Wednesday, August 4, 2010

75 Gallon Tank Journal

A lot has changed with this tank past couple of months. the livestock includes about 35 cardinal tetra's, for German blue rams, a bunch of bristle plecos, several dozen cherry shrimp, a couple of ottos, some assassin snails and a couple of nerite snails. The tank hasn't finished growing in yet, but when it does I think I'll be pretty happy with it. Here are some pictures that I took recently.

April 24, 2011

WAY too much time without an update. I have been doing more on this journal (75 gallon journal). Here are some updated photos.
(click photos for full-size, can't figure out the formating for such big pics)

October 29, 2010

I haven't updated my blog in a while cause I have been more diligent about my online journal on (75 gallon journal). Here is a bunch of pictures to catch up where I haven't updated yet.

New additions. Two juvenile super red discus.

New scape!

This is the picture of my combo inline heater/co2 reactor that I recently did to improve efficiency.

October 3, 2010

Tank after 6 days. No algae, but no incredible growth either. Lemons and rummynose all died one night. Must have cycled, really stinks. Last week I picked up a school of Cardinal Tetras. I am doing 50% water changes every 3rd day and things seem to have stabilized.

September 27, 2010

Got the tank planted!

September 23, 2010

Driftwood got here! Here is a picture of how I arranged it. Also added another school of rummynose tetras and lemon tetras. Discus are to come in the next couple of weeks...

September 16, 2010

It has been a while since I have posted because we haven't had internet in our new apartment, but we are all moved in now and started getting this bad boy going. It has been a bumpy road though....

Here is the placement in the apartment. I put an additional piece of trim that made it 3 inches tall and wider, and the doors no longer close to sit flush. It looks a lot better.
2x55 watt kit installed, waiting for 2nd to come in the mail.

View of underneath the tank. Running a Eheim 2217 and 2215. One of the tubes from the 2215 came undone and ended up putting about 10 gallons of water on the floor. That was a fun cleanup.

I made a combo DIY inline co2 reactor/heater with the heyco compression fittings and PVC and it works great. I will get some good pictures of that one day. Using a 300 watt submersible heater.

Got the tank running again and hooked up all of the filter and everything and it has been running for about a week now. I ordered plants from and driftwood from Both should be here in the next couple of days and I got a school of 8 bronze corys to start getting the tank going. Even in a bare tank they are fun to watch. I will get some more pictures up later.

August 15, 2010

Haven't updated in a while, but here is the finished product with the canopy that I didn't document at all. It was definitely the trickiest part of everything. I couldn't get the front to line up so I had to shimmy the side so it is 1/8 inch higher than the right side. I guess everything can't be perfect. I guess I have to be ok with that. After all, this is an AQUARIUM stand, and people will be hopefully looking at the fish and not the minor messups.

Aug 7, 2010

The madness continues as I still don't have a job and so I spent the last 3 entire days working on this project. We are almost done! Finished putting the frame together with all of the pieces of trim.

The whole thing is made out of pine, and I am about $125+ into this thing with everything so far, not including the canopy, which will be about another 35 or so....i am hoping atleast. Still way better than spending twice or three times that for a crappy particle board stand from petsmart.

Made the doors out of 1x4 pine boards and framed with 1x2 pine strips. They came out looking really nice, but if you look closely they arent 100% square. Good enough though.
Doors are hung (after much frusteration and tweaking), sanded, and ready to stain. We decided to go with a darker, redish color. It is minwax mahogany 225.
Only one coat and i think that might do it.
Wiped off the excess stain the next day and things are looking good. Going to put a couple layers of polyurethane over the top to give it a nice protective coating. It is turning out pretty good for my first ever woodworking project....I can't wait to get to the fish part of this though. I am looking for a used 75 (or 90) gallon tank with minimal scratches and then I can start on the matching canopy.

So finally moved out to Denver and we are starting to get settled. As I started looking a prices for stands it became apparent that I could build one for much cheaper and it would last much longer. I did my planning in Adobe Illustrator.
The more yellowish color wood is to show the pine frame. The lighter color is whitewood. It is a pretty simple design but I have had a lot of fun designing it and putting it together. The tank will sit 37 inches off the ground, with a lip of the stand coming up to 39 inches, Perfect for looking at the tank. I am hoping I can finish the tank for around $125 total. I am not nervous about the tank fitting the stand, but I am going to wait till I get the glass before I build the canopy. It will be about 8.5 inches high and will utilize a piano hinge with toy chest hinges to support it when i am doing maintenance, and feeding. My wife wants a darker looking stain on the tank, but I dont know anything about doing that.

