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wkndracer 03-21-2011 01:06 AM

Stainless 2 story (56K warning)
 
Could not find a stand tall enough to allow access to the lower box while having the lights mounted above the tank,,, so I built one. DIY thread.
Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix. Dirt tank thread (hi Sara :tongue:).
T5HO hydroponics light, Lowes shop lights and alternative filtration. Basically assembled a variety of alternative products and gathered 'gook' for yet more water weed boxes. So a Poor Man's Alternative post all rolled in one.

The stand.

1 1/8" 316L stainless square tubing, nuts, bolts, tubing and a few fittings. Tools and a tig torch.

Not trusting the tape and square I had to see the fit before I continued with the finish. Thin wall stainless pulls like you wouldn't believe during the weld process.

http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...DSC06371-1.jpg

http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...DSC06368-1.jpg

The cross strut allows hook points for the lower light fixtures.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06380.jpg

The upper tank lighting is suspended off two pieces of 1/2" heavy wall (high pressure) tubing bent to 90 on a bender. The hooks are formed out of 1/8" 316L bare weld (tig) wire. The tubing is trimmed with ss caps tacked on the ends.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06506.jpg

Adjustable leveling feet = 3/4x1" NF16TPI :icon_mrgr
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSC06373.jpg

Drilled the threads out of 1/2" nuts to create the swivel rings. The lower set has a washer welded on the bottom creating the base cup. (swivels nicely :icon_mrgr hehe)
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSC06376.jpg

That's the primary components of the new stand.
Total shop time was 6hrs. cutting it up and 'gluing' things together after drawing it up and gathering material.

gotta go as supper is on the table

wkndracer 03-21-2011 02:19 AM

Finishing up involved deciding how I wanted the stainless to look. Mainly how much elbow and time to be invested.
A brushed finish using flapper wheels (imo) is the easiest option. Also that allowed sanding of the tubing to remove the grade markings and dressing of the welds as needed. Polished is a lot of work and water marks end up being a PITA. Bike and boat projects have caused me to drift away from highly polished finishes due to the maintenance and total hours involved. Our kitchen appliances are all brushed stainless and my wife liked that option too. Good to go brushed :proud:
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06596.jpg

http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06501.jpg

http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06498.jpg

http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSC06509.jpg

http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...s/DSC06508.jpg

Lighting was originally all going to be cheap and locally aquired. With the strut hangers for the lower tank being 10" above the rim on a standard 55g 2 - 2x40T12 shop fixtures are used with GE plant and aquarium bulbs.
(I'll see how this works out)
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06526.jpg

The upper was originally 2x32T8 until I read a thread on cheap T5HO hydroponic fixtures. Reviewing the thread 48T5HO single bulb alum reflector units (included 65K bulb) were $49 shipped so change #1 to da plan.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06601.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06602.jpg
The fixture is designed to be daisy chained so that too was a cool feature.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06603.jpg

Designing a stand without a cabinet for the first time all the hardware is exposed. I also stayed low on the first tank for stability sake. At 3" above ground on short legs for access to the top tank without needing a ladder LOL and keeping it somewhat stable a power strip and light timer won't even fit under the lower tank.

I needed a mount for the minimal hardware.
More stainless.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06592.jpg

And the power strip has to be attached.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06593.jpg

This was absolutely no fun at all.
1/8" plate and #6 screws = a tooth pick of a tiny tap and stainless is a PITA to drill and tap anyway. To get thread engagement on the 1/8" plate fine thread (NF) compounds the issues.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06608.jpg

Took two taps as I broke the first one taping two holes UGH! but got it done.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06595.jpg

More brush work and on to the tanks.
Total time on the stand ended up being about a 1 1/2 days.

http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...DSC06599-1.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06600.jpg

wkndracer 03-21-2011 02:28 AM

The tanks.
Petco $1/g sale 55g tanks :smile:.
With the stand going in the living room with the 75g set I decided to match the backgrounds at least.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06512.jpg

Mirror backed the tanks. The clear RTV goes parallel on the back of the tank sealant.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06393.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06397.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06394.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06396.jpg

Nothing broken this time :icon_cool
On the 75g tanks I had the glass cut too close to size and popped one on the frame work.
Leaving an 1/8" gap along the bottom gave me breathing room on the frame and is hidden by the substrate.

