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Thread: A Random Collection of Ideas

  1. #16
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    My preference would probably be for either SS or aluminum in a brushed finish, but as the light I’ve ordered is black I didn’t want to add any more textures or colours into the mix. I’ll be painting the light stand black, and probably give the stand a medium darkness stain.

    After buying a mini spool and realizing my welder only takes 5kg spools....I finally got the correct wire and put the stand together this afternoon. I’ll drill the holes to mount it to the stand and for the hanging eyelets at some point this week.



    Now it’s together I’m not as unhappy with the ‘heaviness’ of the light stand, once it’s finished I’ll likely forget about it entirely. There’s no rush at the moment either, MML mixed up my panel when it was made, and right now I have no idea if delivery will be in another week or 10.
    Last edited by crf529; 12-10-18 at 01:45 PM.

  2. #17
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    Not much progress, and still no sign of the MML light, so I’ll probably start an empty tank cycle this week.

    Last edited by crf529; 12-10-18 at 01:46 PM.

  3. #18
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    Yeah man, empty tank cycling is absolutely the least stressful option! No light = much less chance of algae issues.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Yeah man, empty tank cycling is absolutely the least stressful option! No light = much less chance of algae issues.
    Just takes for ever. I'm still waiting for my tank to cycle after adding ammonia. Been 4 weeks and no signs of ammonia dying down. Though both nitrite and nitrate are climbing.

    Definitely need patience with this method.

  5. #20
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    4 weeks is a bit long for ammonia to hang around. How much did you add? I would stop adding more ammonia and do a 100% water change. By the 6 week mark, you should be good to go.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    4 weeks is a bit long for ammonia to hang around. How much did you add? I would stop adding more ammonia and do a 100% water change. By the 6 week mark, you should be good to go.
    Yeah, I tend to agree. Will do that tomorrow as today is the 4 foot tank water change day. ;-)

  7. #22
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    From what little I’ve read, 2ppm is the sweet spot, but once you pass 5ppm then you’re no longer achieving the goal.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by crf529 View Post
    From what little I’ve read, 2ppm is the sweet spot, but once you pass 5ppm then you’re no longer achieving the goal.
    Yeah, it's been between two and one PPM for a couple of weeks. I'll do a large WC tonight and take it from there.

  9. #24
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    I didn’t end up filling the tank this week. Decided I wanted to complete the plumbing properly before going wet, which meant waiting for my lily pipes, and also putting together an external filter housing. The pipes came in but I only got as far as Bunnings for the housing, still need to order a heater and cord grip.



    I did finally get around to cleaning the tank, and this time I’ve decided to go for a white frosted background. I usually go straight to black contact, but from all the photos I’ve seen, white Frost is better in every way. This is the stuff I used.



    Goes on the same as any adhesive backed vinyl using water and squeeging it out, even though it’s a ‘static’ type vinyl. The only nuisance is that it’s slightly less confidence inspiring when cutting the edges and moving the tank, as it lifts very easily from the edges.



    I also realised this week that the wood I had picked previously (grapewood) is not all that aquarium friendly, so it has been switched out for some more predictable gold vine.

    Last edited by crf529; 12-10-18 at 05:27 PM.

  10. #25
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    Looking good. The positioning of the filter intake and output is best when it's next to each other; to avoid dead spots.

    You can 'cycle' the soil in a bucket with spraying some water on it daily.

  11. #26
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    Progress died off again recently due other commitments, however after a month delay due to a miss-assembled light, I finally have my MML LED panel.



    I went for the 30cm model with hanging kit and computer controlled timer, but the model I received in the end has the additional row of low power LEDs. It’s certainly a nice looking bit of kit.



    I did however have a couple of things I wanted to improve. The only bit of the hanging kit I’ll likely use are the brass eyelets, as the cables are non adjustable and way too long for my light stand. Also the clips are overly large and distracting especially in chrome. For now I’m just using some nylon cord I had around, but will change that to black para cord when I get some thin enough.

    The other thing that dampened the simple attractiveness of the panel for me was the chrome cord grip on the side and 3 individual power wires that run from it. Fortunately that was also a simple enough fix again that cost less than $6 from Jaycar. All that was needed for the job.



    The result, in my opinion, far outweighs the minor cost and 10mins work. For me the light is now the perfect balance of minimal simplicity that is both attractive in its own right but doesn’t draw any attention from the tank.



    All that’s really left is to pick up some substrate, and locate a Heyco cord grip to finish the external heater and plumbing. Then it’ll be filled and commissioned.
    Last edited by crf529; 26-10-18 at 05:58 PM.

  12. #27
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    Spent some time on the awkward job of installing the power and control units on the stand, as well as the cabling. The aim was to get everything as high as possible, away from any potential water spills or leaks.



    And how it all looks from below.



    It’s all still a clean enough setup for me at the moment, but the plumbing will be annoying to keep equally neat.



    And with the lights running.


  13. #28
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    I now have one of the last missing pieces of the puzzle in my possession, my Heyco cord grips have arrived! For anyone in NSW trying to find these, RGA Fasteners in Marrickville are the NSW distributors for NPA and Heyco. The 8437s that match Eheim heaters are $6.20 a piece, and next day delivery is a flat $12 (half the shipping cost direct from NPA).



    I bought 2 as it’s more than likely I’ll have 2 display tanks running before the end of next year. The fit is millimeter perfect. However I’ll likely have to build a new housing first as the plumbing layout I had in my head has now changed, so I’ll have both the inlet and outlet on the same side.



    I’ve stopped rushing things again, do them right, do them once. However this has led to the universal experience shared by most enthusiasts...I have one mostly complete non running tank...and I just bought a second.



    There are a few reasons why I’ve already started to spread my efforts around, other than the underlying addiction to have ‘just one more tank’.

    Firstly, I’m unsure how my display tank will fare at the height of summer, given its location at the ‘hot’ end of the house, so if I’m struggling to contain high temperatures I’ll have a quick option to relocate the occupants to a cooler part of the house.

    Secondly, if the house is due to be unoccupied for an extended period of time, I again have an easy option to relocate livestock to a caretakers house for the week, two or three that I’m away.

    Thirdly, I’m impatient, and I have my eye on an elephant ear betta at the LFS. This will give me the option to cycle my main tank correctly while nursing a betta through that time period with intensive, laborious and copious amounts of Seachem Stability and water changes.

    Lastly, I now recall how relaxing it was the last time I kept tanks, to have a hospital/isolation tank at your disposal.

    Lastly lastly, now I have double the tanks I did this morning...



    I hadn’t come across the ‘Aqua One Animates Betta Duo/Trio’ until very recently and I’m honestly surprised at that. These are fearsomely good value tanks. The trio is 55cm W x 25cm H x 25cm D with a total volume of around 32L, and a ‘tank volume’ of 21.8L, divided into 3 compartments, each just over 7L. Too small to humanely keep anything other than shrimp, I’ll be cutting them out.



    The internal sump style filter compartment is comparatively large for a tank this size, and enormous compared to the inferior ‘Imagitarium Betta Duo/Trio’ more commonly (and readily) available at PetBarn. Total sump volume is 9L with 6 separate compartments. Standard breakdown is 1 carbon, 2 sponge, 2 media, 1 pump and heater. The powerhead is a small 150l/h deal, perfect for a Betta, but also readily interchangeable. They come complete with basic LED light and media, just add heater (this second hand one came with heater already).

    Last edited by crf529; 06-11-18 at 05:53 PM.

  14. #29
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    Your build looks identical to some heater enclosures that I have!

    That aquaone tank looks good. Aquaone has been lifting their game lately with some low iron offerings in their brilliance range also.

    Depending on where you are in NSW, surely you can find a forum member with already cycled filter media to kickstart your tank? Just exchange your new filter media for their filthy stuff... :P

  15. #30
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    Bunnings with that usual bullshit. Went in to get a single 40mm PVC slip joiner and walked out with this....



    Last thing before I can hard line all the plumbing this weekend and start cycling the tank, was to fix the heater housing and the now incompatible opposing outlets. So, I Sliced up and de-burred the housing I had built.



    Then cleaned it up with IPA and cemented it back together with the right orientation.



    Before I plumb it in I want to both rinse it out and pressure test it for leaks. The tap and garden hose fitting I impulse bought will be used as an in-line tank drain on the return line, but I’ll use it first as an inlet to test the housing. I also grabbed 2x 25mm plugs for what will be the heater and water inlet fittings, and put them in with a good amount of tape. I expect the town water pressure will be many times higher than this housing will ever see while plumed into a tank.



    Then with the inlet added it’s ready to test. I will have to wait 24hrs for the glue to dry first, however.


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