Custom Acrylic 60g Build - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Custom Acrylic 60g Build

9/10/17 CO2 running for a few weeks now:



2/25/17 Finally a door!



2/6/17 VIDEO!!:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2EMAaeOYjY

Yay! I'm back! Well, almost.

Aside from my little 6 gallon Edge, I've been out of planted tanks for 15 years or so. But it's time to come back.

Backstory: About 2 years ago, I was given an odd sized 70-ish gallon tank. I was running a 9 gallon nano reef at the time, so went reef for this. Built a beautiful tank. This "free" tank cost me lots but it turned out pretty sweet. I built the stand. But I promptly broke the cross brace. For over a year I've had two pieces of mahogany as a cross brace. If it's stupid and it works... The tank bowed a lot without something there.

So I had a custom acrylic tank built. Cost me over a grand for this 60 gallon tank, but I think it was worth it. 3/4" acrylic all around, external overflow drilled for Herbie, and fits the stand I built for the broken glass tank.

Life and work got in the way, so it's been like 7 months with that new tank setting there.

Before I ordered the acrylic tank, I got a bad case of bubble algae, and nothing I did would get rid of it. I was about to reboot the tank, cooking the rocks, etc. But that would take a ton of time and effort that once started couldn't be stopped until I was done unless I got rid of everything and truly started over. Not excited about that.

Then the wife and I were talking about it and we decided to go back to planted tanks. She really missed the angel dominated tanks I used to have. So here we go!

Equipment:
  • Custom Advanced Acrylics 60g tank(37.5"x24"x15.75")
  • Aqueon Proflex Model 2 sump
  • Sicce Syncra Pro 800gph
  • Mars Aqua 300W LED Fixture (Includes: 14 x Cool White 12,000K, 10 x Neutral White 7500K, 10 x Warm White 3500K, 4 x Red 660nm, 4 x Green 520nm, 8 x Blue 460nm)
  • Apex Controller

I can disable the blues on the LED and probably will. I was always a big fan of adding one actinic bulb to planted multibulb fixtures, but we'll see how LEDs do instead. I also have an Orbit Marine LED fixture I can use. That may actually be enough for plants though it didn't have enough punch for my reef. I have a PAR meter and can dial them in as needed. That pump is way too much for a planted tank, but it can be dialed down quite a bit.

The Apex for now will just be a really expensive temp controller and light timer. But I anticipate doing CO2 on this tank, so it will use the pH probe to control the solenoid.

Ok, pics time! These pics all show the glass tank and setup for the reef.













Here's the glorious wood braces:



And the new tank waiting to be used:


Last edited by DurocShark; 09-10-2017 at 01:58 PM. Reason: New FTS.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-27-2016, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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One of the angels from my last large-ish planted tank. I can't wait to get some more:

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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**NOTE: This forum is irritating the heck out of me. If I'm not logged in, then type a big post and submit, instead of caching my post and logging me in, it says to go back and refresh. And everything I typed is gone. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Bump:

Bump: So trying again. Without any friendly words. Just stating facts.

It's on the stand.
I filled partially with water.
I did a PAR test on the two lights I was hoping to use.
Neither light will work out.
*Orbit Marine Pro doesn't have any punch. PAR was 23 at the bottom of the tank, and that was with the blue channel enabled.
*MarsAqua had plenty of punch. Nearly 350 at the bottom without the blue channel. But the "white" (with colors) was around 8500K. Too blue.

Pics:




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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 10:55 PM
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where did you get the PAR meter?

