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Please share pic of your juggernaut bcb if you don't mind.
Check post 122. They're in the thumbnail section, but i didn't pull them out and my sump is translucent, not transparent, so it's hard to show scale. The Milk crates are 12"x12"x10". They're filled up to about 6-6.5". There are also pics of my smaller, planted BCBs (those are about 12"x5"x3.5").
 

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Check post 122. They're in the thumbnail section, but i didn't pull them out and my sump is translucent, not transparent, so it's hard to show scale. The Milk crates are 12"x12"x10". They're filled up to about 6-6.5". There are also pics of my smaller, planted BCBs (those are about 12"x5"x3.5").
How much clay did you use in that tank, what's the tank size and what's your water turnover?
 

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How much clay did you use in that tank, what's the tank size and what's your water turnover?
The tank is a 135 reef ready tank with the weirs in the corners.
There is about 40+ lbs of clay in that tank. The BCBs took up a 33 lbs. bag plus a little bit of a second bag to even them out, probably about 40 lbs. total. There is also a large BCB bag in the Rena Filstar XP3. I didn't weigh that bag, but it's probably a couple pounds.
The sump turnover is 2 pondmaster Mag 7's. I'd estimate that with the head, they combine for about 800-1000 gph as those pumps were finally replaced earlier this year. I haven't ever measured it, but the movement in the tank is strong. The Rena was rated for 350 gph full of media when I got it 12 years ago. It still goes strong, but I doubt it's that strong after all these years (all original parts). Similarly the water bottle filter is powered by a maxijet 1200 that has been doing that for at least 10 years. All combined, it's gotta be between 1,250 gph and 1,500 gph. There is also an UGF that's 4'x1' being run by a whisper 10 with the flow regulator turned down to just barely making bubbles. No clay in that plenum though.

I'm not sure how much the planted BCBs in the 55 and 75 weigh, but I wasn't quite able to make them and their plenums and the plenums for the 20 and 10 with the remaining roughly 25 lbs and had to get another bag that is sitting in my fish room 1/2 full. I went a little heavier with clay in the 10 and 20 gallon plenums since they don't have BCBs.
 

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The tank is a 135 reef ready tank with the weirs in the corners.
There is about 40+ lbs of clay in that tank. The BCBs took up a 33 lbs. bag plus a little bit of a second bag to even them out, probably about 40 lbs. total. There is also a large BCB bag in the Rena Filstar XP3. I didn't weigh that bag, but it's probably a couple pounds.
The sump turnover is 2 pondmaster Mag 7's. I'd estimate that with the head, they combine for about 800-1000 gph as those pumps were finally replaced earlier this year. I haven't ever measured it, but the movement in the tank is strong. The Rena was rated for 350 gph full of media when I got it 12 years ago. It still goes strong, but I doubt it's that strong after all these years (all original parts). Similarly the water bottle filter is powered by a maxijet 1200 that has been doing that for at least 10 years. All combined, it's gotta be between 1,250 gph and 1,500 gph. There is also an UGF that's 4'x1' being run by a whisper 10 with the flow regulator turned down to just barely making bubbles. No clay in that plenum though.

I'm not sure how much the planted BCBs in the 55 and 75 weigh, but I wasn't quite able to make them and their plenums and the plenums for the 20 and 10 with the remaining roughly 25 lbs and had to get another bag that is sitting in my fish room 1/2 full. I went a little heavier with clay in the 10 and 20 gallon plenums since they don't have BCBs.
Impressive. You went all out. I'm thinking of ways to fire clay because cheap bentonite clay granules (clumping kitty litter) is available on my country. One guy posted a video in YouTube on this. This time I don't want to build a large overhead sump. My main tank is around 70g with around 25lbs of oildri in BCB. That sump itself weighs more than 100 lbs (when filled with water) and sits on top of my wooden canopy i built myself. Thers is a cheap canister filter available here (DoPhin C1600) and i was thinking of stuffing clay in mesh bags in it. Could you have a look at it and suggest how I could make the water go "around the bags" in it. It's fairly powerful but has both in and out in the top unlike the Eheim classic 600 which is great for bcbs but is twice the cost and less than half the gph.
 

