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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I wanted to share my recent experience with building my first custom stand for my first dirted planted tank. I have been working on this for roughly a month now and it feels really good to see it all come together.

I have learned alot with the building of the stand, so hopefully next time I will not make some of the same mistakes. There is some very good inspiration on this site, so I took bits and pieces from what I could tell and I think I came out very well.

To start I made the top and bottom of the stand and vertical pieces to get the height I wanted. I stated with 36 inches, but ended up cutting it down to 33 inches, due to make everything fit better.




I attached additional support to the vertical members, which gave it the strength and weight. Some could be see this as overkill, but with the tank standing 3 feet tall I wanted to ensure a sturdy base. I did not take photos of that stage, but this photo of the back shows the frame.





I found a cheap 1/4 inch sheet of plywood and covered the front and sides. I could have gone with something nicer, but I had the intention of painting it from the beginning so cost won out. If I had wanted to stain the wood, I wood have choosen Oak for both the plywood and the trim.




I learned my lesson here with the paint. I should have painted the plywood and the trim seperately before attaching it to the frame, but it worked out ok. I had to tape off the each section twice to get the right coverage. Finally I finished it with a few layers of clear coat for durability.



I was trying to figure out how to do the door, whether I wanted hinges, one door, two doors, but I thought that all too difficult. So what I ended up going with is a removable door with magnets. I think it really was the best decision.

View attachment 296601



After moving everything into the house, I had to make sure the stand was level (crossing between hardwood and carpet (yikes)). I did put a 1/4 inch sheet of styrofoam between the tank and the stand to ease any stress on the tank from potential pressure points or leveling issues.




I added one bag of MGOCPM mixed with 1 pound of Redart Clay and 1 pound of Dolomite. The drift wood has been soaking for roughly 6 months and it still doesn't sink. So I attached it to pieces of granite I had granite I had laying around.



I attached some java fern to the wood as well as anubias nana. I also planted the larger plants before capping it with Pool Filter Sand. Plants include Melon Sword, Vallisneria, and a variety of Bacopa.



I use a heavy duty plastic to fill without distrubing the sand.



The remaining plants include Crypt Parva, Dwarf Pennywort, and Tiger Lotus. I wish I was better with scientific names. If you see something that doesn't look right, or if you can identify them, please let me know.



Let me know what you all think!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks awesome! The stand came out looking great and I love that piece of driftwood.
Thank you! The stand was quite a project, but a really fun one. There are actually two pieces of driftwood there. The front one is laying on the peak of the one behind it. Once they water log some more, I can remove the white twine and the zip ties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good call on the door with magnets. I built a 40b stand recently and I wish I went that route. I went with 2 hinged doors and it was tough and didn't come out perfect.

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Yea, that was my fear. Plus this way I am able to work on the inside or move the stand without anything in the way. I will keep that in my future plans for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Trouble with stem plants

Hello everyone. I wanted to give everyone an update on the tank. I planted some chain sword I in the front which really looks nice. Everything is coming along nicely except the stem plants, the bacopa in the back right. The leaves keep falling off and the stems are melting.



Can anyone give me any advise on keeping these healthy or maybe any recommendations of replacements. I would like to find a nice red stemmed plant of some sort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Organized = Satisfaction

As an update to my journal, I have attached a photo of the way I organized my cabinet.



I got my power strip on the left wall behind the CO2 tank and finally got a digital light timer set up (I do intend on getting an Arduino set up to control the CO2 and LED as well.) Also, I have been struggling with how to organize all of my food, ferts and test kit. Turns out I had that black wire shelf thing that fit the shoe boxes perfectly. I feel like I am happier than I should be about it, but organization is so satisfying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update

Hey everyone. Just wanted to make another update as the plants are coming along very nicely.


The Red Tiger Lotus is growing like crazy and the chain sword has started sending out runners on 3 of the plants. I put in a ruffle sword I had in another tank on the right and the dwarf pennywort is spreading nicely.


I have the thank H4n for the Rotala Colorata. It looks really great and blends well with the Red Tiger Lotus on the left of the tank. The melon sword is sending out a bunch of new leaves and I cannot wait for them to fill in so that I can cut off the old ones.

This tank is coming together better than I had hoped. Hope you all enjoy it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
One Month Update

Hey Everyone. Here is my one month update.

My wife got me a 36" Finnex Planted+ for my birthday this last weekend and it is really beautiful. I should help bring me into the high-light category which a few of my plants will really benefit from.



There are a few new things that I have changed from the last update. I have added the river rocks on the left to hide the zip-ties, which helps make everything look a bit more natural. Within the rocks I added two bits of Blyxa that works really nicely. Also in the back right I added what I think is Pogostemon Erectus, but it is a different color. Can anyone ID it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hello everyone,

This is my two month progression update. I have had a Finnex Planted+ for just about a month and it is crazy to see the amount of explosion growth that it has made.


The Rotala Colorata is really turning a beautiful red where it is closest to the surface. It has really taken off as I have gone through two sets of trims this month already. The base of the Rotala is still green though. Should I trim the tops and remove the base to get the red I want?
 
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