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Old 09-20-2020, 07:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 450G build (2020)

Hello.

I work for a local fish store, and we are going to build a display only 450G planted discus tank.

The tank is a custom Waterbox 96x30x36. 36" inches tall is a boo boo - 30" tall was the order. Plumbed with an overflow for a sump.

Was supposed to be a display reef tank, until I was told that I had to take care of it. Not my thing.

Other than plants & discs, not much else is decided. But decisions need to be made soon.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 450G build (2020)

This is the tank
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 450G build (2020)

Current thinking is Fluval Stratum for the substrate. A dozen or so bags of the 8kg/17.6# bags.

Cap with some black sand.

I wanted to do dirt, but the votes went against me.
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Old 09-20-2020, 02:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Good luck. Keep updating, I plan on following along.
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 450G build (2020)

Are you also a scuba diver? Even a 30 inch high tank is a problem to do maintenance on. I think I would simplify every thing I could. For example, I would use an inert substrate, selected for low cost and nice appearance, without a "cap" on top. I would also read up on https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...ing-guide.html which simplifies fertilizing. I would also give a lot of study into how to effectively supply enough, but not too much light. See https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ead-watts.html and get a good PAR meter.
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 450G build (2020)

Iím cringing thinking about the amount youíll spend on fertilizer. You definitely need to learn dry dosing if you donít already do it, and start looking for a place to purchase a 50# sack of KNO3 and one of KH2PO4, and see about getting bulk CSM+.

The good news is you can use all the giant plants most people donít have room for, like tiger lillies and other big fellas. Canít wait to see how it turns out!!!

Hopefully the boss will let you put a cleaning crew in there, because even with the giant gravel vacuums I donít think youíre going to want to clean that beast too often. Hopefully they give you a 50 gallon jug of Excel and you wonít have to worry about algae at least!


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Old 09-21-2020, 12:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 450G build (2020)

No, not a scuba diver. That is one of many problems, like how to plant in the first place? Somebody has to get in there... and then get out ... without making a huge mess. Then, how to do the routine trimming and scape maintenance? Problems, problems, problems.

Yeah, I know about EI, though never have done it. According to the notes you shared, there is a 50% water change weekly. That is a deal breaker. Not sure how to prep 225G of water weekly much less get it up to high 80s temperature wise to keep the discs happy.

Not worried too much about lighting at this point. I can use fru-fru lights I want and need. Thinking about Kessils at the moment as I like the shimmer and they have a concentrater thingie for focusing light down the depths. And if lighting is a bit insufficient, then maybe the weeds (plants) won't grow so fast and need as much trimming.

Stratum order goes out in the next day or so. Store needs some anyway. It sells well.

Next to figure out is filtration. Gonna run a sump no matter what, as the tank is already plumbed for that. Not sure if off the shelf sumps are big enough, but will play that by ear. Darn tank Euro braced all the way around, so bring plumbing and wires up the back and over the edge into the tank is not so pretty. I can setup the sump as an open top canister filter and have a place to hide heaters too. An auto top off to the sump is also in my head.
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Old 09-21-2020, 01:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 450G build (2020)

You can pretty easily use a continuous water change system, instead of changing half the water every week or so. A sump makes a continuous water change system easier to design, and you can keep a heater in that sump to avoid chilling the fish. I used a continuous water change for a few years when I had a large deck just outside the location of the tank. I ran water lines through the wall, out to the apparatus for doling out the replacement water, and to a bucket to collect the removed water for use on plantings on the deck. I thought it was fun, but your tank might change any thing that was fun to being a chore.
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Old 09-21-2020, 01:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 450G build (2020)

Well, none of the money is mine, so whatever.
Yes, some giant plants indeed!
Wildlife in the tank is what ever I put in there, so yes a cleaning crew. And, no, there won't be any gravel vacuuming if things go my way. And, no 50 gallon jugs of Excel either.

I am hoping for a low maintenance planted tank as I have at home Water change every 6 months or so. Trim back the plants every week or two.

The idea in my head is to make a showcase for discs. Plants are there only to help keep routine maintenance to a minimum. We shall see. Not all of my ideas are good ideas!

Frankly, if it was REALLY up to me, I would throw in some arowanas and some stingrays and call it a day. But, that did not fly with the rest of the team.
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Old 09-21-2020, 02:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 450G build (2020)

Low maintenance is the way to go. Get appropriate light for low light plants.
No need to use excel. You can actually use pressurize CO2 if you want. No need to inject 40+ppm, 10-20ppm is fine. Get a big 20 lbs tank. Or don't add CO2 at all. It'll be really slow growing plants.

Get all the arm length pond tools you can find so you don't have to dive in.

A giant school of fish is better than a giant fish.
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