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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As of: 12/03/2013



As of: 07/05/2013



I put together a quick progression album for reddit. people seem to be really digging it there, so i figured i'd share here as well.

http://imgur.com/a/jwssM#0

My wife and I are in the midst of renovating our basement to be a more usable living space. That includes a TV area, a kid's play area, and a mixed used area.

This mixed use area will be a night time office, for when I have work to do and the family is asleep, an area for the aforementioned 125 gallon, and possible a dry bar (hell, maybe wet).

We have a closet in the corner that was being used for storage as well as access to our electrical box. It sat at around 6' x 6'. The idea was always to keep this that size... only now it's coming out about a foot one way, and 18.5" the other!

The 125 will sit with full visibility of the front and one side, so it'll be in the corner of a wall.

At this point in the renovation we're up to building out that area itself... and currently, the only tank related item (pictured below) is a 20' PVC tube that will be connected to the tank's pump for easy water changes.

This weekend will, if our new stairs arent in, culminate with the rest of the closet being built w/ the opening/stand for the tank as well as hot and cold water lines to make water changes a simple ordeal!

So far I've planned out a decent bit of what will be going into the tank:

flora:
Vallisneria spiralis
Anubias barteri var. barteri
Anubias barteri var. nana
african fern
Eleocharis parvula
red tiger lotus

fauna:
3-4 pair kirbensis cichlids
1 Ctenopoma Acutirostre
20-40 Congo tetra
20-40 african banded barb
* african killifish (probably not)
* Synodontis catfish (not sure which species)
* Atya gabonensis (viper shrimp)

Substrate will be coming from our own hydrophyte. I received some of his substrate for my 20g long and love it.

Lighting will come from buildmyled.com

I already have ferts and co2 system(s). while most of my plants don't require a "high tech" set up, the hairgrass will.

I am still debating with myself between using a 55g as a sump, or going with a filter. If i went with a sump I could use a section as a grow out tank for the baby kirbensis I plan on being able to sell.

the hardscape will mainly be driftwood and stones and not made to resemble much of anything other than a natural habitat (though that may be a stretch)

As you might tell, my flora and fauna choices are all strictly african. I currently have a pair of kirbensis and, really, they're my inspiration for this tank.

eventually I plan on adding an arduino unit to control the timing for co2, lights (with dusk and dawn), fertilizer dosing and toggling the heater. I may even look into automated feeding and water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can't wait to follow along.
haha thanks. to be honest, i'm not sure how long this will take. We still have a lot more to do on the basement, electrical outlets, drywall, doors. hell, we still have a couple walls to put up and stairs to replace.

I'm hoping, to at least, be able to have a tank and sump in place and plumbed up after the drywall is complete. Lighting is the next most expensive part of the tank... and the basement comes first. So we'll see what happens.

I'm waiting on a couple good sized side jobs to come through to help fund this project.
 

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Well, to be fair, rbarn's 300 gallon discus has been years in the making now, and there's still dozens of people following the thread, just waiting for it to update!

Sounds like an incredible project. I like how it's going into the corner, so you can see two sides. And I'd LOVE to have an office space with an aquarium to gaze into while I think :)

Did you decide on a sump, then? In your first post you weren't sure. I don't have any real experience with sumps, but I imagine for such a large tank, if it's built in like you're planning, a sump would be very much worth the consideration.

I look forward to watching this come together!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, to be fair, rbarn's 300 gallon discus has been years in the making now, and there's still dozens of people following the thread, just waiting for it to update!

Sounds like an incredible project. I like how it's going into the corner, so you can see two sides. And I'd LOVE to have an office space with an aquarium to gaze into while I think :)

Did you decide on a sump, then? In your first post you weren't sure. I don't have any real experience with sumps, but I imagine for such a large tank, if it's built in like you're planning, a sump would be very much worth the consideration.

I look forward to watching this come together!
haha yeah... it won't take me years to get this done! The basement is planned to be finished in the spring. I'm also not going all out, I don't have the ability to spend thaaaaat much. But definitely over time will I be dabbling with the arduino to see what i can automate.

I think I'm planning on the sump... I have a 55. I am worried about gassing off the co2 and am still looking into remedies for that. maybe it just won't be that big of a deal? A sump seems like the best idea though. many more gallons of water and the display tank won't get low, it'll contain all of the tank crap, and give me the ability to have space for juvenile fish. on top of that I was debating with having some emerged plants in it to help filter the water w/ their roots.

It'll be a "sort've" office. I'll be placing my desk in that area, but it won't be closed in. We'll see how well that works out with a 2 year old.
 

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haha yeah... it won't take me years to get this done! The basement is planned to be finished in the spring. I'm also not going all out, I don't have the ability to spend thaaaaat much. But definitely over time will I be dabbling with the arduino to see what i can automate.

I think I'm planning on the sump... I have a 55. I am worried about gassing off the co2 and am still looking into remedies for that. maybe it just won't be that big of a deal? A sump seems like the best idea though. many more gallons of water and the display tank won't get low, it'll contain all of the tank crap, and give me the ability to have space for juvenile fish. on top of that I was debating with having some emerged plants in it to help filter the water w/ their roots.

