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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My 190 gallon is cycling and like all fish-enthusiasts I'm very impatient. While browsing TPT I was instantly hooked when I saw the Mr. Aqua 12 long so I couldn't help myself. I set up my plan over the last week and today ordered most of my equipment.

Tank Summary:
Tank: Mr. Aqua 12 long
Stand: DIY
Lighting: BeamsWork Double Bright LED
Filtration: External overflow, 10 gallon sump with SeaChem Matrix and Purigen media, Hydor L30 320gph adjustable pump
Substrate: Eco Complete
Heating: 150 watt heater
CO2: 24oz Pressurized Tank (Paintball) + Stainless Steel Concoa 432 regulator
Dosing: EI liquid
Automation: TBD

I'm going to build a custom stand to hold all the equipment. I'm also going to build my own external overflow box in the middle of the tank and have a return at each end. I believe with 320gph that I should have enough flow and the overall look of the tank should be extremely clean. I can build the overflow and sump for about $10 more than a decent canister filter and I love the freedom to tinker. After working on my 190 with a sump I don't think I could own another tank without one.

My only plan for the tank so far is a first attempt at keeping shrimp, probably a handful of cories and maybe a small school of neon tetras. I'm still up in the air but figured I have enough time to decide while I build a new stand and set up and cycle the tank.

I'm planning on adding pressurized CO2 but the wife is still recovering from the price tag of the 190 so I'm going to hold off initially. I may start with DIY..

I would love any feedback or lessons learned. This tank is very unique in its dimensions and offers up a lot of challenges that must be overcome like appropriate flow. I am nervous about drilling the tank. I've never drilled glass before but I'm confident I can learn with a little bit of practice.
 

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Saw the thread and thought awesome another 12g. I really want one. They look great. Then I saw you filtration and was surprised! Thumbs up for taking it another level. Can't wait to see how you build it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tiny update. All the parts are now ordered except the baffles for the sump (will try and do that today). Pump will be in tomorrow. Tank and filter media will be here Friday. Everything else should be in next week. I'm hoping to start on the stand and filter this weekend and will post updates.

Some pictures:

LED. Built very well. Not sold yet on LED lighting but I'm giving it a try.



My 10 gallon sump. Thanks to Petco's $1/gallon sale it was only $10 instead of $12. What a deal! ;)
 

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That's going to be a nicely filtered tank with such a big filter area (10 gallon) to cram full of differnt medias!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some minor updates..

I have the Eco Complete cycling in an extra 10 gallon tank I have. I put in some filter media from another tank so I'm hoping the bacteria will grow fast.

Got the cut glass for the sump baffles as well as the external overflow box.

The tank and filtration media comes in tonight! YEAH!

Installed the baffles and filtration holders in the sump.


I also picked up all (or at least most) of the PVC I'll need for the project.


I also picked up all the wood for the stand. I'm hoping to get most of the build done this weekend (pics to come).

I found some zebra rock at the lfs that I think I may use. I also have some gray slate I may try and use too. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do for a hardscape.

The hard part is going to be waiting for the glass cutting hole saw. I cheapened out and bought one from China (saved $10). Unfortunately it'll probably be another week or two before it comes in. I guess that just means more time to plan out the hardscape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Medium size update (I guess)...

The tank came in. Marine Depot did a great job packing it up.


I also built the stand. I used mostly 3/4 furniture grade wood. I did cheat a bit and used 2x3's as the base and tank support. The tank fits between two windows down to a 1/16th of an inch. It's like the tank was built exactly for this spot.






Lastly, I set up the sump and it's almost done cycling thanks to some media from my 190 gallon.


In case you're wondering, the gravel is not staying in the sump. It's just in there to help build additional bacterial. Basically 99% of the filtration is being cycled and should be done by the time the tank is ready (I'm really hoping next week but probably the week after).

