75gal cube planted
My 55gal planted has dominated the living room for a couple years now and we’re redecorating. This means I’ve got a perfect excuse to upgrade while reducing my “tankprint” (#tankprint) and building something truly awesome. For a long time, I’ve pulled knowledge from these forums to make things happen so it’s my turn to journal a project and hopefully help someone else for a change.
I shopped around for a brand new Marineland cube but since we’re paying for new furniture, I found my tank budget dwindling. I looked on all the usual apps and sites for something used and found an amazing 75 gallon (?) on Craigslist that was used once for a convention. It’s 24x24x30” and DRILLED! Not some cute reef-ready overflow box-type situation but drilled right down the middle with three 1 1/2” holes. For $250, it came with a stand, a canopy and a 2x 65w CFL/ 250w metal halide light fixture with ballast. I saw it in person and needed it.
I schlepped this sucker home and have slowly been working on it. The stand is open so I cut some panels for three of the sides and left one open for a cabinet door.
After painting, I put in three 1” bulkheads. I have no idea what I’m doing with drilled tanks so I toyed with the idea of building a refugium but decided at my level, I’d better play it safe and run the plumbing to my canister filter. I hit up amazon for strainers and the local hardware store for pvc pipes, fittings and cement.
The idea is to place the intake under coarse gravel below the substrate and run the output through a tall standpipe in the center. I’ll use an inline heater and co2 atomizer so that I don’t have any equipment visible except for the standpipe. I capped the pipe and drilled several holes near the top to act as sort of a vertical spray bar. The third hole will be a drain for easy water changes.
All three bulkheads are connected to ball valves. Two have been adapted down to accommodate my filter hoses and the drain will fit a garden hose that I can run out to water plants or whatever.
After all the silicone and pvc cement cure (this weekend), I’ll water test it and see how my work has fared. If all is well, I can start building!
For the scape, I’m going to try to use some driftwood and plants from my 55gal and since my lighting will be pretty strong, I think I can pull off some new and demanding plants. I’d like to create an Island-type scape with some dwarf baby tears, star grass and something red. I’ve got giant (GIANT) vals that I’m not sure if I can include here but it’s on the table. I want to use coarse gravel at the bottom since my filter intake is down there and I can get some nutrients and water circulation to the roots. The top and majority of my substrate will be eco Complete. I already run a 5lb co2 setup with an in-line atomizer on my 55gal that I’ll be using here.
Hopefully, this will be the stuff of dreams and not nightmares. Wish me luck!
For fish, I’m hoping to transition my two angels, 4 GBR, 15 harlequin rasboras, 3 Otos and one pictus cat. I’ve got a 40g breeder in the basement if all doesn’t go according to plan.