20 Gallon Hexagon Tank Update

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Leeman75

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Things have been moving along with the 20 Gallon Hex Tank Build. I have decided on and purchased the HOB filter, heater, substrate, and sponge filter. Particulars are:

HOB: Penguin 200
Heater: Vivosun 200 Watt Heater
Sponge Filter: Aquaneat 20 Gallon Biofilter
Substrate: Imagitarium Black 20 lbs.

I took my time in really looking into and determining what I thought would best work for what I'm going for and am happy with my purchases.

This weeked, I also have almost completed my stand. Below are pictures of it. Keep in mind that I am far from a master carpenter, in fact this is one of the most significant handy type things I've ever done. I do still plan on spray painting it black. It is in it's spot, nested between my 29 gallon Shellie tank and my 29 gallon clown puke tank that I received along with a rehomed goldfish. Inside the tank, you'll see the piece of driftwood that I found that will be the focal point of the tank from the decoration standpoint.

Next up, after I paint the stand, I need to install a new outlet behind the tank for power and then wash the sand to get it in. Once I've got that in place, I'll be setting up the tank and putting a couple of Platys that I have in it to do a fish-in cycle. I will also be ordering plants to get going in the tank. Not sure what to get yet.Hex Stand.jpgHex Stand 2.jpg
 
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Vivo

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Looking good! I have a 33 gal. tall hex. Have neon tetras and Harlequin rasboras and 2 loaches. I wouldn't recommend loaches unless you have a loach tank and sand. It's hard to treat the fish tank with loaches because medicines can hurt them as they are scaleless. I wish I did tall fish instead for the tall hex. Like angel fish. It's a pain to place plants and decorations and to clean because of the depth. It s a beautiful tank though.
 
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Cody

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Vary nice job on the stand! Looks great. My only suggestion would maybe be to either look at painting it with regular household paint-something more durable and water proof in the long run. Or staining.

I know it will be a little more work/money but just a watch out. Although it does look like you have this in a basement as well though. SO a little less need for perfection there.

Can’t wait to watch it come together.
 
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aquachris

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I’m no carpenter either but I would put the vertical 2x4s in between the top and bottom parts so they carry the load. Otherwise your tanks weight is only supported by screws.
 
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Leeman75

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Cody said:
Vary nice job on the stand! Looks great. My only suggestion would maybe be to either look at painting it with regular household paint-something more durable and water proof in the long run. Or staining.

I know it will be a little more work/money but just a watch out. Although it does look like you have this in a basement as well though. SO a little less need for perfection there.

Can’t wait to watch it come together.
Yeah, I think it may be worthwhile to change my thoughts on paint too. Thanks for the suggestion!
 
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Leeman75

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Drasi said:
I’m no carpenter either but I would put the vertical 2x4s in between the top and bottom parts so they carry the load. Otherwise your tanks weight is only supported by screws.
I had a similar thought and after taking these pics, I went and cut a couple more 2x4s to wedge in and create verticle support just like you described. I also put a couple of corner supports in too.
 
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aquachris

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I’m impressed on the hex shape on your 2x4s on top and bottom, anything beyond straight and 45s start to become impossible for me lol.

can’t wait to see where you go with it. I think paint would make it a little better look in addition to the water sealing.
 
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Drasi said:
I’m impressed on the hex shape on your 2x4s on top and bottom, anything beyond straight and 45s start to become impossible for me lol.

can’t wait to see where you go with it. I think paint would make it a little better look in addition to the water sealing.
The hex shape was actually easier than I thought it would be. I toiled over how to do it for a while before jumping in, but it's really just a bunch of 30 degree cuts on the mitre. Even at that, don't look too closely as there were some little sliver gaps that I had to compensate. Paint will help a great deal!!
 
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Leeman75

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A lot of work got done today! I got the stand painted. Went with black. Then, I got the electrical done to add a new 4 plug power receptacle. This will now get power to the tank without the use of extension cords. It was a long project as I've never done electrical work before, but it worked out pretty well. Pic is below.

Tomorrow will be a big day...I will be bringing the stand back in place from the garage where I painted it. I will then set up the tank fully with substrate, large driftwood, filters, and heater. I will post pictures tomorrow once I have it all in place.

Power.jpg
 
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aquachris

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Nice!!
 
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Leeman75

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Ok, so everything got set up today for the most part. Water is in the tank, HOB (Penguin 200) and Sponge Filter are started, Heater is on and I have 1 fish in the tank so far. My Daughter's Pink Glofish that has been transient between several tanks is the first inhabitant to begin the fish-in cycle. Assuming nothing goes badly, I will be adding 2 Platys tomorrow.

The one fly in the ointment is that the driftwood needs to water log so that it stays down. It's currently being held down by a piece of granite resting on the slate. Once the driftwood stays down on it's own, I will get the sand into a more visually appealing state and order plants.

