pics of my work in progress and DIY stand - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Here are a few pictures of my work in progress, waiting for My MH ballast to get here in order to mount the canopy, which will be suspended from the ceiling in order to have an open topped tank.

The substrate consists of a 1" layer of potting soil mixed with special kitty litter topped off of 40lbs of floromax,

This should work out very well, since the special kitty litter contains much more iron that laterite. and even if it becomes a mess, it should not pose that much of a big deal since it is mixed about 2 to 1 ratio potting soil being the more.

I have included pictures in order for you can see what the substrate looks like, I like the dark woody brown color of the floromax, should look realnice once finished,

filtration will be accomplished via filstar x3.. I think I will fill it tonight..

envjoy, comments welcomed...

over all shot


pic of substrate


pic of centerpiece drifwood


pic of diy stand
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:10 PM
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Very interesting! Looking forward to the progress of your tank. It's always nice to see something that diverts from the usual.

My experience with that kitty litter has been very favorable. I would be concerned about the soil, that's a lot of organic matter. Have you had this soil in water for a while, or is it still dry? You will have to have a close eye on ammonia/nitrite for a long time.

Your stand looks good! How did you manage to hide the screws?


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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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you see that trim? the screws are under that.......

The organics do not worry me since they will be locked in the substrate for the most part, I plan on planting the tank heavily from the get go. and i will not be adding any fish for about a month except maybe a few ottos.

Currently that sunstrate is dry, I hope that I receive my ballasts today so I can finally finish the canopy, which will match the stand perfectly..... I plan on taking pictures every step of the way.....
and posting them for those interested...
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:20 PM
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i had crypts grow extremely well in the special kitty litter but other plants did not do so well. when i added vinegar to the kitty litter, it fizzled and bubbled like crazy.

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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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the kitty litter plays a very small part of the over all substrate, I believe i used like 75% of the bag, and its topped off with 2" of floromax, so lets see what happens, i am not too worried, i had planted tanks before that where nothing more than potting soil and a 1" of sand, and everything did quite well.....

if you look at the substrate picture, and you look below the floromax layer, you can hardly see any of teh kitty liter...
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:33 PM
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that looks like a really really deep substrate....

the floramax looks like flourite

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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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yah, i would say its pretty deep.
coming from a reef background I believe that biodiversity plays a big role in or enclosed systems, and thats why i like a deepsubtrate, i believe that nitrification takes place to some extend in deep substrate, I would never have such a deep substrate in unplanted tank because I would be afraid if anearobic (spelling) conditions, but since planst pump oxygen to their roots, i belive that this helps keep it healthy.

On top of that I also add blackworms to the substrate in order for them to dig and keep the soil loose. I did this with my previous tank and 2 years later when i took it apart their where tons of worms, and i always say my discus pulling oh them here and there.
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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oh yeah, the floramax is supposed to be similar to flourite...
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:44 PM
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oh wow, very interesting.... i never heard of blackworms being used in the substrate.

cool! i'll have to look into that. where did you find those little guys?

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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use to buy them as feed for my discus, they are usually sold as food in pet shops, do not get them mixed up with tubifex worms which are dirty, carry a ton of disease and are usually collected in sewers or sewer run off, make sure that if you buy blackworms they are really blackworms, I can't stress that enough, alot of LFS do not know the difference.

you can usually tell just by looking abd smelling them, black worms do not tangle into tight balls like tubifex worms do, and they are usually found in clean water as opposed to tubifex (yuck i hate those nasty parasite, disease carrying critters)
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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 08:56 PM
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wow. . great tank!!! can't wait till you start planting it!

only comment is your heater location and size. wouldn't it be better if you place the heater lower / center of your tank?

-bowfront, fluval 209, coralife 65watts 6500k on 12 hours ,1:1 flourite and pea gravel, DIY CO2, fully submerged 120Watt heater temp set at 79 F

Plants
-red ludwiga, riccia, microsword, amazon sword, indian water star, lloydiella green, water wisteria

Fish
-siamese algae eater, 2 panda cory, 10 neon tetra, 3 algae eating shrimp, 2 rainbow.. err.. rainbow somethings he he
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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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I have the output of the filter facing down to the heater, so the waterflow will pass over the heater giving me better distribution I think. I placed it like this because i do not want surface agitation since i will bubbling in C02.........

the heater is a 200 watter should be enough for a 55. on top of that i doubt i will need it, its there more for "just in case" since I have 2 175 halides going over the tank
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 11:48 PM
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One hint would be to put the heater lower in the tank. Low enough so that it's covered when you do water changes.
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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your right. I think i will go closer to the bottom where it will be obscured from view by the plants and it will still receive the flow from the filter ouput.......
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-03-2004, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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ok here are some pics


this is the tank filled, cycling (I know you really don't jave to cycle with a planted tank) filter and heater are on.



this is a picture of the 5 gallong keg I will be experimenting with for a DIY yeast reactor. It is rated for 130 psi. This thing should work, and with a 5 gallon capacity, thijs thing should technically last for months... i will definately keep who ever is interested in this updated.. I got this one for 13 bucks..



this is the ball valve, I should be able to fine tune it in order to get the bubble count i want



this here is a picture of the pressure lid and of the gas realease just in case

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