New 125g Community - "Stump" Driftwood Planted Build

Just starting to get my Black Friday 125g deal set up. First step was ripping home office apart so I could paint the walls and relocated desks to free up wall I wanted tank on. I take that back, first step was getting tank and stand home

Plan is for a community starting with existing stock from a 20 gallon I am upgrading from: Angel, Platy and Cory.

My LFS has a couple awesome pieces of driftwood I have had my eyes on and just got a new batch in so I decided to stop by and pick finally. With help of owner and a few customers we tried a few pieces and I ended up with one that originally caught my eye. I love how it looks!

Next step is to add some supports to floor below tank and paint back of tank. Then I can get and rinse pool filter sand and get it filled and running. There is no water in it at the moment.

Setup will be:
125g Aqueon Tank/Stand
Beamswork DHL 72 6500k LED (90 x 1w, 72x 6500k, 18x Actinic 460nm) Light
Fluval FX6 filter
Finnex TH-0500S 500w titanium heating tube*
Finnex HC-810M digital temp controller*
Pool Filter Sand
Planted

*edit to add heater info

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Don't you need a heater? I suggest you get 2 300 watt heater, either the Aqueon Pro or Eheim Jager!

For angels you could do 4 due to the large tank! As for the platy do you want to breed or not? For corys, what kind do you have? You could do 20 in a 125!
 
Wow....that is one Nice piece.

One thing to keep in mind. The wood will get water logged and increase the weight many times.

I would place some diffuser crater or some thing similar over the glass to distribute the weight. May be I am paranoid, someone more experienced can give some insight here. I may be totally wrong.
 
Don't you need a heater? I suggest you get 2 300 watt heater, either the Aqueon Pro or Eheim Jager!

Yeah guess I wasn't very complete on my equipment. LOL I went with the Finnex 500w titanium heater tube with the Finnex HC-810M digital temp controller.

One thing to keep in mind. The wood will get water logged and increase the weight many times.

I would place some diffuser crater or some thing similar over the glass to distribute the weight. May be I am paranoid, someone more experienced can give some insight here. I may be totally wrong.

Hmmm, wonder if there is anything to be worried about or not. It isn't really that heavy and I guess I assume that it won't absorb as much water as it displaces. It will be sitting on 2+ inches of sand once set up some hopefully that help disperse the contact points. Worst case coudl put some thin slate or similar under the sand to help.

It is really cool as the top has a sort of crater in it. Can't wait to get some plants growing on and around it.
 
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I have a very large piece of wood in my 100G and I place an egg crate underneath it. Just for security purposes. I placed on the crate directly on the glass the put gravel around it. Just in case you get any fish which like to sift through the substrate and might disturb the wood
 
LFS usually don't have them I believe??? Normally you buy them from Home Depot or Lowes. The egg crates are normally near the light section since these are under light diffusers!

Here are some s for aquascapes with tree stumps if you don't have an idea yet:
 
Funny that setting up a large tank like this requires more trips to hardware store than LFS.

Grabbed:
2'x4' sheet of egg crate (would covering entire bottom be a good idea?)
1 can of PlastI Dip (black)
A few scubbing brushes
3x 50lb bags of pool filter sand
2x 8' jack posts
8' wood post cut to 2' sections

As tank will be sitting parallel to the joists, I am going to run piece of wood post across the two joists perpendicularly and add a jack stand under each end. Plan to put this as near to center on the tank as possibly to add piece of mind with all that weight. Hope to get this set up this eve.

Will be spraying plastidip on back of tank for my background. Hope to do that once the dirty look my wife gave me when I said I'd be doing the praying inside wears off.

Need to rinse the pool filter sand, but it is 20 degrees here and we have 6" of fresh snow on ground. Need to think this through as I don't want any sand washing down indoor plumbing.

Will put driftwood in tub to soak and use brushes to give it a good scrub.

Lots of work. Hopefully I can get to it so this can get set up in next few days!
 
Send your wife out shopping on the right day, that should give you plenty of time to spray paint. You should have seen the look on mines face the day she opened the dryer and there where over a thousand empty 20 guage shotgun hulls in there. I couldn't get to that range until 2 days after the tournament and it rained hard the day before I got there. They where al nicely bundles in mesh bags for drying.
 
