Need advice for monster tank - Nano Aquariums - Aquatic Plant Central

Go Back   Aquatic Plant Central > General Interest Forums > Aquascaping > Nano Aquariums

Nano Aquariums Nanos aquariums may be small but they can make a striking canvas for your aquascapes.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-07-2006, 05:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
BryceM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: South Central Idaho, USA
Posts: 4,332
iTrader Ratings: 42
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
BryceM is an inspiration to us all BryceM is an inspiration to us all BryceM is an inspiration to us all BryceM is an inspiration to us all
Default Need advice for monster tank

OK, I'm hoping that this thread can be a running set of ideas to help me clarify some hardware choices for an upcoming endeavor. It's finally time to get some of it down on paper........LOL...........or computer screen.

Bigger is always better, right?

I'm planning on building a 'dream' tank this summer. This has been brewing in my head for a long time and it looks like I'll be in a position soon to make it happen. Large bowfronts caught my attention a few months ago, but I think I'm over that now. It looks like I'll go with an 8'x2'x2' - 240 gallon. It will be glass, for sure and will have a cover. This really isn't an option with all the kids and other pets in the house.

I'm planning a DIY lighting hood with AH Supply stuff - probably 12 - 55 W 6,700K PC's for a total of 2.75 wpg. I'd run the lights sequentially so that they're all on for only a few hours a day. It would be an effective noon burst which I believe will keep the higher demand plants (like HC) happy without letting things get too out of hand. I'm planning on a light box that has a piano hinge lengthwise. This would allow me to swing the front 1/3 of the light box up and away while working in the tank.

A CO2 controller and a 20 lb cylinder are in the works. I'll probably use a DIY 3" PVC reactor driven by an external pump to handle the CO2 and provide extra circulation. I'm open to ideas about how to keep a good current going throughout the whole tank.

At present I'm leaning toward 2 large canister filters instead of a sump-type system. Big Eheims seem to be a good choice since I have the most experience with their stuff. I'll probably use 2 in-line heaters or just thermo Eheims if they come big enough.

For hardscape I'm leaning towards a heavily terraced look. I envision a fairly large foreground at the full 24" depth, with the midground regions elevated maybe 4-6" above that. The back corners will be up about 10-12". This will make it easier to reach since it's already going to be bad enough. I'll never be able to get away completely from stem plants and this will allow me some well-planned areas to put them that aren't too hard to get to. The terraces themselves will be built up with permanent rockwork. It might not still look good after a few months, but at least it will be stable. There will be a hefty amount of driftwood too - probably manzanita. I'm still trying to devise a good way to take up the dead space under the elevated areas so that I don't end up with 10" of substrate in the corners. It would also be nice if the substrate will stay up where it belongs.

I'm totally open to ideas when it comes to an easy way to drain and refill the tank. I'll probably continue with 50% weekly WC's.

I'm also open to ideas when it comes to which substrate to use. My criteria are dark color, inert chemical properties, small enough grains to handle HC, and longevity - it needs to last at least 5 years. I don't want to mix 2 types of substrate since they inevitably get mixed up after not too long. My only experience to date is with Flourite. There are rumors that Seachem will be introducing Black Flourite soon. I've never tried Onyx sand, but where I'm going the water is already quite hard (GH 15+). ADA's Amazonia is also tempting. Does it hold up well over time?

Fish will be 20-24 congo tetras, 15 columbian tetras or something similar (praecox 'bows?), and maybe 30 or 40 rummies. I'll probably have 4-6 german blue rams or other dwarf chiclids. They probably won't have any trouble getting along in a tank that size. Otos will have algae duty with maybe SAE's, but I worry about them getting too big. I'll probably also go with a school of marble hatchets and a school of small corries to keep all the zones occupied.

Whaddya think? Am I nuts? I'll journal the whole thing here so you can laugh and cry along with me.........

Last edited by BryceM; 03-07-2006 at 05:06 PM..
BryceM is offline   Reply With Quote

Advertisement [Remove Advertisement]
Old 03-07-2006, 05:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
dennis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Leverett, Mass
Posts: 2,988
iTrader Ratings: 47
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
dennis is a regular member
Default

Soil Master select in the charcoal color for the substrate. Personally open foreground white sand would be especially impressive. I would find a friendly local landscape supply and make repeated trips there to get really nice rock. Then I would spend a lot of time placing the substrate and rocks, lot and lots of rock. I woudl definately not try to do the main hardscape and tank setup all at once. Get the tank in place with the substrate then spend as much time as you need to locate good rock/wood and play with it in the tank dry. Once you figure it out start soaking your wood and making sure your equipment is in order. Don't rush it!!!


