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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With some trepidation, I've begun the journey to leave my armchair and become an aquarist in practice as well as name! Over two years ago I hatched a concept that should be coming to fruition in the next month or so (http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=76988). I've since decided to add a second species to keep the multies on their toes and allow them to set up some territorial boundaries.

My journey to a L. Multifasciatus biotope!

The plan :
29 gallon tank, 10 gallon sump, DIY wet/dry filtration
Enclosed stand using an existing "open" 29 gallon stand as the framework
DIY canopy with either el-cheapo 2' shoplight or a 30" twin T-5 (normal output) coralife fixture
aquascape : large shell-bed 2-3 shells deep over 75% of the footprint, tall rockpile in the remaining 25% (probably built around the overflow chamber, with rocks extending to the surface of the water). Possibly styro/concrete structures to the same end.
tentative stocking plans : 6xL Multifasciatus, 4-6 J. Transcriptus

Plans, however, are nothing new to me. What's new is action!

5/4/8 : hauled the old 29 gallon tank out of the basement to start cleaning it
5/5/8 : purchased ~500 shells from www.shellhorizon.com, purchased QuietOne 1200 pump and 1/2" and 3/4" bulkhead fittings from jehmco, and purchased 28mm and 38mm glass holesaws from richon tools (forget the website addy).

Woohoo! Wish me luck as I venture forth from my comfort zone ;)

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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Good luck. It's going to be an interesting build.

I just went over your old thread and went even further with the threads Mcdaphnia posted. That cheap diy modified timer is an awesome link and was still working with the same pumps as of this January. Do you still have that idea put away in your bag of tricks behind the armchair?
 

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good luck we'll be watching :popcorn:what about a usbj (under shell bed jets)to push water up through the shells?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
fishwolfe said:
good luck we'll be watching :popcorn:what about a usbj (under shell bed jets)to push water up through the shells?
For the moment I've just decided to leave openings in the corners so I can get a syphon tube down there, or point a powerhead down underneath. I'm still debating what to do with the pump return, though.

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
iceblue said:
I just went over your old thread and went even further with the threads Mcdaphnia posted. That cheap diy modified timer is an awesome link and was still working with the same pumps as of this January. Do you still have that idea put away in your bag of tricks behind the armchair?
Heh, I think it had fallen out a hole in the bag, but now i've put it back in ;). I've already got a SCWD, though, and somewhere along the way someone (i'd have to peruse the old threads to remember who) mostly convinced me that gobies like/need heavily oxygenated water, but don't necesarily like the "blow me away" turbulence in the surf zone. They're adapted to deal with it, but "wedged between two rocks" isn't necesarily the behavior I'm wanting to watch ;).

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rick_Lindsey said:
5/4/8 : hauled the old 29 gallon tank out of the basement to start cleaning it
5/5/8 : purchased ~500 shells from www.shellhorizon.com, purchased QuietOne 1200 pump and 1/2" and 3/4" bulkhead fittings from jehmco, and purchased 28mm and 38mm glass holesaws from richon tools (forget the website addy).
5/10/8 : washed the shells and tested the pump!

Wheee! My children "helped" me wash the tank and shells out on our driveway this afternoon. The stand got soaked, but I'm hoping it will dry off. There's a circle on the glass drawn with what looks like permanent marker, I'm hoping some rubbing alchohol will take it off (if not, I guess that's the "back", and it can get covered up by the overflow compartment).

4 gallons of shells didn't go as far as I was thinking it would... my calculations showed it should make a 2.5" layer of shells on the bottom. I guess I wasn't thinking about the fact that the shells themselves may be as much as 2", so that's only a layer and a half of shells, doh! I'm thinking I won't need to worry about raising the shellbed so I can get under it since it's not as deep as I was thinking it would be. It'll probably get to 2 shells deep once I add the overflow compartment and rockpile to the tank, but that doesn't seem excessive. I'm tempted to do a concrete style background to conceal the overflow compartment, and make it so you won't see glass through the shells! I suppose I could also drop a half-inch layer of sand in first, then spread the shells on top of that.

Now I get to wait impatiently for the hole saws to get here!

-Rick (the armchair aquarist, who has pictures of the aftermath in his camera, but isn't sure where the download cable is)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Turns out the stand goes several inches underneath the aquarium, further than I was thinking. If I were to drill the bottom in the corner I think it might actually lie directly over a vertical 2x4! Doh! Looks like I'll have to drill the back (I was hoping to have all the plumbing "inside" so there weren't pipes or hoses for curious children to pull on). Now the question is do I run an intake down towards the bottom of the tank, or build a little overflow box in the top corner around the bulkhead in the back. Guess it's a good thing I was planning to use flexible tubing for most of my plumbing anyways! (have hose-barbs for both bulkheads, though now I'm wishing i'd gotten the 90-degree one for the return. An elbow and a short length of 1/2" pipe should solve that though ;) ).

