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Postby Tom Barr » 15 Feb 2008 18:36
Halo Toby,

Some of the readers might like this DIY project:

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I used electrical conduit pipe, 1/2"(about 1.4 cm) diameter
The tool is the pipe bender. I made two bends on this pipe to get the desired shape.
This cost about 1$ for the pipe and 25$ for the bender.
The brackets simply attach the rail to the stand(alos DIY, cost 40$ total).

I will tie the light wire into the pipe to hide it further.

Enjoy and hopefully some of you can make one of these, they can painted to suit a color choice etc.

Tom Barr
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Postby Mark1 » 15 Feb 2008 19:17
Hi Tom,

sound´s interesting, what lamp did you use?

I´m already looking out for a "house" in which I can put my Compact Fluorescent Lamps...do you have an idea?

Regards,
Mark.
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Hi Tom,

das sieht interessant aus, was für eine Lampe hast Du benutzt?

Ich suche schon länger nach einem Gehäuse in das ich meine Compact Leuchtstofflampen einbauen kann, hast Du eine Idee?

Grüße,
Mark.
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Postby Tom Barr » 19 Feb 2008 06:20
It's much like th Aqua medic Ocean light, but cost 135$ USA, about 1/2 the cost of the AM light(250-300$).
Came with a 10,000 K bulb, but I have ADA 8000K HQI bulbs as well.

Regards,
tom Barr
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Postby nik » 19 Feb 2008 07:30
Hi Tom,

thank you for sharing this great idea.

Regards,
Nik
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Postby Tom Barr » 20 Feb 2008 03:27
Here's some other designs:

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This is a 180 Gallon tank I'm getting ready:

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The light is not on the hanger for this tank, but you can still see the clips that hold it.
Same style as the smaller 2ft version above.

Regards,
tom barr
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Postby Mark1 » 20 Feb 2008 08:39
Woah, these rimless tanks look extraordinary great!

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Woah, diese strebenlosen Becken sehen großartig aus!
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Postby Tom Barr » 21 Feb 2008 12:38
Mark1 wrote:Woah, these rimless tanks look extraordinary great!

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Woah, diese strebenlosen Becken sehen großartig aus!


Yes, that is all I own these days. I use to make them, but now I have other folks make them for me:)

The look and feel is very nice, there are no tubes or wires other than the lights, which I'll tie to the steel post. I will be painting the post and the fixtures a steel colored silver enamel paint to match things better.

Setting up 5 large tanks in your home is a bit of a slow process. But I prefer it this way, otherwise you work like a dog:)

All the tanks are drilled with bulk heads on the bottom and large canister style filtration with high flow rates and get back washed via valve system every week when I do the water changes and refill through the same port.

I put pressure gauges to know when I need to change the filters as well.
I use a hybrid CO2 method. I use a mazzi venturi valve and a needle wheel in line CO2 mist method. Much like protein skimmers, I use a similar method, but in line to get a nice super fine froth of CO2. Adding this with high current yeilds optimal CO2 control and results.

The lighting is HQI and powercompact lights, I have a GE 9325K red plant bulb on the rear of the 60 Gallon cubes and 6700K for the others. I wish GE made a 96W 9235K bulb, they are nice.
But I have nice HQI bulbs as well.

Fish really look nice under HQI lighting also.

I do not run the HQI's that long though and I have electronic ballast for them also.
The plants I prune every 2 weeks pays for the electric bill also.

I'll be doing a dry start method for the 180 Gal(the one with the wood and ADA aqua soil in it).
If you garden a lot and like that aspect of the hobby, you really should go open top and rimless.

It makes working on the tanks a pleasure and they have a much nicer impact on the surrounding space in your home.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Postby Mark1 » 21 Feb 2008 14:05
Hi Tom,

I agree totally with your opinion, but how thick would I have to take the glass for a tank which measures 160 x 60 x 60 in cm?

12 mm? 15 mm?

Alone the tank would have a weight, which I can´t use in our old house which has wooden floors, it won´t take that weight.

Regards,
Mark.
P.S.: I ´ve just set up a 50 cm Iwagumi with U. graminifolia and 70 Watt HQI bulb, DIY CO2, ADA Africana and Powersand, looking forward to what it´ll look like in a few weeks.
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Postby Tom Barr » 22 Feb 2008 03:41
I'd use 15mm.

I'd get a Gas tank system for your CO2.


Regards,
Tom Barr
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Postby Mark1 » 22 Feb 2008 09:32
Hi Tom,

I will use a gas tank system, but I have to wait until I can rent a big CO2 Bottle, from which I can refill the 2000 g Bottles myself.

