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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone!

It has been awhile! Prior to a really difficult travel schedule this past Summer, my wife graduated with her PhD from Wayne State and was job hunting. My travel schedule for work became ridiculous, and my wonderful tanks went the way of the Dodo. John has the cube now, and my 100 gallon was dismantled and is with Dale at Fantastic Fins. I have relocated with my wife to St. Louis, and am trying to get active again here at MiAPG and over at APC.

In any event, things have settled finally with work and moving, and I was able to have a custom 200 gallon tank, stand, and lighting made for me. A huge thanks to Riley for making the stand and lighting to perfection; they turned out better than I could have imagined! They are of better quality than any where you could hope to buy them, and it saved me a ton of money. Thank you to Steve at Great Lakes Aquariums in Warren; the tank was extremely well crafted and very reasonable. And a thanks should go to Fantastic Fins for allowing me to buy some of the heavy driftwood, filtration, heaters for a great price.

A sincere "thank you" to all who helped make turn this goofy thought of mine into reality!

Now, for the Journal of the Beast!

Tank Dimensions: 4ft Long by 4ft Wide by 20 inches Tall. Custom made by Great Lakes Aquariums. Tempered glass bottom, corner-braced. Hey Riley, remember how much fun we had moving that?

Stand Dimension: approx. 4ft Long by 4ft Wide by 30" Tall. Custom made by Kevin Riley. Solid wood construction, ADA style. Hey Riley, remember how much fun we had moving that too?

Lighting: 16 High Output T5 fluorescent bulbs. Custom made by Kevin Riley. Solid wood frame. Pendulum style. 8 Giesemann Aquaflora bulbs plus 8 Giesemann Daylight bulbs.

Filtration: One Fluval XP5 for main water filtration. One Magnum 350 Canister filter for CO2 injection and UV Sterilizer.

Heating: two 75 watt heaters at 78F

CO2: Two pressurized through bio-reactor at 7-8 bubbles per second

Substrate: 50lbs. of kitty litter; 50lbs. of PowerSand (ADA); 100lbs. Amazonia II Aquasoil (ADA); approx. 150lbs. mineralized soil (courtesy of Kevin Riley); 200lbs. of fine-grade black sand from AquariumSands.com 550lbs of substrate total

Here is a shot of the driftwood (three pieces of Malaysian driftwood; two are REALLY big, the third is a bit smaller) in the empty tank and stand. It took three minutes to get the arrangement I was looking for because I had eyed them out at Fantastic Fins with Dale and Riley a few weeks earlier.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Some progress has been made from the last picture.

First, I bought a new Canon camera so I could take nice pics of the new tank. So, no more camera phone!

Second, the substrate was added in the following order: 50lbs of kitty litter; 50lbs of PowerSand; 50lbs Amazonia II; 150lbs of mineralized soil; 200lbs of black sand.

The water was added very slowly, over the course of six hours to minimize stirring up small particulate matter that would otherwise make the water cloudy. After filling, I added some bacteria to get the nitrifying bacteria population started. PowerSand and Amazonia II have a high number of nitrifying bacteria within them, but also cause a lot of nitrogen to be produced. As I am not planning on adding any fish until mid to late December, and I would imagine that any nitrogen-based poisons will be very minimal by then.

There is some leaching of tannins from the wood and substrate, which is fine by me. It will help keep the water soft and slightly acidic, and I have peat pellets to filter the water through to help optimize water conditions for the plants. I don't mind a temporary slight brownish tinge to the water in order to get great plants.

Next step is to add the lighting and plants, which will be done on Tuesday. More pictures to come then!

Feel free to comment!



 

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It reminds me of a castle on a hill. Can't wait to see what you do with this one! I'll be paying close attention! :D Any red plants in your future? Any I can help you with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Orlando-- I won't have the lights up until Tuesday evening. I have the bulbs only right now. I still have to plumb the filters to the UV Sterilizer and CO2, so the guts are quite done yet. I am hoping that will be done tomorrow night too.

Tex-- I will be adding plenty of reds, and I appreciate your offer. I will PM you, but I want to wait and see how the lights are going to impact coloration and growth patterns first before I invest the time in buying a bunch of rares or reds. This is the first time I have solely used HO T5's on a tank and mineralized soil in the substrate, so I will need to take a little time to see how things are going to go. Thank you though, and I hope we can arrange something in the near future!!!!! I love your tank, BTW; still looks so natural and colorful. Congrats again regarding Amano.....that's very substantial! :D
 

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Thanks Don. I am struggling with the L. Pantanal. I think it may be because I have it in a darker corner. I just took some out and plunked it in the middle of my tank front. We'll see if it snaps out of it or not. Then at least I'll know if it's the light or not. I hear that it's a temperamental plant.

I'm still working on my tank. Of course that's the fun of it all. I'm gonna have to give up my GEORGEOUS Echino Africanus!:Cry: It's just getting to big for the space! It needs a home in someone's LARGE tank. Who might that be?!! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, if it is good enough for Amano.... :D

If you are offering, I'll be happy to put it into a good home. It may go "BLAH" for a bit as it adapts to the mineralized soil, but will come back nicely, I would think.

L. Pantanal is a bit tricky. It will need all of the light it can get, and if you can find a place right by your CO2 with high light, you should be golden! Watch for hair algae on that plant, for sure! You may need to replant it a few times to find the ideal location for it.
 

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Hi Don,
How are you going to run the filter intake/return in and out? Just going over the back or is there an internal skimmer pipe hiding somewhere?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Adechazal!

I am just over the back. There are two canister filters that I am using. The bulk of the filtering will be handled by the XP5, and the CO2 and UV Sterilizer will be hooked up to the Magnum 350. The Magnum will intake, go into the canister, come out and pass through the UV Sterilizer and then go to a bioreactor for the CO2, and then come out.

The hope is to keep most of the intakes/outflows and heaters hidden by plants and hardscape. The trick will be to do that AND get good enough flow through the aquarium. This is more difficult than normal because of the relatively unique tank dimensions, but I think that I should be fine if I just pay attention.

Does this answer your question Ade?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Andre, that is precisely where I got the idea from. I figured, "oh, that might be kinda neat" if I could take that design and make it into a planted freshwater tank.
 

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Wow! I am pumped up about seeing how this progresses. What a cool tank design!

-Dave
 

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WOW this tank looks like it's going to be awesome. I would love a tank like this one day. I bet it is going to look like it is in the amazon or something. Can't wait!!!:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
A few days after planting........tea anyone? :D

Time is a bit of an issue, so I'll post plants added to the scape in a day or two.

Anyhow, here are the pics:







 

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Holy cow! I haven't been on here in forever and I pop in and there she blows! Awesome you finally got to set this up. Next thing ya know we'll be hearing from Jessie.

The tank is awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As the night has handed me a bout of insomnia.....

Puttyman,Thief,Dave.....thank you for the compliments!!!

Sorry all about the last set of photos; they are a bit washed out from the flash. I tried decreasing the brightness and upping the contrast of those photos on my computer; they look great in Photobucket, and pretty lousy here. I am not really sure what happened between the transfer, but it didn't work.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: The lights were done by CAPTAIN NEMO in Michigan. They turned out better than I had hoped for, buddy! You are quite the miracle worker, and this tank obviously would not matter unless I had the lighting to show it off and grow the plants! Thank you!
 

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My eyes! My eyes! The burning light!!!! jk [smilie=h:

Funny! With the tannin water it's hard for me to tell what the plants are. Are you gonna keep this color or is it temporary? I think I'm gonna like it! :mrgreen:
 
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