40 Breeder Upgrade - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-24-2018, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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40 Breeder Upgrade

My 40 gallon breeder project is almost ready to get started.


All livestock from my current 20L will be transferred over to their new home.
See the beginnings here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12...ransition.html



I picked up the tank from Petco's half off sale last August but had to wait to do anything until we moved to our new house in December. Meanwhile I was able to gather all the equipment and work on building the stand.


Equipment:


Aquatic Life Edge 36" LED light
SunSun 304 canister filter
Eheim Jager heater
Hydor Koralia Nano 425 (for added water movement if needed)


Aquascape:


mineralized soil capped with pool filter sand
driftwood branches and stump
Ohko stone


The stand is a simple DIY project of 2x4's skinned with plywood. It has taken a bit more time than I originally planned but is finally getting close to finishing. I did complete a test fill of the tank in the garage, no flood so that was a success!



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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-28-2018, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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Some progress pictures:


Testing the stand with the tank and equipment - skinning the stand - staining
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-28-2018, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Before I can set up the tank I need to paint the walls behind it - the spot its going into has all white walls. I had thought about painting once the tank is up and running (my impatience trying to get the better of me!) but after giving it some thought, figured I should do it before rather than after and not have to deal with the headache of covering the tank in plastic and risk a crashed tank from paint fumes.


Speaking of fumes - after staining the tank in the garage it stunk for nearly a week while drying. My wife was not too happy.


I also have never set up a tank on tile flooring before - always have been on carpeting. So this will be a new experience for me as well. For this reason I had to make certain the stand was level with no high spots. Lots of sanding was needed on the corners.


Next up are the doors...
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 02-13-2018, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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I was able to paint the walls where the tank will go and am almost finish with the doors. Just 2 sheets of plywood with some 1x3 on the edges, sanded and stained. All that's left is a coat of poly finish to seal it up. Then reattach the door hardware and it'll be done.



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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 02-24-2018, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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Happy to say I finally finished the stand with the completion of the doors. The poly coat really finishes off the stand - pleasantly surprised with the results.


I was able to level the stand and worked on filling it yesterday. Used 4 bags of mineralized soil and capped it with 70'ish lbs. of pool filter sand. I attempted my first hill using some pantyhose filled with aquarium gravel as a base and then covering with the sand. I think it turned out rather nice.


Let the 2 pieces of driftwood float overnight and they both sank by this morning. I also ran a HOB filter overnight to help clean the tank of any particulate stuff in the water.


This morning I finished up the aquascaping using the Ohko stones and driftwood. I may do a bit more work on the hill to make it appear more defined.
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 02-25-2018, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like I won't be needing the Koralia Nano 425 - the short time I had it running it blew off the top of my hill exposing the pantyhose gravel. I did a bit of restructuring of the hill and got to planting today.


Plant list:


Amazon sword
Red flame sword
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Aponogeton undulates
Aponogeton crispus
Red melon sword
Kleiner bar sword
Oriental sword
E. parviflorus sword
Hygrophila polysperma (dwarf Hygrophila)
Microsorum pteropus (Java fern)
Anubias nana


All of my plants are coming from my 20 gallon long tank that I setup back in December when we moved to the new house. Unfortunately I didn't do a whole lot for the tank so most plants didn't look too great.


But now with the new tank setup I can get them back to their former glorious self. I did a whole lot of trimming removing dead and damaged leaves and with the amazon sword, red flame sword, and Apo crispus I had to removed a bunch of excess growth because those 3 just grew very happily in the dirt I had in the temp tank.


I also moved the fish, shrimp, and snails over to the new tank as well. The fish handled the move with ease and began exploring their new home with zeal. My 3 amano's were a bit more skittish and basically hid in the drift wood. I definitely wanted to keep the snails as I had no problems with their populations keeping in check plus they are great at keeping any algae in check.


