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D3monic

75gal planted/ sand flats

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D3monic   

Ok im getting off my butt and setting this bad boy up. I have decided that I do not want it to be a reef tank but more of a sandy flats type set up. I plan on having a DSB Little to no live rock. I dont want to have to do expensive lighting or anything because frankly I dont have the money. I need your expert advice on just about everything from lighting to substrate. I plan on doing maybe seagrass and some Macro's. I want to buy some actual LIVE sand. What kind of substrate would I need? I was thinking the bottom layer being playsand, then maybe the "live" sand in a bag then actual sand from the ocean with all the critters. Would I need some kind of mud for the grasses? Would like 20lbs of LR be enough if I had say a 6" deep sand bed? I would think all the algaes and plants would help with nutrient export. Also what kind of lighting would be adequate?

 

As for fish I planned on doing maybe Dragonets, Sea moths and some pipefish. Perhaps a small flounder or two.

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itz216   

I've always wanted to do a tank like this. Post pics when it's up and running.

 

Advice ...make sure that "play sand" is aragonite. If not, splurge and get the real thing. It doesn't all have to be live sand. Lighting - assuming a 48" tank - I'd run a 4 x 54w T5 set up with 6500 and 10K for plant growth. You could DIY or do a Hellolights retro kit.

 

20 lbs live rock might not be enough, IMO. Flounder need lots of bottom space. A friend had one for a short time. The thing literally climbed the glass for a flat place to rest.

 

Just my 2 cents. Good luck with the tank.

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D3monic   

Yea probably wont do a flounder. Maybe a couple sand sifters though. Hopefully I can get a canopy for it then I could use crappy shop style lights.

 

Thanks for the sand link.

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I guess you know that all three fish you listed, have a very specific diet (copepods) So you WILL need a refugium. Are using a standard 75? Do you plan to get a horseshoe Crab? Very interesting setup. Subscribed.

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D3monic   

Yup completly aware of thier diets. Plan on training like I did with my other mandarins.

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C-Rad   

I'll start by saying that I keep a cold water tank with Southern California animals, and no plants, so I don't have much direct experience with what you are planning to do. What I do have in common with you is that I started knowing what organizims I wanted to keep, but not knowing much about how to go about it. My main recomendation is that you learn as much as you can about the natural environment of the plants and animals you want to keep, and then try to duplicate that environment. Since you will never be able to completely duplicate it, you must also learn about the most important needs of the animals and plants you want to keep, so that when you do need to cut a corner, you can avoid cutting a corner that will kill your stuff.

 

You want to avoid expensive lighting, but you want to keep plants. That means that you either need to keep plants that naturally live in low light (deep water) or you need to get a lot of direct natural sunlight.

Learn about what kind of flow the plants you want to keep need. Plants that live only in the intertidal zone usually need strong surging, back-and-forth, flow.

How about temperature. I save money on lights, but spend it on a chiller. Will your critters thrive at or above room temp?

Be careful mixing species that live in significantly different conditions. The surf zone is a very different place than the relatively calm water just outside the surf zone. If seagrass lives in the surf zone (does it?) but flounder don't, you may not be able to keep them together.

Edited by C-Rad

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Hero   

Very in depth post C-Rad. Sea grass can also be found outside the surf zone however world wide though there may be different select species you are looking for most are found in all shallow water biotopes.

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D3monic   

Started building the stand today. I forgot how hard it is to make something square and level using 2x4's, No clamps and only one pair of hands.

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D3monic   

Heres what I got so far. Shockingly its level. I still need to add more bracing. Heading to Menards to see if I can find something nice to skin it with.

 

 

 

IMG_0265.jpg

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Hero   

Looks nice. What color are you going to paint it?

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D3monic   

I got maple trim and plywood. Im staining cabernet. Its a redish color. Match my red maple cabnetry in the house.

 

0794339.jpg

Edited by D3monic

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Hero   

I see. Do you already have the tank?

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D3monic   

Yuppers, All I need are some lights. Im going to save for those while my tank cycles.

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C-Rad   

Are those screws or nails that are holding your stand together? The design puts the entire weight of the tank on the fasteners, so if those are only nails then I it worries me a little. Screws would probably be plenty strong, but If you add columns that sit directly under the top horizontal 2x4's, and transfer the weight to the lower set of horizontal 2x4's (and into the floor), then the fasteners aren't an issue, and the stand could hold tons.

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Hero   

Good good. Since you want a seagrass tank why not make it coldwater? ;).

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Nanobuds   

ooh very nice. are you going to move the jawfish in there? i think there should be some LR imo, but its up to you

 

 

good luck!!!

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D3monic   
Are those screws or nails that are holding your stand together? The design puts the entire weight of the tank on the fasteners, so if those are only nails then I it worries me a little. Screws would probably be plenty strong, but If you add columns that sit directly under the top horizontal 2x4's, and transfer the weight to the lower set of horizontal 2x4's (and into the floor), then the fasteners aren't an issue, and the stand could hold tons.

 

They are deck screws. I used 3.5" where I could and 2.5" everywhere else. I have also added an additional 10 supports. Two on each corner and one on each side in the center. Pics in the morning before I start skinning it. I should be able to set a car on this thing without issues. Skinning it tommorow will be interesting. I only have a circular saw and a miter / radial arm saw...need to find me a jigsaw somewhere to cut the for the doors. I sure hope I can get a sump in there....maybe I should set it in before I skin it just incase.

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D3monic   

I finished the rough work this morning. I got to go pick up a compressor so I can nail the skin and trim on. Its starting to look like a stand.

 

IMG_0271.jpg

 

Heres the skin im going to use. Its Maple plywood. I really liked the look of cherry but it was $40 for one sheet. Luan was only $8.99 but the wood grain pattern was too hectic. Maple ended up costing me about $26

 

IMG_0273.jpg

 

And of course lots of sanding then the stain.

 

IMG_0274.jpg

Edited by D3monic

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C-Rad   
They are deck screws. I used 3.5" where I could and 2.5" everywhere else. I have also added an additional 10 supports. Two on each corner and one on each side in the center.

 

Now you're talking! That thing can indeed hold a car (a Hummer). You clearly know what you're doing, sorry I nagged.

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D3monic   

I dont know what im doing but it looks about right to me. I need to drum up a jigsaw somewhere so I can cut the holes for the cabnet doors. Should I plywood the top with regular plywood or leave it open. Im leaning toward open.

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I'll start by saying that I keep a cold water tank with Southern California animals, and no pants,

 

Did anybody catch this? :)

 

I can't wait to see this tank D3monic!

Edited by Nemo_Niblets

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