Outcast's mid-tech Double Tank set up - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Outcast's mid-tech Double Tank set up

I had an issue, wife aggro is what we gamers call it. I had a 5 gallon taking up areas that knick knacks could have been placed in the bedroom, and a 10 gallon taking up the kitchen counter. So i devised a solution that would work for her, and mildly appease MTS (tank volume wise).

Our place has a build in alcove that definately could support the weight of a tank, so i took out the measuring tape and figured out what dimensions would work best for the location.

I asked around for custom tank builders in my area (or in canada) and got a dismal response. So a local fish buddy of mine volunteered to make me the tanks. For this being his first acrylic build i think he did pretty well.

the dimensions are
21" long x 9" deep x 12" high.

the water test


the location the tanks are going, and the 5 gallon being removed


The left tank in place


Both tanks


Filling them up, and emptying (*tear*)



The power center


what is to change, the filters will be replaced, new heaters, and a 4 foot single tube t5ho would be perfect mounted on the underside of the above shelf. Manifolds are on order to run co2 from the cylinder to this location

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Here's the progress so far, the temporary scaping i did. I used the 5 gallon tank's black flourite as an undercoat. I hated the look of all my plants floating so i used the little substrate i had (and rocks) to anchor the plants.



then i picked up a bag of tahitian moon sand, started working on the tanks. here is the left tank, not nearly scaped the way i want it, but if i spend more time scaping i'll get wife aggro.


the right tank i put most of the effort in atm, I stuck to the golden ratio a bit with this one, a first time for me.


and both of the tanks

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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During the week my manifolds arrived from aquacave and after hunting down the right fitting (thank you rona) i was able to finally get pressurized co2 to the kitchen. My 29 gallon tank has its power fed from a storage area under the stairs through an open ventilation duct, so i ran the co2 line from the tank on a shelf above the duct, through the storage area, then through the wall into a kitchen cabinet, and finally onto the alcove the tanks are on.

heres the tank w/ one manifold

and the second manifold to split between the two 9.8 gallons


I set them up with chopsticks for a diffuser for a day, then i got the news i had friday off so i made a pilgrimage to J and L for some equipment.

I bought:
25 Watt Jager Heater x2
75 Watt Jager heater (to replace broken rena smart heater)
Co2 Indicator x2
Small 3 in 1 Ceramic Disc Diffuser x2
Large 3 in 1 Ceramic Disc Diffuser
Maxijet 400 x2

Pretty much i got all the loose ends i've had on my to buy list for a while.

heres a new heater and a diffuser hidden


the Co2 indicators, love how easy they are to fill, makes up for them being a bit larger than i'd like. Theres one of the baby PFRs swimming by it.

and a full grown PFR


and the powerheads were installed to replace the HOBs. With my tanks being planted, and not overloaded, a sponge prefilter should be able to handle the bio load without issues, since theres plenty of surface area and plenty of current aswell. Plus with them being upside down, they help skim away film, and make it a breeze to clean the prefilter. Plus they create heat, which allows me to use a slightly underrated heater for my tank size. Once i switched out the filters, i had little shrimpies swimming everywhere.



and a full tank shot (and my sons' drawing on the wall >.< ), i switched a couple plants around in the guppy tank and added some Anubias barteri 'Petite'


now i need to get back onto my EI dosing regime and fine tune my co2. My laziness has caused me a bit of algae in some tanks.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 10:02 PM
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Great clean looking setup you have there. I'm not a little worried about the shelf. Is it "strong" to hold that much weight? It's about 250lbs onto there?

You should ask your LFS friend what silicon he used. Someone here built their own rimless tank and on the single side he didn't use the industrial grade silicon, it sprung a leak and he had a huge mess all over his floor. It was partially due to the silicon and partially due to the fact he used an algae scraper with too much force!

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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the tanks are acrylic, no silicone as for algae scraper, i dont use them, i use magic erasers because they are more gentle enough for acrylic yet can sand away the toughest green spot.

the shelf is built into a wall and supported by heavy gauge steel stud framed right to the plank and the studs are also fastened both the cement floor and cement foundation. We are a family of construction workers, we overkill everything we touch, lol.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 11:43 PM
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LOL. I don't know what's wrong with me. I read acrylic and still assumed it was siliconed haha. Whoops! Wow that sounds like a super strong wooden frame then!

