Posted: 2010.02.15(Mon)0:06 Post subject: Eclipse 6 shrimp tank with retrofit lighting
I figure I will keep track of the build and progress of this tank, as it may come in handy for others in the same position. I didn't find a lot of discussion regarding the details of retrofitting an Eclipse Six hood with proper lighting for a planted tank. I wasn't sure whether this should go in the Planted Tanks section or the DIY section, so I just put it here. If one of the admins thinks it should go somewhere else, that's fine with me.
So, I kind of did this whole thing in the wrong order. I had an extra tank laying around, so I decided I wanted a planted shrimp tank for my office. I got a little ahead of myself, and I bought the plants and shrimp before I got everything set up.
Here's the equipment list:
Marineland Eclipse System 6 six-gallon tank with integrated filter/light hood
AHSupply 1x24W Freshwater retrofit kit
1 bag Flourite Black substrate
1 50W Stealth heater
Assorted dry fertilizers
As I mentioned, I received the shrimp first (obviously a bad way to do things). I transferred some water from my existing tank, acclimated the shrimp, and let them hang out for a few days while I got everything else in the mail.
Once I got the substrate and plants, I got that all set up, so the shrimp could be a little more comfortable.
I decided to grab some dwarf hairgrass from my other planted aquarium to add a different texture to the back of the tank. Then, I started filling it with the cycled water from the other tank, along with some fresh RO and dechlorinated tap water.
I got my AH Supply 24W 6700k CF kit yesterday:
But, as I feared, I found that the reflector didn't quite fit into the Eclipse 6's hood while still allowing the stock filter to function. So, now I have ordered a rotary tool, and I have to wait for that to arrive so I can make some slight modifications.
I know you're super excited to see what happens next, but you'll have to wait until Wednesday/Thursday for updates. Right now, I have a 36" 30W strip light from my other tank in place to keep the plants alive (the HC was really suffering from a week or so of dim conditions).
Yeah thanks for that tip about the water. I also made a point to float the bio-wheel and a filter cartridge in my established tank for the last week or two before transferring it to the new one, so that should help. As of last night, ammonia was at .5 and nitrite was 0, so I'll keep a close eye on it and change the water every couple of days until everything is settled. Once I get the new light put together, I'll share some more pics and retrofit notes.
Glad to see I'm not the only one retrofitting an eclipse. I've had this 2 gallon planted running for about 1.5 months now. I've only got a sword plant and some java moss which both have been doing very well. All of the leaves on the sword plant in the picture are new leaves grown in this tank, I pruned all of the old ones off. My substrate is 1/4 black sand, 1/2 eco complete, 1/4 laterite, and I'm running a CO2 fertilizer. It gets weekly water changes, and almost daily algae scrubbing.
Now all I'm waiting for is my population of MTS to get high enough to combat my algae issues.
I removed the original hood and replaced the lighting with an 18watt coralife, which conveniently just sits over the tank.
The original filter has been replaced with this small filter so that the new light has room to sit over the tank.
And here you can see the CO2 diffuser in the back corner of my tank.
coming along really nicely! That sword eventually is gonna get way to big for that tank, but that might be an excuse to buy a bigger tank . Some dwarf hairgrass would look really nice as a foreground plant and isn't to tough to grow. _________________ So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Made some progress amid a busy work week. I used a rotary tool to grind down the little plastic ridges and posts that ran along the inside of the Eclipse hood, to clear just a little extra space.
Then I measured everything up, and it seemed like the AH Supply reflector was just a little too big for the space. I felt like it might interfere with the filter output, and I wanted to do what I could to keep the water away from the bulb and fixture.
So, I cut off about 3/4" from one long side and one short side. The reflector fit a lot better, without danger of hanging over the filter output or hanging lower than the bottom of the hood (which could cause fitment problems).
Then, I laid everything out to measure screw holes and wire lengths. I ended up cutting the supplied plastic spacers down to about 3mm and put them between the reflector and the hood. Everything still fits fine, and a little space there might help with cooling. Notice in these pics that the protective film is still on the reflector. I kept it there until I was ready for final assembly.
The mini ballast (which supports up to a 32W bulb, I've found) is a perfect fit for the back of the Eclipse hood, so I just screwed it in there. I attached the reflector and bulb clips with 2 screws through the top of the hood. I will cut them down to size or replace them with bolts shortly.
Once I finish off those screws, it will look perfectly stock from the front. I'll wrap the wires in black electrical tape and seal them into the inside of the hood with a little silicone. I'll wrap the ballast on the back in the same tape, or maybe I'll look around for a black plastic housing that will fit over it. Then, I think the whole tank will look great. I was so glad to see my electrical hookups work the first time.
And so far, everything is functioning well. I have the light on a timer, the filter works (I wrapped a little polyester wool around the intake to keep the shrimps out), and the plants seem generally happy. The Nymphaea is spitting out new leaves every day.
Hopefully, the HC and dwarf hairgrass will get established and start spreading. I think things should look really good in a month or two.
I'll clean things up, maybe add some acrylic to protect the bulb and socket from moisture, and possibly DIY CO2 if I find the Flourish Excel isn't doing the trick. I'll update once it's fully grown in, or if there are any other relevant developments. All in all, it's been a pretty simple and enjoyable project. I just should have planned everything a little better to begin with.
Finally, determinator, your little snail tank is looking great. I wanted to make a point to try and keep everything looking pretty stock, but yours looks nice with all its new parts. That sword will surely fill out the whole tank soon.
I use it myself and I love it. Cheap and you can get it refilled at Walmart or buy the disposable CO2 containers. The only drawback is that because it's only a needle valve adjusting the flow it's very sensitive, but even so it only takes a few minutes. It's a nice alternative, more convenient than DIY CO2, and much cheaper than a big tank and regulator. _________________ You have been determined.
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum