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Well I took the plunge. My 20 gallon tank developed a slow leak last
weekend, and I happened to see an ad in the paper (online) about a place
here in Phoenix called The Ocean Floor that was having a 25% off sale on
most tanks. So I stopped by tonight, and came home with a 90 gallon
AllGlass aquarium. I thought seriously about getting a 125, but this
one is 4' long, just right for 4' flourescent fixtures, whereas I figured
for the 6' 125 gallon, I'd have needed about 8 3' tubes. This way I can
get by with 4 of the easier to find kind, and have nearly 2W/gal if I get
4 40W tubes. (Or 6 maybe? hmmm... it's 24" deep after all...)
This place doesn't carry metal halides yet although they
said they might start carrying compact flourescent and VHO types soon.
Also got a pair of FluVal 304 filters. I hadn't actually seen a trickle
filter before, but they had tanks there already set up with an overflow
chamber, and with all the extra goodies it seemed to add quite a bit of
expense. The guy at the store also said that while trickle filters are
in vogue here now, the Japanese and Europeans still do just fine with
cannisters. I've liked my other little FluVal cannister pretty well so
far; it seems to require really minimal maintenance. I got lazy the last
few months, and just got around to cleaning it last weekend, and was
surprised to see how little accumulation there was.
I didn't see any unusual substrate materials there, just gravel. (Come to
think of it, I don't remember seeing plants either.) I think I want to
try that white clay stuff that seemed to be well received here a few
months ago; but I forget what the name was. Time for a trip to the
I'll be doing real CO2 this time around, no more yeast bottle stuff.
The tank will be sitting closer to the AC duct, so maybe it won't get as
hot as it did last summer. And I may try using fans for ventilation
through the hood.
I guess I'll probably be spending this weekend building a stand and hood.
I got some 3x4 redwood stock last summer with that in mind; it was still
a bit green then, should be well-cured now. I wondered if it'd be sturdy
enough, but after seeing how they build the commercially available stands,
I know I can do better. 1/2" particle board, for crying out loud; how is
that supposed to support several hundred pounds of water? But the biggest
challenge will be getting it perfectly flat. I'm debating on whether to
build a flat tabletop, or build a frame just the right width for the tank
to fit down inside, and then screw an angle-iron frame into the inside,
so the tank sits down into it an inch and a half or so. But the wood
should be straight too; if it isn't, I'll go get a couple better pieces
for the top frame. I'm going to build it 8 feet long and put it behind
my couch in the living room, sticking out like a room divider, so the
aquarium will be viewable from both sides. I never got around to putting
any kind of backing on my other one, and the fish didn't seem to mind.
_______ Shawn T. Rutledge / KB7PWD ecloud at bigfoot_com
(_ | |_) http://www.bigfoot.com/~ecloud kb7pwd at kb7pwd_ampr.org
__) | | \________________________________________________________________
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