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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, I'm new to freshwater (have 240 gallon reef tank) and this forum so I thought I would share my current build in progress.

I bought some 1/4" glass from a local shop (40.5 x 22 x 18) to save money on a custom tank. These dimensions fit the stand I bought perfectly.



Here is the stand I bought for $50 on craigslist. I took it apart and reinforced the structure with 2x4's and painted it black with high gloss oil based paint.


Painted doors...


After the silicon (GE Type I) cured for 48 hours it was time for a water test. It was a success after 24 hours so I drained it to add overflow.


Sky blue acrylic overflow 10 inches linear length (for 1" drain this was suggested). I broke 3 teeth during the cut, so I fashioned some replacements. You can't tell from the front though, so it was successful.


Overflow installed...


And with sky blue acrylic backdrop installed.


I ordered a few pieces of driftwood and boiled them for 8 hours and soaked them for another 24 hours to remove most of the tannin.


I went rockhounding up by some mountain streams and found a few nice pieces. Per state law you can rockhound 250 pounds per year for non commercial purposes. I took about 100 pounds worth in a 5 gallon bucket. (EDIT: I should note that I did give the rocks a bath and did a two day soak in diluted bleach to remove organics)


So I started building my trickle filter. I should be able to put 700 g/hr through this system (10x). The top drawer will contain filter floss to catch larger debrise, the next drawer will be bio balls under a drip plate. Third drawer will be media, carbon, etc. (as needed) and bottom drawer will be more bio balls. This will sit in my sump tank with the heater to be returned to the tank.


Here is my overflow drain and spray bar to feed filter tower.


Here is the completed plumbing under the cabinet.


Here is the backside of the tank and stand with 3/4" return powered by a Sicce 4.0. With 7 feet of head pressure I should be able to push 650-675 g/hr.


I'm doing final clean-up today to prepare for substrate and planting. My plants should arrive today.

Glad to share my experiences, hopefully I can learn alot here and give people some tips/ideas as well.

:)
 

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looking forward to watching this build!

I was going to say that 1/4" thick glass seemed thin for a 70g, but the math appears to check out.

Are you planning for co2 at all? if so, you may find that you lose a lot of co2 to that trickle filter. just something to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looking good.
Thanks, Big Dog.

looking forward to watching this build!

I was going to say that 1/4" thick glass seemed thin for a 70g, but the math appears to check out.

Are you planning for co2 at all? if so, you may find that you lose a lot of co2 to that trickle filter. just something to consider.
Yeah, I was surprised that the math did work out. I really didn't want to have to go to 3/8" due to the costs (3x more!) for my local glasier to cut it.

RE: Co2, I do have a DIY Co2 reactor in mind, but I am going to proceed with caution since I have not done Co2 or even a planted tank before. The plan for now is to stock a ton and a half small fish and see how the plants do. If I don't see much growth or the plants start to fade I can start dosing right away.
 

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looking good, im ready to see the tank with plants and fish swimming around. btw what type fish do you plan to keep??
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
looking good, im ready to see the tank with plants and fish swimming around. btw what type fish do you plan to keep??
Thanks, we are concidering mainly tetras, some plecos, small catfish, a discus and some shrimp.. I want to use the small fish to really explode the scale of my hardscape and plants.
:fish:
 

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hopefully he didn't mean "a discus" and just meant discus.

Tankie, you shouldn't keep discus in anything less than, i think, 5. Discus are considered social and really need to be in a school to thrive. hell, most fish will do better in a school of at least 7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
a discus?? why just one??
hopefully he didn't mean "a discus" and just meant discus.

Tankie, you shouldn't keep discus in anything less than, i think, 5. Discus are considered social and really need to be in a school to thrive. hell, most fish will do better in a school of at least 7.

Thanks for the tip.

I did not know that about discus Typically I read up alot before I buy so I'd like to think I wouldn't buy one sad lonely discus. :hihi:

Any suggestion for a discus-like non-social fish? :) I do love the shape and color of the discus, but I only want one medium sized fish.
 

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Any suggestion for a discus-like non-social fish? :) I do love the shape and color of the discus, but I only want one medium sized fish.
nope.

you're not going to find anything remotely like discus, I don't think. Options out there for fish around that size that'll be fine and happy alone are generally predators/carnivores that'll happily munch on anything else in the tank.

I have a single leopard bushfish in my tank. he's about 2" now, and will max around 6". but he's an ambush predator and I fully expect him to eat smaller fish when he gets larger. I'm trying to get a breeding program started to keep my tank stocked w/ the smaller fish I want while dealing with the occasional predation.

