Tfreema’s 125g Build

tfreema

I am so excited to finally have the tank. This will be a bit of a slow go.

First thing I need to decide on is filtration. Any and all suggestions or advice is welcome!

My thoughts are a canister filter, an HOB, and a couple power heads.

OR two canister filters and two power heads with sponges on the intake.

I don’t think I will do an under substrate jet system like I did with my other big tank. It limits scape and rescaping in the future.

72 x 18 x 21

IMG_4400.JPG

I need to decide which wall to place it on and get some support in place if the inner wall behind it in the picture. Unfortunately, the floor joists would be parallel to the tank in the optimum looking spot.
 

Tenshen

Thanks a nice tank! I had a 55 set up running the wrong way against the joists in a mobile years back...it sank the front corner of the mobile a couple inches and I had to jack up the joists and rebrace with additional support along the beams. So I feel the concern with a 125 (even if it’s a stick house). Good luck!
 

tfreema

So, my first thoughts are fx6 and AC 110 OR two fx4 canisters.

If I go the route of two canisters, I may start with one fx4 and the AC 110 and keep it lightly stocked until I get the second one. Dude at petsmart said they would have them half off Black Friday.

I will have at least 2 power heads.

Any other suggestions or ideas for filtration?
 

Tenshen

I’m maybe a bit over filtered (if that’s a thing, ha!) with two aquatop 500’s. I don’t have a power head, although I may add one as my circulation in the tank isn’t the best. I turned away from HOB with this new tank and couldn’t be happier, it’s quieter and (to me) less maintenance. Plus I like being able to have my own media in them of my choosing (no charcoal). No complaints with the aquatop, they came with the tank and are apparently about 7/8 years old at this point, so plus one for longevity. Also a side note, my heaters went out a while ago and I swore a 200w would never keep a 90 heated well, but through the winter it held mine steady at 77 (getting it calibrated was a bit of a pain) even with my house dipping into mid 50’s at night sometimes in the room the tank is in, so I must say I love my new Eheim heater (they are long though, check your depth to the substrate before buying.
 

DarkOne

I vote 2 FX4's.

I cleaned mine last weekend after 2.5 months of running and while it was dirty, it wasn't that bad and there was no slowdown of flow at all. I'm thinking I can go 3-5 months and this is with 70ish EBA babies and lots of overfeeding with messy food. The 406 still needs monthly maintenance though.

I have an Aqueon Pro 250w heater and thought I'd need another (maybe 200w) but the 250w was more than enough for the 75g. I keep all my heaters right next to the intake on my canisters and it does a great job keeping the whole tank warm w/o being on all the time.
 

Fanatic

I'd recommend going for the double canisters, really large sized ones too
The powerheads would be really great as well, helps flow a ton.
 

tfreema

I love my fx6 canister and really like the idea of 2 canisters. 2 fx4’s would be ideal. There is no such thing as overfiltrated by the way. They are pretty expensive so I may have to do one with the AC 110 until the Black Friday sale.

As far as heaters, I am thinking 2 250W aqueon pros. The one on my 75 gallon is doing great! Eheim jager is a good one too. I will NEVER use marineland again. They do not hold a tank at a steady temperature.

I am getting some great rocks from someone with the Atlanta Aquarium Association.
 

Fanatic

I love my fx6 canister and really like the idea of 2 canisters. 2 fx4’s would be ideal. There is no such thing as overfiltrated by the way. They are pretty expensive so I may have to do one with the AC 110 until the Black Friday sale.

As far as heaters, I am thinking 2 250W aqueon pros. The one on my 75 gallon is doing great! Eheim jager is a good one too. I will NEVER use marineland again. They do not hold a tank at a steady temperature.

I am getting some great rocks from someone with the Atlanta Aquarium Association.

I use an inline Hydor heater, it works perfectly.
My tank is 31 gallons, and this heater is 250w. Basically, it connects to your hoses from your canister and assembles the exact same way how you would put together a check valve on an airstone.
It rarely has to turn on, and when it does it's only for a few minutes.
 

tfreema

I use an inline Hydor heater, it works perfectly.
My tank is 31 gallons, and this heater is 250w. Basically, it connects to your hoses from your canister and assembles the exact same way how you would put together a check valve on an airstone.
It rarely has to turn on, and when it does it's only for a few minutes.
Interesting..... I have not considered an inline heater before. Hydor is a good brand so off to research that one. Thanks!!
 

tfreema

Ok, it makes sense to explain the planned stocking when asking for advice. I am replacing a double stack 45g and 30L that currently contains cooler temp fish that this new tank will house and be built around (also doing a little shuffling with my 26g (has krib and neons) to make that a shrimp and CPD tank).

