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Joe's 75 Gallon Tank Journal -- Updated 1/23 -- End of the Road


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#1 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:55 PM

I really liked updating my projects as I went along, so I figured I'd resurrect my journal threads here by posting a condensed version of what brought me to where I am now with my tanks.

Started my 75 gallon project by building a stand...

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Priming and painting...

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After the stand was done, I decided to try a different approach with a DIY hanging light box, basically just made a wooden box that contained 4 48" T8 bulbs using scrap pieces from the stand build and a couple old shop lights...

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#2 ACrowe25

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:10 PM

Wow! Beautiful looking tank! I think I've seen some pics before but it's amazing to see the dedication you have put into it. Very nice job.
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#3 GTR_Kevv

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:20 PM

Are you a carpenter joe?

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#4 XiDiS

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:24 PM

In picture 2.. the inside braces. Why did you take those all the way to the floor? Wouldnt it be stronger that way?
And where did you get those mounts for the lights. Those things are perfect especially if your renting and cant screw into the cieling like at my place.
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#5 DiPpY eGgS

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:03 PM

That is KILLER!

Great job, Joe!!
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#6 CuzIsaidSo

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:17 PM

i remember this Joe...if i remember correctly you didn't use a hanging kit for the canopy. I think I'm gonna copy that hanging canopy for my 75g...what did you use for the poles again???
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#7 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:08 PM

Are you a carpenter joe?

I'm not a carpenter, I just do woodworking stuff for fun. This stand actually turned out pretty bad -- I got really busy and had to put the project on hold for about 3 months right after I got the frame of the stand done and when I finally had the time to work on it again, I rushed through the skinning and finishing process leaving two really obvious seams on the front panel, there are also some other minor cosmetic issues with it, but after staring at a brand new empty tank sitting in my house for months, I was in a hurry to get it set up. I am much happier with my other stands since I spent more time on them, but I will be building a new stand this winter and I plan on taking my time with that one.

In picture 2.. the inside braces. Why did you take those all the way to the floor? Wouldnt it be stronger that way?
And where did you get those mounts for the lights. Those things are perfect especially if your renting and cant screw into the cieling like at my place.

Those inner 2x4 pieces on the uprights are nothing more than screw strips, they are just there to keep the outer pieces square and lined up with the upper and lower frames. This stand was WAY overbuilt, 4 2x4s as uprights could easily hold the weight and I had 12.

I actually made the light hangers out of electrical conduit... I am planning on getting new lighting for my 75 and will be doing a similar project for that, so I'll go into more detail later.

#8 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:16 PM

I have gone with a few different looks since I set this tank up:

Started with a driftwood-only setup...

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After a couple months, I couldn't resist putting some plants in there...

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Spent a long time debating before I decided to go all-in on a blackwater setup...

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The blackwater tank lasted for quite awhile until the addiction known as planted tanks came back and reared its ugly head :D -- now here is what it looked like last time I took pics ....

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#9 White Rhom

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:36 PM

Looks absolutely amazing joe. Great job as usual. What are you rubbig for lighting?
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#10 jp80911

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 09:08 PM

Looks great Joe, nice stand build and great aquascape. rhom is getting big too.

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#11 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 08:52 AM

Right now I'm running a DIY fixture with 2 48" T8 bulbs along with a Coralife dual T5NO, but I'm planning on upgrading within the next few weeks as soon as I make up my mind.

Here's the tank specs...

75 gallon All Glass
2x Eheim 2217s
Hydor 300w inline heater
Hydor Koralia 4
1x Coralife 48" dual T5NO fixture
1x DIY 48" dual T8 fixture
Pinpoint wireless thermometer

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#12 Scars

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 09:20 AM

Every single aquascape you have here was/is gorgeous.

#13 ACrowe25

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 05:26 PM

Sorry, wrong place.

Edited by ACrowe25, 08 October 2011 - 10:04 PM.

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#14 Dolokhov

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 12:41 PM

Joe those are some nice crypts.

The entire build is beautiful, very solid work!

#15 White Rhom

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 08:47 AM

Where did yo find those mounting legs Joe? Going to take your advice and raise my fixture another 4-6inches
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#16 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 09:17 AM

The hangers are made from electrical conduit, you can get it at any hardware store -- I bought the heavier stuff since my light box had some weight to it, if your fixture is light, you could go with a smaller diameter. I found a couple caps for the ends and then used eye bolts to attach the chains. I think it was less than $10 to get everything.

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#17 White Rhom

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 09:27 AM

Thanks for the quick reply joe!
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#18 JoeDizzleMPLS

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 04:25 PM

When I get new lighting, I have to move the tank to put hangers on the back of the stand and I want to move the tank a bit to the left, which means that I'd have to drain the tank. I figure that since I'll have new lighting and I'll have to drain the tank anyways, it would be a good time for a major re-scape. I was looking at the tank today trying to come up with some ideas and decided to snap a couple pictures to play around with on PS. Figured I'd post a few here to show where the tank is at now growth wise.

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#19 ACrowe25

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 04:35 PM

WOW! Nice growth. Maybe mine will look like this one day :)
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#20 CuzIsaidSo

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 05:58 PM

Joe is my inspiration to get into planted tanks :)

what is the small plant between the driftwood and the wendtii?
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