Newbie Rimless 75 Gallon & DIY Stand - A River Runs Through It? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie Rimless 75 Gallon & DIY Stand - A River Runs Through It?

Hey everyone, I'm new to the forums, but figured I'd say hello and present a tank that I am going to start working on over the next week or two.

I currently have a 36 gallon with some Ryukins and Shubunkins - the fish have a lot of personality and I've had them a while. Will probably have to give up the shubunkins to someone with a pond as they get bigger though, I'm only in a condo. I also have a 6 gallon fluval edge with a few guppies, but will probably be phasing that out and selling it as I get the new tank up. I also have a 20 gallon with a dozen harlequin raspboras and it's my first true planted tank - getting a dwarf hairgrass carpet going with a few rocks here and there. Pretty sparse but I like starker styles. Started it about a month ago, and I'm just getting into learning about plants. Will probably eventually phase it out as well when I get the new tank up and running. Don't think my s.o. will appreciate four tanks.

In any case, I don't have anything at all for the tank I want to get, but I do have some concept art below. It's going to be a peninsula tank separating my dining room from my living room. I'd like to go rimless, but will probably go with a generic 75 glass tank and paint the black rim a white or off-white color. The base is going to be custom built, with door access to a closed off space at the end of the tank (and below it) to house the filter, CO2 and any other equipment needed. The doors aren't actually drawn on there.

The tank itself will be pretty spartan, with a "river" of darker blue substrate through the middle and planted substrate on either side (separated by an acrylic divider to keep the plants out of the river.) I'll be using wood / branches to simulate trees on either side (didn't draw them all the way to the front of the tank.) I'm probably just gonna stick to one or two species for the carpet, but haven't decided what to use yet. Haven't decided entirely on fish either yet, figured I'd get the tank up and running first.

Another cool thing I want to do is set up the lights in a cantilever fashion, resting on a ledge or hinge with wires running from the top of the back of the tank out to the far end of the light (hinge would allow it to easily raise up if I have to do major maintenance.)

Suggestions, comments, criticisms are welcome! I'm gonna try to document everything as well.

-Will


Last edited by oaksw12; 11-28-2010 at 02:45 AM.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 05:10 PM
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Welcome to the Planted Tank Will! Sounds all very interesting. Looking forward to see your progress.


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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 05:34 PM
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Very cool ideas here. I really like the stand design. And the mangrove root looking scape is sweet looking. A schooling fish swimming in and out of the trees would be really cool. The only thing i would change, personally, is not use of blue gravel, maybe just use dark stones to make it look a bit more natural.

Also looking forward to seeing how you work out that hinge, could make maintenance access really easy.


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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 06:40 PM
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I too would lean away from the blue gravel. I have seen some planted tanks that use natural quartz to look like water flowing over stones but really, this tank here creates the illusion of a river with nothing but a naturalistic layout and clean sand.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 06:45 PM
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Welcome to PT. Like your cantilever suspension idea. Looking forward to it. My only suggestions would be to use white sand instead of blue gravels for the river and using some rocks in the layout

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input, I'm starting on the stand tonight. I'll definitely experiment with a few of the ideas on here for the "river" to see what looks good, I'm not tied down to any specific material yet.

I'm thinking either HC or glosso for the carpet unless anyone has other suggestions. I was also planning on growing it out first slightly submerged (maybe 20-30 gallons) with a 108w T5HO fixture and then switching to a Marineland Double Bright LED fixture after it's filled in to give it decent light but keep it from growing too much more, unless that's gonna make it start growing up towards the light.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-22-2010, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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I just wanted to post some pictures & updates. One of my LFS had a sale this weekend so I went ahead & bought a rimless 75 gallon custom tank that will be here in 2-3 weeks. Also got my first ever canister filter, went with an Eheim Ecco 2236. I'm hoping it'll be enough since I'm not planning on anything too high tech for the tank. Anyway, here are some pics. Sorry for the graininess, it's a camera phone - I'll try and pull out something nicer for the rest of the shots.

Area where the tank is going:


Preparing an immersion tank for my HC until the real tank gets here:




Base being built:




I still need to put on a center brace, then decide just how I'm gonna attach the shelves and skin it. I won't be able to skin it completely until the tank arrives so I can get a tight fit (and make it easy to put the tank in place!)

If anyone is curious, the dimensions of the stand are 64" long by 44" high by 18" wide. Hope to finish roughing out the rest of the stand in the next few days, and finish out the tower holding the filter, CO2 and other equipment and the cantilever for the light. After that, the long wait until the tank arrives.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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I have been able to do a bit of work on the stand, hoping the tank will be here sometime towards the end of this week or the middle of next. Got a lot of ADA style equipment on my Christmas wishlist, hoping to pull in some thermometers, lily pipe outflow and drop checker.

Here are some updated pics of the stand. I need to get some bottom trim (will be contrasted with a dark ebony stain or black paint,) cabinet doors for the left hand area, and decide on how to build the tower on the back. I think I'm gonna have to wait for the tank to arrive to get some more exact dimensions before I build it though.

I also think I'm gonna go with a 3 bulb catalina fixture for the light, probably with a custom wood wrap-around since it's not symmetrical.







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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 02:50 AM
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looking good!
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 03:05 AM
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looks good!!!
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 05:49 AM
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Like the stand alot!


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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 06:17 AM
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wow that stand looks real nice, and different. so that is a good thing. if you need any help just let me know I'm in plano if you need any help my name is joey, you might also want to check out dfwapc he are a dallas ft. worth tx area plant club who trades plants and goes on feild trips collecting plants etc... member ship is not bad either only $20.00 for a whole year and trust me it worth it.

Thanks, Joey. tanks-CUBE of different sizes.


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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the compliments. Joey, I'll definitely check out dfwapc. I'm in uptown, so a little ways away from you but if you wanna grab a beer anytime and talk shop I'm down.

A few small updates - I have most of the fish ready to go & sitting in a few tanks. PetSmart had a 5 for $5 tetra sale last weekend so I picked some up. I also have the base of the stand fully assembled, painted & clearcoated.

24 red cherry shrimp
16 harlequin raspbora
10 neon tetra
2 cardinal tetras (they "school" with the neons)
2 hillstream loaches

I'm gonna see how full that makes the tank and go from there. Will probably have room for a few larger fish or another group of schoolers. I like tiger barbs but not sure they'll get along with everyone. I also have 10 guppies in a tank that might make their way in instead.

Got a few goodies in the mail today too (the clear pvc is for a custom spraybar):


Also, I have to decide on whether to add trim to the stand or not. I like both looks - pictures are below. I think I'm going to have to hold off on the decision until I get the tank & stand completely finished as I have to decide what to paint the upper part of the stand and whether to add trim to that too. I was also thinking of mixing in DWG with the HC to make it look a little wilder. Not sure if one will overtake the other though.

Without trim:


With trim:
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Yay, it finally got here this past Sunday. I'm disappointed in the build quality as far as the seams go, but not much I can do about it. Here are some updated photos. I have a better point & shoot camera I'm now using, but the lighting around the tank is pretty bad. Once I get the the light set up above the tank I should be able to get some better pics. I should have that built & ready to go tonight or tomorrow and get most everything complete by Thursday just in time to let it cycle over the holidays.







My OCD is kicking in, I'm going to have to remove all the eco-complete from the river bed.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 09:53 PM
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Very unique design. Its gonna look amazing when the hairgrass fills in.
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