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 40g Breeder build

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cholt
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PostSubject: 40g Breeder build   Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:32 pm

First topic message reminder :

Hi guys. I have said I was going to start a thread about my 40g Breeder build. So here it is. Just a warning it will have a couple pictures from through out the build.

The first picture is of the stand being built but not completely finished. It still needs a couple leg supports added. Which you will see in a couple photos later.
Also sorry this photo is a little blurry. i was using my old phone to take this one.



The next couple of photos are from the stand "skinning" process. You can see the extra support legs from the via from the back of the stand. You can also see I added a floor to the bottom as well.



the cabinet door.


you can also see the purplish pink foam insulation sheeting I'm using to help level the tank once it's filled with water.


In this photo you can see the cabinet door supports 2x2s in place before i cut the skin out for the door to be installed.


Here is a photo of one of the lights I'm going to use on this setup. I have 3 of them they are 20W LED outdoor flood lights. I think I may have too much light for this setup. But i will only use as many as I need in the end. I can always use them for something else. I think I paid $45 for all 3 of them shipped from Amazon.


Next is the starting of my hood build.


Here is a little bit of a closer view of the hood. You can also see the wood that will go into the tank as well as the egg crate to support the rocks I will use in the setup as well.


here is another closeup if the hood from the inside.
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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:09 pm

here is a picture of the substrate up close. The penny is for a size comparison. Deb and anyone else let me know what you think about it for using with Cories.

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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:16 am

Now that I see it up close it reminds me of Seachem Flourite, which is another kind of fracted clay planting substrate.  IMO both of these substrates, the CaribSea and the Seachem products, are too sharp for corys (although excellent for plants).  

One can argue that water quality and cleanliness is the most important factor for barbel health, but if the substrate is sharp, it's sharp and there is no relief from it.  Its not like the corys can move to another area of the river bed, or to a sandy part of the stream, as they can in their natural habitat.  

Since corys love to search in the substrate it seems only fair to provide them with a softer material to root through.  Sand is soft, they can push their noses into it and shoot it out their gills.  Ideally, for corys, the substrate should be no deeper than about ¾" or 2 cm.  At this depth, the corys can dig right down to the glass, which keeps the substrate fresh, and much safer for them.   

If you look around long enough, you will find a number of varying opinions on this topic, but if you think about it from the cory catfish point of view, it's easy to see why a soft sand would be the best choice.  In my 75 I use a play sand from my area's Lowe's.  Not all play sands are equal, though; you have to feel them for yourself and examine them to make sure the grains are rounded and not rough.  

CaribSea makes a very nice sand called Sunset Gold, which I can recommend.  
http://www.caribsea.com/pages_caribsea/page_product_super_naturals.html  
CaribSea used to have notes on each of these substrates saying which were good for digging fish, or burying fish, etc.   IMO Sunset Gold with a couple handfuls of Jelly Beans scattered over it would be an awesome look and very suitable for corys.  The same look can be achieved with cheaper materials, too, such as the right play sand with collected smooth pebbles.  Include the smooth rocks shown in your photo and you will have a really nice substrate and a very natural look.    

To get the recommended depth in a 40 breeder, you will need less than 35 lbs. of sand.  

A layer of sand over the Floramax will not be a good solution as the sand will eventually sift through to the bottom.

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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:31 am

Thanks for the advice Deb. I will see what the pool filter sand I have in the basement looks like this evening and will more than like start the process of removing the Floramax substrate from the tank. I will also run by PAW after work and see what they have for a suitable substrate as well. The end result will be deeper than 3/4" on my setup since i have egg crate in the substrate to sit the large rocks on instead of the possibility of them going straight onto the glass bottom and it helps distribute the weight a little. how do you keep plants happy as well using sand for the substrate? Sorry for being full of questions again with this setup.
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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:26 am

Great carpentry work! I really like how you built the canopy. The whole project looks great!
Thanks for all the great pictures.


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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:24 am

Please check your pool filter sand for sharpness, make sure it doesn't grate.  Look at it through a magnifying glass - the grains should be cubic like salt, and not jagged crystals, like sugar.  Also, if the color of your pfs is too bright it might deter the corys from coming out.  This will depend on your lighting.  Do check with PAW for another sand that maybe you can mix with the pfs.  Remember, even with an expensive substrate, you will not need much.  

I understand about the egg crate and why you need it.  

Many will tell you that growing plants in sand is easy, and I have to agree.  Here is a pic of only one of my planted tanks with sand : http://i19.servimg.com/u/f19/16/84/25/68/p1013710.jpg
Crown plants and rooted plants both can get a good grip in sand, and I don't envision any trouble for you.  However, you might want to use the technique of distributing the planted substrate - in your case, Floramax - around the back and sides, and use these areas for the main plants.  You can always dust the Floramax with some sand, or some small pebbles, to keep the look consistent with the rest of the tank, depending on your overall look.  

Will the corys forage over the Floramax areas?  Yes, probably, but the point is that they will have a CHOICE and can leave the rough clay area for the smooth sandy area, which will be most of the tank.  So using both substrates is a possibility for you to try.

