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Old 6th December 2009   #1
Ben Krysa
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Rep: Ben Krysa has given good advice and informationBen Krysa has given good advice and information
Default 20 gallon long construction

Hello there everyone,

I want to share the constuction of my latest project. It is a 20 gallon "long" tank. I decided to use this tank because it was just sitting in my basement collecting dust. And i'm cheap . haha. The finished tank will house C.e.Popei.

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This is the tank and some of the supplies I've used thus far. I use great stuff in many of my projects and have had good success so far. The silicone I use is GE II 100% silicone. I have also used this product in the past with success.

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I laid the tank on it's back and began applying black silicone to all the surfaces I wanted to use the great stuff on. I spread it in a medium layer using a medium sized putty knife.

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This is the tank after I have finished applying the black silicone. The part on the bottom, that is covered, is where I will be putting the sloping land area.

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I applied the great stuff in two sessions. One for the left side of the tank and another for the right side. I once again laid the tank on it's back to apply the great stuff to the back and carefully flipped in onto it's side to coat the side.


At this stage I still have at least one more application of great stuff to do.
For the land area I will most likely find an appropriatly sized container and foam around it to keep the substrate from becoming water logged.

There is still much work to do, and I'm a busy man . I will continue to post for this project as it progresses. I hope you all enjoy seeing my work in the making. Let me know how you like it. You can see my concept of the finished tank on my thread "Tank Concept Drawing" located in the Enclosures section of the forum. (sorry, I don't know how to make a link to threads yet)

-Ben



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Old 6th December 2009   #2
Jake
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Default Re: 20 gallon long construction

Great drawing and great start. I can't wait to see the outcome.



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Old 13th December 2009   #3
Ben Krysa
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Default Re: 20 gallon long construction

I managed to get a few more hours in here and there on my tank. I changed my mind about a few things and have kept on going towards my concept.

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I started to foam around where the land will be. I didn't have anything to support the foam here so it kind of sank a little. Oh well, the show must go on. I also started smoothing out where the rock wall will be, merrily hacking and carving until I got the degree of smoothness I wanted.

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I found some semi-rigid plastic to use as a skeleton for foaming the remainder of the land area. I pitched out the idea of using a container and decided I will put in a false bottom beneath the land and put carbon and filter floss underneath to help with filtration at least until the tank is fully cycled.

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I began designing the rock wall first by carefully picking the rocks I wanted and one by one tracing their outline onto the foam in pencil. I carved and dug out cavities in the foam the right shape for each rock, but I made each cavity a bit smaller than the rock. The rocks were then pushed into each cavity and the foam squeezed thm snugly into place. I took a little break from the rock wall and moved on. Then I laid the tank on It's back and held it up on one side with books to make the plastic skeleton as level as possible and keep the foam from running off. I put a bag full of old foam shaving beneath the plastic as support. I covered the entire area with foam.

At this point I will plan how to carve the shoreline to allow the newts to easily leave the water. I will continue on the rock wall and then It's all about the details and making it look natural before i add the silicone coating and substrate to the foamed areas.

Hopefully I'll have more done for next week.

-Ben



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Old 13th December 2009   #4
jclee
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Default Re: 20 gallon long construction

Keep the updates coming. I love seeing DIY projects. So inspiring!



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