I think that I'm going to go with a Vallisneria to line the back. I kind of like the Corkscrew look, but really, I'd be ok with any. In the front, I'm going to add an Amazon Sword and a couple of Cryps and some Java Moss.

Any idea how long the driftwood will take to water log enough to stay down?

It seems that Jacob's Aquarium and Aquarium Plants.com have the best prices. Anyone have experience with them? I love Aquarium Coop and their videos, but they are a little more pricey than I can afford. Would appreciate any thoughts!

Here's a couple of pics. Don't mind the clownpuke tank to the left.

Full Hex Tank.jpgFull Hex Tank2.jpg
 
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Betta'sAnonymous

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The black is a nice touch for sure
 
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Cody

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I just placed a small order from Jacobs aquarium this weekend. Hopefully I’ll get them Wednesday or Thursday. Just a Lily bulb and a Crypt.

I will report back what my thoughts are. I have read reviews of people ranting and raving and some very disappointed.

I was lucky to find a bunch of the crypts I want locally but I did pay a little more to know what I was going to get. So we will see what my small sample looks like.
 
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Leeman75

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Cody said:
I just placed a small order from Jacobs aquarium this weekend. Hopefully I’ll get them Wednesday or Thursday. Just a Lily bulb and a Crypt.

I will report back what my thoughts are. I have read reviews of people ranting and raving and some very disappointed.

I was lucky to find a bunch of the crypts I want locally but I did pay a little more to know what I was going to get. So we will see what my small sample looks like.
I will be curious to hear how the order goes! I've also seen a mixed bag of reviews too.
 
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LilyPipeDreams

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Very cool project! Love how vertical it is ~ can’t wait to see it planted.
 
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Cody

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Leeman75 said:
I will be curious to hear how the order goes! I've also seen a mixed bag of reviews too.
I got my order today and mind you it was a small one to test the waters and here is my consensus.

I ordered Crypt Lucens and a Dwarf Lily bulb. Everything came packed nice in a sealed bag. The plant had a little melt but was was clearly healthy and the bulb had root growth which was a nice start.

The portion size was small but a good value for 2.99. If I bought else where I would pay 6.99-9.99 but typically those will be portions at can be separated. Last weekend I bought two different crypt plants a my LFS that were 9.99 each but I was able to separate then into 5 different bunches

So all in all it is a good fair price but I don’t think your getting a steal exactly, But a very fair price. considering that his prices are 2.99-4.99 for most plants you could really get a lot of variety for the price and wait for them to grow out over time. I would order again.
 

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Leeman75

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Cody said:
I got my order today and mind you it was a small one to test the waters and here is my consensus.

I ordered Crypt Lucens and a Dwarf Lily bulb. Everything came packed nice in a sealed bag. The plant had a little melt but was was clearly healthy and the bulb had root growth which was a nice start.

The portion size was small but a good value for 2.99. If I bought else where I would pay 6.99-9.99 but typically those will be portions at can be separated. Last weekend I bought two different crypt plants a my LFS that were 9.99 each but I was able to separate then into 5 different bunches

So all in all it is a good fair price but I don’t think your getting a steal exactly, But a very fair price. considering that his prices are 2.99-4.99 for most plants you could really get a lot of variety for the price and wait for them to grow out over time. I would order again.
A couple of weeks in, how are the plants doing? I am planning on getting a Crypt, so am definitely interested to see how they have progressed.
 
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Leeman75 said:
A couple of weeks in, how are the plants doing? I am planning on getting a Crypt, so am definitely interested to see how they have progressed.
At this point there is one short leaf left on the crypt and the rest melted back. The lily bulb is starting to root nice.

I don not know if I would personally order again. As I said you can see I got one node of the Crypt which was fair for 2.99. But most other places would charge 5.99-9.99 but I would also of probably gotten 2–4 nodes. So prices are fair more then “cheap” if you know what I mean.

I suppose if you wanted a large variety it works out nice! But of any crypt I have bought locally or online this was the worst melting but it also appeared to mostly emerged growth too which would make sense. Either way everything is still alive an that is what matters.
 
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Very helpful information Cody...thanks! I'm pretty much at the point of getting plants, so I'm trying to find just the right place. Unless I drive quite a ways away and overpay pretty substantially, there is not a LFS option, so I'm going to have to order online.
 
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Cody

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Leeman75 said:
Very helpful information Cody...thanks! I'm pretty much at the point of getting plants, so I'm trying to find just the right place. Unless I drive quite a ways away and overpay pretty substantially, there is not a LFS option, so I'm going to have to order online.
Totally understand. It’s always hit or miss for me locally on variety and quality. There are fish stores that sell plants and fish store that “have plants” it seems like. So you almost want to get them as soon as they get them in stock.

