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Jeffrey 08-06-2013 01:24 AM

New 10g Long
 
Hey guys, I'm moving back to my apartment at school in a little over a month so I'm planning a new tank for my room. I wanted to try something new and stay away from the regular tank shapes/stocking/etc. Here is the setup!

Tank:
I have been looking at different tank shapes trying to find a good fit. I've been liking the shallower look for quite a while, so I figured this was as good a chance as any to try it out. The mr aqua 12 gallon long looked great, but it is glass. Since this tank will be with me at school I'll eventually have to move it, and I DO NOT like moving glass tanks. I'm going to have a custom acrylic tank built. Dimensions will be 32"x9"x9", black background, euro braced with a single cross brace in the center. This will give me a way larger footprint than a regular 10g even though the tank is only 11g. It's going to be made by GPS in Sacramento. They called me after I requested a quote to get a feel for what I was looking for, and the quote came quickly after with a few solid models of potential configurations. I'm impressed with them so far, a lot of the other acrylic manufacturers I have contacted just didn't seem interested in doing business, it's kinda strange. Does anyone have experience with GPS?

Filter:
I'm going to build another in tank filter for this setup. See my last build thread, http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...8/#post1459165, if you're interested. This filter will be built into the far end of the tank (end furthest from my desk). It's going to have three chambers, one for mechanical, one for biological, and one for a small sump to hide the pump and heater. This is probably tough to visualize, I'll try to get some solid models up soon. I really like this type of filter because it is so quiet. All the equipment is submerged so the water damps out any vibrations. The filter return will run to the far end of the tank to give me good flow across the whole length of the tank. I'm not sure if I'll run the return outside across the back of the tank, or keep it internal and run it under the gravel along the back.

Heater:
I used a Marina 78 degree fixed heater on my last tank and really liked it. I'll probably use something similar. We will see, for small tanks I don't really feel like heater choice is critical.

Lights:
I'm going to be building myself a new LED fixture. probably will use 10-15 1W diodes, but I'll use a dim-able driver this time so I can fine tune my brightness. I'm not exactly sure how I want to mount it all, but these 1W diodes don't generate too much heat so nothing fancy. For now I think I'll just mount them all to a long piece of aluminum L-bracket. The L-bracket will mount to a piece of acrylic which I will heat up and bend into place over the tank. I hope this will look really clean and be quick to put together. The diodes will be mostly 6500k white, perhaps with some 450nm blue and 660 nm red for color. I'll probably use the cheap Epistar diodes again just because they are so cheap, and this tank is so shallow I really don't need fancier diodes.

Substrate/ferts:
Probably going to use playsand. I just really like the way it looks and the cories love it. I tried fluorite sand on my last tank and didn't feel like it was worth it. I also disliked how cloudy it was when disturbed. I'll probably start out with flourish comprehensive, it's always done well by me. I'd like to try some root tabs too so we will see about that.

CO2:
I've been wanting to try out CO2 on one of my tanks for a long time. My dad has a 5lb cylinder with regulator, solenoid and ph controller that isn't being used. It was from a 100g tank we had in a previous house when I was younger. I'm going to borrow it for this tank. I'm feeling really uncertain about the ph controller though. I don't have much experience with CO2 setups (so please chime in here) but it seems to me a pH controller isn't actually a very good way to control CO2 levels in the tank. Since it isn't actually measuring the CO2 concentration, it seems that any of the things that could normally change pH would throw the CO2 concentrations off. Maybe if you kept a careful eye on other water parameters the pH probe could give accurate CO2 regulation. I just feel iffy about it. I think it would be better for me to just put the CO2 solenoid on the same (or similar) timer as my lights and use a drop checker to estimate concentration. I'd really like feedback on this if anyone has experience. Either way, for diffusion I think I'm going to just route the CO2 hose into the filter return, if this is insufficient I can try something else.

Inverts:
Definitely going to add malaysian trumpet snails to this tank. I absolutely love these things. Their gentle burrowing keeps the substrate SO healthy. And since they burrow you hardly ever see them except when they come up to eat sinking tablets.
I'll probably get a few amano shrimp, I've been hearing what great algae eaters they are and want to see it for myself. I'll also be putting in some smaller shrimp. Probably just cherries since they are so easy, but it could be fun to try something new with some different color.

Fish:
For a while I was contemplating trying to build my stocking around a pair of blue rams (love this fish) but I think that despite the increased footprint of this tank there just isn't enough space for rams. Instead my centerpiece is going to be a school of ember tetras. I'll also be getting about 6 corydorus habrosus for the first time, I have been looking forward to getting some of these little guys since I found out about them. I'll likely get a few otos as well, these guys are just too great with plants to pass up, and they always do well for me. I'm not sure how full the tank will look with these two schools and the otos, I'll have to wait and see. If there is space for more fish I may add a sparkling gourami or two, but it's more likely that if I really think I have room for more fish I'll just add to the ember tetra school.