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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It's a Seneye Reef. Comes with PAR meter for $200. It's great for monitoring tank start up to give you real time ammonia readings too.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 07:02 PM
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What's the stand made of , mahogany ,satinwood?
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Framed with 2x4's, but skinned with quartersawn african mahogany. Varnished with spar urethane. No stains or dyes.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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FTS Today. Obviously I did a crap job of rinsing the play sand.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 11:29 PM
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Be careful! That suspended dust can cling to the plexi and wiping it can cause scratches!!
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Plumbing fun:

I had Lifeguard 1 1/2" bulkheads in the outboard weir on this tank. I attempted to use flexible PVC for the emergency drain, but the term "flexible" is pretty, well, flexible. I even used a heatgun to put a bend in the pipe to get it through the opening in the back of the stand. It wasn't enough. At some point I had put enough side pressure on the bulkhead that it bent the flange enough so that it would no longer seal. I thought I'd been so smart putting a union right after the bulkhead... Hah! That accounted for everything except replacing the bulkhead itself. Time to cut.

No room for any power tools, and I wouldn't be super comfortable using a power tool that close to the aquarium anyway. I went looking for a hacksaw blade holder. Instead I found this: Milwaukee 6 in. Folding Jab Saw-48-22-0305 - The Home Depot



The handle is made by Milwaukee and holds most Sawzall blades. The one it comes with has a very fine tooth and is quite short. I grabbed a 12" Diablo multi material blade as well. Another $3 or something. Cut the PVC like butta:



My new glass-holes bulkhead is in there now, along with a temporary length of flat waste discharge hose into the sump. Nobody has any 1 1/2" vinyl hose around here longer than 24". I need about 36", and don't want to buy a box. So I need to keep looking. It's the emergency drain on my herbie, and works great with the flat hose for now. Before I put anything living in there I want this hose gone and the water changed. But it'll work to get the tank started in the mean time. I don't like the rubber smell. Yes, after the cycle is complete, I'll do a huge water change and run carbon for a time, so no biggie if it's gone before I put anything valuable inside.

Bump:
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Originally Posted by ichy View Post
Be careful! That suspended dust can cling to the plexi and wiping it can cause scratches!!
Thanks, and I've seen it happen before. I'll blast it off as it settles with a turkey baster. Shouldn't stick too hard if I keep up on it. I'm more worried about it building up in the plumbing.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 11:39 PM
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damn that sucks when you gotta cut plumbed pipes!

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-10-2016, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichy View Post
damn that sucks when you gotta cut plumbed pipes!
Yeah. But this saw was wonderful. I was expecting it to be a total PITA to cut. But it really wasn't. Literally like a minute and a half of easy work.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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FTS from yesterday:



The big lava rock will bulk up the substrate and hold structures better than straight sand. I haven't got all my rocks or anything yet, so it's just a pile. lol I stuck in some plants after thinning out my Edge. They can live or die or whatever.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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So, right after I made those posts, we were informed that the house I'm renting was for sale. I stopped any work other than daily ammonia dosing to keep the bio filter working. We found out right before Christmas that the new buyer will keep us as tenants (with a significant rent increase, of course. Sigh.) So yesterday I got to work on it again.

I put in the rocks and bigger driftwood yesterday and did a massive water change. I ordered the first batch of tetras that'll be here Tuesday.

Looks like crap because of me stirring everything up putting the big rocks and wood in with that fine sand. It'll settle quick though.

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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FTS today:



I rinsed the heck out of the play sand and Fluorite. But every time I touch *anything* the tank immediately clouds. Sigh.

Anyway, driftwood and rocks and a few plants (the original ones I had put in died when the tank ran dark for months). The plants filled my Fluval 6 gallon tank nicely, but they don't do anything in this tank. lol

Fish are 15 Cosmic Blue Tetras from GloFish. I have the blue LEDs turned off for this pic, but with the blues on they look really cool in person. In photos, it looks terrible, so that's what you get right now. I'll break out the DSLR later.

I just placed an order for a bunch more plants:

-5 pygmy chainswords
-bunch of ludwigia repens "rubin"
-3 driftwood mounted anubias nana 'petitie'
-2 red flame swords
-a small 3" mesh of fissidens fontanus

The fissidens is an experiment. I don't know how it'll do in my hard water. I am mixing with RO to a 7.5pH but it's still pretty hard. We'll see...

I tried to order some red koi angels, but shipping was $80. I'm going to go talk to my LFS and see if they can get them for me.
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