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Old 08-07-2011, 12:04 AM   #1
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"New" 55g Project

Well, some know that we had been hoping to upgrade to a larger tank from our 29g tank. Budgetary reality, and several deals that fell through left us with nothing.

Then along comes a Craigslist ad last week- for a 55g tank that the owner had for their fat-tail gecko. The tank just wouldn't fit in their repaired home (tornado damage from last Spring). Just the tank for $25. So off I go.

Then, still with a seriously limited budget, I struggled with stand plans. I put together some doable plans for a wooden stand, but after pricing lumber and figuring out I would have to do the stand in phases (frame and top first, then try to skin it after it is up and running), I decided to pick up a "Manhattan" metal stand from Petco (match their online price + a $7 customer loyalty coupon). Easy assembly and it's up.

In the meantime, the daughters and I cleaned the tank up, dried it, then filled it (OUTSIDE!) to leak test. After all appeared to be well (is it a stress test to fill up an old tank in the direct sun with the outside temp of 106?), I drained it and dried it back out again. I masked it off and flat blacked the back glass. After paint dried, we toted it in and put it on the stand. So far-so good. Pic is included.

Next step- order lights, add pfs (I think I have enough left over from doing the 29g- probably have close to 70lbs). Have some cool large rocks yet to boil, along with a collected piece of driftwood.

Plan to use the Emperor 400 that is currently on the 29, tank should be practically instant-cycled.

Will continue to run the HOT Magnum on the 29g, but will run it all the time instead of on a part-time, timered cycle.

The 29g is I desperate need to major plant trimming, but I've been holding off for the new tank. Will get those moved over after the lights come in.

I do have another monkey wrench- the outlet on the wall where the 55 is located isn't working... Trying to get someone I know who is an electrician to take a look.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:07 AM   #2
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Oops. Nearly forgot- also looking for a heater. Then again, as hit as it has been her, the heater in the 29 hasn't had to come on much!
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:41 AM   #3
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Sounds like a good plan. I like how your 29 looks. Are you sure you want to break it down for the 55? if the 55g will end up looking like the 29g, go ahead, you have my support looking forward to 55g updates!
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:48 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Batt4Christ View Post
Well, some know that we had been hoping to upgrade to a larger tank from our 29g tank. Budgetary reality, and several deals that fell through left us with nothing.

Then along comes a Craigslist ad last week- for a 55g tank that the owner had for their fat-tail gecko. The tank just wouldn't fit in their repaired home (tornado damage from last Spring). Just the tank for $25. So off I go.

Then, still with a seriously limited budget, I struggled with stand plans. I put together some doable plans for a wooden stand, but after pricing lumber and figuring out I would have to do the stand in phases (frame and top first, then try to skin it after it is up and running), I decided to pick up a "Manhattan" metal stand from Petco (match their online price + a $7 customer loyalty coupon). Easy assembly and it's up.

In the meantime, the daughters and I cleaned the tank up, dried it, then filled it (OUTSIDE!) to leak test. After all appeared to be well (is it a stress test to fill up an old tank in the direct sun with the outside temp of 106?), I drained it and dried it back out again. I masked it off and flat blacked the back glass. After paint dried, we toted it in and put it on the stand. So far-so good. Pic is included.

Next step- order lights, add pfs (I think I have enough left over from doing the 29g- probably have close to 70lbs). Have some cool large rocks yet to boil, along with a collected piece of driftwood.

Plan to use the Emperor 400 that is currently on the 29, tank should be practically instant-cycled.

Will continue to run the HOT Magnum on the 29g, but will run it all the time instead of on a part-time, timered cycle.

The 29g is I desperate need to major plant trimming, but I've been holding off for the new tank. Will get those moved over after the lights come in.

I do have another monkey wrench- the outlet on the wall where the 55 is located isn't working... Trying to get someone I know who is an electrician to take a look.
Nice 29 gallon! It is always fun getting a larger tank.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roydooms
Sounds like a good plan. I like how your 29 looks. Are you sure you want to break it down for the 55? if the 55g will end up looking like the 29g, go ahead, you have my support looking forward to 55g updates!
Agreed!
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:11 AM   #6
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Don't worry about me "breaking down" the 29! When the plants started really growing, I trimmed and trimmed on a regular basis. Last time I did a major thinning, I sold several here on this board. In about 2 weeks, things were beginning to get a bit "tight" for space. And now, nearly 5 weeks after the last major trimming- and plants are growing well out if the water and the fish are squished for space. I believe it is the lack if space that resulted in us being down to one angelfish. No signs of sick, then find a bit of skeleton (efficient cean-up crew!). The dominant angel (now only) came out looking healthier than ever. He will greatly benefit from his new home.

