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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Current Stats:
Updated 5/19/2013

Flora:


Ludwigia Repens x Arcuata
Hygro Difformis Variegated
Crypt Wendtii 'Bronze'
Echinodorus Barthii v. "red melon."

[strike]Elodea[/strike]
[strike]Ludwigia Palustris[/strike]
[strike]Rotala Green[/strike]
[strike]Rotala Rotundfolia[/strike]
[strike]Rotala Macandra Mini[/strike]
[strike]HC[/strike]
[strike]Hygrophila Pinnatifida[/strike]
[strike]Bacopa[/strike] Surprisingly was only gathering algae and I don't find it particularly attractive anyway
[strike]Green Cabomba[/strike] did not seem to do well
[strike]Red Cabomba (Furcata)[/strike] did not seem to do well

Fauna: 12ish Amano Shrimp, 10x Cardinal Tetras, 10x Silvertip Tetras (Rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy losses)
Lighting : 2 x Dual Bulb Coralife T5NO 36" (4 x 21 watt bulbs total), now raised 1" above tank
Filtration: 2 x 2217
EI Dosing 1.5 Times the 20-40 Recommendations, Liquid Iron
CO2: Pressurized Dual Stage Victor HPT-500 w/ "Rex Griggs" Type Reactor
Substrate: Eco-Complete
DIY Stand


 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I picked the name because, well it seems like many of the memorable tanks have a name so it's the thing to do. It's the name of a Michele McLaughlin instrumental I heard and liked.

This will be my FIRST real planted tank project. I have a 20 gallon high tank that is currently unplanted but at one point did have about 15-20 plants with EI dosing and Excel. That lasted a month+ before tearing it down to make it a "Bedroom Tetra" tank which the GF was interested in having... I knew I wanted a bigger tank and don't want to be concentrating heavily on two at once.



I spent June building a dual stage regulator (bubble counter still in progress as of now but will likely end up a DIY check valve / oral syringe setup, the one shown in picture failed nearly immediately during testing) - Ideal needle valve, Burkert 6011 :




And then spent August building a stand:










I ordered an inline heater, 2 Eheim 2217s, and 5 bags of Eco Complete a couple of days ago and should get them this weekend. I have to rebuild a bigger Griggs reactor, a new bubble counter to see if the 4th attempt is the charm (keep having check valves fail; have a new model from an Asian eBay retailer on my shelf now).

My first plants will be decided soon and I've posted some of my hardscape ideas in the Aquascaping section : http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/aquascaping/146887-hard-scape-lots-choices-40-breeder.html

I will likely purchase many "fast growing" stem plants for the initial planting, if I don't change my mind :p And then after 6 weeks or more start switching out items as I figure out what I'm doing. I may do a little of both and have my final goal plants growing alongside more stems than I would plan to keep.


I like to type, a LOT.
 

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Gorgeous, gorgeous stand! I love seeing the skeleton under it! Where do you find brackets like that - are they in the decking section by the lumber, or elsewhere? (assuming HD or Lowes)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you!! This is the first woodworking project I've done outside of some decks a decade-plus ago with my father and I am extremely proud of my results, presuming it holds up when I load a tank on : ) I am also the new owner of a circular saw, router, portable workbench, carpenter's square, etc etc...

The brackets are found right at the end of one of the lumber aisles at either of those stores in my experience.

I was considering a build thread, but this is actually a very-near copy to the first couple that come up when you use a search engine for 40 breeder stand so I didn't think there would be too much value. As (at least) the third person to use such a design I think I incorporated some of the best parts of each and definitely found ways to improve for next time.

All visible parts (once tank is on, and eventually I will be making or buying doors - right now focusing on the tank itself) are Red Oak stained with a Gel Stain which I found incredibly easy to work with.

Because you mentioned the brackets I will let you know that the two elsewhere online and the one I made all incorporated the use of a router to allow all "skin" wood to have direct contact on the pine skeleton, ie we had to make room for the brackets and accompanying screw heads.

Here is a picture of my front face trim with the routing work done on it, you can see how for some parts I needed an L shape and others just a corner. The plywood skin on the left and right sides, as well as the bottom shelf, all had similar work done, just different shapes.




It wasn't as "flat" on top as I hoped it would be as I found some minor gaps when I loaded on the tank to test for fit etc, and Hoppy in the DIY forum suggested using strips of veneer, which comes in 25 foot rolls (or other sizes) for around 5 dollars. I ended up putting veneer on the entire upper face where the tank would contact, and then sanding down the high spots, in order to achieve a flatness I'm happy with. Only a few months with water in the tank will tell if I did it right I suppose....
 

