45g high low-light tank (updated 1/14/2013) (was: re-intro with a new-to-me tank) - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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45g high low-light tank (updated 1/14/2013) (was: re-intro with a new-to-me tank)

Hi everyone! I'm back after a five year hiatus. I have tanks since college but after my last move, I did not set my tanks back up. For Christmas my hubby bought a new-to-me tank off Craigslist and built me a stand (still need to add the trim.)


25x25x18
45g (estimated with PT calculator)

I'm planning a low tech community tank with java ferns, vals, anubs, swords, crypts. My fam is more into the fish than the plants but we love the look of the planted tank. Searching for the perfect piece of driftwood and gathering my substrate supplies. Still trying to decide how to finish the stand.

Any thoughts on this tank? I know it will be a challenge since it is so tall. I read somewhere about planters on the sides of a taller tank. Does anyone know anything about those? Not sure how to go about finding them or if they are DIY.

Last edited by cookfromscratch; 01-14-2013 at 05:47 PM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 07:46 PM
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Nice looking tank. I love that stand. Are you going to stain it?
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I am planning to stain it when we trim it out. We have a nasty flu virus in the house at the moment so building my tank has been put on hold a few days. Just continuing to research, make my lists, check them twice and salivate over the tanks on this forum.

The tank came with a Whisper 60 (all media and intake tube removed) and an 18" OceanSun 10,000K. I think it may have been used as a terrarium since there were shavings of some kind in it when we got it. I have checked for leaked and there were none.

Does anyone use a Whisper? I realize it isn't ideal and will eventually upgrade to a canister like I had before. I rather like the waterfall noise though. Still needs a thorough cleaning but that will have to wait until at least tomorrow. Hoping to get some substrate in on Saturday and start collecting plants!
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 06:38 PM
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Nice looking tank and stand. That will look great once it's stocked and the stand is finished.

I used Whisper HOB's in the 90's, when they were labeled Junior through 5, and they did a good job of mechanical and chemical filtration. I don't have experience with the new generation of Whisper HOB's since I am using canisters exclusively now. Should work fine until you upgrade.

Funny thing is, the waterfall sound was the reason I changed to canisters. I loved the sound at first, but eventually it became irritating.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 04:53 AM
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seen peeps us something like this for planters on the back wall or for marginal plants at the surface
http://www.amazon.com/InterDesign-Po...278585&sr=1-72

I have a tall tank like this and lighting is a challange for ground cover plants, light just doesn't get down there easily
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Meganne! I never would have thought of something like that. Have to turn my brain to thinking outside the tank.

Planning to finally get in to our LFS today and check things out, peruse the driftwood and get some substrate going. (no more contagious flu cooties!)

It's funny that I started my planted tanks with a 29H and actually like seeing some substrate on the bottom. It was definitely a challenge but I like the slow growth and less maintenance of a low tech tank.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Found driftwood yesterday, ordered a filter and bought my substrate. Collecting rocks and stones this week and soaking driftwood. Also decided on a stain for the stand. Found an awesome LFS, AquariumOutfitters.com.

Eheim Classic 250 (ordered)
Mopani Driftwood (soaking)
Eco-Complete (in waiting)

Fauna (planned)
otos
cardinals
emerald cories
praecox rainbows
albino bristlenose
powder blue dwarf gourami

Still trying to figure out the lighting. I plan to DIY a covered hood to match the stand eventually so I would really like to go cheap on what I have right now. Thoughts on that anyone?

Hoping to get some plants in by next weekend.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Seriously struggling on the lighting front. I've been trying to find someone with a similar tank dimensions to see what they used but I haven't been able to find it yet.

Is there a calculator or estimator for lighting tanks?

My tank is 25x25x18.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 03:55 PM
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I recommend you look at this thread:

Lighting an Aquarium with PAR instead of Watts

There is a ton of information here. A little on the technical side, but it helped me out with my lighting decisions.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 04:04 PM
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How about some shrimps? They would look great in there! Especially once it's all planted! Buts get something easy, like neos and/or malawa?
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 04:29 PM
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Nice tank! I've got a tank with almost the same dimensions, though I don't have a stand for it. I like your stand, do you have any more pictures of it?
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the kind words.

Johnson18 were you wanting more pics of the stand itself? My hubby is a DIYer and kind of adapted this stand from some other DIY plans he read. I have some other pics but they look about the same. What were you wanting to see? I will be taking more later this week when I get it planted so I can try to get some different angles if that's what you are wanting.

Icegoalie32, I've read that thread and wasn't sure how to get my hands on one of those PAR readers. Did you use one or make an educated guess from what the article told you?

jake10, I definitely want shrimp! I hadn't thought about putting them in this tank though. Something to think about!
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Did you use one or make an educated guess from what the article told you?
I made an educated guess from the tables based on the distance from the light to the substrate, and the types/brands of lighting fixtures available locally.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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progression



Swapped the driftwood out for spider. Bought more Eco (total 60lbs.) Filter is mostly in. Stand is painted. Putting it all together today after hubby installs power.

Can hardly contain myself.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 12:35 PM
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That is a great piece of wood! Looks cool.
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