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Seamingly

Seamingly's 2 Foot Planted Tank

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Hi All,

I'm new here but thought i'd start up a thread about a project i've just started.

I'm planning a 24" x 18" x 18" planted tank. The tank is about 17 years old, and hasn't held water for at least 14 years.  Recent test seems to show it is still water tight though.

I've just finished building a new cabinet for it. Made of 70mm x 35mm MGP10 pine from Bunnings.

I needs a LOT of filler around the trim and a coat of paint. Hope to start putting together hardware for the tank next month.

Thanks for looking. Comments and critiques welcome.

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I took a trip out to Pet Country and The Age of Aquariums today. Haven't been to Pet Country in years and didn't realise they moved. I've never been to The Age of Aquariums, but was blown away by their customer service and competitive prices. Young guy named Josh helped me out - big thumbs up to him.

 

Long story short, I bought most of the hardware I need. The Eheim was on sale at Pet Country and about 15% cheaper than other places I've seen.

Everything else was from The Age of Aquariums, and prices were too good not to buy straight away.

Still need to paint the cabinet though, and im very unsure about what substrate to use, need a bit more research before committing.

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For those reading along at home, I'm interested on your thoughts on substrate. 

I want something that will be great for plants.

I originally wanted a fine black substrate, but I think I'll go for white instead. I think black might make the tank look too small.

I know ada amazonia and fluval stratum are meant to be awesome, but i really dislike the look of them. Ive also read its not a good idea to cap them with sand.

Anybody know of other options? Or should I just go for a fine generic gravel / sand and use root tabs, rather than a name branded plant substrate?

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Finally, the last thing to decide upon is a CO2 regulator. 

Two options, one being the CO2Art Pro-SE. This one seems to be leading the charge, with lots of good reviews from people on this forum.

The other, cheaper option is one sold by Keg King in Victoria. Much cheaper, but, do you pay for what you get?

Thoughts?

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Looking good. Personally, I'm not a believer in overpriced plant substrates. I've always used a relatively coarse sand, like a river sand, pool filter sand etc. in conjuction with a quality water column fertiliser. Liverpool creek aquariums all in one being my favourite. From what i have seen, there isnt much you cant achieve with sand, a decent light and LCA all in one. 

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Also, i bought a cheap ebay regulator and it is to performing well. I just have to tweek the needle valve once a month or so. I've heard co2 art is the bomb though.

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Hi lgw,

thanks for your input and suggestions. I found a link to a diy recipe for a fertilised substrate using blood & bone, laterite, marble chips and propagation sand. I sourced most items today, just need to get laterite. 

Im going to test it in a small tank I have before committing to my main tank. Some people have had issues with it.

If it turns foul, I think I’ll fork out for Seachem Flourite and cap with coarse sand (so I have a light coloured substrate).

appreciate your feedback on the CO2 regulator - I’m going to check out eBay and see what I can find.

 

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I managed to get a bit more done on this project over the weekend.

Spent the evenings last week painting the cabinet, and then Sunday putting it all together.

I've always liked blue backed aquariums, and rather than paint mine (in case i ever change my mind), i bought some blue aquarium backing.  The reverse is black, so i guess i could also use that if i get sick of the blue.

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I also had a crack at some cable management - i need some zip ties though.

It's not great, but, it's far better than the powerboard attached to powerboard sitting on the floor next to filter situation i had with old tanks.

Also added some LED strip lighting, to make it easier to see underneath. They needed a bit of araldite to help them adhere to the treated pine, which had ridges along it.

Also rigged up a basic holder for the pack for the lights.

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Tonight i want to remove the lip on the rear panel which is used for the lids to rest upon. 

It is only partially across the rear panel, and i'm assuming is not structural, but fingers crossed in any event.

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Well, a bit has happened in the past week, so here's an update.

I managed to remove the rear lip which was used to hold the covers. It took a bit of effort and I went through 4 single sided blades. 

After removing I then got a bit nervous - worried perhaps it was providing some rigidity to the rear panel, so I took the tank outside and filled it up for a water test and thankfully, it didn't break.

A before and after below.

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I also ordered and received my CO2 kit from CO2Art. Ordered on a Monday, arrived on Thursday, all the way from Germany - I was impressed! (I rarely buy anything online, so maybe that timeframe is normal, but it impresses me).

It looks and feels fantastic, nice and solid.

I also obtained an inline diffuser to fit the 12/16mm  hoses of the eheim canister, an inline check valve, drop checker and some CO2 hosing.

The inline check valve is not needed, as the bubble counter on the regulator is a check valve too, however, I wanted one close to the diffuser, so the CO2 wouldn't have to displace so much water every day when starting up.

I also picked up a 2.6kg CO2 cylinder from a Home Brew shop in Capalaba.20190808_133555.thumb.jpg.2d12e43db6bd70d86f80bab70a5b915c.jpg

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Once I connected the regulator to the cylinder, I checked for leaks.

I closed the needle valve, opened the working pressure valve and then opened the cylinder valve. The cylinder pressure is 700psi. I then dialled in working pressure to 40psi.

I then shut the cylinder valve and let it sit for a few hours.

When I came back, the cylinder pressure had dropped to 0psi, working pressure still sitting at 40psi.

I suspected the leak was at the collection between the valve and cylinder.

I then opened the cylinder valve and used soapy water test all connections by spraying it on.

Sure enough, the cylinder connection  started to bubble. I tightened it more and ran the above tests again, this time, no drop in pressure.

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