My 125 gallon journey!

Mistacliff

I’m still in the process of getting through my nitrogen cycle but I thought it might be good to start a journal about my tank starting at the beginning.

To start this process I upgraded from a 65 gallon tank to a 125 gallon tank. At this point it dawned on me that a fish tank weighs a lot! In most cases I think the average joe is going to be okay and there is an awful lot that goes into determining if your framing in your home is structurally sound enough to hold the weight. In my case I am a construction worker and am familiar with structure and have friends who are experts in framing and support and unfortunately I have the worst possible scenario and had to add a large support beam and load bearing post beneath my tank. Fortunately it was actually doable and I am capable enough but it was quite the ordeal. Here is a link to a great article on helping you determine if your situation is fine
How Large an Aquarium can my floor support

I got the tank in place! now the home stretch! Well at least that’s what I thought. I wanted to black out the background and thought I could get something on there after the fact. I’m an idiot of course, the tank sits all of 3.5” from the wall. After looking into what to do to apply a background I realized I would need to bring the tank out from the wall. My lfs recommended using plasti dip. I didn’t want to have to move the tank entirely so I put plastic over the hall doorway, opened the front door, had multiple fans running, and used a cartridge face mask. A lot of people said you should be fine without a mask, this is not true, at least not indoors. It was well ventilated and screened off from the rest of the house but the house still had a strong chemical smell for a few hours. After all was said and done it looks great and, had I planned it right, was very simple. Super easy to remove if you ever want to get ride of it.

My lace rock from my old tanks was stained blue from ich meds. I tried a ton of stuff to get it out including grinders and sand blasters. I gave up, threw the old rock in a pile on the side of the house and bought new rock. Interestingly I noticed the other day that the parts of the rock that were face up were all sun bleached and all the blue was gone. I have them all flipped and basking in the sun, we’ll see how it goes from here. Frustrating but good to know.

I had learned the hard way about heaters breaking and malfunctioning. First time one broke and didn’t heat the tank leading to fish losses. Second time one malfunctioned and heated too much... leading to fish losses. I have since learned my lesson. I now have 2 heaters in my tank. Of course with a 125 gallon it seems more reasonable to have 2 heaters but I recommend it for any tank just in case. The issue of the malfunctioning heater is obviously not solved with 2 heaters. I researched and bought the InkBird itc 306a. This device has changed my life with my fish tank. It plugs into the wall and the heaters plug into it. It is able to run both of my 500 w heaters and has its own dual temperature probes. It monitors the temp and sends power to the heaters only when the tank needs to heat. It has WiFi capabilities and I am able to get real time super accurate readings of what temp my tank is at from anywhere on my phone.

I now have the tank full of water and have just started a fish in cycle with 3 silver dollars. I will keep posting updates and pictures.

PS:
I want to give a big thank you to everyone on this forum who have helped me along the way. Even if I didn’t follow your advice I considered all input and everything help guide me in the right direction.
 

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BigManAquatics

Tank looks pretty nice! I really like that stand as well! Good job! I vaguely remember what you want to stock, so can't wait to see the future of this one!
 

Ouse

Following! What do you plan to do once it’s cycled?
 

AggressiveAquatics

That looks awesome. I’ll be following along for sure
 

Mistacliff

I can’t wait to get it stocked! 3 SD’s, 5 tapajos, 1 JD, 1 GT, 1 green sev, 1 firemouth
I am wondering if there will be enough territories for everyone, or enough area on the bottom for sifting through the sand. I’ll try to get more/better pictures soon.
 

Ouse

I can’t wait to get it stocked! 3 SD’s, 5 tapajos, 1 JD, 1 GT, 1 green sev, 1 firemouth
I am wondering if there will be enough territories for everyone, or enough area on the bottom for sifting through the sand. I’ll try to get more/better pictures soon.
Probably not. As well as adequate area there needs to be lots of breaks in the line of sight. There are some, but not enough. Also, bullied fish might struggle to hide in this tank. The tapajos might not be a problem but the Jack Dempsey and the Rivulatus likely will. There’s a chance that the firemouth might work seeing as they’re calmer cichlids but Central American cichlids as such tend to boss South American cichlids around because their warning signs aren’t recognised.

I am loving how the tank looks though! :) The scape and the dimensions are great. I would remove some of the cichlids from the list to make room for the silver dollars and the tapajos because they will get big.
 