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The tank is a 135 reef ready tank with the weirs in the corners.
There is about 40+ lbs of clay in that tank. The BCBs took up a 33 lbs. bag plus a little bit of a second bag to even them out, probably about 40 lbs. total. There is also a large BCB bag in the Rena Filstar XP3. I didn't weigh that bag, but it's probably a couple pounds.
The sump turnover is 2 pondmaster Mag 7's. I'd estimate that with the head, they combine for about 800-1000 gph as those pumps were finally replaced earlier this year. I haven't ever measured it, but the movement in the tank is strong. The Rena was rated for 350 gph full of media when I got it 12 years ago. It still goes strong, but I doubt it's that strong after all these years (all original parts). Similarly the water bottle filter is powered by a maxijet 1200 that has been doing that for at least 10 years. All combined, it's gotta be between 1,250 gph and 1,500 gph. There is also an UGF that's 4'x1' being run by a whisper 10 with the flow regulator turned down to just barely making bubbles. No clay in that plenum though.

I'm not sure how much the planted BCBs in the 55 and 75 weigh, but I wasn't quite able to make them and their plenums and the plenums for the 20 and 10 with the remaining roughly 25 lbs and had to get another bag that is sitting in my fish room 1/2 full. I went a little heavier with clay in the 10 and 20 gallon plenums since they don't have BCBs.
Wow. Impressive. Do you think that amount of clay is absolutely necessary?
 

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Impressive. You went all out. I'm thinking of ways to fire clay because cheap bentonite clay granules (clumping kitty litter) is available on my country. One guy posted a video in YouTube on this. This time I don't want to build a large overhead sump. My main tank is around 70g with around 25lbs of oildri in BCB. That sump itself weighs more than 100 lbs (when filled with water) and sits on top of my wooden canopy i built myself. Thers is a cheap canister filter available here (DoPhin C1600) and i was thinking of stuffing clay in mesh bags in it. Could you have a look at it and suggest how I could make the water go "around the bags" in it. It's fairly powerful but has both in and out in the top unlike the Eheim classic 600 which is great for bcbs but is twice the cost and less than half the gph.
Yeah the overhead sumps required me to install high strength shelves and mount them into the studs. But I did that like 5 years ago. There is very little 'new' equipment in my fish room, except the UGFs, a few small air pumps and some new hoses on all the sumps. Most of the filters and pumps have been running for at least 5 years, except the new Mag 7's and the SunSun 302 on the 75 is only a couple years old. I used to have a lot more tanks running, so I have a ton of equipment laying around.
Wow. Impressive. Do you think that amount of clay is absolutely necessary?
No. Definitely not. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's the reason I got the rare pH plunge at first (stabilized itself in a few weeks). I just wanted to use the space I had and this is what I came up with to maximize that. I'm terrible about overkill. When I messaged Dr. Novak about my pH and how much clay I used he was pretty shocked and I basically got the 'well there's your problem' reaction. But he assured me it would stabilize and it did. I don't think it's hurting anything having them be so large and I think it may have helped in creating an anoxic zone inside the BCBs, but who knows.
 

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I finished setting up and planting the 10 gallon last weekend and decided to let the plants settle in before putting in the betta and african dwarf frogs my wife wants. Yesterday I picked up a dozen feeder ghost shrimp and dropped them in (after drip acclimation). They're doing well so far, but I'm sure some won't make it since they were treated like feeders and a couple are a little milky. Otherwise, there were a couple snails that came in with the plants, look like bladder snails, but still tiny. Plenum + corner box filter working well so far. I'm gonna set up some CO2 for the first time since it's so heavily planted and I'd like to avoid algae if possible. I'm seeing a few nitrates in that tank, but I'm assuming it's because I fertilized (one spurt of easygreen). I never saw ammonia or nitrites and the nitrates only showed up after the first fert and are still under 10 ppm. Pothos clippings I cut have started growing new roots, so they'll go in this week.

Also upgrading the very cheap lighting on my 55 and 75. I ordered one of those Hygger 24/7 lights and I'm gonna put that on the 55. I'll take the cheap generic LED from there and double it up with the same generic one already on the 75, so it'll at least be better, but that tank looks like **** so it's mostly for the plants.
 

