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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Current full tank shot (6/10/17):






Just wanted my own thread to discuss my progress with this setup. I'm taking my time, not rushing anything. Wanting to do things right from the get go. So here she is.

Started off with a gift from a friend of a 33 gallon "cube" (18.25"x20.25"x20"). I plasti-dipped the rear glass panel in black.

Long term I want to get back into salt, so I asked a local guy to make me a stand for a 60 gallon cube (24x24x25). I spent a good week and a half sanding and varnishing to protect the wood and make her purdy. The stand doors are magnetically held. No hinges. Really makes getting into the stand easy.

I started rounding up my equipment. Firstly, I picked up 2 Current LED Plus Pro's from an LFS. Found a local guy with a used eheim 2217 for $80 with all equip and substrates, and nabbed a 5lb CO2 Al tank for $60. Finally got some magnetic "suction cups" for the eheim in-tank parts, and picked up an inline heater (300w).

I've changed my mind once on my substrate. Had picked up some dark pebbles from an LFS, but decided to go black diamond after some research.

Here are some progress pics.














At this point, I am just cycling some water, adding some ambiance to my residence, and trying to make up my mind on the scape.

I'm torn between doing a basic plain jane planted tank, and doing a hardscape.

If I did a simple planted, I love how this one looks...



I still have some time to think about it while I get the CO2 things situated. Still have to get a regulator, diffuser, and some kind of feedback device.

Anyways, I welcome feedback. Let me know what you think. It's pretty simple right now, and I guess all I can get are hardware critiques, but whatever.
 

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Hmm...I'm curious about this - but how much did it cost to have the stand made for you locally vs. making it yourself? I have considered this in the past - but never pulled the trigger because I just end up looking for professional carpenters - which I know are going to be expense. How did you find them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It was about $200. I looked at glasscages, who has hard oak stands for a 60 gal cube for $185 or so and put up a wanted thread in a local fish keepers forum and someone chimed up. I paid a little extra for the magnetic doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Been a little while, but I added some Giant Diano's to get the tank cycling. Everything seems to be going great so far. Once the funds are allocated, I'm going to dutch scape it. Still need to get a CO2 regulator and bury some osmocote in the BDBS.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
:thumbsdow
The hell did that deserve a dislike for? I'm just cycling my 2217 with some throw away fish..



Also, purchased my GLA Gro-1 and inline diffuser on Thursday. So the CO2 situation is almost taken care of. Gotta settle on how I am going to control / get feedback on my CO2 qtys in the water column now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It was probably a (less than civil) recommendation to use a fishless cycle instead. I would also recommend this for the "no fish were harmed in the cycling of this tank" factor.
It's not that I'm going to flush them or anything. I'll give them back to the LFS if I have to when I go to plant.

The tank, it seems, was already cycled by the time I had put them in there. I borrowed a gallon of water from a buddy's cycled tank, and traded him some eheim media. Went to the lfs this past weekend and they checked all my water parameters. No Ammonia, no NO2, no NO3.

I also wanted something other than fishing bobbers to look at while the rest of the equipment is gotten.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks like you are off to a good start! I love Marineland tanks with black silicone. :)
Thank you! I'm trying to take my time and get everything done right from the get go. Slowly amassing the hardware.

Should I get a drop checker for CO2 feedback? How should I control the CO2? Set the bubble count and time it for overnight?

Very soon it will be time to order plants. Just need my shaping utensils and to make up my mind if I want any kind of hard scape objects in the tank, like a piece of drift wood. I'm just worried that I don't have enough room for it. It would help aid in separation of the plant species.

Here's my list of what I want thus far...

Foreground
Microanthenum Monte Carlo (offset front/left)

Midground
Alternanthera Reineckii Mini
Downoi
Rotala indica

Background
Ludwigia Super Red
Pogostemon Erectus
Heteranthera zosterifolia
Proserpinaca palustris (Mermaid Weed)

As for fauna, I've been recommended a pair of discus, but I also kind of want some shrimp (dream blue velvet), cories, german blue rams, and a small school of tetras.

Too many options running through my head.

