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4ft tank - DIY setup

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by aquasyd, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. aquasyd

    aquasyd New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi all,
    This is my first post. I'm still learning. any suggestions are welcome. :)

    The specs:
    Tank(mm): 1220 x 450 x 450 (~50G water + soil/rocks/plants)
    Filter: Ehiem Pro 2228
    Heater: Eheim Jager 200w
    Soil: ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia, ADA power sand - M, ADA Nile Sand, Turmaline BC, Penac-W, Bacter 100
    Lights: ebay LED flood lights 20w x 5; 1 metre red/blue LED strip, soft start/soft off; On from 1500-2400.
    GH: 2
    KH: 3
    PH controller - set to 6.8
    CO2: CO2 cylinder + dual meters regulator + bubble counter + Up Aqua Inline Atomizer
    Fertilizer: Seachem iron, flourish, phosphorus, potassium, trace, equilibrium(skipped nitrogen)
    Jebao Automatic Doser - 4 pumps
    Seachem suggested dosing table:
    Seachem suggested dosing table.jpg
    Auto water change / top up: DIY with 2 electronic solenoids(inlet/outlet) + floating switches + timers; outlet pipe connected to garden irrigation system.
    Plant:
    Rotala 'green'
    Rotala rotundifolia
    Ludwigia inclinata
    mini hair glass
    Hydrocotyle tripartita
    Hemianthus callitrichoides
    Staurogyne SP "Porto Velho"
    Fish: 30 in total(cardinal tetra, rummy nose, Pristella Tetra, catfish)

    My goal was to setup a low maintenance planted tank at minimal cost(ended up costing a lot more than I expected). To reduce cost, I built the cabinet, hood and lights:
    tank01.jpg tank02.jpg tank03.jpg tank04.jpg

    5 x 20W LED flood lights (cool white 6500k) from ebay. seperated power supply to reduce heat/weight on the hood; 1 metre blue and red LED light strip; all LEDs are running at 60% of full power to reduce heat / longer lifespan.
    tank05.jpg

    Friend of mine who knows electronics helped me to set this up. Power supplies + LED dimmers; Soft start / Soft off ( 0 - 100% brightness in 5mins ) to stimulate sunrise/sunset.
    tank06.jpg tank07.jpg


    not enough room... tank08.jpg
    Nov 2015:
    tank09.jpg tank10.jpg
    I wish I didn't use so much decoration sand so I can plant more in the front, and probably more black soil at the back.
    tank12.jpg

    tank13.jpg
    Nov 2015:
    tank14.jpg
    Removed the driftwoods as it released tannins into water and easier for maintenance. tank15.jpg

    Dec 2015
    tank16.jpg

    Green water! It took nearly 2 weeks to clear up. really annoying.
    tank17_GreenWater.jpg

    Feb 2016 (3 months old):
    tank18-Feb2016.jpg
    Floating switches on the side and Ph controller:
    tank19-Feb2016.jpg
    Thanks for checking out.

    TC
     
  2. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
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    Location:
    Connecticut
    Looking good. Appears the sand has sort of sifted its way down under the gravel. Any way to bring that back or would that compound the issue?

    How are those LED dimmers working out for you? I've got the floods running as well and so far I'm loving them, although I am literally 2 days into my first planting, but it looks like your plants have taken to them well.

    Have you checked out estimated index fertilizing? Might be cheaper than the Seachem route.

    Definitely not an example of a low cost setup, though. Love the plant selection!
     
  3. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    aquasyd

    Welcome to ASW you set up is certainly not a cheap DIY.

    Your stand is not over built and it has a very good over all finish.

    Your Aquascape looks very formal with the healthy planting.

    The over all shapes do not connect and look like two separate Aquascapes.

    The white substrate will be very hard to clean plus it is very glary.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  4. aquasyd

    aquasyd New Member

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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Cheers for the reply J Art.
    The catfish disturbed the soils to make it looks messy. I may add some more white sand to cover the front.

    LED dimmers work very well, very smooth dimming control from 0 - 100%, no flicking at all: LED LT-391-700 CC 0-10V Dimming Driver

    I'd like to use EI fertilizing too but i have problem finding the chemical in Australia. Apparently KNO3 is illegal to buy/sell to the public here.

    I will be in overseas for 2 weeks, hopefully the DIY automation system will maintain the tank condition. fingers crossed.


     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  5. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Connecticut
    Going to look into the dimming driver a bit. Maybe for the next build. Very cool. That's a bummer about the KNO3. Ah well.
     
  6. aquasyd

    aquasyd New Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks Keith, it took me 2 months to build the stand and hood.

    I brought the wrong size of decoration sand. They look pretty ugly I admit but it was too late. I was going to remove it and add black soil all over but it's too much trouble to drain the whole tank. I will do better in next setup.

    It's definitely not cheap DIY but it's alot cheaper than buying all the gears & furniture from aquarium shop. This tank is nearly maintenance free beside of trimming plants and cleaning glass every now and then, so I don't have any excuse to give up so easily. :)
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    aquasyd
    You could remove only the visible sand by siphoning it out.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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