40 Gallon High Tech (hopefully) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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40 Gallon High Tech (hopefully)

So I came across a bargain on a 40 gallon breeder. I've been looking to get rid of my 56 column because the dimensions are difficult to work with. The 40 has better length and isn't so tall, but has good depth to plant in different "grounds". I decided this one I'd go all-in on. With pressurized Co2, high light for high light plants, dosing fertilizers, and using a sump underneath to get some of the clutter out of the tank. I'm doing a DIY wet/dry filter into a 20G long sump. I plan to keep updating with pictures, but the question I keep running into is Lighting. people have explained this to me a number of times (now I've tossed out the WPG rule) but I'm still not understanding it. I know I need 3' T5HOs but I'm not sure how many I need. I was looking at slimflourescent.com's fixtures and their LED fixtures (since they came in 3' strips with 6500K lights). I'm assuming 6500K is what I want? And how many of these would I need to run a high light tank (having dwarf baby tears for example). I'm also running some red LED strips sparingly through the canopy that I'll be attaching all this to because in my college BIO 101 class, I learned that plants use red light the most efficiently (I've even seen a few places that have a red heat lamp shining on the plants and it seems to be much more lush and healthy). So feedback on the lighting would be greatly appreciated along with feedback/ideas on the tank build itself.

The sump and the first few parts of the filter. I have the tank as well, but I haven't finished the stand yet so it's sitting on the floor at the moment.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 12:39 PM
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Finally got a little time and money to work on the tank some more. Started cutting everything for the tank stand and canopy frame. The stand will be made of 2x4s with decorative wood wrapping the outside. The same applies for the top, with the exemption that the frame will be made from 1x2s instead of 2x4s. The reason being the canopy doesn't have to support 400+lbs of water and therefore I can spend less on thinner wood. The canopy will even be built in the same manner as the stand.

Fitting the frame for the canopy. Everything looks green. Tomorrow I should have time to start screwing everything together.



I've started giving thought to stocking. I'm planning to use a dirt bottom capped with pool filter sand. As far as livestock I'm thinking pygmy gouramis with large schools of Celestial Pearl Danios and Pygmy Rasboras now that I've found a LFS that sells them. I'm going to give dwarf hairgrass one more shot DSMing. I've had really bad luck with it so far, but I'm gonna try buying it from actual tanks rather than the dry packages with the gel at the bottom. I've only had luck with a few of those plants.

Last edited by Brian041; 06-12-2013 at 03:15 AM. Reason: Added info on the stand and canopy build.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, so some of the stuff I had to do today got pushed back, so I had more time to work out in the blistering Virginia heat and humidity (thanks hurricane that just grazed us but dropped a tornado off a few blocks away). The basic frame is just about done. Just have to add the support struts to the frame and it'll be ready to wrap with purdy wood. I did run into one issue however. The sump is a 20G long tank which is 12 1/4" deep. With the main struts on the stand there was only a 12" gap. So I took the strut 2x4s to the planer and shaved them down 1/8" each. While planing I realized that cutting it exactly 1/8" would make it an extremely tight fit, so I decided to plane off about another 1/16" off each strut for a bit of wiggle room. I figure 3/16" off each strut wouldn't cause too much of a weakness. Plus there are support struts along the corner edges of the frame that take the majority of the weight that will be full sized. So I figured that small bit would be negligible.





I'll be working on it a bit more today, so expect more photos. Might even start assembling the canopy frame today.

Last edited by Brian041; 06-12-2013 at 05:23 PM. Reason: typo
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Alright so the struts are all up now. I forgot I needed to put a bottom in too but that won't be an issue.

Here you can see where the load from the aquarium is distributed over 2 beams rather than just one. Does this make it any more structurally sound? I have my doubts, but it doesn't hurt to try to make it better.




You might notice one of the legs is a bit bare, I actually ran out of lumber on the last one. So I'll have to go pick up one more post at some point, but since there's no water in the tank right now, it's alright for the moment.


It's starting to look like a stand and canopy now

Last edited by Brian041; 06-12-2013 at 05:23 PM. Reason: typo
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Got a bit excited to try out the LED system I purchased. Gotta say it's pretty cool. It comes with a remote so I can switch from red lights during the day to blue moonlights with a remote. Someday I might look into rigging up something so I can control all the lights with a remote, but that's not on my priority list right now.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-15-2013, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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So I finished the frame for the tank canopy, my only issue is, looking at it now, I feel like it's a bit tall and seems disproportionate from the rest of the ensemble. What do you guys think?



As an update, the 20G Long sump still won't fit so I think I'm going to downsize the sump tank and drop the idea of a wet/dry filter for a canister filter. The wet/dry just seems like a pain to set up with Co2 injection, plus I'd have to buy a new bin for the filter to fit a smaller tank, so I think I'm going to just abandon that idea.

Last edited by Brian041; 06-15-2013 at 09:07 PM. Reason: clarification
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