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Chef's 40 Breeder

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I'll start with a pic of the finished tank and stocking/equipment lists then go through the build/setup after. 




10 Neon Tetras

5 Otocinclus 

5 Corydoras Paleatus 

1 Emerald Cory

1 Angelfish

3 Assassin Snails

1 Handfull of Ramshorn Snails from my outdoor tub



Crinum Calamistratum 

Anubias Nana

Anubias Congensis

Staurogyne Repens

Hygrophila Pinnatifida 

Vallisinaria Asiatica

Pygmy Chain sword

Hydrocotyle Tripartita "Japan"

Ludwigia "Super Red" 


Red Tiger Lotus

"Windelov" Jave Fern

Cryptocoryne Undulata "Red" 

Cryptocoryne Flamingo

Sword - unknown variety possibly red flame

Rotala - unknown variety 

Cabomba - unknown variety - grown from 4in clipping in a bag of shrimp I ordered

Bucephalandra - unknown variety



Base - 50:50 mix of used remineralized topsoil from my old tank and Safetsorb

Cap - Safetsorb 


Seiryu Stone 

White Birch

Cholla Wood

Unknown stone Subwasertang came anchored to



Aqueon 40 Breeder

Homemade wooden stand

Nicrew Skyled 36in

Aquaclear 50

ACO Intake Sponge

ACO Small Sponge Filter

Eheim Jager 100w Heater

Edited by ChefConfit
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I guess I'll start with the stand build. I based the design on plans I found on reddit for a workbench. The top is basically 6 2x4s glued and screwed side by side except the second from the back and front 2x4s are actually 3 pieces each leaving 4 openings that a 2x4 would slide into from the bottom. The legs are each made of 2 2x4s glued and screwed together but one is 1.5in longer and fits into the gaps left in the top while most of the weight rests on the shorter one and the 2 supports that run front to back attached to both the top and legs. The legs are attached to each other by crossbars 6in from the bottom. 

Most of my cuts made and waiting for assembly. 



My first boards getting glued. 



Fully assembled the the top was planed and everything was sanded. 



My wife stained and antiqued the wood. 


If I can find my drawing of the plans or the original I based it off of I'll add that in. 

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So on setup day I started breaking down my 29hex which this tank was replacing around noon and finished setup around 1:30am(there was a 3 or 4 hour break for dinner and a trip to the fair. I won my 3 year old a stuffed unicorn!) 

The hardest part of breaking down the old tank was catching out the fish. All you fish store employees that do it all day are very much appreciated.

We got the old tank out and put the new stand and tank in. Then we moved it to the other side of the room because my wife thought it was overpowering the room.

Next I rinsed some safetsorb and mixed it with dirt taken from the old hex about 1:1 for my base layer of substrate which is sloped from about 2in deep in the back left corner to 1/2in in the front right. Then I capped it with more safetsorb about 1in thick. 

Next I added my hardscape. The white birch branches I collected from a fallen tree in a local park and soaked in a tote then peeled off as much bark as I could. They were placed with one end under the largest Seiryu stone to keep them down. At that point it was around 5:30 and I had to pick my oldest up from my parents then come home for dinner and then took the family to the fair. 


When we got home around 830 I filled the tank about half way with water because I find it easier to plant in water rather than dry. 

I planted the Crinum and Sword first because they should be the 2 most dominant plants once everything grows in. Then I worked back to front. First I did my background plants, then midground, them foreground and finally epiphite plants. 

After I finished planting I drained water until the tank was about 1/4 full then fixed it again to about 3/4 full. 

After that I dechlorinated and then installed all the equipment and made sure everything worked. 

Next I added the fish along with the water from the old tank they were in then topped the tank off with more water. 

The next morning I did a 25% water change and took pictures. 





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  • 6 months later...

HHey guys it's been awhile! Other hobbies, work and life have been keeping me busy so I've mostly been in maintenance mode for the past few months. 

Unfortunately I had an air pump fail that was running the filter in the tank holding all the guppies from my breeding pond this week and a pretty bad die off because I didn't catch it for a couple days. Anyway that's another story, but it's what got me thinking about the forum and the NERM community so I decided it's time to make a come back and focus on the hobby more. 

Anyway an update on my 40 breeder. 

I think my last update was in September, but in another thread. That was I had to remove my angel, and I got more neons. 

Since then I've selected next year's breeders for my pond and they are living in this tank and they are breeding like crazy. Other than that I've just been taking care of the plants I've trimmed once or twice and moved some stuff.


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