Gareth's 185 Gallon Robotank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Gareth's 185 Gallon Robotank

Yes, I'm still around! I've had a busy few months. The 185 gallon had a glass problem so I had to shut it down for repairs. I took the opportunity to completely rebuild the entire thing from the ground up.

I'm going to start filling this thread up with my build photos and descriptions of each step, but for now, here is the tank today, at five weeks old.





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post #2 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 06:26 AM
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Gorgeous tank, and pretty amazing for five weeks in.
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post #3 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Gorgeous tank, and pretty amazing for five weeks in.
Thanks! Weeks two to four were really bad, algae everywhere. It has taken a lot of work to get it cleaned up and dialled in.
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post #4 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 12:11 PM
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I've watched your videos on Youtube. Glad to see you are here.

Your tank is really spectacular, but in a different kind of way than most. You have created what I would describe as a very natural, serene environment. Love the presentation and looking forward to more details.
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post #5 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 03:25 PM
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post #6 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 05:19 PM
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Weeks two to four were really bad, algae everywhere. It has taken a lot of work to get it cleaned up and dialled in.

How did you get rid of algae?
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post #7 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 06:42 PM
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that color light in the back makes this tank go into the galaxies
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post #8 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 06:52 PM
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It's just too much! I want to know everything about how you made it! One of best looking tanks ever, love it.


Ropefish playground
- 120x48x60 cm
Celestial Kingdom - 30x30x30 cm (dry start)
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post #9 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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How did you get rid of algae?
Several things!

1.) I overbuilt my light. I will get into this in more detail in subsequent posts, but I had way too much light. I turned it down to about 40%of what it is capable of.

2.) I improved my CO2 injection. My aquamedic Co2 Reactor 1000 could not keep up with this tank given the new over/sump configuration. I replaced it with an ADA Pollen Glass Beetle 50

3.) I changed my fertilizing regime (I had my Nitrate/Phosphate ratio completely out of whack)

4.) I manually removed as much Clado as I could, scrubbed every piece of wood and rock to remove BBA

5.) Increased my Glute dosing to help prevent algae growth

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that color light in the back makes this tank go into the galaxies
I'm going to go into detail about that in a few posts, I really love the effect

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It's just too much! I want to know everything about how you made it! One of best looking tanks ever, love it.
Stay tuned!
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post #10 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Lets start with Lighting.

I had to completely rebuild my canopy. Previously I had my LED strips sitting on a glass top that was built into a canopy frame. This layout wouldnt work for what I wanted to do this time so I did a ton of reworking.


Here is the canopy with its fresh piece of plywood for a top. This is hinged at the back so I can open it in case I need to move large hardscape pieces in and out of the tank easily, without having to remove the entire thing (It's extremely heavy)


Next, I cut in a vent hole/strip.


Here you can see a perforated metal sheet that I am using as a vent cover. I am simply test fitting at this point.


Here I am test fitting my reflectors and heatsinks to make sure they all fit, and that the lid can still open.

Now the fun begins.. Many repairs had to be made, and a TON of wiring had to happen.


Here are the old LED strips. Very beat up, several burnt out LED's and sloppy solder work on several of them. Instead of trying to bandaid this rig back together I decided to strip them and start over.


I managed to pry off all the LED's but it left behind a ton of residue from the adhesive


An hour of sanding later, they were cleaned up and ready to be reused.

Now for the fans... They were disgusting.


The fans were totally caked in salt creep from my old reef tank, dust, and cat hair. They were barely functional.


Completely taken apart, cleaned and reassembled with replaced fan grills and acorn nuts.


The units cleaned up nicely. You would never know how awful they were before.


Heatsinks and Reflectors added for the T5's mounted in the canopy.

Last edited by GDominy; 09-23-2016 at 11:57 PM. Reason: Fixed broken links
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post #11 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Then I had to wire things. I didn't take a lot of photos during this process, as my father had a heart attack (he's ok) and I was focused on other things at the time.


LED drivers came first. I needed 6 drivers to power the LED arrays I was installing. 2 x Drivers for white, 2 x Drivers for Blue, 1 x Driver for Red/Green, and 1 x Driver for UV


Test Fitting power and T5 Ballasts with the Profilux Expansion Box.


Starting to come together


Everything installed. There are 4 LED spotlights on the back of the canopy that provide part of the backlighting.


I rebuilt another fan unit to mount on top to aid in heat extraction from the canopy.


Looks cool when lit.


T5's are working!


Now I needed to add the LED's I used 4 x Rapid LED freshwater Aurora pucks for this.


LED's installed, full brightness test

Bump: Before I move into the plumbing and wet sort of stuff, here is a picture of the lower backlight. It is simply an RGB strip that turns on/off by the profilux. Tis is used exclusively for night viewing, as the back of the tank turns opaque when the primary lights are on

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post #12 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 09:47 PM
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Gorgeous tank...love the way you arranged all of the plants...very well done. BTW...some of your pics aren't coming up. Saying the image does not exist or is no longer available.
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post #13 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 10:14 PM
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Gorgeous tank...love the way you arranged all of the plants...very well done. BTW...some of your pics aren't coming up. Saying the image does not exist or is no longer available.

Agreed.... absolutely Gorgeous... and yes some image issues as Steve said.

I am waiting on every breath to see your thread continue... so very very interested!

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post #14 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 10:58 PM
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nice build you natural engineer
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post #15 of 77 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 11:27 PM
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Beautiful tank!
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