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Old 08-14-2018, 05:32 PM   #1
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Jack's 20G Long Build Journal

I figured I may as well start a thread for this that I just update as I go. I'll include links of where I got things if anyone wants to do similar things. I did a lot of research into affordable, trustworthy sources.

Items already obtained will be marked with *


Tank

*20 gallon long, Petco dollar/gallon sale

Hardscape
* Black Diamond medium grit blasting sand

*11 lbs of Dragonstone

*1 medium, 1 small pieces of Mopani driftwood
Plants
Sources not yet fleshed out, will update when they are. Currently deciding between Jacob's Aquarium and ebay's Plants Factory. I've seen concerning things about the former. Any comparably priced recommendations are welcome.
Anubias Nana Petite

Java Moss

Bucephelandra - Green Wavy

Dwarf Hair Grass

Java Fern

Frogbit
Fish
Sources in the works. LFS and AquaBid are possibilities. Let me know recommendations.
10-12 male Endler's Livebearers - possibly going with tunamanphd

6-8 Pepper corydoras

12-15 neo. shrimp, color unimportant
Filtration
Air Pump Sponge Filter

Tetra Whisper Air Pump
Lighting
*BeamsWork EA FSPEC, 30"
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:21 PM   #2
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Alright, so step one, I'd love some feedback on location of my tank. I have one section of my living room that is suitable, but am debating which wall to put it on.

The space is between the back of my couch and the partial wall separating my kitchen. I have a low, old and worn aquarium stand that my mother was keeping in storage. For now, it does just fine, but it is low for my tank size.

With that in mind, I can put it against the back of the U created with the other wall and my couch, like this:
But this creates obvious issues with my back glass door throwing massive glare and light against the tank. This is, however, a better viewing angle for myself and my fiancee who tends to do yoga and meditation in that space. It also minimizes the possibility that the cats will jump up on the stand as the 10 gallon quarantine tank blocks the right and the wall blocks the left.

The other option is this:
where it is against the wall to the kitchen. This way has less glare, but more day light hitting the left end specifically. It's more viewable from the front door, but we literally never have visitors other than family. This also shortens the space and allows the cats better back access to the tank.

What are your thoughts??
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:58 PM   #3
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I like the second option. The glare would bother me and I think it could possibly lead to algae issues. Once you get ready to buy plants let me know. I have a few anubias nana petite and as much dwarf hairgrass as you could possibly need for low prices.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:30 PM   #4
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Whichever allows you to get a bigger tank later on
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:38 PM   #5
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Second pic. Makes more sense with your plug in as well. Seems like pic #1 would possibly allow your cat to jump from the back of the couch into the tank?? You got a lot of light coming into that whole area. Personally, id hang curtains to cover that door and cut out the light for most the day or completely.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:48 PM   #6
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You could post in the classifieds forum in your quest for plants. I donít keep a Planted tank anymore but when I did, other AA members were a good resource for buying, selling, swaps, and RAOK (random act of kindness). For vendors Iíve used AquariumPlants.com and AquariumPlantCentral. You can save on shipping if you can find most/all of your plants at a single site.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:30 PM   #7
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The cats jumping from the couch was definitely something I was concerned about. I'm going to have a glass top to protect everything, but I don't want to come home to find a cat laying on it.

I've debated covering the back door, but I have a jack russell who jumps against it like crazy when she wants to go out. One does not simply get a jack russell to not jump. I'm going to look into some options for diffusing that light, all the same.

I can also put a higher light plant in that corner and hope it out competes algae.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:37 PM   #8
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Moving on! My hardscape came today and I've started prepping it.

Mopani is tannin intensive, which I'm OK with. I'm not going to try to get out all of the tannins. I don't mind the look and the softening would be good for my water. But I did want to do a quick disinfect and get some of the tannins out.

I started with a quick 15 minute boil on one side, then 15 on the other.

I clearly need a Dahmer-esque pot in the future. Even the "small" mopani is too big for this little pot.

I then scrubbed at them with a tooth brush and went over them by hand to remove any debris or rough patches. Now they're soaking on the back porch.

My rocks got a good rinse with the hose and are also soaking.


The containers I'm using are ideal since they have lids to keep critters and mosquitoes out. They are actually old cat litter bins! I just rinsed them out really well.

Tomorrow I will go over the stones with skewers and a bottle brush. I'll also be giving my sand its first of many rinses.
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:46 PM   #9
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Tunamanphd also sells plants. Good dude, he will treat you right

Any aquarium journal that has a dahmer reference is intriguing for sure. Following!
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:05 PM   #10
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I hit up Tuna about plants as well! I'm trying to get them all from one source, so we shall see. I'll be touching base with him again when the time gets closer.

I spent all of today cleaning the dragon stone and I learned many things.

1. I'm never buying dragon stone again.

2. If you can enlist children, spouses or naive friends, do so.

3. It makes an unholy mess and should be done outside.

4. My dog does not understand my fascination with rocks.

I don't regret getting it. It's beautiful rock and it'll look amazing in my tank, but it takes so much cleaning. After the initial soak, I went at it with a bamboo skewer, a long toothpick, a bottle/pipe brush, a toothbrush and a syringe to flush the crevices.

It's absolutely packed with clay and even roots. It's a strangely meditative and interesting process, all the same. You find new holes that you didn't know were there and passages that are connected.

It's amazing rock, it's just time consuming. If you spend less than an hour on a larger piece, you're not doing it right. If you happen to get one of the greenish blue chunks, count yourself lucky. They seem to have way less clay and detritus.

They are on their second soak now and will be coming out for one last once over in the morning and I'll pull the mopani at the same time. Didn't get to the substrate today, so will get on that tomorrow, too.
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