A taller, narrower board (like a 2x8) will provide far better support than a square post (4x4 I'm guessing?). Just FYI.

The metal plates on the post jacks need something to mount into. As I am running 2 post jacks that can hold 9k lbs each 16" apart, each on a joist I am thinking I'll be good. Post is only 2' long so don't see it flexing at all.

Decided against indoor plastidip spray cans so grabbed a quart of high gloss black latex paint.

Washed glass with vinegar/water then used rubbing alcohol to remove sticker residue. Finished by rubbing whole surface with rubbing alcohol before painting.

Things go pretty quick with a zip roller. One coat down!

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Need to rinse the pool filter sand, but it is 20 degrees here and we have 6" of fresh snow on ground. Need to think this through as I don't want any sand washing down indoor plumbing.

Something that you could possibly to rinse the sand is use a 5 gallon bucket in the tub or shower, when you empty the bucket pore the water into a vegetable colander lined with multiple layers of cheese cloth to save any sand from going down the drain. You may not get it perfect , but if you hookup your filter loaded with polyfill for stuffing animals it should take care of what you missed in a day or two. The real reason we rinse the substrate is to get rid of the dust and fine particles associated with it anyway. With your temperature I would be tempted to do a quick rinse and let the filters take care of the rest.
 
Something that you could possibly to rinse the sand is use a 5 gallon bucket in the tub or shower, when you empty the bucket pore the water into a vegetable colander lined with multiple layers of cheese cloth to save any sand from going down the drain. You may not get it perfect , but if you hookup your filter loaded with polyfill for stuffing animals it should take care of what you missed in a day or two. The real reason we rinse the substrate is to get rid of the dust and fine particles associated with it anyway. With your temperature I would be tempted to do a quick rinse and let the filters take care of the rest.

Yeah my mind wandered down that same path while I cursed how easy this would be if it were Spring/Summer/Fall

I THINK I may do the 5-gallong bucket outside but run it with water from the house. Either connect to indoor sink or shuffle another 5 gallon bucket with warm water. As of now Saturday forecast is a high of 33 so may wait till then and just connect hose outside. Until then we are looking at -25 wind chills. Ugh.

In mind mind I am thinking how much I'd be willing to pay for a substrate that required no rinse...
 
Yeah my mind wandered down that same path while I cursed how easy this would be if it were Spring/Summer/Fall

I THINK I may do the 5-gallong bucket outside but run it with water from the house. Either connect to indoor sink or shuffle another 5 gallon bucket with warm water. As of now Saturday forecast is a high of 33 so may wait till then and just connect hose outside. Until then we are looking at -25 wind chills. Ugh.

In mind mind I am thinking how much I'd be willing to pay for a substrate that required no rinse...

You would be paying a lot more about 4-5 times more and it still has to be rinsed. I'm glad I live south of I-10, I'm sitting in shorts and T-Shirt right now.
 
Well not sure why in my head I thought my driftwood would sink. But it totally floats. It is also too big to soak in anything but a bathtub and not sure how long I can keep it in the master bath

How long might it take to sink if I just let it float in tank with fish? Weeks or months, no? Otherwise I need to rig some slate or rocks to try to hold down, which may be tough as it only really sits on two of the "legs".

Fun.

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I had mine set up like this (6ft paddling pool) for 3 months in the back garden while I waited for my tank to be built. Mainly to get all the tannins out.

I had to cut some to fit it into the tank and only the outer 5mm was soaked and the centre was completely dry.

 
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I had mine set up like this (6ft paddling pool) for 3 months in the back garden while I waited for my tank to be built. Mainly to get all the tannins out.

I had to cut some to fit it into the tank and only the outer 5mm was soaked and the centre was completely dry.

Yeah definitely can't wait months to set the tank up. I'd consider screwing to slate but putting the piece into the tank is like moving a huge couch through a narrow doorway. Takes a lot of finagling and worried I'd hit the glass.
 
Yeah I know what you mean about trying to put it in. I wouldn't use screws as they're metal.

