ColeMan's 90g - Journal (56K)? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 234 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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ColeMan's 90g - Journal (56K)?

Okay...I'm finally ready to begin. My cabinet and canopy were just finished this weekend (the stain's still soft it's so new) and I have my lights, controllers and co2 (tank only, still need regulator, reactor, etc), so I think tonight I'm going to go ahead and install the lights. Ive got 2 eheim 2217's on the way (they should be here wednesday or thursday), and after that all i need is for customs to release the aquasoil they've been holding!!

So i'll be brief for now and just post a single picture - me by this big tank (by the way, I may not look as happy as I should, but the picture was a bit unexpected). Note that it's actually taller than I am (I'm maybe around 5'9", so...) - I'm obviously not trying to make things easy on myself!

I thought I'd come back and add the tank specs, since I left them out yesterday.




Tank: 90 g, AGA
Lighting: 48" T5HO, 4x54w Giesemann 6000k Midday, Tek II Reflectors; Neptune Systems LunarSim, AC Jr.
Filtration: 2 x Eheim 2217
Substrate: Aquasoil
CO2: 20lb pressurized tank, regulator tfrom Orlando, DIY reactor
Heat: 2 x 200w Hydor ETH in-line
Stand/Canopy: Birch with oak substructure

Everything will be monitored and controlled by an Aquacontroller Jr.

Flora and Fauna are still being considered and are very much open for debate. I'd like to keep things simple and limit my flora to only a few species. As far as the non-plant inhabitants are concerned, I'm leaning towards 2-3 med-large groups of shoaling fish with a 'specimen species' (yet undecided, which means numbers are also), as well as the normal algae crew...some oto's, a few cory's and some shrimp...I'm trying to go for something that's really tranquil, so the "specimen species" is key - I may forego it altogether. Suggestions in this area would be extremely helpful...

Last edited by ColeMan; 06-18-2008 at 08:20 PM.
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post #2 of 234 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 02:01 AM
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Massive tank. Cant wait to see the thread build on this beast. Awesome
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post #3 of 234 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 02:11 AM
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Dude, you weren't kidding about killing yourself with a stand that tall! The rim of my 90gal only comes to my armpit LOL

It looks great, though, and I can't wait to see it all come together!!





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post #4 of 234 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 02:34 AM
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Beautiful tank stand and canopy! And its massive! Lookin' forward to seeing the progress.

*Kristin*
Planted tanks:40g breeder, 20g long, 29g
38g Reef tank


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post #5 of 234 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 07:13 AM
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Nice tank, can't wait to see it as it progresses.
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post #6 of 234 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 07:41 AM
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i wish i hadn't already painted the back of my 75 i could take it back and get a 90 =/
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post #7 of 234 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Today (and part of last night) I got the light fixtures installed in the canopy. I ran into a few problems, but nothing too serious. The mounting holes lined up perfectly with the very edge of my canopy's lid, way too close to the edge, so i had to drill new holes in the metal mounting brackets to avoid from damaging the lid (and possibly the lights).

Next I had to figure out a way to mount the lunar lights in between the two fixtures, as they were meant to be hung directly above the aquarium and the only real room was in a small between the two lights. I didn't want to drastically modify my nice, newly stained and sealed canopy, so i tried to figure out a way of mounting them that would allow for minimum disturbance to the canopy.

After a walk around the hardware store, I decided the best (or at least easiest) thing to do would be to cut 4 chunks of 1x3" balsa wood (the lights needed to come down about 3" to sit flush with the main fixtures), and take these little 'blocks' and put a male piece of velcro on the top (balsa = lightweight = easy on velcro) of the balsa block and a female piece on the canopy where I wanted the light to hang.

I attached the lunar lights to the balsa with velcro also - they're tiny and don't weigh more than 20 grams or so...So, if for any reason i need to move (or god forbid replace) the lunar lights, they're easy to take on and off. Also if I want to use them on another tank in the future, all I'll have to do is get some female velcro pieces and I'm in luck! I wrapped the wiring that connected the LED lights with electrical tape to take up any slack and help insulate from any heat that may build up from the reflectors on those parts of the wire most prone to heat exposure (ie any wire close to the reflector). Can't see (or think of) any flaws or potential problems as of yet...