I have almost been pleased with my orders from Dustins but he isn’t as cheap as some but the quality and sizes are good. He does have plant packages to that sometimes make it a little better deal.

I did almost order from Buce plants recently as well. They were kind of in between cheap like Jacobs but also less then Dustins/Aquarium Co-op. They have a lot variety of all species.
 
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I have heard mixed on Buce too. I'd say that I'm kind of between Dustins, Co-Op, and Aquariumplants.com. I've ordered from the latter and they were not bad. Co-op has really good reviews and I love their videos, so I feel like they may be the lead candidate. Dustins is all over my facebook. So he's either outstanding at marketing or really good too!

I'll share who and what I decide on when I pull the trigger. Thanks again for your input!!
 
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Cody

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Leeman75 said:
I have heard mixed on Buce too. I'd say that I'm kind of between Dustins, Co-Op, and Aquariumplants.com. I've ordered from the latter and they were not bad. Co-op has really good reviews and I love their videos, so I feel like they may be the lead candidate. Dustins is all over my facebook. So he's either outstanding at marketing or really good too!

I'll share who and what I decide on when I pull the trigger. Thanks again for your input!!
Yes I think you might pay more for certain plants but you know the quality will always be there.

the one tough thing now for anyone is that imports are hit or miss. So I think a lot of these wholesalers are turning the plants as fast as they get them. So they do not get a chance to grow out and convert as they did in the past. so who knows what you’ll get these days.
 
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I ended up pulling the trigger and ordering the plants from Aquariumplants.com. This is the second time that I'm ordering from them and they have some good prices (and decent shipping) for what I want. Hopefully they'll arrive Friday or Saturday and I can get them in the tank quickly! I'll take pictures after I do so!
 
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First things first....I am cycled!! The Ammonia is much brighter yellow than this pic shows and the Nitrates are definitely in effect too. And yes, I have a lovely 8.2 PH...it's that way out of the tap here...

Hex Cycled!.jpg
 
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Also...my plants arrived!! Considering that they came from FL and were harvested Monday, they look really good:

Hex Plants.jpgHex Plants2.jpgHex Plants3.jpgHex Plants4.jpg
 
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And with this morning's water changes...they are in the tank!! There are a few in pots that I've left in the pots to acclimate. An Anubias and 2 Cryptos. I will let them get used to the water and then place them in. I'm also trying to procure some Java Moss to put up on the tall driftwood. I'm also thinking of putting the Anubias up at the top of the driftwood where it branches.

I found a small piece of driftwood to make a bit of a cave in front. I really like how it turned out. Next step, find a place that has Chili Rasboras!

Planted Front view.jpgPlanted Front view2.jpgPlanted Front view3.jpgPlanted Side view.jpgPlanted Side view2.jpg
 
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aquachris

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NICE!
 
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Cody

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Looks great! Can’t wait to see it fill in.
 
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Leeman75

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Added 4 of these guys last night. Have a little bit of a cleaning crew now.
20200918_193454.jpg

Still having serious problems trying to find Chili Rasboras. I'm considering other options, one of which is moving 10 Neon Tetras that I have in another tank.

At the moment, I have 2 Keyhole Cichlids in the tank as I'm trying to give them a peaceful tank to grow in (they're about 1" now). I also have a couple of Platys and a Glowfish. They will move soon.

Once the Keyholes are bigger and I can add them to my 55 South American tank, I will get the Apistos that will ultimately call this tank home.
 
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Betta'sAnonymous

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Leeman75 said:
Added 4 of these guys last night. Have a little bit of a cleaning crew now.
20200918_193454.jpg

Still having serious problems trying to find Chili Rasboras. I'm considering other options, one of which is moving 10 Neon Tetras that I have in another tank.

At the moment, I have 2 Keyhole Cichlids in the tank as I'm trying to give them a peaceful tank to grow in (they're about 1" now). I also have a couple of Platys and a Glowfish. They will move soon.

Once the Keyholes are bigger and I can add them to my 55 South American tank, I will get the Apistos that will ultimately call this tank home.
I haven't noticed chilis in my area lately either. Did see a bunch pf harlequins today though
 
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Betta'sAnonymous said:
I haven't noticed chilis in my area lately either. Did see a bunch pf harlequins today though
I did too, and I considered them as an alternative. However, they were $7.99 each and I'm wanting about 15 of them. I cannot see paying that!!
 
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Leeman75 said:
I did too, and I considered them as an alternative. However, they were $7.99 each and I'm wanting about 15 of them. I cannot see paying that!!
I only paid attention to Petco's price for those, i think it was 4.99 each. Both the LFSs in town are in what i call the "Aquarium Loop". Seeing as Petco is in the middle of that loop and tends to have a better selection as far as food and equipment goes....it usually gets hit, too
 
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