Just my first idea anyway

Sounds like a fun project!
dennis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2006, 06:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
raven_wilde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 379
iTrader Ratings: 0
raven_wilde is a regular member
Default

please, do continue to journal this, so that I may live vicariously my dream setup
raven_wilde is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 04-03-2006, 04:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
standoyo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: kuala lumpur, malaysia
Posts: 488
iTrader Ratings: 0
standoyo is a regular member
Default

yes yes...more more! [munching chips]
standoyo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
BryceM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: South Central Idaho, USA
Posts: 4,332
iTrader Ratings: 42
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
BryceM is an inspiration to us all BryceM is an inspiration to us all BryceM is an inspiration to us all BryceM is an inspiration to us all
Default

Well, you're all going to have to wait a few months. I'm moving at the end of June and I'd like to get the tank for the new house shortly thereafter.

I'm trying to decide between a 180g (6x2x2) and a 240g (8x2x2). I think the 8 footer might be a little too long to create a cohesive aquascape. I'm currently inclined toward the 180 - if that's not big enough, it's likely that nothing ever will be. It will be easier to move and $$ for lighting will be a little less.

I've settled on charcoal soilmaster select for substrate. I'm thinking of a PVC spraybars that extend across the back wall just above the substrate for the water return. I'll probably use a DIY PVC reactor. I'm toying with the idea of a reef-ready tank that will have the black bulkheads to hide some of the piping.

I'd really like some input on the design of the plumbing. Simplicity of WC's is an absolute necessity at this scale. I'll probably stick with 2 Eheims (maybe thermo units) for filtration with maybe a separate pump for the reactor, UV, & supplemental circulation. This sounds like a lot of plumbing though. I'd kind of like to limit how many things come in and out of the tank, and I'd like to make sure that the CO2 is evenly distributed around the tank. I'm not really excited about the aesthetics of CO2 mist at this point. Maybe 1 intake & 3 returns???? There must be a more elegant way.

For hardscape I'm inclined to be heavy on rock and light on driftwood, but I'd like a little. Guess we'll see what I can find after the move.
BryceM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2006, 08:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
Moderator
 
hoppycalif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Brentwood, CA, USA
Posts: 7,204
iTrader Ratings: 22
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
hoppycalif is a valuable member of the community hoppycalif is a valuable member of the community hoppycalif is a valuable member of the community
Default

For spray bars I suggest not using pvc, but using acrylic tubing. You can easily cement acrylic parts together, it is clear, easy to work with, and cheap if there is a plastics store near you like Tap Plastics.

Above all else, do a hard plumbed water change system. You can plumb it easily with pvc pipe and fittings, use a waterbed jet pump to start the syphoning, use a mixer faucet to get water at the right temperature easily, with the water line hard plumbed to the tank. Use ball valves to switch it from syphoning out water to adding water. And, I found it to be relatively easy to make an extension tube that goes over the back of the tank down about 2/3 of the way into the tank with a lot of tiny holes to act as a strainer and diffuser to avoid sucking out fish and to break up the incoming water flow. When I did this, my major mistake was mounting the valves at the very bottom of my stand, so I had to get down on the floor to operate them. But, the general setup made water changes extremely easy.
hoppycalif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2006, 04:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
DelawareJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Southeast PA
Posts: 467
iTrader Ratings: 3
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
DelawareJim is a regular member
Default

Quaiac;

PM Erin (EMC2) from DVAGA. She just set up a 120 that the local reefers helped her plumb. She's got a single Eheim, and a circulating pump (I think an Iwaki) for additional circulation. The tank is also hooked up to a faucet with and overflow box to the drain so she can do water changed just by turning on the tap.

It's been up and running since 4/01 so she should be able to tell you how happy she is with the set up.

Cheers.
Jim
DelawareJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2006, 02:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
BryceM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: South Central Idaho, USA
Posts: 4,332
iTrader Ratings: 42
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
BryceM is an inspiration to us all BryceM is an inspiration to us all BryceM is an inspiration to us all BryceM is an inspiration to us all
Default

Thanks, I will.....
BryceM is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Aquatic Plant Central > General Interest Forums > Aquascaping > Nano Aquariums > Need advice for monster tank

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Aquatic Plant Forum Replies Last Post
Advice on CO2 Regulator and Tank fish7days Equipment 4 08-03-2005 03:00 PM
Help with my 75 gal tank Steve Pituch General Aquarium Plants Discussions 20 07-11-2004 10:01 AM
Running a low N/P tank niko General Aquarium Plants Discussions 7 06-26-2004 01:57 PM
February 2004's Tank of the Month is ...ekim! MiamiAG Announcements 0 02-03-2004 06:37 AM
Stages of the aquagardener plantbrain Aquascaping 1 01-27-2004 01:12 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:22 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1