I would drill the holes in the state where you want to tie it then place the slate in the tank, then place your stump on the slate in position and use plastic cable ties to attach it to the slate.
 
Yeah I know what you mean about trying to put it in. I wouldn't use screws as they're metal.

I would drill the holes in the state where you want to tie it then place the slate in the tank, then place your stump on the slate in position and use plastic cable ties to attach it to the slate.

I'd think stainless screws would be safe. Although another option is fishing line on stump and a rock, then use zip tie top link the two. Should be easy to find some rocks to use under the 8" of snow in -20 wind chills outside.

The first requirement of setting up a new tank should be: Is it winter? If yes, stop and wait till spring.
 
Jamieson22 yes stainless screws would work. Personally I wouldn't put any metal in my tanks for a prolonged amount of time.

Haha I take it you are in America? Over here in the south east of England we have no snow and the warmest December
 
With your particular driftwood, it looks like you could put some big heavy rocks directly on top of some of the "root" parts while it is in the tank. Yeah it'll look terrible right now, but the wood will saturate pretty quickly with no part of it floating above water.
 
New 125g Community - "Stump" Driftwood Planted Build

With your particular driftwood, it looks like you could put some big heavy rocks directly on top of some of the "root" parts while it is in the tank. Yeah it'll look terrible right now, but the wood will saturate pretty quickly with no part of it floating above water.

If you decided to take this approach, you would need to make sure nothing would disturb the rocks and knock them off the wood.

If they fell off, for whatever reason, they could break the glass and ruin your tank and... ruin a whole lotta other stuff as well.
 
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So I got the floor supports in today. Just need to add a few screws to the top and bottom plates but am really not worried about them going anywhere.

Each is rated to 9100lbs and each one is under a different joist near middle of tank (joist run parallel with tank). The back of tank is between the first joist and the load bearing wall. The piece of mind is worth the $80 expense.

One step closer to adding water!

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Exciting!
You don't have to soak the wood for months. Pour boiling water over it just in case there is any stuff you don't want to continue to live in your tank. Scrub it to get the dirt and loose particles off. It might release tannins into the water for months which are good for the fish (unless you want river fish from clear and highly oxygenated waters).
Some people pay for plant parts that release tannins, e.g.

If you don't want tannins, use a charcoal filter
Since it is a tight fit, the wood should not touch the glass in more than one area. If it is sqeezed in and expands, it can break the tank.

And after a while the wood will become water-logged and won't float anymore.
 
Added egg crate to most of bottom of tank. Figured as I am not 100% set on how I will decorate other than the driftwood, it would be helpful to future-proof.

As it is currently 7.9 degrees farenheit out, I figured it would be a good time to wash 150lbs of pool filter sand. Put 3 gallons of water in a homer bucket, poured 25lbs of PFS in then poured water off. Then would pour 1 gallon from really high up to agitate, swirl with hands and pour that off. Repeat the 1 gallon 5 or so times. May not be perfect but hopefully it is good enough.

Also wandered around the snow covering our landscaping beds trying to find the "nice" rocks I had found while digging in shrubs, etc. Each came up with 5" or so of mulch frozen onto then. Will give them a good scrub and use to anchor down driftwood using fishing line.

Here's where it's at now:

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I'm sure once you get water in the tank the filter will take care of what dust you may have missed with the sand.
 
I'm sure once you get water in the tank the filter will take care of what dust you may have missed with the sand.

That's my hope.

So the filter is an FX6. Should I run polyfill only till it clears then switch it all out for the bio-media and such?
 
I would probably use the polyfill to help with the clean up, maybe the polishing pad to get the smallest particles the polyfill didn't get. The polishing pad can be rinsed when you go to add the rest of the media back in the filter.
 
Exciting!
You don't have to soak the wood for months. Pour boiling water over it just in case there is any stuff you don't want to continue to live in your tank. Scrub it to get the dirt and loose particles off. It might release tannins into the water for months which are good for the fish (unless you want river fish from clear and highly oxygenated waters).
Some people pay for plant parts that release tannins, e.g.

