55g resurrection... 3rd time's a charm (?) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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55g resurrection... 3rd time's a charm (?)

After two build/breakdown/move scenarios with this 55g I acquired several years ago from a friend of mine, I stuffed it in the basement hoping one day to be at a more permanent location where I could attempt to turn it into something worth looking at... So finally I've given up waiting and am going to set it up once again despite the possibility of moving within the next year. I figure if anything it will simply give me more practice, plus since it's winter and it's a lot less expensive than a dive trip it will keep me out of both debt and trouble lol

Here's the tank, as-is, in its current dungeon of a home...



I have dried substrate and most of my equipment in storage tubs which I will be breaking out and sorting through. I purchased a few plants which are now growing out in a CO2 bath... Hopefully by the time the hardscape is set up I'll have enough to plant with minimal additional purchases. I'll be soliciting criticism/suggestions on the hardscape as I don't have "the eye" for aquascaping like many of you do!

Here's the plants I have growing out thus far:
Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'
Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Japan'
Cyperus helferi
Proserpinaca palustris
Anubias barteri var. nana 'Petite'
Vesicularia ferriei
Riccardia chamedryfolia
Cryptocoryne wendtii (no clue which variety)

I'm going for a very-simple-but-not-quite-minimalist feel... I think I'll end up using a Glosso/Eleocharis parvula carpet in the foreground (maybe just the Eleocharis but I'm not sure). For hardscape I have a couple flat-ish rocks which I've stolen from the lake, and some driftwood. I still need to wire the stand, scrape the glass (I'm going clear this time), and drill larger holes in the back to accommodate my bulkheads.

Now to find a home for it that isn't in the basement... lol

Last edited by xand3rh0; 10-23-2013 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Resized image thumbnail
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2013, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm... I may have to engage in WWF style battle with my 5-year-old to steal this spot from him, but I think it's about the only place in the house the thing will fit!



Don't mind the laundry... I swear it's clean!

Last edited by xand3rh0; 10-23-2013 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Resized image thumbnail
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2013, 11:54 AM
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I think your 5 year old will understand. I have a 2, 4 and 6 year old who are very fascinated with my tank.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2013, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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I think your 5 year old will understand. I have a 2, 4 and 6 year old who are very fascinated with my tank.
Haha awesome! Yeah I hope so, he keeps asking what it is that I'm "fixing" - I'm sure we'll end up with some oddly fluorescent fish once it's all put together lol
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2013, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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The bare stand... I'm tired of having power strips so I decided this time I'd spend $20 and wire it all into the dead space under the stand. I'm sure I will encounter some issues but it will be a good dry run for "next time", whenever that might be.



Added a few 1x2's to mount my electrical components, just cut them and tacked them in. Yes, that's a scuba tank - it's so much more convenient this way that I haven't even turned my compressor on in over a year - I probably just need to get rid of it.


Last edited by xand3rh0; 10-23-2013 at 03:45 PM. Reason: Forgot "before" photo
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2013, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Got a bit of the wiring done. I am doing most of this over my lunch hours, and at night I can't help but stare at the thing and wish I could just spend a few hours and get it all done!

My wife keeps eyeing it with concern, noting "it looks like it could start a fire." No faith, no faith! lol


Last edited by xand3rh0; 10-25-2013 at 02:00 PM. Reason: Fixed broken image link
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-25-2013, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Finished the wiring last night, for the most part... In retrospect, it would have been much easier if I had pulled the wires out of the sheathing and wired it one type at a time: i.e. wired all the grounds, connected all the hot wires, then the neutral. It's not pretty but everything works, so I think I'll just leave it be. It was definitely a good learning experience for next time.





...and here's a pic with the tank on just for reference, turned backwards because I'll be scraping it.



This is from my old build - I think a transparent background will work best this time, so I will be scraping the tank (oh what fun) tonight. My bulkheads need to be moved up so I will have to redrill, I suppose I'll use silicone and put some 1/8" plexiglass pieces over the old holes on the inside of the tank - any thoughts on that? They're only 1" diameter holes so I assume the plexiglass will hold up to the pressure ok.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-25-2013, 06:20 PM
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Was the wiring really better then just screwing a power strip onto the stand? The only benefit I'm seeing is that you have individual on/off switches for each outlet and it looks like a lot of work. How often do you plan on using them? They're not exactly in an easy to access location. I guess I don't really turn my heater and filters on/off very often. Maybe you're going to use them for something else? Your ambition has me curious...
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-25-2013, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tvadna View Post
Was the wiring really better then just screwing a power strip onto the stand? The only benefit I'm seeing is that you have individual on/off switches for each outlet and it looks like a lot of work. How often do you plan on using them? They're not exactly in an easy to access location. I guess I don't really turn my heater and filters on/off very often. Maybe you're going to use them for something else? Your ambition has me curious...
Ha! Ok, confession time: about halfway through I was thinking the same thing lol. I turn one of the pumps off before I flip valves for drain/fill, but honestly it's more of a convenience and I thought it would be fun to try. I didn't get a photo but the switches for the lights are actually on the end of the stand and are easily accessible. The other switches are right behind the door so they are pretty easy to get to also, but that's not really apparent from the angle of the photo.

The way it's wired, the switches which cut power to the pumps also shut off the inline peripherals (i.e. heat / CO2). There are also individual shutoffs for each component so they can be turned off while the pump is left running. I also have an override for the lights so they can be turned on / off without touching the timer.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-25-2013, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Tank is scraped (what a pain) and here's the first draft of the hardscape... Comments would be appreciated. I have some more wood but it really doesn't seem to fit anywhere, I'll post a pic of it later if I remember lol. Imagine SAND in the middle...





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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-25-2013, 09:04 PM
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I see the vision and nice work and nice dyson vac have the same one
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-25-2013, 09:17 PM
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wow. nice start


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There are 2 types of people on this forum. Those that have algae, and those that lie and say they don't.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-26-2013, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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I slept on the above, then made some adjustments and added some wood this morning (morning wood lol?) - thoughts or suggestions are welcome! Sorry for the sub-par photos, I'm still learning how to use this camera and having the tank light on makes it go all whacko...





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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-27-2013, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Another try... Sort of a combo this time. Again, sand in the bare area (kind of difficult for me to imagine actually lol).

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2013, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Patched, re-drilled, cleaned, marked and ready for hardscape, DSM and plumbing. I spent $20 for "real" bulkheads this time instead of making my own with PVC fittings... I'm not sure it's any better from a functional standpoint but they sure look a lot nicer lol!

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