Mystical Mountains Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Mystical Mountains Journal

Hi everyone!

So recently I had ordered my custom tank through Concept Aquariums and picked it up through King Ed Pets, very happy with it, in hindsight should have made it 40" long instead of 36" long for a even more panaromic aquascape.


36" x 13" x 14.5"


Originally I wanted to put my bonzai wood but now I'm not too sure. Also got finnex planted+ 24/7 light.


Sleek!


The controls


The structure on the right is going to be my waterfall. For the left side I was originally going to either get manten/sansui/koke rock but it's sooo crazy expensive that I gave up those type of rocks.

Then I went to a landscaping supply warehouse on marine way and got these two big rocks instead, they were labelled San Juan pond rock, total weight of these two rocks was 25lbs @ 16 cents per lb, plus tax = $4.48 only! ! Cheapest stones I have ever bought, not counting the ones I got from mother nature Compared to manten rock though, of the same weight will be like $200+ !

A little concerned about the weight of the rocks but I think should be okay, what do you guys think? Is the weight too much for the tank to be unsafe?




This is my hardscape so far, I'm trying to make a mountain scenery that I saw when travelling in taiwan, possibly a pathway, a waterfall. Don't know if I should still put the bonzai tree.

Suggestions and comments welcomed!

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post #2 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 05:01 PM
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This is gonna be sweet, I love those rocks. Are you gonna do all moss? or low growing plants? It would look great if you did.

Don't worry about the weight. I think you'll be fine so long as you use the eggcrate and have everything stable.
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post #3 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeygmzmg View Post
This is gonna be sweet, I love those rocks. Are you gonna do all moss? or low growing plants? It would look great if you did.

Don't worry about the weight. I think you'll be fine so long as you use the eggcrate and have everything stable.
Thanks! Yes low growing plants for sure, maybe UG or monte carlo for the front.

Okay that's good to know, I was a little concerned with the weight

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50G Planted Aquarium of 6 Goldfishes, 2 Weather Loaches, 4 Silver Cories & 1 Pleco.
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5G Hexagon Aquarium of baby Goldfishes.
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post #4 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 10:32 PM
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I have never had problems with a lot of rock. I always do the same as you with the eggcrate or foam to eliminate any pressure points on the bottom glass. I currently have 400 pounds of rock in my 120p all resting on eggcrate. Just make sure your eggcrate isn't pushed up against the front glass that way it will not be visible when you add substrate.

Are you going to do a sandfall?
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-JP
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post #5 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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400lbs?!!! That's a crazy amount! Okay I'm not going to be worried about my rocks then

Yup a sandfall and also a pathway.



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50G Planted Aquarium of 6 Goldfishes, 2 Weather Loaches, 4 Silver Cories & 1 Pleco.
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5G Hexagon Aquarium of baby Goldfishes.
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post #6 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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Update 2015.11.21

I've done quite a lot this weekend, decided to cut off part of the structure to make it look more natural instead of a square edged mountain. Had to get some acrylic paint to patch up the whites.


Then I siliconed the painted structure to the glass so that it won't float up and started to fill some substrate to make a slope on the left side behind the rocks.


Added some yamana stones that I got for pretty cheap, just needed a few anyway, to join the mountain to make it look more natural.


Then I proceeded to make my path, I went to Michael's crafts hunting for supplies I could make a path with, I needed it to be maleable yet hard enough to keep the two kinds of substrate from mixing.

Found some soft clear plastic but it was way too soft for my liking, plus it couldn't make a nice curve. Hard plastic won't work either so I didn't get that either. My wife then suggested why not polymer clay? It is non toxic, maleable when kneeded, and after baking will become hard. Thanks wifey, that was a great suggestion! Even had 50% off coupon!


After lots of kneeding and folding, I rolled it out and cut to size I wanted.


Then flattening and shaping the path I wanted, as the path goes to the back it gets progressively higher as well.


As I was shaping the black polymer clay, and taking it out of the tank, this was tricky, because it was soft and long, it just de-shaped and no longer the shape I wanted it to be, so I had to trace the path on parchment paper and then take the clay out and follow the tracing on the patchment paper, this took me quite some time.