The upper tank is 4 bags of Eco-Complete and 107 root tabs starting out. (1 every 3" approx.) SSTop.

The lower tank SSDirt is a modified dirt tank (hi Sara)
It deserves it's own post because how it filled is change #2 to da plan.

wkndracer 03-21-2011 02:47 AM

Sand and mineralization of the soil were originally planned for one of these tanks but that didn't work. Natural color sand (brown or tan) could not be found. Pool filter sand is TOO white, have it in a little tank and don't like it.

Hum,,,,, sandy yard hum,,,, shallow soil cap,,,
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06472.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06471.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06480.jpg

My boy had a blast with this.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06485.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06486.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06493.jpg

I'm sure you can guess where this is going,,

He had to do it and I had to let him.

http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06488.jpg

Water tests found the grain size too small and it packed really tight when wet (too bad so sad)

http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06548.jpg

http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06571.jpg

Any hoot I referenced mineralization of the dirt.
First cheap bag, had cow poo.
Second bag, had chicken poo.
The third bag when laid out on the plastic the red ants invaded over and over again.
Tried another attempt.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06466.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06469.jpg

Surrendered when the ants invaded yet again repeatedly and returned to the Walstad method with additives.

The tanks had a pad installed before placing them in the stand.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06516.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06517.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06521.jpg

Egg crate worked really well eliminating soil creep along the glass 2yrs. ago so it was used again.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06531.jpg

5 layers, angle cut so a point faces the glass.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06536.jpg

Muriate of potash.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06546.jpg

Followed by an unmixed layer of red clay (solid color dusting) topped with about 1/2" of my 'too bad so sad sand'
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06552.jpg

The edge was filled with Flourite original.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06555.jpg

Followed by 1.5" of the dirt and another light dusting of unmixed clay.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06565.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06568.jpg

1/2" layer of play sand and Flourite original cap.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06573.jpg

Total substrate depth 3".
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06576.jpg

The mess cleaned up and the nights project completed with flooding of the unplanted tank on 3/16/2011.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06578.jpg

So rather than MTS I have another Walstad style dirt tank and this was my how to post for Sara haha. In two or three years we'll see how it holds up.

wkndracer 03-21-2011 03:22 AM

Final touches made this weekend.
 
Mounted the light timer.
1/8" 316L bare wire again was used, formed into a hook.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06665.jpg

It hangs off the swivel ring.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06666.jpg

Plug mount, timer and cord routing.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06667.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06672.jpg

Both tanks are planted and with a seeded sponge in the top tank 7 small angels went swimming last night.
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06618.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06669.jpg
http://i951.photobucket.com/albums/a...d/DSC06674.jpg

I'm happy :biggrin:

JamesHockey 03-21-2011 04:36 AM

What filtration you get?


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hydrophyte 03-21-2011 07:08 AM

Wow this is amazing DIY. Your welding job is awesome. I saw that same hydroponics light just the other day in a shop and it's a great value.

sewingalot 03-21-2011 07:25 AM

Okay, after three times of reading this journal and seeing you say hi so many times, I had to stop in to say: "You caught me and I can't keep quiet any longer!!! I ♥ the whole project!" From the 75s, to the welded stand to the 55s to the dirt to your kid in the hole.....AND pictures I can see (hint, nonc who has probably been lurking, too) :biggrin: Between you guys, I am finally convinced on this dirt tank ordeal.

Oh, and after seeing the pictures on the wall, I see you live up to the name wnkdracer. ;)

wkndracer 03-21-2011 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JamesHockey (Post 1332038)
What filtration you get?

A single power head. Marineland Maxi-Jet 400 equipped with a sponge kit for several reasons.

I did this on my first soil tank with a DIY spraybar and had up to 50 baby angels at one time in the tank without bio issues. I think once established planted tanks contain enough bacteria to convert waste without additional media as long as the water circulates. For the cost in time to DIY the intake that was a waste the first time. The kits work out great.

