Custom 3ft Planted Tank Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Custom 3ft Planted Tank Journal

Hi from Oz! After lurking here for a couple months looking for ideas and concepts, I thought it was time to share my new aquarium project. New carpet meant pulling down and moving the old set-up so I thought I would take the opportunity to refurbish.

Please feel free to comment, happy to accept any advice or suggestions as I progress on the build – there are still a lot of things to decide!

Equipment collected (or dusted off) to date:
- Custom 36” wide x 14”deep x 30” tall, 10mm glass, 2 x 25mm bulkheads in base - 250L/65Gal
- DIY Stand and hood built last Christmas (want to replace with DIY ADA style next summer!)
- Lighting: 120w LED Light, 18w LED Blue Moonlight
- Filtration: 2 x Fluval 405. 2 x powermen lily outflow pipes, 1 x DIY spray bar
- Substrate: ADA Amazonia – standard combination for 3ft tank
- CO2: Pressurized on a Weirpro pH controller, thru an Up Aqua atomizer
- Heating: 300w Hydor inline heater
- Ferts: Combination of ADA and Seachem. Move to EI when run out.
- UV Sterilizer: Pond One 18w
- Plumbing: lots of PVC - mostly under tank.
- Background - 3mm thick black perspex

Some thing just arnt easily available in Australia, so i have to make do with some things.

Planned Flora:
- HC (never tried a carpet plant before)

Planned Fauna:
- Peppermint Bristlenose
- SAEs/Otto’s
- tba – Discus/Angels/GBRs?
fnbroken is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 01:08 PM
Algae Grower
Scuba Steve's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 84
Re: Custom 3ft Planted Tank Journal

Nice! I look forward to seeing it develop...

I'm wondering if the two 405's are a little overkill. Might turn your beautiful aquarium into a whirlpool.

I don't have experience with daylight LED's. With a 30" deep tank I'm thinking that whatever you use will need to be powerful enough to accommodate that depth.

Keep us posted as things progress! Subscribed.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
Scuba Steve is offline  
post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:21 PM
Wannabe Guru
FSM's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,189
I use two 404s on my 75 gallon; they aren't too powerful, probably 200 GPH each.
FSM is offline  
post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 07:55 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
nemosreef's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 927
Nice tank.

38gal. Tetras Forest.
10gal. Jungle Low Tech.
10gal. Planted Aquarium, 38gal. Planted Aquarium.
nemosreef is offline  
post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 12:28 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mexico
Posts: 544
Your tank is very nice but you are going to have a hard time planting it because it is very tall (ouch! back pain!). My tanks are 70cms tall and they are pain to work with!

I΄m far from an expert on lighting but I think you will need something strong to reach the bottom of your tank.

But I think it will look very nice once set up
blackandyellow is offline  
post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Step 1: Plumbing

The lights are "in the post" - just waiting on the group buy coming thru! Will post as soon as I get them....

So today....plan is to keep as much equipment out of the tank as possible. There are 2 x 25mm bulkheads in the base of the tank. Due to the height of the tank, I am concerned about having dead spots at the bottom, so im thinking of one of the following options...suggestions welcome!

Given I plan on being able to swap out a fluval for a powerhead if I need to quarantine some fish or plants back in my old tank.

Option 1: Run the 2x405’s off one bulkhead, have one return thru the other bulkhead, the other thru a lily pipe and/or a DIY spray bar.

Option 2: Run a 405 off each bulkhead, return thru lily pipe(s) and/or a DIY spray bar.

Option 3: Combinations of the above?

Im ordering the PVC fittings I need to do this shortly...what would be the most effective inflow/outflow? Thanks in advance!
fnbroken is offline  
post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 05:32 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Lycosa's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 572
Nice tank.. I had a 75g (old reef tank) with bulkheads like yours and what I loved most about it was how I could run my filter intakes. I ran each bulkhead to the intake on Rena canister filters. (The Eheims you are considering are better though.) But.. what is nice about the bulkheads, is that you can run one to pull water near the bottom, and the other to skim the top which is really nice (if you ever decide to grow Riccia you'll be glad you have a top skimmer). Not only will you pull some of the garbage out of the bottom, but since you can skim the top off, you'll have a lot clearer water at the surface. There are plenty of options for piping them outside of plain white PVC pipe if you get creative. There's also fish safe paint.. I've had great luck with 'Krylon Fusion' paint for painting plumbing so it doesn't stand out so bad. You can also get clear PVC if you want to spend the money, but it's rather pricey.