Still waiting for my glass drills *looks for a foot tapping, watch checking smiley*. Only 6 days into the "5-10 day" day shipping period though.

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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the waiting is the hardest part.*** been waiting 2 weeks for the last bag of tahitian moon sand to arrive to set up a 55 for the wife.
if you put the intake and return at the bottom you would have minimal tube/hose outside the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
fishwolfe said:
the waiting is the hardest part.I've been waiting 2 weeks for the last bag of tahitian moon sand to arrive to set up a 55 for the wife.
if you put the intake and return at the bottom you would have minimal tube/hose outside the tank.
Do some sort of standpipe thing off an elbow, rather than straight up from a bulkhead in the bottom? Hrm, hadn't thought about that. Must ponder! I could center it to keep it further from the edge, and go ahead and build a glass overflow compartment...

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another option would be to go ahead and put it on the bottom, with the standpipe about 6" in from the corner, and rather than a glass compartment I could just build the rockpile around the standpipe. That worries me a bit though -- with a hole in the bottom I rather like the idea of an overflow compartment as insurance in case of a leaky bulkhead.

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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not only a leaky bulkhead, but what if the power goes out? your sump would overflow cuz the entire 29 gallons would come down in it, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
booba5 said:
not only a leaky bulkhead, but what if the power goes out? your sump would overflow cuz the entire 29 gallons would come down in it, right?
Nah, a properly built standpipe would break the siphon when the pump shut off.



-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My lovely wife brought me home a 10 gallon tank from Wal-Mart last night, and I brought it in the house this morning. I was surprised to see a tempered glass sticker on the bottom! I slipped one of my smaller kitty-litter tubs into it and it's a good fit! I've found my wet/dry media container :thumb: .

I'm not sure the sump is such a good fit in the stand though :oops: . With the kitty-litter tub, it barely slips in, and there is *very* little room between the bottom of the tank and the top of the kitty litter tub. Unfortunately it's not a real tall stand, and since it's not a "cabinet" stand the shelf is raised several inches up off the floor. I was planning to just put the sump on that shelf and enclose the stand (which I can still do), but there's going to be almost no room for plumbing :(.

I may need to make a new stand, but at that point I start to wonder if I augtn't just get a 30-long instead of the 29 etc. etc. I may be able to get the plumbing to fit, but I suspect maintaining the filter like that is going to be a PITA.

Ohwell, things to ponder. Keeps me in the armchair just a bit longer ;).

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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[/quote]Ohwell, things to ponder. Keeps me in the armchair just a bit longer .

:lol: I started a 350g tank 3 years ago. It was only supposed to take a month but, gee...... how about a custom hood and a ugj system and rebuild the stand and a custom diy mechanical filter and diy bio-chamber and a custom sump and the background.............It never stops. :D
 

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Rick_Lindsey said:
booba5 said:
not only a leaky bulkhead, but what if the power goes out? your sump would overflow cuz the entire 29 gallons would come down in it, right?
Nah, a properly built standpipe would break the siphon when the pump shut off.

Hey Rick

Whilst you are still in the armchair, checkout http://www.dursostandpipes.com/BuildYourOwn/tabid/54/Default.aspx which will give you a good design for a standpipe that will break the siphon and cut down on the gurgles that standpipes can suffer from.

Good luck

Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Britnick said:
Hey Rick

Whilst you are still in the armchair, checkout http://www.dursostandpipes.com/BuildYourOwn/tabid/54/Default.aspx which will give you a good design for a standpipe that will break the siphon and cut down on the gurgles that standpipes can suffer from.

Good luck

Nick
I was too lazy to draw the cap ;). Thanks for the link though!

-Rick (the armchair aquarist, who may use this as an excuse to buy a 55gallon with a stand off craigslist instead)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I got silver mouth green turbo's and gold mouth turbo's, 2 gallons of each. There weren't as many per gallon as I was expecting, you might get more shells-for-your-buck with shark's eye and whales eye, but I do like the look of the 50/50 mix of teh two colors of turbo's. The 4 gallons is plenty for my 29, but if I were to to a bigger tank i'd probably want more. I'm wierd like that though ;). Eventually i'll get the pics out of my camera and show you wha the mix looks like.

I've got my glass drills now, but I'm waiting until I build the new stand before I drill the tank so I can be sure there's no interference between the stand and the bulkhead fitting. I've been checking craigslist daily to see if I can find a good deal on a slightly larger tank with a stand, but haven't found anything yet. I even spent half an hour picking out some nice straight 5/4 x 4 s4s boards at Lowes yesterday, but when i went to get the fasteners I realized that I wasn't going to be able to do what I wanted I should be able to do a 2x4 stand and put a plywood skin on it, but I don't have the tools to do the joinery for the exposed pine (and what's the point of paying for s4s wood if you're just gonna cover it with plywood?). I was so irritated that I got frustrated looking for straight 2x4's and just left with the chainsaw (which was to cut up a tree that fell in our yard last weekend, but that's a different story).

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 
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