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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I am new to the planted tank community, but not new to the hobby. I first started with reef tanks in 2007. I have not had a fish tank of any kind now for several years, mainly due to being in college and IMO you need a more stable location to have a successful tank, esp a reef tank.

I am an "adult" now with my own house and all, thus creating the perfect opportunity to have fish tanks again! At first, I was going to build a completely custom 60g cube reef tank, but the fiancee shot that down since it was a wee bit pricey. We have settled (for now ;)) on a 55g planted tank, much cheaper.

It will, of course, be an "el natural" as that seems to be the best way (imo) to do a planted tank, not to mention easiest! The build will progress somewhat slowly, so don't expect to see this tank up and running so soon.

I think these pictues will show up





 

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Here is some A+ advice on your soil with sand cap:
I don't worry about where I place plants, but I obviously try to plant them where I think they will stay, so I recommend you try to make a plan of your tank if you haven't already. But, if I plant a plant in an area I later on want to move it, I trim it to the ground and replant the trimmed stem.

The sand being so white, will mostly have a good amount of GSA growth on it at first, this eventually dies off.

Anyway there's 2 pieces of junk you may be able to use lol
 
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I want to tag on to what Dutch said if I can. I use black diamond over dirt. Any breach of the cap is very noticeable even using black.

The good news is you have a built in ammonia source to cycle. Your plants will love it


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I want to tag on to what Dutch said if I can. I use black diamond over dirt. Any breach of the cap is very noticeable even using black.

The good news is you have a built in ammonia source to cycle. Your plants will love it

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Good information Mbkemp! You reminded me of something else to lol!!!

In my NPT I have a "lot" of deitrus built up, just small clumps of junk basically is what it looks like, if you experience this its just dirt that got up and settled on top of you sand, I cant personally get rid of it for good as it just happens for me. Plus I don't mind anyway its not like it clouds up or anything its just like a tumbleweed. But just wanted to add that to, thanks mbkemp for reminding me lol!
 
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Welcome to APC!

Lots of opinions on the cap--want some more, LOL? Very fine sand compounds the debris problem because the small particles of debris cannot settle between the sand grains. In a Walstad tank, this settling is part of the nutrient cycle. The debris breaks down and releases nutrients to the water above and soil below. A cap with very small particle size also inhibits gas exchange between the soil and the water.

This doesn't mean you can't make it work. If you really like the appearance of the fine white sand, go for it. Please keep us updated, and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What do you recommend for the cap? I like the contrast of white sand, and being from reefing it is ingrained in my fish build design haha. I want what works best or at least good with this method. I was not aware of that problem with the fine particle sand.
 

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You might look at pool filter sand, from any big box home store. It isn't perfectly white and may vary in color, but it's close. The slightly larger and uniform particle size helps with all the possible cap problems.

Nice stand!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Currently "skinning" the stand, should have some more pics this weekend. I do have a question though. I have been reading through threads/stickies and now I am worried about TB in my fish. Should I add a UV to the tank? I added one to my mom's 20g long, that cleared up the water and her fish seem to be in great health.
 

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Your carpentry/woodworking is amazing, down to every detail. I can tell that you are a perfectionist. That's a good prognosis for your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the kind words! I hope that the tank will look much better than the stand in the end! As for UV, I was planning on getting this one, the 24w version. This is the only UV I have ever used (9w on a 20L) though so I am biased, and it is a good price.
 

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Hey if you check out my 65g journal and my How to kill green algae, then youll see that's the exact same UV I got.
Yep it works great! Comes nicely packaged, etc. 10/10!
 
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