First off, this is my first post here and I just want to say thank you. I've read so much here that has helped me succeed with my aquarium.
So, about 5 months ago, I wanted to start a salt water setup. However, with me in the Army, if I were to leave for a length of time, that was out of the question. I have tried planted setups before, just nothing major. A few plants here and there and low tech at that. Anyways, I talked to a buddy of my back home and with the amount of tanks he has running I began to probe question after question. Did my research and came to a conclusion, I was going to do a high tech planted tank. Not all at once of course. Slowly start from start to finish.
Well, I needed to decide on tank size. I had a 40B, 29 and a 10. None of them quite fit the size I was looking for. However the 29 was a very close second. I opted for a 20 Long after my buddy told me Petco was doing their dollar per gallon sale.
Now that I had the tank, I needed a stand. And like my other tanks, I was going to build this one too. I searched for weeks to get ideas and nothing sparked my interest. So, I started writing ideas out of what I wanted out of my stand. I was going with an overflow and since my sump would be small, I wanted a sliding shelf that the sump sat on. I also wanted it to look like it belonged in the living room (this was not only going to be an aquarium but a apart of the furniture). I decided to do an overhang counter top that was tiled.
At this point, I know, you want pictures. Since the project is all done, I promise to add them at the end.
I started just like any other stand for the exception that the base wasn't going to rest on the floor. This way the excess wires I could neatly tuck under the stand from the back. I used flooring underlayment for the outside panels and some stainable shelfs that I cut in half and used as my doors. The shelf the sump sat on glided using a pair of drawer sliders I purchased from Lowe's. The heavy duty ones that hold 100Lbs. I then paneled the back and cut out some holes the top for me to run wires and drain and return hoses through. I then started on the top. My wife and I opted for 2"x2" backsplash tiles. They were already assembled together and only needed to be glued down and grouted. That pretty much sums up the stand. The pictures really tell the story.
As for the tank itself, I drilled it with 2 3/4" holes for the overflow and a 1/2" hole for the return. The overflow I bought of Ebay which was rated for 1000gph and the slim size for a nano setup. I spray painted the bottom and back flat black to kind of go with the color of the overflow and the bulkheads.
On the back of the stand is where all my outlets are. Since this was originally suppose to be saltwater, I had already purchased the aquarium controller (Apex Jr. with a pH controller and an extra outlet strip).
I originally built a DIY LED light for the tank, but that proved to be way too much light. The plants were exploding with growth but as they passed halfway up the tank, they started melting and dying. So I went with an Odyssea flip up/down dual T5HO setup. Since the switch, the plants couldn't be happier.
And just recently I added a DIY dual 2liter co2 setup. I added this 3 days ago and in combination with EI Dosing with dry ferts and root tabs, I'm averaging 1-2" of growth on stem plants a day, and 2-4 new leaves every couple days on my swords and crypts, and 4-6" of growth on my vals.
Before dosing EI i was dosing Seachem and that was just too much money.
Anyway, I hope this helps everyone with new ideas for their own projects as I look for ideas from what everyone else posts. Thank you all again.
I'm posting pictures now.