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Old 01-18-2013, 03:24 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tampa, FL
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Default Return to the Hobby 40B

Hey everybody, I've been keeping planted tanks for the past few years with decent success. Sadly I had to ditch my tanks when I relocated down to Florida after graduating in August. However, I have not been sitting on my hands all this time; I decided to try my hand at a dart frog vivarium. Here's a look:

Now that I've almost got that project to the point where I want it, I've decided to break back into planted aquaria. The viv really reminded me how much I love putting tanks together. Anyways, now that I've got my own place and a regular paycheck I want to do this aquarium right. Tanks I've had in the past looked okay, but they were essentially just boxes of plants with not much attention paid to planning or layout. Here are the three tanks I had in my college apartment:

The 55g became so overgrown that there was not much room for my angels. Poor guys:

So, now that I have a better idea of what I'm doing, I'd like to get started on a 40 gallon breeder. Add me to the growing list of dollar-per-gallon people. This tank will be in my bedroom so I'm looking for beauty in addition to functionality. Now, ordinarily I'm a huge fan of DIY and I like to think I'm pretty handy but IMO the vast majority of DIY projects don't look very good, no offense to anybody out there. So, where I would normally build my own stand and put together an LED setup, here I have opted for more aesthetic alternatives.

Here are the plans I have loosely hammered out thus far:
I don't plan to have a canopy, so I want to have a glass top and a nice, elegant lighting fixture. I'm a true believer in LEDs and I'm leaning heavily towards the Finnex Ray II.
My filtration will be primarily from a sump that I already have. Additional filtration may come from a canister filter that I also already have should it be necessary.
I'd like to use Eco-complete, at least as a cap. I don't know if I'll use a base yet.
I'm aiming for a medium-maintenance, medium light tank with some ferts, not quite as rigorous as EI, and no CO2.
Driftwood centerpiece, not yet acquired.
My tentative plan for livestock is for a good-sized school of congo tetras.

Now, onto what I've got done so far. I'm the proud owner of a tv-stand turned aquarium stand. This thing is awesome. Not only does it perfectly fit the 40B, but the center shelf area perfectly fits my sump, what are the odds? I think I'll close off the main-shelf with a little black curtain. Also, I've blacked out the back of the tank w/ contact paper left over from the viv.

I'm really excited for this project because I feel like I know what I want and I actually know what I'm doing for the most part.

Thanks for looking and I hope you follow along as this project comes together. I think it will start falling into place pretty quick!
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