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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Although this tank will not be set up for another month, it has been in the works for several months and still has some work to do with it. It will be a fully planted tank with mineralized top soil as the substrate.

It started off as just a boring standard 75 gallon tank and stand. We ripped down the stand and sanded the stain off. Next we added some trim to the top of the stand to cover the bottom trim of the tank.

Sorry for crappy pics, most have been from the phone thus far. Will get better in the future!



Next was building the canopy...The canopy is made of all pine wood and crown molding around the edges





My neighbor owns a cabinet company and was kind enough to take the canopy to his shop and cut the top and install hidden hinges on the inside for me.







We then stained everything a dark espresso brown color. We first tried an oak stain but didn't look very well and the fiance didn't approve!





Today we retrofitted the inside of the canopy with a workhorse 7 ballast which will be driving 3x54 watt T5HO bulbs. Inside was painted white to add to the reflectiveness and then sealed to prevent moisture damage.







Next step is to paint the back glass black. I also have some manzanita driftwood ordered from tom barr that should arrive any day! Then wait 3 long weeks until I move to the new house to set this project up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Painted the back today with a little over 1 can of flat black spray paint. Being spray paint, there are no brush strokes so it looks good! Sitting full of water now to test it out. The lighted pic only has one bulb in it so not that bright.



 

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Great start. Nice handy work too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ah the time is finally here! All moved and the driftwood finally came in! Will be trying to get it all set up this evening and in to tomorrow if needed.

Here was the driftwood that I ordered from Tom Barr on planted tank. Well actually the 2nd batch he sent me since the first batch never got to me.



And after I broke it all up and put it back together. Think it will look much better this way. Disregard the rocks and wood on top of the tank. This is going to be my main piece and might add some roots or a couple of other pieces on the ground.



Tank with the black diamond border and a base of dolomite and muriate of potash





MTS added on top



And with the black diamond cap. Still needs to be sloped in the back and sides. Too tired for tonight, will continue tomorrow!

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
update time! Been about 2 and a half weeks since the tank was started up. Added several new plants and fish. Have unfortunately run into some algae issues most likely due to fluctuating water parameters and high light. Hopefully with the new CO2 reactor I can keep more consistent dissolved levels and fight the algae. Added 7 corries and 1 week in and they have already spawned! 6 juvie angels of various colors. Got rid of all the swordtails :( and added some more pristella tetras. Planning to add a couple german blue rams I think. As for the plants, have added downoi, erio parkeri, limnophila aromatica, more ludwigia cuba, a melon sword, and got rid of some of the older large crypts. Going to be adding some red plants (ludwigia glandulosa, rotala macarandra, and a. reinekii) in the next couple of weeks. Amazing how fast roots grow with the MTS substrate







downoi


erio parkeri






 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Long overdue update time....Lost a few fish since the last post but the plants have been doing great! Finally have a plant background again, now just waiting for the foreground to fill in. Most of the hc was uprooted by the cories but a few patches and hanging in there. The s repens goes in cycles..looks great then dies way back, fingers crossed it stays looking good. Downoi is splitting and growing well.

 

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Finally planted! Will be adding more plants in the coming weeks. Some dwarf baby tears carpet, more midground plants and some taller background. Comments and critiques are appreciated





what are those long stemmed guys in the middle there, they look like crypts of some sort. am i right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
what are those long stemmed guys in the middle there, they look like crypts of some sort. am i right?
Yes those were crypts from my old 29 gallon. They looked too "leggy" so I got rid of them.

So its been 3 months since the tank has been up and running and everything finally looks great! Still wish the HC would have taken more and formed a better carpet. Here are some more tank shots after my trim for the swap















 

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Yes those were crypts from my old 29 gallon. They looked too "leggy" so I got rid of them.

So its been 3 months since the tank has been up and running and everything finally looks great! Still wish the HC would have taken more and formed a better carpet. Here are some more tank shots after my trim for the swap















This tank looks great....perhaps some inspiration for my 90 gallon I am starting.....what is that plant on the far right side of the tank?
 
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