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  #1  
Old 08-04-2019, 09:51 AM
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bbqman bbqman is offline
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Default Made the plunge, I have a few questions

So I'm making the plunge finally. I bought this 75 gallon drilled aquarium, stand and light for $100. I have a couple of questions for you guys.

*it has an Odyssea T5 Quad Timer Aquarium Light.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Not what I want long term but maybe it can get me started with some decent bulbs. Can anyone suggest some T5's that would work? It will be higher light plants mostly. catt's etc. or should I just ditch it and wait untill I can get the LED's I want.

*whats the best way to cut eggcrate? I usually use wire cutters and snap off the "tabs". Is there a better way?

*I will be using LECA for substrate. How deep should I go. I presume "as much as I like" but not sure if there's a min - max for any reason.

* I see people using pond and stone Great Stuff and some using the original. Is the any reason to use one over the other? just seems to be color from what I can tell. I also see some people seal it and some people just smash coconut fiber and stuff into and cover it the let it dry. Do you need to seal it?

Thanks in advance. I'll post pics once I have something worthy of showing
.Made the plunge, I have a few questions-00c0c_6p2jvoge28d_1200x900-jpg

Made the plunge, I have a few questions-00p0p_bfql96ty0vz_1200x900-jpg

Last edited by bbqman; 08-04-2019 at 09:54 AM..
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2019, 12:42 AM
RoryOMoore RoryOMoore is offline
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Hi

As far as the background goes there are at least four methods to building one. The Silicone, Drylock, Titebond III and Epoxy methods. There are a lot of Youtube tutorial videos that you can watch to see how people do their backgrounds.

I have always used the silicone method. First Pond and Stone vs regular Great Stuff... both work. Both are safe for plants and animals once they have cured. Regular Great Stuff is less expensive and easier to get (Home Depot). I get Pond and Stone from Amazon. For me the black Pond and Stone is more pleasing. If I somehow gouge the background or miss a small spot the black blends in better than the yellow regular. Once you have the foam on let it cure overnight. Then you carve it to the shape and contours you want.

Next is the silicone layer. this acts to seal the foam and as adhesive for the coco fiber (I use a mix of coco fiber and tree fern fiber.. for looks) Use GE silicone I. Silicone II has mold inhibitors that are not good for plants and animals. You can also use aquascape silicone. I swear that cures faster and doesn't stink as bad as Silicone I. It also comes in black for aesthetic reasons. Apply it to the cured foam with a caulk gun and smear it evenly with a gloved hand. Wear latex gloves when working with this stuff or it will take days or weeks to come off you hands. Wear old clothes too! *looking at stained jeans* Let that cure for 24 hours.

That's a very basic run down. Look up those videos and have fun!
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2019, 01:06 AM
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For cutting eggcrate, I think you have found the best way. I have tried using a saw, found that messy and there are still bits of the tabs that need to be removed (I use a needle-nosed pliers) because they are sharp. I find I can do it faster, and more cleanly, just breaking the "tabs" with the pliers (just a twist of the wrist, very little force needed)
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2019, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoryOMoore View Post
Hi

As far as the background goes there are at least four methods to building one. The Silicone, Drylock, Titebond III and Epoxy methods. There are a lot of Youtube tutorial videos that you can watch to see how people do their backgrounds.

I have always used the silicone method. First Pond and Stone vs regular Great Stuff... both work. Both are safe for plants and animals once they have cured. Regular Great Stuff is less expensive and easier to get (Home Depot). I get Pond and Stone from Amazon. For me the black Pond and Stone is more pleasing. If I somehow gouge the background or miss a small spot the black blends in better than the yellow regular. Once you have the foam on let it cure overnight. Then you carve it to the shape and contours you want.

Next is the silicone layer. this acts to seal the foam and as adhesive for the coco fiber (I use a mix of coco fiber and tree fern fiber.. for looks) Use GE silicone I. Silicone II has mold inhibitors that are not good for plants and animals. You can also use aquascape silicone. I swear that cures faster and doesn't stink as bad as Silicone I. It also comes in black for aesthetic reasons. Apply it to the cured foam with a caulk gun and smear it evenly with a gloved hand. Wear latex gloves when working with this stuff or it will take days or weeks to come off you hands. Wear old clothes too! *looking at stained jeans* Let that cure for 24 hours.

That's a very basic run down. Look up those videos and have fun!
Ok so no difference than color and it needs to be sealed. Thanks. I thought so. none of the videos ever say WHY they do anything. Just how they do it.

---------- Post added at 04:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:13 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
For cutting eggcrate, I think you have found the best way. I have tried using a saw, found that messy and there are still bits of the tabs that need to be removed (I use a needle-nosed pliers) because they are sharp. I find I can do it faster, and more cleanly, just breaking the "tabs" with the pliers (just a twist of the wrist, very little force needed)
Sounds similar to what I do just different tools. I break each square individual then come back and clean it up. Thank you
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2019, 09:43 AM
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In the times I have cut egg-crate grids, I have used a Dremel tool with saw blade to make long cuts. I then use a blunt, hard object, such as the side of a pair of pliers, to "slide" down the cut edge to knock off the tabs.

As far as the LECA depth, I thinks that's entirely up to you, but in my experience with a 55-gallon tank, 3"-4" works well and looks proportional to the height.

T5 lamps: Look for 54W T5HO plant light bulbs. Neither brand nor color temperature is critical.
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Last edited by Ray; 08-05-2019 at 09:51 AM..
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2019, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
In the times I have cut egg-crate grids, I have used a Dremel tool with saw blade to make long cuts. I then use a blunt, hard object, such as the side of a pair of pliers, to "slide" down the cut edge to knock off the tabs.

As far as the LECA depth, I thinks that's entirely up to you, but in my experience with a 55-gallon tank, 3"-4" works well and looks proportional to the height.

T5 lamps: Look for 54W T5HO plant light bulbs. Neither brand nor color temperature is critical.
Thanks Ray, I wasn't sure if the fixture was worth buying new bulbs for or if it would even be sufficient light. I was thinking I should do 2 full spectrum and 2 plant bulbs but I'll start looking for plant bulbs only.
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