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Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

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  • Offline vlangel
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Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« posted: 10 months ago »
I read a good article that Alyssa from seahorse savvy wrote on facebook.  It made me rethink my sandbed.  I have always felt that a bare bottom tank is probably more practical thus better in the long term for seahorses.  Keeping a sandbed detritus free takes some diligence.  With so many other chores that require diligence, it does make sense to make things more maintenance friendly.

The problem is I don't like the looks of a bb tank.  So I was considering overhauling my tank and painting the bottom.  Of course the labor involved in that got me thinking could I replace my tank?  It is 5 years old almost, has a few scratches and a black back wall.  For seahorses I would like a lighter back wall to encourage lighter coloration.  When I discovered that a 56 gallon column tank is 30", I got excited.  I could keep my lights and hob overflow, have a similar footprint but have 20 more gallons of water volume.  This tank can still use my basement sump as it has plenty of room for the extra water that will drain into it when the return is off.  That could mean 2 pairs of seahorses instead of 1 pair.  So that is what I am doing.

This tank is in honor of Adam because his passing is what caused me to rethink my sandbed.  I am working on the tank now.  The stand needed to be special ordered and will need painted as it only came in black.  Its a plain pine stand so I may dress it up a bit with some molding too.  I will update you all as things progress.
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  • Offline suew
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #1 posted: 10 months ago »

   Sorry about Adam it can take a while to get over when one dies.

    Your new tank sounds very nice and will enjoy seeing it when you have it up and running.
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #2 posted: 10 months ago »
Sounds great.  Are you planning to do anything else different design wise?
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #3 posted: 10 months ago »

   Sorry about Adam it can take a while to get over when one dies.

    Your new tank sounds very nice and will enjoy seeing it when you have it up and running.
  Thank you Sue!  Yes, Adam was my first seahorse loss and its still really sad to me.  I have felt bad losing fish but somehow seahorses are on a different level.  If by removing the sandbed I can take away 1 factor that 'can' cause problems  then that is what I want to do. 
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #4 posted: 10 months ago »
Sounds great.  Are you planning to do anything else different design wise?

The removal of the sand bed is the most significant difference.

The other thing I am doing different is I am painting a misty twilight aqua scene of Adam on the back wall.  In my mind he is a vague silhouette, a shadow really.  In general the wall will be much lighter than my current tank, so although I am paying tribute to Adam's memory, I will also be creating an enviroment that hopefully fosters lighter seahorses.

Lastly I am going to use bigger rio pumps for more flow.  Its a bigger tank so I needed bigger rios anyway but I decided to increase the turnover some.  I will be close to 20Xs with this tank.  I am in the 15Xs with my current tank.

Other than that I have been very happy with how my aquarium is suited for the ponies, so I wont be changing anything else.  I run both a prizm pro HOB of the DT skimmer and an SCA 302 sump skimmer, so even with the added volume I feel I have adequate skimming.  I will be increasing my water changes since I will be having more ponies but I will do them the same, just bigger.  I am keeping my sump system, my T5s, my rock and coral so its going to look similar to the current tank.

I am looking forward to having flat glass in the front.  Cleaning a bowfront is a pain in the neck.  I am not looking forward to cleaning a 24" high aquarium up to my armpits but I have a step stool handy, ha ha!
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  • Offline DanU
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #5 posted: 10 months ago »
If you plan on changing the pumps, take a peak at the Variable Speed DC pumps that have become available.  They run quieter, cooler and use less electricity than the average pump.  Since they are variable, you buy the max size you think you want and adjust the speed down if it is too much.   This is much better than using a ball valve to slow the flow as slow the pump down lowers the electrical demand and heat.  After replacing a pool pump with a variable speed DC pump and saw the savings I looked into DC aquarium pumps.  I recently replaced an Iwaki pump that drew 322 watts with a DC pump that only draws 80 watts.  Much quieter and I save approximately $21.00 a month on electricity.

