This is a pic of the crack in one of the top braces. The guy I got the tank from said it was completely broken for years (he had discus it all that time) but he "fixed" it with Gorilla Glue before I picked it up (that's his fix in the pic) - which didn't hold at all. I tried two part epoxy and clamping it, but that would not hold either - didn't last two days. Sam (the guy I got the tank from) said the bowing never got worse than a 1/2", which is exactly how much it bowed on me, but it scared me nonetheless and now I have a steel clamp going across the top replacing the brace. I want to price getting a ss rim made by a local company that works in metal forming, sheet metal, etc.
This is the only defect in the tank, so I'm still really happy with it considering the nearly free cost of the whole package.
The lighting I'm using is working out very well for me - it's a 48" shop light from Home Depot. It is a diamond plate fixture with a semi-molded reflector that bounces a surprising amount of light into the tank. Hoppy did a PAR chart for this fixture, and with approx. 22" from light to substrate, I have medium to medium/high light. I was worried that 48" would be too short, but elevating the light 7" or so casts a nice low-light over the whole tank and takes the PAR down a bit. I want this to be a low light, low tech tank - no added Co2, and a dim tank makes the tetras I have show up so much better. I think my next tank might be an all-out blackwater tank, I like the look so much.
the light from underneath;
and turned on to see how it might look (without water which cuts down on PAR)
I'm not much into stem plants because of the general light requirements and that fact that my tetras love to eat them, so my plant choices lends to low light too. I have anubias, crypts, bolbitis, various java fern, crinum, pennywort, one lonely hygro, and aponogeton in the tank so far. I still have a long way to go with plants - I would like to add 50% more at least - but it's a start!
next time; the Hamburg Mattenfilter!