Back to the tanks- unless something changes drastically, the 29 will probably get crowded again pretty quickly. And hopefully, the 55 will fill out nicely as well (though I will try to lower the vegetation density a but for some schooling fish).
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:48 AM   #7
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I don't know if anyone can prove or disprove this, but I'm always on craigslist looking for 55gal tanks (got 4 sitting on the porch waiting for cleaning). Whenever it's a reptile tank I take extra care in removing all the silicone and resealing it for two reasons: one unless fairly new, the silicone has been weakened due to algea scrapers or time and want it running for atleast 5 years before it fails and two reptiles piss is very high in ammonia. My understanding is the silicone absorbed this high concentration of ammonia and will time release it into your fish water Causing high ammonia which could harm your fish.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:18 PM   #8
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The 29g after pulling a few plants for the project.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:21 PM   #9
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And the 55g so far. Light is on order (should be here by the end of the week, as is aheater- not that it is really "needed" right now). Iw waiting to pull some Ludwigia trimmings until the lights are in, up, and running.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:32 PM   #10
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Got an interesting surprise when transplanting the bi sword- it had a big runner with 5 fairly big "daughter plants", and one was about the size of the original plant when I bought it. I left the runner in-tact and planted it that way. Not sure if you can tell by the dark pic above how I did it, but the smaller plants are running behind the driftwood.

By the way- what does I say about how hot I has been here, when the tap water runs at 89 degrees? After dunking my arm in the 55g to plant, sticking my hand back in the 80degree 29g tank felt almost chilly!
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:24 PM   #11
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Light came in today (yah!!!).

My first experience w/Odyssea. The fixture itself appears to be pretty well made. I just wish the instructions were a little better translation from Chinese. I thing Google translation would have been better! More so, I really would have liked some instructions on how to attach the legs to the light and aquarium, as it was not particularly intuitive. I'm trying to figure out how to set up my split lighting schedule. The fixture has three tubes:

2 x 10k
1 x actinic

It also has night blue LEDs (three pods w/2 each).

Timer has three sets:

T5
T5
LED

It appears that the first T5 is currently set to the actinic.
The second T5 turns on both of the 10k tubes.
LED. Is self explanatory.

I'm thinking if I move tubes where the actinic and one 10k tube come on and go off with one preset "T5" setting, and the other with the other preset...

So- should I have the actinic come on with the morning or evening cycle???
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:25 PM   #12
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Forgot picture of tank with light...
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:26 PM   #13
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Close-up of the light control.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:48 PM   #14
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Rummy nose tetras. The newest addition to the 55g. Got 6, but I'm wondering if I should have gotten a few more. The are schooling quite nicely!

Also found a solid black angel, about 2/3 the size of the one we have had.

Also, not pictured, are three Julie Cories (all they had at our favorite lfs). Really want a shoal of 5-6 total.

I'll try to get some pics of the cores and the. Ew angel this evening when the lights come back on (split photo period).
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:31 PM   #15
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I hope the rummy nose tetras survive , they are one of my favorite fish, unfortunately they are a favorite of Angle fish too.
Good luck with the tank it is really starting out beautiful
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:49 PM   #16
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Thanks. I'm still pondering the rocks in the back right corner. I like them, but I'm not sure I want them completely vertical like that are. I'm always open to ideas to make my 'scape look good.

As far as the Rummy nose tetras. The bigger angel was chasing one smaller "weakling" this AM, but as the tank gets more thickly planted, I'm hoping the tummies will have a fighting chance. We were looking for some dither fish.

Looked at some Buenos Aries tetras- wife wasn't too hot on them. Looked at some Cardinal tetras- but they were low on stock- only 3 (not enough for a school). I even considered getting a few black neon tetras, and add adding them to the three we still have in the 29g, to make a school on the 55- and that may still happen.

We didn't want anything that was likely to nip fins, so that eliminated most barbs.

With the angel moved over to the 55g, if real trouble shows up, the tummies can move to the 29g.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:52 PM   #17
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New black angelfish, one of the Cories, and the rocks I am not happy with the design...

Any brilliant ideas on rocks?
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:54 PM   #18
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New black angelfish, one of the Cories, and the rocks I am not happy with the design...

Any brilliant ideas on rocks?
Cover the rocks with moss Fissidens is cool. Or Xmas moss.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:55 PM   #19
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New black angelfish, one of the Cories, and the rocks I am not happy with the design...

Any brilliant ideas on rocks?
Or make a raised bed behind the rock ?
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:48 PM   #20
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I've done the moss bit in the other aquarium. Kind of a "love-hate" relationship. I finally sold a bunch of it several weeks back. What's left in the old 29 is growing and healthy- but its SLOW.

Coursair's idea is intriguing... Not sure if the rock's shape would suit that. Another thought... related to that idea: Maybe lay the rock over/laying on the smaller one, leaving a bit of a "cave". that would still give a place in that corner to build up some substrate....???

Another question, and this relates to stocking (Hope I get some input soon on this one):

One of the Julies died this afternoon (right after I took its picture and uploaded it above!!! - no THAT's camera shy!). Plan to pick up a few more to bring the total up to at least 5 (assuming the remaining 2 stay healthy).

Currently have the two angelfish, 6 rummy nose tetras, one nearly 4inch albino bristlenose pleco, two Corydoras Julii (hope to increase that to 5 or 6).

I'm trying to decide what else to possibly add.

Now (after my above post that reads to the contrary), my wife is starting to think some black Neons would be nice in the tank.... have three in the old 29g that could move over. I don't really want to only have 3 - a school of at least 6 or more seems more logical and more aesthetically pleasing. Also thought of getting a few more Rummy Nose Tetras... I've always liked them, but am growing very fond of them.

A couple of other candidates for the 55:

I have two SAE in the 29 that apparently think they are black neons..as they sometimes swim with them.

Sure wouldn't mind having about 10-12 of the rummies....

Decisions, decisions.
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