / 50lbs (or whatever about they sell it by) = how many bags you need.

I would do a bit of research on it though, don't take my word for it (its been a LONG time since highschool math for me! :wink: )

I think your LFS guy should be able to help you with that, and after all, its not rocket science.. Buy a few extra, and I'm sure the LFS will take back 1 or 2 unopened bags... :D
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Postby harveyb27 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:16 pm

I tried your "AQUATIC-EQUATIC-SAND-EQUATION" :lol: :thumb:

Final value i got was 3.33 bags. I had 3 bags but used about a third of one bag on the 30g grow out. I think the left over sand plus the other two bags should be enough for atleast a 2" sand bed. Im happy you provided that equation. I love doing maths lol

Im currently looking to see if anyone is selling the tank im looking for, so i can get it cheaper. I was supposed to go see one on monday which was in perfect condition (no scratches etc.) but it got sold the day before i was supposed to view it. :( If i dont find another one in good condition by next week im going to have to order a new one.
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Postby harveyb27 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:20 pm

oops double post
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Postby Cento » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:38 pm

Glad I could help! And glad it turned out to mathematically sound... Ha! :D

I hope everything turns out well with the tank find. I'm looking forward to seeing the final result in a few weeks!! :popcorn:
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