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Old 01-30-2012, 10:41 PM
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Default 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

Hi everybody. I've been lurking on the forum for about two years now, reading and learning. This is my first serious attempt at a tropical vivarium (I say tropical vivarium because I'm not sure when I'll be able to afford dart frogs, might be several months down the line), and I'd like to get some opinions. I haven't finished it yet, I still need to put in substrate and leaf litter, and then comes planting, and I'm in the middle of building the fan and fogging unit. I dont have many pictures of construction, its fairly self explanatory. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Remember, this tank is still under construction. That's why the false bottom is littered with Tillandsia!

This is only my third tropical viv, the other two I created to practice landscaping. One survived, has a neat little dripwall which I built as a test. The other... Um... Well. One lasted for a year of experimenting, after which I decided I would try to drill in a drainage system. Turns out some manufacturers dont label tempered glass. Whoops...
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

Oh. And I will take some better quality pictures later on... Or link to an album. I also would like some advice on whether I am allowed to thank sponsors in this thread?
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

It looks great! Really similar concept to what I'm doing for the tank I'm currently building.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

Wow is that one peice of wood? That actually looks amazing, gives such a nice root structure and the top looks great too. Make sure you dont cover up all those roots and take advantage of how great they look when your laying out substrate. Whats the background made from?
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:51 PM
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The background is Epiweb, which I covered with sphagnum moss which I blended to a liquid consistency and covered that with live moss, also blended. My wife decided at this point that she didn't want to know what I was doing with her blender anymore LOL, and the cork "branch" on the left is actually several cork pieces which I glued with Great Stuff to the Epiweb, then filled the cracks in with extra pieces of sphagnum moss.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

That stump is perfect.

How did you apply the liquified spagnum to the Epiweb?

I really like using 65G tanks. They have a real nice shape and plenty of room inside.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

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Originally Posted by hydrophyte View Post
How did you apply the liquified spagnum to the Epiweb?
Manual labor

I had the tank on the floor on its back, and just poured the liquid on it. It was fairly thick, and I poured small quantities at a time, then just rubbed it into the epiweb with the palm of my hand and fingers. Messy but fun! I kept on rubbing and rubbing until most of the blended sphagnum was "absorbed" by the epiweb. Serves two purposes, gives moss somewhere to grow, and covers the rough epiweb so its smoother, way less abrasive.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:25 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

I really like that stump! Where did you get it? Everything else is shaping up nicely as well, gonna look cool when the moss really takes off. Maybe some fern spores hitched a ride with the sphag...that would be neat-looking.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

For once someone who didnt go overboard with a false bottom, very nice setup i look forward to updates on your build.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

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Originally Posted by Azriel View Post
It looks great! Really similar concept to what I'm doing for the tank I'm currently building.
Except I dont have the artistic ability you have. Your tree stump is amazing! I cheated and just bought one
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

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I really like that stump! Where did you get it? Everything else is shaping up nicely as well, gonna look cool when the moss really takes off. Maybe some fern spores hitched a ride with the sphag...that would be neat-looking.
I got it from The Driftwood Store he was really great to work with. I dont know if he has a vendor feedback thread here...
There should be some fern spores... I pulled the moss off the dripwall I set up specifically to cultivate moss for this tank and I had some ferns sprouting there, and that moss looks stunning. The idea is to get away from the standard bromeliad look, although I will put some in there. I am thinking about an Aeschynanthus to plant near the top so it drapes down the tank...
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

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Originally Posted by calvinyhob View Post
For once someone who didnt go overboard with a false bottom, very nice setup i look forward to updates on your build.
I'm not a big fan of stuffing every cubic inch of the viv with great stuff and wood and whatever... I prefer a lot of open space that can be used for foliage.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

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I'm not a big fan of stuffing every cubic inch of the viv with great stuff and wood and whatever... I prefer a lot of open space that can be used for foliage.
I agree. I'm starting to like the more minimal setups myself. Good job!!!!! Keep us posted.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

Simply love that driftwood. Also an interesting webstore.. I wonder how much they charge for overseas shipping.
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:37 PM
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Ok! Hopefully getting Turface this weekend so I can start work on the substrate layers...
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:39 AM
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Two full tank shots. Uploading from my phone so pic isn't good quality. I'll take and upload one with my camera tomorrow. But I'm impatient and want some feedback...
It isn't fully planted yet, moss on the background only just started to grow, needs leaf litter on the floor and substrate in the log.
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

This is an awesome tank!!! I have a 65 drilled tank and this just gave me an idea on what to do with it!!! Where did you get the epiweb from? You may have already said but I didn't see.

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Two full tank shots. Uploading from my phone so pic isn't good quality. I'll take and upload one with my camera tomorrow. But I'm impatient and want some feedback...
It isn't fully planted yet, moss on the background only just started to grow, needs leaf litter on the floor and substrate in the log.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:22 AM
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I did an Experimental Tank with a Similar background..The Moss did Not take off till I ran constant water through it..
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:31 PM
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Ok. Full size full tank shots, and a photo of one of my favourite orchids, Dendrobium kingianum. I grew up with pots of this all over the house, so the scent brings back memories...