And ready to bake! 275 degrees Farenheit for 20 minutes and let cool. As it cools it hardens. It holds very well and I'm very satisfied with how sturdy it is.
Beige sand added, complimentary from Fuguman, thanks!


ADA ammonia substrate added


View from sofa, usually I'll sit here most of the time


Should I add the bonzai tree? It seems rather large for the mountains, or maybe I should push it down the substrate to make it look smaller?


One main concern I have now is when water is filled the ADA soil tends to leach out black water, before putting the substrate in I've already washed the substrate a few times partly to take away the black water and partly to remove some ammonia to speed it up a little. But I think there will be still quite some black water and that might make the beige sand darker.

Thanks for looking and reading! Comments and suggestions always welcomed!

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15G Planted Aquarium of Red Cherry Shrimps, Crystal Red, Black Shrimps & cute dwarf puffer. :p
50G Planted Aquarium of 6 Goldfishes, 2 Weather Loaches, 4 Silver Cories & 1 Pleco.
20G Planted Aquarium - Emerald Green , Tiger & Blue Pearl shrimp tank.
10G Office/Lab Planted Aquarium with Neons and Galaxy Rasboras
5G Hexagon Aquarium of baby Goldfishes.

Last edited by mysticalnet; 11-22-2015 at 10:30 AM.
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post #7 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticalnet View Post
The structure on the right is going to be my waterfall. For the left side I was originally going to either get manten/sansui/koke rock but it's sooo crazy expensive that I gave up those type of rocks.

Then I went to a landscaping supply warehouse on marine way and got these two big rocks instead, they were labelled San Juan pond rock, total weight of these two rocks was 25lbs @ 16 cents per lb, plus tax = $4.48 only!

A little concerned about the weight of the rocks but I think should be okay, what do you guys think? Is the weight too much for the tank to be unsafe?
I think in time it will cause a problem with your stand. For the side supports are not on the edge of the tank. Also you should have more support in the middle. Perhaps you can add some support inside the cabinet. Also when you put your hand in the tank to move things around some water will get on the wood of the stand. I ruined an oak bookcase with a 10g tank on top of it with the drops of water.

Love your idea on how to separate the sand. I saved in a folder. Can't wait to see how you make you waterfall. Just wonder if the water movement will move some of the substrate. I want to know more about it. If it doesn't work check out this allusion of a waterfall.
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post #8 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 05:38 PM
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Cool setup! Just want to follow your journal...
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post #9 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
I think in time it will cause a problem with your stand. For the side supports are not on the edge of the tank. Also you should have more support in the middle. Perhaps you can add some support inside the cabinet. Also when you put your hand in the tank to move things around some water will get on the wood of the stand. I ruined an oak bookcase with a 10g tank on top of it with the drops of water.

Love your idea on how to separate the sand. I saved in a folder. Can't wait to see how you make you waterfall. Just wonder if the water movement will move some of the substrate. I want to know more about it. If it doesn't work check out this allusion of a waterfall.
You have a good point regarding the tank not at the edge of the stand where it is strongest. I'll go to home depot and get some pine and reinforce it inside the cabinet.

Hmm the water going to the wood will be less of a problem for me as I always drain some water before putting hands in the tank, and put the water back after.

Yup I'm also interested to see if water movement will move the sand, definitely some loaches like a weather loach will ruin the path, so not getting them

Thanks for the link!

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15G Planted Aquarium of Red Cherry Shrimps, Crystal Red, Black Shrimps & cute dwarf puffer. :p
50G Planted Aquarium of 6 Goldfishes, 2 Weather Loaches, 4 Silver Cories & 1 Pleco.
20G Planted Aquarium - Emerald Green , Tiger & Blue Pearl shrimp tank.
10G Office/Lab Planted Aquarium with Neons and Galaxy Rasboras
5G Hexagon Aquarium of baby Goldfishes.
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post #10 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 02:30 AM
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Shaping up nicely, Pumped to see the sandfall. Are you going to use colored sand or white for the sandfall?

