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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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So I found a few pieces of wood today. It was relatively slim pickings but I think I did alright considering. I was hoping for one large centerpiece but today there was nothing that big, unfortunately. I had a certain type of piece in mind but I guess I might just be SOL with the type of trees that grow here. Here's the park I was exploring:





Everything was either rotting or too stick-like. Here's what I got though. I lucked into one piece of cypress knee that wasn't really attached (the big piece). Overall the wood feels pretty good, with good density, but it will likely still float and I'll have to give 'em a good scrubbing. Here's the haul, worst case scenario I can make a scape of these smaller pieces :





Going kayaking tomorrow on the Weeki Wachee, fingers crossed I can find a nice piece, maybe even waterlogged.
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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Putting off looking for more wood until next weekend but did get a jump on the plumbing. In the future I might look into drilling the tank but for now I'm gonna stick with the hang-on-back overflow box. The return was flexible tubing running through a UV sterilizer, which is not operational at the moment, so I decided to add hard-plumbing for the return.

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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 04:24 AM
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I really like the wood in the last picture it looks awesome. Where did you end up finding it? The plumbing is looking very nice and clean as well! Definitely looking forward to seeing more pictures of the progress.
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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I really like the wood in the last picture it looks awesome. Where did you end up finding it? The plumbing is looking very nice and clean as well! Definitely looking forward to seeing more pictures of the progress.
Hey man, thanks! The wood is from my hike at Flatwoods Wilderness Park out on Morris Bridge Road like you suggested. The place was pretty cool but it was mostly cypress knees. I couldn't find many pieces that were both free standing and not rotting.
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 01:35 AM
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Hey man, thanks! The wood is from my hike at Flatwoods Wilderness Park out on Morris Bridge Road like you suggested. The place was pretty cool but it was mostly cypress knees. I couldn't find many pieces that were both free standing and not rotting.
Yeah it is a super nice area but that is a bummer you didn't have the best of luck. Hope you have better luck elsewhere!
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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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My Ray II and heater have arrived! I'm very pleased with the light so far. It's extremely lightweight and very elegantly designed. I must say, I could have built something that put out plenty more light, but it wouldn't look nearly as good. For what it is, and considering it's only 29w, the light output was surprisingly impressive.





Now just waiting on the eco-complete, which should be here tomorrow. Then I can finally get some water in here.
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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 11:22 PM
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Looking forward to seeing this setup come together. Hope you get more photos up today.
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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 11:47 PM
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Return to the Hobby 40B

I am also planning a 40b with a ray II. Can't wait to see how this progresses.

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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, so today was interesting to say the least.

I came home from work to find my Eco-complete waiting, so I got busy getting the tank filled. I used 4 bags of Eco-complete and 2 whole bags of Miracle Gro. I definitely could have gotten away with just 3 bags of the eco-complete. This is where I got into trouble.

The problem is I had initially put the 4th bag aside, thinking I'd save it for another project. The brilliant idea then hit me to dump some of it into my sump so I could grow some stems in there. Though it seems really obvious in retrospect, this wreaked havoc on the utility pump. It repeatedly got clogged with the tiny rocks that kicked up.

Once I kind-of sorted that out, my next headache came once the tank was filled with water. I unplugged the pump for a minute so I could get the siphon started without worrying about the tank overflowing. I completely forgot that I was supposed to drill a new air-hole in the return line. I left the room for a second to get a part and I come back to the sump overflowing. Wasn't as bad as it could've been, but it still made a mess.

It was definitely a frustrating day, and to think I thought stupid rookie mistakes were behind me. Anyways, all the hardware stuff is nearly sorted but not quite. Still on my list to do:

1. Raise overflow weir slightly. It's already as high as it can go, so I'll need to lengthen the notch.
2. Add a standpipe to the overflow box. It's really noisy right now as it is constantly belching air. I'll have to unplug everything at night for the time being so I can sleep.
3. Pump is running a bit loud still, so I need to take it apart and get all the debris out.
4. I think I'd like to add an airstone to the sump just below the bio-balls. This is one of the many reasons I like the idea of a sump, you can keep most of the ugly stuff out of sight. The airstone is to improve dissolved O2 levels and hopefully boost bacteria growth.


