I have a few questions.
1. Is this gonna be a planted tank?
2. If it's gonna be planted is it going to be high light&CO2?
3. What brand silicone did you use to seal the front glass?
My reason for asking is I am about ready to put my glass in my ply-glass tank and Im thinking of using the tank to breed fish and grow out plants. Im debating on a large sump with a built in hamburger matten filter or a large homeade canister filter.
I just wanted to pick your brain a little about what kind of lighting can penetrate the 24" deep water and still grow the hight light plants. Like you im on a budget and I really dont want metal halide lighting. Im thinking diy T5HO and see how cheap I can get all the parts to light a large tank.
Sorry about asking all these questions im not trying to hijack your thread. I just thougth you might be pondering some of these same questions and I know you have more experience growing plants than me. Im dying to find out what your gonna come up with.
All good questions, without feedback this thread would be extremely boring. With regards to silicone, please see the previous post.
Here is what I am planning to do with the tank. Currently I have a 100gal tank that I would like to replace with a larger plywood/starphire etc homebuilt tank one day. This garage tank project serves to give me some experience and hopefully confidence to tackle a larger project. When the day comes, whatever plants and fish and substrate that are currently in the 100gal tank need to move somewhere, and that will be most likely this garage tank. Also, I have a 10gal tank that I want to take down and basically move its contents to this new tank.
The new garage tank will be medium light, with pressurized CO2 and fertilizers. I haven't really finalized my lighting plans, but I will probably build my usual slim canopies with 4 T5HO 54W bulbs. Instead of expensive reflectors, I will paint the canopy white. It will be covered from the bottom with a removable sheet of acrylic. There will be fans to keep the temperature in the canopy down.
I will buy cheap endcaps from Reefgeek, and use two 128W Advance ballasts (one each to drive two bulbs) from Home Depot. Overall, this is probably as inexpensive as it gets. So, less than 2W/gal, but medium light level since this is a comparatively large tank. If you want to go high light, you can probably add more bulbs, or overdrive them using (expensive) Icecap ballasts.
No experience when it comes to sumps, so I can't comment on that. Planning to use big sponges to filter this tank, I will go into more detail soon.
Next steps are to assemble the tank, finish epoxy, paint the remaining wood surfaces with some water repelling spar polyurethane varnish, get the plumbing started, and place the tank on its concrete base. I was planning to get all this done this year, but the little things always take more time than expected, so this tank might not see any water until next year.