Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Back at it again; the new 120x50x50cm high-tech

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rapid Creek, NT
    Posts
    480

    Default Back at it again; the new 120x50x50cm high-tech

    Hi all,

    After an almost 4 year break with only a little 2ft low-tech tank to keep some locals in, I am back at it again in the fancy tank world. I have spent the best part of this year planning this tank and then the last two to three months putting it together.

    I had a 120x50x50 cm with 5 cm eurobracing tank custom built by a local tank builder. I went for this size because it gives a nice squared depth to height ratio that makes scaping a bit easier. I would have liked to go an extra 10cm wider but the tank would have gotten too big for where it is situated. I opted for the eurobracing because shrimp and fish always seem to jump out of my open top tanks and so the brace will hopefully keep more of them inside. It also meant I could go with 8mm glass instead of 12mm and keep costs down.

    I built the cabinet myself. This took the longest part of that time, not because it took all that long to build, but because the polyurethane I coated it in takes a very long time to stop giving off some hectic fumes, so it sat outside for the better part of a month.

    I finally received all the equipment to scape and fill it last week and then I visited Dave at Aquagreen on the weekend and stocked up on plants, shrimp and fish. Before anyone freaks out, I am monitoring livestock very closely for stress and performing water changes as required, but so far there has been little to worry about with stocking it so early.

    So here is all the info of whats in it and running it, followed by some photos. Please excuse their quality, I am not a great photographer, and neither is my old iPhone.

    Equipment:
    Filter: Biopro 1800LPH Canister Filter with UV (I don't use the UV, I only opted for that in case I get green water or some other water-born outbreak)
    Light: Chihiros A1201 Plus RGB, modified with 80% 60 degree lenses and 20% 90 degree lenses to reduce the light spread when its mounted at maximum stand height.
    Other: Pressurised CO2 via an inline diffuser and inline heater (used dry-season only)

    Substrate:
    Top layer: 18L ADA Africana Normal
    Middle layer: 9L ADA Amazonia Normal
    Bottom Layer: 6L ADA Powersand Special M

    Hardscape:
    Local driftwood
    Local quartz rocks/gravel/sand

    Plants (I have forgotten some species and those I am unsure of have a ? next to them):
    Foreground: Hemianthus callitrichoides, Glossostigma elatinoides, Lilaeopsis brisbanica, Marsilea hirsuta, Cryptocoryne parva
    Mid-ground: Hydrocoytle tripartita, Eleocharis caespitosissima, Cryptocoryne cordata, Cryptocoryne wendtii, Staurogyne leptocaulis, Rotala occultiflora, Limnophila sp?
    Background: Limnophila wilsonii, Pogostemon stellatus, Staurogyne leptocaulis, Ceratopteris thalictroides, Alternanthera reineckii, Ludwigia palustris?, Rotala sp?

    Livestock:
    100ish Darwin Algae Shrimp
    12-15 Pseudomugil sp. (formely known as tennellus)
    12-15 Pseudomugil gertrudae

    Once this has run for a couple of weeks, I will move over the inhabitants of my 2ft, which are:
    5 Melanotaenia nigrans
    5 Ambassis "agrammus"
    3 Pseudomugil gertrudae
    Unknown number of Darwin Algae shrimp

    I will try and update in a week or two with how things fill in.

    Cheers!











    Last edited by Ninegrain; 23-07-19 at 08:13 AM.
    Denying climate change...priceless

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    13,963

    Default

    This is an absolute epic build!!!!

    Love your scaping but those stones might get covered, which would be a pity because they are lovely.

    Keen to know more about what lenses you used for the mod.....
    Last edited by Rebel; 23-07-19 at 10:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    13,963

    Default

    One quick q. Does the light sag in the middle?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rapid Creek, NT
    Posts
    480

    Default

    Thanks Rebel. In a way its a proper go at the tank I have always wanted but could never afford (not sure we could really afford this iteration either, but I couldn't help myself )

    Yeah, they may get covered. I am hoping to have a nice and low HC carpet though that will surround at least the lower edges of the stones, which will be interspersed with the other carpeting plants to form a natural looking mix of species. In other words, my vision is to keep a tidy lawn so the rocks can still be seen, but time will tell if the plants will play that game for me.