If you don't want tannins, use a charcoal filter
Since it is a tight fit, the wood should not touch the glass in more than one area. If it is sqeezed in and expands, it can break the tank.

And after a while the wood will become water-logged and won't float anymore.

I tried this. The hardwood leeched tannens...in a few days dropped ph from 7.8 to 6.1

I'm boiling it some more. Never ending tannens.
 
Congrats on getting your sand in. Weather was a little better here, 58F and sunny. Supposed to be 72 tomorrow than 77 on Saturday...
 
Got the tank filled today. Much more of a struggle than ever expected due to the driftwood's desire to float like a boat.

The yard rocks I tied on using fishing line didn't cut it. One is still in use but another I cut loose as it had shifted and had too much slack.

I tried putting rocks on the driftwood to weigh down but this thing does not have many contact points with the ground. Two trips to LFS and $60+ in large rocks and it still looks like it needs to be redone. Top back edge of the wood catches under the plastic trI'm edge and the long branch out-shoot is hitting bottom of a cross brace on top. That whole right side keeps wanting to pop up so may leave it as is and redo rocks to left to hold that side down. Can then return some of my rock quarry to LFS.

First light I got came bent so replacement arrived and is perfect. UPS handling a 72" LED during holiday shipping time seems like potential for disiaster.

The filter and heater all both running, so hopefully tanks clears by tomorrow to transfer fish.

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It doesn't look to cloudy in the picture, this was what mine looked like the day it was filled and the day after.110 gallon.jpg110 gallon Nov 01.jpg
 
New 125g Community - "Stump" Driftwood Planted Build

The yard rocks I tied on using fishing line didn't cut it. One is still in use but another I cut loose as it had shifted and had too much slack.

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Can you tie off the wood to the egg grate and then put/stack the rocks and sand on the grate to keep everything down?

Those are some big rocks and I would think they should be able to keep the grate held down.

Hope that makes sense.....

Gonna be nice!
 
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Can you tie off the wood to the egg grate and then put/stack the rocks and sand on the grate to keep everything down?

Those are some big rocks and I would think they should be able to keep the grate held down.

Hope that makes sense.....

Ever been so deep in a problem that you miss the obvious? Brilliant idea that should work IF I can get to the egg crate now that the tank is full. The bulk of the wood is towards back of tank, but the only contacts are at far front. Will have to see if I can tie front legs without back pivoting forward if that makes sense. Worth a try, thanks!

Absolute worst case I just let the thing half-float till it sinks and I can do what I want with it!
 
New 125g Community - "Stump" Driftwood Planted Build

Ever been so deep in a problem that you miss the obvious?

Yes, I can relate!!!

That's why there are forums


IF I can get to the egg crate now that the tank is full.

I think you would have to remove the crate and wood and tie it together (like nobody's business) outside of the aquarium, then reinstall as an assembly.

Amazing the research, planning and re planning that takes place in setting up an aquarium....

Keep up the great work, gonna be worth it in the end!
 
When it comes to plants patience is key! Don't buy a lot of plants to fill the 55, I suggest filling 1/2 or less of the tank. After a couple of months depending on what kind if plants you have they will get longer, bigger, and/or propogate.

Here is a pic of my 40 when it first started 3 months ago and here it is now


And just today I removed all my crypts since they were splitting and so I separated them and replanted
I only started off with 5 small cyrpts and now have a lot!
 
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Well the fish are in! Moved 1 Angelfish, 2 Platy, 2 Bronze Cory and 4 Albino Cory from their old 20 gallon home. Also put the sponge and biomedia from the old filter in the FX6. Was great watching my smallest cory swimming back and forth checking things out last night. Haven't seen them surf the glass like that in ages!

I will be giving that driftwood the evil eye for some time with all the trouble it gave me. In the end 24" zip-ties saved the day. I ran one around each rock as tight as I could, then strung another through it to run around the driftwood. It took 7 sizable rocks to keep it down. I do hope at some point it will lose its buoyancy!

Today will see if LFS has 4 bronze and 2 albino Cory to finish their stocking. Likely add a 2nd angel as well today.

Thanks to all for all the help so far!

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