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30 gallons of budget ideas... journal

1244 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  clownplanted
Ok, obviously I'm not good with titles, but here we go...

With every room of this house in mid remodel (ongoing live-in house flip), why not do another temporary tank in the kitchen? If that makes sense to you then we're on the same page! :)

Seriously, with my bigger tanks now sitting in storage till the move to my next house, I desperately needed a little more room to grow some plants out. I hopped on Craig's List for another cheap 20L and stumbled upon this 30g (36x12x16) for $20. A little haggling and I'm headed to pick it up for $15. Kinda feel bad for haggling when I get it home and find out it's a Deep

Glass is in great shape and just needs a little polishing before it's good to go.

Lighting: This will be based off my usual MakersLED heatsink. Package arrived last week. I went with the "Slim" model again. Nothing fancy... just 36" of premium heatsink :smile2:

I'm still torn on what I'm going to run inside this one. I will eventually transition this light to a new 40B that I have sitting in storage. I want dimmable low to insanely-high output with the ability to highlight/spotlight certain areas while others stay moderately lit. I have some Bridgelux EB's sitting around as well as some Cree XHP50's that I've never even powered up, but I'll probably go with a combination of Cree XM-L2's and XP-E's again. Waiting on multiple orders direct from Shenzhen, so those will prob fit the bill.

Primary power supply will be the MeanWell LCM-60U and this is probably getting too technical for a tank journal so I'll leave a link to the build log here: xxxxxxxxxx (once it's created).

CO2: Pressurized budget dual stage DIY reg outlined in my build log that is linked here: xxxxxxxxxx (have to track it down and finalize/update it too).

Substrate: This is where things will get a little out of the ordinary. The majority of it will be HTH Pool Filter Sand. The rest of it will be Marfied Controsoil in DIY modular "planters". Think of them as an "oasis" essentially.

I've tested these planters before and they give you a great way to have contained "aqua soil" in any tank without having it look ugly like a pot or something. They're made from formed lexan and inert stone (I usually use slate). Have a hammer, a saw, a torch, and some silicone handy if you want to follow along!:smile:

Filtration: I have a used Eheim 2215 sitting around as well as a 4+250 still in the box. Either will probably suffice. I also have a Hydor circulaton pump sitting around in need of a home.

Ok, that's it for now... updates to come as parts come in and I get the free time to build stuff.
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I'll try to dig up some pics of my idea for the planters. I've previously used the general idea to create elevation changes and terraces. The nice part is that you're free to come up with your own shapes as you heat/bend the lexan.
Do you have a thread on the tank you previously had planters? What device do you heat the plexy with? You are using plexy?

I have my plants in plastic containers at present for I hope to move this year. I have been told that plants in containers develop BGA. I put kitty litter in the bottom and have had no algae problems.

· Registered
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It seemed to bend better for me. The plexi would get to the bendable stage then fold over. The lexan would heat more uniformly and bend/form nicely around an object. Downside is the price is usually 6-8x the cost of plexi.
To steep for my budget. I will just stick with the containers, which were $.50 each. A bit cheaper I believe. I painted them black and am going to put Black Diamond Blasting sand around them so they won't be noticed.
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