75 gallon build; from ground up

Sb092

I began my fish keeping with a 3.5 gallon classroom pet aquarium. Upgraded to a 5 gallon (in my home).
My husband recently purchased a 75 gallon marineland aquarium. It is 48x18x20. I have already purchased many products to begin the set up. I will add pictures of the products purchased as they arrive. (Most items purchased from Amazon).
First thing to do is build a stand. I am using the following plans that someone on fishlore sent to me:
Build Your Own Aquarium Stand
I plan on adding two more 2x4 sections in the center (top to bottom)on the front and back of stand. I have looked up the cost of materials and plan on using fir 2x4s and sanded oak plywood for sides and doors. I will post pics as the build progresses. Unfortunately, it has been raining in my part of Texas and I have not had a chance to get the materials for the stand. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a nice sunny day; check back for updates
 

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BigManAquatics

Sounds like a fun project!

On a sidenote, can send some of that rain my way...most of the state is in drought or near-drought conditions again!
 

Sb092

Ok. The sun is out!! I pulled the 75 gallon out the guest bedroom and used a vacuum to get whatever was in the bottom of this tank.
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I then used vinegar and water to spray it down (inside and out). I used a micro fiber towel to wipe it. Was afraid paper towels might scratch it.
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I noticed lines on the tank walls when it was wet with the vinegar/water solution. I attempted to use my finger nail to scrape a little away (it seemed to come off). I also tried an algae scrapper. It goes away when the glass is dry. Anyone ever have that happen to them?
I did finish wiping it down really good and as I began this post, my mailman showed up with packages !!!!!!!
Will open and post photos of whatever came in today!
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Sorry the dog photo bombed me trying to get a good a pic of fish tank.
Package number one contained two 300 watt heaters. I purchased these heaters because they came with a guard.
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I hope these are good heaters…..anyone out there used these before???
 

Sb092

I received the finnex 24:7 light for the tank.
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695D6FFF-682F-448A-ACFF-20F8D2AF0318.jpegDoes anyone have any experience with this type of light? It has all kinds of settings.

I also received the biomedia. I am using biohome, which was a pretty penny. I purchased 5 kg, even though I know the fluval fx6 can hold 6 kg. I will be using one tray for filters, so the 5 kg should be enough.
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I also received the glass fish tank lid/cover. There are plastic pieces that attach to the back. You are supposed to be able to cut it for you cords and hoses. I had the hardest time getting them to slide on. Someone suggested putting them in a sunny window to help soften them to slide it on. So, right now they are sitting on a windowsill.
97EC15A2-EE01-488B-A401-C9901B274CA2.jpegSomehow I ordered 2 sets. I now have an extra lid. Hopefully if I post enough I can join the buying/selling on here and hopefully sell it to someone in need.
Today I will be beginning the stand build. Will post more pics……
 

Sb092

The stand: I purchased 8 pieces of 2x4x10s to create the base of the structure.
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I still need to put two more pieces of wood on one more leg portion. Currently in the picture above the top is not secured. The battery on my drill died. It is charging and I will complete the base of the stand tomorrow. I think it is looking good so far.
Update on glass lid/cover: I did place the plastic backs from the lid in a sunny window today. They slid right on this time.
Update on glass lid/cover: I did put the plastic backs in a sunny window all day. They slid right on with no issues!
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Danny002

Seems to be coming along very well! Do you have any plans for how you want to stock/ scape it?
 

Basil

I use all Finnex lights on my tanks. And I use the custom 24/7 settings to set what I want. Or close to what I want :D. So I can try to help.
Stand looks great so far. Are you planning to add a plywood sheath to help with stability?
 

Sb092

Seems to be coming along very well! Do you have any plans for how you want to stock/ scape it?
Yes… I am definitely building an underwater sand waterfall.
Today went and purchased plywood for the top and inside bottoms.
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The side pieces and the front are some type of skinny plywood.
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Next we will be building doors and painting!!!
 

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Danny002

Yes… I am definitely building an underwater sand waterfall.
Today went and purchased plywood for the top and inside bottoms.
The side pieces and the front are some type of skinny plywood.
Next we will be building doors and painting!!!
That sounds super cool! I don't think I've ever seen someone make a sand waterfall, I'm interested to see the process of that. The stand is looking good too, seems to be coming along quite well!
 

