ineedfire's budget 10g low tech.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:33 AM   #1
ineedfire
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ineedfire's budget 10g low tech.


Okay as some of you may have already read in my intro thread, I'm setting up my first planted tank (will also be low tech) and as I don't want to spend a whole lot of money getting an experimental tank up and running. I'm basically re-using everything I can. Total cost of this project should be pretty much only that of plants, substrate and ferts. Thankfully, I have been given a HOB filter from a friend, have a spare t8 light fixture, have an old 10g tank laying around, and have some skills in a workshop with plenty of machinery for my custom lighting frame I will make up tomorrow.

So I will be posting my progress on my small DIY projects that should save me a bit of money and look good in the process. I wont go too far into detail with them though unless asked.

There should be one or two posts straight after this one with my progress from today. The lighting frame I will make up tomorrow.

Sorry for any slow progress.

Last edited by ineedfire; 06-22-2012 at 12:09 AM..
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:49 AM   #2
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Please excuse any and all pics, I have only my iPhone front camera. The main camera is broken. Also theyre all hosted by tapatalk. I hope they show up on the normal site view.

Well first off I am reusing my t8 fixture from my spare 3ft tank. It was a freebie with my 4ft tank I got from a friend. It had a tonne of hard idontevenknowwhat on it. Seemed like algae or something. I took it to work, sanded it back and repainted it Charcoal. Needed it to look decent since it won't be under a hood, instead will mount from a custom fabricated frame, hanging by chain so I can adjust height if needed. This frame will be completely custom to fit onto an existing table in my lounge room without damaging it. This will also be free since I work for a company with plenty of recourses and a boss that loves me haha

Here is a before and after pic of the fixture. (it looks more blue in this light for some reason.)
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:06 AM   #3
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My friend gave me a HOB filter that seems like the perfect size for my tank. It needs a new filter pad and I might add some bio balls of they'll help? But anyway. He gave it to me because the o-ring was stuffed and leaked everywhere. I took that to work this morning too and siliconed it up. Works perfectly now. Pics aren't needed of a siliconed up filter haha.

So now we move onto tonight. I had the idea to paint the back and base of my tank with the same color as the t8. So I taped up every side of the tank I wasnt painting including the open top, and started layering.

Here is a pic of the actual charcoal color. Click image for larger version

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Old 06-18-2012, 03:40 PM   #4
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I like that color! Very interested to see how this goes for you.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:31 AM   #5
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Ok so quick update.
I decided to repaint the light fixture white and keep the end pieces black. Seems to contrast a little better.

Have welded up my stand and started a first coat of charcoal paint to match the background of the tank. Also changed the design of the frame to save some time.

Will have fully assembled and working pictures tonight.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:43 AM   #6
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Teaser. Lol
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:10 AM   #7
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HEY! Awesome update for any of you who are waiting for my DIY projects to come together.

I'm really happy with how my lighting fixture has turned out. Looks really good in the lounge room and the stand makes it feel a little more professional than just sitting on top of the tank like i had it. I made the feet to easily slide over the table so I don't damage it. Wiring is hidden fairly well and run in convolute. Also had to put a new plug on the end so I could run it through the RHS. Looks neat though.

As you can see the tank is in pretty bad nick with a bunch of scratches. The painted back seems to add a lot of depth, even without Substrate or a hard scape. Comments and critique would be awesome guys!

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Old 06-19-2012, 09:18 AM   #8
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Oh and I've also invested in 15kg of PFS for substrate. Hopefully will get a hard scape set up soon. Maybe even tonight.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #9
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:47 AM   #10
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Well here is my PFS. I thought it would be white not red. But it looks alright.
When I was playing with my hardscape layout and put the PFS in it was smoking like crazy. Should I wash it somehow to get rid of the dust/silt?

A pic of the smoke cloud.


Layout 1:

Layout 2:

Layout 3:


I feel like I need more height. I have a limited amount of stones though. I can't really justify buying stones just yet either unfortunately. I would love some feedback or tips guys

This is my first proper attempt at a hardscape, so be nice haha.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:56 AM   #11
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I like the first configuration the best.

And ya, if I'm not mistaken, given the distance between the substrate and light in a 10 gallon, 20 watts should be plenty for low tech. Since you're not going with dirt, you'll probably end up with DIY CO2, even. Too much light and you'll not find yourself being "low tech" for long.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:44 AM   #12
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Glad to hear my light distance is sufficient from another member
I played around with another config for about 20mins and I think I like this one the most so far.

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Old 06-20-2012, 01:25 PM   #13
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Tough call between the first and this last layout, both look great. I love the light stand!

Good luck with the build, my "budget" low tech build is quickly becoming a high tech road to the poor house haha. I will be following along.

Alex
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ineedfire View Post
When I was playing with my hardscape layout and put the PFS in it was smoking like crazy. Should I wash it somehow to get rid of the dust/silt?
Yes or you may have a dust storm in the tank for a few weeks. That is what I experienced with it.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodRiverTroutBum View Post
Tough call between the first and this last layout, both look great. I love the light stand!

Good luck with the build, my "budget" low tech build is quickly becoming a high tech road to the poor house haha. I will be following along.

Alex
Thanks bud. I am also pretty torn between them. Might have to go to the same creek I pulled the rocks from and try to find some more.

Im hoping to try and keep this on budget haha. I'll invest in my next tank if this one isn't a total mess.
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