Setting up the 125

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I thought it would be fun to document my efforts involving getting my new 125 set up. So far the only things I can report on are:

1. I want the tank to occupy the space where my 55 is currently sitting. My 55 will be moved to the area where a 20 currently is, with the 20 going on the bottom rack below the 55. There is currently a 10 on that bottom rack, but since I had a 10 spring a leak, I'm going to move this 10 to where that leaky 10 used to be. I'm going to make darn sure that this 10 is as near to perfectly level as possible. From what I understand, tanks that suffer from "shear" will fail. I think this is what happened with my previous 10; it wasn't level enough and the stress and strain on the caulked joints gave out. We'll see.

2. I have decided to go with two heaters for this tank. Both of the heaters are Fluval M-200 (up to 65 gallons). I got them on eBay for a total of $44.96, which I think is the best price I could find.

3. I have my eye on a Fluval fx5 (up to 400 gallons, I believe) on eBay as well. It is currently listed for $234.99 including shipping, but I have "eBay Bucks" that total almost $45.00, so my price will be closer to $189.99. Not too shabby at all, if I do say so! I really wanted to go with an Eheim filter since I already have one on my 55 (ecco 2234) and I'm quite pleased with its performance. However, an Ehiem is upwards of $350.00 and that's just not in the budget right now (I know, budgets are for wimps). I'm going to pull the trigger for the Fluval filter Saturday, December 31st.

4. For a substrate I decided to go to Lowe's and get the pea gravel bags (river rock pebbles). The bags are $3.98 each and they weigh about 40 lbs each. I got 4 bags, but will get one or two more if needed, I just don't know. I also decided I'd put a bit of Seachem Flourite substrate down, not nearly as much as is "recommended", but probably only like 1/2" thick layer on the bottom. Of course I'll have to rinse the heck out of all this material, especially the pea gravel, you should see how dirty that stuff is.

With a 6' bottom, my head is swimming with ideas on how to best set up breeding and hiding areas for all my little tank occupants. I'm going to look into some driftwood to maybe be the "centerpiece" of the tank, with rocks and rock formations making caves and homes on the outlying parts.

Another concern of mine is water circulation. I'm thinking about getting a (?) powerhead to put at one end of the tank so that if my filter return points to the left (if facing the tank) then I'll put the powerhead on the far right and point it to the left to encourage a thorough movement of the water. I need to think about this some more.

The lights are the standard Aqueon 36" T-5 (or maybe T-8) lights. I'm going to start with the 8,000k lights and see how my plants do. On my 55 I'm currently using 55 watt lights that must be 15,000k. I'm also interested in LED lights, so I'm going to look into those as well. We'll see.

But first and foremost I have to get this monster set up and CYCLED. Yes, I'm going to do a fishless cycle, and I'm going to do so much homework before I put a single fish in there it won't be funny (well, maybe it will be). I have several fish in my 55, 37, 29, and 20 gallon tanks that will be very happy in the 125, so I won't necessarily need to go out and buy all new fish.

I welcome your comments, suggestions, and heaven forbid, criticisms. Next post in a week or less!


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  1. nalu86's Avatar
    I am setting up the same tank.

    I am going with 2 filters: 2x CFS 500 (I'm lucky my tank was drilled)
    For heating I have a 300W inline heater. I would go for the inline heater if I was you.
    Lights are 4x39W T5HO Glo that I will make my own canopy and reflectors. (its possible I will do an extra line)
    I use Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix capped with Black diamond sand
    Power head is an aqueon 950.
    I'm looking to buy a 20 pound tank and dual stage regulator. Have an inline rex defuser plumbed in.
    Have my manzanita ready (bought from PC1 (Rafael Mendoza))

    My tank is still in a drystart phase until I am ready to buy a CO2 reg.

    Good luck and have fun, setting it up, its the most fun part :)
  2. UGA_Grad_Student's Avatar
    Just curious how much did you end up spending on the Fluval FX5??
  3. Dasher's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by UGA_Grad_Student
    Just curious how much did you end up spending on the Fluval FX5??

    I got it on eBay and ended up spending about $200 exactly. It really moves the water!

  4. UGA_Grad_Student's Avatar
    Yea I have one for my 55 gallon got a wicked good deal. Stand, tank, coralife T5 fixture and 3 bulbs, 200w heater, 2 glass tops, and a fluval in very good condition for that much. Being in grad school I'll take the savings gladly.