Octopus44's 75g Tank Journal (Update 10/5) (56K) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Octopus44's 75g Tank Journal (Update 10/5) (56K)

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Equipment

Filtration- Rena XP3 and Zoomed 501
Lighting- Odyssea 48" compact fluorescent fixture (total 230W) with:
2- 6700K, 1- 8000k, and 1 colormax/6700k bulbs.
CO2- Milwaukee regulator with Diffuser 5000 (from Green Leaf Aquariums)

Substrate
Bottom - Schultz Aquatic plant soil
Middle - Flourite Dark
Top - Flourite Black

Fertilization
EI method

Flora

Tiger lotus
Ludwigia brevipes
Blyxa japonica
Fissidens fontanus
Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan'
Ludwigia glandulosa
Polygonum sp. 'Kawagoneum'
Hydrocotyle verticillata
Downoi
Anubias 'nana'
glosso
HC
Tonina Manaus

Fauna
None Yet

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Well, I have moved to upstate New York and am ready to set up a new tank. I am setting up a 75g this time instead of the 55g that I had last time. I look forward to having that little bit of extra space.

Plan for scape:
I want to make my tank look like the edge of a bank with roots growing down a rocky slope. I plan to have grass (hopefull UG) growing around the rocks and roots.

Currently planned stock:


20 Black Neon Tetras
10 Harlequin Rasboras
10 Otos
6 Glass Catfish
1 Royal Farlowella (If I can get my hands on one)
and hopefully some corries (anyone have any recommendations on corries?)

I plan on buying most of my fish from www.liveaquaria.com because I don't have a car and their fish are cheaper than most lfs in my area. Does anyone have any experience with them?

I have a general idea on what type of plants I am going to put in the tank but I dont know which exact ones.

I do know that I want HC, dwarf hairgrass, UG (yes I know its hard to get) Anubias petite, glosso, and Bacopa monnieri.


I decided to make my own stand in order to save money.

I painted the back of the tank with black spray paint. I wish I had done this on my previous tank. It looks great. Here is a current pic of the tank and stand (It's currently empty ). I plan on putting black cloth around the stand in the near future.



I am having some issues with my stand. The floor in my room has quite a dramatic slope and the front left corner of the aquarium is not resting on the stand. I did my best to shim and get the stand level but apparently there is still a problem. You can see that the gap is pretty big:


Does anyone have any advice on what to do about this? I am going to try and shim that corner of the stand a little more but if that does not work can I stick a shim between the tank and stand to make up for the gap?
I should also note that I have put a thin layer of padding on the stand. HELP!

I also need advice on another part of the tank. I plan on doing a big rocky slope in the left corner of the tank. I want to do this by getting some thin plastic sheets and siliconing them to the tank like so:

Does anyone know where I can find thin plastic sheets like this? I found some sheets that are used to make stencils but I am not sure they will be strong enough.

I should be ready to start planting in about a week. I am going to do the dry start method for the HC and UG.

Thanks for looking


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Last edited by octopus44; 10-05-2008 at 09:24 PM.
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 01:05 AM
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Yikes! A gap like that can cause stress on your tank, and at worse you might have it bust on you... definitely better do something about it.

One thing you could do is go to the hardware store and get a big sheet of the stiffer Styrofoam insulation that comes in (blue or pink) sheets. Cut it to size and put that between the stand and the tank and hopefully the cloth skirt you put around the stand will hide it (black spraypaint would also work). It might not lay flat at first, but once you get water in it the extra weight will even it out.

As far as shims, if you do a shim (sounds like a decent idea), you can put it under the styro. I wouldn't do a single shim as the pressure point might cause undue stress on the single point. Do one that runs the full length of your tank and supports the entire edge, then the styro on top of it should help even it out. You might even do two layers of styro and let it compact down really good.


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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 01:10 AM
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As far as the thin plastic sheets - you can use craft mesh if you don't mind it being not see-through. That would also be kinda neat to fix moss to grow up each terrace.

If you don't know what I mean, it's kinda like the stuff you use to make these things, http://i3.iofferphoto.com/img/115458...13465348/1.jpg
and it comes in black also.


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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jen! Those are both great ideas. I definitely am not going to leave the gap as it is. I don't think my neighbor living below me would appreciate it

Do you think the mesh will be strong enough to hold up a fair amount of rocks and substrate?


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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 01:30 AM
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With it braced in front by the other terraces and with it strongly affixed to the walls, sure it would.

Good luck - let us know how it turns out!


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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 02:33 AM
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I remember reading somewhere that you should have too thick of a underlaying thing for your tank. The trims will push down the outside rim but the inside will press on the bottom glass causing the silicon to rip/stretch.

I think the pink stuff that Jen recommended is good though.
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 02:40 AM
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No offense, but that stand looks like it will fail. The tank & water alone will weigh over 650 lbs
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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What makes you say that waterfaller?


