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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been picking away at this project for a little while: building a light mount, gathering equipment, etc... Just this evening I was finally able to get the tank itself onto the stand (it has been in the garage waiting on sufficient muscle and planning to make the move into the house). I figure this is a good time to start a journal.

Here's where things stand as of this evening:

Window Wood Twig Rectangle Art


Table Furniture Property Picture frame Building


Wood Building Couch Floor Art


Some of you may be familiar with this space, as it is the same spot that previously housed a 68g chronicled in this tank journal. As I came to realize (and note in that journal), this is the best spot in my house for a larger tank due to the arrangement of floor joists for the main level, which sits above a full unfinished basement. Ultimately, as much as I loved that tank, it was a missed opportunity for the space. I finished that project on a high note and took it down to make room for this five-footer. This tank size is a much better fit.

I already knew I was going to put a bigger tank in this space when I found this truly massive piece of driftwood at my local fish shop. Once I had the wood, the contours of the project started to take shape. For example, I was going to need spot lighting from about 90" off the floor. There will be no lid. There will be the potential for emergent growth and/or a mixed aquatic and terrestrial planting. Many things are still unknown, but they're starting to fall into place. One thing at a time!

First - the name of the tank journal should reflect the absurdity of the wood's proportions. Check.

Next is plumbing.

Then, hardscape.

More (much more) to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice setup and great looking space! What size tank is this and where did you get it?

Looking forward to seeing where you go with it.
Thanks! It's supposed to be a dining room, but after several attempts, we decided we just aren't dining room people. Works much better as a sitting room for us.

It's a Waterbox brand tank measuring 60"L x 25"W x 22"H (130G). While the waterbox tanks don't have the beveled corners, the glass and silicone work are just as nice as UNS (we also have a 90U and a 50G waterbox), and they're not so hard to come by. I ordered this on their website when it was back-ordered, and it was in my garage two weeks later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What lighting is that?
Those are Kessil a360x lights with 35 degree reflectors.

They are pricey, and there are things I don't love about them, but I already had two of them from the tank I took down to make room for this one. I also needed whatever lights I used to be really high off the water while also not blinding someone sitting on the couch. In the end they were the obvious (maybe only?) choice for my situation.
 

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This going to be an awesome tank. That piece of wood is perfect for the tank.
 
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Those are Kessil a360x lights with 35 degree reflectors.

They are pricey, and there are things I don't love about them, but I already had two of them from the tank I took down to make room for this one. I also needed whatever lights I used to be really high off the water while also not blinding someone sitting on the couch. In the end they were the obvious (maybe only?) choice for my situation.
Are there any other lights that you would try? I'm considering turning my 22-long into a paludarium with the lights about three feet away from the water surface. I'm trying to figure out what lighting would work at that distance or if I just need to put lighting directly over tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This going to be an awesome tank. That piece of wood is perfect for the tank.
Thanks - I hope so! It's a really inspiring hunk of wood, but it makes every aspect of the build really challenging.

At the moment I'm puzzling over the in-tank intake and return plumbing. It's tricky when there's a giant oar-shaped obstacle jutting through the flow zone! (I did this to myself...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Are there any other lights that you would try? I'm considering turning my 22-long into a paludarium with the lights about three feet away from the water surface. I'm trying to figure out what lighting would work at that distance or if I just need to put lighting directly over tank.
Hmmm. I think that, depending on how much intensity you need and how much spill is allowable, you could have lots of options. Are you thinking the lights would be mounted to the top of an enclosure itself, or on some other sort of mount?
 

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Hmmm. I think that, depending on how much intensity you need and how much spill is allowable, you could have lots of options. Are you thinking the lights would be mounted to the top of an enclosure itself, or on some other sort of mount?
It would be nice to mount them to the top of the enclosure to provide an unobstructed view. If that is unrealistic though, I could always look at mounting a light closer to the water surface. Light level would ideally be at least medium (let's say 30 par at substrate). I don't want to do one of those paluldariums where the water part is neglected, I want it to be lush from the bottom up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It would be nice to mount them to the top of the enclosure to provide an unobstructed view. If that is unrealistic though, I could always look at mounting a light closer to the water surface. Light level would ideally be at least medium (let's say 30 par at substrate). I don't want to do one of those paluldariums where the water part is neglected, I want it to be lush from the bottom up.
Yeah, I think mounting high off the water without a ton of spill and lots of lost par is tricky without a way to concentrate the light. I'm not sure what I would have done for this tank if I couldn't use those really narrow beam reflectors...
 

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Those are Kessil a360x lights with 35 degree reflectors.

They are pricey, and there are things I don't love about them, but I already had two of them from the tank I took down to make room for this one. I also needed whatever lights I used to be really high off the water while also not blinding someone sitting on the couch. In the end they were the obvious (maybe only?) choice for my situation.

I thought maybe they were kessils but the reflectors threw me. I am teetering on the edge between a160we and AI prime 16hd for my 12 foot tank. I will need 5 of whatever I get.

Thanks for the reply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I thought maybe they were kessils but the reflectors threw me. I am teetering on the edge between a160we and AI prime 16hd for my 12 foot tank. I will need 5 of whatever I get.

Thanks for the reply.
I see. For what it's worth, I have an AI prime, and that thing is loud. You might see if you can see/hear one in person before committing to having five of them going at once.

Even at middling output levels the fan will kick on at full speed sometimes.
 

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I see. For what it's worth, I have an AI prime, and that thing is loud. You might see if you can see/hear one in person before committing to having five of them going at once.

Even at middling output levels the fan will kick on at full speed sometimes.
I have one on a nano reef. I don't notice the noise on my desk. But, then again, it's on my left side and the hearing in that ear is going. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have one on a nano reef. I don't notice the noise on my desk. But, then again, it's on my left side and the hearing in that ear is going. LOL
Interesting! Maybe I got a bad one... I do really like the quality of the light from them, and they have a nice form factor.
 

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Interesting! Maybe I got a bad one... I do really like the quality of the light from them, and they have a nice form factor.
I will know soon. I have 3 more coming for my reef tank install and I will fire them up all at once and listen with my good ear. If they are loud, they go back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Plumbing progress!

Today I finished the return assembly and tied it into the line I attached to the wall prior to getting the tank and stand situated.

Here's the return assembly, which is designed to hang on the end of the tank:

Musical instrument Road surface Wood Bicycle part Line


Bicycle handlebar Wood Automotive tire Flooring Floor


Note that since they will be completely in the tank, the return 'jets' (the 90deg elbows on the very ends) are not cemented and can be adjusted for depth or direction.

Here it is all tied in:

Wood Yellow Vehicle door Automotive tire Tints and shades


Water Wood Bumper Automotive exterior Flooring


The intake assembly is next, but I need to order some parts before I can start (I ended up changing the return design at the last minute and stole some fittings that were to be used for the intake). I hope to get that going next weekend.
 
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