This is my first planted tank and wanted to share with you as this site is a great place to get info and learn about the hobby from other's experience. This is not intended to be so much of a mechanical build journal as it is a planted tank, what I did right, what I do wrong and how I learn, enjoy the experience, and some day the finished project journal. Hopefully you experienced plant gurus can help me get to where I want with this project.
The display was originally designed to be a reef tank, so try and ignore some of the "eccentricities".
Main tank is 1/2" starphire glass, 34" wide x 30" deep x 24" high.
The entire setup is tall, more than 6ft. I hate bending over to look in.
Don't laugh at all of the giant fittings reduced down to small little vinyl hoses.
It took me awhile to get used to it, but is very functional and keeps the tank clear of "stuff".
The sump is also custom made, 3/8 glass. I'm running 4 gallons of bio bale for bacteria growth, a small UV in cycles and a small mag return. 400Watt heater in the main section which is where I will be adding a needle wheel Mag3 for Co2 diffusion. The egg crate makes a great place to lay filter bags with any media I might need, but I don't plan on using any. You can also see the autotopoff.com ATO floats here. I am using dual systems for redundancy and flood protection. No reservoir, straight to my RO filter.
The XP3 runs on a closed loop. A 2 gallon square bucket is hard to see, but is on the right and will be used for autodosing. Co2 tank will be on the left, and of course a crappy little shelf for food, etc. You can see the dual ATO solenoids here(top left) and an under cabinet light to make working and cleaning in here easier.
The stand and hood were made by me with general lumber and cabinet grade ply, pre-made door on the stand, and some oak trim. Epoxy coated on the interior, and stained to match the furniture. I also took the time to wire and install a series of switched outlets, all GFCI protected. Sorry, some of these pictures are bad. My good camera was broken by one of my girls who borrowed it because their camera (being used for these shots) "sucked".
Inside the hood, 2 VHO 24" 75 Watt 10K, 2 VHO 24" 75 Watt Actinic, 1 250W 6500K metal Halide and 2 lunar LEDs and a pair of cooling fans.
I used plugs to connect the canopy, so it can be easily removed for cleaning, scaping, etc. They are color coded and I hope I never mess them up when reconnecting. I'm guessing the lunar LEDs won't like being connected to the mh ballasts.
I would appreciate any comments as I go through this project. I'd rather get feedback first and do it as well as possible initially. Thanks for looking and I will try to get some bettter pics as things progress.