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Old 04-17-2010, 06:34 AM   #1
MlDukes
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DUKES 55g - Planted Community -


Hello all, So... My first journal.... where to start? Ive had aquariums for years never took it too serious until i stumbled across some unbelievable photos of these vibrant green aquariums that had me in aw. My interest and inspiration was renewed 100 fold! I never imagined the potential beauty i had sitting in my own living room.

Did alot of reading and research and almost every time id search something it brought me here. This is an awesome site! I figured out i was gonna need a much better light, nutritious substrate, ferts, Co2 etc... I kinda needed a new filter too, so i put a canister on the list. I already had the tanks, a 46g bowfront and a 55g. I never cared for the wrought iron stand I had so I also started plans on a custom stand for the 55.

I started saving, shopping and building. Found a decent fixture on aquatraders.com for an unbelievable price. Despite a few negative reviews i ordered it. Couldnt be happier! Got the 4x54w HO T5 pro. for christmas from my fiance, thank you babe In the mean time i began propagating some plants in a 10g to get things rollin. Decided on black Eco-complete for the substrate and picked up a used Fluval 405. Moved the plants and fish to my freshly cleaned 46g and started my first aquascape. So thats what got me here now.

Specs:

46g bowfront soon to be moved to a 55g
Fluval 405
4x54w HO t5 2x6700k 2x10000k (Im only running 2 bulbs)
Currently:80lb fine white sand.
Waiting: 80lbs black eco-complete + 20lbs black sand
6 hr photo period
NO co2
minimal ferts
30% weekly WC



Inhabitants:

20 Neon tertas
7 Silver hatchets
Mated pair of German Rams
Peacock Goby
Juvenile Long finned black angel
4 ottos
handful of ghost schrimp and snails



Greenery:

Rotala
Giant hygro
Riccia
banana plant
anubias nana
Glosso
microsword
moss balls
Cardinal plant (read that this is a bog plant)
a few others. I.D. them for me and ill add them to the list.



Heres a look at where i was and where im currently at:

Gimme your opinions. The good the bad and the ugly



Enjoy


























Heres the stand, Ive made great progress on it! Came out even better than planned. Just need to sand it and Paint it (all Black) and everything you just saw is movin to the 55g SOOOOO close!!!!

The trimmed centerpiece is the door it pulls straight off and snaps in. Thinking about finding an Xlarge mid-evil looking chest handle to mount in the center of he stand. A hood may be the next project.





















Heres the 55g and a nice piece of driftwood I found fishin at the lake. Driftwood needs some prep work but i believe its gonna make for a nice addition.












4:20lb bags of this stuff waiting to go in the 55









And there you have it the first glimpse of whats in store.

I look forward to your comments.


PEACE

Last edited by MlDukes; 09-29-2010 at 06:21 PM..
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:03 AM   #2
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looks good, the stand is a masterpiece!
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:12 AM   #3
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your sand is so white and looks like powder. what is it?
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogreen View Post
your sand is so white and looks like powder. what is it?
Updated above. Fine white sand. Bought a 80 lb bag of it at meeks lumberyard for 12 bucks! Looks nice but... wouldnt recommend it. I thinks its choking out the roots a bit although you just saw the growth, those pics are over a 3 month period. Dont think it will do good long term. If you have many fish every spec of poooh sits on top of the sand and builds up fast, its a pain to vaccuum and not suck up too much sand. but.... its cheap enough and looks cool if you wanna give it a shot.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:10 AM   #5
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Stand is amazing! Looks good so far
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:04 PM   #6
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Wow, the stand is amazing!

Love the moss balls and white sand, very striking.

Your wood is really special. This is going to be a very interesting tank.
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Old 04-17-2010, 05:19 PM   #7
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The sand does look great too bad its a pain. I have white pool filter sand that wouldn't look as smooth but better for roots with MTS.

Anyway, nice pics!
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75 Gallon journal http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=480226
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:14 PM   #8
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I love the stand!
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:17 PM   #9
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Looks like a great new start, the stand looks amazing
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:43 PM   #10
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thanks for all the great comments guys! I should have and meant to take more pics of the stand as it progressed so i could post something in dIY. Ill answer the big question now, Im sure its soon to be asked...

How much do i have invested into it?

The structure of the stand is made out of 3/4 plywood. That was free left over from a job site.

Only thing i had to buy was the trim and 1x4's to build the columns: $53

Alot of time and the craftsmanship of a longtime carpenter.

My fiances father is a carpenter, I designed it, he built it. I manned the miter saw, did all the measuring/cutting and he made it all come together. He also provided the tools, It wasnt possible without him!

So far I have just over 50$ into it, probably 10hrs labor and a very generous father n law!

Last edited by MlDukes; 06-22-2010 at 09:18 PM..
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:57 PM   #11
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I give you two weeks before you're going to want to change substrate.
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makoto View Post
I give you two weeks before you're going to want to change substrate.
Are you saying im gonna regret using the Eco-Complete??? If so why??

If your refering to the white sand It is only temporary, no intentions of keeping it long term.

Last edited by MlDukes; 04-18-2010 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:05 PM   #13
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Having 2nd thoughts about using this driftwood... sucks, it has so much potential. A little conerned about unwanted critters. when submerged with a light over it it has a redish tint... Does that tell you anything about the species of the wood?

Gimme your thoughts.

Last edited by MlDukes; 04-19-2010 at 03:47 AM..
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:14 AM   #14
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i love your stand!!!!
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:52 AM   #15
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That stand is amazing. Use the driftwood. You're soaking it (pics didn't show up) now, it should be fine.
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