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Discussion Starter #1
**If you want to avoid the intro fluff, skip down to the ******* :)

I'm an old reefer that now wants a planted tank. The wife has a bad taste in her mouth from all the money (and time) I spent with the reef setup. BUT, I still have all my lights and whatnot so I shouldn't have to spend money on all that! So, let's get it out of the way and say money is an issue here. :-/

I've always kicked myself for not starting a build thread or tank journal or whatever they're called so here I go. I'm truly in the very beginning of setting this up. I'll add pictures and everything as I go, maybe a first picture tonight?? I know I appreciate pictures in threads so I'll try to get mine up regularly!

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This is going to be a 6' 125 gallon tank. I'm currently leak testing the tank outside and cleaning it up from being in my garage for a few years. The current decisions I'm trying to plan for are below. ANY feedback or suggestions are greatly appreciated!!

Substrate:

I can't decide whether to spend the money on blasting sand (looks like it would be close to $100 for what I need (200 pounds for my tank)) or to use this (this is a link :) oil dry product from Napa that I've used for bonsai stuff in the past. It's basically a coarse diatomaceous earth absorbent. The oil dry is definitely more economical but I love the black of the blasting sand. Are there benefits to one over the other as far as anything other than aesthetics is concerned?

Stand:

Okay, this is going to sound really tacky but some help is really needed. After years of salt abuse, my old stand wasn't worth saving. I can't buy one but I could build one. I'd rather not spend the money on lumber though. I need an option for a stand that is very cheap/free and won't tacky up the room it's in. This is a horrible idea but the only thing I can think of is to put some cinder blocks down, put wood 2x8's on top of the blocks, and the tank on top of the 2x8's. Maybe I could get some fabric to drape over the wood and blocks under the tank??? The more I type, the more I realize I just need to build a stand. If anyone can save me from needing to do this, I'd appreciate it!

I'll leave it at that for now. There's more but I don't want to bore you guys even more!! I'll add it later, thanks for coming along!!

Jake
 

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It'll be a fun project. I'm in the middle of setting up the same tank, and in the end sprung for a built stand. Didn't have the carpentry chops to even consider building somethng that I'd be happy to have in the middle of the living room. That said, cinder blocks and wood are certainly capable of holding the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It'll be a fun project. I'm in the middle of setting up the same tank, and in the end sprung for a built stand. Didn't have the carpentry chops to even consider building somethng that I'd be happy to have in the middle of the living room. That said, cinder blocks and wood are certainly capable of holding the tank.
Thanks! This stand thing is a lost cause I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok... settling on building a stand. The frame isn't going to cost much to build. It's the plywood and trim pieces needed that is going to be expensive. What if I leave the frame exposed and just have it open underneath?? I'll try to put a picture of my sketchup work below.
 

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You could leave it open. But wrapping in plywood will help with any twisting/torsion forces that the stand will face. I'd wrap it if you can, even the cheapest plywood is better than nothing.

Also, what kind of lights to do you have? You wanna make sure you have the right Kelvin for plants and not corals. They're very different and plants won't grow under coral lights.

Are you gonna run a sump since this is was a saltwater tank? Do you know if you're going high tech or low tech?
 

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Substrate:

I can't decide whether to spend the money on blasting sand (looks like it would be close to $100 for what I need (200 pounds for my tank)) or to use this (this is a link :) oil dry product from Napa that I've used for bonsai stuff in the past. It's basically a coarse diatomaceous earth absorbent. The oil dry is definitely more economical but I love the black of the blasting sand. Are there benefits to one over the other as far as anything other than aesthetics is concerned?

Jake
200 lbs. of blasting sand is only around $40 at Tractor Supply.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You could leave it open. But wrapping in plywood will help with any twisting/torsion forces that the stand will face. I'd wrap it if you can, even the cheapest plywood is better than nothing.
Maybe if I screw it to the wall on the back corners? I'd rather leave it open and do that than cover it in something cheap.... I should just get over it and spend a few dollars!!! lol​

Also, what kind of lights to do you have? You wanna make sure you have the right Kelvin for plants and not corals. They're very different and plants won't grow under coral lights.
I'm not sure if I'm going to use some LEDs I have or my 6' T5 fixture. The LEDs I can adjust the color temp. and I would need to get some new bulbs for the T5 anyway. That aside, I was told a while back that it may impact the color of the plant and a few things but that overall, it wouldn't matter that much.​

