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Old 05-01-2013, 02:31 AM   #31
James M
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Have fun
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:48 AM   #32
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If you are making a dirted tank make sure that you aren't going to make many changes to the aquascape. I used to only do dirted tanks and while they do great in growing plants, any time I wanted to move plants around it created a serious and annoying mess.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:50 PM   #33
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Thanks - I am probably not going to go dirted the more I look, as I do tend to move things around a lot (especially in my first large tank I'm sure I'll be rearranging)

I'm actually thinking about just straight up blasting sand:
http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/...=&cm_vc=-10005

As I already dose EI, just toss some root tabs in for those plants that need them ...

I was a bit worried about a Deep Sand Bed as I really wanted to do like 6+ inches in the back to get the depth from a sloping substrate (see my other thread)
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh....php?p=3263762

Last edited by majorwoo; 05-01-2013 at 02:50 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:51 PM   #34
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Reinforced the wall today.

Original wall & ceiling



Reinforced wall & ceiling



We added 6 additional studs, and cross braced everything under the tank, along with doubling all the joists under the tank. According to the builder, complete overkill - as this was already an outside/corner load bearing wall - in fact, he repeatedly laughed at the extent of the overkill while assisting me do it
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:31 PM   #35
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Got her up and running yesterday. Still a lot of work to do.

I ended up only hooking up one XP4, the flow seems fine and as the wife enjoys the "jungle" look anyway. I believe as was suggested earlier the second one would of been wasted current.

Fish seem very happy, my loaches are incredibly active, it seems like they are reestablishing their pecking order in the new tank.



Please excuse the mess, so many things need cleaned up - I have cords everywhere, suction cups that are not holding things right, plastic that isn't fitting - ahh the joys.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:43 PM   #36
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As you can probably tell, I ended up going with pool filter sand. I really liked the black blasting powder from Tractor Supply but after stabbing myself on a piece of it, I just felt bad doing that to my loaches. Once it grows in you can hardly see the substrate anyway. I thought about a dirt/sand cap a lot - but in the end the amount of people saying they had trouble with replanting scared me off. I know I will be rescaping a lot as this is my first really big tank where I can afford to try things I wasn't able too before.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:07 AM   #37
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Decided to throw the second XP4 on as I wasn't happy with the amount of water movement on the far end of the tank - I need to look into it more carefully tomorrow, it may just be that the first one needs cleaned, as it was plugged in for most of my initial planting.

I will say this, a single XP4 is >>>>>> louder then my Eheim 2217. In complete fairness, I haven't enclosed the bottom cabinet yet, but I suspect that won't be enough to make up for it.


http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/yo...o=view&id=8730
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:01 PM   #38
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Hi there - whats the lighting you have on the tank? Im in the process of tearing down my reef tank and going planted and its a similar size to your tank (30" front to back, 28" water depth, 7 foot long) so im following your thread with a lot of interest! In the photo it looks like DIY lighting? Are they MH or some kind?
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:10 AM   #39
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Yeah, the lighting is DIY. Specifically, I used 5.5" clamp on's from Home Depot.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bayco-75-...3#.UZA62LV-p8E
And I use the 6500k CFL's from Lowes (home depot doesn't carry them here)
http://www.lowes.com/pd_302424-3-269...cfl&facetInfo=

If you wanted to go with the 100 watt CFL's (http://www.lowes.com/pd_302257-3-269...cfl&facetInfo=) you may want to get the larger light housing (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bayco-150...1#.UZA62bV-p8E) as the 100 watt's wont fit in the 5.5's. If I was buying it myself I would do that this time around, but I don't know if I'll need the 100 watt CFL's (they are slightly larger).

The bulbs themselves work great, I used them on my other tank:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...066&highlight=
when I actually converted the T8 hood to be a 4x CFL, but since I had to build my own canopy this time I decided I would just use the hoods as a vertical mounted CFL gives a lot more light then a horizontally mounted one according to some research by the guys here (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...t=85667&page=2 check out post #21 by i4x4nMore and some more work by Hoppy here http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368)

I spent some time on my canopy this morning while the girls slept in, and I've got it to a pretty decent state. The original lights on top of the tank:


So I built a frame out of 1"x2" pine to keep it light.


I then boxed in the frame with 5mil plywood project panels from Lowes. I painted the outside black to match the stand:


And the inside I painted white with Killz for a little reflective properties, and to help with mold/mildew as I've read it's decent at that. I built the front panel on a hinge to give me easy access. I did make a mistake on the hinge placement, so that the panel won't lay flat on top of the tank when opened completely - I will have to score off a sliver along the top edge as the front panel when it folds up will hit the top panel - once I score that off it should allow it to swing all the way to rest on the top.


I still need to consider if I'll add any trim around the edges (corner molding perhaps) - and I want to add some magnetic cabinet hardware to keep the panel tucked in tight when it's closed.

As the original stand was just a 2x4 skeleton, I took a piece of the plywood and made a panel for the bottom as well.


The knobs unscrew to allow the entire panel to be removed to access filters and storage.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:18 AM   #40
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Today's project - moonlighting. Just a 16' rope LED mounted to a piece of scrap wood. I may change it out, as I wanted a bit more of the streaking look as opposed to the blue glow I have now.

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Old 05-24-2013, 03:53 AM   #41
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Picked up a piece of Mopani wood. If it works the way I want, it will stand in the back of the tank nearly 22" tall. I'm really excited. Soaking it in the tub with some dechlorinator.

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Old 05-24-2013, 02:08 PM   #42
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Quote:
I will say this, a single XP4 is >>>>>> louder then my Eheim 2217. In complete fairness, I haven't enclosed the bottom cabinet yet, but I suspect that won't be enough to make up for it.

I would suggest http://www.dynamat.com/products_arch...l_dynapad.html in the bottom cabinet if this is staill an issue
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:22 PM   #43
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I have two canisters on my 6' tank too. I think the flow is a good idea plus it simplifies things when one canister gets cleaned (just rinse under a faucet) or is not working . I spray one across the top and angle the other towards the center of the substrate.

Have you told us what you plan on keeping in there?
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:54 PM   #44
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Current stock:

3 clown loaches
3 yoyo loaches
1 loach that was supposed to be a yoyo, but might be a kubotai
2 featherfin
2 rainbow shark
5 unknown tetras
6 neon tetra
10 adult mollies and maybe 7 fairly neon sized ones that have grown up
1 betta

Mainly a community tank. I like the loaches, and my girls like watching the molly babies.
I might pick up a few more of the loaches once I get through the Ich I'm fighting right now. I would of preferred a pair of angels, but they would probably snack on the neon's and the baby mollies so they are a no go.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:18 PM   #45
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Got my driftwood in, tied some java moss to it. Really happy with it right now.


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