Max's Machu Picchu Tank
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:58 PM   #1
maximusprime
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Max's Machu Picchu Tank


I figure is it probably a good time to start my journal.

I got interested in planted tanks about a year ago, and I gave it a shot on a turtle tank, which as you can imagine turned into a mess because my dumb turtle just pulls everything up for no good reason. I got frustrated and let the tank do its own thing and it looks crappy now, but at least the turtle seems to enjoy it.



So a few months ago, I got the uncontrollable urge to spend too much money and started browsing craigslist for tanks. There were a ton of 55 gal tanks and I was tempted, but I really wanted something with depth. I found an Oceanic 58 gallon tank, with a Red Sea Max 250 stand for $200. I picked it up that day. I went to a local landscaping supply yard and picked out some interesting rocks. I also carefully cut out the humongous "Reef Ready" overflow box that was in the tank. I also found an Odyssea 4-T5 light on CL for $50 and scooped it up. We'll see how well it works.



I was inspired by some of the tanks on the AGA aquascaping contest, and I wanted to create something that looked dramatic, like a landscape, but not as barren as a normal Iwagumi tank. This is what I had in mind:



In my mind, I have an over grown Machu Picchu with schools of fish swimming by.



I ordered some parts, and got to work a week or so later. The tank was pre drilled so I drilled two holes in the stand for the plumbing, and installed the filter outlet, and drain. I used true unions and ball valves to ensure that I will be able to service the tank without making a mess. I also installed an outlet behind the tank so the wires are well hidden.





I want CO2 in this tank and I just happened to have a large assortment of regulators, fittings, solenoids, and other gismos from projects I have had in the past that turned out to be too ambitious. I was able to peice together this rig for no cost.



So that's where it sits for now. I am debating whether to mineralize my soil and I'll probably buy plants this week. I cant wait to get this thing filled up!
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:10 PM   #2
dprais1
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I've been thinking of doing a similar theme.

My thought was to buy natural clay tiles and use a tile saw to cut a gazillion little bricks, use a file to add some distress and smooth all the edges, then create little buildings
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dprais1 View Post
I've been thinking of doing a similar theme.

My thought was to buy natural clay tiles and use a tile saw to cut a gazillion little bricks, use a file to add some distress and smooth all the edges, then create little buildings
Now that would be awesome.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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Should be a pretty stellar build
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:15 PM   #5
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A couple more to show off the stand. Put some water in today to test for leaks.



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Old 03-18-2013, 11:35 PM   #6
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off to a great start!
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:54 PM   #7
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Well I kind of went full retard while shopping for plants and strayed from my original plan to have only short small leafed plants to give a sense of scale. It seemed like I could not find a place that had all of the plants I was lookig for at the same time, namely, dwarf hair grass, glosso, blyxa japonica, and staurogyne repens (nobody has this stuff. Argh!).

So I ended up just picking out a bunch of stuff I thought looked cool. The final layout will be determined by what survives since this will be a learning experience, and I am fairly certain not everything will grow as planned. The fine leaved plants could maybe look like a grove of trees or something. Regardless, it should make for nice hiding spots for the fish.

Here's the list:

4 | Eleocharis parvula, Dwarf Hair grass,

1 | HYGROPHILA CORYMBOSA STRICTA,

1 | CABOMBA PALAEFORMIS, purple Cabomba,

1 | Foxtail 'Green' (Myriophyllum Pinnatum)

1 | MAYACA FLUVIATILIS,

1 | Anacharis narrow Leaf, Egeria Nanas,

1 | Dwarf Lily Plant (Nymphaea stellata)

3 | GLOSSOSTIGMA ELATINOIDES,

1 | Cryptocoryne undulata,


The only ones I am not really certain about keeping are the hygrophila cambosa and dwarf lily because I am worried about them being too big and leafy for my tastes, and the Cryptocorne undulata because it kind of looks like it's dead in most of the pictures I see on the web.

They should be here in a couple of days so I got started on a weak attempt to mineralize some soil. I put a bag of scotts topsoil, miracle grow organic, and some good ol' Georgia red clay from the back yard in a garbage can outside and filled it with water. I did my best to remove all of the bark and chips that floated up but it seems like that is all that was in the bags. Going to dump it out on the tarp tonight and let it dry. I dont think I'll have time to go through the whole process but maybe I'll have half mineralized soil? Not too concerned about it as I see lots of people having success with soil straight out of the bag. More to come...
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:52 PM   #8
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I remember that awesome piece of driftwood in the turtle tank from an older post!

Sorry the planted turtle tank thing didn't workout. My situation was similar, got frustrated with my turtle ripping up everything and started a 30g planted tank.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:09 PM   #9
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Yea, everyone said it wouldn't work, but me being the stubborn SOB that I am just wouldn't listen.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:19 PM   #10
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I like this plan...sounds like this is going to be a good one
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:31 PM   #11
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Dig it. Hey if you can't go see Mach Picchu why not bring it to you.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:50 PM   #12
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Are you planning to upgrade to a 5 or 10lb CO2 tank. For a tank that size a paintball canister wouldn't cut it. Anyways, keep updating the post.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc91006 View Post
Are you planning to upgrade to a 5 or 10lb CO2 tank. For a tank that size a paintball canister wouldn't cut it. Anyways, keep updating the post.
I probably will in the future, but at the moment I am using what I have lying around. I just happened to have about 10 of these from a paintball Gatling gun I tried to build a while back. Once I replenish my cash reserves, i'll probably spring for a bigger one.

I do have a couple old oxy acetylene tanks in my back yard. You think someone would be willing to fill them with co2?
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximusprime View Post
Wanting to ask your thoughts on why the shut off valves are under the unions?

After seeing the post you made in the frat thread excited to see how this turns out.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:48 PM   #15
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Nice start, I am picking up a tank with the same dimensions tomorrow, and went back on forth on reef ready or not, with intentions of removing overflow. The only reason I went with undrilled is to run lily pipes and remove surface scum, any worries on that here? I wish I could plumb through the bottom and hide everything.

Great start, I'll definitely be interested to see is come together
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