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135g Kansas Native Aquarium


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#21 elting44

elting44
  • Regional Rep
  • Salina, KS

Posted 26 February 2018 - 01:55 PM

Lesson learned:

 

I purchased about 15 fathead minnows to cycle the aquarium with.  Turns out the amount of flow I have in the main thank through the weirs into the overflows proved too much for the minnows that were smaller than 1.5".  I was able to rescue a few from the filter sock, but about 7 of them had already perished.


Tyler Elting -  Intersection of the Saline, Smoky Hill and Solomon Rivers, Kansas
"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19
Avatar photo credit Lance Merry

#22 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 26 February 2018 - 02:49 PM

Lookin' good!  I'll be following for sure.

 

As far as a top, a good cheap way to go is to use egg crate light diffusers from your hardware store.  They're easy to cut to size and fairly cheap.

 

 

 

I am the type to plan and plan and plan and never get around to the actual execution.

 

8-[  :-


Kevin Wilson


#23 elting44

elting44
  • Regional Rep
  • Salina, KS

Posted 26 February 2018 - 04:28 PM

Lookin' good!  I'll be following for sure.

 

As far as a top, a good cheap way to go is to use egg crate light diffusers from your hardware store.  They're easy to cut to size and fairly cheap.

 

 

 

8-[  :-

 

Thank you.  I had considered egg crate, my concern would be losing the shimmer effect the LEDs put out, I will have to try it and find out.  I will report my findings


Tyler Elting -  Intersection of the Saline, Smoky Hill and Solomon Rivers, Kansas
"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19
Avatar photo credit Lance Merry

#24 JasonL

JasonL
  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 26 February 2018 - 11:00 PM

Not sure where you got your fatheads but bait shop fish are usually disease prone. I would be wary of introducing bait shop fish to any aquarium system. Could cause problems down the line.

#25 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 27 February 2018 - 09:52 AM

Tyler, here's another option for a screen top:

 

https://www.bulkreef...creen-tops.html

 

You can buy most parts at your hardware store, and maybe even the screen.  I think that the biggest difference with the BRS screen is that it is clear plastic.  Anyway, they're perfect for customization of your tank top, and maybe a better option than egg crate.  I have one tank with an egg crate top, and it's OK, and I haven't tried this, but I probably will go this route for my 75g and my 100g tanks.


Kevin Wilson


#26 elting44

elting44
  • Regional Rep
  • Salina, KS

Posted 27 February 2018 - 10:06 AM

Not sure where you got your fatheads but bait shop fish are usually disease prone. I would be wary of introducing bait shop fish to any aquarium system. Could cause problems down the line.


They came from a non chain LFS that I have had luck with. My other option was PetCo and I actually wanted to check out a couple of local baitshops but they were closed.
Tyler Elting -  Intersection of the Saline, Smoky Hill and Solomon Rivers, Kansas
"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19
Avatar photo credit Lance Merry

#27 elting44

elting44
  • Regional Rep
  • Salina, KS

Posted 27 February 2018 - 12:51 PM

Tyler, here's another option for a screen top:

 

https://www.bulkreef...creen-tops.html

 

You can buy most parts at your hardware store, and maybe even the screen.  I think that the biggest difference with the BRS screen is that it is clear plastic.  Anyway, they're perfect for customization of your tank top, and maybe a better option than egg crate.  I have one tank with an egg crate top, and it's OK, and I haven't tried this, but I probably will go this route for my 75g and my 100g tanks.

 

Thanks Kevin,

 

I might purchase some of the screen material and see if I can build the DIY frames for both lids.  Or I might check Lowes and see if I can find something similar.


Tyler Elting -  Intersection of the Saline, Smoky Hill and Solomon Rivers, Kansas
"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19
Avatar photo credit Lance Merry

#28 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 28 February 2018 - 12:46 PM

I think that the screen top is a better option than the egg crate, because small fish can get through the egg crate.  So, I think for my two builds, that is what I'll do.  I haven't purchased anything yet, so I'm interested in what you find out.  I researched this a while ago, and kind of forgot what I found out, but if memory serves me correctly, at the time, BRS was the only one selling the clear screen.  I'm curious if it is more widely sold now.


Kevin Wilson


#29 brackishdude

brackishdude
  • NANFA Member

Posted 28 February 2018 - 04:03 PM

I cut the teeth off of my weirs to maximize surface skimming and shorten the overall height of water above the rim of the overflow. 

 

I used gutter guard as my screen, which would work even if you do not cut the teeth off.

 

The smaller the holes in your screen, the safer your fish, but the more restricted the water flow and therefore the higher the water level in the tank, as well as decreasing surface scanning and increasing debris getting caught in the screen instead of heading into your overflow.  Consider widening the gaps between the teeth even if you do not cut the teeth off altogether.

 

Keep the pictures coming!



#30 elting44

elting44
  • Regional Rep
  • Salina, KS

Posted 28 February 2018 - 05:16 PM

I cut the teeth off of my weirs to maximize surface skimming and shorten the overall height of water above the rim of the overflow. 

 

I used gutter guard as my screen, which would work even if you do not cut the teeth off.

 

The smaller the holes in your screen, the safer your fish, but the more restricted the water flow and therefore the higher the water level in the tank, as well as decreasing surface scanning and increasing debris getting caught in the screen instead of heading into your overflow.  Consider widening the gaps between the teeth even if you do not cut the teeth off altogether.

 

Keep the pictures coming!

 

I may try the gutter guard, how do you have it attached to the overflow box?  Did you drain the water in the DT down and silicone it in place?


Tyler Elting -  Intersection of the Saline, Smoky Hill and Solomon Rivers, Kansas
"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19
Avatar photo credit Lance Merry

#31 brackishdude

brackishdude
  • NANFA Member

Posted 28 February 2018 - 05:45 PM

My overflow boxes are only 1 inch wide front to back, and I was able to wedge folded gutter guard between the front wall of the box and the rear wall of the box, sort of making a long upside down U.

In your case, you might be able to use some small black zip ties at the corners and as needed along the front side, tying the gutter guard to the inside of the box.  I hate making anything like that permanent, but siliconing it on the inside or outside would also be a reasonable option.



#32 elting44

elting44
  • Regional Rep
  • Salina, KS

Posted 28 February 2018 - 05:52 PM

My overflow boxes are only 1 inch wide front to back, and I was able to wedge folded gutter guard between the front wall of the box and the rear wall of the box, sort of making a long upside down U.

In your case, you might be able to use some small black zip ties at the corners and as needed along the front side, tying the gutter guard to the inside of the box.  I hate making anything like that permanent, but siliconing it on the inside or outside would also be a reasonable option.

 

I like the zip tie idea, I have a bunch of them and snipping them will be easier than scraping the silicone.


Tyler Elting -  Intersection of the Saline, Smoky Hill and Solomon Rivers, Kansas
"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19
Avatar photo credit Lance Merry

#33 ttommyp

ttommyp
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Posted 26 March 2018 - 01:12 PM


The lights are four Stasun 6500k 30w LED floodlights, they are about 25 dollars a piece and create an awesome shimmer effect.  I don't have plans for planting this tank, but if I do, I think they should provide enough lumens for some low to medium light plants.

 

attachicon.gifLights.jpg

 

After I had the sump completed, I plumbed it together.  The tank has 2 overflow boxes and each box had 2 holes drilled in the bottom, one for a drain and one for a return.  The drains are 1" durso standpipes run through the bulkhead, directly into a union, the union then has a 90 degree elbow (I would have prefered a 1" 90 sweep here, but couldn't find them that were really expensive) and then a unioned ball valve, then barbed fittings to braided vinyl tubing, back into elbows into 100 micron filter socks on the left side of the sump.

 

My best advice here is it is definitely worth it to buy unions and unioned ball (or gate) valves.  They add some cost to the plumbing, but the ability to take them apart for modifications, cleaning and moving make them super handy.

 

The first section of the sump is for mechanical, I added some sponges and poly-fil (not pictured) to help with the extra debris from the sand I added. but once the tank is established, I will likely just use the socks.

 

The middle section of the sump is bio-filtration by way of 6 gallons of K1 kaldness biomedia, it occupies an approximate 11 gallon section of the sump.  It is currently being kept in motion by a Whisper 300 air pump, but It isn't quite doing the job at the moment.  I don't know if this is because the system is only a week old and the biomedia doesn't have enough beneficial bacteria on it to keep it suspended, or if I don't have enough propulsion to keep it all agitated.  I am going to give it another couple weeks while the system cycles and see if it improves, if not I may have to add a powerhead to keep the media in a fluidized state.

 

 

attachicon.gif135 Dry.jpg

 

The pumps that return the water from the sump back into the main tank are two Jebao DCP 6500lph pumps.  This was the most expensive element of the setup.  I was debating using 1 pump, but some sound advice I got was to do 2 pumps, and run them each at 50-60%.  They will operate more quietly, and if (when) one fails, you can turn up the remaining pump to get you by until a replacement can be installed.

 

The returns are 3/4" PVC with union ball valves, 3/4" vinyl tubing, back to 3/4" PVC through the bulkheads and Loc-line returns into the main section of the display tank.

 

Pro Tip: Vinyl Tubing is a pain to work with because it holds its shape like crazy when it it room temp or cooler.  The way I found to warm it to make it more pliable (after many failed methods) was to throw it in the clothes dryer with some towels to dampen the noise of vinyl tubing banging around as it tumbles.  Only takes 10 minutes or so to get it nice and soft.  Your spouse will look at you funny, this is ok.

 

Here is a picture of the tank being filled.  It was nerve wracking and exciting:

 

attachicon.gif135 Fill.jpg

 

Next I added some sand and driftwood.  In the past I have used pool filter sand from a pool supply store, and it was really clean, and required no rinsing.  For this project I bought some pool filter sand from a local hardware store.  Boy was it dirty....

 

attachicon.gifSandCloudy.jpg

 

12 hours later.....

 

attachicon.gifSandLessCloudy.jpg

 

I replaced the filter socks after 24 hours, and then again about 48 hours later.  I purchased 8 socks, and wash the dirty ones with the laundry.  The manufacturer recommended rinsing and wringing them out multiple times before using. Oddly enough, so far they seem to trap much more after being washed in the laundry as well.

 

It took about 5 days for the driftwood to soak and sink.  The driftwood I had that sat dry during the move developed a white fuzzy moldy substance which I have seen in the past and usually clears up after a few days.

 

I added a bunch more river rock, smaller stones, and pea gravel to give a natural aquascape:

 

attachicon.gif135 Left.jpg

 

attachicon.gif135 Front.jpg

 

attachicon.gif135 OffRight.jpg

 

Which brings us to today.  The tank is still in the BB cycle, and I would like to find a cool way of blocking/masking the light to create some natural shadows and pillars of light.  I will also likely add some Indian Almond leaves or Oak leaves to litter the bottom.

 

I am looking forward to catching natives once the tank is cycled and the weather cooperates.  I am new to dipnetting and seines, so that will be an interesting learning curve.

 

I have also purchased some microfishing gear, and look forward to catching as many of this tanks inhabitants on (tiny) hook and line as I can.

 

Thanks again to my patient wife and everyone who has given me pointers along the way.  I am the type to plan and plan and plan and never get around to the actual execution.  Being able to have a community of support made this project a reality.

 

 

 

 

 

The scape is awesome! Blacking everything out too is really nice. I dig the drift wood breaking through diagonally like this too!


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