5.5 Gallon Conversion Journal *Finished* - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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5.5 Gallon Conversion Journal *Finished*

Well I'm sick and tired of looking at my ugly, algae-filled 6.6 gallon tank in my room so I'm going to start fresh by putting all of the Eco-complete along with some HC from the old tank into a 5.5 gallon with some new plants. The fishies will be moving also.

Here's the old tank:


And the stuff for the new one:


I'll be using the same filter and I'll be using some of the components from that horrible old DIY light to use in my new one. The light was my first attempt at DIY which explains its ugliness.

Last edited by some guy; 06-08-2008 at 08:53 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 01:05 AM
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cant wait to see this done, where did you get a 6.6 gallon aquarium?

-Chris

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 03:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clwatkins10 View Post
cant wait to see this done, where did you get a 6.6 gallon aquarium?

Wondering the same thing. Really digg the length on it.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 09:28 AM
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lol yea that length is awesome to look at. makes the tank look way bigger then it really is.


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please click to raise my babies
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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Ahh, these tanks have been the rage at www.myfishtank.net They seem cool, btu they are over 40 bucks at petco. I have an aqueon 5.5 also. Picked it up for 8 bucks.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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About the 6.6 gallon: I found mine for about 50 bucks at Petco, it's the Aquatic Gardens Bookshelf Aquarium Kit. It came with a HOB filter, 15W fluorescent strip light, a plastic lid, and some crappy plastic decorations. Replacement filter pads aren't available anywhere so I just throw in some filter fiber every week or so. It would be a great setup for a non-planted or low-light planted tank (I'll probably use it again if I want an easy non-planted tank), but the odd dimensions make it awkward for high-light since no commercially available lighting systems would fit, and there's a little ledge on the plastic top with a "trap door" for feeding the fish. The only other problem I have with it is that the plastic lid comes in contact with the water if you fill the tank to the black rim, and when that happens the water drips out from underneath the rim because there's no sealant holding the rim on the tank itself. This means that there's a visible gap between the top of the water and the rim, which just doesn't look that great. It makes a great low-light or non-planted tank and looks a lot bigger than it really is.

It's either 22 or 23 inches long (no tape measure on me right now), 7 inches deep, and about 9 inches high.

UPDATE: The hood is about 25% finished, I'll post some pictures tomorrow after I do some more work. I ordered LEDs today for the moonlighting, they're coming through standard US mail though so I can only imagine how long that's going to take.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 08:12 PM
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The bookshelf aquarium is 24"x8"x9" and is currently on sale for $39.99 at Petco's website (I think it's an online sale only). There's free shipping when you spend more than $40, but I'm not sure if it applies to this tank. I'm thinking of getting one myself.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2008, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
 
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Almost done!

Instead of going out on a Friday night like a normal human being, I decided to stay home and work on the hood since I received my LEDs in the mail.


The old hood from the 6.6 gallon, my first experiment with DIY:


The new hood, before lights installed:


The new hood, after lights installed:


The crazy LED wiring in the back of the hood:


And they work!...on the second try


Empty tank with black latex paint background, LEDs on:




They're a lot dimmer than the camera makes it look, but they still might be too bright. They were EXTREMELY bright when I was running them on max current, so I jacked up the resistors. The first set were 33 ohms each, then I tried 48 ohms, then 220 and the lights are still very powerful. Since I'm running them at a much lower current than they're rated for, they will last a very long time, even longer than the 100,000 hours LEDs normally run for. To power them I set them in a parallel circuit with a standard phone charger (5 volts, 0.7 amps). I used this handy tool to determine the resistors I needed. It also helps if you've just had two semesters of university physics Since I used my dad's tools and wires, and my girlfriend gave me a couple phone chargers she wasn't using, the moonlighting only cost me about $10 and an hour of my time.


Tomorrow I will have to glue a couple more pieces of wood onto the hood, finish the wiring for the compact fluorescents, and then I'm filling the tank! I'll post the finished product if I'm not dead.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2008, 05:25 AM
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nice work... good job...
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2008, 06:19 AM
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cool, those led's will add a cool touch

-Chris

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2008, 10:17 PM
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leds are great as moonlights, they look awesome. plus your fish will apreciate them, as i have noticed most fish apreciate some light at night.

My Tanks:

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
 
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Well, once again it's around 1 AM so it's time for me to post some of the day's work.

I rushed a little bit in setting up this tank so I could get the other one out of my room. The hood still needs the front panel cut and glued. The hardscape isn't even complete yet, but here's a daylight pic:


And the obligatory moonlight pic:


Obviously this is a work in progress. Tomorrow I'm going to buy some blyxa japonica, dwarf hairgrass, and some other stem plant to fill in the back. I'll also cut some plantlets off of the patch of HC and disperse them throughout the front. I should get around to spray painting the exterior of the hood black sometime later this week. Once again, the moonlighting isn't quite as bright as the camera makes it out to be, but I still may be doubling the resistance on the LEDs because it bothers me a little how bright they are.

More pics coming tomorrow after things are fixed up a bit.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 06:53 AM
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those lights are lookin' good!

-Chris

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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It's done! It looks a lot better than I thought it would.

The finished hardscape early this morning. All of the driftwood came from the large piece from the previous tank, I just sawed it up into three peices. You really can't tell in the pictures, but there is a hill in the far right corner where the two chunks of driftwood and the fern are:


Planted with Blyxa japonica, dwarf hairgrass, and an unknown plant that I thought looked nice. I'm pretty sure the plant is Ludwigia brevipes after looking at pictures on the database:


Nighttime! (excuse the glare/reflections):


Two snails that resemble MTS that I caught yesterday morning while fishing:


Ramshorn snail that I also caught yesterday chilling out on driftwood, while an Oto rests on the new Blyxa:


Against my better judgment and past experience with a ghost shrimp, I bought another one to keep the hairgrass free of debris. My only real concern now is that the Trumpet Snails are going to disturb the HC and hairgrass before it roots. One of them is trampling a hairgrass plug at this very moment.

I'll let everything grow for a bit, finish the hood, and post pictures again in a week or so. I'm very happy with how this tank came out.

Tank info

Fauna:
4 White Cloud Mountain Minnows
2 Otocinclus
2 Trumpet Snails
Ramshorn Snail
Ghost Shrimp

Flora:
HC
Dwarf Hairgrass
Java Fern
Blyxa Japonica
Ludwigia Brevipes
Java Moss
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-08-2008, 11:12 PM
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it looks nice. it just has to grow in. maybe some stems behind the java fern would look nice too.

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