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Old 05-31-2012, 02:34 AM   #16
fizzout
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I think I read a thread about keeping discus fish at lower temperatures without harm to the fish. But I think the discussion was controversial. I'll probably start with a school of angels and then see how it goes. My real concern is the inevitable fight with algae.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:46 AM   #17
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Default Driftwood

I posted in another thread about my plan to point the driftwood down, like roots. I have committed to this and this is how it looked in the tank before the gravel went it.

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I'll cut the zip ties once I get the placement exactly right.

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Old 05-31-2012, 02:53 AM   #18
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You'll be fine just don't get over excited and take your time to make sure the tank has enough bio-filter to handle any stocking load. If you mail order fish they all come at once so it will be important to be completely ready and have a good fish load prior to your show fish. If you add a good amount of plants and have a good substrate your fight with algae will be easy, short photo periods, and good filtration and flow.

I've alway thought Discus needed higher temps to, like 82-84 degrees is rattling around in my head for some reason.

The layout looks nice so far, flip it around and live with it for a couple of days each time.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:44 AM   #19
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Those are great tips about the fish. At the rate I am going, I won't be ready for fish for a while yet. I am definitely taking my time this go around.

I have positioned the driftwood in many ways and I determined that I really like how they look now after several weeks of just looking at them. Since the pictures up to now are already at least a month old, you'll see in my next few posts where I am with the build now.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:07 AM   #20
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Default Substrate

I opted for Eco-complete for substrate. This is what I have in my 75 gallon tank and I have been very pleased with its performance. I bought 14 bags from Petco, which I had been storing for several weeks while I finished working on the stand. When I finally poured the bags into the tank, I ended up with about 3.5 inches of substrate.

Making the stand was a bit of a hassle, but it's done now (my carpentry skills are sorely lacking). I made the stand with 2x4 and 2x6 with plywood skin. I used 3/4" neoprene foam to line the bottom of the tank to ensure even support all the way around. I also added leveling feet (5000 pound capacity each) to level the stand. The only thing is that the stand is merely functional, but not pretty. Still, it will hold the tank which I calculated to be less than 2000 pounds once filled with water.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:21 AM   #21
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You could do just about any fish with a tank that size. A lot of little fish in a bigger tank is always better than a few bigger fish IMO. But thats just me
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:28 AM   #22
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Default Memorial Day Weekend

I had some time to put more work into the tank this past weekend. So with the completion of the stand and pouring of the substrate, I opted for a dry start method. I wish I took a photo of the tank before the plants were placed into the substrate. Oh well. Here is a shot of the tank as it was yesterday.

Plants include HC, crypts, downoi, and couple unknown plants (which are not doing too well).

Oh, another project is to hang the lights from the ceiling so that I don't have to use those upside down planter boxes (very tacky ). I still need to cut the zip ties.

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I think this brings me up to date on where I am with this tank.

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Old 05-31-2012, 08:55 AM   #23
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Great start so far! Scape has some great potential
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CL View Post
Great start so far! Scape has some great potential
Thanks for the encouragement. I posted all my progress in one day, but it has taken me almost six months to get to this point. Hopefully, I can live up to the potential. I am a little afraid of the coming pitfalls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwheeler91 View Post
You could do just about any fish with a tank that size. A lot of little fish in a bigger tank is always better than a few bigger fish IMO. But thats just me
When I look at the driftwood with all the fine little branches, I do imagine only small fish will look to the scale and that larger fish may break the illusion of a large tree root. It is something to consider while I wait for the plants to start growing.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:34 AM   #25
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Default One Bad LED

I was about to hang the LED lights today when I noticed that one of the Cree XML LEDs was much dimmer than the others. I popped off the lens (fortunately it came off without too much trouble) and examined the LED. Looking at it, there was certainly something wrong with it, as there was a black spot in the LED dome. I don't know how this happened, but fortunately I had spares. It took me 15 minutes to solder in a new one. Even though this took little time to fix, I never did get to work on the hanger tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

Here is the bad LED. The solder pads on the left and right are where I had the wires. The pads at the top are where I originally had the wires before I realized that the XML lens requires the solder joints to be on opposite ends. The solder pads at the bottom have some of the adhesive from the lens sticking on them.

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Old 06-01-2012, 04:30 PM   #26
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Wawawiwa, those branches.. I like !
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:00 AM   #27
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Default Let There Be Light

I finally made the hanger for my LED lights. I have to say I am very satisfied with the results. I used 3/4" electrical pipes and elbows to make a suspension rack (don't know what else to call it). I used pipe holders to secure the pipes to the frame of the stand. Here are some photos.

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What was so lucky was that the heads of the screws on the pipe couplers slid right through the aluminum track that I'm using to hold the LED rails together. I was going to use steel cables to hang the LEDs before I saw that the screw heads would slide right into the track. Here are some photos of the coupler and how the couplers fit into the aluminum track.

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I hid the LED wires by fishing it through the hollow pipe.

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Last edited by fizzout; 06-03-2012 at 04:01 PM.. Reason: Replace photo with smaller size
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:49 PM   #28
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Default Saturday AM

I read about starting mosses emersed and that it was relatively simple. So I decided to try with some Fissidens and mini-Xmas moss. Here is a photo of the mosses placed on the branches of the driftwood. I may regret this because these wood pieces have not been aged, so there will definitely be some of that wood fungus. I don't know if the fungus will interfere with the mosses, but this will be a good little experiment. I saved most of the mosses in case this does not work out too well for me. I covered the forward branches with Fissidens and the mini-Xmas moss towards the rear. I did not cover all the branches since I want some exposed wood to give contrast.

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Last edited by fizzout; 06-03-2012 at 04:03 PM.. Reason: Replace photo with smaller size
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:48 PM   #29
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I think the mosses will survive with no problem but the wood will want to float for a while.

I like the LED's they are sleek and transparent, do they appear to cast enought light?
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:28 PM   #30
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Thank you for the reassurance. I should have soaked the wood, but I was impatient. I figured that the wood will float, so I have some rocks ready.

I think the lights are sufficiently bright, but if I really have to, I think I can squeeze our a little more light from the LED with a higher current LED drivers ($$$). I should know better in a week or so when the HC grows in (or not). I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Here is a picture of the front right corner for comparison later. It's been only a few days since I put in the HC, but they appear to be doing OK.
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