350g tank build

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Re: 350g tank build

Post by iceblue on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:46 pm

Once again on hold. Between my part time job and a big job I picked up at The Forum Shops in Caesars Palace I haven't had much time to put in the tank.

One problem I have right now because of the long wait to rebuild the sump is the water left in the tank un-circulated became very heavy with minerals from my concrete background. There is a thick crust of it on the glass and the structures themselves.

I'll have to devote a day (which is very hard to come by right now) to cleaning this up and once the water is circulating do daily water changes. Possibly adding a little muratic acid to help get the hardness down.

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Re: 350g tank build

Post by iceblue on Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:25 pm

Tank and sump are full of water and the pumps are running. Best of all.....NO LEAKS. More to come but right now I have to get ready to scare the crap out of some kids tonight.
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by bulldogg7 on Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:27 pm

WOOOHOOOOOO!

BOO!


WOOHOO!

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Re: 350g tank build

Post by theswede on Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:33 pm

cheers That is good news Norm!
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by iceblue on Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:03 am

Well I scared the crud out of a lot of kids and teen-age girls along with some teen-age boys. Even a few parents. Great fun.

The pumps have been running for about 6 hours now and all the crud has completely disappeared. The wife even asked me if I had emptied the tank while she was out trick or treating with our 7 year old. It's that clear. I'm even getting some surface reflection on the rock structures. Very cool. yippee

I'm stoked so far but there will have to be a lot of water changes before I can start cycling the tank. The concrete structures are leaching a lot of hardness into the water column and this time I'll be wiping the glass clean on the inside every other day to keep the minerals from building up on it.

I'll have pics up in a few days.


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Re: 350g tank build

Post by Aura on Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:23 am

That's awesome Norm!! rocks
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by Drake-tripod on Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:19 am

sweet bro now its time to talk about stocking Very Happy what are your plans?
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by iceblue on Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:40 pm

This is my preliminary "fwish list" for right now. Dave's Rare Fish has all of them in stock most of the time and will probably get the bulk of my business.
MBUNA

Cynotilapia afra Cobwe 'Orange Back'
Iodotropheus sprengerae 'Rusty”
Labidochromis chisumulae Chizumulu Island
Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos Maingano
Metriaclima sp. 'Mbweca'
Metriaclima sp. 'Zebra Long Pelvic' Mdoka
Pseudotropheus sp. 'Williamsi North' Makonde “blue lip”

HAPS

Copadichromis borleyi Kadango 'Red Fin'
Cyrtocara moorii 'Blue Dolphin'
Otopharynx decorus Ntekete
Protomelas sp. 'Steveni Taiwan' Taiwanee Reef
Protomelas sp. 'Spilonotus Tanzania' Liuli
Placidochromis sp. 'Phenochilus Tanzania' Lupingu
Placidochromis milomo 'VC-10'

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Re: 350g tank build

Post by Drake-tripod on Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:39 pm

ncie how much of each?
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by Aura on Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:48 am

A lot of nice species on your list. I've always liked the chisumulae.
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by iceblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:45 pm

Aura wrote:
I've always liked the chisumulae.

I've always wanted to try one of the other Labidochromis species. As lovely as a good yellow lab is it's time to try something different.

No need for introduction here: Razz
ncie how much of each?

Not sure yet Derek. Depending on how well some of the haps predatory nature kicks in, the number of females of each of the Mbuna species will determine flock sizes.........or I may try for an all male tank.
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by Drake-tripod on Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:47 pm

id say all male for sure
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by iceblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:54 pm

The tank has been running for over 3 days now and I did a check on the PH, KH and GH. It might be my testing liquids are a little old or I may need a saltwater kit to get some accurate readings.

PH is 8.8 or better.
KH is125.3
GH is off the chart. I stopped adding drops after 35. 11 to 22 drops is considered ideal for rift lake cichlids. The orange color got deeper orange but refused to go to green.

So tomorrow I'm going to do a massive water change and clean the glass. When the sump went down a few months ago I left the water in the tank too long and after it was finally emptied the glass had a crystalline crust on it that was a pain in the rear to scrape off.

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Re: 350g tank build

Post by Drake-tripod on Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:58 am

id go buy a new kit and try that before the monster change. and i was thinking a large school of fronts would look pretty good in there and i know a guy with some pretty sweet fronts.... mike:D
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by iceblue on Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:30 pm

Drake-tripod wrote:id go buy a new kit and try that before the monster change. and i was thinking a large school of fronts would look pretty good in there and i know a guy with some pretty sweet fronts.... mike:D

I'll probably buy the new kit when I cycle the tank. I'm getting very high readings because of the large amount of concrete I made to build my background. Although they might be old there is no denying the crystal crust that built up on the glass.
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by Aura on Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:12 pm

It's always something, isn't it? It's a good thing you are such a patient man! I'm already picturing all of those fish swimming around in it. tongue
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by iceblue on Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:42 pm

It's running on a short fuse B. I'm tempted just to get some feeder goldfish to throw in there just to see something swimming around again.
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:58 pm

Great to hear this tank is taking off again, you're definitely on the home stretch now. I predict it will take several large water changes and a couple weeks worth of soaking for the gh and kh to level out at lower levels. The plus side is the concrete will continue buffering the water so you won't have to do anything to keep a nice high ph and hard water. Really lookin forward to seeing it full of fishies!!! Wink

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Re: 350g tank build

Post by Drake-tripod on Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:09 pm

oh yea on the concreat my bad lol and id say dannios or giant dannois are better and healther
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by iceblue on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:12 am

The tank failed. Sad Draining it now.
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by Aura on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:44 am

Oh no! Crying or Very sad I hope this is something you can fix. I'm really sorry, Norm. Crying or Very sad
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by Drake-tripod on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:55 am

what you mean it failed?
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by bulldogg7 on Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:03 pm

Sure hope it's repairable!

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Re: 350g tank build

Post by iceblue on Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:07 pm

I was heart-broken this morning and nearly teared up when I stepped on a wet spot in front of my tank. A little while longer and I was just plain angry. I've invested too much time in this project not to be successful. I WILL NOT BE DENIED. After thinking it through for a while I decided it could only be one of two things.
1. The seams at the inside edges failed. Easy fix.
2. The one point in my build that I thought was the weakest failed. Not so easy a fix but do-able.

Finally having a proper frame of mind I grabbed my 14 year old Richard aka R.J. We began tearing the tank down The hood was removed to the garage and I got inside the tank and handed the background out to him. He did a mans work this morning and I'm very proud of him. A couple of the background pieces I handed to him from the tank weigh close to a hundred pounds and he carried them all the way to the backyard without complaint.

Here's a picture of RJ.


The background in the backyard.




Once the sand and background were removed I washed out the inside of the tank and shop-vacd it clean and dry.


With flashlight in hand I discovered the problem almost immediately. It was number 2.Razz When I was doing the plywood portion of the build I used long scraps to do the front instead of buying another sheet of 3/4" ply to do it in one piece. I skimped and payed the price.



Also, the 2" x 4" frame that holds the glass in place needs to be beefed up at the bottom. I'll be placing a couple of lags through the framing to stiffen it up.

This picture shows the bottom corner that failed.



Here are a couple of pics of the actual crack.





So right now I have fans running to dry out the wood and when that's done I'll go back inside the tank and start removing the coating where it separated from the wood. Hopefully not to much. Heavy Smoker
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Re: 350g tank build

Post by why_spyder on Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:18 pm

Good luck with the fix - glad it didn't turn out worse than it did (glass half full, right? Wink ).
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