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Build Thread Immortal1's Tanks

I don't think I've ever used Eco Complete. How are you liking it?
A little bit of a learning curve. Now that it has been in the tank for 5+ years (or maybe because I have gotten used to it), planting stems seem to work ok. BDBS is better at holding the plants but at this point I guess I like the look of the Eco Complete.
I have tried root tabs but have not had positive results. Active substrates seem to absorb the root tabs nicely when Eco Complete seems to just dump the ferts into the water column.
I have pretty much dialed in the water column dosing about as good as it will get. An active substrate would likely offer better plant health but I don't know that I am ready to make the switch just yet.
 
About time I continue with this build thread. Suppose what I really should do is go back to the start :)
So, start in aquariums at home began with a simple 20g in the corner of the living room
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At some point, around late February 2015 I decided to so something a little bigger...
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Of course, the above just did not look very nice for the living room. So, a few changes were needed...
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How's that for a pretty planted tank? Guess we all start somewhere :)
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The aquarium stand itself has not changed in the last 7+ years. The 20g tank in the corner eventually was replaced with a custom 40g cube for the wife. More on that next.
 
Dude! You are THE KING of DIY. I'm in awe of how handy you are.

Please tell me you're a carpenter for a living and this isn't just your natural handy skills so I don't feel so bad?

Truly amazing work. I love the PVC inflow and outflow for the filter. Please explain how the water drain for water changes worked? Is it just a manual system or did you automate it?
 
Dude! You are THE KING of DIY. I'm in awe of how handy you are.

Please tell me you're a carpenter for a living and this isn't just your natural handy skills so I don't feel so bad?

Truly amazing work. I love the PVC inflow and outflow for the filter. Please explain how the water drain for water changes worked? Is it just a manual system or did you automate it?
LOL, Thankyou Art. Sorry to say, I am not a carpenter by trade. Just one of those guys with a lot of tools in the garage. Been doing various fabricating pretty much all my life - metal, welding, electrical, wood, fiberglass, upholstery, etc.
Full time job is actually a Sr. Project Manager in the environmental field for a construction company.

Regarding the PVC inflow / outflow I incorporated a 20g water holding tank under the main 75g tank. With the plumbing I added to the 75g stand, I could run hot/cold tap water into the 20g holding tank. From there, I could add Prime to condition the water, then by opening/closing various valves I could pump treated water into either the 40g cube or the 75g tank. Worked great for several years until one of the valves failed. I pulled the 20g holding tank out so I would have room for the FX4 filter and now just have a 8-10g rubber made tub under the 75g tank - basically as a buffer between the RO delivery system and the display tanks.

The interesting thing about the buffer tank - I originally had just a switch under the 75g tank to turn on the transfer pump in the RO drum. Great idea except when you get distracted by many other things during a water change. Ended up flooding the holding tank several times. Fortunately for me, the entire floor of the stand is a sheet of aluminum sealed at the edges. When the holding tank overflowed, things got a bit wet, but then the water simply went down the floor drain in the bottom of the stand.

Since then I have incorporated basically a water top of switch to the holding tank - no more flooding :)

The floor drain also incorporates a stand pipe that I use for draining water out of the tanks. Oddly enough, the floor drain/stand pipe drain into the sump pump pit in the crawlspace.
 
Looking thru my various YouTube videos, I found this one. Kinda gives you an idea what things "looked" like originally. If you look close, you get a glimpse of the aluminum floor. Video gives a really nice shot of the regulator assembly. At the 24 second mark, in the background you can see (2) blue handles. Opening the left handle sent water to the 40g tank. Opening the right handle sent water to the 75g tank.
Inside of the 75g stand

And another video detailing some more PVC DIY stuff I made.
PVC drain stuff

Another holding tank video
 
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So one of the things I can do with the lights is program them to turn on for about 1 hour while I get ready for work. Light power is about 1% so they are just barely on. The pic below is from my iPhone 13 without any editing. Picture seems brighter than what I see in real life. Thought it looked interesting so I grabbed a pic.

Interesting part - I didn't notice the middle light needs some adjusting till just now when I posted the pic. The color difference is not something you can really see in person.

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Our eyes are the worst judge for lighting as you can see here. Love the shades, by the way.

When my tank was set up, I had the moon light function going on the LED. Some people think it's a gimmick but I think there's something to it. Not only did it give me some light to check in and see what's going on with the tank at all times, it also seemed to be welcomed by the inhabitants. Like us, everything is programmed to follow the day night cycle. A lot happens in our aquariums while the moon is out.
 
On vacation this week so I took the opportunity to do some maintenance :cool:
One thing in particular was the RO tank. I finally bought a new heater for the tank (more than 6 months ago) and with winter fast approaching I figured I had better get that changed. While I was at it, I also cleaned the Jebao transfer pump and piping along with replacing the light I use to see in the RO tank.
Here is what is actually "in" the 55g RO drum - and the new heater.
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and here is what the top of the drum looks like with the new light. FYI, that rusty ring is from the old light - really was time for me to change that.
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and what it looks like inside the drum :) (I really should clean the inside of the drum!)
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Now a sharp eye would have noticed the power strip on the wall in the 3rd pic above...
Well, that power strip is plugged into a GFCI outlet. Figured it's best to be safe when playing with electricity and water.
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Ok, now onto the more interesting pic. So, when I add the calcium, magnesium and K2CO3 to the RO drum it obviously takes some time to dissolve...
As always, I think there has to be a better way than just waiting. So, I decided to use the transfer pump to "stir" the drum contents. The grey tube goes into the drum and by changing the various valves, I can circulate the water in the drum very nicely.
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And this is basically what the setup looks like most of the time. The blue valve, when open, directs water under the living room and up into the aquarium stand - roughly 6' overall rise. The empty duplex outlet on the wall is actually connected to a switch in the aquarium stand which I use to control the RO transfer pump when doing water changes - just have to move the pump power cord from the power strip to the duplex outlet.
Oh, and there is a small air pump on top of the water heater which runs a large air stone sitting on the bottom of the RO drum. Runs 24/7 to keep the contents well aeriated.
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@Immortal1 man this is intense. How long does it take to fill up those totes with RO Water?
FYI Jebao customer service is top notch in my book. I had a DCP 8000 pump controller module go out. Started acting funny doing its own thing. Messaged them via Facebook messenger. Sent pics and a video. Needless to say they Fedexed overnight a new controller.
 
@Immortal1 man this is intense. How long does it take to fill up those totes with RO Water?
FYI Jebao customer service is top notch in my book. I had a DCP 8000 pump controller module go out. Started acting funny doing its own thing. Messaged them via Facebook messenger. Sent pics and a video. Needless to say they Fedexed overnight a new controller.
Thank-you. The RO system has a water saver add-on so, basically it has 2 RO membranes. The end result is supposedly 300 gallon per day.
Honestly, I can generate 45+ gallons of water in roughly 8 hours.
As for the Jebao, that is good to hear. Have not had any issues in the last 2+ years of use. Seems to be a pretty reliable motor assemble. The controller I suppose is as likely to fail as any other brand.
 
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