First, thanks to the moderators for not locking this thread. I know it's old but this post has become my aquarium journal. I am documenting the tanks as they are today before trading one out for a 180g I picked up on Craigslist for $200. I hadn't planned on ever upgrading the glass again but I couldn't pass this up. This will probably take several months of projects but the changes will start soon and I don't want to forget this.
I put the 4" PVC tubes in in March, 2016. Here is how it looks today.
Both tanks are 125 gallons. The planted tank is a community tank with <30 small fish. I have Inkbird heater controllers on each tank with about 600w of heaters on each. There is an FX6 on this tank and a 407 on the cichlid tank. The water pumps up through the pipe on the right in the corner. It is nearly 6' long and filled with expanded clay pellets as bio media. There is a venturi air intake before the impeller so a load of bubbles get chopped into microbubbles just before spending the next 6' slowly rising in the water column. I do not have a separate air source in these tanks.
The cichlid tank looks like this today:
Water from the main pipe assembly diverts into this tank at about .75 gpm. The water level in this tank is only 1 inch higher than the other tank so draining has always been the struggle. Between the 407 and the constant exchange of water and the biomass of the plants, both tanks have pristine readings at all times. The water in my town is very hard. I haven't seen the pH budge since I moved here 15+ years ago.
Both tanks are lidless because I like the aesthetic of being able to look into them like a pond. Consequently, the humidity in my house is a comfortable 30% . Forced air heat in my area tends to dry other houses as low as 7%. I add up to 5 gallons per day to this 250g system. I intend to drop a fridge ice machine line to my basement with an auto shut off valve so I don't have to manually carry buckets every couple days.
Here are more shots of the house mostly for my own record:
These pictures are a lot of fun to go back and see later.
The cichlid tank is stocked with 8 silver dollars of two different varieties. 1 mature gold severum and one mature green severum. There are also two 12" pictus cats. There is always a pleco.
Lighting on the planted tank is two Fluval 2.0 LED lights. These are pre-app control. The light on the cichlid tank is a Distin's Tanks single row 48" LED. This tank will become the community tank and the 180 will become the cichlid tank. Nearly all the plants will move here along with the better lighting.
Oh, another note I'm proud of I want to remember in the future: I built a hose adapter to the pump system so I can water all the houseplants in my home using aquarium water. It looks like this:
The red switch allows me to shut off the pipes if I should need to. The top blue valve controls how much water goes to the cichlid tank. The bottom valve diverts water to a hose for watering all my indoor plants.
My goal has always been to create a biotope where the fish fertilized the plants and the plants cleaned the water for a sort of zen harmony. I do a few water changes a year but the filtration and plant biomass is so much overkill that I change water just to clear out some of the hardness that must be building up. Someday I'll run a R/O unit in the basement which will feed the fridge line I'll plumb to keep the tank topped off. Then the system will be free of all maintenance. (Of course that's never true and it will always require tinkering but that will be additive, not necessary).
I think that sums it up. This is a pretty accurate snapshot of what's growing in my house these days. The next posts over the next few months will be how things look as they are installed. The DIY tile mural background and new stand will be in the DIY forum.