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Discussion Starter #1
Well a couple of weeks ago I decided I would buy a 180gallon drilled tank from King Ed Pet Centre and will be picking it up soon. Last Saturday I started to work on getting the room ready that it will be going in, cleaning it out, applying a couple of coats of kitchen/bath paint and of course as soon as I was done that I immediately started building my custom stand for it. Stand is made out of 3/4 good 2 side oak, doweled and stapled with a Cherry stain and 2-4 coats of semi gloss clear coat depending on what part of the cabinet it is.

I have a good idea what I'll be stocking the tank with, not set in stone yet, but I plan to have the tank up and running for 2-3 months with just plants and maybe a small school of neon tetra to begin with while I fine tune everything.

My son helping to put in the dowels for the dry fit of the cabinet pieces



Clear coating the cabinet pieces after staining



My two little helpers they weighed down the top as I screwed it down to the base



Due to where the fish tank will be located in the house I had to make the cabinet so it was multiple pieces. Left and right sides where shelving can be installed are separate boxes and I've used 1"x1" corner brackets to tie the kick plate, the top support and the counter top all down to each other. All hidden unless you get on your back and lay down inside the cabinet. If I need to in the future move the stand all I have to do is remove a few screws. The centre shelf is where I'll be placing the sump and can easily be removed as well. I still plan to put doors on at least the centre of the cabinet to hide the sump and possibly on the sides where the shelving are but all depends what I have left for material once canopy is made and sump doors are done.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks charles

I was figuring on having 50 or so cardinal as part of the final inhabitants of the tank.

Maybe I will try a fishless cycle save some money and not risk harming the fish
 

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do a fishless with store bought anmonia. Works well.

I have worked and setup a tank like yours but with a little different biotope. Instead of fully planted (I have to service it, so I don't want to spend hours trimming plants), we do a river bank look with rocks and branches and a big long trunk of wood across.

For the fish, we have 200 cardinals, 100 rummynose, 100 pencil, 200 hatchet, 100 cory, a few rams here and there, a few plecos, and 2 angels. The angels are there to keep the small tetra to school tight together. It looks very neat when you see a ball of cardinals move around in two groups whenever the big angels are coming by.
 

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Why not get a Friend to Seed your Tank for you? I just helped a Friend of mine seed His 120 Gal. Tank and on First Day threw a Doz. Guppies in,3 weeks later Water Parameters are near perfect and the Guppies have been breeding. I just put some of my already seeded filter media (Whisper Filter Pads) into 2 of His Aquaclears and squeezed some of the pads into the Water Column,it's a great way to get a Tank started,I've done it many times with nothing but great results.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is another option I was considering, although a fishless cycle will be a learning experience to so I might go that route. The wife is due end of October so theres no rush for me getting fish into the tank, and I plan let the plants grow out, do modifications and so on for first few months to get everything ironed out. Then I can turn the 29gallon tank we have into a hospital/quarantine tank.

I will probably be adding co2 and possibly a either a drip or a dosing pump for ferts. I think I'll probably go with a drip system as I can hide it in the canopy and would be cheaper as well
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tank is in the room now plus sump. Now I have to see how much energy I have to do the plumbing as moving that sucker took almost everything I had with the corners I had to go around, standing it up on edge to get it through the door into the room and so on... Oh well minor drywalll repairs and painting to be done at least I didn't have to take out studs/door jambs like I thought I might!

 

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lol .....minor drywalll repairs. Nice to see ya finally got it Kevin...look forward to the updates. The stand looks great. Very envious, wish I could fit that size tank in my place
 

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Looks awesome so far....
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Well the wife decided to have her water break at 33 weeks into the pregnancy so I haven't had much time to finish the setup, she gave birth on Sunday morning to a beautiful little alien, errrr daughter at 33 weeks 5 days weighing 4 pounds 2 ounces.

I managed to get a few hours of work in today before the migraine came on so thought I'd update this.

Start of the lighting into the canopy, yes I know part of it isn't stained! I ran out of stain for that last little bit :(. When done it will be running 3 rows of white, 2 rows of blue and 2 rows of red all setup to different timing


I decided to make life easier and setup a 44gallon trash can to age water, I've put a sump in the bottom of it and hard plumbed it. I've set it up so that the inlet hose can be placed in the tank to remove water from the tank, or left in the bucket to remove water from the bucket. Outlet has a 2way splitter on it one with a 20ft hose and other with a 6ft hose. 20ft hose can be run to sink to drain for water change from tank and can hookup to faucet at sink to refill the bucket. Other side of the splitter has a 6ft hose that can just be run into the tank when refilling from the pre-aged water in the bucket. I siliconed the sump the bottom of the bucket and placed a 3/4 pvc frame inside the bucket to act as a brace for the sump which is zap strapped to it and as well support a sheet of egg crate so hoses can be neatly rolled up when done and stored in the bucket top out of the water.