Livestock:


3 glowlight tetras (since 05/15)

3 neon tetras (since 01/16)
4 cherry barbs (since 06/17)
3 amano shrimp (since 10/17)
assortment of ramshorn and Malaysian trumpet snails (07/17)







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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-07-2018, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Today I did my first WC - 10 gallons (25%). The tank water was getting dark from the driftwood so it was time. A few more wc's over the next week should help clear things up. I also used the lower water level to temporarily plant some stems until I can figure where I want them.


The fish have really taken to the new tank and are really enjoying the added room. I've noticed especially with the cherry barbs they don't spend a lot of time chasing their other tank mates - they actually spend most of their time swimming around and exploring the driftwood. The driftwood and Ohko stone is a great change for the tank. I was unsure of using the stone at first but am very happy now that I see it setup.


With as few fish I have the tank is still very much active as the neons and glow lights do swim around more then in the 20L. I still want to increase my fish numbers to give them bigger schools: perhaps 6-8 more neons, 2-3 more glow lights, and 2-4 more cherry barbs.


I'm also proud of my lil'hill as it appears to be holding its shape - seems the pantyhose/gravel combination is working great.
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-07-2018, 04:12 AM
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nice! looking good. keep us posted I do enjoy seeing the progress
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for stopping by!


Sometimes the tank progresses faster than I can keep up!
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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I never got a good pic of my finished stand. I am pleased with how it turned out except for one small bit - the hinges for the doors are well, not my best solution. I'll have to consider something nicer looking when making a stand for my dream 75g. But for now this was good practice in learning new techniques and designs. I have some scrap wood that I would like to make a few shelves in the stand for storing test kits and food containers, etc.
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post #11 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 05:53 AM Thread Starter
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I replanted my stems in more permanent locations today.


I only had them up front for about a week but of course the wisteria's roots already reached the soil layer and caused a small cap breach when uprooting it. A bit of vacuuming was needed to clean things up and I added a cup of new sand over the breach area. For now I have not decided on what to do with the wisteria as it can overtake the tank if not constantly pruned. For now I placed it behind the spray bar so it stays put until I figure what to do with it.


I also switched places with the crypt wendtii and red melon sword as I wanted the red melon to be front and center. It has been developing a really nice reddish maroon coloration and I want it to be a centerpiece plant. I must have moved it 8 times just to get it in that 'perfect' spot!


I also saw my Aponogeton undulates is starting to flower again. Second time it has done this, very interesting to watch it develop.


Some pictures of the tank: FTS, right side, center, left side, and the Apo flower.


Have to give credit to member Triport for the idea of labeling the plants in the FTS!
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post #12 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 06:23 AM
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The stand looks awesome <jealous> , great work on top edges. I bet it can hold a baby elephant. Maybe bronze / black hinges will blend in nicer, even with the existing door handles. Well done.

What amazes me is how you have kept so many swords in a 20L, especially Amazon. These guys just keep trying to escape from my 18+" tall tanks.
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post #13 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 07:11 AM
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Nice 40! That light colored sand really makes the green pop. All your swords are looking very healthy. Has the small hill you had on the left side of the tank held it's shape well?
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post #14 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the compliments - I am very happy with how the swords are doing.

I know they were a bit much for the 20l but it helped tremendously in determining their final planting location in the 40. Since I use dirt capped with sand it's a challenge to move plants around after they have settled in.

I went back and forth between black diamond sand and pool filter sand, looked at lots of tanks to compare the two before deciding on the PFS. I am satisfied with the natural look of the sand.

The hill has kept its shape. I just can't add too much current as it will blow away!

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post #15 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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OVR,

A baby elephant - no problem I'm sure! The upper trim was a last minute idea as I felt it needed something more as I was getting ready to stain it, glad you like it.

I kept my sword selection to just one amazon this time. I had 4 in my first tank, a 20H I had setup some years ago. That was a big mistake! But I decided to go with some slower growing sword species and they are working out great.

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