Looking for feedback / suggestions / critiques to my selection as well.
 

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I don't know if Discus are best for a dutch setup, since they will take away quite a lot of focus from the plants. Also they probably won't play nice with the shrimp. Not to mention it will take a little bit of dedication to make sure they grow out well etc.
Probably a large school of some sort (Neons, Harlequins, Rummynose etc.) plus the GBRs, and maybe some Cories would be a decent stock list.
Drop checkers with 4DKH water are a good reference point for CO2. Try to get the solution inside to lime green, then see how the critters and plants respond. Fine tune it based on how your livestock feels, and how your plants are growing. I would just get a solenoid regulator for CO2 and time it to match your light period, except put it on an hour before lights come on and turn it off an hour before lights come off.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't know if Discus are best for a dutch setup, since they will take away quite a lot of focus from the plants. Also they probably won't play nice with the shrimp. Not to mention it will take a little bit of dedication to make sure they grow out well etc.
Probably a large school of some sort (Neons, Harlequins, Rummynose etc.) plus the GBRs, and maybe some Cories would be a decent stock list.
Drop checkers with 4DKH water are a good reference point for CO2. Try to get the solution inside to lime green, then see how the critters and plants respond. Fine tune it based on how your livestock feels, and how your plants are growing. I would just get a solenoid regulator for CO2 and time it to match your light period, except put it on an hour before lights come on and turn it off an hour before lights come off.

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That's what I was thinking about the Discus. Too large and attention grabbing.

Any particular drop checkers you recommend? I'm going to be buying some scape maintenance tools from amazon, so might as well be from amazon too.

a TALL tank like this is just asking for a large branchy driftwood centerpiece
If anything, I'd probably want a short piece of wood to run front and center and help divide up the foreground / midground plants, and maybe using the trunk to support some moss or something. The idea of using wood has kind of taken a back burner for now, maybe to delve into in the future. I think I'm just going to do a pure planted dutch.

If anyone would please comment on my plant selection and give me some pointers as to difficulty of raising the species with what I've outlined here in the thread, that would be fantastic. Just a reminder, this is going to be an osmocote + in the substrate and CO2 tank. Trying to keep dosing any chemicals at a minimum.

Thanks!
 

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Any particular drop checkers you recommend? I'm going to be buying some scape maintenance tools from amazon, so might as well be from amazon too.
All drop checkers will work, so it is really just aesthetics that is the difference between products. I like those hook shaped ones, and I'm sure you can find some well-priced ones on Amazon. VIV should make some nice glass ones, you can also get cheap plastic ones if you don't care about looks. Remember with a drop checker you will need to make some 4DKH to go inside it.

If anyone would please comment on my plant selection and give me some pointers as to difficulty of raising the species with what I've outlined here in the thread, that would be fantastic. Just a reminder, this is going to be an osmocote + in the substrate and CO2 tank. Trying to keep dosing any chemicals at a minimum.
Well not dosing is going to limit your options a bit, and your colour on plants will probably not be the best. Not dosing whilst running CO2 is not the best idea. I would reconsider your stance. Dry fertilisers are very cheap. And it's important to remember, everything is made out of chemicals even the plants ;). There's not really anything specific to any plant provide sufficient light, nutrients, flow and CO2 and stuff should grow (to oversimplify it).





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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well not dosing is going to limit your options a bit, and your colours on plants will probably not be the best. Not dosing whilst running CO2 is not the best idea. I would reconsider your stance. Dry fertilisers are very cheap. And it's important to remember, everything is made out of chemicals even the plants ;).
Yes, I am aware. *gasp* water is a chemical too :surprise:

Just trying to keep things as simple as I can get it. I don't want to have to have an auto doser set up if I happen to go out of town for the weekend....

I'm going to be putting osmocote+ into the substrate.
 

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Just trying to keep things as simple as I can get it. I don't want to have to have an auto doser set up if I happen to go out of town for the weekend....



I'm going to be putting osmocote+ into the substrate.
You could probably just skip the dosing if you go out, dose for the days you're gone before you leave or set up a rest day on a weekend as part of your schedule. You could even avoid daily dosing with some regimes.




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