Sb092

That sounds super cool! I don't think I've ever seen someone make a sand waterfall, I'm interested to see the process of that. The stand is looking good too, seems to be coming along quite well!
Thank you. I will post the waterfall process. I already purchased a 1 in pvc pipe and one elbow. The dragon rock for the waterfall came in two days ago and I am in the process of scrubbing them down with an old toothbrush and soaking them in water. Today I’ll scrub them one more time and then soak overnight in a bleach solution and let them dry the next day in the sun. I am still waiting in the bubble stone filter and 1mm white sand to come in from Amazon. And I am going to pick up some garden border (will post pics because its a certain one you need to buy for tanks). Then I will start construction and will post pics and steps. It’s really awesome and doesn’t seem hard (but we will see when it actually goes down).
 

Sb092

I spent 3 days on scrubbing rocks with toothbrush and soaking overnight. Last night, I put one capful of bleach in the bucket and filled with water. This morning I poured out water and set rocks in the backyard to dry in the sun. I am really hoping that I scrubbed good enough. I added some pics of the dragon rock. I think this will be enough rock to build the sand waterfall. Tomorrow I will be continuing the stand build (need doors now).
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Sb092

Today I painted!!! Also built the doors. I painted the hinges too, they were silver. Almost done, should be done by Thursday.

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The tank stand is completed!!!! Now to move it into the livingroom and begin aquascaping.
 

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Sb092

Ok everyone!!!!!! The stand is finally in my livingroom!!!!!!!
!!!!!!
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Ok everyone!!!!!! The stand is finally in my livingroom!!!!!!!
!!!!!!
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Sb092

Today I hooked up the hoses. I did not mess with the media or anything else. I just wanted to het hoses cut to the right length. I wanted to put my sand waterfall in the right hand corner, but now I am rethinking that. I have read reviews that state the fluval fx6 intake is pretty strong and to keep bubblers away from it because air is not good in the filter. The bubbler I will be using will be encased in a pvc pipe and the bubbles will be broken by rocks around the pvc pipe. There will be sand and I know I do not want Sand in the filter either….does anyone have any suggestions? Should I just put the sand waterfall in the middle??? Or will it be okay near the intake?
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Danny002

I'd say if you're apprehensive about putting it by the intake, then don't do it. Personally I would much rather replan things a bit now instead of having to move it all later. You could also try out the idea of not putting right in the middle, but off to the side a bit, I think that could look cool.
 

RedGallant

I've heard of using cinderblocks to build a stand for cheap
 

skipperkb

Putting the sand waterfall at like the 3/4 mark on the opposite side of the intake would be a good idea IMO
 

Sb092

Putting the sand waterfall at like the 3/4 mark on the opposite side of the intake would be a good idea IMO
Wonderful idea! I am still waiting on the sand for the waterfall. It is coming from Japan and is scheduled to be delivered by the 19th of July. It has to be 1mm sand so it doesn’t just blow around the tank. I have successfully moved everything for the fish from a spare bedroom to under the stand! Alot of it will be going away once the filter and tank are set up.
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ModelAFish

Ok everyone!!!!!! The stand is finally in my livingroom!!!!!!!



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I'm really liking this! Great going.

Love the room too! Longclaw and...?
 

Sb092

I'm really liking this! Great going.

Love the room too! Longclaw and...?
The other sword is something my mother gave us. I believe it was purchased at a vendor in front of our local PX.
 

Sb092

The sand has finally arrived from Japan!!! I ordered cigarette filters today from Amazon so that I can begin to build the sand waterfall. I washed sand real good this morning and placed the bucket in a spare bedroom. I also filled the tank up with treated water to check out the fluval fx6. It has incredible power. I read somewhere that the manufacturer suggests to turn both in and out valves down to achieve a lower flow rate, but never reducing to lower than 50%. Has anyone lowered the flow rate on their fluval fx6?
I will continue to post more regarding the build as things come along.
Today I cut a notch out in the bottom of the 1inch pvc pipe. I also drilled a small hole in the top of the elbow attached to the pvc pipe. I inserted the tubing and then attached an air stone. I placed the check valve on the other end near the pump for the air stone. This is the main working mechanism of the sand waterfall. I tried posting a video of the pump in action. I was unable to figure out how so I put pics instead. I wanted to check and make sure the pump with pipe would work. The next step is to create a rock formation in which the sand can fall down and be caught in a tray or trap, so the sand will be recycled. This part will be a continuous process of draining and refilling to check. The most important rock is the one you place near the top of the opening. The sand will need to hit the rock so that it will be forced down. As soon as the cigarette filters arrive I will post the process.
 

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Sb092

Ok. It feels like its been forever since my last post. I filled up the tank with treated water to test the fluval fx6 canister filter. When I went to use the python syphon I ran into a few problems. First, the connection would not fit any of my faucets in the house. I went to home depot and purchased a fitting to hook it to the hose bib outside. Then I realized the hose wasn’t long enough to reach outside. I then ordered a 20 ft extension hose from python products. It finally arrived yesterday. Today I am pumping the water out of the tank. Once the water is out I will be building the sand waterfall. I will post more pics as the project comes along.
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Sb092

I began the sand waterfall process. I purchased plastic garden border and simply zip tied it together. It does float in water since it is plastic. I simply glued rocks to the flaps and it now will stay submerged. I used cigarette filters to super glue the rocks to the garden border.

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I wanted to do the waterfall in dragon rock. I stacked the rocks and began gluing together with cigarette filters. This did not work. I think the dragon rock is too much like clay and it simply would not hold.

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I decided to scrap the dragon rock idea since the glue will not adhere. I did have slate rock and I began gluing the slate rock instead of dragon rock. I have glued enough rock for today. Tomorrow I will continue construction on my sand waterfall and of course post pics of my tests in the water!

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Sb092

Glued more rock together today. I have a few more rocks to glue. Then I will give it a test go. Going to let it dry today and continue gluing tomorrow.
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Basil

That’s going to be really cool.
 

LHAquatics

Glued more rock together today. I have a few more rocks to glue. Then I will give it a test go. Going to let it dry today and continue gluing tomorrow.
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super excited!!!
 

Sb092

I couldn’t wait!!! I filled up the tank and tested!!! I still need to add one more rock to the top so the sand hits and goes straight down. Also need to work on creating a bowl to catch and reuse sand. I did a short video but I still have no clue how to attach it. It does work…. If anyone knows how I attach a video I would gladly post the video.

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Sb092

If anyone knows how I attach a video I would gladly post the video
 

Coradee

Hi, to post a video you first need to upload to YouTube then share the link here
 

Sb092

I know it’s been a while since I have added to this post. I have tested and retested the sand waterfall. I think it is finally good to go, just need a little bit more sand to fill the area and keep a constant flow of sand going. I did order some more sand from Amazon. I didn’t want to wait for sand from Japan this time, so I purchased different sand that says it’s between 1-2 mm. It’s oralite or something like that. I an only using a little bit, so I’m not worried about it changing the water parameters too much.

Today I washed two 15lb bags of flourite. Let me say that was a half day of washing!!! This stuff just doesn’t come clean. Even after I thought I did a thorough job, I put in tank (which had a little water in it) and bam it was red!!! The second bag I think I over washed. Flourite is not for the impatient.
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I am currently boiling drift wood. They are small pieces so I think an hour should be good.
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Ok I hope I did this right guys!!!! Here’s a link to the waterfall when I first tested it….. there will be more sand once it arrives.
I know it’s been a while since I have added to this post. I have tested and retested the sand waterfall. I think it is finally good to go, just need a little bit more sand to fill the area and keep a constant flow of sand going. I did order some more sand from Amazon. I didn’t want to wait for sand from Japan this time, so I purchased different sand that says it’s between 1-2 mm. It’s oralite or something like that. I an only using a little bit, so I’m not worried about it changing the water parameters too much.

Today I washed two 15lb bags of flourite. Let me say that was a half day of washing!!! This stuff just doesn’t come clean. Even after I thought I did a thorough job, I put in tank (which had a little water in it) and bam it was red!!! The second bag I think I over washed. Flourite is not for the impatient.
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I am currently boiling drift wood. They are small pieces so I think an hour should be good.
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Ok I hope I did this right guys!!!! Here’s a link to the waterfall when I first tested it….. there will be more sand once it arrives.
 

ModelAFish

Patience is a requirement when washing the Flourite for sure. Bags say something like "product may have picked up some dust" Riiiiiggghhhttt. More like, "we rolled this through mud for you, enjoy"

The sand waterfall is awesome! Can't wait to see this build up and running!
 