I still need to mount the Tillandsia's, and I may reaarange the plants a little, not sure if I'm crazy about the fern placement. And the Guzmania is blocking the view of the tree stump a little... I want some ferns growing out of the background, some vines climbing up the background and wood, and one or two hanging plants on the wood and background. Now I gotta find some leaf litter... And then frogs! Probably Leuc's, maybe Azureus, these will be my first dart frogs.

Edit: Ew. The photo quality is horrible. When the tank is finished I'll put in a photobucket link.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:33 PM
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This is an awesome tank!!! I have a 65 drilled tank and this just gave me an idea on what to do with it!!! Where did you get the epiweb from? You may have already said but I didn't see.
I hadnt mentioned it, I got it from EcoWeb Advanced Growing Substrate

If my tank was drilled I might have thought about a water feature. I never do a water feature unless the tank is drilled and I can connect a sump and filtration system.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:35 PM
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I did an Experimental Tank with a Similar background..The Moss did Not take off till I ran constant water through it..
What kind of lighting are you giving the moss? And how humid are you keeping it? These mosses like really bright light, which unless you have LED's, usually means that unless you are consistent with misting the moss will dry up.
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:07 AM
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What kind of lighting are you giving the moss? And how humid are you keeping it? These mosses like really bright light, which unless you have LED's, usually means that unless you are consistent with misting the moss will dry up.
I was using 6500 K Lighting
At First the Tank was sealed with an air hose with a Bubbler in 4 inches of Water.
Although Constantly Wet it never grew out. I got the Moss Mixture from a Board Member so I have no idea what was suppose to be in it.
Odd Ball Tank I got for Free

Extra Pond Filter Pads for Watergardening Days

Moss Mixture Spread onto the Pads..Water level was kept up to Bottom of Pads..Tank was sealed..Never really kicked off. After 6 Month I gave up and Started a ZooMed Tank for MY RED Eyed Tree Frogs

This Time I used a Small Pump to actually run Water through the Pads like A Biological Filter.
Within a few Days it went from Above to this.

The rest of the Background was made from Clay Kitty Litter..Failure.
Outside of the Side with the Pads..It would not stay wet enough..Plants never took in Clay..but as you can see the Area with Constant water running down was always green.



Sadly I suffered an AC FAILURE and Lost all the Frogs in all Tanks..Main reason I do a lot of Geckos..They Can Handle 100+ Heat for longer periods
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:57 PM
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I was using 6500 K Lighting
At First the Tank was sealed with an air hose with a Bubbler in 4 inches of Water.

Although Constantly Wet it never grew out. I got the Moss Mixture from a Board Member so I have no idea what was suppose to be in it.


Moss Mixture Spread onto the Pads..Water level was kept up to Bottom of Pads..Tank was sealed..Never really kicked off.
Ah. Ok. The thing about ecoweb is that is is made out of plastic, so it does not absorb moisture from the air, nor does it wick water. From the sound of it, you weren't misting? That would explain it. The moss at first does not absorb humidity very well, so it needs to be misted constantly till it really gets going. I had several 5 gallon tanks which I ran experiments on for several months...

I'm sorry about your frogs...
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:36 AM
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The Moss was actually constantly wet from Condensation and Yes I was Misting but It never took off like I said until I ran Water through the Pads and then yes it kicked off without misting at all.. As you can see the Areas where it got good lighting was great areas in shade not so well.

I removed the ferns at different points to keep them from shading out the Moss.

I was considering doing a living wall for the frog room made from a Moss Mixture.

Where is a good place to get seeds for a Variety of Plants
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:52 AM
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Update: plants are starting to grow in slowly, except for Begonia thelmae, which is producing a ton of roots and has started new leaves but the old leaves are rotting. Maybe it just needs to acclimate, we'll see. I want it to be a real jungle in there, but since most of the plants started from small cuttings it'll take some time. I wish I had incorporated some more cork into the background so it wasn't so flat, the plant growth will eventually fix that but I'm impatient! I'd do a plant list but I'm unsure of some of the names. Shout out to B-Nice for the leaf litter.

Still to go: fans and ventilation. Since I have no frogs in there yet, I'm just leaving the lid open about half an inch. I ordered a fan from Amazon, they sent the wrong one, then sent three as an apology. Now i have 4 fans. Awesome. Only two are going in here. So I gotta work on fan mounts, and drilling holes in lid for ventilation and fans.

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Old 04-10-2012, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

This is looking great man. This is much more like a little scene you would actually see out in the woods.

Those complex 3D backgrounds that are the most popular for vivs look nice, but they don't really look like anything in nature.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:08 AM
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This is looking great man. This is much more like a little scene you would actually see out in the woods.

Those complex 3D backgrounds that are the most popular for vivs look nice, but they don't really look like anything in nature.
Thanks! Thats actually the look I was going for. I'm glad someone noticed

I wasn't thinking right when I ordered the plants. Some of them, when grown in, dont quite fit with the look I was going for, but I guess I'll wait and see. I'm guessing it'll be a good 9-12 months before it gets really jungle like in there.