So far I'm pleased with the amount of circulation I can get with just the sump. The water's really moving well in the display and I have a feeling the pump is still not at 100% because of debris. If needed I have a very good power head and a 160gph canister standing by. Water is still very cloudy, some organic stuff got stirred up, and the miracle gro layer is belching a lot still.

Despite the problems, I feel pretty good about it overall. Still undecided on how I'm going to cycle, might just throw some endlers in there this weekend.



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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 05:21 AM
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Glad to see ya got water in the 40B!

Don't worry about the mistakes! Everyone makes them, but be glad you were there to keep the flooding to a minimum!!! A little water will flood a LONG WAY!!!! Don't Ask!!! Really clean out the pump!!! Sand or small rock in the impeller chamber can cut into the plastic and cause serious problems!!! Also I usually get some sponge, filter floss, or something soft to put under the main pump to keep the vibration noise from transferring to the cabinet! This will quiet things down allot!

Also the sumps I used to run had a hole drilled pretty close to the bottom of the stack of Bio-Balls on the "pump side" of sump. Then a piece of rigid air tubing was stuck into the bio-ball chamber as close as ya can to the middle of the balls. Then hook up a air pump, it doesn't have to be a big one, to the rigid airline! That's it! It made a very noticeable difference in the speed the bacteria grew to cycle the tank vs. without the extra air!

Anyhoo looking forward to seeing it progress!!!
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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BoxxerBoyDrew View Post
Glad to see ya got water in the 40B!

Don't worry about the mistakes! Everyone makes them, but be glad you were there to keep the flooding to a minimum!!! A little water will flood a LONG WAY!!!! Don't Ask!!! Really clean out the pump!!! Sand or small rock in the impeller chamber can cut into the plastic and cause serious problems!!! Also I usually get some sponge, filter floss, or something soft to put under the main pump to keep the vibration noise from transferring to the cabinet! This will quiet things down allot!

Also the sumps I used to run had a hole drilled pretty close to the bottom of the stack of Bio-Balls on the "pump side" of sump. Then a piece of rigid air tubing was stuck into the bio-ball chamber as close as ya can to the middle of the balls. Then hook up a air pump, it doesn't have to be a big one, to the rigid airline! That's it! It made a very noticeable difference in the speed the bacteria grew to cycle the tank vs. without the extra air!

Anyhoo looking forward to seeing it progress!!!
Drew
Thanks Drew, those are some great tips!
The one thing I'm really kicking myself over is the hard plumbing for the return. It makes getting the pump out of there a huge PITA.
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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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More good news/bad news unfortunately. I cut the pump out and added an un-welded pvc coupler so it'll be much easier to get at the pump in the future. I also built and added a standpipe to the overflow box, which works like a dream. The drain is completely silent now.



Bad news is that the pump, which wasn't all that quiet to begin with, is now super noisy, even after cleaning it out. It also doesn't start up immediately when I plug it in, you kind of have to knock it against the side to get it going. Sooooo... looks like I'm getting a new pump. I'll probably still come out ahead dollar-wise compared to buying a canister, but this is a pain in the butt.
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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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So I finally got the plumbing and everything to the point where I feel comfortable leaving the house or going to sleep without worrying about everything flooding. New pump works great and is much quieter than the old one. I even had to turn the flow down a little bit so that my standpipe will still work properly.


In other news, I think I finally found the wood I'm going to use! It's a pair of cypress knees that I found on a hike today. They are pretty good sized but looking at my tank now, they might need adjustment to fit height-wise. They are relatively slender so I still might use a piece of the wood I collected earlier to fill things out.

It's coming together!

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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, it's been a while without updates, mostly because not much has gotten done. I finally put the wood in the tank this weekend and got it sinking. I still have to bury it in the soil without kicking up too much Miracle Gro.

The morning after adding the wood I was greeted by lots and lots of nematodes. Is this something I should be worried about? I haven't changed the water at all since adding it and I'm sure a lot of organics have made their way to the water column from the substrate, so I suspect this is the culprit.
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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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So, the tops of the wood pieces stick up above the waterline a little bit, even after being buried. I'm still undecided about whether I want to bother changing this or not. I'm leaning towards not because it is a messy process that kicks up a ton of organic debris. My once pristine cap is now covered with detritus from the miracle gro.
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