So you're only using a sponge filter + powerhead for filtration and circulation in both tanks?
And left tank betta, right tank PFRs?

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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I figured a prefilter sponge plus the increased flow from the maxijet would handle the bioload quite easily considering i dont feed more every third day. reason i took into account the flow is due to the plant matter and decor housing the bacteria aswell. The reason the filters are upside down is to simplify cleaning the prefilters and also skims the surface from any built up aswell (and rogue duckweed in one place)

9.8 gallons
Substrate: Black Flourite Capped with Tahitian moon sand
Lighting: 4ft t5ho w/ daylight bulb
Filtration: Maxijet 400 w/ prefilter on each tank
Decor: pebbles, granite, manzanita and malaysian driftwood
Co2: pressurized via ceramic discs
tanks: custom made acrylic by Gklaw
Fertilization: EI + jobe spikes

Flora - Left:
Anubias barteri 'Petite'
Cryptocoryne parva
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Microsorum pteropus v. 'narrow leaf'
Singapore moss
Ranunculus Inundatus (not making it)
Ammania gracilis
Proserpinaca palustris (Mermaid Weed) (barely making it)
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
Flora - Right:
Cryptocoryne Lucens
Microsorum pteropus v. 'narrow leaf'
Alternanthera reineckii 'roseafolia'
Singapore moss
Lobelia cardinalis 'Small Form'
eleocharis parvula (Dwarf Hairgrass)
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
staurogyne repens (pitiful atm)
blyxa japonica


Fauna - Left:
3 Male Guppies
1 Dwarf ottos
3 Amano Shrimp
Fauna - Right:
Painted Fire Red Shrimp

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 01:01 AM
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Strong algae eating crew on the left tank! You mentioned you were having algae issues, was that in both tanks? Or just the one on the right?

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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no algae issues yet actually, i was just saying magic erasers work great on tough green spot. with the co2 now hooked up and dosing regularly, i doubt i'll have much issues with it, especially once i get the right tanks crew stocked

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 01:07 AM
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Ahh I see. What else are you adding to the right tank? More amanos? Make sure to turn off the CO2 when introducing new livestock !

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Ottos, and once the pfr population grow more, amanos and maybe some emerald micro rasboras. The right tank lost 2 ottos when I turned on the co2, the survivor is doing fine though oh and probbaly some assassin snails in each.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 02:33 AM
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Yea you have to shut off CO2 when you introduce new fauna. Even if you drip acclimate something about CO2 being present kills things.

Careful about the assassin snails! Those are known to hunt shrimp if there aren't any pest snails for them to munch on. But if you wait until your population of PFR's are good, it won't really matter haha.

I also went back and noticed you switched the lighting! Now you have that sleek T5HO bulb instead of those clip on lights ! No wonder the latter image looked much neater as well.

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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the original plan was to go with t5ho, but i had my clip on lights from the previous tanks. The same guy who made my tanks let me in on where i could buy a 4' fixture w/ bulb and reflector for $35.

using hoppy's charts (as i always do and recommend to locals) the t5ho w/ mid quality reflector ended up being around the perfect estimated par fastened to the above shelf.

good to know about the shutting off co2, would have definately had dead fishies cause of that. as for the assassins, im aware of the risk, which is one of the reasons i was waiting on it. My larger tank has chain loaches and they eliminated the snail pop so the worst case scenerio is i have one tank with snails to feed the loaches a treat from time to time.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 04:55 AM
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Wow! A 4" T5HO bulb with reflect for $35... you are one lucky man!

Mind sending me the link to hoppy's chart if you have it readily available? If not I'll look for it through his profile :P. Won't really be able to utilize it until I get my own house as I'm forced to use hoods and covers for my tanks in my apartment.

! A lot of people have issues with CO2 and not knowing about shutting it off. Glad I could pass that info along to you! You don't need to shut it off for 24 hours or anything. As long as you have an air stone running the CO2 will all gas out within an hour. Assassins to feed your loaches? They're getting an expensive treat :]

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2011, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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even without the airstone im sure i'll be fine. Im a big fan of increased surface agitation at the cost of co2 tank longevity.

must have hoppy links:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...bove-tank.html

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