After many, many months of putting it off, I finally decided to put my 90G (48x18x24) aquarium into the wall. I've had a few aquariums over the years, but never a planted tank. When my wife and I were deciding to go with a fresh water or saltwater tank we stumbled across this website. After we looked at some of the incredible photo journals on this site our minds were made.
The first project was building the stand. I made it 49x25x38. The extra space in the back is for a little shelf to hold food, test kits or whatever I need at the time. It is primarily 2x4 and 4x4 construction with a piece of 3/4 ply on top. I know that it is way overbuilt, but the wood was free and the stand is permanent.
The actual demo was very easy. The tank went into an unused closet, so I just broke out the sawzall and went to town with it.
I threw together a quick stick frame, drywalled and painted then trimmed it out with some Red Oak.
Next came the filter, CO2 equipment and the reactor. I got an XP3 for filtration, a Milwaukee regulator and controller and built a Rex reactor out of 2" PVC.
The lighting is an AH Supply 4x55w bright kit. I bought 4 GE 9325k's for the bright kit and to balance out the color a little I got a cheapo 2 tube T5HO fixture from Aquatraders with 10k bulbs in it. It doesn't put nearly the light of the bright kits, but it does make the tank more pleasing to the eye. The fixture I made is probably the most ghetto thing you've ever seen. It is just a couple of 2x6's on the sides with 2x4's to mount the lights to.
Last, but not least I used Soilmaster Select for the substrate. I decided to use this instead of the other substrates, because I liked the color and the grain size seems just right. One 50lb bag got me a good depth to plant in. For the plants I just went down to the local Petsmart and bought whatever stem plants they had. I also bought some dwarf hairgrass for the foreground, because I figured it would take a while for it to fill in. They're expecting another shipment of plants on Monday, so I'll add more when I can. The fish that are in there now are six juvenile Angels, six black skirts and four danios. Ammonia has read zero since I set it up last Sunday. I got the ferts from Greg Watson, have some Flourish to use up before I get to the Plantex. I basically planted the stems whever I felt like. I haven't decided on any final aquascape, but I have a month long business trip in April to figure it out.
Any suggestions you have are welcome. It has been set up for a week and I haven't noticed any algae yet, so my hopes are up. The only thing I'm not sure about is when to start dosing ferts. If anybody can provide a little help in this area I'd much appreciate it.
Thanks for looking,