Is there a specific reason you don't want 5? If it's a look you're wanting, i'd say get 5 of the same type so the multitude of discus colors/patterns won't be too much to look at
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks pretty sick so far.
Thanks, Mike.

nope.

you're not going to find anything remotely like discus, I don't think. Options out there for fish around that size that'll be fine and happy alone are generally predators/carnivores that'll happily munch on anything else in the tank.

I have a single leopard bushfish in my tank. he's about 2" now, and will max around 6". but he's an ambush predator and I fully expect him to eat smaller fish when he gets larger. I'm trying to get a breeding program started to keep my tank stocked w/ the smaller fish I want while dealing with the occasional predation.

Is there a specific reason you don't want 5? If it's a look you're wanting, i'd say get 5 of the same type so the multitude of discus colors/patterns won't be too much to look at
I'm thinking 5 will be too big and distract from the scale created by the smaller fish. Maybe I am over complicating it, but you make a good point that 5 of the same might not be an issue. I'll have to put some thought into what it is I'm shooting for. Thanks for your input.

I'm trying to breed some tetras right now in a 5g to save myself some cash, but so far no luck. :)

Tankie
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So here are the planted laid out. Realized after I seperated out the hair grass I might need a few more packages. Never done this before so not have fast this will carpet.




Here is the filter all hooked up and ready. Don't have all my media situated yet.




Here it is filling up as we speak. (going to need more hair grass) :)

 

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wow, looks great, no that I see your substrate, I seriously advise against discus at all. you would never be able to keep the nitrates down low enough for them not to stunt with that substrate.

as far as a centerpiece fish have you looked into any of the dwarf south American cichlids. I small group (5 or 6) of a smaller cichlid would really look good and do not require the high maintenance that discus do. a couple options for this tank that are plant friendly would be: (my opinions only)

cupid cichlid (biodotoma cupido)
red breast acara (laetacara dorsigera ) I have a group of 6 of these and they are extremely personable.
bandit cichlid (guinacara geayi)
golden dwarf cichlid (nannacara anomala)
bolivian rams (mikrogeophagus altispinosus)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
wow, looks great, no that I see your substrate, I seriously advise against discus at all. you would never be able to keep the nitrates down low enough for them not to stunt with that substrate.

as far as a centerpiece fish have you looked into any of the dwarf south American cichlids. I small group (5 or 6) of a smaller cichlid would really look good and do not require the high maintenance that discus do. a couple options for this tank that are plant friendly would be: (my opinions only)

cupid cichlid (biodotoma cupido)
red breast acara (laetacara dorsigera ) I have a group of 6 of these and they are extremely personable.
bandit cichlid (guinacara geayi)
golden dwarf cichlid (nannacara anomala)
bolivian rams (mikrogeophagus altispinosus)

Awesome, thank you. I'm going to google these right now. :)

Tankie
 

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I'm thinking 5 will be too big and distract from the scale created by the smaller fish. Maybe I am over complicating it, but you make a good point that 5 of the same might not be an issue. I'll have to put some thought into what it is I'm shooting for. Thanks for your input.

I'm trying to breed some tetras right now in a 5g to save myself some cash, but so far no luck. :)

Tankie
I think the 5 discus w/ tetra would scale quite nicely in your tank. There is something quite beautiful about a larger school of smaller fish, and the larger fish will help them school by being a perceived threat. If you're concerned with the discus taking away from the smaller tetra, i wouldn't be toooo concerned.

But i think i understand your thinking. I love bigger schools of smaller fish.

As far as breeding... I'm trying to breed out 60 or so Barbus Jae... from 4 haha. these suckers are wild caught african community fish and $8 a pop, they only grow to about an inch. I've a 125g community tank and I want them to be the center piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think the 5 discus w/ tetra would scale quite nicely in your tank. There is something quite beautiful about a larger school of smaller fish, and the larger fish will help them school by being a perceived threat. If you're concerned with the discus taking away from the smaller tetra, i wouldn't be toooo concerned.

But i think i understand your thinking. I love bigger schools of smaller fish.

As far as breeding... I'm trying to breed out 60 or so Barbus Jae... from 4 haha. these suckers are wild caught african community fish and $8 a pop, they only grow to about an inch. I've a 125g community tank and I want them to be the center piece.
Oh, those Barbus Jae are stunning. Best of luck with that. I looked at your tank and it is beautiful. :thumbsup:
 

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Oh, those Barbus Jae are stunning. Best of luck with that. I looked at your tank and it is beautiful. :thumbsup:
Thanks. My jae's don't look so great haha. too much light and nothing in the tank but a ton of moss. so not much color going on. I just hope they're happy enough to let nature take over.

I'm redoing the tank at the end of the month. what i envisioned never happened to i've never really been happy with it. time for a big change!
 
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