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200+ gallons of planted confusion.

2669 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  SeanOB11
Hi all, I'm new to the forum, but thoroughly enjoying reading through the wealth of info on this site. I thought I should contribute by putting together a little journal for our first planted tank attempt.

This is a saga that has stretched over a few years, slapped together in a few posts... We live in Trinidad, bottom end of the Caribbean. Recently plant availability has improved, but most things are only available sporadically. Fish availability is great however.

The tank was built back in 2003, convincing mum that the space under the big living room window really needed filling. What better than a big fish tank! roughly 6' x 1' & 10" x 1' & 10" from what I remember. It went through many phases of attempts with planter trays.. plastic plants, lots of algae (or 'moss' as I used to call it), big catfish, clown loaches, angelfish.... goldfish. We didn't really have a plan back then. Until finally it started leaking in 2012. A full strip down and rebuild followed, when I started reading up on the 'aquascaping' craze.

Committed to the cause, I converted my Dad to a full planted tank enthusiast. We had the tank rebuilt bigger and stronger.

(Edit) 6' x 28" X 24". much better dimensions and you could still get in the front door.

A much stronger frame was needed, with slim draws below.

one draw holds an automatic top up tank to compensate for the silly rate of evaporation in the tropics.

A full cover was necessary to prevent any feline interference. So we made a decorative surround and cover.

the cover has large glass boxes for two light units to sit in, with the home made lattice work on top to keep them ventilated. The lattice work required a custom jig, created by Dad after a few glasses of good scotch.

It all took a lot of varnish, literally gave the neighbour a migraine :icon_frow

Filters (4 Eheim classic canisters, 2 dedicated as biofilters) and later a DIY CO2 system are housed in this box, later clad in wood work:

Yes, that is granny's old O2 bottle on wheels. We have to have a few of the Uninterrupted Power Supply batteries connected to everything 24/7 to provide a backup during our frequent, extended power outages. The oxygen is pumped in if the lights cut out, CO2 turns off and one filter runs on backup.

More to follow.
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