    No the light doesn't sag, not down anyway. It may in fact actually have a very slight arch upwards. The tank and light look bendy in the photos and I think that may be something the camera on my phone is doing. Or the lenses on the case that its in.

    I forgot I also have a small school of 5 Obbes catfish (Porochilus obbesi) in there. Such a pretty and interesting little catfish. Shy though, and so far they only emerge from the shrubbery just after the lights turn off. Hopefully they aren't fully nocturnal and will become active during the day as they adapt to their new home.
    Last edited by Ninegrain; 23-07-19 at 12:55 PM.
    Denying climate change...priceless

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rapid Creek, NT
    Posts
    480

    Default

    Oh, the lenses I used are these 60 degree:

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/50pcs-le...72.m2749.l2649

    and 90 degree:
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/LED-Lens...72.m2749.l2649

    Really cheap and they just push on to the LED chips. The photos above were taken before I put the lenses on, which I only did last night. The last photo shows how much light was being lost by how bright the wall is lit up. Now there is basically nothing hitting the wall, not above the tank at least.
    Last edited by Ninegrain; 23-07-19 at 12:57 PM.
    Denying climate change...priceless

  6. #6

    Default

    Hello fellow Top Ender! Good to see another one on the forum.

    Really nice layout of the wood and plant selection, well done! As others have said, I think the rocks will get completely hidden over time.

    Do you have a chiller / airon to keep the water cool in the warmer months? I haven't need a heater ever in my planted tanks, it has never gone below 24 deg in the dry season.

    Is the filter flow strong enough? I think it would be quite slow once the gunk accumulates inside it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rapid Creek, NT
    Posts
    480

    Default

    Hi Tuna! Good to see another here too!

    Yeah the rocks may disappear. I have almost a milk crate full of those rocks though and the ones in the tank aren't all that buried so worst case I can swap them out for bigger ones. However, I want to see how my plan plays out first

    Nah no chiller. We usually run the aircon downstairs where the tank is in the evenings in the buildup and wet so that should hopefully keep temps a bit in check. I do notice the plants struggle a bit when it gets hot, which is strange because most plants I have had previously were collected locally. This makes me think its not the temperature itself that necessarily caused this, but that as the temp goes up so does the metabolism of the plants and things get out of balance very quickly in a closed aquarium system as the plants consume resources at a much faster rate than our dosing methodologies are designed around. This buildup-wet I will try and manage things with this thought in mind and see if I can somehow keep them happy.

    The heater is on there only because I had it already and that freezing week we had a month or so ago dropped the temp in my little tank to 20 so thought better to have it in there just in case.

    I am actually surprised with the filter so far. I stuffed it full of extra media and sponges on top of what it came with (every tray is chockers now) and the flow is better than expected. i actually wanted to get the 2200LPH version though but it was out of stock when I was ready to purchase and 1800LPH beats the "filtration guidelines" of "4x tank volume per hour" anyhow for a 300L tank so just went with that. There are a lot of extra-fine sponges in it so if things slow down then I will swap them out for something that flows better.
    Denying climate change...priceless

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rapid Creek, NT
    Posts
    480

    Default

    Here are some photos of the cabinet throughout the build. Sorry but I didn't get a good photo of the cabinet once I had finished it and its a struggle to get a good photo of it while the tank lights are on and also when they are off and just using the room lighting, because we have fairly dim, warm globes around the place. I am pretty happy with how it turned out structurally, the painting could have been better though but at least as its a dark colour the imperfections are a little harder for me to notice















    Denying climate change...priceless

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rapid Creek, NT
    Posts
    480

    Default

    And here are some photos now the LED's have the lenses on them. Still a bit of light spilling out of the top in the photos, but I assure you it is nothing like it was and is much more pleasant in person because the light doesn't blind you when you try and look at the tank while sitting on a chair. Very happy with this mod and I would recommend it for anyone trying to hang an unfocused LED up high.



    Denying climate change...priceless

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    13,963

    Default

    Love it! The difference is clear! I might try it on my Chihiro 60cm A series but I think they have 5630 LEDs.

