Journal of my Office Fish tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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Journal of my Office Fish tanks

I started my first planted/shrimp tank back in 2011...the colony survived the move from MD to NJ last year and general neglect from me for almost 2 years.

Back in January I had a major incident with it where 95% of the water was accidentally pumped out of it. Thankfully I didn't lose any of the shrimp and I took most of the moss that was overgrowing out of it after that event. After that the tank seemed to really take off again with tons of baby shrimp being born. After this I started getting back into the hobby. I got some more plants for the tank and added some Amano shrimp and a snail that decided to climb out of the tank and I didn't discover him till it was too late in a storage bin under my tanks.

Here is my 12" Cube tank back in February, after the pump out incident.



Some of the CRS Shrimp in it.





The tank as of tonight...I need a major trimming!



After the incident, I decided I wanted to add another tank the collection...but the project became stillborn after I saw that the cheap fiberboard tank stand I was using was on its last legs and started bowing. i winded up picking up a Marineland 5 Gallon Portrait, which will become a planted Betta tank with some Red Cherry Shrimp. I winded up pulling out the false wall down that makes up the filtration system that comes with it and replacing the LED light with something more powerful so I have more flexibility with plants. The other part was if I did this after I set it up, i'd have to pull it apart again and redo the substrate etc. I'll be using ADA Amazonian soil I had left over from when I first setup the 12 cube tank (I had some other tanks but never set them up)

I went with a Grech CBG-500 HOB Filter that has a built in UV light to replace the filtration system and a 50W Eheim Jager heater. I replaced the built in light with a Finnex FugeRay Planted+ clip on. The only issue is that I had to modify the light base so I could fit the glass cover on the tank still.


Some photos of the tank...before I pulled the plug on it after discovering the stand wasn't up to the task.





I've always wanted to have a larger tank (biggest tank I've had was 29 gallons) for years now...so I finally pulled the trigger on this:



Its a Innovative Marine NUVO 40 Gallon tank. I have a Cobalt EXT Canister filter with some glass lily pipes, a Hydor Inline heater, 24in Current USA Satellite Plus PRO LED Light and Controsil for my substrate. I have CO2 regulator that I ran on the 12 gallon for a short period of time that I plan on reusing on this tank also.

That led me back to the stand situation...since I got the Marineland tank I was thinking of building my own. The issue I ran into was that I couldn't fit all three tanks in the space I wanted to keep every thing..so I said screw it and decided that I'd build two stands...one for the 40 gallon and the Marineland tank and the other for 12" cube tank. The cube tank will be on the oppiste side of the bow window in my office next to my book shelf.

I had off since June 30th and did a ton of projects around the house, to include putting in a new front door and redoing my powder room and finally building the stand I needed...

I built it out of 2x3s and 1/4 plywood. First shot is roughed out and the second shot is with the trim work installed. I need to add a door (anyone have a good place to get door hinges from?) and a center shelf on the left side before I start staining it.





After I get it stained, the only hold up will be building the cube stand! I built the bigger one as a proof of concept since it was my first time building a tank stand. The smaller one should go together quicker. I can't setup the Nuvo and Portrait tanks till I can move the cube tank, since that has my live stock in there. I prob rehome the shrimp form the cube tank in the 40 gallon with some Harlequin Rasboras and break it down for Sulawesi Shrimp down the road.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Well I built the other stand for the 12" Cube tank, decided to make it 16x16 so I can upgrade the tank when I want to and not worry about building another stand.

Here is is framed out



With door...just need to add some quarter round to the bottom and stain



The other stand is ready for stain also...have the shelf added this morning.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 08:51 PM
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Very nice. Jealous of people who can build their own stands.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 09:58 PM
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Wow... and those are the first 2 stands you've built?? Very impressive. Looking forward to seeing the tank setup
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by The Dude1 View Post
Wow... and those are the first 2 stands you've built?? Very impressive. Looking forward to seeing the tank setup
I find having the right tools to do a job is the biggest factor in getting it done properly! I invested in a Table Saw and a Sliding Compound miter saw back last year to do this in my new house:



Most of it was pre-cut, but I still had to make the cuts at the corners and stuff.

Hoping I can get some stain on them soon, I have family visiting the area this week and two parties with both my in-laws and my parents (dad's 70th b-day) this weekend, so my time is going to be shot till next week.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 07:47 PM
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Looking great! Nice job, and I can't wait to see them set up!


