120 Gallon Setup From Scratch


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Backstory: I have been running a 10 gallon tank since August. It has an old HOB filter and a Finnex 24/7 light. I initially bought 4 swordtails (3 female, one male) a pleco, African dwarf frog, and a mystery snail. There is a bunch of java moss, christmas moss, and hornwort growing like crazy. I've thrown away more plant material than I purchased

Losses: The pleco died while heat treating for ich. One female swordtail and the frog died abruptly over the months. The mystery snail died, as did its replacement.

Victories: The swordtails have bred like mad. I have moved 15 of their babies to a larger tank at my work and many are still hanging around in the 10 gallon. They are hard to catch. A racer snail is doing great where the mystery snails did not.

I have decided to upgrade to the largest tank my space can accommodate, so I am now the proud owner of a 120 gallon 48 x 24 x 24. I am looking for suggestions on how to set things up now. I want to continue with low to medium maintenance fish and plants, but with more biodiversity of flora and fauna.

Substrate: Right now I'm leaning towards Eco Complete. I want to buy it in person so I can check for expiration dates and packaging integrity. Possibly blending/covering with black sand.

Lighting: I'm very happy with the Finnex 24/7, so I'm planning to get the 24/7 CC for this tank.

Filtration: I am leaning toward the Fluval FX6, but I'm also interested in an in-line heater, and the diameter doesn't necessarily work well with the FX6.

I would like some large rocks and/or wood as a centerpiece, tall plants in the back, getting shorter as we move forward. Possibly a plant carpet over the substrate, but I don't want to do CO2 injection.

I am open to suggestions on all fronts. Are there things I am missing or failed to consider?


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More than 10 years
To me it sounds like a good plan. I will say your 10 gallon was very overstocked, which is probably why some were mysteriously dying. But the new tank sounds awesome. My favorite plant that I have is Anachris Eloea, I think is how it's spelt. Super easy to have, doesn't require CO2 and grows quickly. I have some in all four of my tanks.
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