Dan
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #6 posted: 10 months ago »
If you plan on changing the pumps, take a peak at the Variable Speed DC pumps that have become available.  They run quieter, cooler and use less electricity than the average pump.  Since they are variable, you buy the max size you think you want and adjust the speed down if it is too much.   This is much better than using a ball valve to slow the flow as slow the pump down lowers the electrical demand and heat.  After replacing a pool pump with a variable speed DC pump and saw the savings I looked into DC aquarium pumps.  I recently replaced an Iwaki pump that drew 322 watts with a DC pump that only draws 80 watts.  Much quieter and I save approximately $21.00 a month on electricity.

Dan

Thanks for the tip Dan.  I have been keeping an eye on DC pumps in the forums I am on.  I wondered if they have the reliability and staying power that a magnet driven pump has?  My return pump is a 9.5 Mag drive that I bought used in '07.  I know they are both hot and inefficient but its reliable and that is pretty important to me.
That is the same reason I use Rios for flow in the display tank, plus they have tight grating to protect the seahorses and are discreet.  O yeah, and reasonably priced, but then like you said I would probably make that up in the electric bill eventually.  I will look into it more however if you think they are a good idea.
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #7 posted: 10 months ago »

I decided it might be a cool tribute to paint a mural that includes a pic of Adam on the back wall.  I already knew I wanted it to be lighter than my current tank.  I bought aerosol paint so that I could achieve a misty, twilight aqua scene.  I envisioned Adam to be mostly a shadow.  The finished mural is not exactly what I pictured but it is unique and I think it will work.  The black rectangle is to simulate my overflow box.
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  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #8 posted: 10 months ago »
Beautiful, well done.
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #9 posted: 10 months ago »
Beautiful, well done.
Thanks Laurasea, I am hoping it really comes together when I add rock, coral and such.
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #10 posted: 10 months ago »

I am working on the pine stand now.  It only comes in black which does not go with our early american decor.  Also it is very plain so I bought some decorative molding to glue on and 'dress it up' a bit.  I will paint everything the vanilla color and then add a glaze on top for a french provincial look.
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #11 posted: 9 months ago »
The stand is all done with being painted.  The glaze requires 30 days to cure so I am not going to glaze it until it is up and running.  I know that I would drip salt water on it during the transfer and the paint will be cured enough in a week to wash and wipe. 

The transfer is going to take place Friday night and into Saturday if need be.  Today I puttied corals and gorgonians to rock.  I am going to miss having sand to cover bases and to stick coral down into.

I bought a new tunze 6045 powerhead and it arrived today.  With the adjustable flow I should be able to dial it in so that it is the only powerhead I need, along with the return pump.
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #12 posted: 9 months ago »

 A pic of the tank featuring Eve with the mural of Adam in the backround.
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #13 posted: 9 months ago »

Finally a FTS.  For me, doing a scape without sand was challenging.  I like my scapes to look natural and cohesive, and not like rocks laying in a fish tank, LOL.  Usually I cover up a multitude of sins and uglies with sand. 

Anyway I settled on this and I am pretty happy with it.  There are lots of hitches in multiple intensities of flow.  The food bowl is in a sheltered cove so the mysis doesn't get blown out. And I feel like the mural and scape work together.

Everything is settling in well.  Eve hunted live ghost shrimp the day I moved her, (I made sure I had some to help transition her).  She is not one to miss a meal!  The royal gramma was more spooked but he came out today and ate well.  The coral look fine too.
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Re: Upgrading my tank in Adam's honor!

« Reply #14 posted: 9 months ago »
The tank is going through a mini cycle which I expected.  The ammonia at one point went a bit higher than I anticipated but I added Prime and now the biofilter is catching up.  I expect that it will stabilize in anothet week. 

I plan to order a pair of seahorses from Seahorse Source at that time.  They will be in QT for a week to recover from shipping stress and should be in the display by Thanksgiving!

I think that will make Eve happy.  She stays hitched a lot except at meal times when she swims around mooching for food.  I think she is bored though without any other ponies to interact with so I am anxious to remedy that.
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