So for those of you who I haven't had the pleasure of chatting with yet, my name is Joshua and I am an undergrad here in Louisiana studying Electrical Engineering. I've kept planted tanks for about 3 years now, although I had a 1 year break in between. Before that I had a 75 gallon african cichlid tank.
I've been on both sides of the spectrum starting with a low light, low tech, 75 gallon where my plants did not thrive. No co2, and no fertilization, and low light led to very leggy plants that lacked luster, color, and sheen.
Now having been back in the hobby for almost a year now, I took the plunge into high tech, co2 enriched, highly fertilized, high light waters, and I love it. Its great being able to throw just about anything into a tank and get it to grow. And so this high tech 20 gallon has been running about 6 months and is doing great.
Now wouldn't you know it, my wonderful girlfriend who at first was a little taken back with my hobby, ended up wanting to upgrade my tank for me for Christmas. So I've searched around and found a 60 gallon breeder for $60 from a local (36"L x 20"H x 19"W). They looked so nice and such a great size for where I'm at in life that.... I bought 2 of them. 1 for the display and 1 for the sump/refugium.
Main idea of this tank comes from my engineering mindset, efficiency is key. If I can build something to do a particular task for me, then why not?
Second idea of this tank is that it will probably be in my living room when I get married, so display worthy is a must.
Things I plan on automating:
-Auto top off
-LCD display showing temp, time, and ph levels.
-DIY Dimmable t5ho based off of Dark Cobra's Build. 6 bulb fixture 36" with ice cap reflectors.
With this build, I plan on using my first sump filtration system. After reading hours and hours worth of articles online, I figure that this will give me the best options for automation.
Filtration order will be TANK--> INTERNAL/EXTERNAL OVERFLOW --> SUMP --> CO2 REACTOR--> SUMP RETURN PUMP--> BACK TO DISPLAY TANK.
I'll post links with the parts at the bottom of this post.
Decided against the CPR overflow, I want a bullet proof system, and after talking with another guy over at TPT, I've decided that I will be drilling the tank. However, it will not be drilled in the standard way.
I want a system that will be very quiet, co2 efficient, and bullet proof in regards to structure and flooding. Because of this, Bean animal really caught my eye, its a great system, that is very safe and reliable and introduces very little to no air via the overflows. Overall, it sounds like the way to go.
However, my next dilemna was how can I make this look good and take as little space as possible? This is going to be a display tank, so I really don't want a big ole overflow box taking up a bunch of space on my back wall. A buddy, by the name of crazymittens here on TPT, had the solution. Use an internal/external overflow setup.
Basically you drill the tank like normal with holes, However, You also build an external box that will also have holes drilled into the bottom which is where the actual bulkheads will be located. From there you can do everything else like a normal Bean animal build. On the inside instead of a big overflow box, he just made maybe a 1.5" at most glass box overflow. Slapped a little prefilter guard for fish, and bam, high quality, safe, asthetically pleasing overflow system.
Once I get more details, I'll make sure to post them here.
Here are some pics describing the setup. Credit to crazymittens here on TPT. Let me know if you'd like me to take down the pics.
Mine will have 3 holes drilled like at 2 3/8" equally spaced on my 19" side. Here is my autocad drawing demonstrating the dimensions.
Just about have everything I need to make this setup, including the marinepure filter media. Lol, I bought 2x (8"x8"x4") blocks. Each one is rated to filter 500 gallons of water alone. So basically this plus my poret filter foam walls and the added BB from the refugium will give me water clarity very close to that of a wet/dry setup.
I will be using an Eheim 1260 as the return pump and hard plumb it with flexible pvc.
In addition, I'm thinking also about leaving room for a housefilter purigen reactor setup. Although this would be a luxury item that I'll leave room for but work on later.
Lastly I still have to leave room for whatever types of auto top off and auto water change system I will use. This is very much still in the design stages. I will update this post as things progress. Please look at the new sump designs below
Good sump links:
40 breeder wet dry setup: http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/10438-Sump-mods-for-CO2-effeciency
wet dry discussion: http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/4255-Picture-Schematic-of-Tom-s-180-Gallon-Starphire/page2
My sump design discussion: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=539209
internal/external overflow system:
River Manifold System
More to come.....
Fertilization will be controlled with a pic18 microcontroller and use 3 peristallic pumps to dose fertilizers each day. More on this to come.
Riverscape with dark rocks and manzy branches. Probably play sand mixed with pool sand as the substrate along with various rocky pebbles.
Costs left for tank
-River Manifold System??$$?
-eheim 1260 return pump- $170
-Ice cap reflectors x6 - $180
-hardscape materials - $120
-Glass pieces as quote by local glass shop - $85
total left: $775
Will have to be a custom build in order to incorporate the odd sizing of the 60 gallon tank and also be able to fit the 60 gallon sump.
As of right now, for at least a few months of the tanks life, it will be shrimp only until everything stables out/ I make all the final arrangements.
My goal is to make a "community tank" of shrimp that won't interbreed, and that "could" potentially survive with small fish.
Shrimp species to note:
Caridina sp "Dark Green"
Tangerine Tiger Shrimp
Blue Diamond/Dark Blue Cherry Shrimp
After a while once the algae in the tank matures, I will add gobies and hillstreams to the tank.
More than likely this will be a yearlong plus project. But I look forward to the challenge. I'll try and keep this initial post updated as time goes on in order to better keep track of all the parts of this complex system to be. Also posted will be links to helpful topics or discussions that brought me to my decisions on the tank.
Last updated: 3/27/2014