Plants:
I was thinking about trying some dwarf baby tears, but I think it's going to be too high maintenance for me. I really want to plant part of the aquarium with pygmy sword, really like the look of this stuff. I'll probably have some anubias nana or anubias barteri growing in the shade of a biggish piece of driftwood. I also really want to try some hydrocotle tripartita, I've loved the look of this plant ever since I first saw it, just haven't gotten to try it out yet. I'll likely plant a few stands of stem plants as well, we will see. I'd love to get plant suggestions if anyone has any :-)

That's all for now, let me know what you think! I'd love to hear all suggestions.

djembekah 08-06-2013 01:43 AM

This sounds like it'll be a neat project, I can't wait to see the custom tank! not sure how CO2 or pH regulating works but hopefully someone will drop in and weigh in on that. I don't know much about the technical parts of building a tank, but I'm interested to see how it works out.

i like the sound of your livestock and plants too, though I was under the impression tetras may need more space than 10/11 gallons. though the footprint is probably what really matters for them. I love your choices of inverts- i definitely like MTS, and from my small bit of experience with shrimp, I love them too.

just curious- do you know what the water parameters are where you'll be setting up the tank?

Jeffrey 08-06-2013 02:07 AM

The water is terribly hard, like 300-400 tds if I remember correctly. I had good results diluting it with distilled for my last tank. This time I'll be picking up a GH/KH test kit so I can tell exactly what is going on.

Tetras are pretty active and DO prefer more space. However I have two thing going for me. First, as you said the footprint does help. Second, ember tetras are pretty small, as far as I know they are some of the smallest, and I selected them for exactly this reason.

I'll be posting pictures and explanations of every part of the build so you guys can all follow along :-)

djembekah 08-06-2013 02:17 AM

Awesome! Glad to hear all that. my GH/KH kit is super handy. My water is so soft, plants don't grow very well, but my south american fish seem to flourish in it. I was thinking tetras and cories usually preferred softer water, but if you've got a system, I'm all about that! :)

that makes me want to look into ember tetras for my 29 gallon...hmmm

Jeffrey 08-06-2013 02:25 AM

I wish I had space for a 29... First thing I'm gonna do when I get a house is setup a 29 with a blue ram pair, rummy noses, and hatchetfish =D

djembekah 08-06-2013 02:28 AM

that'll be an awesome tank! I definitely want to get hatchets at some point, but currently, I have kind of a hodge podge of fish in my 29 (an angel who's mate died, 3 remaining betta females from a sorority, a couple of swordtails, the last zebra danio from my shoal, cories and a bn pleco), along with a bunch of snails. thank goodness for plants! after the miscellaneous fish die, i'm considering german blue rams or apistos, along with another shoal of something.

Jeffrey 08-06-2013 02:34 AM

Ooh apistos are another fish I'd like to try eventually. multiple tank syndrome is going to strike hard once I have space haha...

djembekah 08-06-2013 02:50 AM

i still live at home, and i have MTS for sure. two small betta tanks, along with the 29 gallon, lol. Whenever i finally move out I'm sure I'll keep my 29, get something bigger, and keep at least one 5 gallon tank for a betta....i'll have to get a python!

Jeffrey 08-12-2013 12:12 AM

Ok been working on the tank plans and wanted to get feedback on a few points.

My last tank had a built in overflow. The cherry shrimp loved to get stuck in it (especially the babies). Shrimp are going to be a big part of this tank and I really don't want them getting sucked into the filter. Is there anything I can do to baby shrimp proof an overflow or do I just need to use an intake tube with a sponge? It seems to me that any screen I put across the overflow that is fine enough to keep baby cherries out will also collect almost all the debris that the mechanical filter foam would normally collect. Thoughts? I really like the overflow because it keeps all the parts of the filter out of the main tank and would like to keep it this way if I can.

I think I'm going to build my self a small CO2 reactor and tuck it into the sump for my CO2 diffusion. Anyone done this before? I'm also concerned that this will make my tank water "misty" looking.

Jeffrey 08-12-2013 01:04 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Here are a few screen shots of what I've got so far. External dimensions are still 32x9x9. The filter takes up the last three inches of the tank's length. Most of the objects are just rough outlines of pump/heater/etc. so I can get a feel for how it will all fit. The pipe along the back of the tank is the return from the filter, it will run under the sand and pop up to an adjustable 90 degree elbow. The objects in the filter are the pump (small box), CO2 reactor (big tube), heater (small tube). The pump will pump the return water to the top of the reactor via a hose, and the return will exit the bottom of the reactor and flow along the back of the tank. This model is still incomplete, most notably there is not yet any way for water to enter the filter as I haven't decided quite how I want the part yet. I'll try to post updated models in a few days.

Oh edit: First filter chamber is mechanical sponge, second is biological, probably ceramic.


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