    I also modded my chihiros by taking them apart and spraying water proofing on the diodes. I was expecting that they will go yellow but they haven't!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    13,963

    Default

    The finishing on that cabinet is pretty impressive and there will be no qualms about it's weight bearing ability. Super over engineered!!!

    Do you have it nicely levelled without any more mods? Did you waterproof it?

  12. #12

    Default

    That is a beautiful tank!

    What fertilizers are you using/plan on using? Co2 setup?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rapid Creek, NT
    Posts
    480

    Default

    Waterproofing the light is probably a good idea, but its mounted fairly high and has the plastic cover so not sure I would need it with only the little fish I will have in there. Big splashy fish would be a good reason to do it for sure, but they aren't my cup of tea. Not at home anyway

    A quick google tells me you can source lenses for 5630's, but they may have to come from alibaba. I have come close, but never followed through, on ordering from there so not sure how that would go.

    Yeah the cabinet is well over engineered. It has extra uprights not because I was worried about its strength, but I wanted to have something extra in the middle on both sides to strengthen the plywood skin and also to affix door closing mechanisms to on the front, i.e. magnets on both sides to hold it closed as well as a key lock for the filter side to keep my son out. It was built roughly following these plans: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1169964

    I also built it so that it looked good from all sides so that we could have it in the center of the room or with the short end against a wall. This was so we have maximum placement options for any future house we move into where the options may be limited. The idea with having a solid top was to make it more than just a single purpose piece of furniture, so that if we ever decommission the tank we can still use the cabinet as a sideboard or similar. The solid top that overhangs a bit also makes it easy to carry around as there is something to hold on to. You would be buggered moving it without this, not that its super heavy, its just awkward.

    I have tried to level it with some plywood under two corners, but my whole house seems to be out of level by a lot and the floor downstairs slopes downhill toward the left of the tank. Its perfectly stable so I am not worried about it, but the tank could come up another 5mm or so on the left hand side. In all the drop in the floor of our house across 1.2m seems to be about 1cm Lucky we are renting and don't own the thing!

    The cabinet has been coated in oil based polyurethane which is pretty waterproof. Stunk for ages though, and still does slightly, so I would not recommend using this to anyone else unless you can leave the thing outside for ages (1 month +) to cure and you have a well ventilated room once you move it inside. Our doors and windows are always open up here thanks to our climate

    Surface Blue, at the moment I am daily dosing Potassium Sulphate (as per ADA's recommendations to dose K) and Chelated Iron (due to growth tips on the very fast growing Limnophila wilsonii gowing yellowy-white). However, in perhaps a months time I will start to ease into an Estimative Index dosage regime as the bulk nutrients from the ADA Amazonia start to reduce. CO2 is pressurised and being injected via in inline diffuser in the return line from the filter.
    Denying climate change...priceless

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninegrain View Post
    Surface Blue, at the moment I am daily dosing Potassium Sulphate (as per ADA's recommendations to dose K) and Chelated Iron (due to growth tips on the very fast growing Limnophila wilsonii gowing yellowy-white). However, in perhaps a months time I will start to ease into an Estimative Index dosage regime as the bulk nutrients from the ADA Amazonia start to reduce. CO2 is pressurised and being injected via in inline diffuser in the return line from the filter.
    Awesome, I'd be interested to find out how long the nutrients in the ADA soil last if you do end up noticing that crossover point and switch to EI. Inlines are great! Stops the column looking like lemonade!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rapid Creek, NT
    Posts
    480

    Default

    Yeah I am interested in the crossover myself. I don't want to wait to see deficiencies first though so I'm I'm thinking I will go off of the amount of nitrogen in the water column to decide when i start dosing. I will start testing the water regularly from the week after next and if I notice ammonia and or nitrate dropping off then I will start dosing the regime at a proportional rate to keep things topped up in the water column. Whether or not things have run out in the soil at this point probably isn't relevant anyway, as the philosophy of EI is to keep everything in abundance so nothing runs out.

    Yeah, inline are good in theory however they still turn the water to lemonade if you are dosing for mamimum effect. I like that the bubbles get nicely dispersed through the aquarium though, unlike the standard diffusers which just make a stream. Dennis Wong reckons this is great for plant growth, even better than having it fully dissolved in a reactor as the mist gives that bit more of a boost.
    Denying climate change...priceless

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •