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Old 02-02-2003, 05:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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So there is no confusion. This is not my topic. I moved it from the old forum because I deemed it very valuable. Any questions or comments should continue to be directed at James Hoftiezer

(1) I ordered a 100g custom aquarium from www.glasscages.com. It measures 36(wide) x24(deep) x25(high). There are three 1.75" holes drilled in the back right corner for:
A-Overflow/drain
B-Output to filter
C-Input from filter
COST - $235


The tank manufacturer travels to reptile and aquarium shows on the east coast. I make arrangements to pick up the items at shows. They will make just about anything you can request. I just called them up, gave them dimensions and they gave me a price. The bulkheads added $50 to the price.

I decided on the dimensions of the tank after posting and reading on the forum. Most people would prefer more depth and height than can be found ins tandard aquariums. A standard 55 is great for fish, but when you try to plant it the lack of depth is a severe limitation. Since I was trying to keep the overall tank smaller I went with 36" wide. The depth and height could have been compromised at 18" which would have been a 65g tank. I ended up with a hundred because I really only want to buy one tank.

I went with the bulkheads after consulting with many people. The general consensus is that they wish they could go back and drill their tanks for them. Since I was already ordering a custom tank, it seemed like a good idea to go ahead and put them in. Worst case I could just plug them.

Bulkheads also make the waterchages SO EASY since one of the holes is a drain. I do not have any hoses running across the room. I can either trickle in water and let the overflow compensate ('dilution') or pull a segment of the standpipe and let it drain downbefore adding the water back like a traditional water change.

Since I went custom I ended up spending two months waiting on it. During this time I got the stand made, flourite washed and components ordered. The LFS would have taken 4-6 weeks to order in a nonstandard tank.

FYI - If the tank is custom the stand will have to be custom.
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Old 02-02-2003, 05:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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So there is no confusion. This is not my topic. I moved it from the old forum because I deemed it very valuable. Any questions or comments should continue to be directed at James Hoftiezer

(1) I ordered a 100g custom aquarium from www.glasscages.com. It measures 36(wide) x24(deep) x25(high). There are three 1.75" holes drilled in the back right corner for:
A-Overflow/drain
B-Output to filter
C-Input from filter
COST - $235


The tank manufacturer travels to reptile and aquarium shows on the east coast. I make arrangements to pick up the items at shows. They will make just about anything you can request. I just called them up, gave them dimensions and they gave me a price. The bulkheads added $50 to the price.

I decided on the dimensions of the tank after posting and reading on the forum. Most people would prefer more depth and height than can be found ins tandard aquariums. A standard 55 is great for fish, but when you try to plant it the lack of depth is a severe limitation. Since I was trying to keep the overall tank smaller I went with 36" wide. The depth and height could have been compromised at 18" which would have been a 65g tank. I ended up with a hundred because I really only want to buy one tank.

I went with the bulkheads after consulting with many people. The general consensus is that they wish they could go back and drill their tanks for them. Since I was already ordering a custom tank, it seemed like a good idea to go ahead and put them in. Worst case I could just plug them.

Bulkheads also make the waterchages SO EASY since one of the holes is a drain. I do not have any hoses running across the room. I can either trickle in water and let the overflow compensate ('dilution') or pull a segment of the standpipe and let it drain downbefore adding the water back like a traditional water change.

Since I went custom I ended up spending two months waiting on it. During this time I got the stand made, flourite washed and components ordered. The LFS would have taken 4-6 weeks to order in a nonstandard tank.

FYI - If the tank is custom the stand will have to be custom.
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Old 02-02-2003, 05:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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(2) I built the stand using 3/4" MDF and 14ga metal workbench legs. The bottom is a simple 3/4" MDF. The top is 2x3/4" bonded together with wood working glue. 1/4"x2" bolts hold the top onto the legs and aid in bonding the top. qty 3 3"dia holes are drilled in the back left corner to accomodate the plumbing bulkheads.
COST- qty (2) 4'x8'x3/4" MDF - $40
qty (4) 14ga workbench legs - $100



For this purpose the MDF is really easy to work with. It cuts easily and cleans up well. Router cut edges like butter and there is next to no sanding. There are two things to take notice of.
-The smooth surfaces require sanding to rough the surface before painting.
-MDF hates hole saws. Bring your patience as it tends to gum the teeth

The workbench legs are rated for 4000lb for each pair. One pair would have worked but since I'm anal and paranoid I used both pair. I ordered one 30" set and one 36" set. They were ~$43/46 a pair. To me it is vastly easier and cleaner thatn trying to frame stand using standard lumber to take the weight of the aquarium. One set would have worked fine, but since it fit the design I used both to give me stability in two axis and to spread the weight across a greater area of the floor.
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Old 02-02-2003, 05:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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(3) The hood was constructed with 3/4" MDF and 1/2" plywood. A 30" piano hinge allows the hood to be raised toa vertical position for maintenance. In the mood are various holes for cords, fans and venting. The lighting is provided by 6 55w lights from www.AHSuppply.com. The bulbs are 2x55wx5300k from AH and 4x55x6400k bought on ebay. A 13W blue light from AH acts as a nightlight.
COST - 30" hinge - $8
3x2x55w light kits - $166
2x55wx5300k - $45
4x55x6400k - $30




