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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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Equipment:
Last Updated 4/16

Tank : Deep Blue 80 gal. Rimless Frag Aquarium (48" x 24" x 16" tall)

Stand : See my build below :)

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Lighting :

[STRIKE]2 Beamswork 6500 LED + 1 Ecoexotic LED - 36" width[/STRIKE]
Vitaplant Hydroponic 4-bulb 4' T5
(2) 6500k and (1) Trulumen Flora

Filter :
[STRIKE]AquaClear AC70 HOB[/STRIKE]
Eheim Pro4+ 350 Canister
Uniclif W25 powerhead

CO2 :
GLA Regulator
[STRIKE]Glass ceramic diffuser[/STRIKE]
Rex Griggs style DIY reactor - 2" diameter PVC, 30" length

Substrate :
Black Diamond Blasting Grit (~150 lbs)

Fertilizer :
Thrive+ by NilocG
Seachem root tabs
Occasional tsp of Equilibrium


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Fauna

20 Black Neon Tetras

12 Pygmy Corydoras cats

5 Otocinclus cats

30+ Red Cherry Shrimp

A few Albino Bristle Nose Plecos and Japonica Shrimp.


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Plant Species

Anubias Nana 'Petite'
Blyxa Japonica
Bucephalandra 'Brownie Blue'
Bucephalandra 'Brownie Grande Red'
Cryptocoryne beckettii
Cryptocoryne hudoroi
Cryptocoryne lutens
Cryptocoryne mioya
Cryptocoryne sri lanka
Cryptocoryne undulata
Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘bronze'
Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘green'
Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘brown’
Hygrophila pinnatifida
Microsorum pteropus 'Narrow'
Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis
Lobelia Cardinals 'Small Form’

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Here are some progress pics of the stand :grin2:

Basic framing began - all squared up





Extra supports and flooring build from 1x3s (nice rounded edges)





Red Mahogany Minwax stain... hand/cloth rubbed





Stand is constructed of 2x4 douglas fir lumber... sanded down to 220 all over. I stained with Red Mahogany from minwax, and am sealing with water based poly as of right now...

A few more coats to go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. I will be getting the tank into position today...

Because I'm super paranoid, I reinforced my floor joists underneath. I realize it may be overkill for a 80 gal... but I'll sleep better at night (and when my two large dogs are playing rough near the stand). With my previous you could see vibrations easily translating to the waterline.

I will add some pics later of the reinforcement!


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Heya Williak,

I've got the same tank, they're great, aren't they? If you haven't already planned your lighting, I'd strongly recommend getting two LED strips rather than pendants if you go the LED route. If you do the T5 thing, a 4x54w fixture is plenty. Speaking from "personal experience" there, if you know what I mean.

Regards,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Heya Williak,



I've got the same tank, they're great, aren't they? If you haven't already planned your lighting, I'd strongly recommend getting two LED strips rather than pendants if you go the LED route. If you do the T5 thing, a 4x54w fixture is plenty. Speaking from "personal experience" there, if you know what I mean.



Regards,

Phil


Thanks very much for that Phil. I'm familiar with your tank and your thread. I was happy to hear your updates and that you're doing better...

I am still milling over LEDs and T5s. I've had experience with both... I have a 2 bulb and 4 bulb 3 foot and 4 foot fixture laying around. But I'd love that LED shimmer and variety in dimming and all.

Since I'm going low-med light with pressurized CO2, I'm debating which LED fixtures would be a good choice. Cheap is good obviously. But so is quality...

Recommendations?


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(and when my two large dogs are playing rough near the stand).
What kind of dogs? Can we get pics of them too? Most of the time dogs>fish, and that's saying a lot.

Edit: I'm super stoked for this build, I love these tanks.
 

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Since I'm going low-med light with pressurized CO2, I'm debating which LED fixtures would be a good choice. Cheap is good obviously. But so is quality...

