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85ish gal construction **UPDATED pics**

9241 Views 58 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Schism
Updated pics are on page 3 Then again on page 4
I'm exhausted, it was more work than I expected, but so far I am happy with the outcome.

The tank, a 85 or so gallon acrylic custom built tank. Yes I know about potential warping and will be taking precautions to help prevent it. I followed some general guidelines brought forth by in their how-to. It was simple, yet it yields what I was looking for. On with the pics.

This is the tank, still protected from scratching with the paper on the acrylic. This is the layout of the wood I placed. The wood is driftwood, hopefully it will hold up as it looks it will. Also I used their idea of adding tubing in the background as a low flow trickle system.

The layout with some of the great stuff in there.

The idea behind this was some "islands" more or less as planters. I wanted a false bottom and used leca (hydroton) for this. The tank is drilled and run to a sump. I used eggcrate and some nylon screen cut to a cute little design.

Here is some foam added on the islands. I ended up cutting all off the back side as it got in the way in the end. This required a lot of cutting and shaping in the end.

An island with some silicon and coco fiber in place. I also ended up adding a ridge around the bottom so it sunk down in the water a little. It gave a more rounded natural look IMO.

I started adding some silicon/coco to the background. Also installed here (or whenever) are the mistking nozzles. I was the guinea pig for Marty, his first customer. These things are awesome, and as you can tell very nice looking.

A closeup of the nozzle

Another, go buy some!! :wink:

Here is the placement of the nozzles as well as the ventelation holes. I am extremely happy with how I placed them. More on this later. They are: 2 4" diameter holes on each side, and 1 1"x12" slot center in front.

Here is the background with all the coco on it. Not fully touched up, but basically done.

The water running and the leca in place.

A couple plants in place. Just cuttings from my other tank. Tomorrow hopefully the plants will be here, a bunch from peaceofthetropics.

The lights that are on the tank, are two VHO's 46.5". I had a reef tank and these lights were very old. The spectrum should be good enough now for the plants. We will see I guess. I also have an icecap fan on the canopy. It is variable speed, according to temperature. I have it centered blowing over the tank. The way the slots are the center slot captures some of the fan movement and seems to keep the front glass completely clear. The humidity is steady around 90%in the front middle, where the most air is moving. The two side holes keep the air moving around the front glass.

If I turn off the fan, within 2 minutes the glass completely fogs. I also added a won titanium heater to the sump to maintain temperature. I let my house get cold at night, low 60's high 50's so the water being warmer (80) should keep everything comfortable.

Here's just a fun shot of my auratus. Its going to be a mixed species tank (eggs to be destroyed) and I'll be adding the others once the plants are in place.
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amazing tank looks really good. just one question what kind of auratus is that?

Auratus as sold to me from a local as a blue/bronze. He just looks to have some bronze in him, but is very green.
Re: 85ish gal construction **lots o' pics**

Nick, that is a beautiful and impressive tank ! I can't wait to see it fully planted and overgrown. Nozzles look great...although I did modify them a little. No more yellow gaskets :oops: (I have them on my tanks too :lol: )

Make sure you use java moss wherever you can, that thing will look amazing when it's done. With your lights and constant misting you'll get that java moss out of control in no time.

superb job man! As my first customer you'll always have a special place in my heart :shock: heheheh...just kidding dude :wink:
Thanks Marty,
I'm happy with the results thus far. I got the plants in today, awesome, awesome plants from and for a great price. Most of the frogs are in place, still have one to catch. I'll be shooting some pictures soon to share.
Alright, more pics.
Full on with plants :D

Right side of the tank

Let side

One note, you'll see the slide bolt locks on the front. This is my counter to the warping. Just the weight of the doors made them warp a little, basically just flexing. Where these are placed it should prevent warping at least enough to keep it escape proof, which is all I really care about.
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That's going to look awesome when everything grows in. Are you just keeping the dirt substrate? Or adding moss or leaves? Did you get all of the plants from peace of the tropics?
I'm sure hoping its going to look awesome when grown.

I'm not a leaf fan, but I'm contimplating the moss. I have some plant that is good groundcover, can't remember its name (Im horrible with plant names), but its done well in the other tank. I took two cuttings from it.
All of the plants except like two are just in from peaceofthetropics.

I'm considering doing some java moss.. anyone know a good source?
BlackJungle, and Aquabid are probally the most reliable sources I would use, and of course users on the site will most likely have some they can send you.

Can you give post the link to the Black Jungle page that has the How-To pics.

Oddly enough, it isn't in their How-To section and their website is a little hard to navigate.

I found the link here but I don't know how the heck I got there.

They don't seem to have it linked from their site in any logical fashion. Just takes a ton of mysterious clicking around.

it isn't in their how-to section for some reason, and the gallery in the info page won't get you there.

You must go through their supply page gallery to find it. Here is a better link:
Crazy! I'm going to use your idea for those island things, very cool.
Wow! It looks great! Can't wait to see it grown in.

Black Jungles viv construction: Go to the gallery and then scroll down, click the pic of the viv and it brings up the step by step construction.

i picked up a massive bag of moss at my local garden store for 2.99 Maybe the plant you are thinking of is sellaginaria? sort of like moss, yet a little leafier. Looks really good too..
iHMMM. I responded yesterday and the response is gone. Odd.
Thanks for the compliments.....
If you use the islands thingies be sure to make the deep. I wish I had built it up a little higher so the planting soil would be deeper. Adding foam on the bottom that sinks into the water worked great, be sure to do the same.

here is a pic more recent. i added a bunch more broms from peaceofthetropics

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Is there water in there yet? Can't see any...

Yup, its about 1.5" deep. The leca floats so it comes up to the water level. The middle area is the water level. There is also a constant flow in the drip areas on the back wall.
So that's where all the broms that I wanted from PotT went :twisted: . The only thing I would have done different than you is the use of leca, I wouldn't have put anything in there at all, but that's just me. I'm probably gonna make a new tank when I use that island stuff, wouldn't go good in the 10gals :D.
Yeah I went back and forth on the leca, but basically for longterm stability I decided to go for it. Since Its not a 100% false bottom there would be too many places for things to get stuck under and/or trapped. I figured this way everything would be cleaner and I think it did end up working out the way I wanted. I just really hate the look of anything white, like the eggcrate, and I did need some water/drainage.
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