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Old 02-17-2010, 01:41 AM
Derek Benson's Avatar
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Default 65 gallon build thread

Hey guys,

Recently, I have some to the realization that I am not out of room in my bed room for tanks, it's that half of them are empty. I started planning one of the 65s (I have 4 on a rack, one has milk frogs) to put some darts into and make a display tank.

A local pet store had a sale on their reptile supplies, so I picked up some cork tubes for starters. I am going after a living branch type viv, and would like mosses/ferns/broms on each of the cork tubes.

I have been building backgrounds using sheets of pink foam so that if one day I don't want it to be a viv, I won't be tearing great stuff and rotted material off the back glass pane, but rather yank the insert out. I have done several tanks like this, got the idea from Gabe (frogmanroth) a couple years back.

Here is the planning stages. I had a buddy of mine, Rider, help me with the artistic view points as he is much better with them than I am.





It's hard to get an idea when we were planning it horizontally and it will be vertical in the tank.

I added some great stuff to break up the flat plane, and also carved the foam so it's not so bulbous and cloud looking.





In the tank to show the depth:



I made a subfloor, and added a PVC pipe drain to the middle of the substrate area so I can feed an airline tube (or larger diameter tube) down there and get rid of the water. This helps reduce the amount of slime that is taken up when you siphon from a water area. Unecessary? Yes.







While the silicone holding the PVC tiers down was curing, I covered the background with the silicone and dirt mix. I use whatever bedding I am going to be using in the tank. This time is sphagnum peat moss, long fiber sphagnum, bark chunks, some ground charcoal pieces, chopped mag leaves, pea gravel, top soil, etc. I have been thinking about adding some cat litter to it for shits, and I keep reading brent's (and others) work on it.





It stayed at this stage for about a week before I had a friend drive to my house and deliver some plants to help speed up the process.







A little closer up:





Plant nerds .... Philodendron 'wend imbe' ?





I had tto shut off all the frog lights in my room so I wouldn't get a terrible glare. I have plans for more epiphytes in here like ferns, peperomias, mosses, etc. If you have any suggestions and haven't seen my plant thread, post them up. I would like hanging stuff and going after a cryptic look.

Also I am plumbing a fogger into the tank and tapping the outlet into the far right upper cork tube so the fog comes out the "mouth" of the tube and fills the tank. Right now I put 2 full pieces of glass over the top to hold humidity and keep the plants going but I plan on adding a screen part to the very front to keep the front glass pane clear.

That brings up a problem. The four 65s that I have used to be angelfish grow out tanks and the center braces were used to being taut. They are not now and I have a gap. I thought about "euro bracing" it like it some reef tanks, with a piece of glass under the plastic trim, hopefully pushing it up, or siliconing a glass piece under the trim and then just removing the trim. I am no happy with these ideas really, what do you think?





Right now I have a single dual bulb t5 fixture over it but will be adding another.

Main problem... what do I put in it? All of my frogs have adequate homes, unless they are froglets and don't need upgrading. I never build a tank and then choose a frog, it's always the other way around, but I wanted a display tank for darts in general, so this is what happened.

Tricolor/anthonyi group? Retic pair? Terribilis? What would you say? Not asking you to decide for me, but rather stir the dead parts in my brain that have been killed off via silicone fumes and cheap beer.

Thanks

Derek
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Last edited by Derek Benson; 02-17-2010 at 02:01 AM. Reason: speelling
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

Very nice looking setup.

Just for future reference for you, Great Stuff actually doesnt adhere to glass, so when you want to change the tank or get rid of it, it actually will just pop right off the back with a little force. This is also the reason many people will put some silicone on the back of the tank before they Great Stuff it to give the Great Stuff something to bond to, and then it will still also come off and you just need to use a razor to take off the silicone residue. This will also give you a little more depth to your tank.

As far as the brace, I have always just used a piece of glass on the underside siliconed to the brace and then to the sides and have never had an issue. A lot of times those braces get loose like that because of heat from the lights just wearing on the plastic, and since in many tanks, it is more so for resting glass tops on than actual structural measures, nothing to keep the plastic taught per say. Even on 75g tanks that I have used as aquariums, that center brace has gotten sort of loose and the glass tops didnt sit flush on them.

For frogs, I think some tricolor would be pretty sweet in there!

Also, love the jewel orchids!
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

Derek, I really love how this tank came out. I love the cork tubes. Especially the one in the far right hand corner. Nice job.
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:59 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

In my experience, the great stuff does stick to the tank, more like getting wedged. I have torn apart several tanks and none have just popped out?

Hassle free and only taking up 3/4" sounds good to me, haha


Thanks wick
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

looks good


what did you use over the false bottom? looks like a tarp of some kind but i cant tell. can water get through?
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

Derek
the tank looks awesome. Its amazing what we can do when we get a little cheap beer and a extra tank laying around. I think just about any frog you decide would love it in there.

good luck

greg
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:00 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

The material over the false bottom is just weed blocker. I zip tie it in place over the eggcrate.

Greg, thanks for the compliments.
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Benson View Post
The material over the false bottom is just weed blocker. I zip tie it in place over the eggcrate.

Greg, thanks for the compliments.
thanks...i had heard of that used but have never seen it in action
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOSHIFIED View Post
thanks...i had heard of that used but have never seen it in action
This is what i usually use too allows perfect tessellation.
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

It's probably my least favorite part of making vivs. Messing with egg crate and attaching the screen to it. I do it this way so there are not loose layers whenever I disassemble. Cutting egg crate is extremely fun and making angles with it is grounds for a headache for sure...

Derek
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

Going to snap some new pictures of this later today. It's still frogless, but I have added some river rocks, rearranged a few plants, added a few plants, etc.

I think for the center brace problem, I'm going to spray some great stuff over the center brace and once it's cured, I'll take a utility knife to it and carve to to the same width as the brace. Pretty much building it up to where to should be without messing with bending it back upwards.

As far as inhabitants, I was leaning towards a pumilio pair or get some more anthonyi, as I only have 3 right now.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Benson View Post
I think for the center brace problem, I'm going to spray some great stuff over the center brace and once it's cured, I'll take a utility knife to it and carve to to the same width as the brace. Pretty much building it up to where to should be without messing with bending it back upwards.
Hey did that work? I'm pretty much dealing with that now: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...ter-brace.html
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

I ended up spraying foam on it and carving it. I have not covered it with silicone yet but tomorrow I plan on taking some new pictures and finishing it up.

It was very simple, I sprayed too much foam on it, carved it down a bit to the general area then lined up the glass top with it and traced the path with a sharpie. An exacto finished the job and it makes an almost perfect seal.

I'm going to do this on my other 3 while I have a chance, still thinking about the best thing to mask the foam. Silicone, paint, etc are all options but have to be non toxic for the areas exposed to the inside of the tank.
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon build thread

I just wound up hacksawing, dremeling, cutting, and sanding it into a no-brace tank
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