Not sure when I'll get around to actually getting around to aquascaping as it could be upwards of a month before the baby is home from the hospital but I'll keep updating as I do things =)
 

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Looks awesome, really a nice job on the stand and great idea's all around.

Congrats on the baby and all the best in being a dad, it's awesome

Douglas
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is third child, I've had no time because I'm playing Mr. Mom right now on top of working 40+ hours a week... wearing thing and I'm coming down with a cold now that kids are in school :(
 

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Yup it's awesome, bet you wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.. except maybe a break... but hey, being a dad's the bomb right???

Douglas
 

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Nice start. Too bad I didn't see this thread earlier. If you're going to fully plant this tank and stock it lightly, fishless cycle is a waste of time as the plants are a net consumer of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and will consume those products in that order. So when you add the ammonia in, the plants will just take it up. Just put the water in and scape it and plant it with lots of plants, make sure temp, pH is stable and there is no chlorine and add the fish.

Here's an article that explains why this works. Cycling a Planted Tank | Rex's Guide to Planted Tanks
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just through on the doors and put in the diy spray bar that I made I have a couple of holes drilled pointing to back of tank and most pointing towards front. I made it to replace the megaflow twin flow that came in the kit as I didn't like being limited to the bends I could make using it. I've linked both of the inlets in the tank and I drilled out using 3/16 bit to create same area that the original megalflow twin flow had. I noticed with the extra 3 feet of 3/4 pipe that was now in the tank that the pressure going through the pipe wasn't as great as it needed to be and also the pumps in the sump were almost sucking it dry and sending air up the tube from time to time. Easily solution was increase the amount of water in the sump. I slowly increased the amount of water in the sump until I hit the point where the pumps would run without sending air up the pipe from time to time and then turned everything off and let the sump fill with what was in the overflow and marked the level on the sump. This solved the pressure problem as well which was caused by not enough water being sent up from the sump from "running dry".

Doors were all cut from same piece of oak so the grain runs from one door to the next... sure cost me a extra $55 for the sheet but doing it right for the best look is what matters to me =)


I can change the angle of the pipes as I only glued together certain parts and others are just pressure fit. This will allow me to put the holes fully in the water to prevent too much surface movement for future co2 addition.


 

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Discussion Starter #17
Nice start. Too bad I didn't see this thread earlier. If you're going to fully plant this tank and stock it lightly, fishless cycle is a waste of time as the plants are a net consumer of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and will consume those products in that order. So when you add the ammonia in, the plants will just take it up. Just put the water in and scape it and plant it with lots of plants, make sure temp, pH is stable and there is no chlorine and add the fish.

Here's an article that explains why this works. Cycling a Planted Tank | Rex's Guide to Planted Tanks
I have since decided not to do a fishless cycle, by the time I get around to having this fully setup I don't want it not to be stocked for any longer then needed! Time to go and read, and educate myself more. Thanks =)
 

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Congrats on the new baby. They sure do look like Aliens when they are born. LOL. Especially when the are pre mature.

Your tank setup looks great. Cant wait to see how it turns out. I always enjoy watching the DIY builds. Looks like lots of work but Im sure the pay off in the end is well worth it.
 

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Doors were all cut from same piece of oak so the grain runs from one door to the next... sure cost me a extra $55 for the sheet but doing it right for the best look is what matters to me =)
It's worth the extra if it's going to be a piece of furniture and not just a prop for the tank. We did our kitchen cabinets this way and everyone notices how the panels run continously across with aligned grained. A very nice look. I very nice setup. May I ask why you opted not to create a "lip" on the top of the stand to cover up the frame of the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It's worth the extra if it's going to be a piece of furniture and not just a prop for the tank. We did our kitchen cabinets this way and everyone notices how the panels run continously across with aligned grained. A very nice look. I very nice setup. May I ask why you opted not to create a "lip" on the top of the stand to cover up the frame of the tank?
Well it hadn't crossed my mind really to trim out the frame of the tank on the bottom when I was designing it. To me it actually looks fine the way it is. I had considered just getting some oak battens or something similar and using a couple of spots of silicone to hold it onto the frame and still might do so. On a side note if I had trimmed the cabinet prior to placing the tank I'd be cursing myself anyways. With the tank being only accessible on the front and 1 side it is rather awkward trying to move a 180gallon tank into place. It is bottom drilled and took 3 of us lift it back up and drop it down in place due to the other end being inaccessible.
 
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