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Old 07-21-2012, 12:35 PM   #16
VB SUP
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33 Gallon Mr. Aqua Dry Start Method - First Planted Tank


Yesterday I picked up my tank stand. The finish matches the rest of my furniture nicely. One design consideration I added and doubt I'll use are the adjustable shelves. This morning I realized something else about my stand. Holes ----- nonexistent holes. Oops, I forgot a basic feature for a cabinet that will house a canister pump and miscellaneous electrical items. It's not that big of a deal, I do own a hole saw. Drilling holes BEFORE the furniture was finished would have been so much better. That would have ensured a finished appearance and the openings would be protected from moisture by the 2 part clear coat. Guess what I have to do now before finally moving the tank off the dinning room table.

For your consideration I 2 questions that I have to action on today:
1. Where to drill, how many, and size? Based off experience what considerations are there before I hack out ports on my new $500 centerpiece.

2. Tank mat, any recommendations where to purchase a suitable material? Yoga mat has been thrown out there in a few blogs however, I'm not cutting up my $50. (Yes, I own a yoga mat.) Lowe's sells an anti-fatigue mat which may work but I'm hesitant that it's too thick. My old Neoprene wetsuits don't have enough flat surface area to do the trick either.

As always I appreciate the input,
Cheers,
Rob
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:58 PM   #17
somewhatshocked
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1. Why not open a couple different spots in the back? Maybe a 2" x 5" area near the top and the same sized area near the bottom? That way you'd always be able to fit cables and tubes and such through with ease. Would also allow for some ventilation.

2. Cheap yoga mats from Target work. Or you can get a roll of non-slip shelf liner from the hardware store and use several layers of it at probably a 10th the price.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:23 PM   #18
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Default Week 3 Update.

It's nice to finally have my tank on a stand and off the kitchen table.

Yesterday I drilled 2” holes for electrical, hoses, and ventilation. Adding furniture grommets will give it a finished appearance. Lowe's had them but they were expensive, I've found them cheeper online.
Th local Navy Exchange had a thick yoga mat for just $10. I cut it to fit, later I read not to trim it till after adding water. Another lesson to learn there maybe.
The smartest thing I did yesterday was add felt to the bottom of my cabinet. It slides easily on the floor without marking up my bamboo. Easily till I add water that is.

To Do:
Install a wall outlet behind cabinet. (I don't want to look at wires and another outlet won't look out of place should I relocate the tank in the future.
Order CO2 system parts. Popular opinin is that the Burkert 6011 in stainless steel with Buna-N seal and the LED cable plug with varistor is the way to go.

I'm getting rid of my ASA as soon as I buy a paintball tank to ¼ NPT fitting. If I can find a cheep 2.5 or 5 pound CO2 tank that's still an option.

I have a needle valve but will try to locate a better one from Ideal or Swagelok.

Order an inline bubble counter.

Tank background, I don't want to use paint so I have to figure out my options.

Long term:
Clear hose, lilly pipes, drop checker.



Lots to do while I wait. So far it doesn't seem like much growth is going on and my Moss isn't looking too good. Wait and see I guess.

Now for some pictures.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:13 PM   #19
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Nice.. Really liking this.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:17 PM   #20
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Default Arizona Nature Aquatics

While working in Tucson I found the the best “LFS”. I can't back up the best claim but it is easily far superior to what Virginia Beach has to offer. Anyone who’s been to Arizona Nature Aquatics (ANA) in Tucson can agree that it's an impressive store from the moment you enter the door. Clean and orderly like no fish store I've ever seen. Each tank is immaculate, so well maintained they each look like several individual underwater masterpieces. I intended to spread my next purchases out over 2-3 paychecks but after visiting ANA I splurged. Prices are slightly higher than online but the trade off is supporting the small business man and no S&H.

Here's what I bought:

CO2 Bubble Counter
ADA V-1 Jet Pipe
ADA Power Pipe
2.6L ADA Nile Sand
Electronic CO2 Solenoid

I'm going to pick up the ADA drop checker before I head to the airport today too.

It's all coming together slowly but I believe that it's going to be worth waiting.
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:30 PM   #21
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I'm excited to report that after leaving my tank unattended for so long that my plants are doing very well. The only preparations I made prior to leaving was adding about ½ inch of water in the bottom of the tank and putting on new saran wrap. After two weeks later the DHG is filling in nicely, the narrow leave sword isn't as impressive but that's because I disrupted it when placing my hardscape. Not much of an update, maybe later this week I'll have more time to post better pictures and info.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:54 AM   #22
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It's looking nice.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:58 AM   #23
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Default One Month Update

It's good to be back home working on my tank. Tonight I added plexiglass strips to keep the flora from creeping into unwanted areas. With luck this will keep the roots of the DHG from spreading into the nile sand which represents a stream in my aquarium. Home Depot cut the plexiglass into 2 inch strips which I bent after heating with a hair dryer. After bending them I dipped them in ice water to harden. Using a hand drill fitted with a sanding disk I was able to created a custom fit. I was able to find aquarium safe silicone at HD near the other caulks and adhesives. If you don't already know only buy 100% silicone that doesn't have mildew inhibitors. That information is only in the fine print sometimes like it is with some GE silicone 2 for windows and doors.

Have a great day and as always, I like suggestions on how to improve this build. Well that's as long as you don't recommend anything pink or neon!

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:52 AM   #24
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Very nice, Love the sand in the middle. What did you use to separate it? Did you leave it there to prevent the roots from crossing over?
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:18 AM   #25
VB SUP
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Ken

I bought the smallest, thinnest plexiglass Lowe's (maybe Home Depot) had, cut it into strips then contoured them with drill using a rotary sander attachment. They bent easily with the help of a hair dryer. The custom dividers were sealed to the bottom of the tank with because of how prolific the DHG roots became in just 2 weeks. In that short time they had already crossed from the bank on the right to the rock levy on the left.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:46 AM   #26
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Default Help wanted

I'm at the one month mark on my first real planted tank and it's a dry start too. Any ideas on other plants to add, I've maxed out my creativity. I'm sure it's going to look cool after adding some fish but does anyone else have any ideas on what else to add to give it depth and character?
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:19 AM   #27
markstr
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Does anyone know the "EXACT" outside Dimensions of this Tank ?
I'm seeing 24.8 in Width which is WHAT ?? 24 3/4 inches ??????
I have a friend selling one and he's measuring 25 1/4 inches .............
Wide here .............
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