(Since this is an ongoing project it probably fits better in this thread. The content of this post is the same as my post in the tinker thread.)
When I moved into my house I built a 55 gallon tank into the wall between the living room and kitchen, and up to last year it has survived on just an internal Fluval filter
. Stock lights, basic internal heater, fake plants.
The fish were doing just fine, but then I discovered the joy of growing plants!
Plants need three things to thrive: light, CO2, and nutrients. So last year I upgraded the lighting from 30W crap bulbs to a beautiful 3x54W T-5HO aluminum canopy
. It has three 4ft bulbs (all different light spectrums) on two circuits. I didn't want ugly mechanical timers so I bought some electronics timers
that normally replace your light switch and modified the canopy so they hid inside. Now the blue-ish lights are on from 11am-9pm, and the daylight bulb is on for a 12pm-2pm daylight burst. I can even set them to be different every day if I want. Woohoo!
I started dosing fertilizers but that's boring (until I construct an automatic fert-doser using a peristaltic pump!)
I also starting using DIY CO2
which is basically a brewery that mixes yeast, sugar and water in a sealed container with an outlet for the generated CO2 to be directed into the tank. This worked but had a low bubble count. I could add more yeast to the mixture and get more bubbles, but then I would have to redo it more often (like every week) and that was getting annoying. I built my own giant system using two 2L bottles but was still not happy with having to redo it so often.
So I went to Air Liquide and leased myself a 20lb beverage-grade aluminum CO2 tank
, and bought a regulator/solenoid/metering-valve
setup that I can adjust from something tiny like 1 bubble per minute all the way up to kill-all-the-fish-bubble-explosion (not gonna test that).
Now THIS year I have just recently purchased an external canister filter
to replace the internal filter. I think it will be much nicer to see nothing in the tank but plants and fishies. Gotta get that internal heater
out too though! So tonight I'm looking for external heaters
that I can plumb into the output of my canister filter. While I'm at it I'm going to get a UV sterilizer
and I will make a "DIY CO2 reactor
" and have alllllll that stuff moved into the stairwell that is out-of-sight from both the rooms (by running the external hoses through the walls studs!).
It's a huge (but fun) money pit of a hobby!
And I will post some pictures once I start the new additions!