~Jackson.
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post #11 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Aquascapejackson View Post
Shaping up nicely, Pumped to see the sandfall. Are you going to use colored sand or white for the sandfall?
White sand though that might take awhile as I'm planning to dry start the plants and let them root first.

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15G Planted Aquarium of Red Cherry Shrimps, Crystal Red, Black Shrimps & cute dwarf puffer. :p
50G Planted Aquarium of 6 Goldfishes, 2 Weather Loaches, 4 Silver Cories & 1 Pleco.
20G Planted Aquarium - Emerald Green , Tiger & Blue Pearl shrimp tank.
10G Office/Lab Planted Aquarium with Neons and Galaxy Rasboras
5G Hexagon Aquarium of baby Goldfishes.
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post #12 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
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Update 2015.11.22 - checking out my finnex 24/7 planted+

At sunny setting


At moonlight setting, too bright for a moonlight in my opinion, luckily I can play with the settings and make it less bright.


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15G Planted Aquarium of Red Cherry Shrimps, Crystal Red, Black Shrimps & cute dwarf puffer. :p
50G Planted Aquarium of 6 Goldfishes, 2 Weather Loaches, 4 Silver Cories & 1 Pleco.
20G Planted Aquarium - Emerald Green , Tiger & Blue Pearl shrimp tank.
10G Office/Lab Planted Aquarium with Neons and Galaxy Rasboras
5G Hexagon Aquarium of baby Goldfishes.
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post #13 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 05:33 AM
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This is looking really good so far! Love how you've done the rocks. Should look awesome once you get plants in it. I saw you mentioned UG and monte carlo, any other plant ideas?
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post #14 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C10H12N2O View Post
This is looking really good so far! Love how you've done the rocks. Should look awesome once you get plants in it. I saw you mentioned UG and monte carlo, any other plant ideas?
Thanks very much! I'm not too sure yet, probably mini pellia / coral moss on the rocks. Not really sure what plants to put behind the rocks though, maybe some red colour plants that stay small?

If you have any ideas that would be great too!

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15G Planted Aquarium of Red Cherry Shrimps, Crystal Red, Black Shrimps & cute dwarf puffer. :p
50G Planted Aquarium of 6 Goldfishes, 2 Weather Loaches, 4 Silver Cories & 1 Pleco.
20G Planted Aquarium - Emerald Green , Tiger & Blue Pearl shrimp tank.
10G Office/Lab Planted Aquarium with Neons and Galaxy Rasboras
5G Hexagon Aquarium of baby Goldfishes.
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post #15 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-24-2015, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Update 2015.11.23:

I sprayed all the rocks with water, the left side rocks turn quite a lot darker when wet, making it more similar to the right side.


The bonzai driftwood that I took out is currently in a bucket full of water floating, as soon as it sinks I'll be able to use it. The main concern is the tree being too big and is not proportionate to the mountains, I'll try to stick it into the substrate to make it shorter or possibly cutting it slightly to make the tree shorter.

The river or pathway was scenery I saw in Taiwan that ran between two sets of mountains.

There were some concerns and private messages about the tank weight and the tank not being on both the sides of the cabinet where it is strongest. So to ensure that it is strong enough and can withstand the weight so it does not cave in I went to home depot to get some wood.

They are pine, 1" x 4" and asked the home depot guy to cut 22 1/8" lengths for me since they have free cuts when you buy wood there.


Drilled holes into the wood, screwed the wood into the underside of the cabinet top and installed 90 degree metal brackets to further help support the weight. I think the cabinet is pretty safe now, what do you guys think? Wood and brackets altogether not even $7. Pretty cheap for safety.





15G Planted Aquarium of Red Cherry Shrimps, Crystal Red, Black Shrimps & cute dwarf puffer. :p
50G Planted Aquarium of 6 Goldfishes, 2 Weather Loaches, 4 Silver Cories & 1 Pleco.
20G Planted Aquarium - Emerald Green , Tiger & Blue Pearl shrimp tank.
10G Office/Lab Planted Aquarium with Neons and Galaxy Rasboras
5G Hexagon Aquarium of baby Goldfishes.
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