Now I just have to decide whether to paint or stain the stand and wait for the hole saw to come in. I think it's in customs right now so who knows how long it will take :(


Any recommendations on plants for the tank? I'm planning on doing primarily shrimp. I might try adding in some neons and maybe an otto or two. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Lots of progress.

I got the stand stained. Now I need to apply a few coats of polyurethane and I'll post some pictures.

CO2 tank and regulator is assembled (pictures to come).

I drilled the back of the tank with 2 drains and 2 returns. I also siliconed the overflow box to the back of the tank.

Back of tank drilled (4 holes):



Drains drilled:



Nice clean holes:



Overflow box siliconed and taped:



Back side of the tank:



Another view:



My silicone job is one of the best I've done but still very amateurish. I don't think I'd build my own tank but for an external overflow that will never be seen I'm very happy.

I will be installing a coast-to-coast overflow using 1/4" black acrylic. The water will overflow the acrylic and drain through the 2 rear holes. It will enter the external overflow and drain out of 1 primary and 1 emergency drain. Water will drain to the sump and return through the two overflows at eat end of the tank. With the 320gph pump I have I should have plenty of circulation.
 

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Great job. Really took the 12 Long to the next level. You should join the 12 long club (check my signature for the link)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the feedback. I finished staining the stand tonight. I'm planning on plumbing it tomorrow night and adding water. If all works out I'll try and add fish on Tuesday as the filter media in the sump is already cycled thanks to fishless cycling.

Any recommendations on shrimp-friendly fish? I was thinking like 20x neons, 3x corries, and 1-2x ottos. I know they'll eat fry and eggs but I'm planning on trying to do some selective mating and hatching in a breeder. I'd definitely appreciate feedback as I'm a complete noob on shrimp.
 

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I have neons, panda corys, and CPDs. I love them all. The cory's live at the bottom, the neons a little above them, and the CPDs a little above them. I don't have any otto's, but I think they'd fit in well.

One things I'd suggest is to swap out a few neons for corys. They like to be in bigger numbers, and I'd recommend at least 6. Neons seem to be the same, preferring at least 6 total. I had a few corys die and their behavior changes when they get below those numbers. They hide more and play less, and are clearly less happy. Especially if they are that out numbered. You will enjoy them more (and they will be happier) if you have a few more of them. I can't speak to the ottos since I don't have them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have neons, panda corys, and CPDs. I love them all. The cory's live at the bottom, the neons a little above them, and the CPDs a little above them. I don't have any otto's, but I think they'd fit in well.

One things I'd suggest is to swap out a few neons for corys. They like to be in bigger numbers, and I'd recommend at least 6. Neons seem to be the same, preferring at least 6 total. I had a few corys die and their behavior changes when they get below those numbers. They hide more and play less, and are clearly less happy. Especially if they are that out numbered. You will enjoy them more (and they will be happier) if you have a few more of them. I can't speak to the ottos since I don't have them.
Do you have any shrimp with them? Any issues? Do any fry make it?
 

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Otto's will actually school and hang out together if kept in groups. Though I don't think it's necessary I feel it could help to do more. I would personally do 6 or so corys like Another Hobby suggested. 5 or so ottos and 15 or so neons/cardinal tetra w/e you prefer. You won't really need more than 15 tetras in the 12 long as it's only 9" height and with substrate makes it like 6-7" so 15 cardinals will look great and not be too crowded. As for ottos, personally they are the best clean up crew and you'll be thanking them with higher numbers as your tank will look a lot nicer with that much less algae.
 

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I have RCS in my 12 long and the I haven't seen the cardinals eat any yet but then again I've only had the shrimp for a few weeks and the first batch just dropped. I do have a very thick carpet of glosso and I can see newborns hiding under the carpet on the edges of the tank so I think that helps a lot. I would imagine some will def get eaten though. I have around 30 RCS and a half dozen are berried so I don't doubt I'll have hundreds in a few months.
 
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