So, the temp will be about 74 with the following initial stock (to be beefed up later):

1 kribensis
1 bolivian ram
6 von rio tetras
7 neon tetras
1 common bristelnose male pleco
1 lemon blue eyed longfin male pleco
4 lucipinnis synodontis (false petricola so maybe about 4" full grown)
6 peppered cories
Nerite snails
Mystery snails (if compatible with krib - need to research that one)

Lots of room to add more later. The tetra schools and cory shoal will definitely be increased by a lot. Not sure if I will increase the synodontis or let the 4 live out their lives to be replaced with something else. I seem to gravitate to bottom dwellers and can quickly get overstocked so I gotta be careful with that.

May add another school of cooler temp tetras because this is one long tank with lots of real estate so 3 large schools may work and will provide lots of activity and color.

I really like the idea of not having an HOB on it, I thought maybe 2 fx4's might be a better setup long term. I could get one for one end and pop my AC 110 on the other end until Black Friday 1/2 off sales and just stay lightly stocked until then. Then get the 2nd fx4 and go crazy with getting the tank fully stocked.
 

DarkOne

A FX4 and AC110 should be plenty for a fully stocked 125g. Get the 2nd FX4 as funds/time permits. I think the FX4 was $199 on BF. Same price as I got on sale. You could also keep an eye out for one on craigslist but I like new for filters.
 

tfreema

I use an inline Hydor heater, it works perfectly.
My tank is 31 gallons, and this heater is 250w. Basically, it connects to your hoses from your canister and assembles the exact same way how you would put together a check valve on an airstone.
It rarely has to turn on, and when it does it's only for a few minutes.

So, I have been reading up on reviews for the hydor inline heater. A lot of people love it and the temperature remains steady, but there are a few that said the temperature went above 90 degrees and fried their fish to death! A couple others said it quit working and tank got too cold, clicking on and off constantly.

I like the idea of not having the heater in the tank, so I wonder if you or any others that have this type of heater can share your experiences.

I also wonder how it would hook up to an fx4 hose since it is likely built for a hydor canister. The one I pulled up is for 5/8". I think the fx series hoses are 1".
 

Fanatic

So, I have been reading up on reviews for the hydor inline heater. A lot of people love it and the temperature remains steady, but there are a few that said the temperature went above 90 degrees and fried their fish to death! A couple others said it quit working and tank got too cold, clicking on and off constantly.

I like the idea of not having the heater in the tank, so I wonder if you or any others that have this type of heater can share your experiences.

I also wonder how it would hook up to an fx4 hose since it is likely built for a hydor canister. The one I pulled up is for 5/8". I think the fx series hoses are 1".

Nope! No temperature fluctuations whatsoever, it’s been a great heater. I have it preset to 76, but it stays at 75.6 all day. I recommend it to others, because it’s been a great purchase
 

DarkOne

So, I have been reading up on reviews for the hydor inline heater. A lot of people love it and the temperature remains steady, but there are a few that said the temperature went above 90 degrees and fried their fish to death! A couple others said it quit working and tank got too cold, clicking on and off constantly.

I like the idea of not having the heater in the tank, so I wonder if you or any others that have this type of heater can share your experiences.

I also wonder how it would hook up to an fx4 hose since it is likely built for a hydor canister. The one I pulled up is for 5/8". I think the fx series hoses are 1".
I think you'd choke the FX4 if you used an inline heater with smaller hose fitting. I wouldn't use one for a large tank but I've seen a lot of set ups with pvc pipes to put it inline with a bypass so the flow isn't choked.
 

tfreema

I think you'd choke the FX4 if you used an inline heater with smaller hose fitting. I wouldn't use one for a large tank but I've seen a lot of set ups with pvc pipes to put it inline with a bypass so the flow isn't choked.

The difference in size concerned me. At the very least an adapter of some sort would be required and I am not a DIY person and you bring up a good point that it would be a reduction through the heater......

I still like the idea of not having a heater in the tank so when that is appropriate, I agree with Fanatic, that it is ideal.
 

cichlid234

I would go with a sump filter on that badboy. It will be cheaper in the long run, and much more simple upkeep. Also if it's used I would check all the seams and make sure the silicone is good and leak check it as well. Good looking tank
 

tfreema

I would go with a sump filter on that badboy. It will be cheaper in the long run, and much more simple upkeep. Also if it's used I would check all the seams and make sure the silicone is good and leak check it as well. Good looking tank

It is brand new, but I think I will still fill up for a water check before putting anything in it. Probably do that this weekend.