Having your intake run like that will also move water at both top/bottom and if you use a couple of nice lily pipes as your tank returns you should have more than adequate water movement. Dead spots aren't nearly as critical in a planted tank as it is in a reef and I doubt you'll have any by running your plumbing as I described. However you decide to run the plumbing, it should be a fantastic tank when your done, good luck!

Interested in Science? Want to learn more about what's happening inside your aquarium? Join SEAR and get started. PM for more details!
Lycosa is offline  
post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 05:44 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
luke20037's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: england
Posts: 504
This tank is looking great already! looking forward to see it filled and planted!
luke20037 is offline  
post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Plumbing - Part 2

Well - after quite a few hours, and several trips to the plumbing shop, I finally got a working model together - GOAL: to have as many different options for modifying flow/filtration capacity, with as much equipment hidden as possible.

How does it work...

Outflow 1 (LHS) -> UV Sterilizer -> Temp Probe -> Ph Probe -> Powerhead -> inline heater -> CO2 Atomizer -> Spray Bar. Note: I also put a BV and attachment just before the UV as an option to run the output of a Fluval.

Output 2 (RHS) -> 2 outputs for the two Fluvals -> into a balancing pipe to the LHS output. There is also a drainage point on this section for attaching a hose to fill/empty. The Fluvals can then either go - one into the other (and plugging a hole) and out via a powermen outflow OR both go to a powermen outflow pipe each OR one to an outflow and the other to the attachment just before the UV. Either way, one line will always go back to the tank via a powermen outflow.

Hope that all makes sense!

The only thing im not happy with is not being able (knowing how to) incorporate a DIY fert dosing system..suggestions?

Time to start glueing and give that spray bar a lick of paint....
fnbroken is offline  
post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
All worked out...and glued...ready for a lick of black paint...Krylon Fusion for Plastic.

Had to take the power points out and raise them 2 inches to make it all fit.

fnbroken is offline  
post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Water Leak Detector

While waiting for the paint on the plumbing to dry - and a side trip to Bunnings - I was trying to think of way to minimise any loss/damage if something sprung a leak. Solution:
Turn the base of the cabinent into a sealed area (aka Pondtight). This give me roughtly 2 inches of height before overflowing. So im going to do 2 things.
1. An alarm DIY style: Found this DIY special which I thought was pretty will do something similar...
2. Put a circuit breaker on the power supply to the fishtank, so the everything stops..mostly so the pumps dont keep pumping water out!
3. Look into finding an electronic solenoid that I can use instead of the BVs at the base of the tank. No power --> solenoid closes --> water stops flowing.
So, in theory, this would give me a couple hours before the inhabitants either froze, or died from a lack of air. Guess this is a better solution than them not having any water at all!
Anyway, will follow that one up over the next couple weeks. In the meantime, here are the painted parts and sealed base in the cabinent.

fnbroken is offline  
post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
So almost done plumbing everything in...a few more things to do...
- tighten bulkhead fittings
- one of he Fluvals was broken, so waiting for a replacement atm
- holes to be drilled in the spray bar (waiting for water to be in there so i can drill according to direction required and flow
- Heyco parts should be here Monday so I can plumb in the temp guage and pH probe

Picked up a shiny piece of black perspex yesterday (papers still covering it) that i will attach to the back of the tank - no idea how yet! and I dont want to silicone it on either!

Aquadecor tells me the LED light is in the Monday night...
Damn it take sooooo long to come together...patience!
fnbroken is offline  
post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 01:28 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Chrisinator's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Bergenfield, NJ
Posts: 2,134
Custom 3ft Planted Tank Journal

That's awesome!!

Chrisinator's Aquatic Project Journal
Chrisinator is offline  
post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 10

Well, the light came in today..plugged it in and fired it up - 120w LED - thanks Mr Wild!

I also threw my old 150w MH (10,000K) on as a comparison

So far, spread isnt as much as I hoped, nor as visibly bright. It's clearly got more of the other spectrums however - will have to wait for some plants before I can say anymore!
Have any of the others who bought one got it hooked up over a tank yet???
fnbroken is offline  
post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 01:43 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Warner Robins, GA
Posts: 40
Wow! Looks like an exciting build...can't wait to see it up and running.
n8_crizzle is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome