This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

12x12x12 DIY Budget Nano

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by ajack, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. ajack

    ajack Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:45 PM
    Hey everybody. I like snails and plants all of the sudden. I have a pretty tight budget and I'm not good at taking care of things so I thought I'd get some help from the experts. Anyway, I'm diving in headlong and here's my setup so far:

    12"x12"x12" tank x1/8" thick i built with a buddy.
    inside dimensions are 11 3/4" x 11 3/4" x 12" which makes it 7.17 US gallons. i found the instructions for building it on about.com, but it doesn't seem as sturdy as i'd like it to, so next tank (ambitious) is gonna be a mite thicker. the glass was about $28, and the sandpaper, acetone, and silicone were about $12 at the local hardware store (100% silicone is food grade). duct tape, paper towels, and time were expendables.

    in the mail, i'm waiting for the following pieces from drfostersmith.com:
    $40 Hydor ETH In-Line Heater 200 watt, 1/2"
    and this major deuce-up:
    $32 Rapids Mini Canister Filter Mini Canister Filter (which it turns out, is for terrariums, but the website says it can process 80gph. to me this means i can replace the media with whatever i want as long as there is a pump squeezing water through a tank. of course, if it doesn't work out i'll have to return it or chuck it in the pacific, but the jury is still out on this one.) i may include this in the failed methods cost.

    i've had a lot of discussions and done some significant reading on co2 and lighting as well and i've come to the following conclusions:

    1 - compressed co2 is worth the added startup cost to reduce the amount of time and labor on my part (yes, i am lazy)

    2 - the only truly important factor in lighting is not kelvin, lumens, and all the stuff everyone talks about, but the spectrum of light delivered.

    that being said, i'm going to suck it up and swallow the cost of a co2 setup (about $150), but i'm not willing to give up on cheap lighting yet.

    so i bought a hanging work lamp ($11) with reflector and found a cheap compact flourescent lamp by n:vision(
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    8:45 PM
    Hi,

    Nice job on the tank............

    A couple of things:

    Not sure where you live but this is a pretty big heater for such a small volume of water. Just adjust/set it for a couple of days with no fish to ensure the correct settings and that the temp is not too high...

    Almost any type of light will drive plant growth, some better than others. Again with a small tank, do what you can to set it up where you can ADJUST the distance/duration of light.

    You want to try and get a good spread as well, and the fixture you show is more of a spotlight. So try hanging it higher to get more spread.

    A 6500-10k bulb is fine, it is more what your visual preference is.

    PAR is the best measurement for light but these meters are not common (yet) in the hobby. wpg, lumens, etc don't really tell us how the light will work in-situ with reflectors, etc.

    The more light you have the more c02 and nutrients will be required by higher plant growth. More light=higher demand.

    Substrate depends on what you want to do with it.

    A fertilized soil is better in many respect as plants can extract nutrients from here for growth. This can be nice if your water dosing is lean (vacations, etc) or you are lazy with water dosing..........

    Plain sand or gravel will also work, but than water column dosing is much more important. Really many choice and I would do some more research here.

    I know there are several threads about DIY clay soils, river soil, wormcasting, etc.

    You may want to read the threads on EI and other strategies:

    http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/3205-fertilizer-routines-one.html

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. ajack

    ajack Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:45 PM
    thanks, gerry... i'm pretty excited about all of this right now - last night i dreamt about dosing the fertilizers in my tank with koolaid, so of course the first thing i did this morning was leak check the new tank and check here for replies. so i feel like this means i'll be pretty diligent at first, but i want to keep it simple for when i start dreaming about my new obsession (whatever that may be).

    anyway - the heater was an aesthetic/space choice. i figured with so little space there was no reason to give up any of it to anything but a couple of tubes and a drop checker, so that's what i'm aiming for. i knew the heater was a little big, but it's designed to go off at the appropriate temperature so i'm hoping it'll still be fine. also i'm mostly worried about snails and plants, not fish, and like you suspected i live in a generally cold environment so i'm good with all the heater i can get.

    thanks for all the light advice - it jibes with every credible thing i've been hearing and reading, so i feel like i'm on the right track. and the same goes for the co2.

    as for the substrate, won't any substrate eventually not have any nutrients left, either? i just figured i was required to fertilize the water column. there will be a lot more reading happening between now and laying down the soil, anyway.

    i'll check out those threads and stuff, too.

    thanks again.
     
  4. ajack

    ajack Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:45 PM
    update to tank

    my heater and canister filter arrived - the toms rapids mini canister filter seems to have solid contstruction, contrary to the reviews i've been reading. the hydor in-line heater is far larger than i imagined it being, and needs to be oriented vertically, which basically creates a situation where the canister filter needs to be situated lower than the tank, which i find less than ideal (because it may or may not decrease flow - a subject i hesitate to bring up.)

    so then i got excited and went to go buy some ROCKS! me and jtparsons hit a local landscaping rock supply shop and hunted around. i found some really sweet rock called scoria taffy for $ 0.35/lb but i haven't checked to see if it's got any bad chemical stuff in it. likely not, since it's a mix of fired red and gray clay and maybe obsidian, from what the rock guy told me. then i stopped to get some substrate. i was originally going to go with a soil like eco-complete and then top it with white sand, but i ended up just going with flourite black sand - it matches the rock and if i really want some built in ferts i'll mix them in before i lay it down.

    i rounded off my aquarium store purchase with 2 1ft lengtsh of 1/2" and 3/8" tubing to test the compatibility of the heater and filter - so far so good.

    lastly i stopped at a used furniture store and picked up a small 18"x18"x2' high drawer set to use as a stand. all in all, it's less DIY and more budget project, but the job is getting done, and i think i'll be happy with the results. the drawer is not pictured below yet.

    P1040600.JPG
     
  5. ajack

    ajack Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:45 PM
    layout plans

    thought i'd post my ideas for a layout plan and see if anyone had any comments or suggestions. as mentioned before, the rock is called scoria taffy.

    P1040596.JPG
     
  6. ajack

    ajack Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:45 PM
    tom, gerry, vaughn, et al...

    alright, so the first pic is obviously me testing some scaping ideas - lemme know what you think. i'm pretty excited by the setup. it was one of the steps that made the agonizing over details ranging from which silicone to use to the published light spectrums of various bulbs totally worth it. it was fun, easy, and satisfying. i hope it doesn't look like $h!+.

    second pic is me starting some immersed growth experiments (btw - is it immersed, emmersed, emergent, or some other word or morphology). i've got some plants whats names i don't know on the left, and some glosso and hc on the left. i forget what hc stands for. anyway - the purpose is to see if i'm adept at this process so i don't throw away my money and effort when i get my hands on some utricularia graminifolia.

    lastly is my latest and most exciting experiment (only experiment?). the diagram is a rough google sketchup of my TOM'S RAPID MINI CANISTER FILTER. so here's the story: i was planning on building an inline external reactor for my nano (excessive, maybe, but bear with me) using pvc as per all the various DIY guides out there, barr's included. my problems involved my desire to have the co2 reactor be efficient in design, clear - for viewing the reactor in operation, compact to reduce clutter, openable for cleaning, and inexpensive. unfortunately, pvc pipes are bulky, inefficient, and expensive, when clear. also, they require cementing. so my plan is to introduce co2 directly into my canister filter and create a reactor within the filter.

    in the diagram of the TOM'S filter, a large chamber split by a wall is depicted with tubes entering from the top. the wall does not reach all the way to the top or bottom, and that separation, through wich water flows, is indicated by a purple space. the green tube shows where water enters the prefilter from the top - that chamber is filled with those ceramic cheerios. the blue tube is perforated throughout, and is surrounded by the spongy media. next to the green tube is a wide gray recession that represents a black plastic cap that can be opened. the red tube is what i propose to install on the filter. i intend to drill a small hole in the black plastic cap and insert an 1/8" coupling barb. above the barb will be the co2 system and below the barb will be a tube leading the co2 to the center of the prefilter media.

    the plan is that the co2 will be dissolved in the left side of the chamber before passing through the purple area, spongy media, and exiting to the tank. my concern is that co2 will rise before dissolving and pass through the purple area on the top and enter the exhaust tube. the exhaust tube is not perforated in the top inch. one possible solution to this possible problem is to seal the top purple space and only allow water/co2 to pass UNDER the separation wall. my questions are 1)does closing the passage above the wall make sense and is it necessary, and 2)as experienced persons, does this plan have obvious problems of which i am unaware?

    i hope that made sense, and i hope someone might see fit to work this over in their head for a minute and offer some sage guru advice.

    P1040639.JPG

    P1040653.JPG

    tomspost.jpg
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    89
    Local Time:
    8:45 PM
    This layout looks good, because the rocks look like they are all part of an outcrop of a rock shelf, with the same slanting angle, the grain running in the same direction, etc. And, the small third rock adds to that effect.

    The later picture where you have the rocks in the tank, doesn't maintain that appearance, and looks like the extra small rocks don't belong there.

    About the words: emersed - Definition of emersed at YourDictionary.com
    immersed definition | Dictionary.com

    So, the winner is......emersed!
     
  8. jtparsons

    jtparsons Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:45 PM
    Jack,
    You could do it this way. The risks are possibly making the pump airbound when to much gas accumulates in the canister. You will also have the burping that my set-up has. If you do this set-up and then adjust your co2 to find the optimal/stable level you might find this level makes the pump airbound or decreases the pumps efficiency. Then where will you be? Make the reactor like we discussed using the clear pipe and fittings. Plus I need to learn from your design/mistakes. Have you been to the house lately. Hope my tank is doing good.

    That grass you have/stole in the left tupperware is Saggitaria (sp). I dont think it will grow emersed.
    The pogostemon and riccia wont arrive until monday
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice