29 Hi-tech Journal (UPDATE: 9/5/11: *TOTAL DEATH*) "Frat House" Eden
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:45 PM   #1
joetaff
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29 Hi-tech Journal (UPDATE: 9/5/11: *TOTAL DEATH*) "Frat House" Eden


The tank as of 8/4/2011



Greeting everyone!

I'm am very excited to FINALLY be starting this thread. It seems like I have been planning and getting things situated for a long time now. With any luck I should get this tank up and running within a week or so.

I am not new to planted tanks, but it has been a few years. I had a 75 gallon up and running back in 2008.

this is the best it ever looked haha


Anyways I haven't really been able to think about a tank in a while becuase I lived on campus at the University of Kentucky for the past two years, and a tank just wouldn't work in the dorms or fraternity house. But This year I am finally getting a house with a group of guys from my fraternity (hence the title). This of course means I will be able to set up a tank in my room. Our house is shaping up to be a little wild, so I figure that this will be an excellent way to escape and relax with all the craziness around me haha.

Anyways its funny how this all started. I finished my last final and started thinking about doing a tank again. I started out thinking something small. I was going to do a ten gallon "no frills" DIY set up. Then I saw a 20L at petco and figured "hell its only 10 more gallons, and I could still keep it DIY and simple." Then in the strange way that things happen I started thinking about how low the tank was and said to myself, "Well a 29 and 20L have the same footprint, what could an extra 9 gallons hurt?" So here I am haha 29 is the biggest I can/want to deal with. So in settling on the 29, I pretty much came to terms with putting some investment in it. I'm going to finally go Pressurized! I'm going with T5's, the works baby!

Anyways I bought a tank/stand for $50 off Craigslist a few weeks ago. It came with an awesome stand, but the tank was from 1994 and I didn't think using a tank that old from unknown origins was a great choice, so I Sold it for $25, not bad.

the tank I sold

you may recognize this from the thread I started earlier, haha.

I'm painting the stand black this weekend and its going to look sharp! I will also be buying a new (black) trimmed tank tomorrow as well.

I also bought (2) Odyssea csf4 Canister filters from the same guy on craislist for 20 bucks (for both). One was broken and the only salvageable pieces were the outer "bucket" and the trays. And the second one was missing the tubes. I thought that would be easy enough to deal with...wrong.


Jebo replacement parts are REALLY expensive and a complete ripoff with shipping. The wanted 6 bucks each for the in/output valves which I had to buy.

$2/ foot of their crappy hosing and $9.99 EACH for the curved tubes that go in the input/output and the spraybar. $4.99 EACH for the intake strained and elbow to connect the spraybar to the output. I about flipped my ****. So I ended up DIYing my tubes and they actually turned out alot nicer than the ones I would have bought.






So the Filter didn't end up being a great deal but whatever, you can't hit it
out of the park everytime. but it does work now at least ha.


Also my lights Finally came in!



I went with the Aquatic Life 30" 2x24 watt fixture. I was a little upset to find that the reflectors were not truly "individual," as the advertisement would lead you to believe, but at least they are somewhat seperated and reflect the bulb on either side. So far I'm happy with them, they seem to have a solid construction and nice sturdy legs.

some shots of them on the old tank I sold


Well that should do it for now, I'm really excited to get this up and running, I will keep you all posted when my Co2 system comes in and also with any other updates that happen.

Thanks for checking it out! I'm sure I'm going to need plenty of help along the way once this really gets started!
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:58 PM   #2
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Off to a great start! What are our plans for flora and fauna?

Do tell us that your not stuck in the basement with no drywall for a bedroom?
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:41 PM   #3
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haha no that's just a work room at pops house
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:43 AM   #4
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Well hey, imagine my surprise when I read the work "Kentucky"
So which dorm did you live in anyway?
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:51 AM   #5
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I unfortunately lived in haggin ha
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:26 PM   #6
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Co2 system just came in. I went with the Azoo semi Auto set up from Dr. Fosters.



I went this way because in the price range I was looking into, it seemed I had 3 options:

option 1) Try and make my own setup from a beverage supply store online

-didn't want to deal with shipping bunch of pieces from individual suppliers. Didn't want to deal with getting parts that might not be compatible

option 2) Buy a Milwaukee regulator.

-People are always complaining about how hard it is to dial in and keep constant

option 3) Buy the Azoo regulator.

*I chose this because, although this doesn't have perfect reviews, the consensus seems to be that it generally works, and although it can be temperamental, it seems to be easier to deal with than the Milwaukee reg. Also The Dr. Fosters semi Auto deal for $115 seemed great, even with the so-so bubble counter that seems less than impressive. Good thing that's the one piece I could easily DIY if needed.


What is it with that hideous blue tubing? christ that's awful haha



My heater also came in the mail. It's like Christmas, except your alone and all the gifts are from yourself hehe.

I went with the Aqueon Pro 100 watt.

The last time I set up a tank, in 2008, the Stealth was the cream of the crop. I was surprised to learn it is no longer sold because it had overheating problems.

The Aqueon as I understand is made by the same people, but has some upgrades. Most notably the indicator light. I also really like the non glass construction, as I have dealt first hand with a heater that shattered



More good news!

I FINALLY found a great piece of driftwood!

I went to a LFS that was a little off of the beaten path. I was about to order from Manzanita.com, but I knew they would ship me alot more than I needed. I know they have excellent quality wood, but without seeing in person before hand you can never be certain you'll get exactly what you are looking for.

Anyways I was browsing the store and found a perfect piece! I wanted something that I could put on one side of the tank, and have the branches reach the other way to about the halfway point of the tank. Best part about it? the piece only cost 20 bucks.


nice eh?

I'm currently soaking it outback, hopefully it sinks soon!

Well that's all for now. I will be buying my actual Aquarium today and hopefully I will get my 5# tank so I can hook it up and see if I can get the system to actually work

I think my order of Eco complete will come later today or tomorrow. But hey, I bought the stuff on sale for $15.99 a bag and received free shipping, so who am I to complain? Taking advantage of Petco's memorial day free shipping on orders of $49 with "no restrictions" felt great haha.

Also this weekend I should have that stand painted and looking nice. Should I paint the back of the tank? I was just going to put up a black background for ease of use and versatility. For whoever has painted their tank, was it worth it? does it look better than just a black background?

Thanks everyone! I'm getting even more excited as this gets closer to actually happening. Keep with me and I'll makes sure to post updates as they come.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:35 PM   #7
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Looks like a fun build and the DW is tight. Good luck, excited to see it once you get rocking and rolling.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:34 PM   #8
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Well, in the way that things happen I have good news and bad news.

I bought my Aquarium, new. Its a standard 29 gallon glass Marineland 30x12x18.
nice black trim that will match my soon to be painted stand.



but upon closer inspection, it had a nice crack in the side.



So ill be returning that tonight probably.

But that isn't the only tank I got. I am finally the proud owner of a 5lb Co2 tank. I never actually thought I would make the plunge into pressurized Co2, but this is it haha.





Well that's the big news so far today. Keep up with me and I'll be sure to keep you in the loop.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:33 AM   #9
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Well I returned the cracked tank without issue, and I Just placed my plants order. That shipping gets ya haha.



Fingers crossed someone out there is along for the ride

This should give me a decent start

Here's Hoping.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:37 AM   #10
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Good luck with the new tank! Er...as soon as you replace it. What a disappointment that it was cracked.

I just want to share my experience as I purchased the same CO2 setup from DFS and have been mostly satisfied. One thing, though, the cheapo bubble counter leaks water. I ended up replacing the bubble counter with a second check valve and just use the diffuser as a bubble counter. If the diffuser won't be in a visible spot, you may want to consider swapping out the bubble counter with a better quality one.

Ilooking forward to seeing your progress!
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:30 PM   #11
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Good afternoon everyone!

I have a few updates, although nothing too terribly exciting.

As I said I returned my tank and got a new one, thankfully without cracks this time.



And My eco complete was delivered bright and early this morning. They had some trouble shipping, so I'm relieved it came before the weekend as I am expecting my plants to arrive early next week!

3 bags, 60lbs, $15.99 per bag on sale, free shipping. Not bad!


Couple Misc. Items of business. I have been soaking my driftwood for probably close to a week now. I just dumped a huge pot of boiling water on it to hopefully kill any bugs. It seems to be sinking better now. Ideally It will be waterlogged by next Monday or Tuesday. I don't want to have to put any rocks in the tank. Takes up too much space for plants!


I also am soaking my diffuser in a bleach water mix (~20%) the algae has dried on there for some time, so I'm anxious to see if comes off alright. Anyone have any other Glass diffuser cleaning tips???

riveting stuff I know...

Thats about all there is to see aquarium wise, so I thought I would share another project that's taking up my time this summer.



Fixing up this old '96 vette me and pops got for a steal from some old guy that barely drove it. It was in great condition considering its age, but its fun to tweak the engine and add some flare to her! got the calipers painted and redid most of the interior this week.


Well that's all I have for now. I'm working on painting the stand, which is going better than expected. I will be sure and keep you all updated. Hopefully with more exciting updates hehe...

Cheers!
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:36 PM   #12
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I got the same regulator kit from DFS as well. Honestly, I would take the check valve from the bubble counter and keep it. Then just throw bubble counter into the trash where it belongs, lol. Other than that I've had mine up and running for a couple weeks and its working great.

That seems like a lot of plants in a 29. Cant wait to see how it turns out.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:36 PM   #13
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subscribed. i love following 29 gallon builds, especially because thats what i have. can;t wait to see it all put together and running.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:45 PM   #14
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Thanks!

Yea I kinda figured I was going to give the bubble counter a try at least despite what has been said about it, but that was before I actually held it haha. I'd be worried about it leaking water, so obviously I don't want to trust it with co2. It would be a bummer to come home to a new tank empty because of that piece of junk.

I'm glad you think it's alot of plants, because I was worried it would not be enough haha. Now I just need to find some blyxa!
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Old 06-11-2011, 03:47 AM   #15
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i had 27 species in my 29 gallon until just recently. shouldn;t be too many plants.
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