Jake

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Old 04-10-2012, 04:32 AM
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Wow Jake. That's looking great. Lovin' the green walls!!
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:24 AM
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Thanks! I actually redid the plants a little bit. Pics tomorrow. I found these in the tank today. Tiny little green spheres. They look slimy but they're firm. Any ideas? Sorry, the pictures are sideways...

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Old 04-11-2012, 03:36 AM
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No idea. Maybe some sort of algae? I may have the same thing in one of my other tanks.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:27 AM
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Oh I've seen those little green balls out in the woods. I think they might be some kid of fungus.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:17 PM
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Nemerteans? Not too concerned. Long term, wait and see what happens...
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:24 PM
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I have still never (knock on wood) seen those things in any of my enclosures.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:14 PM
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Update: I definitely have nemerteans in my vivarium. I removed several this morning that were slithering up the glass, I'm not too concerned, it just means that I'll have to keep an eye on my future frogs while I feed them, make sure they have enough to eat. I will also load up on isopods, which can sometimes help control the nemertean population, according to several of the threads I've read.

Regarding frogs: It appears D. leucomelas are not going to be the inhabitants of this vivarium. My wife saw a photo of D. auratus "Green and black" (unkown locale, probably Costa Rica) while I was browsing online and was quite taken with them. Although there's the possibility she may change her mind again... Due to the family medical situation, all plans to purchase any frogs are on hold for another few weeks, so we may cycle through several more species/morphs that she likes the look of... lol.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:45 PM
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What is the moss you are using on your epiweb? I read you used blended up sphag as the base but what went over that? I would LOVE to get my hands on the epiweb moss mix, but no clue how to get it over here.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:03 PM
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I bought some tropical moss from Black Jungle, and after growing it out for a few months discovered it was 3 distinctly different mosses and a liverwort. I just mixed some of the live moss mix with Sphagnum moss in an electric blender (which my wife was not that thrilled about!) and added water. Once I had a soupy mixture, I really rubbed it into the epiweb, so that it wasn't just sitting on the surface. Started growing several days later. I think the key is light. I've done the same thing several times now and the growth rate seems directly related to the quality of light. I have 2 25 Watt CFLs and two jungle dawn LED modules. I hand mist once or twice a day (sometimes I skip a day or two, if I do, I close the vents to maintain humidity) and not sparingly either. Sometimes I empty my 500ml bottle into the tank. But I have enough ventilation that it doesn't stay wet, and I drain the false bottom regularly.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jacobi View Post
I bought some tropical moss from Black Jungle, and after growing it out for a few months discovered it was 3 distinctly different mosses and a liverwort. I just mixed some of the live moss mix with Sphagnum moss in an electric blender (which my wife was not that thrilled about!) and added water. Once I had a soupy mixture, I really rubbed it into the epiweb, so that it wasn't just sitting on the surface. Started growing several days later. I think the key is light. I've done the same thing several times now and the growth rate seems directly related to the quality of light. I have 2 25 Watt CFLs and two jungle dawn LED modules. I hand mist once or twice a day (sometimes I skip a day or two, if I do, I close the vents to maintain humidity) and not sparingly either. Sometimes I empty my 500ml bottle into the tank. But I have enough ventilation that it doesn't stay wet, and I drain the false bottom regularly.

Thanks for the quick reply. I was planning to use the ecoweb substitute here int he states, and I planned to add a drip wall as well so water would constantly be going through it. I have a mistking that mists for 1.5 minutes a day as well. But this build I am planning is gonna be extensive and no short order. And I love your setups by the way
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:19 AM
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FINALLY have almost everything I need for the fans. Until now, I had just left the lid propped open about an inch. I'm planning on drilling and installing it tomorrow, so fingers crossed! I bought a circular drill bit for glass, rubber snap grommets, and a quick connect elbow. Plan is to fit the grommets to the holes I drill in the glass lid, then screw the elbow into the grommet. Its a tight fit and shouldn't need anything else. I plan on drilling a hole in the elbow, then using a zip tie to attach the fans via the built in holes in the fans corners. Very simple compared to some of the ways that others have posted, but apart from the drill bit, much cheaper and requiring no adhesives. I hope it works! I am concerned that the edges of the glass will cut into the grommet as I screw the quick connect elbow in, I may need to sand the glass down a little.

Sidebar, but I ordered one fan, was sent the wrong one (same price but half the air flow and noisier) and was sent three of the correct ones at no charge! So I'm going to install one, if it works I'll install a second one.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:17 PM
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Updated full tank shot. I moved the large Guzmania from the background, put it on the floor. It was blocking part of the background. The new Bromeliad will look better once its grown in, it was growing under a single t5 so its green and strappy. I have approximately 45 species of plant in there, most of them are doing really well. Many of them are small cuttings only 2-4 inches, so it'll be a while before it turns into a real jungle. I have some dischidia in there, not crazy about them in there. I think its too humid for them to do well. And my Cissus aren't doing that well. I have discolor and amazonica, both are growing VERY slowly. But they're still alive, I'll give them several more months before I move them.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: 65 gallon display (hopefully!) tank.

Ah, looking good Jake
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