I don´t want to run to the petshop when my bottles are empty, usually they get empty at the weekend ;).

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Postby Tom Barr » 22 Feb 2008 21:33
Yes, they always run out when you cannot get more or when you are away. That is Murphy's Law.

I am quite pleased with the process though, the ADA light bar for the 38 Gallon tank would have cost 180$+ shipping or tax. So this cost about 20X less and looks about as good.
The lights also where much better priced than the ADA solar series, 800$ for a single 150W + 2x 32 W PC lights, I got a better design and more PC lighting for 350$ for the same size configuration.

The single 150HQI on the small tank is only 135$ with lamp included, so it was a mere 220$ for everything seen, the stand which was DIY, the Light and the stand to hold the light.
The 150W HQI ADA light was about 500$ and 180$ for the light holder, 900$ for the stand. So almost 10X less cost.

I still get the same results since I use the ADA aqua soil.

I have liked the ADA As a lot, I did several test both with and without power sand and found no difference in growth rates over almost 2 years on 4 replicates. More than enough to suggest that there is no difference due to chance alone. Since, I've used nothing but the ADA As alone, which is much less messy.

Tobi mentioned that many do not like to add fertilizer to their tanks, but whether it's in the sediment or the water column, makes little difference to algae, fish and toxicity etc.
So you are adding it, actually a lot, but as sediment, and simply because you cannot measure it with the test methods you use, does not imply the water is better for fish or not.
NH4 is a lot worse than NO3 in terms of low level toxicity.
Generally, I do about 3/4 EI on such tanks from most macro nutrients and a bit higher than EI for traces, this allows for less draw from the soil(It last longer) and less demand from the water column,. so together, you more "wiggle room" or flexibilty and ultimately better long term growth, than if you used just one method, water column or sediment based fertilization.

Use both to your advantage, that is the wiser choice, not just one.

Here's another shot of the 60 gal cube(60cm) that will be mainly for Congo tetras.
I like the 2ft long PC lights because I can get more types of colors for that length, namely the GE 9235K bulbs.
The longer 3 ft 96W PC bulbs are 6700, but I have 8000K ADA bulbs for everything else.

So I'll get good color rendition and nice effects on the fish color as well as a nice light spread, these hoods are only 7cm high! And they are 15 inches, or about 38cm between the front and rear Powercompact lights, over a 60 cm distance, which means excellent spread and angles for the plants.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Postby Tom Barr » 07 Mar 2008 23:54
More:

Finally received the hood:

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I used a LiCOR integrating sphere probe light meter and an Apogee light meter and it had ideal ranges for light in microlmoles.
Roughly 600 at the water's surface with PC + HQI together and with the Pc lights alone about 40 at the lowest points near the front and rear gravel edge on the bottom(most plants are okay with this, 25 or less and it gets tough though)

With the PC alone, I have about 180-200 at the surface.
So over all, I can vary the lighting around many different ways and still can raise and lower the light up or down to reduce or increase the intensity from these ranges.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Postby Mark1 » 08 Mar 2008 08:11
Hi Tom,

please keep us updated, your tank looks promising!
I wish one could get lighting systems like the one you use, here in Europe.

But the costs for energy are a lot higher here.

At the moment I fight a battle with green Algae in the Highlighted Iwagumi, although I´ve reduced the lighting period down to 2 x 3 Hours and have pressurized CO2 with it.

I should´nt habe stopped daily Waterchange after a week ;).

Regards,
Mark.
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Postby Tom Barr » 10 Mar 2008 07:08
Using less, not more light is the key to making the tanks easier to balance.

I have a lot of light, but do not use it much. ADA is the same.
Mostly low light throughout most of the day.

Does not drain the nutrients(intercelluar reserves) if you do this for a couple of hours, if you do it all day, 10-12 hours, it can under intense light.
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Postby Tom Barr » 01 May 2008 20:54
Here is the dry start method on the 180 Gallon.
I removed the 10,000K HQI and replaced with ADA 8000K which I like.

The HC is now about 2 weeks old. And nit has sent runners out about 3 cm in several directions per clump. I will flood the tank once the HC grows in well and then plant my stem plants in the rear.
Since the ADA aqua soil has NH4, it will be well cycled after 4-5 weeks, no water changes required and no algae and well rooted plants already well established!

I like having to do no work :D

Well cycled tank
Nice HC
No water changes
No algae
Can be used with many species of plants.

Image

Regards,
Tom Barr
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