Pic Heavy! 20 gallon long adventure(s)
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:02 AM   #1
tobinkinz
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Pic Heavy! 20 gallon long adventure(s)


So, we have several tanks already....who doesn't, right? Recently got bitten by the 20 gallon long bug, thanks to somewhatshocked's journals (my husband wants me to insert a not nice name here, lol). What pushed us over the edge tho, was the LFS having a sale on 20L - $35, which, at the time, I thought was an awesome price and rushed out to get one! Haha, joke's on me, as PetCo started their $1/gallon sale a week later. Dammit. Ok, so maybe we took advantage of that too....

First problem, we had no stand and nowhere to really put another tank (also a common problem, I'm sure.) Well, sorta had no room - coincidentally, we just moved our TV from an entertainment center to being mounted on the wall. Look, space for more tanks! Problem 2: we now had plans for 2 20Ls, so still needed a stand. Solution? Build your own!

Trip to BORG (thanks DK for that acronym, lol) for supplies - a bunch of 2X4s, birch plywood, pine trim, and a whole bunch of screws.



Measuring and cutting:



Frame together. Used 3" deck screws for most of it, 3" lag bolts to attach legs to top frams.



Not finished but in its final spot. Decided to leave the center legs off in front for looks. Don't feel like it's going to compromise the structure - I actually stood on the front edge and bounced and the thing did not move a bit. Figure we can add them later if needed.


Last edited by tobinkinz; 02-19-2014 at 03:36 PM.. Reason: pic heavy warning
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:13 AM   #2
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Nailing plywood in place.



Just needs some trim.



Trimmed, sanded, ready for stain.



Only decided to do one coat of stain - used Minwax Golden Pecan.



Will get more pics up later - gotta get to bed. This was all done this past weekend. Still in the process of applying about a gazillion coats of tung oil.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:10 PM   #3
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After first coat of tung oil:



2 coats:



Ok so don't worry, I won't subject y'all to pics after every coat. Here's a pic to show how the tanks will be on the stand tho:



So as you can see, plenty of room for 2 tanks. Tentative plans are as follows:

Tank 1:
20 gallon long
ADA aquasoil
sponge filters
Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED (can't remember if "+" or not) - currently on sale at Dr. Foster&Smith!
various mosses and low light plants
apple snails
crystal red shrimp

Tank 2:
20 gallon long
pool filter sand with root tabs
sponge filters versus AquaClear 70
Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED
various mosses, crypts, low light plants
10-15 corydoras - debating pandas versus habrosus
10 or so Otocinclus sp.
Possibly relocating my betta to this tank, as long as he plays nice with everyone :P
snails - apple and MTS

Plan on setting up the shrimp tank first and letting it run for a while so the aquasoil can finish leaching ammonia and to grow lots of goodies for the shrimp.

Debating the sponge filters versus the AC70 in the cory tank. Thoughts?

Overall aquascapes aren't going to be super fancy, but I do want them to be pleasant to look at, seeing how they're in the living room. Have some manzanita branches for the moss to grow on, thinking about throwing some interesting rocks in there as well.

I have some Flourish root tabs, but am interested in finding some cheaper? better? alternatives.

We are on well water, and amazingly enough it's almost "empty" water. pH of 5.9, gH 1, kH 1, TDS 12. Plan is to use GLA's gH booster to remineralize back to 5 gH. I've see lots of people talk about using other remineralizers - is there an advantage to using one over another?

Think that's all my random thoughts for now. Just waiting on light and aquasoil to get here so we can get the shrimp tank up and running! Oh, yeah, and a bazillion more coats of tung oil....sigh.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:20 PM   #4
Dina-Angel
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Looks interesting so far

Do you think the stand is stable enough in the middle for 2 tanks? I would maybe add more wood right into the middle to make it stronger... I would be afraid it will slowly crack or bend down in a few months or years?
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dina-Angel View Post
Looks interesting so far

Do you think the stand is stable enough in the middle for 2 tanks? I would maybe add more wood right into the middle to make it stronger... I would be afraid it will slowly crack or bend down in a few months or years?
When I (Tobinkinz's husband) built the stand I made an additional leg for the front middle which I left off because the stand felt so sturdy. I did keep it just in case. Though we did place 250ish pounds on the top middle of the stand towards the front to see if it would support it and it didn't budge.

I will be keeping a close eye on the stand to see how it does.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:56 PM   #6
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It is beautiful! What gorgeous work you guys did. Can't wait to see what you do with the tanks. Really love the finish.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:27 AM   #7
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So finally got all the finishing, well, finished.

Installed a long power strip attached to the back of the stand.



Power strip with timers installed in the "shelf" area, partially hidden. One on each side for each tank.



Shrimp tank: 9L bag Aquasoil Amazonia, just a few sponge filters. Light is awesome. Gonna put a black background on this one to make the filters less obvious.