TClare

Nice! It is quite a long tank. Tapajos dont get as big as most Geophagus, they should be fine. Having both the JD and GT could be risky though. Personally I would stick to South Americans and leave out the JD and firemouth. Perhaps you could have a couple more tapajos instead? The severum should be fine.

edit - but bear in mind cichlids can be a bit unpredictable....
 

Mistacliff

Some fresh pics
 

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LHAquatics

Following!
 

Mistacliff

I just noticed these white spots on the black airline tubing and intake and output valves. I posted in the algae thread but thought I would ask here for extra exposure. What is it?
 

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demetredanio

I’m still in the process of getting through my nitrogen cycle but I thought it might be good to start a journal about my tank starting at the beginning.

To start this process I upgraded from a 65 gallon tank to a 125 gallon tank. At this point it dawned on me that a fish tank weighs a lot! In most cases I think the average joe is going to be okay and there is an awful lot that goes into determining if your framing in your home is structurally sound enough to hold the weight. In my case I am a construction worker and am familiar with structure and have friends who are experts in framing and support and unfortunately I have the worst possible scenario and had to add a large support beam and load bearing post beneath my tank. Fortunately it was actually doable and I am capable enough but it was quite the ordeal. Here is a link to a great article on helping you determine if your situation is fine
How Large an Aquarium can my floor support

I got the tank in place! now the home stretch! Well at least that’s what I thought. I wanted to black out the background and thought I could get something on there after the fact. I’m an idiot of course, the tank sits all of 3.5” from the wall. After looking into what to do to apply a background I realized I would need to bring the tank out from the wall. My lfs recommended using plasti dip. I didn’t want to have to move the tank entirely so I put plastic over the hall doorway, opened the front door, had multiple fans running, and used a cartridge face mask. A lot of people said you should be fine without a mask, this is not true, at least not indoors. It was well ventilated and screened off from the rest of the house but the house still had a strong chemical smell for a few hours. After all was said and done it looks great and, had I planned it right, was very simple. Super easy to remove if you ever want to get ride of it.

My lace rock from my old tanks was stained blue from ich meds. I tried a ton of stuff to get it out including grinders and sand blasters. I gave up, threw the old rock in a pile on the side of the house and bought new rock. Interestingly I noticed the other day that the parts of the rock that were face up were all sun bleached and all the blue was gone. I have them all flipped and basking in the sun, we’ll see how it goes from here. Frustrating but good to know.

I had learned the hard way about heaters breaking and malfunctioning. First time one broke and didn’t heat the tank leading to fish losses. Second time one malfunctioned and heated too much... leading to fish losses. I have since learned my lesson. I now have 2 heaters in my tank. Of course with a 125 gallon it seems more reasonable to have 2 heaters but I recommend it for any tank just in case. The issue of the malfunctioning heater is obviously not solved with 2 heaters. I researched and bought the InkBird itc 306a. This device has changed my life with my fish tank. It plugs into the wall and the heaters plug into it. It is able to run both of my 500 w heaters and has its own dual temperature probes. It monitors the temp and sends power to the heaters only when the tank needs to heat. It has WiFi capabilities and I am able to get real time super accurate readings of what temp my tank is at from anywhere on my phone.

I now have the tank full of water and have just started a fish in cycle with 3 silver dollars. I will keep posting updates and pictures.

PS:
I want to give a big thank you to everyone on this forum who have helped me along the way. Even if I didn’t follow your advice I considered all input and everything help guide me in the right direction.
darn, that tank looks insane
 

Mistacliff

The choice is made and I’ve begun moving forward with purchasing. My new stocking will be:
1 green severum
1 orange severum
1 rotkeil
2 eba
3-5 geo heckelii
3 silver dollars
1 pleco of some sort
And maybe an Oscar, or minus the rotkeil for an Oscar.
I got my quarantine tank set up and the eba’s are the first to go in.
 

Mistacliff

Here is an updated picture of the tank. I moved some things around to help with aggression when adding new fish and I wasn’t entirely happy with it before.
Personally I’m loving the new arrangement of rocks and feel like it gives more substrate for them to sift through as well as keeping a good balance of hiding spots.
Also added in the 3 heckelii from quarantine. Super excited to finally get them in. I’m hoping all is well as I saw one flash twice after adding them.
 

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