A diamond in the rough....Hopefully
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A diamond in the rough....Hopefully

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A diamond in the rough....Hopefully
Old 12-12-2012, 03:39 AM   #1
 
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Lightbulb A diamond in the rough....Hopefully

Well i have managed to secure myself a bargain on Ebay for $60. I have a few research questions before I get into stocking discussions, Planting ideas and the DIY 3D component of the build. But i do have a wishlist ready once the tank is ready. I will be working to a budget of $50 per week, but this is absolutelly flexible and i will post the purchases as i go along. Maybe it might give others an idea.

Tank Dimensions
L 36" (92cm)
W 14" (36cm)
H 16" (42cm)

Capacity 36 G (140litres)

I have done a leak test for 48 hours and thankfully the tank held water. I also gave it a first clean to remove the nice water line around it using water. However i want to remove the hideous blue cheap paint on the back. I was thinking of using metholated spirits to remove the paint and give the inside a quick wipe to remove any remaining scum.

Q. Am i moving into dangerous ground with the metholated spirits?....I had intended to soak the tank again after the clean to confirm no leaks. Any advice before i begin.

The base and hood need a little loving to remove a mould stain which in the absence of tank leaks i can only assume condensation from the heater and tank. We shall call that a work in progress.

My next concern is filtration. I am pretty keen to get an external canister filter (Eheim) for the tank but i cant remember the general rule. Is it 3 or 4 times tank capacity pumped per hour.

Heating again is a concern. I am looking at a 200w heater but after all i want your advice on the best options. Is 200w enough for the capacity but I am considering 2 150w heaters to run the tank and act as an emergency if one fails. Your thoughts

Lastly lighting. The light fixture in the hood is stuffed and well i want a new one. It is going to be a planted community tank and i would like to provide low to medium lighting to sustain the plants and not blind the fish. Reading the articles and it talks about T5 T8 daylight, All a little confusing but informaton is power and want to get it right.

I think that is enough for now. I have a workbook full of ideas which i hope to throw your way as the build progresses. Designs and sketches for the 3D backdrop.......its a mess but i want to take it slow so i get it right first time.

Thanks for all your help

TitanTDH
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:21 AM   #2
 
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You might try one of those cheap razor blade paint scrapers on the back before trying any chemicals. Vinegar and good old elbow grease with a kitchen scrubby usually work well on mineral stains and I'd just scrub the scum with a scrubby when you do your next leak test. 200W is fine for your tank. Many people use two heaters in long tanks to distribute heat better and to have a back up. If heater failure is a big concern for you, go with the two 150W, otherwise the one 200W is quite sufficient. I forget what the filter formula is. I usually just get a filter that is rated at or just a bit larger than the tank size. For the hood, I'd suggest a two lamp T8 fixture and use Daylight 6500K tubes. The fixture on my 36" plated tank has only one tube and I wish it had two. T8 is the diameter of the tube in 1/8 inches. So T8 equals 1" and T5 equals 5/8". T5s are more energy efficient, but they cost a lot more initially. Well, that's all I've got. Good luck.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:22 PM   #3
 
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I would agree with a dual-tube T8 light fixture, using 30-inch tubes. You might find one with 36-inch tubes, not sure, and that would be OK. But no shorter than 30-inch for the tubes, and two of them. In T8. T5 is more intense lighting, and a single 30 or 36-inch T5 would work, if you can find one. But a dual T5 would be too much, assuming this is natural planted and not high-tech with diffused CO2.

A glass cover that fits on the inside lip around the frame, then the light fixture that sits across the tank resting on the ends. This will be less expensive, but it also provides options; the hood units usually only have a single T8.

As you intend planted, I would get a canister that is rated for the tank. With plants you don't need more, either filtration or water movement. And as you are getting a canister, avoid the heater issue by getting a canister with a heating unit. I have one, an Eheim it happens to be, and this is exceptional. But if that is not possible, a 250w heater but a good reliable make; nothing is as important as the heater.

I have a 4-part series on a natural planted tank stickied in the Aquarium Plants section that might provide you some background on all this.

Byron.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
 
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Nice score! Love the stand and hood.

I run two heaters in my basement tank, in case one dies. The basement is quite cool. The wattage you need depends on the manufacturer in my experience.

I have a single T8 30" strip on my 36", 35 gallon tank and my plants are doing great. They are all low light plants. I use fert tabs and Flourish Comp liquid fertilizer.



