DIY - Projects & Ideas • My 55g Mbuna tank project

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Postby NYPDMOUNTIE » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:37 am

Very impressive. Great work.
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Postby Steve C » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:13 am

NYPDMOUNTIE wrote:Very impressive. Great work.


Thanks, sorry no updates lately. Been busy with work stuff, but should be buying my filter this week I hope and back on to it shortly.
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Postby bwestgsx06 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:32 pm

any updates to this? This was one of my favorite builds to watch...
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Postby Steve C » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:05 am

Nothing to update yet but should soon. Been tied up with some other projects, and this time of year (spring) things such as fishing trips keep me tied up a bit (leaving for a trip Friday morning) so I haven't had much chance to get anything done recently.

I will be moving the tank upstairs shortly though and getting it set up to start cycling very soon so soon as I do that I'll get some updated pics posted.

Steve
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Re: My 55g Mbuna tank project

Postby bwestgsx06 » Mon May 14, 2012 3:16 am

bump?
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Re: My 55g Mbuna tank project

Postby Steve C » Tue May 22, 2012 9:29 pm

bwestgsx06 wrote:bump?


Moving the tank upstairs hasn't happened yet. Mainly because I decided to remodel the entire room where the tank will be going so I put off getting it upstairs and cycling until the room was completely finished. Finished it up about a week ago so will move the tank in before too long. I go on an annual 2 week vacation in July though so my plans are to get the tank upstairs and cycled before vacation, then have it ready to add fish after I get back from vacation at the end of July. I could do it before, but I don't want to add fish and then leave for 2 weeks right after I add them though so I'll be waiting till I get back for the fish. I'm still around and have the same plans though :thumb:

Steve
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Re: My 55g Mbuna tank project

Postby Steve C » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:44 pm

Hello to everyone, it's been awhile since I was on here. You guys probably all thought I had given up on this build or that I was dead :lol: Actually just the old story of life getting in the way of projects is all that happened. The extra "fun money" dried up for a while and I had to put the aquarium build on hold for a few months over the summer while I did some other things. But now that business has picked back up and I have a bit more money to put towards the aquarium build again the project is back on now.

Last week I had a major step forward and with the help of my brother in law we brought the tank/stand/canopy upstairs into the light of day and positioned it in the room were it will call home. Currently I am getting ready to mount the filter intake tubes behind the back ground and then mount the back ground into position one final time. I'm also searching for a local place to buy the sand from (not having much luck there yet) but once the filter tubes/spraybars are mounted then I'll be hooking the filters up and starting to cycle it very soon.

Nice to finally be back on track with this project.

Quick shot of it sitting in the room now finally...

Image

Steve
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Re: My 55g Mbuna tank project

Postby Steve C » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:39 pm

Just finished the final trimming of the background and now have the three main large back sections permanently siliconed in and curing. Tomorrow I will be installing the side panels and then placing the intake tubes for the Xp3 and Xp4 filters so that I can build covers that will concel the intake tubes from sight. Also picked up the filter materials today and ordering the rest of the ceramic rings tomorrow.

I already have the lighting system pieces all here (t5 duel light, dimable LED blue moonlights) but after doing some searching online tonight I found a smoking deal on some of the Hydor LED Spotlights. So I'm ordering four of the LED spotlights tomorrow so I can add some more dramatic lighting effects to the tank at night.

Back pieces drying....

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Steve
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Re: My 55g Mbuna tank project

Postby Steve C » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:13 pm

Finished putting the side panels in late last night so now the whole background and side panels are all securely attached in the tank now. Next will be routing the dual filter intakes (one in each corner) and then concealing them from sight, then mounting the spray bars.

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Image

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Re: My 55g Mbuna tank project

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:16 pm

Pumped to see the end result. I think it's going to be quite unique and look sweet.
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Re: My 55g Mbuna tank project

Postby Steve C » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:27 pm

Thanks Iggy...i'm surprised I have had the patience to keep it going this long myself, I'm usually way to impatient lol. Just tested the LED moonlights a few mins ago, I'll post a pic shortly, but I'm still waiting for a bunch of LED spotlights from Big Al's so can't wait to get those hooked up. But it's pretty cool looking as is right now with the moonlights. Pic to follow soon.

BTW. NICE largemouth in your avatar. I'm a HUGE fly fisherman myself and my other passion is fishing all the time here in the great lakes and Northern Michigan.

Steve
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Re: My 55g Mbuna tank project

Postby Steve C » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:32 pm

Started building the panels to conceal the filter intakes today (one intake on each end of the tank). Once finished the only thing that will hang below the panels are the very end of the intake because I want it to be uncovered so I will end up painting those so they blend right in...

One panel roughed in and shaped...
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Both panels with first coat of Drylok on them...
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The last piece of the left cave opening now siliconed in to place...
Image
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Re: My 55g Mbuna tank project

Postby stellarbabe316 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:15 pm

This is absolutely amazing. I just read the whole thread and I am so impressed by what you did. Of course, I am sitting here thinking about trying a 3D background myself, but I know I am not nearly artistic nor crafty enough for it. I truly admire what you have done here.
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Re: My 55g Mbuna tank project

Postby Steve C » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:43 pm

Managed to make enough time to get both the side rock panels mounted and shaded with color today. They hide the filter intakes extremely well yet still leave opening enough to get good flow to them. Also now that all the 3D background is in the tank I installed the new top tank trim piece with a bead of silicone all the way around the top of the tank. I was struck with an idea today to add something I had not planned. Since I am doing a "cave theme" I though it might look nice to make a few small rock formations that would hang down into the tank from the top of the waterline (think stalactites here) and mount them about 1" from the front upper lip of the tank. So I made three sections out of foam and have the drylok coat curing on them right now. I'll test mount them to see if I like the idea of them once they are dry. If not then they will not be used, but we'll see tomorrow how they look.

Here are the finished filter intake panels I made....

Close up...(you can just barely see the intake grill peeking out in this side angle)

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Front shot they are not visible at all

Image
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Re: My 55g Mbuna tank project

Postby Steve C » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:49 pm

I dunno...what do you guys think?
/?
They aren't painted/shaded....but the three pieces in the front of the tank? YES or NO?

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