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55+ Gallon Plans

This is a discussion on 55+ Gallon Plans within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Well, I just shot an email off to The Wet Spot asking a few questions. I really hope they can get back to me, ...

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Old 02-25-2013, 09:03 PM   #11
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Well, I just shot an email off to The Wet Spot asking a few questions. I really hope they can get back to me, particularly with those water params. If they don't, I'll just have to try somewhere else.

Yes, a canister filter sounds familiar! I just could not bring to mind what they were... That's definitely my plan of action whenever I get a big tank set up, but I honestly don't know how to build one! Another thing I'll have to research while I'm stuck in WI!

The biggest reason I'm a bit skeptical of the kits for my plan is because I want to do the canister filter. It seems like it would just be better to buy each piece individually instead of wasting $X on a kit that I'm not going to use half the equipment for. Over the next year or two I'll just have to do some really in depth research on the tank equipment to find the best stuff. Especially with the stand, as you say. It seems to me that my best bet for that would be almost to buy a table/cabinet that is built to last if I can't find something on craigslist. Might not be built for a tank, but it'll be better build that any of the pet store stuff.

Thanks for all your help, Chesh. I do have yet another question though... where do you people find all the amazing driftwood?! XD Wood has to be one of my favorite parts of the gorgeous tanks that I see (not counting the plants) yet I can never find anything close to what they've got. I've found some ok stuff at Petco and Petsmart, but its all so... small and boring. I want crazy stuff that looks like it just fell off the tree and I pulled it out of the river. The only decent stuff that I've found that's larger is resin molds, but I want the real deal. Especially if I'm going biotope. Would The Wet Spot have wood like that, do you know? And more importantly... would they have African driftwood?

I'm already drooling over this tank, and its still years away.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:31 AM   #12
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I have a canister filter made by
 Eheim Eheim
, I love the thing! It's easy to use (though it did intimidate me at first) and virtually SILENT. I'm sure people do build their own, but not MEEE!

I hope you get some info back from The Wet Spot. They've been really helpful in my experience, I asked them soooooo many questions, lol! You have plenty of time to figure things out and dream about stocking in your tank, though!

I bet that they DO have a nice supply of aquarium driftwood there!

I've found that local fish shops tend to have a far better selection of driftwood than the chain shops. I was lucky enough to get a LFS to order in the specific type of DW that I was looking for, so it can't hurt to ask if your LFS doesn't carry what you like. It can take a while to find what you want, since every piece is different, so if you don't see what you like on one trip, try again!

There are many aquarium shops online that sell it, but I've found that you usually don't get to choose a specific piece, rather, you pay for a type of wood based on the size and they send you what they have. This has never really worked for me, lol!

You can also look on E-bay, the sellers there tend to take pictures of each individual piece that they're selling, and list dimensions, so that's nice - but shipping can be expensive. I've also found DW for sale on forums that are more plant/aquascape based. . .

You'll have to soak/boil any driftwood before putting it into your tank, but depending on where you get it from, you may or may not have to do more. Some sellers will sandblast their wood to remove all of the bark and such before selling it, and some don't, so be sure to check, because removing bark from a piece of wood can be quite the task in my experience!

There are lots of different types of driftwood, I like to use Manzanita wood in my tanks, because it has that rooty/branchy look that I love. Malaysian driftwood is possibly the most common type that I see, but it tends to be chunkier. There are many other types of driftwood that are safe for use in a tank. . . Mopani wood, I believe, is from Africa, so you could look into that.

Hope that helps! It'll be an awesome tank whenever you get there, lol, and the more time you spend learning and researching, the better it'll be!
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:09 AM   #13
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I don't have an LFS otherwise I would have gotten everything from them instead of Petco/smart. When I move, I'll just have to check out what The Wet Spot has. That's one thing I should have asked them in that email XD But I knocked out the major questions: water params, and Africa native (preferably Congo, since I found that's where most ADFs are from) fish and plants that they stock.

I see a lot of mopani wood at Petco, but I never really was drawn to the stuff... I've heard that it leaches really bad, so it has to sit and soak/boil for ages. Speaking of boiling... how would you boil a giant piece of driftwood? XD I've never seen a pot big enough to soak the size of wood I'm thinking of, except maybe a buck boiler for antlers.

I did a quick search of Craigslist, and apparently a lot of people out in the Portland area keep big tanks XD there's a bunch of 55-200 gallon tanks! I might just have to go with a 100 gallon... or bigger...
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:07 AM   #14
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Um... if you're doing a biotope based on a black-water environment, wood/leaf litter that leaches tannins is in no way a bad thing! *giggle* I've seen people soak the bigger pieces in bathtubs, lol! You'll find a way!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:10 AM   #15
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Haven't done a lot of research on the habitats in the Congo region of Africa... didn't realize they're black-water XD I didn't want any of my current tanks to be black-water environments, so that's a reason I've avoided it thus far!
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