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Old 01-09-2013, 12:16 PM   #31
AnotherHobby
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The power compact bulb is rated for 10k hours. I run mine for 10 hours per day, so figure I'm burning through 3650 hours per year. However, at that point they have lost some brightness and the color rendering is not as good, so I'll probably replace them annually. They are a little under $7 each at Menards, so I wouldn't really consider replacement costs into the equation. Electrical costs based on Dakota Electric's rate of $.101 per kWh, it should cost almost exactly $10/year in electricity to run the light.

As far as splashing, there really isn't any splashing there, so I haven't done anything to protect it. It's been a complete none issue.

Additional LEDs would be a great way to go too. They'd be cooler and might be a little less work based on some of the DIY's I've seen, but it'd depend on your approach. You'd definitely need to do some homework to find out exactly what LEDs to get in order to raise your brightness enough.

I started my project not knowing that Fluval was going to replace my damaged one for free. I had finished my project when I found out. Once I was done, however, I really liked the end result, so I didn't bother trying the other route. Had I known ahead of time, I may have tried the LED route.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:42 PM   #32
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Added 5 stems of Ludwigia sp red (red plants in center) and 3 stems of Persicaria sp. Kawagoeanum (red plants on left). This is just want I needed — some color! This is just about an hour after planting, and they spent 4 full days in the mail, so they are recovering and won't look good for at least a few days.

I also pulled all of my Cabomba Caroliniana. It grew too fast and didn't fill out as nicely as I'd hoped. I didn't really like it that much.

I also learned that my marsilea minuta that sjb1987 sold me here in SNS is not actually marsilea minuta, and is actually marsilea quadrifolia. I like the plant, so it's good to know the correct name, especially if other people are looking for it.

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Old 01-10-2013, 07:12 PM   #33
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Just subscribed to this thread. Your tank is absolutely beautiful. I'm currently in the same situation you found yourself in at the start of this journey and reading through all of this has helped me quite a bit. I'm not quite ready to start over yet, so I'm still collecting as much information as I can before I make the jump. Can't wait to see more!
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:26 PM   #34
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Beautiful tank and I'm super jealous of your stand! How are the berried cherries doing?
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:35 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amajoh View Post
Just subscribed to this thread. Your tank is absolutely beautiful. I'm currently in the same situation you found yourself in at the start of this journey and reading through all of this has helped me quite a bit. I'm not quite ready to start over yet, so I'm still collecting as much information as I can before I make the jump. Can't wait to see more!
Thanks! It's amazing how much I've learned (and even more amazing how much I don't know!). I researched tons before starting, and I'm glad I did because I avoided a lot of mistakes the second time around.

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Beautiful tank and I'm super jealous of your stand! How are the berried cherries doing?
Thanks! The stand is great, but I desperately want to get a door or curtain of some sort to hide the bottom. I might have to break out the sewing machine soon. The cherries are doing well. They haven't hatched the young yet, but at least they are all safe in a temp tank so that when they do they'll have a shot at life.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:53 PM   #36
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Very nice stank and tanks. This inspires me to want to build a stand.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:41 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherHobby View Post
Thanks! It's amazing how much I've learned (and even more amazing how much I don't know!). I researched tons before starting, and I'm glad I did because I avoided a lot of mistakes the second time around.
You're welcome! And yeah, it seems like the more I read and learn, the more I feel I still need to learn before taking the plunge. There's so much information on this forum!
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:31 AM   #38
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Pump update: Overkill

I have replaced the OEM AquaClear 20 with... something ridiculous. A Fluval 306 external canister. Let me explain.

I got the filter back on Black Friday for just $85 on a Petco website error. I had no immediate need for it, but have been piecing together the stuff I need for bigger tank, and it was a killer deal. It's been in my basement ever since.

Fast forward to today. I've been battling algae, which is mostly CO2 related. The DIY CO2 is inconstant. I think it's mostly due to my house temp which is run on a programmable thermostat. In the winter the drops to 62 during the day and at night and it runs at 69 in the morning and evenings. CO2 output drops noticeably when the temp drops to 62.

The other issue that is causing algae (I think) is flow. The AC 20 filter really doesn't move the water that well now that the tank is filled with plants. Almost all of the algae is where there is almost no flow. Furthermore, CO2 bubbles on the top of this tank bugs me.