I'm very interested in this tank, as you might guess!

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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:30 pm

I just checked the pool sand I have under my sons microscope and it looks like it has very smooth edges. I'm getting ready to go to PAW to see what they have for substrate now and we'll decide what to do with it then. I may get a smaller bag of the substrate and mix it with the pool sand since it is very small in diameter.
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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:19 pm

Well I'm back from PAW and they didn't have any of substrate that I wanted. But I did pickup some of the jellybean style gravel and some that was a little smaller to mix in with the pool sand. Once I get the baby down for the night I will begin the new substrate process..... more pics to come. I would have started earlier but I was installing a new package of bees in my bee hive since the one i had didn't make it through this winters last cold snap.....
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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:50 pm

here are the pictures as promised. I hope this works out for the Cories better. When I was at PAW they had some Pygmy Cories there. I may have to add a couple of those to my list of what is going in the tank.





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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:49 pm

Adding some cuttings from my 20g tank into the new tank. Wisteria, Ludwigia, and some daughter Java ferns. hoping to get by LFS to see if they have received any new plant shipments in the last couple of days.
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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:23 pm

This is looking quite attractive! Do not rush adding fish, but let the tank settle in and the plants grow. Add as many plants as you think you will want, there is no downside to adding plants. Drop in a couple of flakes of flake food.

What background will you have? Or maybe there is one on there already and I'm not seeing it? The spider wood looks great; now I want to get some. *lol*

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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:28 pm

the back on my tank is painted black to hide all the power cords for the lights and such.
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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:34 pm

A new tanks is always exciting.  Love all the work and detail you have shared.  Just a thought for now about the layout, if you take that one rock in the center and move next to the larger rock you will get that pattern many of the hard scape people talk about with 1/3, 1/3 and 1/3.  When the plants grow it may not matter.

Love to see the progress you are making -- thanks for sharing.

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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:14 am

I took your suggestion Steve and moved that rock. I think it made a nice difference. I will post some pictures tonight after I get some more plants from LFS after work today. I will try to remember to take pictures in stages as I install the plants.

I need to get this tank settled in "quickly". I made a pour decision with getting a female guppy for my 20g that my kids liked. and now I'm looking at having a over run of guppies in that tank before to long. I will need to pull either the females or males out and move them to this tank to stop this process.
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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:34 am

Looks great! I have a free pair of breeding Anglefish if you are ever in Farmville, They are expert guppy fry eaters. One marble female, and a standard large male. They breed every once in awhile, but the eggs get eaten quick. Setting up a new tank is fun!
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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:22 pm

Fward I may take you up on the Angels in a couple weeks if you still have them available and the stars align were i can make a road trip to the Farmville area.
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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:51 pm

cholt wrote:
the back on my tank is painted black to hide all the power cords for the lights and such.
 This is what I thought, but wanted to make sure.  It gives a nice matte look.  I'm looking forward to seeing the various stages of planting.

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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:25 pm

The plants just after I got home from work. Waiting for after the kids go to bed.

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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:42 am

As promised here is the tank planting I did tonight. I added 2 types of Ludwigia red and broad leaf, Wisteria, and Jungle Vallisneria. I tried to take a picture after I planted each of the varieties of plants. I added some Italian Vallisneria to my 20g tank tonight as well. I was able to get all my plants for under $25. Most of the Red Ludwigia had stem that were at least 2' long that had to be trimmed down. The plant stock I added tonight was 1 bunch of Wisteria, 1 bunch of broad leaf Ludwigia, 2 bunches of Red Ludwigia, 10+ Jungle Vallisneria. I also got 2 Italian Vallisneria for my 20g tank.
the first picture is after I planted the Jungle Vallisneria.

this is after I planted the Red and broad leaf Ludwigia.

the last couple of pictures are after I planted the Wisteria and was cleaning up the debris in the tank. The tank is a little cloudy from the planting process.


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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:59 am

Your tank looks wonderful - excellent job with everything!

It is nice to see the progression, you mention Pygmy Cories and maybe some Angels - what else are you considering in terms of livestock?

I like Deb's suggestion to let it settle in - it does appear you have been very patient, planned and enjoyed the build process thus far.....

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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:32 am

I plan to move some guppies from my other tank, add a couple varieties of cories, otos, neon tetras. I think that's about it for now. and maybe a couple angels.
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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:43 pm

Wow!!! Fantastic tank... Cool

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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:11 pm

yes, fish next -- love the progress -- thanks!

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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:54 pm

co2 reactor built for this tank today. Here is a picture I took about 30 to 45 minutes after I made the sugar and yeast mix.
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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:49 pm

It's been fun watching the story of this tank unfold! Very Happy Is the red ludwigia planted in the left-hand corner, or just along the back?

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PostSubject: Re: 40g Breeder build   Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:54 pm

Just along the middle of the back and maybe one or 2 sprigs in the Jungle Vals. I have Wisteria on the left hand side of the tank behind the rocks and on that side kinda rapping around to the front.
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