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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My tank blew up last week... Journal here: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=330434


After 6 hours of emergency scrambling, scored a 12G Long off of CL (what I really wanted from the beginning) and was able to salvage most of my HC Cuba. So I am starting a new Journal now...

This is how my "disaster" turned into a "blessing" when I replaced it with a 12G Long!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bought a 36" Current USA Satellite LED+. Perfect fit!

Best part, I had a little over 2" clearance below the breakfast bar and the low profile of the LED+ is a GODSEND~~!



Few more pics







This lighting setup really shows how much HC Cuba died off during the great crash of last week. It makes the dying brown pop, but it also makes the living green pop even more. Can't wait to try this setting when everything grows back in again.


Love that there are 2 intensity for moonlights. Nice touch since I REALLY like the dimmer one.


Video going through some cycles. At about the 1:30 mark, a thunder just so happens to go off in sync with the lighting mode....SWEET JESUS!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Finally pieced together my CO2 system.

Cost me about $105 to piece together all the parts including the tank (that I scored for $15 filled from CL!). Took about a month of intense research on parts and looking daily for the best deals. Definitely not worth the savings from buying a complete set here if you are not in it to learn, and only doing it to save money. GREAT learning experience though!

Victor VTS-253B Dual Stage Regulator
SMC VDW250 Solenoid
Swagelok B-ORM2 Needle Valve
10lb Steel CO2 tank

DIY syringe bubble counter
Ista Max Mix Large CO2 Reactor

I know the post body is unusually long. This is due to 2 reasons:
1. I didn't feel like spending a whole bunch of money on fittings after all the hard work to score low cost parts. So I used whatever fittings I had on hand and frankensteined it together.
2. I don't have a vice, so I couldn't get a wrong fitting on the regulator itself off. I ended up having to put together some parts to step the NPT size down, thus the extra fittings between the regulator and solenoid as well as after the needle valve.

It may not be the prettiest post body, but I think it looks awesome! Some pictures for your viewing pleasure.






 

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Your new tank looks awesome. The rocks look great and I hope your beautiful carpet made the switch just fine.

Had to go and read and look at pictures of your heater malfunction. If I were you, I would be emailing the company/facebook pictures on their page if they have one with those pictures of that heater and what it did to your tank and wall - even forgetting to unplug it and having it out of water should not do that much damage. It could have killed someone, took an eye out or otherwise hurt them if someone (or a child) would have been near it. 1/2 inch into drywall and busting your beautiful tank just isn't something that should ever happen!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your new tank looks awesome. The rocks look great and I hope your beautiful carpet made the switch just fine.

Had to go and read and look at pictures of your heater malfunction. If I were you, I would be emailing the company/facebook pictures on their page if they have one with those pictures of that heater and what it did to your tank and wall - even forgetting to unplug it and having it out of water should not do that much damage. It could have killed someone, took an eye out or otherwise hurt them if someone (or a child) would have been near it. 1/2 inch into drywall and busting your beautiful tank just isn't something that should ever happen!
It was a Resun Titanium heater


Not really worth pursing since it's 7+ years old and a foreign company/e b a y purchase...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DIY 36" spray bar update.

I wanted a tank length spray bar to distribute CO2/flow better throughout the tank. Bought a 36" 1/2" OD clear PVC tube and drilled 3/32" holes an inch apart. Perfect flow speed for the Rena Filstar XP3 (350 GPH)


Got the clear PVC from here: 3 dollars with free shipping! http://www.lnt.com/product/aquarium...-504991/lees-thinwall-rigid-tubing-clear.html

Comes in the most ridiculously oversized box


I sandwiched the PVC tube on my Ikea table that slides out giving me both a hold for the tube and a better guide to drill it in a straight line.


Laid out a tape measure next to it for even space between the holes


I drilled a total of 33 holes with 6 pointing in a 45 degrees up angle throughout the tube for surface agitation.


The hardest part actually is getting all the left over stuck pieces from drilling, out from inside the tube. If you don't remove these, they will catch any debris flowing through and eventually clog. I straightened out a coat hanger and taped a chopstick to it and knocked most it off. The most stubborn ones I used a razor blade and the chopstick to cut it out. Drilling slow with less downward pressure helps to have a cleaner hole without pieces stuck on the inside.


Finished product! I didn't feel like spending $5 for end cap or clear elbows so I used the cap for a water test kit tube (fits perfect) and some black rubber fittings I had laying around.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Scoured through 50+ pages of E B A Y listings, took me almost 2 hours, but finally found the perfect piece of Drift wood for my "Tree". Perfect size and shape.





Had to cut a little off the end and mounted it on a piece of slate. I drilled a hole in the slate and fastened with a stainless steel screw.



Whole tank look. The tree will have Fissiden Fontanus growing on the top. Not sure about the small rock placement, feedback?

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Flooded!!!

Got to test out the DIY spray bar. I realized that the current is too strong and if the water level ever drops below the spray bar, the upward pointing streams will shoot out of the tank causing a flood. Unacceptable.


So I enlarged all the holes to 1/8" and it's much better now.


Whole tank flow pattern.


When my plants come in next week, I'll do a better whole tank shot.
 
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