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Thanks!
I don't have a router, but I'm cosidering using the same poly trim I'm using on my windows/crown molding to cover the 2 x 4s on the outward facing sides. (black paint elsewhere). Easy to cut/carve, I could accomodate the braces.
oops, my ride's here, gotta go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wanted to route it as I was gluing everything on (screws are in frame, and there's finishing nails to hold decorative trim on, but the face frame and side skins are glued).

I am fairly sure that you don't absolutely need to do that but I would put plenty of screws or nails in, in order for the skin to do it's job of preventing racking by connecting opposing and adjacent pieces all together.

The girlfriend gets home from a business trip today and I am sure she will give her own ideas on the hardscape. I like them all, seems like a lot of people think "#2" in that thread is the best, I will mess around with it again tonight, and also move some rocks around.

My filters and such might show up at my work storeroom tomorrow so if opportunity allows, I will head over there and pick up my stuff!

I still want to do a few more coats of polyurethane so mid-week I should be loading the tank on the stand and filling it up...in the mean time i need to find some free time to make a 2nd co2 reactor, bubble counter, and investigate the plants and places to buy them. I'm not going to even think about fish until I get it set up, I'll probably make a ton of mistakes with CO2 dosing for the first couple of weeks as it'll be a first for me.


I've read it is questionable to fishless cycle a planted tank; however, I will hold off on a decision to skip that step until I make sure that my initial planting really did put enough mass in there to allow that decision and not put fish in harm's way, especially as I'll be busy for many upcoming weekends so daily water changes not an option.
 

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I love threads that show someone's progress right fromt he start - like building your own stand - lol.
I was one of the people voting for driftwood position #2. Some of the other angles look like a human form crawling on the floor of the tank to me! ; )
In #6, which got positive remarks, I see an abstracted torso, legs, and arms, with one arm reaching upward. I promise you I don't drink or do drugs - LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you 2in10!!

I picked up the parts for a Grigg reactor today, 2" diameter.

Got some nice tannin action in my bath tub right now - I'll give the DW a week, so as to at least save the real heavy initial leeching, maybe I'll have to do a water change or two less a week once I get it in the tank.
 

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So many people have written about GFCIs taht I'm going to read up on it when I get home from work today. I live in a mobile home that was built in 1988, I worry about the electrical! (Hope I didn't jinx myself).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have decided against my performing a DIY GFCI contraption and have deleted the post.

Proceed at own risk but after all that (and I am sure my GF will kill me after we spent half a day on it), I have decided that for me the best option is to ask landlord to install a GFCI receptacle (I will give him the one I bought for the DIY solution).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I did build another outlet, I used parts more suited to the task at hand this time (cord grip connector, waterproof cover). Still a proceed-at-own-risk/comfort-level type thing.

Anyhow - got some goodies in the mail today...




And just put on the last coat of poly. Tomorrow - tank goes on and leveling everything!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Still having trouble with CO2 system. Currently set up under the stand (reactor not running yet etc, just releasing to the air after bubble counter)

Failed 4-5 different check valves in DIY syringe bubble counters - oil or water (tried both) would siphon back THRU the check valve after the system turned off and left overnight.

Last night did the other style with a bottle with oil in it and tubing going through the top cap into fluid and another tube out of the top - again, siphoned back up the tube bringing the oil back up about 6 inches to my post-body check valve when I turned it off over night...

(this kind):

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRT6q4VflO3m5AF6AU6oET6bdh8VFw_tK2BDkzXHYnyz-gYW7VVzw
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I stuck another check valve inline above my bubble counter and that seems to be working - so now it goes Post-body including swagelok check valve, inline ebay check valve, bubble counter, inline ebay check valve, reactor.


Made a lot of progress while watching football today, next is shimming the stand and filling the tank...

The cords etc will all be run in much neater and more organized fashion once I get the power strips I'll be using long-term, later this week. They'll be mounted up on the left inside wall.



 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Water's in the tank, both filters, heater running. I'm going to have to wait until Monday or later to plant as I'll be away this weekend.

The eheim 2217 is as strong as or stronger than the 2215 (I have that impeller in the other 2217 body) even after going through a rex reactor so I will probably have to play with flows a bit. There's no doubt that ill be able to have the flow as strong as I want or throttle it down as weak as I want. Very happy to have 2 x 2217 with 2 2215 impellers in ready-reserve (well, ones already in one of the 17s now of course!)

Bonus of waiting till next week is that I also have carbon in the filter soaking up driftwood tannins. I'll want to take that out prior to planting.

Now we're getting to the next big stage of this tank : )

Sent from my BlackBerry 9650 using Tapatalk
 
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