It'll be a "sort've" office. I'll be placing my desk in that area, but it won't be closed in. We'll see how well that works out with a 2 year old.
I've wanted so badly to play with an arduino on my tanks, but it seems a little pointless when I've only got low-tech 10-gallons, haha.

A sump would certainly make things tidier up top! And a space for young fish is definitely appealing... Young children, on the other hand... Good luck with that! :hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Subbed, though to be honest I hate journals that take patience but I couldn't help myself when I saw congos!!
I have a 125 as well, currently just 7 congos but plan to have about 20 or more in (hopefully) the near future.
oh i hear ya. I hate threads like this too. I want pictures pictures pictures. Unfortunately, I have to be patient too. Which, might work out for the best for this tank as I spend more time planning it.

I've wanted so badly to play with an arduino on my tanks, but it seems a little pointless when I've only got low-tech 10-gallons, haha.

A sump would certainly make things tidier up top! And a space for young fish is definitely appealing... Young children, on the other hand... Good luck with that! :hihi:
the child is the reason that we decided on a wall tank with an ample working/storage space. This way everything is pretty much locked away.
 

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love LOVE the visual impact of a corner in-wall installation.
 

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Good stuff basement builds are always intriguing. Subscribed
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
love LOVE the visual impact of a corner in-wall installation.
I was dead set on doing it that way if it was going to be in a wall. I'm not spending hundreds of dollars on a tank to only display a single side. If it wasn't there it'd be out of the wall.

Good stuff basement builds are always intriguing. Subscribed
Agree. Hope to be able to do something like this some day.
hopefully i won't disappoint!
 

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Man, this is going to be a cool build!!!

I wish we had basements here in Texas, as it would be my Fish Room for sure!!! But considering we only have about 1' of topsoil till you start hitting the solid limestone bedrock, a basement would be a major demo job!!!

Anyway I agree about seeing 2 sides of the tank! A buddy of mine had a 180g in wall, and while it was cool, I didn't care for only seeing the front! I think Your Idea will be perfect! Subscribed!!! Also you r fish choice is VERY COOL!!!

Keep up the great work!
Drew
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Man, this is going to be a cool build!!!

I wish we had basements here in Texas, as it would be my Fish Room for sure!!! But considering we only have about 1' of topsoil till you start hitting the solid limestone bedrock, a basement would be a major demo job!!!

Anyway I agree about seeing 2 sides of the tank! A buddy of mine had a 180g in wall, and while it was cool, I didn't care for only seeing the front! I think Your Idea will be perfect! Subscribed!!! Also you r fish choice is VERY COOL!!!

Keep up the great work!
Drew
thanks. The wife was complaining about the amount of space back there. I'll have about a 6'x6' section that isnt fish tank. I'll have a 55g plastic trash can for water changes, and hopefully everything else under the tank itself.

now... certainly I need a quarantine tank, right? So... maybe the 20g long gets set up in there w/ a HOB for that. :icon_evil oh, i've also got a 12g nanocube reef tank that I'd like to upgrade to something like the 20 long, or maybe a 28g nanocube. so then that can go in there as a quarantine tank as well.

and just incase those kirbs breed successfully I might need to put them somewhere other than the sump, so I guess i can set up the 45g in there as well :icon_evil

sooo, it might turn into a little fish room. not that that is planned or anything... nope, not planned at all.
 

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Will you have access from the front of the tank for maintenance, or strictly from behind? That is really the only regret I have with my setup, not very easy to prune from the back.
 

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sooo, it might turn into a little fish room. not that that is planned or anything... nope, not planned at all.
I see no planning occurring whatsoever. :icon_cool

I do, however, look forward to seeing whatever may just happen, you know? :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Will you have access from the front of the tank for maintenance, or strictly from behind? That is really the only regret I have with my setup, not very easy to prune from the back.
access will be from behind only, giggity. I see your point regarding trimming though. Really not sure I want to throw another wrench into the plan. Though, I'm sure it wouldnt be too difficult to hide some hardware. However, my planned flora shouldnt require too much trimming. I'm thinking the hairgrass will really be the only thing I need to worry about.

I did consider using foam core board as the tank backing though, for easy removal and to see through from behind if need be.

I see no planning occurring whatsoever. :icon_cool

I do, however, look forward to seeing whatever may just happen, you know? :D
haha me too me too. She at least understands the need for a quarantine tank, even though I don't have one and keep mentioning that I should. 99% sure she won't have an issue as long as the plethora of tanks arent in her face.

Also, no word on the stairs as of this morning. My fingers are cross that they don't come in this week as I'd really like to see the tank area built. I'm also undecided on when to order the tank from Hidden Reef. my main concern is having the tank in place and something happening to it during the rest of construction... but it'd be nice to start working on the electrical (no big deal) and sump during the week.
 

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come on, it hasnt even been 18 months yet, lol
The first post was in 2011. It is now 2013. Ergo, "years." My logic is impeccable! :hihi:
 
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