Recommendations?
The only LEDs I've used are Radeons so I can't make any recommendations on the cheap side from personal experience. If you've got the T5 fixtures already I'd go with them and do some serious research into LEDs. I love my Radeons, but they're not great on a 24" wide tank over the long term. They'd be fine now with the medium light you're planning, but what about when you want to change things up? Companies are coming out with new fixtures all the time, so waiting a little while might net you just the light you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What kind of dogs? Can we get pics of them too? Most of the time dogs>fish, and that's saying a lot.

Edit: I'm super stoked for this build, I love these tanks.
LOL Yes ofcourse you can get pics of them too...

We have a Boxer and a Siberian Husky. The Boxer is the larger... around 100 lbs, flashy brindle. He's becoming my old man at 6 years old - we have been roommates for many years, in many cities. The Husky is the trouble maker... just now about to turn 2 years old. I got him as a puppy as a gift to my girlfriend. He's just been a real blessing :| .... :wink2:

The large stoic dogger and compact siberian digger - both with bad attitudes for the pictures





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The only LEDs I've used are Radeons so I can't make any recommendations on the cheap side from personal experience. If you've got the T5 fixtures already I'd go with them and do some serious research into LEDs. I love my Radeons, but they're not great on a 24" wide tank over the long term. They'd be fine now with the medium light you're planning, but what about when you want to change things up? Companies are coming out with new fixtures all the time, so waiting a little while might net you just the light you want.
I hear you Phil. I considered pendant lighting just because I have never had them before. I have had Satellite LEDs and Ecoexotic LEDs on other aquariums. I like them both... I have also had alot of T5 experience and have a nice selection of bulbs laying around....

But I hear about these Beamswork and Chihiro LEDs... Does anyone have experience with those? I'd love to go with a cheaper option just for costs sake and grab a couple, although I can get which ever light I feel will be best. This is my only aquarium at this time so I'm not afraid to spend some cash.

My one main concern is that I want to mount the light atleast 12 inches off the top of the tank... I would actually prefer 18" above the tank to give the riparium planters in the back to have ample room to grow upward toward the light. I don't want to cramp them and the viewing plane suffer. So considering this, I am wondering how difficult it will be to get some decent PAR values if I have the light 18" off the substrate...

Opinions on this would be great
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So some progress is about to be made in the next couple of days, I am hoping..

I did some reinforcement as I mentioned before, to my floor joists. My house was constructed in 2000, so not old at all... However, I like to sleep better at night and not worry about cracking a floor joist and flooding my floors. So its overkill but I added a couple of jacks underneath the tank in my crawl space. I previously had a 50 gallon with 20 gallon sump here, so the weight difference from then to now, will be negligible.

I used Akron brand floor jacks from Lowes... Both can support a total of around 28,000 lbs lol

They each cost around $45



4x4 header spanning across the two supporting joists- right in the middle of the aquarium. The aquarium runs parallel with my floor joists.

I would have done supports on both sides of the aquarium, but due to heat ducts and gas line placement... I couldn't line up those areas properly so I went right in the middle. The floor has notably less "bounce" in this area now, feels almost like a concrete foundation underneath. I attached the jack plate to the 4x4 header with 3/8" x 2" lag bolts.



They are sitting on solid concrete footer blocks, on top of a 3/4" section of plywood just to help disperse the pressure across my vapor barrier (You can see in the picture what I mean by the less than ideal heating duct placement)



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I finished the stand after 2 coats of stain and 3 coats of water based polyurethane. Moved to position against the wall, and added my underlayment mat. The stand is perfectly level but I always (again) like to be cautious and add some firm padding underneath that could equal out a minor minor discrepancy. This padding is at Lowes in the carpet section. 4 square feet of it for $20 I believe.





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Next thing completed this morning was to add my hanging wires for whatever lights I decide on.

I have never hung lights before from ceiling so this was interesting to figure out. I just made sure they were even distances from the wall, and appropriate width for lighting.

I am planning to go with a 36" light above the tank. I always like the appearance of having some darker edges on the aquarium with a low tech. I am planning for swords, crypt, buces, etc so getting a full 100% width spread isn't worrying me too much. I like to see the fish more relaxed with some darker areas in the tank.

I assumed I would be hanging the light from ceiling drywall, so I had purchased some good 1/4" toggle bolts to assemble with. But when I drilled in on both mounts, I hit ceiling joists. Unexpected, and required another trip to Lowes but I will feel good knowing I have eye hooks straight into the ceiling joists.

Hung with 1/16" braided SS cables, using ferrules. Again never have done this before and I yanked on them really hard, after crimping the ferrules. Makes me a little nervous but for how light weight the LED strips are, I can't understand how it would rip out...





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So going forward its time to test fill the tank and then move it into place on the stand. Can't wait to see it all come together :grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Moved the aquarium into place last night.... I have to admit I was a little intimidated lol

I just slapped on an ecoexotic strip and AC 70 HOB filter, that I had laying around.

I really want to strive for simplicity with this tank. I have sumps, canisters, HOBs available for use at this time, but I believe I want to just stick with a simple HOB and powerheads for simplicity. That is the goal with this tank coming down from a high tech, CO2, sump etc....


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I will be adding substrate today, and going for a manhunt at every LFS/petco/petsmart for any and all crypts, and a maybe a few small rosette type swords. I'd like to find a tiger lotus too...

Anything I can't find, and for more specific crypts and species, I'll order from here... Bartohog has been my go to guy for years now.

I debated standard pool sand, versus black diamond blasting sand.... I have several hundred pounds of each laying around from previous tanks LOL

What do you guys think?... I will also be adding a black background.

I had done soil capped tanks for years in the past, but kind of gave it up after getting tired of the nasty smelling mess it leaves when you have to empty the tank. I will just be adding osmocote or flourish tabs around all the root feeders once planted


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You're a man after my own heart- the same tank and a nice classical guitar next to each other. I have a low-end spanish made model from back in my music major days but haven't played it in who knows how long. It's been sitting in storage at my brother's place since 2012.

As for lighting; if you can find a pair of nice strip lights they would likely do well for you. I've seen some smoking tanks with fixtures from Chihiros etc. I know a couple companies in the industry that are talking about putting out lights so I'm going to wait to see if I can get samples of those "for testing" before doing anything else with my lighting. The 6x T5 is more than enough for me. These days I alternate between 2x in the center and 2x each in the front and back for either 2x or 4x illumination as the whim hits me.

I'd go with the Black Diamond grit. Pool filter sand is too fine for my personal tastes and comfort in a planted tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for that Phil. Yes I played guitar for years and years. A friend gifted that classical guitar to me... lots of fun to play some Spanish chords on.

Well I pulled the trigger on LED strips. I got two Beamswork LED strips. A DA 6500k only and a DA FSPEC, both 36" models. Free returns to amazon so hopefully not much to lose lol they will be here and mounted on Thursday if all goes as planned.

I went shopping yesterday looking for plants and was disappointed by everything I found. I managed to snag a couple of green wendtii crypts and a couple of potted Anubis. The search continues...

Anyone know of people with a nice selection of crypts for purchase on here?...




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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well time for another update.

I just received my lights... I was certain I had selected the rights one off Amazon... but it appears I bought a 10k + full spectrum... I didn't even notice there was a 6500k + full spectrum as an option lol

Atleast the 6500k + actinic (moonlight) is correct. We will see how the 10k renders over the tank.

(scratching head)



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Also had my Butterfly Goodeids put out some fry. 15 of them!



 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So alright guys

I managed to collect about 9 pots of crypt species, and 2 anubias locally... and I have a couple of large rhizomes of narrow leaf java fern laying around from previous tanks. I think I have enough to be able to do a little planting formation in the tank. I'll continue to purchase new crypts and anubias steadily and add them in.

I decided on Black Diamond blasting sand. Already have a couple hundred pounds on hand so I will add that in this evening. Going to do a decently deep substrate given all I'm really using is heavy rooters.

I also concluded I'm just going to build a very minimal streamline canopy to mount my beamswork LEDs in. I will document that build also here. Likely start on that tomorrow.

More updates this evening and tomorrow!


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