Are you gonna run a sump since this is was a saltwater tank? Do you know if you're going high tech or low tech?
Definitely not running a sump and will probably run some C02 since I'll have high light output but for now that's as fancy as I'm getting... may up it down the road​

200 lbs. of blasting sand is only around $40 at Tractor Supply.
Awesome! Haven't looked there but I've heard from a few that Tractor Supply is the way to go. Thanks!​
 

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As far as stands check out the build by http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20-diy/85748-aquarium-stand-raw-industrial-style.html
I used this plan and couldn't be more pleased with my stand.


You are correct on the lights as long as they have sufficient PAR they will grow the plants regardless of color. It comes down to aesthetics as a bluish look is pretty harsh in a planted tank. Reef lighting can be very strong and I would be worried that you will have an algae farm. A dimmer would be great if no dimmer then raise the lights above the tank.

Use blasting sand or pool filter sand. Also look into mineralized top soil as well here Mineralized Soil with Sean Murphy | ScapeFu058 - ScapeFu

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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By the way, I needed some more Black Diamond this weekend. Tractor supply is where I get mine and it was $8.40 for a 50lb bag. I'd imagine you will need around 6 bags to give you a good deep substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter #12


Might do this but paint everything white instead. Anything I should be concerned about with this with a 6' tank? I understand the obvious like not being able to hide things in the stand and the fact that it's tacky cinder blocks :)

Thanks!

http://imgur.com/Fbv77V6
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Progress (pic heavy)

So I decided to go with the painted cinder block design. It looks pretty good I think. (Considering it cost ~$35) There's a few spots that I need to clean up but it's gonna work.

The major issue I'm having now is the tank itself. From using it for aquaponics and expanded clay pellets for a while, it's left a "film" all over the inside of the glass that is really irritating. I've managed to get some of it off but it's impossible in other places. I've tried vinegar, bleach, baking soda paste mixture, with razor blades and other scrapers and none of them seem to be any better than the others! I kinda wish I hadn't tried cleaning it at all so at least it would be uniform :-/ You can read the thread I started about this here: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8-general-planted-tank-discussion/1045602-need-help-crud-tank-glass.html

I bought 200 pounds of blasting sand (20-40 medium grit) from tractor supply and I plan on getting some slate from the local landscaping place.













Thanks for coming along! As always, all feedback is welcome!!!! :)
 

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Have you tried a mr clean magic eraser? Originals no soap added. They work great on cleaning glass.

And I like the stand just wish I could get my wife to go for it lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Nice job. I think the painted cinder block stand looks great. Isn't industrial "in" anyway?

What do you plan to keep in there?
Thanks! :) Not sure about it being "in" but it works for me!

Have you tried a mr clean magic eraser? Originals no soap added. They work great on cleaning glass.

And I like the stand just wish I could get my wife to go for it lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yea, I did try the magic eraser actually. I used them extensively with my reef tank. I would cut thin sections and put them between the glass and the usual magnet scrubbers and I was surprised at how awesome that worked!!

Thanks! The price difference is what was the selling point for my wife. I definitely know the struggle though! ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Couple things I've been thinking about that I need some feedback on...

1) I plan on using opague privacy window film on the back glass of my tank... I know the film wouldn't work but is there anything I can put on the inside of the back glass that would be safe? That way, I don't have to worry about getting everything off the back where it's the worst. I'm not a fan of the rock walls or inserts for my situation...

2) I bought the blasting sand for the substrate. Should I get a potting soil mix to put under the sand and use the sand as a cap or will it be okay with just the sand??? I would assume that I would need to use root tabs or something in the sand if I didn't use the soil...

3) There was something else but now I can't remember... oh well.

Thanks for the feedback!!!!
 

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Couple things I've been thinking about that I need some feedback on...
.

2) I bought the blasting sand for the substrate. Should I get a potting soil mix to put under the sand and use the sand as a cap or will it be okay with just the sand??? I would assume that I would need to use root tabs or something in the sand if I didn't use the soil...


Personally, I think you would be better off doing just the blasting sand, with root tabs and dry ferts....I think the dirt might get a little messy. But, that's just my preference, others might feel differently.
 
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