Bnbfishin's 55 gallon medium tech setup...... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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Bnbfishin's 55 gallon medium tech setup......

I could just about punch my laptop after my fat finger somehow just erased everything I am about to retype!! Yeah I know, it wasn't the computer's fault

First off thanks to those who have answered my questions the past couple of weeks and also thanks to those who have posted their questions that helped me answer some of my own just by reading the responses.

After about a 12ish year vacation from aquariums I am finally getting one set up. I have had many tanks in the past from 10-125 gallons and freshwater community to cichlid tanks to brackish water to community salt to a 90 gallon reef tank. I've had too many species to list but my top two favorites where an archer fish that would "shoot" food off the side of the tank to a 36"+ fire eel that was more like an underwater puppy than a fish!

I picked up a 55 gallon tank, oak stand and canopy from Craigslist. I painted the back and one side black.

Filtraion/heating 2 Magnum 350 canister filters, 25 watt UV sterilizer, 300 watt Visitherm submersible heater, 1 powerhead hooked up to some custom piping to prevent any dead spots on the bottom of the tank.

Lighting Will be a dual bulb T5HO 6700K bulb and an actinic bulb. I added the actinic to offset the yellowish color the 6700 was throwing. It balanced it out very nicely! The fixture will be mounted into the canopy making it approx 23" above the substrate.

Substrate Is a special mix sold by aquariumplants.com I will also be ordering my plants and some fish via the net since my LFS's are nothing shy of aweful and don't carry much for variety. The plants wil be from aquariumplants.com and some members on TPT! The fish part is still being looked through.

Plants Consist of Crypt Wendtii red and green, Narrow Leaf Java Ferns, Anubias Nana and Petite, Corkscrew Vals, Aponogetun Ulvaceus and Crypt Parva. I will have some stone and driftwood in there as well. Waiting on pics from DR Drifter tomorrow to see which piece/s will be headed my way.

Fauna Male Betta, Bristlenose pleco, Ottocinclus, Jap Algea Eating Shrimp, Gold Rams, Rasbora Hets, Neon Dwarf Rainbows, Black Veil Angels, Panda Cory Cats, Bleeding Hearts, Cobalt Discus.

I'll be posting pics of the process along the way. Thanks for taking this little aquatic ride with me......

Bill

Last edited by bnbfishin; 02-13-2011 at 04:47 PM.
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 05:56 AM
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looking forward to the progress


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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Here's some pics of the tank empty and being painted. Just used some satin black spray paint. I have some ideas for using driftwood. We'll see what happens down the line when things start coming together
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 06:42 PM
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looks great. nice canopy.


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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 06:47 PM
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I had that same exact canopy and stand, just in a larger version (150g). Yours looks like it's in much better condition than mine was, lol.

Just curious-- what's your reason for painting the sides of the aquarium?
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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I picked it and the tank and a bunch of accs from Craigslist for 225 bucks. I know it was a good deal. The tank doesn't even have any scratches
I was really happy to find an actual oak canopy and stand instead of the pine which I really don't care for.

I painted the one side (and the back) because of the room it is going into. There is only one spot in the room for it to go and I painted it to block any potential sun rays from shining through that side of the tank.
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I had that same exact canopy and stand, just in a larger version (150g). Yours looks like it's in much better condition than mine was, lol.

Just curious-- what's your reason for painting the sides of the aquarium?
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate and light bulbs are here. Light fixture is supposed to be delivered today thanks to Brown! I need to see how much the substrate fills in. I'm still waiting on stone to arrive and for pics of driftwood to choose which pieces I'm going with. It's really tough being patient!
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 04:33 PM
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Agreed, patients is not one of my virtues. I've spent the last 8+ months building a tank mentally. Just started the buying part and all I want to do is sit and stare at pretty fish and plants! Good luck and I look forward to your progress!

Matt
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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I got the light fixture mounted to the underside of the canopy. I took the fixture apart so I could see where it would be safe to put two screws through the reflector and housing without hitting any wires. This is part of the reason that it took me a while to find a fixture is because it had to fit in a particular spot in the canopy so it won't be in the way when I open the canopy to work in the tank. Modified the canopy by cutting out a small piece of the trim for the cord and access to the switch.
I'll be looking on Ebay for some "nightlights". Also looking around for a power strip with multiple timer outlets built in. I found one but am looking around to see what else is available. The one I found has four timer rigged outlets and 4 constant power outlets. The four that run via the timer can be individually set, cool feature.

I only put about half the substrate in the tank. It measures out between 1.8mm - 2.8mm per piece according to the supplier. I am making a flow system that runs beneath the gravel to keep any dead spots from forming on top of the gravel, at least I'm hoping that's what happens. I have a bunch of tubing and elbows n stuff that are sitting here because I need part of the hardscape to arrive before I can really do anything with it. Mearsure twice, cut once. At least that's what I'm going with right now.

Here's a couple of shots from today's fun.....
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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And a few more shots.....
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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 08:11 AM
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Yay! Another 55 gallon aquarium. Instantly subscribed. I love the canopy.

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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 04:51 PM
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What power strip was it that you found with the timers? Sounds cool.

That's a serious bucket of substrate!

Matt
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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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I believe it was made by Corallife. Saw it at Petco and figured if they had one then I should be able to find one somewhere else.

5 gallon bucket of substrate. Weighs less than 40 lbs. According to the website it should have been good for 3" of depth for my 55. Looks like they are pretty close. I'm still waiting on the hardscape, I may need more substrate depending on how it plays out.
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What power strip was it that you found with the timers? Sounds cool.

That's a serious bucket of substrate!

Matt
Mail lady came and went and still no rocks to work on the hardscape. Guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow......

Last edited by bnbfishin; 01-05-2011 at 08:59 PM.
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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 08:26 AM
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Don't you hate waiting for the mail and not getting what you are wishing for?

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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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ohh you have no idea The only thing I hate more at the moment is being outbid on an item with 4 seconds left!!

Guess I'll go play Farmville while I wait for the mail lady today. Well that isn't the ONLY thing I'll be doing today.......
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