Hi everyone! I've been reading this site religiously in preparation for my planted tank build. So, first of all, thank you for all the helpful advice you've already given me unknowingly, and of course for any of your tips and comments in this thread.
I used to have a 75g reef tank that crashed. (I blame my foolhardy attempt at keeping a clam
). I was living in an apartment and unemployed at the time, so I never worked up the courage to get it back up and running.
But now that I've bought a house and have the perfect spot in my living room, I'd like to get the old girl running as a planted tank.
Before I get into my progress so far, I'll give you an idea of the direction I'm leaning towards. I plan to use the tank, stand, and light fixture I already have. 75 gallon with overflow and a 48" nova extreme pro light fixture (T5HO). I'd like to keep it low tech for now, as I'm wary of getting into anything like the complexities of the reef tank. This means no CO2, and only running two bulbs on the 6 bulb light fixture. From what I've read, a 6700k and a 10000k. I also plan on suspending the lights over the tank so the height can be adjusted if necessary.
For substrate, I'm going to do MGOCPM with Black Diamond blasting sand cap. 1.5" of each
For a filter, I have an XP4 FILSTAR arriving on Friday, as well as two "Large" pieces of driftwood from Foster & Smith. No idea what they look like, so fingers crossed.
For plants, I like the idea of:
For fish, neons/cardinals are a must, and I'd love some other tight schooling fish. Some mix of:
But now's the time to make suggestions, so if you have any favorites, I'd love to hear about them
Now onto the pictures so far. The silicone on the tank wasn't looking great. I thought about doing a leak test, but knew that if the remaining silicone was enough to hold it, I'd convince myself it was good enough. So I skipped the initial leak test and decided to go ahead and remove all the original silicone. The tank originally had an overflow, which I'm not planning to use (was never able to get it to run quietly) so that was already removed by the time I started taking pictures.
Stripping this out took a few hours. Not fun
All taped up and ready to be sealed!
Sealed with RTV103 ordered from Amazon. I let this cure for 5 days in the garage. It's summer in NC, so hopefully the heat and humidty helped that along. A word of warning.. This stuff sets VERY quickly, and even with my girlfriend's help it peeled away a little when we removed the tape.
The moment of truth! I'm not planning to use the holes, so bought new bulkheads and plugged them eith pvc plugs and great white pipe dope. I did fill it all the way up and let it sit for 24 hours.
I also decided to paint the back black while it was in the garage. Hoping it looks good with the black tank, stand, and substrate
I plan on adding the substrate and doing a fishless cycle with storebought ammonia once I have the filter. Plants may follow after a week or so if everything looks good.
Thanks for reading!