Didn't get a solo pic of the cory tank, but this pic shows both the tanks on the stand. AC70 on the cory tank, had to cut down the intake tube a bit. Using black diamond blasting sand in the cory tank, didn't want to take any chance of damaging the impeller. Think I'm gonna try to get Han to make some stainless steel filter guards for this tank and the other 20L that I'm eventually gonna set up. Gotta get him the right measurements tho. Little boy thought this was a great play area, lol.



Flooding! Oh, by the way, Aquasoil is interesting. Smells like good dirt.



Both tanks flooded, filters running, backgrounds in place. Still waiting on light and heater for the cory tank. Random rocks in there for now, also the shrimp tank has a bunch of driftwood that is slowly getting waterlogged. Got some baskets for the shelf to help organize things.

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Old 07-17-2013, 02:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VJM View Post
It is beautiful! What gorgeous work you guys did. Can't wait to see what you do with the tanks. Really love the finish.
Thanks so much! Ended up doing just one coat of stain and a total of 4 coats overall of Minwax Tung Oil finish, and one additional coat on the top and the shelf.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:54 AM   #9
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wow looks really good, nice build btw
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:55 AM   #10
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So, now the hard part - aquascaping. Plan is for these both (along with the 3rd one which is still in planning stages) to be low light, low tech tanks. Might be willing to dose some Excel and ferts in the cory tank, and definitely will put some root tabs in the sand. The shrimp tank is going to be fairly hands off tho, trying to keep it simple so hopefully we'll have success with the CRS.

So far here's my list of plants:

various Crypt species
Anubias nana petite
small Echinodorus sp
Subwassertang
Alternanthera reineckii (not sure if this will do ok in low light or not)
Hygrophilia corymbosa kompact
Marselia minuta
various Java ferns
various mosses - Christmas, fissidens, willow
a couple other Anubias sp - one is labeled as A. nana, the other has slightly more lancelot leaves and is just labeled as Anubias sp.

So for the cory tank, I was wanting some nice planted areas where hopefully some spawning will take place, but I wanted a good amount of open area just to watch them also. Here's my initial setup:



Close up of the left:



Close up of the right:



Yes, that is a "soap" dish attached to the back wall. The thought was to attach some willow moss so that it hangs/cascades, and also diffuses the flow from the filter a bit more. I thought maybe the moss might make a good spawning area as well. I'm sure some people won't like the pink rock, but I happen to love the swirls and such. Not sure if the driftwood on the front right is staying or not yet.

Initial thoughts with the shrimp tank. Sorry it's a bit cloudy, stirred up the AS a bit. Also don't mind the floating wood - got some pieces that are still being stubborn.



Tried to get a little closer to show the rock formation. Two pieces of petrified wood and another rock. Was trying to keep to an odd number, but I'm not sure if the contrast is good or not. Have some other rocks I can steal from other tanks too - they are more rounded "river rock" types.



Same as with the cory tank, I'd like to keep some open space in front for shrimp watching. Probably going to put some of the relatively larger crypts along the back wall to help hide the sponge filters a bit. Don't think I want an even line across tho, so still pondering. Gonna have moss all over the driftwood. Was debating putting fissidens on top of the larger rock.

Still waiting on some more plants to arrive before I go to town planting. Also would appreciate some feedback if anyone has any thoughts. Might make a thread in the aquascaping section as well.

Sabra
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:43 PM   #11
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The light and heater for the 2nd and 3rd (still in planning) tanks arrived today. Seeing both tanks lit up is awesome!

Excited to see how Tobinkinz does the aquascaping.

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:53 AM   #12
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You did a great job on the stand. I as well can't wait to see the scapes!
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Old 07-21-2013, 01:57 AM   #13
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Finally got around to getting things 'scaped and planted today. Funny, I thought for sure I got enough plants but once I started putting them in, didn't seem that way. :P Still have to put together the third 20L tho, so might be stealing some from them and my other tanks.

Sorry for the bubbles and the not-so-great pics - really need to get out the better camera at some point.

Cory tank FTS:



I like how the top portion of the background looks in person but it makes it a bit tricky taking pictures.

Left side:



Right side: (got rid of the "bacon" slate, lol)



Hm, just realized I didn't attach anything to that far right piece of wood. I've still got some java fern and Anubias nana petite I could use there. Also, waiting on some C.parva to come in to fill in the front a bit more.

CRS tank FTS:



Left side:



I'm actually really happy with the stone arrangement, and excited to see how the fissidens looks when it starts to grow. Not sure about how the Alternanthera reineckii will work, especially considering once the tank is ready for shrimp, I won't be dosing ferts at all. Found lots of conflicting opinions as to its needs. Ohwell, guess we'll see how it goes.

Right side:



Gonna put some C.parva in here too, but want to leave some front room for shrimp watching.

Now to wait for things to grow, tanks to cycle, etc etc!

Sabra
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:35 PM   #14
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that shelf is very nice! kudos!
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:30 PM   #15
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This is an cool build, man. Your stand looks amazing

Pretty excited to see when the tank's gonna be shrimp ready.
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