'Stumptown' 90cm ADA (Updates page 5 8-24-07) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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'Stumptown' 90cm ADA (Updates page 5 8-24-07)

Let me preface this thread by saying this is my first fully planted tank set up from scratch, and boy is it a lot of work! In the past I’ve done quite a few South American Cichlid tanks that have progressed towards more heavily planted tanks, and now I want to try my hand at a dedicated aquatic garden.

The first step of the project was to assemble all the necessary hardware:
• 90cm x 45cm x 45cm ADA cube garden aquarium
• Eheim 2224 canister filter
• Cal Aqua Labs glass lily pipes
• Hydor 200w in-line heater
• 150w HQI 10,000k Aquamedic Metal Halide pendant (e-ballast)
• 10lb Co2 tank w/smiths regulator & needle valve
• Rinox 5000 Co2 diffuser
• 4x 9-liter bags of Aquasoil Amazonia
• Driftwood collected from ponds in Eastern Minnesota
• Plants scavenged from previous tanks

I built a stand for this tank using 1” 9-ply birch I reclaimed from some old laboratory cabinets. The stand required a lot of work and many hours of sanding, priming and painting to get an acceptable finish. In the end though I’m happy with my efforts, and the stand is exactly as I need it to be. Here is a shot of the base before assembly to give you an idea of how the wood was joined:

I used automotive body filler (bondo) to smooth the joints between the panels, and to fill any imperfections in the wood. Then I primed the entire stand with 3 coats of KILZ 2 primer/sealer, followed by heavy sanding:

3 coats of Duplicolor medium grey automotive paint and 2 coats of clear later and the finish is passable. At this point I fabricated the lighting stand using L-angle aluminum bar – it required quite some finesse to produce flush joints all around. The stand is designed is such a way that it will appear almost as solid box section tubing when viewing the tank:

After the tank stand dried I mounted the Co2 tank:
And power strip/lighting ballast:

Then called it a night. The planting would have to wait for Sunday.

Last edited by SPL-311; 08-24-2007 at 05:11 PM.
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post #2 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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After moving all the equipment into place in my apartment, I spent a good amount of time with a level and a pack of shims compensating for the slanted floors in my living room. Next I mocked up a hardscape arrangement:

And when I was happy there laid down the Aquasoil and made the final adjustments to my driftwood:

At this point a little entertainment was necessary:
And I began the planting process. After marking out the approximate planting lines with BBQ skewers:
I finally started planting out the Glosso, but took quit some time. The dwarf sag and chain sword went more quickly:

Followed by the stem plants in the background. Sorry I don’t have many pictures of the planting process, but my hands were full! Anyhow, here is the final product on the first night of run in. The water is still a bit cloudy, but it should be crystal clear in a week or two.

Thanks for looking, any suggestions, constructive criticism or comments are most welcome.
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post #3 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006, 06:15 PM
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Nice start dude. It's certainly an interesting lay out. Looking forward to its development.

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post #4 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006, 06:25 PM
Are these real?
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Awesome, thanks for sharing the construction details. Tank came out lovely. Are you leaving the stand open?

I am always a little concerned with these open topped tanks... with kids around, this is kinda risky. Daddy - shrimpies looked hungry, I gave them some spaghetti... But it looks beautiful for sure.

Looking forward to some new pics once things have settled in a little.
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post #5 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006, 06:29 PM
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Most excellent work! The stand came out beautifully. I really like the idea of using Bondo to smooth out the joints. I'll have to remember that one. Can't wait to see it fill in!

90gal non-planted - gone - It sprung a leak and shattered
10gal planted hex - 6 neons, lots of RCS, a few CRS, 3 Ottos, oogles of snails
3gal nano - 100+ CRS, Red Ramshorn Snails

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post #6 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006, 06:31 PM
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Sad thing was I was more interested in the Technics & record after I saw that pic ..

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post #7 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006, 06:32 PM
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i really like your driftwood arrangement and your planning.

nice stand as well--youve put some nice work into this new gem

im looking forward to progress as well. thanks for the post--even more inspiration for the future!!


Eheim Pimpin 225

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post #8 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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OH! I forgot to mention the doors for the stand. They're still down in my garage, waiting for paint. I wanted to get the tank planted out this weekend while I had some spare time - the doors will go on later this week.

Originally Posted by hOAGART View Post
Sad thing was I was more interested in the Technics & record after I saw that pic ..
hehehe, the turntable is new to me too. It's the SL-1350 (only made '75-'76) changer. Super convienent for me, you can stack up to 6 records and it will drop and play them consecutively. great fun.
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post #9 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006, 06:56 PM
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Very clean, nice looking setup. Can't wait to see pictures when it matures. The tank is 3 feet, so is it a 50g? Looks nice. Did you get it from aqua forest by chance? Nice hardscape w/ the wood. I might even have added more. Keep us updated on the progress!

90g journal: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ph...rnal-pics.html
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SAPS member - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sacaquaticplant/
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post #10 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006, 07:38 PM
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Love your woods it looks like a tree in a jungle
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post #11 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-05-2006, 07:45 PM
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post #12 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-06-2006, 01:51 AM
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did you have to anchor or soak that wood before you used it that way? im really wanting to do that but affarid of having to soak some big ol logs.

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post #13 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-06-2006, 01:59 AM
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Really nice DIY job....I am cracking up at WP and spaghetti in the tank....lol
Anyway, It will be interesting to see it grow in. It certainly is beautiful.

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not-so-newby anymore?
90 gal acrylic, Coralife Aquapro 150x2 Metal Halides, 55x2 50/50 PC, 3 lunars, Hydor inline, 9w TurboTwist UV, Pressurized CO2, Rhinox 5000 glass co2 diffusor, Rex Grigg CO2 all-in-one, Milwaukee pH controller, 2 Eheim Pro II 2026's, Filstar XP3 backup, lilies, Eco Complete, Greg Watson dry ferts, EI mod
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post #14 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-06-2006, 03:24 AM
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gorgeous tank! and the the driftwood looks awesome

Chicago Aquatic Gardeners Association

Greater Chicago Cichlids Association
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post #15 of 74 (permalink) Old 12-06-2006, 05:36 AM
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Wow, your equipment choice is awesome, not to mention a great layout! I love the drift wood and your plant choice!

Anything beneath the Aquasoil? Use any powersand?

50 Gallon - Aquasoil Amazonian, Powersand Special, 130 W 10,000k CF, ADA Fert's, Pressurized C02.
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