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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! :fish:

Been awhile since I've posted here. See a few familiar usernames and avatars still. I'm soon going to be setting my 125g back up after 9 years stored in a midwest garage without climate control. Hopefully it still holds water!

Got multiple projects in various stages all needing to get done before putting fish in tank.

  • Tracking down/cleaning/replacing old equipment[/*]
  • Wiring up my basement for outlets in progress[/*]
  • Buying and plumbing in a utility sink for water (fortunately a rough in for a future bathroom already exists so not a big job here)[/*]
  • Need to get some glass cut and put a sump together properly this time (using a standard 55g)[/*]
  • Going to plumb in a drip/continuous water change system so need to get that sorted out[/*]
  • Need help getting the tank and stand downstairs. At least the weather is getting milder so maybe I can do a test fill before moving it in at least[/*]
  • I bought 300 1.5" bioballs last week and stopped and got some austin's clear ammonia from tractor supply today so I'm about to throw those is a bucket with an air pump as soon as I find it and start growing some bacteria[/*]

Oh stocking planned to be all male peacocks/smaller haps. Maybe a couple mbuna males we'll see. My oldest son wants all the fish to look different otherwise I'd do mbuna harems like I had before. Still working on a stocking wishlist and not sure about the logistics since I don't have multiple grow out tanks for juvies and don't really want to buy all adults.

Hope to have more updates here soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Deeda said:
Welcome back and looking forward to the new set up!
Thanks Deeda. Progress is slow going so far but I did run a lot of Romex this weekend. Still need to wire up outlets but I've got cable to boxes.

Also purchased some equipment for the drip continuous water change system. Grabbed a refrigerator/ice maker water line kit with self-tapping valve and 25' of tubing. Also picked up a "5yr" chlorine and sediment in-line refrigerator water filter. Where I live I only have a small amount of chlorine (~1.5 ppm at the tap) and no chloramine. I'd bet I could get away without dechlorination for a drip system like this where l will likely be targeting 1-2 GPH into ~150g of water in the system but I figure it's only $30 for a filter with 7500gal rated capacity that should last me at least a year... I can afford to be a little safe here.

This week I plan to finish running outlet Romex and get my outlets wired up. I also want to pick 1 of the 2 55g tanks I still have lying around as my sump and get some glass dividers ordered. Haven't found my air pump yet so I haven't started cycling yet.
 

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Quick question on your plans for the sump set up and my disclaimer that I've never used a sump.

What are you planning on using media wise or filter bags on the sump? Are your plans for submerged bio-media or more a wet/dry style with bio-balls?

The reason I ask is if you are just going with a plain sump with a pump, submerged media and maybe filter bags, consider using Poret foam as vertical media in the sump rather than the effort to install and silicone in glass baffles. An example would be Here. You could use 10PPI and 20PPI for coarse and medium media and add as many verticals as you would want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Funny you mention poret. I actually bought 3 4" thick verticals for exactly that purpose back when I was running the tank before but never got around to using it. I think it's 1 10ppi and 2 20ppi and I've kept them all this time. I was planning to use them and the bioballs all submerged.

I remember being a little concerned that they fit tight and pushed on the front and back pretty hard (but never tried them with water pushing on the glass too andwasn't sure if I could shave then down if I had to) and I wondered if I'd have to worry about them lifting up off the bottom of if they'd stay in place well.

But It would keep things simpler for sure.
 

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I've never used the 4" thick Poret but do use the 20 PPI 2" thick ones as Mattenfilters with dual air lifts on 12 tanks in my fish room. I did have to cut them down both for tank width and tank height but it was so easy with a smooth blade kitchen knife and a drywall square.

If I remember correctly, Stephan recommended 1/2" wider than the tank inside width but in his FAQ section under cutting it, he suggests 1/2" to 1" wide. Mine fit snugly and when installed they don't bow and present a flat surface. They also fit snug to the bottom and retain their position without a problem.

You could always call or contact him before you start the project to get his recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I dug them out and measured and they're 13" wide. Both my 55s are 12.5" wide outside the glass. One has 3/16" thick glass and the other has 5/16" or more like 11/32" really. I think I tested them on the thicker glass tank. They might be about perfect as is for the thinner glass tank or I can try cutting them down a smidge. I probably don't need to worry too much about the pressure they're pushing on the glass with because it's probably much less than the water pressure on the glass. Plus the glass is going to bow a little with the water pressure anyways, so it probably should fit snug when dry.

I think they're actually a 20ppi (red) and 2 30ppi (blue, smaller pores than the red). The blue ones have discolored a bit around the edges from being exposed to light I guess but they don't seem to have deteriorated any.

It won't really be a true Mattenfilter because the flow rate is probably way higher than intended in a sump with high turnover iirc. But for all I'm trying to do probably not worth putting in glass baffles. So I can get my sump cycling soon as I get power in the basement.

I did find my air pumps today. A tired whisper 40 and a new in box whisper 100 I bought some time but never actually used I guess smh lol
 

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They don't really put pressure on the glass because they do compress a bit so it sounds like you are good to go.

Do be aware that when wet and full of gunk, the Poret is heavy so keep that in mind when you want to clean them. I use a shallow SS food pan used in those buffet hot water wells I got for cheap somewhere long ago. I don't know how much clearance you will have in the stand above the sump so keep that in mind. Nothing worse than rummaging around on your knees to work on the sump wrangling a heavy foam Poret full of gunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I tried shoving them in the thinner glass 55. First 2 went in fine. Top bracket cracked while putting the 3rd in :/. They do push pretty hard especially because I have to put them in the tank first and then try to spin them into place. The 4" thickness makes the corner to corner distance significant. That bracket was already slightly cracked tho, and the epoxy I tried to hold the crack with was starting to delaminate. Likely woulda cracked when I filled it up anyways.

New plan is to cut the foam just slightly bigger than the inside width of the other thicker glass 55 and use that one. That one is older, has some chips on the corners/edges, and was already 2nd hand when I acquired it so not 100% confident in it despite the thicker glass. There's an AGA tag on the bottom with a name and 97 - assuming that's when it was made.
 

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Sorry to hear about the center brace cracking. I never considered the 4" thick Poret would be such a pain to fit in the tank and didn't think of its lack of flexibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had already replaced that center brace once too. Doubt it's worth trying to replace again.

Now that you've got me thinking about ease of maintenance with the poret... I do also have a 40 breeder I haven't got rid of yet. Might be a better option and I should be able to just turn the poret on its side and trim it to fit that way. I know that tank is solid or at least it was last time I used it. I'd only be using 30-35g of it's capacity due to the height of the poret being 13" in that orientation. With my drip system I shouldn't miss that loss of volume at all.
 

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The 40B may not offer enough room for the multiple Poret, bio-balls and a pump so consider that.

Not mentioned is if your 125G tank is drilled or not, I've heard stories of over the tank siphons trapping air and the sump pump over filling the main tank.

Would it be okay to move this topic to Aquarium Set up or Equipment for more help?
 

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Commenting just to the point of a sump pump overfilling the display tank ... it can be avoided both with drilled tank set-ups as well as with siphon box set-ups by properly setting the min and max water levels in both tanks. Determine how much water your return pump can transfer from the sump to the display tank and then never fill the display tank beyond the point where it can accept the full amount without overflowing. Similarly, determine how much your sump can hold if the return pump stops working for whatever reason. Then leave enough room in your sump to handle the full amount that will transfer from the display tank before the level there gets below the level of the drain holes or siphon capability.

Regards,
Stu
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The 125 is drilled with dual corner overflows so no worry there.

I dragged the 40 breeder in out of the garage today and did a test fill and all good no leaking. I cut the poret down to just slightly longer than the inside is wide and got all 3 in without popping the tank. Even with the poret being no more than 1/4" longer than the inside width does introduce a noticeable bow to the glass. It makes me a little nervous but also didn't add water with the foam yet to see how the foam fits with the glass bowing just due to the water. I don't want them to be too loose when the sump has water.

I didn't unbox the bioballs yet but should be plenty of room. I intend to go inlet from tank > 20ppi poret > blue/white floss pad (optional) > 30ppi poret > bio balls > 30ppi poret > pump/heater. I would bias all that towards the pump side of the sump and then be able to remove the poret for cleaning from left to right. Ideally the 20ppi and optional floss pad would do all the mechanical filtration and the 2 30ppi sheets wouldn't need removed very often.

In a stroke of luck the 40 is also drilled already, and the bottom of the lowest hole is at like 12.5" on one end. since my poret is 13" tall I should be able to use that bulkhead as my continuous water change overflow. I'll just make sure my tank dumps to that end and the pump and fresh water are at the other end and it should work perfectly *fingers crossed*.

I probably won't get the sump cycling til next week. Not sure I have tubing for the pump anymore. I can get water from an outside spigot through a basement window but don't have power yet. I ran the rest of my electrical cable in the basement for outlets but still need to wire up the outlets then connect to an existing single outlet circuit. Going to visit family this weekend so not getting powered up this weekend.

Having a small family gathering for my youngest's 3rd birthday easter weekend so that's when I should have help to get the 125 down to the basement. If I get the sump cycling should be close to cycled by then.

This seems to be more of a setup thread so it's fine if you wanna move it. I can start a new thread here when I'm ready to talk fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·


Just a quick dry fit of the sump this morning. Figure this thread is already too long without pics. I busted out the skillsaw to make short work of trimming the poret just right :lol: . A knife did fine for the first cut, but knives/scissors were just not doing a good job after that trying to trim off just a smidge. Finally got a fit that is snug to the sides but not pushing too hard on the glass so I'm happy. set the pump in on the left, and the far right bulkhead looks like it should be juuuust the right height for the drip overflow. I can easily turn the red poret about 45deg to remove it so that would always be the first one out and should capture most of the solids coming down from the tank but I might put a blue/white filter pad in between the red and the first blue too. The goal there would just be to limit weekly rinses to just the red. I'd like to be able to have at a minimum monthly intervals on rinsing out the blues, they should primarily be for biofiltration only. The bioballs are in between the 2 blue porets in a zippered mesh bag so that should be convenient. Basically will have enough biofiltration in this setup to handle any reasonable or unreasonable bio load and can always turn up the automatic water change system to keep nitrates low and water parameters steady :thumb: .
 

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Looking good and your plan sounds better with the 40B than the 55G for maintenance purposes.

Do you have a prefab stand or a DIY one? Will you be able to get the 40B through the stand doors or have to put it in place before you put the 125G on the stand?

Also, how stiff is the floor of the stand? On my older 75G and 220G prefab stands, the stand floor is a thin lauan panel just attached to the bottom of the stand and I notice bowing of the panel with my Eheim 2260/62 filters installed. You may want to consider adding 3/8" plywood panel or strips under the sump so it's supported evenly and if you need to shim it level.
 

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Some info from the Swiss Tropicals site ... the supplier of Poret foam in North America.

"The purpose of the foam is not to filter the water as is often assumed. The foam serves as the habitat for a vast array of microorganisms that include bacteria, archaea, worms, ciliates, flagellates, and many others. These microorganisms live in a community that is based on biofilms. The biofilms are created by bacteria that secrete extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), which is often called "slime". The community forms a bioreactor that processes the waste and turns it into food and energy for its members, and ultimately into organic or inorganic products that are then used by plants, evaporate, or removed by water changes. It takes a considerable amount of time to establish this "filter community"; consequently, it is very important not to disturb it unless absolutely necessary. The brown filter sludge in a filter is for the most part alive and not simply waste. Removing this mud does more harm than good."

Regards,
Stu
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Deeda said:
Looking good and your plan sounds better with the 40B than the 55G for maintenance purposes.

Do you have a prefab stand or a DIY one? Will you be able to get the 40B through the stand doors or have to put it in place before you put the 125G on the stand?