Sordfish

I know it’s been a while since I have added to this post. I have tested and retested the sand waterfall. I think it is finally good to go, just need a little bit more sand to fill the area and keep a constant flow of sand going. I did order some more sand from Amazon. I didn’t want to wait for sand from Japan this time, so I purchased different sand that says it’s between 1-2 mm. It’s oralite or something like that. I an only using a little bit, so I’m not worried about it changing the water parameters too much.

Today I washed two 15lb bags of flourite. Let me say that was a half day of washing!!! This stuff just doesn’t come clean. Even after I thought I did a thorough job, I put in tank (which had a little water in it) and bam it was red!!! The second bag I think I over washed. Flourite is not for the impatient.
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I am currently boiling drift wood. They are small pieces so I think an hour should be good.
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Ok I hope I did this right guys!!!! Here’s a link to the waterfall when I first tested it….. there will be more sand once it arrives.

Oh no. I just bought some Flourite for the tank I am setting up. I wish I had seen this before I bought it. I guess I have an afternoon with my garden hose to look forward to.
 

Sb092

Well the wonderful sand waterfall fell apart on me. *tears I decided to scrap that idea for now. I have a couple of snails that desperately need to be in a bigger tank and I just need to get the 75 gallon set up and going. I will say that the underwater river worked out perfect. I ordered one more bag of small river rock. I also put in an order for java moss to begin the process of a moss wall. I also ordered a few live plants. I am so hoping the rocks get here before the plants.
I have set my tank light to 24/7 mode, I would love to program in a longer period of darkness. I have a finnex 24/7 light. Does anyone know how to program dark times on this thing?

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Sb092

I finally received more gravel and I rinsed it and put it in the tank today. I also started two moss walls.
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They are both in the tank. I used java moss and mesh. Sewed the mesh together with fishing line and added some suction cups. It will take a few months (2-3 mos) for the moss to grow completely in.

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The water is a bit cloudy from messing around in the tank. But overall it’s coming together nicely! I have 6 plants that are scheduled to arrive tomorrow… I will be giving them a bleach bath and adding them as soon as they arrive… stay tuned for more pics!
 

Sb092

Plants have arrived!!! I ordered a surprise pack of 4 and two that I personally picked. It appears that I received Moneywort (Bacopa Monnieri), Rotala Macrandra (not sure if its small or large leaf), Anubius Lanceolata, and one plant I have yet to identify. It look like moneywort but the tops are red with prickly leaves.I picked the Staurogyne Repens a sort of bush plant that is supposed to be pretty rugged. I also chose some micro amazon sword (kind of like a grass plant). I do plan on ordering about 3 more plants.
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Does anyone knows what plant this is? Maybe it’s Ludwigia Arcuata?
 

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Sb092


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I received 7 more plants. I added more moneywort near the castle. It appears I received some water sprite that I am just going to let float. There was some type of tape grass added as well.I did add some seachum tablets around the plants roots. I am also using some brightwell flouringro liquid stuff. I recently ordered 2hraquarists complete plant food.
I added Turbo and Samuel L Jackson (both rabbit snails) to the tank. I have already dealt with a bloom of white stringy hair algae. Whether it was lucky or unlucky me, even after treating plants before putting in tank, I got some “pest” snails. After lots of research, I have a mix of all 3 types (bladder, pond, and ram shore). The lucky part is they have wreaked havoc on the hair algae, unlucky part is I have been squishing snails for about 4 days now. While I do feel bad for killing them, I cannot have them overrun my tank. Especially since I have no fish yet.
 

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Basil

It’s looking good! I started my 75 with a plan that included a moss wall behind a large and tall hunk of native quartz rock. I had an air stone under smaller rocks at the bottom of the large rock to mimic water flowing.
For various reasons I ended up just keeping the tall rock lol!
Nonetheless, even without a specific “plan” I do like how it looks! :)
 

Sb092


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I added 10 amano shrimp to the tank yesterday! I have an algae bloom, mostly brown algae, with some green developing. The piece of driftwood this shrimp is on os completely clean today!!!! Next month I will be adding the first fish… i want to wait until we get back from vacation to add fish…. Will post pics of the fish when they are added.
 

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Marlene327

I've really really enjoyed reading this post, and you've done fantastic work!
 

BradleyH2O

Neat and enjoyable thread. I built the exact same frame stand for my 40 gal breeder about a month ago but had to put the project on hold before I could get ply and doors on it...life got busy. I plan on finishing my build and hopefully get it aquascaped in the next month. How is your stand holding up and is there anything you would have done differently?
 

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