The two on the left are fake but the rest are real, including the giant val on the right. All seem to be doing fine with low light and fertilizer.



Ignore my wife's ugly substrate.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:54 PM   #5
 
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Thanks so far. Going to hardware store to get a scraper and well vinegar sounds much better than mentholated spirits.

Will be proceeding to the LFS and looking at a two tube t8 fixture. Working on the sticky info using the 1w per gallon rule. Should the fixture be rated to 40 watts with two 40 watt globes or should it be 40 watts with 20 watt globes. Going to get a daylight 6500 globe and blue spectrum globe.

Byron when I read filtration component of the sticky I think it basically says a 1:1 ratio (tank volume: filter capacity) is that a correct assumption? Interested with the built in heater. Can you give me a model nnumber or is it an inline heater attached. I will put a second in the tank as the backup. Also I intended to plumb the outlet in a corner behind the 3d background and let it roll over the edge to reduce surface disturbance yet provide a little flow throught the tank.

And as they say Canadian fish happy wife happy life. I have to wait until mine goes to sea before I really get stuck in to the build.

Cheers all
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Will be proceeding to the LFS and looking at a two tube t8 fixture. Working on the sticky info using the 1w per gallon rule. Should the fixture be rated to 40 watts with two 40 watt globes or should it be 40 watts with 20 watt globes. Going to get a daylight 6500 globe and blue spectrum globe.
Watts per gallon is only a rough guide, but with the newer tubes this falls down. I work more with tank size (length esp) and then number of T8 or T5 tubes. So two T8 tubes over a 4 foot tank, etc. Your fixture will have either 30 or 36 inch tubes in it, and the 30-inch is 25w standard. But that doesn't matter, because they are all the same, or some may be less watts with equal intensity. Watts is simply the measurement of energy (power) used to light the tube. The way the tube is made with phosphors and such can vary the intensity.

I don't know what the "blue" is, but be careful. Actinic don't work well over planted tanks. I guess you may be picking up on my "combo" ideas in the sticky, and I found that worked quite well. But two tubes around 6500K are near-perfect, so it is up to you. You can combine a 6500K with a 5000K for a "warmer" hue, or a 6500K with a 9000K for a "cooler" hue. The hardware-type stores generally don't carry the "blue" tubes, so if you want to save money, two Daylight 6500K will be fine. I like the GE, but I also have Phillips, and have used Sylvania.

Quote:
Byron when I read filtration component of the sticky I think it basically says a 1:1 ratio (tank volume: filter capacity) is that a correct assumption? Interested with the built in heater. Can you give me a model nnumber or is it an inline heater attached. I will put a second in the tank as the backup. Also I intended to plumb the outlet in a corner behind the 3d background and let it roll over the edge to reduce surface disturbance yet provide a little flow throught the tank.
I must check that, didn't know I mentioned it. I just use a canister rated to the tank. I happen to have two Eheims and a Rena Filstar XP3. One of the Eheim has the heater, it is an old Professionel II canister that I bought in 1997 and it has been running non-stop ever since with no problems at all. Eheim are very well made; more expensive initially, but they last and last. I also like the Rena, but most will say it is probably not going to have the life of an Eheim; so far (only 3 years) it is doing well.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:14 PM   #7
 
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With the 1:1 ratio I was looking at the eheim classic 150. Pump output is 300litres per hour. So basically it would cycle the tank twice per hour. Thanks on the light info. Will go into the LFS and look a little deeper and post actual specs for all to comment.

Cheers
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:22 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanTDH View Post
With the 1:1 ratio I was looking at the eheim classic 150. Pump output is 300litres per hour. So basically it would cycle the tank twice per hour. Thanks on the light info. Will go into the LFS and look a little deeper and post actual specs for all to comment.

Cheers
The Classic 150 is rated for up to 40g, so that will work on your 36g. I know some will suggest more, but you are going with live plants and that makes a big difference. Remember that a well planted tank that is not overcrowded and has the right fish for compatibility does not really need a filter at all. So when we add one, it doesn't have to be monstrous, as it will just be detrimental to fish and plants.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:06 AM   #9
 
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Well the first installment is on layby. Picked up the new t8 twin tube 36" light fixture. So within this weeks budget I put $50 down.

So cost so far is
Tank/stand $60 EBay
Light $50 (on layby) $65 left.

Comes with daylight and red tube. Not sure of kelvin rating but it isn't an issue until the plants go in. Some pics
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:21 AM   #10
 
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And this
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