This hood design puts the lights right over the water. This took the water temp to 86. Perfect for discuss but not for the Rainbows I want to keep. I added the fan, but I also needed to crack the hood to keep the temp down.
The fan is an old 120VAC, 4" that I had laying around for a decade. I am ordering a pair of newer one off ebay for $3 each. I am hoping they will be quieter

I am running 4 of the 6 55w lights right now. I like the light and color although if anything I would want a little but whiter (7100k) for a few of the bulbs.

I was one of the early reviewers of the Flourex lights, but learned after the performance of the first light that I was going with AH for this tank. The reflectors are doing a great job of getting the light down into the depths.
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Old 02-02-2003, 05:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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(4) Plumbing includes a canister filter below tha tank int he stand and a semi-automated water changing system. In each of the 1.75" holes I installed a 1" threadxthread bulkhead fitting from www.DrsFosterSmith.com. Into these I used regular PVC fittings with teflon tape. All threads are coated with teflon tape to increase the water seal and make assembly/disassembly easier. None of these fitting have required glue. I used threaded fitting on all pressurized unions. I taped the household water with a 1/4" line into the tank and used a 1/2" line to drain from the overflow bulkhead.



I ended up ditching the secoond output. The nozzle is 3/4" NPT so I can change it to a few different sizes to change the velocity.

The pipes are all 1" because the bulkheads are 1". They feed tubing underneath that is 5/8". I could go with small PVC even down to 1/2", but 3/4" might be a better compromise.

The inflows are seperated to provide better circulation in the tank removing any deadspots in the water. I have two in case debris or plants clog one. I have prefilters on order for them now.
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Old 02-02-2003, 05:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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(5) Heater cables were installed. They ae currently 110AC, but I may convert them to DC. Since I had no holders, I manufactured them by splitting and groving 2" PVC. I think this has an added advantage in that plant roots should not entwine around the cables as easily.

The cables are from Rena-Cal and are 6 meters by 50w. I bought them on ebay for $20. Currenlty they are not plugged in as the temperature of the tankis already high and I have not turned on any of the heaters yet.



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Old 02-02-2003, 05:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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6) I filled tha tank and checked for leaks in the tank or the fittings. This also allowed me to check the fill and drain system. The 1/4 line adds water at about a gallon every three minutes. The 1/2" drain line will remove about 5g/min.

I was very proud of the tank at this minute as I was the only person on the board without any algae.

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Old 02-02-2003, 05:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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7) I washed 11 bags of flourite using a sluice system in the back of my pickup truck. All 11 bags took about 90 minutes and ~300 gallons of water.

COST - qty(11) x $14.50 from www.bigalsonline.com

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Old 02-02-2003, 05:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2002 2:13 pm

(8 ) Next came the cork and driftwood. All pieces were soaked, scrubbed and rinsed before use.

The cork was bought in large sections and tubes at reptile shows. Soaking the cork does nothing as it will continue to float. In order to secure it, I attached large sections of aluminum screen to the bottom of each piece and secured it with tacks and silicone. Then I put the pieces in the tank and buried the screen with the flourite.

The other piece is grapewood (also from reptile shows). This piece was soaked and secured using the same method as the cork. This piece later developed a white fungal growth. I removed the piece and scrubbed it with bleach. the fungus returned. I am using hydrogen peroxide to deal with it but I would suggest a permaganate soak for all woods before use.



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Old 02-02-2003, 05:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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First ... here's the nightlight. 13W dark blue PC in a 100g.



Next I painted all of the PVC before filling in the tank. I used a black and grey mottle that was to hide the pipes in the background. As it stands, in a flourite tank, the black and grey doesn't get lost nearly as much now that the water has cleared. Some other colors would work better. I am hoping some vals or swords will eventually take care of it.

None of the pipes are glued together. They can be taken apart and moved to suit the aquascape. The only one that needs to stay as it is would be the overflow which runs all the way to the top in the back right corner. The other can be hidden in the aquascape. The pic below shows the tank today.



Then I also have some closeups of the pipes. The inlet pipes have prefilters on the way. When they get here I'm going to trim the foam filter in such a fashion as to camouflage the inlets.



Since the tank temp is way up there, I may also be able to get rid of the heater in the back right corner. I'll keep the one in the left.

I also used 1" PVC for this project. You could use 3/4" or even 1/2". I knew I was going to hide it in the substrate, so I went with what was easiest. This being my first tank I erred on the side of caution. Last thing I wanted to do was restrict water flow.
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