Mounted high in the tank air can be allowed in without a second pump for the purpose and this little PH uses only 5w so it's cheap to run. Water clarity on my under cabinet tank never seemed to be a problem. With this one at eye level in the living room time will tell if it works long term here too.


Quote:

Originally Posted by hydrophyte (Post 1332185)
Wow this is amazing DIY. Your welding job is awesome. I saw that same hydroponics light just the other day in a shop and it's a great value.

Thanks for the comment on the project :smile:. It was actually quicker /easier than the oak cabinets and entertainment center but did indeed turn out tight and nice (imo) to look at. Those light fixtures aren't as fit and finish fancy as the higher end tank light systems but the price is great and light quality delivered to the tank by the reflector was a huge jump over the 2x32T8 with 65K bulbs. (cheaper to run too :icon_mrgr)

haha enough trouble for a Monday morning coffee break

Quote:

Originally Posted by sewingalot (Post 1332200)
Okay, after three times of reading this journal and seeing you say hi so many times, I had to stop in to say: "You caught me and I can't keep quiet any longer!!! I ♥ the whole project!" From the 75s, to the welded stand to the 55s to the dirt to your kid in the hole.....AND pictures I can see (hint, nonc who has probably been lurking, too) :biggrin: Between you guys, I am finally convinced on this dirt tank ordeal.

Oh, and after seeing the pictures on the wall, I see you live up to the name wnkdracer. ;)

:icon_mrgr:icon_mrgr:icon_mrgr Reading it three times if you missed anything just ask LOL. (or read it again hehe)
Posting a bunch of pictures make journal threads cool as much as the conversation and information I think. Glad they are big enough for ya to see too.

"dirt tank ordeal"???? dirt is easy ;) (we keep trying to tell ya)

Not planted tank related, but it does envolve getting wet and going fast.
Living up to the name wkndracer. (This was a DIY project too :proud:)
http://www.plantedtank.net/imagehost...ad/tb_2503.jpg
Me in my favorite fish catcher. Top recorded speed 103mph.

I read were to you promised nonc a hair pic so here is one of those for ya too. :eek:
http://www.plantedtank.net/imagehost...ad/tb_2505.jpg

where did the one for nonc get posted????

Shawnts106 03-21-2011 03:20 PM

Quote:

Basically assembled a variety of alternative products and gathered 'gook' for yet more water weed boxes.
Love this! haha

night9eyes 03-21-2011 04:02 PM

Fantastic job! I enjoy following and reading your posts. . you are definitely THE "wkndracer!" (and I thought me and my hubby were "weekend warriors" So welding, woodworking. . anything you don't do? :)

Gatekeeper 03-21-2011 04:40 PM

Subscribed! Awesome write up and should be really fun to watch develop.

wkndracer 03-21-2011 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by night9eyes (Post 1332332)
Fantastic job! I enjoy following and reading your posts. . you are definitely THE "wkndracer!" (and I thought me and my hubby were "weekend warriors" So welding, woodworking. . anything you don't do? :)

You forgot project design, fiberglass, gelcoat, plumbing, electrical wiring and mechanical modification
(forgot the boat build) http://www.angelfish.net/VBulletin/i...led[1].gif

Thanks, haha I'm good with my hands and my mouth gets me in trouble http://www.angelfish.net/VBulletin/i...ilies/rofl.gif
My hobbies follow my nature, I like speed along with creating things.

Seeing as how I'm a man and not a women the only way I can create something is using my hands
(that's a perfect example of both http://www.angelfish.net/VBulletin/i...ush[1].gif)

Jack of all trades and master of none comes to mind LOL

I have very little patience and participating in the forums is my effort at being politically correct. :smile:
(just blew that one and glad my wife doesn't post here hahaha)

night9eyes 03-21-2011 07:34 PM

You DO stay busy! In my estimation, "jack of all trades" have the advantage. . .they don't have to hire someone to do the work for them :icon_mrgr (like we just did to have a stand and canopy built for my 90 gallon)

So, planning to keep more angels in the new tank?

Granny 03-21-2011 07:54 PM

I think you're having way too much fun. Great job. Looks great!


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