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Old 10-14-2013, 04:21 AM   #241
crazymittens
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We're there!
Your thoughts on the use of gravel...my wife really wanted the corner slope thingy.




What follows is how we got there...

Wood collected


Cleaned pieces


Rejected pieces


Variations on a theme








Okay, this'll work




Securing the hooge driftwood


Feesh cave
Nananananananananana feesh cave!



Dirty dirt dirt
Dolomite, potash, and clay. Will the little clay chunkies help? probably not a ton, but better than nothing.




Grrravel
My wife decided to take some pictures of the work in progress.



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Old 10-14-2013, 01:48 PM   #242
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Looking smooth playing in the dirt there Crazy. If the Mrs. wants that slope better find some way of stabilizing it or it'll go bye bye. Otherwise, woooo!!! Add water and let 'er rip!
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:35 PM   #243
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Yuppers, adding water today for sure!

I lowered/smoothed that slope by about 50%, so should be okay. Also realized that I left those clay balls out of the mix!! Whups. Maybe I'll toss them in the sump...?

Anyways...more to come once there's water/plants.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:50 AM   #244
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Thanks to the support of my wonderful wife, we are fully online!!

Fillin', fillin' fillin'




What is this!?


What is that!?


Random action shots





View from the peninsula end


View from my chair



A few glaring items...
  1. Lighting is awful...one T5HO's bulbs are fully gone
  2. Need to make the upturned 90 for the primary siphon, does the whole noise-silent-noise cycle right now
  3. Need to seal the sump so the inside of the stand doesn't turn into a jungle


Aside from that...feels so nice to have an aquarium running again, and the view from my desk is 150% worth all this effort. CANNOT WAIT FOR FEESH.

In other news, the fish were non-plussed to have me removing their anubias/driftwood chunkies. Feesh.
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:47 PM   #245
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Oh. Hell. Yes. Congrats my friend! I'm seriously looking forward to watching the fruits of your labors blossom.

Regarding the primary siphon; rather than put an elbow on it, can you rig up a valve to regulate flow so that only water is going down that drain? It sounds to me like all your water is going down that line and it's causing air draw issues. The whole concept behind a beananimal is to have one main drain that only moves water and the 2ndary to handle the excess and allow air into the line as needed. An elbow on the primary won't really do much to address the air issue without putting a line down into it and then you've got a Durso....
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:03 PM   #246
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Tx! The primary siphon is the only one with a ball valve on the drain. My one issue is that since the drains are so huge, closing the ball valve 'just' right means it's 99% closed. In retrospect, would have been nice to splurge on the gate valve, but they were just too much money ($60 vs. $12).

But you're absolutely right, I should have some water going down the secondary, and I do not. Will play with it tonight.

The lighting situation is probably going to hurt the growth of these plants...they are used to having a CFL ~4" above water, with them reaching the surface. They now have ~14" of water plus dim lights. Hopefully these contracts come through soon...



Phil, I still have a huge pile of those green crypts...I didn't want to overstuff the tank/block light...should I be stuffing the aquarium full, or let things grow in?
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:17 PM   #247
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Stuff it as full of plants as you possibly can. You can always take some out in the future.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:09 AM   #248
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Ok, quick update.
  1. My PVC gluing failed slightly on, of course, the primary siphon where it attaches to the bulkhead. I blame hasty glue-up and re-using 1.5" PVC. Lesson learned.
  2. Spent half the evening fixing that - Depot plumber-guy took one look at me, told me to get "Stretch & Seal" silicone sealing tape.
  3. That 100% didn't work (maybe pebkac), so Krazy Glue gel did the trick. A lot of it. Some is on my hands.
  4. Still can't get perfection out of the drains after playing around, but at least no leaks now.
  5. Oh, except for the teeeeeeny leak from the primary siphon gasket. Honest to goodness.
  6. I think the latter is a bit of gravel or something fixable.
  7. Adjusted the lower powerhead to point upwards
  8. Started fishless cycle with 30ml of ammonia.

30ml seemed like a ton...but then the calculator said that was at 9.5% solution. Bottle was not labeled, so just went with it. Indicator appears to say something between 4-8ppm, so probably ok.

I check again tomorrow evening.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:54 AM   #249
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Checked this morning, the plumbing leak is fixed but the gasket still has a very minor drip. Not so minor that I'll ignore it, mind you...but minor enough that we'll get the tank cycled before I deal with it.

Oh, by the way...the external overflow makes a great place to get my sample water from for testing!
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:58 PM   #250
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Ain't plumbing a bear? Those little leaks always niggle at me because I know it was lack of attention. That gets me more than anything.

After some hasty calculations, 30mL of 9.5% solution in a 160 gallons (605.6L) (accounting for substrate and all that) is only 0.005 mL/L NH3. What sort of indicator are you using?
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:02 PM   #251
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Yeah, I should know better, but these things happen. Thankfully the Krazy Glue worked well.

The standard ammonia test kit, two bottles, 8 drops each for 5mL water. Turned a mid-green colour - so 5ppm was an approximation (colours jump from 4 to 8ppm on the chart). My understanding of the fishless cycle is you want ~5ppm to disappear within 24ish hours...incorrect?
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:08 PM   #252
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I've never done a fishless cycle on a FW tank, can't help you there. Sorry! If your soil is fresh chances are good that it's a sufficient source of NH3/NH4 to get things cycled. THAT I have done. I just thought of something...you've already got plants in there so they're going to skew any attempts at cycling the tank by taking up some, or most, of that NH3. You're probably better off getting a bacterial supplement, like FlorinBacter, to kick start your filtration. Chances are good that it's going to take a while for sufficient bacteria to grow with plants already in the tank.

I'd be very careful adding NH3 to a new tank that's already planted and lit. It could cause big issues with algae and/or kill your plants.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #253
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Hm, interesting point about killing the plants. The only other time I've done this was on the 50/30 setup, but exactly the same configuration (albeit less water volume) and methodology. No issues with that tank. Took about a week, IIRC.

Haha, and the budget does not support further expenses...I think the next ammonia dose will be less, maybe half that. Will take longer, but less risky.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:47 PM   #254
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Well, as of 5PM (19 hours), appears to be in the 2-4ppm range. And the plumbing leaks have stopped. Yay.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:57 PM   #255
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I just bought 'Fish Focus Blue 13000K' on Build My LED, LLC



72" fixture in black, 13000k, 90-degree beam, tank stands, and dimmer. Yikes.

I spent a lot of time looking at the kelvin comparisons, decided that I just didn't like how yellow the greens looked under 10000k, and since 13000k was an option designed to make fishies stand out...why not?

Nick said lead time was ~5 business days. Sure hope the plants can wait that long...
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