Kevin's 55 Gallon Dirt Tank build/revamp (from top to bottom) **56K** - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Kevin's 55 Gallon Dirt Tank build/revamp (from top to bottom) **56K**

Alright I figured it would be a good idea to start a tank journal to track my progress on my newly found obsession. I have had a 55 gallon tank for 3 years and it is has been a giant cube of depressing emptiness with the most random common fish you can find. The fish have stayed alive astonishingly despite the ample lack of care that went into that tank. About two months ago I started lurking on this forum and got completely inspired to plant my tank and advance it to a new level and actually like to look at this large investment I have made. So here it goes....


here is the original tank...
I built a canopy to house my t5 lighting...











Painted to match the existing stand

Then started in on the tank...




Scaped it a tiny bit with the few plants I had.

A few hours later it's all finished.

I have recently added more plants and fish but need to take more pictures.

This tank has been a long process of waiting for things to happen an it has paid off so far, I have co2 on the way and will start dosing soon.


***Scroll down for more Additions to the tank***

Last edited by Kevyg; 02-28-2012 at 05:27 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 04:29 AM
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Yay for dirt tanks!

Looks like it's coming along well. I'm interested to see what your doing with each side!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 06:20 AM
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Glad to see you bring your 55 back to life.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the feedback, mostly the scape is widely waiting on Gordon's plant order from Florida aquatic but I am making a two hour trip tomorrow to get to a decent aquarium shop that doesn't sell guppies and tetras only. Plan on stocking some more Otto cats (grown to love those Iil busy Guys they get some work done)

Anyways thanks again and to Dax I am definitely a fan of dirt tanks so far.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 01:52 PM
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I like the 2 substrate layout and the way you separated them.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by psalm18.2 View Post
I like the 2 substrate layout and the way you separated them.
Thank you I put a lot of thought into how this tank will be laid out, I can't wait to see it in full swing when my co2 gets here and it is fully planted, I am going to build a stand for it today, for some reason I am starting to become more and more uneasy about the support a wal-Mart stand can give. I think the more I invest the better a good stand sounds.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 02:41 PM
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Good idea. Could modify the stand by adding support. I have my 55g on cement blocks with 2x4 wood. Works for our set up, tank doesn't block windows. A builder told me the best way to support a stand is by screwing plywood to the back so it can't sway off balance.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Good idea. Could modify the stand by adding support. I have my 55g on cement blocks with 2x4 wood. Works for our set up, tank doesn't block windows. A builder told me the best way to support a stand is by screwing plywood to the back so it can't sway off balance.
Thanks for the tip I have some scraps lying around that I could easily incorporate a piece to the back .

Headed out on my long road trip for some more stuff for my tank, will post pics on the stand build later today when it is done.


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Alright I am up 4 oto cats 4 panda corys 3 Italian Val, and 5 rummynose tetra. I have also started in on making my tank stand. Here is the progress so far...

**Edited, i have posted a build thread instead of including it in this tank journal.***

Here is the entire build:

55 Gallon Tank stand Build


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Last edited by Kevyg; 02-28-2012 at 05:15 PM.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Alright.... FINALLY got my tank stand and everything finalized and set up completely.

Here is the thread to the build

55 Gallon Tank stand Build

I have installed a carbon filter underneath for when water changes happen:


I hook my hose up to the sink then screw the other end into the back of the stand.


When I turn on the water, it runs through the filter then up to the canopy and sprays out of a DIY spray head:



I have also got a few new plants added to the tank:




I have also got almost all of my co2 set up except for a 10-32 extender fitting breaking off in a 1/4 to 10-32 reducer fitting.... Kind of a frustrating thin there....

But my canister filter is now set up as well. After sitting at my house for about two weeks I finally got it installed!


check out the build thread on the tank stand in the beginning of this post.

Last edited by Kevyg; 02-28-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Got links fixed in the posts so now it all works.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, time to update the journal. Everything is going great and there is noticeable growth all around. The myrio added a couple weeks ago has doubled in size, and vallisneria has sprouted runners, despite my lack of co2.

Plants added from han are awesome, also added some patches of HC from Gordon along with a Fran's stoffels sword. To help cover up the equipment I invested in a large amazon sword to take up some visual space.



I have added four zebra angelfish in hope I will get one pair. They are looking extremely healthy.

I also have started a batch of brine shrimp to hatch out to adults, enrich with spirulina then feed to my Angels.






That is all for now, tomorrow a new hood will go on as well as some gnarled manzanita driftwood I have been curing for a couple of
Months. I will tie some Taiwan moss to the driftwood.

Thanks for reading


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psalm18.2 View Post
I like the 2 substrate layout and the way you separated them.
I tried the two substrate layout and one thing to note, rocks float... on sand. As the two substrates mix, the sand will sink and the rocks "float". Just a word to the wise.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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I tried the two substrate layout and one thing to note, rocks float... on sand. As the two substrates mix, the sand will sink and the rocks "float". Just a word to the wise.
Definitely noted, the only problem so far is the plecos getting bigger so they are swishing their way under the driftwood, pushing some of the black Eco complete up and then ontop of the sand, i keep up on it as much as I can with my tweezers.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Added some driftwood that took FOREVER to get to sink. I tied some taiwan moss to it then tossed it in. It looks good, I would have already removed the mopani wood except for the fact the two Clown plecos I have are emotionally attached to that thing....


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