Also, how stiff is the floor of the stand? On my older 75G and 220G prefab stands, the stand floor is a thin lauan panel just attached to the bottom of the stand and I notice bowing of the panel with my Eheim 2260/62 filters installed. You may want to consider adding 3/8" plywood panel or strips under the sump so it's supported evenly and if you need to shim it level.
Thanks. Stand is a DIYer from when I was running before. The bottom already has plywood and 2x4 cross supports. When I had the tank setup before I was using a 55g for a sump but it took maneuvering to fit in and space above the tank was tight (also was only really using 5g buckets for my filter media and the 55g was basically only the pump chamber so not well executed back then). So the 40 fits even better with more access. I've probably got an old thread somewhere but all the pics got nuked by photobucket. May or may not build a new stand but that's what I'll start back up with - that was my first attempt and there's lots I would do differently now.

Stu W2 said:
Some info from the Swiss Tropicals site ... the supplier of Poret foam in North America.

"The purpose of the foam is not to filter the water as is often assumed. The foam serves as the habitat for a vast array of microorganisms that include bacteria, archaea, worms, ciliates, flagellates, and many others. These microorganisms live in a community that is based on biofilms. The biofilms are created by bacteria that secrete extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), which is often called "slime". The community forms a bioreactor that processes the waste and turns it into food and energy for its members, and ultimately into organic or inorganic products that are then used by plants, evaporate, or removed by water changes. It takes a considerable amount of time to establish this "filter community"; consequently, it is very important not to disturb it unless absolutely necessary. The brown filter sludge in a filter is for the most part alive and not simply waste. Removing this mud does more harm than good."

Regards,
Stu
Cheers Stu, yeah aware of that. Pretty sure I got my poret directly from the swiss tropicals site. I'm not really using the poret as intended though. I'm going to be using it at least in part as mechanical filtration (in direct contradiction of the first sentence of the quote) so I'm going to want to be rinsing it out somewhat regularly so it doesn't turn into a big nitrate factory. Basically thinking of it as an oversized version of the foam blocks in the aquaclear filters. But I'm hoping to catch all the particles in the first block so I can leave the other 2 blocks mostly undisturbed. I should have enough redundancy with the 3 foam blocks and the bioballs where I can occasionally rinse out the pieces, as long as I don't do something dumb like clean them all at once :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Making progress slowly...

Got my power hooked up last weekend, that's a big step to being able to set up. I took some time away from aquarium setup to put together a sandbox for my kids since we're getting closer to spring and my youngest is getting sandbox toys for his 3rd birthday the beginning of april.

Another major project is going to be getting the utility sink in so I have a drain and a more convenient main water source.

Still need to start my sump cycling. Haven't had time to cobble together some temporary plumbing yet. I've been buying a lot of tubing and fittings and various bits and pieces I think I need for the tank drain and return lines and sump continuous water and overflow drain. Need to start putting it all together. Getting antsy wanting to get things set up just need to get the tank and stand downstairs and it should all come together.

Weird rock issue. The gray drainage ditch rocks I used in my setup years ago turned purple in storage, particularly the ones on top exposed to ambient light. Not Dark/brown/reddish purple, but literally PURPLE purple. I have every intention of reusing these rocks now. I don't know yet if I can scrub or power wash or bleach the purple away or just try to use the ones that didn't change color (there are more without purple than with, at least, and more than I need). Guessing whatever bacteria or algae was present on the rocks reacted with the light and turned purple as they died off? For example the rock below I'm almost certain was buried in sand up to the line where the purple starts, and it only turned purple where the rock was exposed to light in the aquarium. Idk. It's weird.



Started thinking more seriously about stocking but I'll probably head over and post in the malawi subforum

The waiting really is the hardest part.
 

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Congrats on getting the electrical power done!

That is a strange color on the rocks, definitely purple and you may be correct that it was algae combined with weathering and sunlight that turned it that color but still really weird. I would think that drainage rocks along the roadside would also exhibit the same reaction but maybe they don't because most are under bridges? I'd try a bleach/water mixture and spray some on and see what happens.
 
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