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Supernova - from eBay to NA

I finally got my solenoid attached to the regulator yesterday thanks to a very helpful man in Reading.

It has been a long and boring saga to get to this point and I eventually ended up at the BOC retail place in Reading. They didn't have an easy method of attaching the solenoid but directed me to Reading Pneumatics instead. I went down there, saw a small sign that included the words pneumatics and regulators and went into this small warehouse. I put my pile of bits on the counter and 10 minutes and 99p later had it all put together! He even sealed all the joints for me!

It was only when I left the building that I noticed it wasn't Reading Pnuematics, they were 2 units further along! So a big thank-you to SB Services (pneumatics) Ltd and if I ever need a manufacturer of pneumatically operated float valves, I know where to find them!

Anyway, this is my assembled collection of shiny stuff:
I've managed to reduce the glare from the light by modifying it slightly. I used the spare wire tail to hook up the back corners to tilt the light backwards. The main beam still goes into the tank but no longer into my eyes where I sit.


The rocks have now been reduced in size in a very amusing "Go on, just whack it!" session. Here they are for scale it the cardboard mock tank. My tips for anyone else considering their own "Go on, just whack!" session are
1) wear protective eye glasses
2) the bigger the rock, the harder it is to break
3) know when to stop


To be honest, I'm struggling a little to come up with a scape I like. I know roughly what I want - a fairly steep slope, sand at the front and path up to the back, some wood in it somewhere. Here is the wood I have. It is all seasoned oak. I'll finish stripping the bark when I know which bits I want. They are too big at the moment but I can't decide where to cut.


This is how far I've got. There are another 3 big rocks not used. I think we may need another "Go on, just whack it!" session.


I don't think the big rock on the left will leave enough scope for planting in front of it and I'm not sure about the upright bit on the wood. The polystyrene won't be used in the final scape because I'll use smaller supports. I don't want to put the big rocks straight onto the cat litter because it will end up as powder!
How today I just read about NA portugal. I never heard of them.
And I am portuguese.
Your light unit looks great.
That regulator too? But wanting to do the same to be able to plug all my tanks to one system.
And the rocks look like could turn into a good scape with a bit more work.
Will check how this goes.

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Nice tank so far what are the woods you plan to use. Is that cherry and Vine? :)
Now i am quite curious how tall you are. I don't get the light on my eyes at all, and i am 1,75cm tall.

i like the wood you choose.
Now i am quite curious how tall you are. I don't get the light on my eyes at all, and i am 1,75cm tall.

I am 20cm/8 inches shorter than you. I get the light in my eyes when I am sat in my chair in the evening, not standing. This is also why NA made me a smaller cabinet.

The big curved bit of wood was originally my inspiration but now that I have made a cardboard practice tank and put the rocks in, it's just not working how I had imagined. I started getting different ideas through the fog at about 5am this morning and am going to work on it today.
You shouldn't see too much of those 4 rocks once they have plants and moss around them. There will be sand Infront of them. All the rocks along the front will be raised off the bottom slightly because I have 2 stiphodons and it won't matter how much I tell them not to, they WILL burrow under them!

I think this is about as far as I want to progress outside of the tank now that I have the basic framework and know which bits of wood to de-bark.
Over the past couple of days I've been making the acrylic inflow pipes and spray bar. My aim was to be as minimalist as possible. Which meant no suckers, a single full length spray bar to serve both filters and no flexible tubing outside of the cabinet. In the end I did use two small pieces of tubing so that the angle of the spray bar can be adjusted and it can be removed for cleaning.

Equipment used:
13/10 acrylic pipe (spray bar and outlet)
16/12 acrylic pipe (inflow)
10mm silicone rod
12mm silicone rod
Olive oil
142g tin of Sainsburys tomato purée
Paint stripping gun (hot air)

The silicone rod was fantastic. I used it inside the tube so that the tube could be bent without flattening. The olive oil was to lubricate the silicone. it also acted as an indicator to show when the right temperature was getting closer as it went from smooth to broken up into smaller drops. It was also useful when I bent it in the wrong place and had to reheat it. As the acrylic got soft again, the silicone natural tried to softly straighten.

The tomato purée tin was the perfect size to bend the tubing around for all but the tightest bends.

The hardest bit was an identical but mirror image set for the other end. The spray bar has a small pellet of cling film in the middle to stop the flows from the two filters from clashing. The ends of the inflow pipes are open as they will have shrimp guards on them.

This was the result:
Very very nice, very professional looking. As they are one pice though, excl. the spraybar, are they not gonna be a bit of a bitch to clean?

No problem! The longest piece is about 1m in length and I bought the 1.5m Eheim cleaning brush which goes through easily. I've already had to clean them all to get the olive oil out.
No problem! The longest piece is about 1m in length and I bought the 1.5m Eheim cleaning brush which goes through easily. I've already had to clean them all to get the olive oil out.

Fair enough. I'd love to have a go at this myself when I start my new 80cm tank over the next few months. Not sure I've got the skills though.

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I did have a practice by making some new pipework for my puffer tank first. The trick is patience. Heat slowly but always keep the heat moving. If you stay still and heat an area too quickly, it blisters. Keep heating until it becomes quite flexible because if you try to force it you end up with an uneven curve and/or stress lines.