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The 10 gallon is not going as smoothly as the other tanks went. The plants are settling in well and the shrimp seem fine, but I'm getting a fair amount of nitrates. I seeded the corner filter with a little gravel from the 135 when I set it up and I think it is doing most of the biological as I actually got a tiny reading for nitrites earlier this week (wc took care of that and haven't seen them since). This may be the tank I have to wait and see the results. Figures it would be the one with the most plants, lol. The other tanks I made sure NOT to seed the filters with BB (I just seeded the substrate a tiny bit) and I think it was a mistake to stray from that this time. I also think the layer of sand on top of the substrate is keeping more of the waste in the water column.

I'm hooking up CO2 to this tank this weekend, anyone used it before? Any tips? I figure after 35+ years keeping tanks it's time I finally stopped making excuses and tried it. I don't plan to run it to 30 ppm, just enough to help the plants utilize more of the lights and nutrients. Figure I'll start it on a bubble every 4 or 5 seconds and see how that works.
 

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The 10 gallon is not going as smoothly as the other tanks went. The plants are settling in well and the shrimp seem fine, but I'm getting a fair amount of nitrates. I seeded the corner filter with a little gravel from the 135 when I set it up and I think it is doing most of the biological as I actually got a tiny reading for nitrites earlier this week (wc took care of that and haven't seen them since). This may be the tank I have to wait and see the results. Figures it would be the one with the most plants, lol. The other tanks I made sure NOT to seed the filters with BB (I just seeded the substrate a tiny bit) and I think it was a mistake to stray from that this time. I also think the layer of sand on top of the substrate is keeping more of the waste in the water column.

I'm hooking up CO2 to this tank this weekend, anyone used it before? Any tips? I figure after 35+ years keeping tanks it's time I finally stopped making excuses and tried it. I don't plan to run it to 30 ppm, just enough to help the plants utilize more of the lights and nutrients. Figure I'll start it on a bubble every 4 or 5 seconds and see how that works.
Try with very low dosage... Just like your airlift tube barely pushing bubbles. Small tanks are almost always problematic.
 

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Yeah that's the plan. I have a solenoid and bubble checker, so I'm gonna run it from about an hour before the lights come on until about 2 hours before they go out and only run it at a bubble every 4-5 seconds and go from there. Thanks.

And **** yeah on the small tanks, but that's where my mind has been since this has been going so well. Until I converted, my 20 gallon was always a pain (still has the most algae, but doing real well otherwise) and this 10 hadn't been set up in years because it was always an algae bomb. Trying to avoid that this time. I've been reading and watching a lot of vids on nano planted tanks, because I've NEVER gotten them to work in my life and would like to. I'm considering a few true nano as well, God help me. I just realized I have a perfect space for a little 3 gallon I've had sitting on the shelf for years (I actually have 5 tanks/bowls between 2 and 5 gallons because I've gotten 4 of them as presents over the years, but 3 are plastic. Usually use them as holding tanks for a day or few hours). I'm gonna build a UGF/plenum for it with some light diffuser and mesh I have sitting around with an extra standpipe. Should be pretty simple. I'm thinking a dwarf crayfish or maybe a few shrimp.
 

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So what do you guys think? Think this product will work OK? I emailed Dr. Novak and he stated he was going to check it out. I also ran the idea of using plastic box filters to make small BCB's for 5-20 gallon tanks that I keep in. Anyone done this yet?
 

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Did a test strip on the 10 gallon earlier, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates. I'm 100% certain it's the plants and lack of fertilizer. No way the plenum just did this after the earlier results in this tank. I went ahead and fertilized. The CO2 has been on the tank since Sunday morning (it's at about 1 bubble every 4 seconds, so really not cranked up). I think I actually do see a tiny difference, but I'd be surprised if it weren't more from the tank cycling. I went ahead and fed the ghost shrimp too. They have a few dead leaves I left in the tank to pick on, but figured it can't hurt too much now that the tank is cycled traditionally at a minimum. There are enough plants in this tank that I really may not see much in the way of nitrates even as the plenum cycles, but I guess we'll see when the fish and frogs are in it.
 

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Haha, I thought my 12 year old AC50 was crapping out on me. Silly me. Those things don't die, just a clog I somehow couldn't see. I had an AC500 I bought in 1990 that only died like 5 years ago because I dropped it during cleaning. I shouldn't have lost faith so quickly.
 

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