DIY 40 gallon Breeder - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 28 Old 01-15-2013, 04:05 PM
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The heat would take out your Plexiglass in short order. It can't stand heat as well as glass. The edge covering should be perfect for your glass or you can sand the edge with an emory cloth, which will take the rough edge off.

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post #12 of 28 Old 01-16-2013, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
The hood has been siliconed, hopefully the plexi will help support the middle section of glass, but I doubt it once its got the light and water to deal with. The middle section sagging a bit is fine either way.

This pic shows the bit of sag that it has, would likely not happen with the same glass on a 2ft tank.


This is will the tubing and plexi both which provide a bit of support, ATM anyway.


I finally finished the hood tonight . Now after a LOT of thought I settled on spiral CFLS for a couple reasons. First the hood had to be custom to give me enough light spread(had to be wide). I did not want to hassle with ordering any lights (3ft T5 bulbs would be too big a hassle and expense to order/buy locally). I wanted something that was simple and really could not fail. Spiral CFLs have an advantage over other bulbs in that they are self-ballasted individually. This saves more space for the bulbs in the hood, less wires, and no expensive $40 ballast replacement 5-10 years down the road. The hood technically has adjustable wattage if you decide to remove 1, 2, or more bulbs. The bulbs are still a bit expensive over all, $22.50 for all 8. They are 13 watt 6500K and rated at 840 lumens each, total wattage is 104 watts. The down side is they don't give as good spread as linear tubes, but with good wide reflectors that can be minimized. About half my tanks use these same bulbs and some are running 2+ years, even with plants I don't like replacing bulbs until they burn out especially with pricier HO T5 and PC bulbs. The CFLs can at least be reused around the house if they get too dim for the tank.

Okay now pics.




Enough tape will splice any wires.


Total cost breakdown for the light was:
wood - $17
Bulbs- $22.50
8" wide Aluminum Flashing - $6
4 twin cluster sockets - $18 - only Menard seems to carry these
Total - $64 which is more then I would of liked but meh. My $150 goal isn't looking that good lol

You could easily do a DIY sponge filter for very little cost, however I want some decent flow in this tank. This is a used HOT Magnum 250 I got for $10. I'm gonna see how it does with a prefilter at least, since the mangums have a really s###y design were the impeller gets to chew on everything it sucks up. The heater is a really cheap Hagen elite non-submersible off amazon for $9.30, I got a couple for other tanks and backup heaters w/ free shipping. I've had good experience with them despite their cheapness. I have one that is 6 years old that has outlived 4 submersibles in that time and never given my any issues except when I accidentally drowned it and had to take it apart and dry it out .



The tank is pretty much ready to be filled, I just need to do substrate. I'm thinking either soil/sand or just sand either way it will be cheap and messy.
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post #13 of 28 Old 01-17-2013, 06:21 AM
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Looking good!

I've always thought of making a hood to go with my dyi stand, but the idea has always scared me off. It seams more complicated to me than the stand itself :D Looks far better than mine where I just have shop lights sitting on top of the glass lids.

I have to ask, with the holes you punched through the aluminum flashing to run the electrical wires through, did you put a grommet in? It's a simple thing, but can have dire consequences (for yourself).
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post #14 of 28 Old 01-17-2013, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
That is the third hood I have completely built. I did not use any grommets. I understand why you are suggesting them but the wires have plenty of slack and are all secured so they should not move.

Btw i've been thinking do Midwest stores still sell topsoil in the middle of January?
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post #15 of 28 Old 01-17-2013, 12:51 PM
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Even secured wires will vibrate. Same reason building codes require them on electrical panels even though they may never get touched again after installation. Large trucks driving by, like a snow plow, will vibrate an entire house. Just walking will vibrate a floor. Loud music/movies. Kids. etc.

I just mention it because they cost pennies, and most don't think about it.
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post #16 of 28 Old 01-17-2013, 06:26 PM
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Super job. Bet the plants will love your lights.

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post #17 of 28 Old 01-20-2013, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
well laid the soil and sand yesterday and filled it up. Heater and filter both running smoothly. Will work on adding some hardscape and plants later today. I have an auction next Saturday and will likely pull most plants I add to this tank and sell them there, since I can always grow more in a week or two. I'll do a waterchange if I feel really ambitious to get rid of the cloud water but I already have at least 2 other tanks to do today. I'm happy with my light tho it is spreading the light very well. I used a black garbage bag for the back ground. The substrate was just plain topsoil and then quickrete all purpose sand.



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post #18 of 28 Old 01-20-2013, 01:32 PM
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Mikaila I have a bag of the All purpose sand. I thought it was kinda sharp. Is it okay to use for substrate fish??? I really like the look of it but used it because of the the different size granules of the sand in it.
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post #19 of 28 Old 01-20-2013, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Mikaila I have a bag of the All purpose sand. I thought it was kinda sharp. Is it okay to use for substrate fish??? I really like the look of it but used it because of the the different size granules of the sand in it.
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I like it cuz its more a natural mix vs a graded sand that looks too uniform. I've no idea about its use for cories as me and those fish don't like eachother. But to be technical even regular sand is much harder then anything cories are usually dealing with in the wild.

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post #20 of 28 Old 01-20-2013, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
I like it cuz its more a natural mix vs a graded sand that looks too uniform. I've no idea about its use for cories as me and those fish don't like eachother. But to be technical even regular sand is much harder then anything cories are usually dealing with in the wild.
Welll hmmm ok I might just have to use it for the next tank I will set up. It looks good in your tank btw!

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