THE ULTIMATE DIY HANDBOOK
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Thread: Finally Getting Going...

  1. #31
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Well nothing much happening, set up the remaining tanks on the racks and I'm fish-less cycling them, still irked and annoyed that all the fish I got from Petco not only died the first time around but also that all the replacements died... Making me hesitant to get any more fish right now even though the fish from other places are doing well...

    Even though I have done every test available to me and find nothing wrong with my water, I'm definitely considering getting an RODI system and transitioning some of the tanks to a 25% well water and 75% RODI to lower the hardness and PH while still maintaining micro nutrients... I also plan to get shrimp and since many of them are water snobs the RODI system is pretty much a necessity for them...

    Probably going to start building the second rack shortly, I have the tanks already set aside, but I want to get creative with some of the tanks, modding them into something unique and different, more on that later as I have a few ideas in my head but want to actually 'test build' them and see if it works as planned before I brag about the idea...

    One thing I would like to comment on is that the cheap Chinese heaters are doing an excellent job thus far holding the water temp, as long as they continue to work and don't fail I will be quite happy... The biggest negative I have about them is the fact that the temperature numbers on the dial are hogwash... I have all my tanks dialed in to 76/77 degrees as measured with an internal thermometer, but the stupid dials on the top of the various heaters indicate they are set anywhere from about 75 to 85 depending on the particular heater...

    Lights are another issues, as outlined above I had planned to use the 110v LED cobs attached to the CPU cooling fans, but with only about 6" of space above the tanks the CPU fan and heatsink height of about 2+ inches isn't practical, so for now they have florescent tube lights... The new plan for the LEDS is to mount all the LEDs on a full length 2" wide by 1/2" tall (legs) piece of 1/8" thick aluminum channel... Then I plan to mount graphics card heat sinks and fans (only about 1/2" tall) to the channel above each LED location... I did some testing with the much smaller graphic card heat sinks/fans and although the LEDs run much hotter they are still within the so called safe range, once mounted to a full length piece of aluminum channel that should eve lower the temp some more... I wanted to do something like this initially but raw aluminum extrusions are stupid expensive at hardware stores, and shipping is stupid expensive online... Did some exploring and found out that Grainger (dont't know why I never considered them before) carries a lot of raw metals for reasonable prices and they have several local distribution warehouses in the area, so I can order online for local pickup in 8 foot lengths and avoid all shipping charges...

    Last but not least, don't know if I mentioned it above but I really have to do something about bringing a water source closer to the fish tanks, carrying 5 gallon bucks of tempered water across the house from the kitchen is already old... My plan is to get a clean (probably new) 55 gallon poly drum and fill it up with a hose then temper it overnight with a heater to do water changes... There is a closet behind the fish tanks so I can hide the drum in there, and I already have the pump as there is no way to pour even the 5 gallon buckets I'm using into tanks 8 feet in the air or for that matter even into any tank in my rack as there is only 6" of room above each tank, so it has to be siphoned in or pumped in...

  2. #32
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Maybe use the side rails of a junk aluminum later as a heat sink?

  3. #33
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HillbillyHomer Click here to enlarge
    Maybe use the side rails of a junk aluminum later as a heat sink?
    I honestly did think about that and looked all over craigslist for some ladders for that exact reason, couldn't find any reasonable and/or close enough to make it worth the trouble... I also spent the last few weeks hitting up Goodwill trying to source something out of aluminum at a reasonable price, the only thing I found was a brand new in box 8'6" aluminum cutting edge, I bought that but I will use that for it's intended purpose, no more finding a straight board to clamp down when I need to rip a sheet of plywood Click here to enlarge

  4. #34
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge...You can always hillbilly it and use aluminum window frames...Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

  5. #35
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HillbillyHomer Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge...You can always hillbilly it and use aluminum window frames...Click here to enlarge
    Yeah, but sadly around me what used to be plentiful just a few years ago is now gone, scrap metal of all kinds has become a rare commodity in my parts way to many scrappers vulturing for it...

  6. #36
    DIYFK member Stryf's Avatar


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    I like your design idea. I also had a similar experience with petco fish when I lived in VA.
    2300 Gal pond: 7 Koi, 2 Goldfish, 2 Catfish
    125 Gal: 1 Reticulated Stingray, 2 Bala Shark, 3 Neon Tetra, 1 Glo Fish, and several guppies.

  7. #37
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stryf Click here to enlarge
    I like your design idea.
    Thanks...

    I will update this thread more once I get the lighting dialed in, right now the lighting is just bashed together... The only drawback to my design thus far is that now that the shelf is full of tanks that are full of water, I have noticed that the shelf is slightly bowing down just a bit in the middle vs the edges... Not a huge deal, it's nothing I'm concerned about and if it does become a concern I can always add a brace at a latter date...

    Going to have to find time to build the second rack before the weather starts to turn, I know winter and snow is still maybe 2 months away but that time will fly by in no time flat and I still have a lot of outdoor stuff to get done before that happens... Priority this week is to finally get around to pulling a new section (maybe 100 feet) of fence I took down along one side of the yard to remove all the trees that had grown into and through it over the years and had destroyed it, it's been a priority but got bumped up to urgent this weekend as a pack of at least 4 coyotes (I counted 4 as I swept a flashlight across the area) were pushing the issue Saturday night, knowing that the dog doesn't have free run of the yard right now... The coyotes were howling up a storm, my dog was going crazy in the kennel and the faithful llamas had backed the goats into the back of the barn and had taken up defensive positions at the barn door...

  8. #38
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Hows the project going?

  9. #39
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    I'll post more later, but some good some bad... Fish are doing great, finally got some neon tetras at Petsmart that did not die in 24 hours and are thriving unlike the Petco ones that were dying in the bag before they even got in the tank... All in all all the fish are thriving now, now that I went somewhere besides Petco to get them... Trying to figure out what happened to the plants I bought though... Most of them looked great for about 2 weeks then they appeared to wilt, go brown and die basically overnight and I'm at a loss as to why at this point, water test out fine now and although they don't have optimal lighting I highly doubt that would result in such a quick die off... My java moss is thriving in the same tanks, as is the Anubias but the foxtail and myrio went belly up all they sudden after about 2 weeks of looking great in the tank, the Cabomba Palaeformis took a hit but appears to be coming back around... My only lead right now is that possibly the 'young' tank experienced a nitrate/nitrite spike that caused a fert burn on the plants or that they just didn't take too kindly to being shipped... If anyone has any other suggestions on want would cause such a fast die off on the foxtail and myrio I'm all ears...

  10. #40
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Dont give up on the plants yet. Depending on what kind there are they maybe switching from immersed growth to submerged or adjusting to the Ph deference... As long as the roots/rhizomes are not soft and smelly their is hope.

  11. #41
    Head Moderator AussieDIYFK's Avatar


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    Hey meep sorry to hear about your plants mate. my only advice with growing healthy plants is consistent stability with water quality,lighting and co2 - ferts.
    The hard part is finding that sweet spot (balance). choose plants that grow well together and match there lighting requirements.
    lighting plays a huge part in what level of intake from all 3 factors,try giving underdemanding low light plants ago like, Anubias, crypts , java fern, java moss, banana lillys,
    they wont require co2 and much light, good luck man and that racking you built looks mint Click here to enlarge

  12. #42
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HillbillyHomer Click here to enlarge
    Dont give up on the plants yet.
    I gave them the benefit of the doubt early, but there is no hope left at this point, nothing left of them...

  13. #43
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Well Dam that sucks!

  14. #44
    DIYFK member FLDave's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Meep Click here to enlarge
    I gave them the benefit of the doubt early, but there is no hope left at this point, nothing left of them...
    I have "never" had any luck with plants. I grow plastic ones now.....Click here to enlarge

  15. #45
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by FLDave Click here to enlarge
    I have "never" had any luck with plants. I grow plastic ones now.....Click here to enlarge
    I have always done that in the past with fish tanks, but with my current 'love' for indoor gardening I really want live plants in the tanks...

    Anyway on to the setup of tanks, I just got back from Goodwill and scored one of these in full working order for $19.99... It's obviously been used at some point as it has a few nicks in the paint, but it was still in the original box, and there is no 'scale' or other build up on it at all so if it was used it was used lightly and well taken care of...

    https://www.amazon.com/Fluval-48-Inc.../dp/B00BFUJV4A

  16. #46
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar


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    Lucky!

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