In the first picture you can see the lunar light attached to the balsa and wrapped in electrical tape - the pics a bit washed out because of the reflectors, but i wanted to include it so that anyone interested could see exactly what i had done, as well as the positioning of the velcro on the lid itself...


The second picture shows the 4 LED lights "mounted" between the two banks of T5's; and the third picture, well, if you can't figure it out, then please close this window now and enroll in school.

i gotta thank blueridgereef, who gave me the idea of using a 1x1 mounted on the top of the hood on which to connect the lights; i kinda tweaked it. He mentioned an "upside down street lamp" which kinda made me think, "why not do each light individually?" which, well, I did. Any future shortcomings (which hopefully there are none) i take full responsibility for, however!




Last edited by ColeMan; 05-20-2008 at 02:50 PM.
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post #8 of 234 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 04:02 AM
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i really like it
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post #9 of 234 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 05:55 AM
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Awesome stand man. You're gonna need a stepladder to plant and do maintenence! Don't fall! lmao


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post #10 of 234 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 04:44 AM
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how much longer haha
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post #11 of 234 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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OKay - I haven't updated for a while because there have been very few updates...I got the ABS plastic background siliconed in place, have the aquasoil ready to go, and have been working on the plumbing for the past few hours. If I can find some .5" ID vinyl tubing tomorrow, I should be able to finish everything up plumbing-wise.

My CO2 cylinder should be out of the shop tomorrow (it's being tested and filled) and so I hope to have the cylinder and regulator included in the final plumbing schematic tomorrow...

Similarly, I placed an order with Aqua Forest for some 'old black' driftwood based very roughly on the design of this years AGA winner http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.or...y=0&vol=2&id=5(note I don not tend to emulate this aquascape; but I think we can all agree that this tank's driftwood arrangement is quite striking). George hand-picked the pieces, so I'm confident they will fit together well compositionally. I ordered a total of 10 pieces: 2 XL, 4 L, 2 M, and 2 S.

After the wood arrives, I'll set the hardscape and then fill. I'm planning on following the cycling methodology laid forth in the shrimpnow.com thread; essentially this is based around daily-double-total-water-changes, and on day 3 after the 2nd daily water change (4th full change total). mulm from the neighbors tank will be added. If all goes as planned, the tank should cycle in around 2 weeks.

If anyone has any other suggestions regarding cycling with aquasoil or tips for successful implementation of the aforementioned method, please feel free to let me know! This will be my first time to use AS, and want it to be as painless as possible (I'm not too worried, but...)

I'll put some new pics up ASAP, though I think I'll wait until the plumbing's all finished out tomorrow.

Oh yes: people, get your stems ready!! I'm gonna need a ton!
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post #12 of 234 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 04:10 AM
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i've been waiting for this forever haha can't wait to see the pics


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slowly but surly

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post #13 of 234 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 05:50 AM
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Well make it to the meeting Sunday and you should be able to get lots of plants
pretty cheap.
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post #14 of 234 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 03:23 PM
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Can't wait to see this thing develop...I like the size of the tank and stand. It really stands out
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post #15 of 234 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Okay - so my order from Aqua Forest Aquarium came in today. I ordered 8 pieces of driftwood (2XL, 4L, 2M, and 2S) and am now in the process of trying to place them in the tank. I've been working on it for about 2 hours now, and so far have nothing; I've come up with a few good preliminary designs, but his will take some time. I'm sure once I get it how I like it I'll knock it all over anyway, but at least i'll have an idea of where the individual pieces go.

The wood itself looks great, and the pieces match well...it's just a matter of placing properly. I can't do a "dry mock up" since the wood really needs to be anchored in the substrate for the effect I'm after, so that makes it about 2000 times more difficult. Good thing my other order didn't come today or I think I'd feel rushed; since I can't finish plumbing the tank until Monday at least, Ill have the weekend to ponder driftwood (how exciting). I'll update with some pictures this evening, or maybe sooner than that depending on how ambitious I get. Perhaps I'll even post some pics of the preliminary designs. Be back soon...
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