We're in the final stages of my family's 65 gallon community tank, and wanted to share our progress with everyone.
65g aquarium (36x18x24)
20 long sump/refugium
Finnex 36" Ray2
Eco-Complete substrate (~80lbs)
Neon Tetra (coming from existing 29g)
Bloodfin Tetra (coming from existing 29g)
Red Eye Tetra (coming from existing 29g)
Tiger Barbs (most likely, still not 100% certain)
Still need to resolve shrimp/snail/algae eater solution
Hemianthus Callitrichoides (Planted DSM 12/8)
Cryptocoryne Parva (Planted DSM 12/8)
Bacopa Monnieri (ordered 1/29)
Rotala Indica (ordered 1/29)
Ludwigia Repens (ordered 1/29)
Ludwigia Ovalis (ordered 1/29)
Hydrotriche (need to source yet)
Rotala thin "green" (need to source yet)
Fertilizing with EI: 1/2tsp KNO3, 1/8 trace, K2SO4 and KH2PO4 bi-daily with 50% WC weekly.
Pictures as we progressed:
Stand framed up and ready for final steps. Stand is poplar, with 3/4" birch ply for sides/bottom and 1/4" birch ply for back and door skins.
Here it is assembled, middle brace has yet to be stained/painted. We used a driftwood product to gray the wood, and then dry-brushed it white, followed by liming wax once all was dry.
Adding baffles to the 20L:
12/8, HC planted:
Picked up a VTS450A for ~$50 after shipping from the bay. Fabco NV55, Burkert 6011, generic bubble counter/etc. The low side gauge wasn't reading 0, but upon pressurizing it appears fine. Checked with a few local welding shops, if it turns out its no good a rebuild is ~$50, so for at most $100 it seems like its still a solid deal.
Assembly complete, ready for flooding:
After flooding I noticed the overflow couldn't drain fast enough to keep up with the mag 9.5 pump. So a quick last minute run to Home Depot & Lowes was in order. Ended up T'ing off the return line to recirculate excess water back into the drain section of the pump.
Had a *ton* of bubbles with the CO2 feeding directly into the pump, so spent the next day building a ~24" rex griggs reactor. It has helped, but still a good bit of bubbles. Not sure on what exactly to do further; this was a large as I could fit through the cabinet doors.
I'm getting a 1.2 drop in PH with the CO2 running, but it is running well beyond a rate I could count. My guess is somewhere around 20bps. I sealed the sump with cling wrap and noticed no difference after a day, so pulled most of it off. With the sump unwrapped the PH before the CO2 reactor is as close as I can tell to the PH after. Further, my cheapo Fluval drop checker sits at a constant teal, but I'm assuming that is an issue with the drop checker and not CO2.