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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Columbia, SC
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100gal Wild Discus Biotype - Rimless 48x24x20

After going back and forth on tanks I finally decided on one. Heres my journel of sorts, not a planted tank but one hopefully you can appreciate. Its been going on since August, just now posting it here. This is my Rome, and i'm NOT building it in a day. All criticisms, suggestions, comments are welcome.

Here is the rundown:
Tank: 48x24x20 Rimless/braceless (except bottom rim) with 1/2" glass and polished edges. Approx 100gal
Stand:Homemade 2x4 and 2x6 as usual. Skinned and stained in a darker walnut.
Filtration:2x Eheim Classic 2217
Lighting:DIY LED fixture
Substrate:Pool filter sand
Decor:Manzanita wood, small rocks, maybe a little leaf litter?, and possibly some floating plants
Fish: 8 Wild discus (Cuipeua/Curua Alenquers), 6 Mesonauta acora, Biotodoma for the bottom? Geos?

The Tank - As said above its going to be a 48x24x20 (100gal approx) custom rimless tank that will be made by a Canadian company (Miracles in Glass) and shipped to me. Surprisingly US companies I checked with charge almost twice as much for tank and freight as this Canadian company, and it has a good rep among reefers (good quality and service). It will have Starphire front and side panels and all edges will be polished smooth. Kind of stoked about it. I debated going with a 60x20x20, but I really wanted to be able to utilize 3 visible sides, and the 48" tank afforded me that. Also I find the increased width adds more to the tank then say adding more height, thats why I chose the 48x24x20. I wanted to stay as low on gallons as possible, but still have a big tank. So I opted to go 100gals and not 120gal. Still should be a very nice footprint to work with regardless and offer plenty of room for the fish.

The Stand - Home built from the usual suspects, 2x4 and 2x6. Will be my first attempt at skinning a stand with plywood, I usually leave them bare skeletons. I'd like to skin it and then stain the wood a nice darker a walnut. Still not 100% sure, as I don't have much experience doing this and don't have a lot of tools at my disposal. Things like doors are still being thought out, might just make a whole panel removable and use magnets.

Filtration - 2 Eheim 2217 classics. Simple and easy, will be getting clear tubes for them so they will become almost invisible. I figure I can always tweak them and turn them down, you can always decrease flow, never increase. I really didn't want to mess with a sump for this tank, thats why its not drilled and there is no overflow. Like I said, simple and easy....thats the best way to keep discus. I might regret my decision if I ever turn this into a reef....but as of now, meh.

Lighting - Custom DIY LED build. 9 Cree Warm Whites and 2 Cree Cool Whites (moonlights). I was going for an amazon blackwater look so I didn't want blue tinted lights. The warm whites are a perfect yellow/white color. The cool whites will be dimmed and be my moonlights. White moonlights like in the real world, not cheesy blue lights like you would see in a rave club.

Fish - The Wild discus and Mesonauta acora are already locked on. As far as other fish I'm thinking maybe a couple Biotodoma for the bottom? I would really like some Satanoperca, but they might outgrow my tank. I'm open to suggestions for species to use, going for as close to biotype as I can (Without getting to crazy with type localities and stuff) but as long as the discus don't mind I won't mind. I want something to just kind of clean up the bottom and still provide some activity. Push comes to shove i'll look at getting some Sterbai cories, but they are not biotypical so leaving them out for now.

I can't guarantee the exact replication of the pictures below, my design work is better then my carpentry or DIY work. However I will try my hardest. Not worried about the skeleton of the stand, the part that worries me is the skin around it, never really skinned a stand, attached molding, or doors, or made anything fancy before so it should be interesting. This tank will be in my bedroom, here's a almost to scale replica to show its position against the wall, next to my rack of breeders. (The bottom of my bed is not wood...I just thought it looked better that way. Easier to distinguish.

You'll notice I did not add any trim or doors to the stand, to lazy. And the light bar is made from bent electrical conduit, easy DIY. It will be attached with brackets to the back of the stand, or the wall. The controls on the left side is the power center. Just an array of switches so i can flip a switch instead of unplugging a heater for water changes.

Heres the tank once I received it. Props to Derek at Miracles Aquariums, great looking tank. Heavy, but great.

Heres the light. I used thermal sticky pads rather then thermal paste, easier.

Then stick the LED stars to those and solder them all up (wire them)!

And here is the finished product

The nerve center. Everything is quick disconnect, and I still need to attach the pot on the left side. Its not as complicated as it looks. Each button and plug control one string of lights. And they are all dimmable.

And thats it for now. I've bent the conduit to hang the light but no pictures yet. Looking back I think I should of used 3/4" conduit instead of 1/2" but it will work. Now you are all caught up and i'll keep this up to date!

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Last edited by Matt; 11-30-2010 at 11:32 PM.
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