I've been thinking of adding an external pump to improve flow, and then I could also hook a C02 reactor to it and get rid of the bubbles. Win! Except that there is no room for hoses with the AC20 in the way, or I'd at least have to re-do my whole custom light thing, and I don't even know if I can fit the hoses anyway. I've literally been thinking about this for weeks.

Then today it dawned on my that I had this big canister filter that could theoretically solve the problem. The issue was could I get it to run slow enough. The manual even says you can slow it down as much as you want with no harm or extra wear on the motor. Well the answer is YES! I can literally slow it down to nothing, or crank it up to a full 300+ GPH (EEK!).

After thorough testing, I made the swap tonight. I love that I can aim the output of this thing to move water however I want. I'm quite happy with everything other than cosmetics. I don't like how the included intake/output look in the tank. Oh well, I can deal with that later.

Hoses route pretty easily through the back:



No problem fitting behind my light (in fact there is quite a bit more room here now):



Here's the part I'm not in love with, the bright white equipment:



In all, I'm digging it. I can adjust the output to push anywhere, and I can adjust the flow volume very easily. I can now hook up a hydor inline heater and a CO2 reactor and get those two things out of my tank, so that's nice as well.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:23 AM   #39
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spray paint the tubes black ( there is fish safe spray paint)

I did that with my 406 piping inside my 75g discus tank.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:50 AM   #40
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Your stand is a work of raw industrial art - and I like the magical look of the flora. Power to the filtration dude.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:18 AM   #41
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Tank looks great. Really love the look of the stand.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:14 PM   #42
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FINALLY got my pressurized CO2 going.

It was a long and frustrating journey with many ruined stainless parts due to galling and whatnot, but it's done. Originally, all of the pieces between the body and the needle valve were beautiful stainless (including the solenoid) and no brass at all. In the end I didn't care and just wanted to get it going. I'll clean up the tape on the threads later and such, but I'm super happy to have this working.

Next up will be to build a CO2 reactor to get the bubbles out of the tank.

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Old 06-10-2013, 12:15 PM   #43
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I haven't updated this in quite a while, so here goes...

The addition of CO2 with the external canister filter and very small surface area of water at the top caused problems. CO2 would not even drop to green by morning. Fish were huffing, and there was clearly not enough oxygen in the tank. Since February I've been running it about 1/4" to 1/2" below the glass ceiling, and the inhabitants are much happier. It doesn't look quite as good, but that's of less importance than happy critters.

As far as any changes go, I've added some blyxia to the far right, and I've propagated a lot of the downoi. I started with just 2, plus a tiny 3rd. I've since propagated that out to 6 of them. The rest of the plants are all the same.

The biggest annoyance is the fact that all of the substrate has basically settled to be much closer to flat from where I started. I've lost of most of my slopes and grading. It's all filled in the front where the MQ is. Much of the MQ has simply filled up to the leaves, while others have stretched higher out of the substrate.

The dimensions of the tank and the tiny hole at the top have gotten old for me. I'm going to keep running with it for a while, but I'm craving a larger open top aquarium so bad it hurts.

Current shot:

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Old 06-11-2013, 04:42 PM   #44
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That's it! I've just grown too tired with trying to manage this tank's life through a tiny hole in the top. The limitation is very frustrating for me.

Today I ordered the new low iron Mr Aqua MA-720LI.

I got it from Marine Depot, who doesn't have it on their site, but they special ordered it for me for $122 shipped. It has identical dimensions to an ADA 60-P, with the same low iron glass, and about $80 cheaper. I like my little 3 gallon Mr Aqua a lot, so I'm sure this one will be good too.

For lighting I ordred a Finnex Ray2 24" model. Other than that, I have everything else. I'll be using the substrate, the CO2, Fluval 306 filter, and other stuff from this tank.

Once I'm done tearing this one down, I don't know if I'll set up something low maintenance in this, or if I'll just sell it. We'll see...
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:17 AM   #45
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That a beast of a 12 gallon Edge tank. Reminds me the time when I used to take care of my 12's, she a low tech now.

Anyways, you can reduce that regulator's size with two SS fittings. It will look much cleaner and reduce the chances of leaks. But it does require you to take off the LP gauge, :S

1/4 M - 1/8 M - Solenoids - Elbow 1/8 all male, done.
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