First ever journal- takes a turn Updated 3/20/13(20G L) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Location: NJ
Posts: 50
First ever journal- takes a turn Updated 3/20/13(20G L)

Hello ladies and gents. My name is Paul and I decided to get back into it. A lot has changed since the last time I've tried a planted tank and so I'd like to throw this up here for input, as well as provide newbies, like myself, with information and where I go wrong or what I would have done differently. Regardless, not really sure what the final result will be but I've always wanted a rimless tank.

Unfortunately, I can't afford the quality rimless and so I decided to settle with a 20L and remove the top rim ONLY. It seems as though many people have success with this so I'm taking the chance. I went out and picked this bad boy up yesterday and started the derimming process.

I started by pulling on the middle of the plastic bracket until it peeled back and, with an exacto knife, cut the silicone away from the bracket. The corners had proved to be a little tricky and I ended up breaking the corners by pulling up on the connecting sides.

Once I was able to (gently) do that, the bracket came off rather easily and the glass was in decent shape with a ton of silicone goo.

Although sloppy, I decided to leave the goopy corners to minimize the chance of leaks. The excess was removed with a razor. I took my time here (about 3 hours) as I didn't want to scratch the glass too much. Once that was off, the raw glass was pretty sharp and jagged and, I tried sanding the top with 400grit sand paper wrapped around a 9V battery. That didn't do much so I went with a green 3m scotchbrite pad. Carefully roughed the sharp spots away and polished away the corners with the 400 grit. I have to say, I couldn't be happier! While, obviously, no where near the quality of purpose built tanks, it came out really good considering how much I've spent thus far. Anyway, I've wiped it down and decided on the location. As it stands:

I'll be filling it up with water tonight and checking it for leaks while I figure out my lighting situation. I'd like to run two separate light fixtures from the ceiling with a white housing, they'd hang above the tank. Does anyone have any suggestions on this? I'm thinking housing similar to desk top lamps ( something like this.
I have vaulted ceilings and don't have much room above the tank and don't know what type of bulbs I should go with or if this is even a reasonable idea or if I should stick with traditional housing.

Anyway, thanks for the input and looking guys!


Last edited by dubs83; 03-20-2013 at 10:15 PM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NJ
Posts: 50
You know, looking at the pictures, I just may remove the excess around the corners. does anyone think that is a bad idea?
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 02:01 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 103
Most everything I've read, about derimming, says that the excess silicon you see gooped in the corners there is not necessary. All of the structure and (most importantly) the seal comes from the thin bead between the panes. I don't think it would be an issue if you carved out some of it, or thinned it down a bit. Nice job btw derimming that. Exacto knife sounds like the way to go, huh? I tried to do the same with my practice 20L and chipped a bit of the edge... then gave up. Good job... I'll keep watching your journal.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 02:20 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Near Cleveland
Posts: 66
Great job! I always wondered if this top piece of trip could come off. I'm really happy you showed it can. I can't wait to see the rest of your scaping and progress.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Location: NJ
Posts: 50
Yea, went back and scraped some of the ugly stuff out. I just know it would have bothered me later down the road. Ya, manik, the exacto knife helped a ton. It's a lot more controllable then a box cutter and more comfortable to use then a razor when initially breaking the rim away. The edge is a little chipped but the sand paper helped smooth it out quite a bit.
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 04:24 PM
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That looks nice with it derimmed

110g Tropical Community & Sakura Shrimp
55g BN Breeding Grounds, Peacock Gudgeons, Panda, Pygmies, & Smudge Spot Cories, Rili Shrimp
10g RCS and show guppies

MIAPG - Come join us - Plantedtank - MI - Greatlakesaquaria
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 04:58 PM
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Location: Downey, Ca
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I'd say you're off to a great start. Did a hell of a job getting that rim off.

I used to be indecisive but now I'm not so sure.

Mr Aqua 17g
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Location: NJ
Posts: 50
Thanks! Filled the tank up today. No leaks so far and the bow is no more then 1/10th of an inch, I think I'm in good shape so far. So, picked up a used Fluval 304/404 from a buddy of mine on the cheap.

Obviously both of them are overkill but if I used a spray bar, would you guys think the 304 is over kill? Any recommendation on lighting? This is what I've been eyeing...

Any opinions? I think lighting is my biggest obstacle. I plan on going with CO2 so I'd like a lot of light and the ability to grow pretty much anything but I'd also like to make it look good yet keeping things affordable.

anyway, as it stands... I figured I'd let it sit this way for a few days to make sure nothing springs up.
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Location: NJ
Posts: 50
I've been slacking a little on updating this but there's been a lot happening. I changed direction and decided to make this a little cleaner and a little more high tech. It's only a 20G but it's been a fun project so far.

The book shelf I was going to use as a stand turned out to be just too small to stack equipment in. I decided to plumb and set everything up behind the wall. I rent an attic apartment and have a small nook/storage space and decided to utilize that space (with the permission of the land lord, ofcourse.)

So, here it goes. I put in a massive order:
Aquatop 10watt inline sterilizer
Hagen 300watt inline heater
Used Fluval 404 (replaced gasket and impeller)
12 Liters of Amazonia Aqua soil
2 Liters of power sand
Drop Checker
Brass Check Valve
Co2 line
LED bulbs
Lily pipes from a user here on the forum

I went and picked up house water filter to build the diffuser. I'll get the parts needed a little later as I still have a little to do. Started with a Whirlpool household water filter.

Removed the filter and used a 1" to 3/4" reducer to a 1/2" CPVC.

I drilled small piccolo holes on the bottom of the CPVC pipe and placed a block of foam over it to aid in CO2 absorption and bio filtration.

I used a barb upstream to feed the CO2 into the loop (will have pics later)

Again, with permission from my land lord, I cut a hole for the Oatey Washer Outflow Box

Used washers to secure the two valves and plumbed behind the wall.

Here's the finished wall:

And here's the finished plumbing.

Here's the flow: In from tank > Co2 Diffuser > Heater > Filter > UV sterilizer > (installed a valve for easier/cleaner water changes) > Tank

Tested it earlier and proud to say no leaks. I'm curious to see what the flow will be like and that's why I went with the 404 to make sure the tank still has enough water moving through it. Anyway, let me know what you think.

As far as live stock, I was thinking 3 or 4 ottos, a few cardinal tetras and a pair or two of German Blue Rams. do you guys think a 20long will support this?


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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 09:03 PM
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That looks great, good job derimming it. And I love that box in the wall!
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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 09:54 PM
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the inwall setup is very cool.
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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 11:05 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
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Great setup. Are you a plumber?

temporary tanks for the time being...
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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Location: NJ
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Thanks, guys!

No, not a plumber but it took all of 3 days. I made sure to walk away the second it got frustrating! (and boy did it get frustrating)
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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Look what showed up today!

Spent some time laying out the driftwood and here's what I came up with. Any suggestions?

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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 04:33 PM
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looks like a good start, could be relay nice once u get the substrate down and u can play with slopes in combo with the drift wood.
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