I have no experience with sumps, but I think I would need more room under cabinet than what I have on each side, right? The stand is two cabinets and a middle shelf area that is all divided. Perfect for two canisters or would two sumps be something to think about?
 

cichlid234

I prefer sumps myself they are so customizable and you can fit tons of media in them what's the footprint of one of the lower shelves could you fit a 20 or 30 gal under there?
 

tfreema

I prefer sumps myself they are so customizable and you can fit tons of media in them what's the footprint of one of the lower shelves could you fit a 20 or 30 gal under there?

Each section inner dimension is about 22x17 so couldn’t even fit a 20H in there. One day I will learn and do a sump, but I am thinking this build is not the time.... unless I did an overhead sump like vikingkirken did. I wonder if her build thread is still available? I can ask her about it if not.

On another topic, I am thinking about substrate. BDBS or pool filter sand?

Also, it will take like 6 bags of sand and that’s a lot of sand rinsing so I will need to do some each weekend. I do not want to fill the tank up until I have the scape done. I have been watching YouTube videos on scaping and they usually do the scape without water then fill up. The issue is that I will be putting wet sand in the tank that will just be sitting there over several weeks. Will it get stagnant? Should I fill it up with water enough to run a power head to keep the water fresh?

Oh and background. Black? Frosted glass?
 

cichlid234

Yea I see the issue there. Pfsworkes great for my 130 I also mixed in some black substrate. I don't think you need to worry about weather its wet or not. I guess the background would depend on the scape. If you find the over head sump thread post it plz. Also you should start one as well.
 

tfreema

I have pfs in my 120 and several tanks with a mixture of both so kinda salt and pepper look.

Here are the rocks that someone with the local club is selling.
Yin stone (like seiryu).

IMG_4415.JPG

I have additional similar rocks and will be adding drift and spider wood. Some natural looking caves will be blended in for plecos as well.

Should I use something on the bottom like egg crate since the rocks will be pretty heavy.
 

DarkOne

I would have just enough water to cover the substrate but it shouldn't be an issue being stagnant.

I really like BDBS because it hides a lot of detritus but also brings out more color in the fish. I have PFS in my QT and when I moved my 7 rummynose tetras to the 40g, their red noses really colored up nicely. I have 8 more new RN tetras in QT now and can't wait to get them all together . BDBS takes longer to wash than PFS but I use Dawn and it does a great job on the oily residue. If you don't completely rinse off Dawn, it won't hurt the fish.

I used 2 different brands of acrylic paint for the back of my tanks. Simply Acrylic by Daler-Rowney is waterproof when dry and has held up on a couple of my tanks. They ran out of black so I just got some cheap Apple Barrel acrylic. It is NOT waterproof and needs to be touched up on my 75g. You can also see where water has dripped over and ran down the back. You can see the water runs on Simply Acrylic when it gets wet but it disappears when dried.
 

tfreema

Heaters! I am leaning towards the aqueon pro. It is working really well to keep the temperature stable on my 75 gallon, but I also have another brand heater in there so not sure which one is doing the most work. Plus the dial is so much easier than the Eheim Jager.

My tank is 21" high so the higher wattage heaters at 19-20 inches long will not work if I plan to place them vertically. I have looked at both eheim jager and AP though and really confused about what wattage I need for this tank. I think I need two heaters since the tank is so long - one on each end. Do you think two 200W APs would be sufficient?

EDIT: I am getting mixed information on the length of the AP heaters. I think the 19-20" may be packaging size since DFS has them listed at
200W for 75 gallons at 13-5/8" long and a 250W for 90 gallons at 15-1/4" long.

Who would have thought I could over complicate a simple heater purchase so much?!?

So decisions to be made right now are:

Substrate - Black Diamond Blasting Sand or Pool Filter Sand - leaning towards BDBS
Background - Black or Frosted - up in the air on this one
Heater - leaning toward AP, but unsure of wattage or placement
 

DarkOne

The AP 250w easily fits vertically in my 75g. DFS (and Aqueon) has the actual heater length and not the packaging length. I think 2 200w would be more than enough for a 125. I was worried that the 250w wouldn't be enough for my 75 gallon but it's been very stable in the cold spells we had up here. I forgot to turn on the heater one night after a 80°F day and 40°F night. The room dropped to 60°F overnight but the tank stayed at 77°F.

I've done both blue and black painted backgrounds and black just looks better. Blue would look better with PFS but I don't think I'd put it any other tank as it takes too much work to keep it looking clean.
 

tfreema

Having a DUH moment. I have the 250W AP in my 75 gallon too. I could have easily just looked at it instead of searching for heater lengths. So ya, it would fit nicely in the 125. Not sure if I should get it or the 200W.
 

cichlid234

With the length of the tank id say 2 200w one on each end fluval makes some awesome digital ones as well with thermometers in them
 

DarkOne

Having a DUH moment. I have the 250W AP in my 75 gallon too. I could have easily just looked at it instead of searching for heater lengths. So ya, it would fit nicely in the 125. Not sure if I should get it or the 200W.
How cold does the room get in the winter and what temp are you going to keep the tank? If it's less than 20°F, the 200w should be more than enough. Then again, the 250w is only a few bucks more.
 

Kyle welch

For filtration 2 fx4’s. I have the very same set up you do. Also 2 1150gph hydor powerheads. At opposite sides pointed towards each other to where the flow from each hits in the middle. It took me to months to figure out optimal flow and filtration for this aquarium. It now works flawlessly. The outputs from the filter face straight ahead to front glass. You can view my thread “ my 125 gallon Oscar set up” there’s more information and pictures of how it’s all set up.
 

tfreema

How cold does the room get in the winter and what temp are you going to keep the tank? If it's less than 20°F, the 200w should be more than enough. Then again, the 250w is only a few bucks more.

The room will stay anywhere between 68-72 if the heat/air is working properly. It is a cooler temperature tank to be kept at 74 so during the summer months, I find that keeping the temperature down is a challenge as well. Not sure why the tank temp creeps up when the room temperature is at about 70-72. But if the temp drops during the winter (heat goes out or whatever) it will be nice to make sure I have heaters that can keep it up. I think for 4 more bucks on 2 of them, I will go with the 250W. This should have been a quick decision, but I have analyze everything nine ways to Sunday and to the nth degree.

What thermometers do you use?
 

tfreema

For filtration 2 fx4’s. I have the very same set up you do. Also 2 1150gph hydor powerheads. At opposite sides pointed towards each other to where the flow from each hits in the middle. It took me to months to figure out optimal flow and filtration for this aquarium. It now works flawlessly. The outputs from the filter face straight ahead to front glass. You can view my thread “ my 125 gallon Oscar set up” there’s more information and pictures of how it’s all set up.

Awesome! Thanks for the info! You knew I would be talking about power heads soon, lol. I do have one already, but cannot remember the brand or gph on it.

I will look for and check out your thread.
 

DarkOne

The room will stay anywhere between 68-72 if the heat/air is working properly. It is a cooler temperature tank to be kept at 74 so during the summer months, I find that keeping the temperature down is a challenge as well. Not sure why the tank temp creeps up when the room temperature is at about 70-72. But if the temp drops during the winter (heat goes out or whatever) it will be nice to make sure I have heaters that can keep it up. I think for 4 more bucks on 2 of them, I will go with the 250W. This should have been a quick decision, but I have analyze everything nine ways to Sunday and to the nth degree.

What thermometers do you use?
Nothing wrong with doing your homework. I usually jump in and end up redoing everything and usually with some regret . I read that the Aqueon Pros are the most reliable currently (end of last year, beginning of this year) because the manufacturing plant used is one of the best. This will change later in the year from what "they" say. I bought a 150w, 200w and 250w within the last 6 months and they have all been great.

I bought a bunch of the cheap Aquaneat digital thermometers. They're all within 2°F of actual (tested with a Meterman DMM temp probe and Raytek infrared thermometer) and is the industry standard deviation unless you look at $$$$$ thermometers (yes, 5 $) and have it calibrated yearly. The Raytek infrared tm is copied and fairly cheap now and great to check water temp during w/c's.





Looks like even Fluke is making one for less that what I paid for my cheapo Raytek.



I bought a cheap SunSun 530gph wavemaker that can easily push "stuff" across my 4' tank. The only issue is the power cord could be a couple of feet longer if you want to mount it in the front corner.
 

tfreema

So, those aquaneat thermometers look just like the ones I have, but they were HDE or something like that. The first batch I got started having inaccurate readings. Changed batteries but still off by 3-5 degrees. So I got some risepro brand. They are a bit more expensive, but not too bad on eBay. So far so good with them.

Those wave makers look awesome for water flow! If I don’t get the full results with a couple power heads, I will add one or two. May go ahead and get the two pack since they are so cheap to use one on the 75. I have been concerned about the back bottom getting enough movement. I had no idea they were so inexpensive!

As far as the hand held, I think I will stay old school with water changes and go by feel, lol.

Thanks for all the information! My amazon cart is getting full. I will have to do the “save for later” trick and try to pace myself, lol.
 

DarkOne

My first 2 were HDE and they still work fine. The 2nd 3 pack was Aquaneat and they work just as well. They're all basically the same with different branding. There are a few different designs but these seem to work well for me so I stuck with them.

I originally got the wavemaker when I only had the 406 on my 75 gallon and didn't have full circulation. I took it out when I got the FX4 but it worked really well for the short time I had it. The mount was solid and didn't move at all.
 

Thurgood11

I have had good luck with my sunsun's. Been running for 1.5 years now no issues. I'm thinking about hooking up a third. They are so cheap you can afford to keep spares on hand...

Currently have 2 hooked up with a third spare, and swap them out when cleaning to minimize filter downtime.

Running dual Ehiem 250W heaters on an controller.
 

Hunter1

I washed some BDBS and put it in a bucket getting ready to set the tank up the next week. When I went to use it, it had a stagnant odor. I rinsed again. A mild bleach solution might prevent that in your case and it would dissipate over time.

Would you consider this? Silicon in a plastic divider and running 2 types of substrate, sand in front, rock in the back?

Just a thought.
 

DarkOne

Do NOT use bleach to wash substrate.
 

tfreema

Yeah, I don’t think I would use bleach unless it could completely dry for sometime. Bleach does evaporate.

I am thinking about using some aqua soil or crushed lava rock to build up some hills and have bdbs on top of that so anaerobic gas is not an issue.
 

tfreema

Got my rock and a nice piece of wood with great character and lots of nooks and crannies for plants.

Image1525613914.124537.jpg

I think I will cut some cardboard the size of the tank footprint and lay the rocks out to determine layout.

I am also considering making at least one high spot. I am told that aquasoil should be used to prevent anaerobic gases in depths over 2” high.
 

tfreema

Alright, while I am waiting for funds to replenish a bit before making the next purchases, I am thinking about stocking. Here are the fish I ALREADY HAVE that will go into the tank so they are not a question, but what I have to build around:

1 kribensis
1 bolivian ram (she is 4-5 years old and looking her age, may not make it to transfer time)
6 von rio tetras (will increase to about 12)
7 neon tetras (will increase to about 15 - 20)
1 common bristelnose male pleco
1 lemon blue eyed longfin male pleco
4 lucipinnis synodontis (false petricola so maybe about 4" full grown)
6 peppered cories (will increase to 12)
5 Siamese Algae Eaters
snails
Would like to add a 3rd school of fish - suggestions/ideas welcome

Reminder that tank will be at ~74.

Another thought I had that probably won't work, but is worth researching is to move my 3 bengal loaches over from the 120 and up their shoal to 5. Their temp on SF is 73.4 - 78.8 so this tank would be at the very bottom of their range AND it is already getting pretty bottom dweller heavy. I don't know why I gravitate to bottom dwellers and wind up with too many, lol. This also may not be a good combination with my peppered cories?? I have always had cories OR loaches and never both in the same tank. Would a 6' long tank justify breaking that rule?

I think I will let the synos age out and once they are gone, just up the peppered cory school. The synos are really cool looking, but hide way too much and I am sick of having fish that are really cool, but I rarely get to see, lol. If their personality changes and they are out and about more in the larger tank, I MAY get their shoal back up to 6. BUT, they seem to be heavy poopers. And by heavy, I mean that stuff just won't hardly suck up with the python so I have to take the eheim vac and really work to get that substrate cleaned up. It has to be them, because they are the only different fish in that tank that I have not had in other tanks without that issue.


Thoughts, suggestions, criticism, ideas???
 

DarkOne

I hear ya on the cool fish that you never see. I also tend to gravitate towards bottom feeders. The one fish I thought I'd hardly see was the L007 Vampire Pleco but he seems to be out a lot from the start. He's only 2.5" so I put him in my 40 gallon to grow out a bit before moving him to the 75g. I also thought the smaller tank would be easier to spot feed him but he holds his own against 12 peppered cories and 8 EBA babies (1-1.5") as well as a pushy BN Pleco (3.5"). I was wondering how he would color up as I've seen lots of variants of grayish brown to black with white to brownish spots. He's pitch black with white dots and really beautiful. I get to see him often so well worth getting.

I would build up the Tetra schools to 20-30 ea and cories to 12-16. I really like plecos too so I would recommend a Gold Nugget or Vampire or Blue Phantom (or Green).
 

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