I would like to make this into a discus tank, , with a harem of apistos, but discus are so stinking expensive it might be a little while till I have a school there. I already have 2x55 watt kit from AH supply, (going to buy one more) and a eheim 2217 canister filter. I want to go to a hydor inline heater to eliminate the clutter in the tank. Substrate will be 80 lbs of eco-complete with a Co2 injection. (not sure how I am going to diffuse...any suggestions?) Here are some pictures my wife took while I got the main structure of the stand finished.

I probably should have waited till the next day, but once i get going, it is really hard for me to stop. Finished the frame today and look to be starting the siding and doors. Also have to find a color or stain that will look good....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Aquarium Journals




29 Gallon Planted Tank

June 7, 2010

Most recent photo, maybe the last of this tank. We are moving soon to Denver and as soon as I get things the way I want them, it is time to break down the tank and start over again. Though, my wife has said that she will let me get a 75+ gallon tank, which means I will be parting the three setups that I have here out within the month. Hopefully I can get enough to buy a tank and everything I need to get a 75 going. This time I am going to buy all used stuff, no need for new aquarium stuff.

May 21, 2010

Updated photo after trim

April 8, 2010

Here are some updated shots after a trim and a couple rearranging.

March 21, 2010


March 19, 2010

It has been way to long since I last posted anything. So I finally went to a pressurized co2 system using a 20 lb cylinder and a Milwaukee regulator and solenoid. I also ordered some dry ferts from (Rex Griggs site), and I the difference has been quite dramatic. I have since dealt with some algae problems, mainly BBA, but hopefully that will subside as things settle in. Since the last time I also picked up a couple of male German Blue Rams and fit in really nicely in this tank and also added to my school of Corys. The last NACU meeting I went to they had some manzanita they were selling for cheap so I picked some of that up and rescaped my tank today. It took way longer than I though it was going to, but it turned out pretty good, still not thrilled about the wood position, but it was the best I could do for right now. I am thinking about putting some flame moss on the branches, but we will see. I added a couple new plants to the tank. alternanthera lilacina and roseafolia, diplidis diandra (a couple of stems you can hardly see on the right), myriophyllum mattogrossense (recovering from mostly floating for a couple of weeks) and Hemianthus Micranthemoides. Here some photos of the recent developments.

January 26, 2009

I wish I would have taken a picture before I trimmed everything, cause now it looks almost the same as the last post, other than the glosso is starting to fill in and I trimmed a bunch of moss and put it in on the other piece of driftwood. My wife really wanted a gold angelfish so we picked one up the other day too.

January 5, 2010

Canister filter got here a day early so I spend some getting that set up and trimming up some of the straggling plants. I am pretty happy with the scape. now I am just hoping everything starts to grow in well. I am curious to know how these lights with the reflectors I have on here really work.

January 4, 2010

Got my 55 watt bulbs today! Cleaned up the glass top and it is pretty impressive how bright this fixture is. Just waiting till wednesday to get my C02 going through my canister filter. You can see lots of plants floating around that I need to replant.

January 3, 2010

Santa brought some fun fish stuff this Christmas! I got a 2x55 Watt Bright Light Kit from AH Supply (, found a used 29 gallon with black stand, and broke down both my 20 and 25 gallon tanks to put this together. I built a matching canopy out of 1/2 inch MDF board and installed the power compacts right into it with the ballast. It fits perfectly with the tank empty but when it has water in it the tank bows about an 1/8 inch on each side which makes a little gap, but it is hardly noticeable. I had to catch about 65 shrimp out of my 20 to put them into the 10 gallon apistogramma tank (now empty) in order to make it work. I sold the embers and rummynose tetras and so the stocking of this tank is:

4 Angelfish
3 Apistogramma Cacatuoides "Orange Flash" (1 Male 2 Female)
6 Harlequin Rasboras
6 Black Neons
3 Otocinclus
2 Corydora

I am thinking of putting some cherries in here but don't think they will last long, but with the amount of hiding space I have in here, it might work....

I am still waiting for a Penn Plax Cascade 1000 Canister Filter that I ordered, it will get here wednesday, so for now I will just be using a powerhead for circulation.

Tank and Stand I got for $40!

Here is the Ah Supply 2x55 watt bright light kit installed into the canopy I built. Those are just 36W bulbs until I get them in the mail in the next few days.

Planting Glosso is a lot easier with just a little bit of water in the tank. It can be a pain in the rear to get planted right, but sure makes an awesome carpet once it gets going.

Here is all of the flora planted, did it all dry to make it easier, still have a lot to do, but after spending all day on this, I figured to just get it done and do some cleanup later.

Pictures of canopy flipped up on top of itself

Finished product with the fish in the tank!