I figure I should post up this tank journal I've been keeping on my local plant club and local fish forum. I have been enjoying this tank at work. My camera is now broken and I am limited to taking video with a Flip video. Here is what I have posted so far. I'll try to post updates here too as I make them. It isn't to often though.
12/2/09: I am starting to add the rocks to my new office tank at work. Here is my progress so far. My main question is, should I move the rock over to the right some more to have the point away from the center, and to put it maybe at 1/3 of the way across the tank from the right.
I plan to add more rocks on top of this basement rock and have a vertical rock on the right.
Testing for support areas:
Marking support areas with tape:
Full Tank Shot:
Underside of rock:
I planned out my moves very carefully when adding the rock and removed the 40 breeder underneath the 65 in case of disaster. I bumped the tank as I was picking up the rock and it shifted off the plastic shims I had under the stand. I am glad that happened as the tank would have cracked if it was full of water. I replaced the shims with one piece wooden ones I machined on the milling machine. They won't slip now.
There was only about 3/4" clearance to get that big rock in the tank. I wouldn't chance standing it up. I have another one I am going to stand up on the other side. I was hoping the substrate around and under the rock would hide a lot of it, and if the fish burrow out a cave-even better.
12/3/09: My goal for this tank is for it to be an extreme close up of the lake border, not a long range over view of a large expanse of the lake.
These photo's are from the Baltimore Aquarium and the rocks there are massive (most likely fake cement rocks). It gives a good idea of what I think the lake looks like where these fish are located.
12/4/09: I finished the bottom of the tank and added the sand and some water. The one rock which will be vertical is not in yet. I glued on some silicone cement to the places where the rock contacted the glass and it is drying now.
Silicone cement padding on vertical rock:
Sand and water in to settle and fill in the holes. I'll drain this water and add new if need be.
Sand under the rocks:
12/7/09: I have finished the tank to the point where I can put fish in it. I still want to do something with the rock on the left side because I can see the silicone too readily. I am not sure what I am going to do there. I was thinking of siliconing two rocks together so they could hang off the one rock and hide the silicone.
The photo is of the tank after pouring in a lot of mulm for the filter to suck up, so the tank is really cloudy.
This tank has Vallisneria in the front left and center only. I don't plan on any moss or Anubias. No duckweed or other floaters either.
I have two 65 watt 6700K PC bulbs up top. I am using one Eheim 2213 Classic canister filter and one 300 watt heater.
All real rocks and tried to match the substrate to the rocks. I tried to pick up the colors in the rocks in the substrate, as if it were a naturally occurring sand formed in place.
The substrate is a blend of Carib Sea African Cichlid Mix, Carib Sea Super Natural Peace River sand, Carib Sea Instant Aquarium Sunset Gold sand, Seachem Onyx sand, some fine reef sand of unknown brand with some pink tones, and some Carib Sea Florida Crushed Coral.