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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 08:45 PM
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Wow, very nice. Subscribed
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Finally got the stands stained today...I'll polyurethane them tomorrow.



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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-30-2017, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Well got everything polyurethaned and in place in my office. Moved the 12" cube onto the new stand and placed the new tanks on the new stand in the other corner.









I also "fixed" my lily pipe intake...I manged to break the plastic adjustment knob off a few weeks ago, so I had a sponge over it. The vendor off Amazon sent me a replacement (for free!), so I put that on after cleaning and modded the sponge so it would fit better.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 02:18 AM
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Very nice. Sorry if I missed it but what's going in the new tank? Love the CRS tank btw. I also have a CRS tank that is 20 gallons. That 40 would be awesome for some more shrimp. I just love the shrimp.


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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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You know that old saying about putting things out to the universe? Well it got me good tonight. I was asking about Canisters that have 1/2in tubes today to try and avoid spending extra $$$ on new equipment when I get the bigger 16in Cube tank.

I cleaned out the Finnex PX-360 yesterday. Last time I did it I had some minor leaking issues with it (it is almost 6-7 years old) around the seal, but some food grade silicone sealant seemed to fix it. I set it back up under the new stand in a plastic container as extra protection when I hooked everything back up and left it. Got home work before and noticed the tank level was down a bit..opened the door to the stand the container had some water in. I messed with it for a bit but couldn't get it stop leaking...so I'm like crap...what can I get locally?!

I find this online at Petsmart, a MarineLand C160 Canister filter for $84.67

Marineland® C160 Canister Filter | fish Filters | PetSmart

Of course it wasn't at the Petsmart that is five minutes away from my house and I had to drive 15-20 minutes to the town I grew up in to get it...and they ring it up as $124.99! WTF...they did the price match with what it was online, so crisis adverted.

I ran over to the Home Depot near Petsmart to get the 5/8 to 1/2 adapters so I don't have to worry about switching out my Lily Pipes...my wife came with me (we had to get cat food to while we where out) and didn't give me too hard of a time stopping at the Petco that was on the way back to see if they had any nerite snails (my last one climbed out while I was traveling for work and found him dried up in a storage bin in my old stand) and I winded up getting a Tiger stripe one. The one thing that shocked me and made me buy him was they actually had Discus in the tanks for sale at Petco and the overall livestock looked really good vs the two Petcos I was in today.

So I get home and start getting the new fliter setup. I didn't use the carbon that came in the filter and just put the bio-rings,foam and puregen I had in the Finnex in the extra tray I had so I could transfer off beneficial bacteria I had in that filter to start seeding the new one.

As I'm adjusting the hoses...I break the outgoing lily pipe! I had another Lily pipe for my 40 gallon, so I break that out and hook it up to the filter...



The new outgoing lily pipe is complete overkill for this small tank, but will hold me over till I get my replacement Jardil Lily Pipe off Amazon. Plus one I get the 40 gallon ready to start filling it, I'll have an additional source of beneficial bacteria to help start it off.



The opening is about 2.5-3 inches!

I also took the time to mount my timer/power strip in the stand out of harms way.



I'm also planning on getting some LED lighting to put in this cabinet and my other one.

The Nerite Snail is hiding now, so I'll get some photos of him tomorrow.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Added a battery powered motion sensor LED light in my stands so I can see what I'm doing better...here it is in action on the smaller of the two stands:



Not bad for $13 bucks for two off amazon...I had rechargeable AAA batteries already for them.

The Nerite Snail is finally being active after being in the tank about 24 hours. Hopefully he'll start working on the algae. You can see the lily pipes in the background, I got my new larger 5/8 spiral out take this evening and I'll swap it out in a few days.



I'm planning on trying to get the Marineland Portrait tank setup this weekend
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 02:18 AM
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Does your lily pipe intake have a surface skimmer attached to it? If so, what's the model of the piece???


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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Does your lily pipe intake have a surface skimmer attached to it? If so, what's the model of the piece???
I got it off amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/Inflow-Surfac...761432&sr=8-26

They have really good customer service too...I broke the adjustment piece at the bottom of it by accident and sent a replacement for free!
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Started the hardscape on the Marineland Portrait...have some plants and moss coming for it.



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