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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 02:58 AM
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I'm not sure if it will fall down.. I'm not a furniture expert.. but there are a few things that would concern me if this were my stand...

The front centre brace doesn't look straight. check it with a level and see if it is completely vertical... do it with all of the legs.

The other thing that may be a concern.. (I can't see the underside of the top.. so I could be wrong)...
But it looks like the weight of the tank is held up by screws and doesn't efficiently transfer to the legs. You usually want the top of the stand to sit directly on top of the legs so that the weight is transferred directly over the legs.

It looks like the way you have it you are supporting the top with screws. Usually if you are doing something like this you would use lag bolts because their strength is far greater than screws.

Did you use a level on the stand before you put a tank on it?

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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 03:12 AM
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There should be many pics and threads in the DIY forum on how to properly build a stand. The weight of the tank rests on the outer edge of the tank..this MUST be level. Notice, the bottom of the tank is lower than the bottom glass. Placing styrofoam between will only add more stress to the tank, as the weight settles. You cannot shim a tank, you can shim the stand..a little. The stand should have bracing pieces at the bottom, to tie it together. As it sits, the tank may break before the stand fails.
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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopus44 View Post
Does anyone have any advice on what to do about this? I am going to try and shim that corner of the stand a little more but if that does not work can I stick a shim between the tank and stand to make up for the gap?
I should also note that I have put a thin layer of padding on the stand. HELP!
Is your stand sitting on a second floor or is it on a concrete slab?

You don't want to shim the tank itself. You want to make sure the stand is level prior to putting the tank on top of it. Once you place the tank on top of it, you want to check for level front and back, and side to side. If it is off on one side but not the other or if it is off on the front but level in the back then there is a good chance that there will be a twist on the tank which will lead to a catastrophic crack and all water will come gushing out quickly. One thing that concerns me by looking at the design is that you don't have even load distribution across the bottom of the stand. Basically, you have what looks to be 6 pressure points that are going to level based on the form of the floor. If the stand is on a second floor, this might be even more problematic since the weight could cause sags in the floor based on pressure of the individual points of contact with the floor.

I know it is a bit late in the game, but you might want to check out this thread on reef central for a 2" x 4" stand frame:

http://www.reefcentral.org/forums/sh...readid=1169964

The main point is the load distribution across the bottom portion of the frame. It eliminates single points of contact with the floor and it is easily shimmed with PVC shims that will not crush under the pressure of all of the weight of the tank.

Other people like to use 3/4" plywood and pretty much eliminate the frame design. They might use a basic frame to keep things together, but the plywood itself bears the weight of the tank, water, etc. The principal is the same though. All weight is evenly distributed through the plywood walls which translate to even distribution to the floor.

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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm....

Well I guess I need to make some changes on my stand. I'm glad that I posted this before filling my tank with water. Thanks for the advice everyone.
To answer your question BiscuitSlayer, my tank is on the second floor.

I think I am going to modify my curent stand to look more like the stand in the link that BiscuitSlayer provided.

Will it be okay to shim the stand with that design?


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post #13 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 03:45 AM
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Will it be okay to shim the stand with that design?
It should be. I am using that design and I know that the stand is level currently on a level concrete slab. The tank will be on my second floor, and I know where it is going is not going to be perfectly level. I have already gotten used to the fact that I am going to have to shim the stand in its final resting place.

I plan on picking up some PVC shims at the hardware store because of the amount of weight for the stand, tank, water, rocks, etc. PVC shims will hold up better to that amount of weight.

Do you happen to know if your tank will sit perpendicular to the floor joists or is it parallel?

My tank will be sitting parallel to the joists, and as a result, I am going to reinforce my floor a bit by adding some cross braces (2" X 10") to help evenly distribute the load to three seperate joists. Just something to consider.

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post #14 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BiscuitSlayer View Post
Do you happen to know if your tank will sit perpendicular to the floor joists or is it parallel?

My tank will be sitting parallel to the joists, and as a result, I am going to reinforce my floor a bit by adding some cross braces (2" X 10") to help evenly distribute the load to three seperate joists. Just something to consider.
I'm not sure if tank is perpendicular to the joists or parallel. How important is it for me to figure this out, and how can I figure it out if I don't have access to the apartment below me?


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post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-31-2008, 03:57 AM
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I'm not sure if tank is perpendicular to the joists or parallel. How important is it for me to figure this out, and how can I figure it out if I don't have access to the apartment below me?
I didn't realize you are in an apartment. That makes it a lot more difficult to figure out. The apartments that they build down here generally have a concrete floor with steel I beams carring the weight, etc. I have no idea how they build them up north.

Probably the one thing that concerns me the most is you saying that there is a signifigant slope in the floor. My concern is that the slope could be a result of a construction flaw or something of that nature. If the slope is that bad, I would think it might be possible that it could get even worse with a high amount of load on the flaw.

Does your complex have any restrictions as far as aqarium sizes go?

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