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Old 07-28-2013, 01:22 AM   #1
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I got bored the other night and decided to do something to suck up the nitrates in my cichlid tank. It only cost me $10 for the tub, bal valve and some PVC fittings the rest of the stuff I already had lying around. Here's the thread I started asking about plants that would work for what I needed. Nitrate lovers!

Now here's what I did. I took some organic potting soil I have been mineralizing and did a 1/2 inch layer with some ferts mixed into it then did a thin layer of sand and another 1/2-3/4 inch layer of the soil. I did that everywhere but where the filter sits which I did with just rocks. Then I did a layer of pool filter sand on one side I Sid it a little over an inch deep and 2" at the other end. For the filter I took a Tupperware and drilled a bunch of holes around the bottom edge and put a flat rock in it to hold it down. Then I dropped 18 bio-balls in it, a piece of screen, polyfill, and then I seperated 2 pieces of bonded blue filter padding so I could double it up and put in the blue first the the white on top. For the water source I had a maxijet 400 I put a piece of pantyhose over the intake screen and made a way to attach 1/2" PVC to the outlet of it with a 90 up a foot of pipe a ball valve another 6" of pipe another 90 3" of pipe and another 90 to dump into the filter from the top. For the drain I drilled a 3/4" hole shoved a piece of canister filter tubing into it (only temporary until I find a uniseal locally im not spending 16.99 for a bulkhead) with a 45 and a piece of panty hose over it on the inside. Then I have 2 90's at the other end of it to dump into a gutted penguin 350 on one side I have avtivated carbon and the other side I have ceramic rings the apiece of screen with HC growing on it. I took a piece of plywood put it on top of the tank and set the grow bed on that. Then I took a bunch of stuff I had growing emersed planted it and voila a grow bed. And good thing I did it when I did cause I had 2 cichlids holding and only one breeder net. Well I stripped the one in the breeder net into the grow bed and put the other one in the net and within 30 min she spit all her fry out so now I have almost 50 kennyi cichlis fry in this grow bed along with 4 pink pearl ramshorns and a pair of white mts snails. Here's a couple pics I will get some more that are more in depth tomorrow when the lights are on.

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Old 07-28-2013, 02:37 AM   #2
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I decided to pop the lights on for a sec before I went to bed so here they are. Oh and it is being lit by a t8 2x32w shoplight with G.E. Daylight 6500k bulbs. How long should they be on? I'm currently running them 12hrs.



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Old 07-28-2013, 03:08 AM   #3
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Looks good. You can make a bulkhead for about $2 using a male and female 3/4" PVC connector (they are the same size as water hose threads). You'd need to put some kind of gasket or silicone on it but it works fine, althoug when i had mine set up like that it sprung a leak after i bumped into it one day. You probably won't find uniseals locally, but it wouldn't hurt to call local hydroponics shops. You may be able to get a single one via ebay for fairly cheap but I haven't checked there lately.
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:14 AM   #4
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I found some online for cheap just haven't ordered them yet. Thanks for this idea it was a fun little project. I plan on doing another one but I have to build a shelf next to my tank for them first. Any tips to make this current one a success.
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:44 AM   #5
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It looks good to me. I think the lighting schedule sounds good.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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Cool thanks.
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:37 AM   #7
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I tore Tue grow bed apart because the tub cracked where the drain hose goes in at during the move. I swish I would have gotten a picture of how much the plants in it filled in but I am going to build a stand above the 55 to hang the tank light in and to do a longer one on top of it.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMantelli View Post
I tore Tue grow bed apart because the tub cracked where the drain hose goes in at during the move. I swish I would have gotten a picture of how much the plants in it filled in but I am going to build a stand above the 55 to hang the tank light in and to do a longer one on top of it.
This sounds cool. I think of it as a FW sump above the tank. Post pics (even sketches of the design) if you get a chance. You may want to put the bulkhead fittings at the bottom rather than the side and place a standpipe in them to control the water level.
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:08 AM   #9
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Yeah I've got a few ideas so far
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