125 Gallon Zen Tank-aka planted and peaceful
Well took the initial plunge today and actually bought my tank which I think means I can officially start my journal!
I purchased a 125 G Aqueon tank..actually I had them special order it b/c the only one they had in stock was the floor model. I am having my boyfriend's coworker build us a stand so I was in no hurry. The dimensions are 72.5" x 18.5" x 23.4"...so not only do I have a lot of water I have a lot of surface area which I heard is really important. I also wanted a longer vs taller tank as I want to have plants and feel the lighting can penetrate a more narrow tank. Plus I'm super short so I needed something I can reach down in w/o having to invest in scuba equipment to aquascape.
I got a glass cover (not a fan of canopies) and a pair of Solar Max HE T5 10,000K lights. I'm sure this won't be enough for plants but it at least will get me started.
I am going to go online for my filter. I am thinking canister filter. Or maybe a canister filter and an HOB filter combo.
One question: are people still using air pumps and air stones? Or could I just use power heads instead since my tank is so long?
I am thinking of going with pool filter sand and use root tabs for the plants? Anyone want to talk me out of this?
As for stocking. I have absolutely no clue. I really love tetras and would like to have a school or two of those. Maybe an upside down catfish or two. Some glass catfish. I am in love with hillstream loaches and would definitely want to get those if possible. I have also looked at German Blue Rams (once tank is very established) and Bolivian rams as possible center piece fish or angel fish. Dang...I feel overstocked already.
I really wanted an African butterfly fish but think that would be too agressive for what I want to achieve with my tank.
I want my tank to be a beautiful oasis for me to relax in front of to unwind from my super stressful job. I like lots of colorful fish and intersting fish. I don't want anything that will get too large. Any suggestions and comments are greatly appreciated. :) I will post pics and updates when they come along.
Well it sounds like you're off to a great start there. As for airation, w/ adequate filtration, you really don't need air stones especially in a well planted environment. But with that said , I always like the way they look so it is just a personal preference. Although it is helpful to run air during a cycle as that the additional dissolved oxygen will assist in growing the beneficial bacteria you are striving for. Good luck, and enjoy!
Remember - when lights are off, plants use oxygen from the water. The more plants, the more you need either air stones or a powerful way to stir the surface (power heads.) Still, while bubbles aren't really natural for most environments, they sure do the job better than any other method.
The first issue is cycling the filter media - what method do you plan to use? Fishless or not? (with a 125 gal, I'd really hate to do a fish based cycle!)
Having a shallow tank will improve effectiveness of the lights. If your intensity is high enough, the 10000 K should be ok for plants.
Root tabs are fine but not all plants can use these - so, relative to nutrient type, plants don't care as long as they have the micro-nutrients they need. Keeping the micronutrients in proper balance is the key to healthy plants and control of algae. Also, some extra trace iron is needed, too.
Best of luck.
Last edited by Cermet; 10-28-2012 at 05:29 PM.
Loaches are a good choice for your tank, but Hillstreams are not the best choice. Hillstream loaches can adapt, but if you research them you will find they like cooler temperatures and high flow. Not the best fit for a planted tropical tank.
I absolutely adore my yoyo loaches, you could have a nice school of them instead of hillstreams...
Yes I am definitely doing a fishless cycle.
That's good to know about hillstream loaches. It seems like all the fish I want for some reason have to be nixed. :( Oh well. How about an Elephant nose? I think they are quite fascinating.
I am thinking of a school of Bosemani Rainbow fish as I think they are really pretty and my tank is long enough for a nice school of them.
Got my filter...got an API Filstar filter that is for a 265 G tank but once I start stocking I might go ahead and purchase either an Aqua Clear HOT or another Canister filter. We'll see how the funds are. I also bought a bunch of drift wood. I have a lot of sandstone and granite rocks at my house so I will be using them in my aquascaping.
I also bought 2 300W heaters that I will put on opposite sides of the tank. And I bought an Aqueon water changer...50ft.
Bring up my 37 G tall tank from my parent's house to my house
Rehome my lone cichlid
Pester the builder of my stand to hurry up (hee hee)
Watch the clock until I get the call my tank is in
Procure a truck to haul tank 1.5hours from the shop in Columbus to my house
Testing Kit (where I bought my stuff either didn't have the API mater test or they were out of stock)
Pool Filter Sand
I'm not 100% on this but I believe Rainbows and Elephant Nose fish like different pH ranges, and Rainbows are extremely boisterous and active and really do best in species only tanks because they disturb slower-moving fish -- not really what I'd want for a peaceful zen tank myself!
I'd disagree with Sheamurai about the Yoyos, going off my own personal experience. I added 5 Yoyos to my 65g community and they killed all my cories and bristlenose plecos in 2 days. :( They were very cute and cool to watch though -- it's just a shame that they're extremely boisterous and their "play" is a little too rough for many fish. Striata Loaches are supposedly more gentle than the Yoyos, although I haven't been brave enough to try any more loaches since the massacre. Dwarf Chains are an apparently an excellent alternative, although pricey.
Last edited by Amelia; 10-29-2012 at 02:31 AM.
I guess I will just have to wait. My boyfriend nixed angel fish b/c he thinks they are boring. I like German Rams but I don't think I'm experienced enough for them...I could wait and see on those. Oh well. I have at least a month, more likely two before I can even put water in this thing so we will see what I come up with in terms of stocking. I would like to get a lot of fresh water shrimp.
I never knew that loaches were rough. I think I prefer cories to them anyways myself. Could you have a bristlenose pleco and cories? I love the albino long finned BP's myself.
Yes BN Plecs and cories are fine. :) There are also Dwarf Chains and Kuhli Loaches as alternatives for gentle loaches, in a 125g you have PLENTY of room since these are all small species. You could easily have cories, BN plecs and loaches.
Have a look at Bolivian Rams as an alternative to German Blue's. Bolivians are hardier and easier to keep. In a tank that size, you could always start with Bolivians, and still have room to add Blues later on when you feel more confident.
Has he seen all the different types of angels? They can be really stunning. Kois are lovely, and then there are golds, silvers, blacks, platinums, marbled and many varieties in between. Kois and wild-type silvers are my favourite.
Since you want shrimp that will limit potential stocklists quite a lot. I don't know much about shrimp because not many people have them here, but a lot of fish eat them. IMO I would set up a separate 10g just for shrimp, something like in THIS THREAD. (Hope firefly doesn't mind me linking his thread, it's just so gorgeous!) That way you don't have to limit your entire stocklist to things which won't eat shrimp. Just that's just me. :)
Some suggestions for what you might like to put in it: harlequin Rasbora, Cardinal Tetras, rosy tetras, red phantom tetras, lemon tetras.
Yeah I wasn't sure about the shrimp either. I was thinking of maybe ghost shrimp that if they were eaten it wouldn't be a big deal (sorry if that sounds cruel).
I do think I want rainbows b/c I think watching them swim around is actually relaxing. It's not the quick movement that I would find stressful. I think Danios are pretty zen fish too. I wonder if I could add a school of those too. Hmmmm... I guess I should start a stocking list soon even though it's pretty far off.
I do like Cories as they are adorable. I do like Angel fish...I had a HUGE Koi one in my 37G tall tank and I loved him/her but my bf is not a fan of those (but them again I'm paying for this so we'll see).
Well my wood shipped from Pet Mountain. Still waiting on my filter and Aqueon changer from That Pet Place.
Ok...I have put more thought into everyone's suggestions that maybe rainbowfish are not for me and I have done some more research and I concur. I have now devised a preliminary stocking list of community fish that I would like to have. I'm sure that these are not compatible in anyway b/c that's they way my luck with stocking seems to go. But I'm convinced I'll have it all figured out by the time time I actually have to start buying fish. I also wanted to get fish that I know I can find at my local LFS. I would like one or two colorful schooling species that could go along with this list. Again...so not set in stone. I would like the bolivian rams to be my centerpiece fish and as someone suggested maybe add some German Blue Rams in the future (like way in the future lol). I need some color. :) Also don't know if the loaches and cories can get along.
Prelim Stocking List
3- Upside Down Catfish
3 – Bolivian Rams
2- Kuhlii Loach (after set up for awhile)
8- Glass/ghost Catfish
1 - Pleco of sometype (I like the long finned bristlenosed ones myself)
African Dwarf Frog (s)- the live in partner is set on these as his fiddler crabs didn't work out. :(