Improving a poorly planned tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Surge Davidson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 9
Improving a poorly planned tank

Maybe aquascaping is too positive a term for what I wanna do here, I'm fully aware of how terrible it looks as is. I put this tank together on a bit of an impulse, recycling plants and substrate from my other tanks to have something to let my endlers and shrimp multiply in. I've never tried my hand at aquascaping before, but I was wondering what ideas you guys would have as to ways I could improve it at least a little without having to dismantle everything.

I definitely want to make better use of the vertical water column, so I was thinking maybe something along the lines of manzanita wood and some taller plants along the back, though I have no idea what kinds would look best. Also fyi, I'm not at all attached to the fake blue rock, in fact I wanna get rid of it. I only have it right now for functionality of giving the shrimp more places to hide, though I do like the idea of bright coloring.

I know the plants are a mess right now, I plan on cleaning them up this week but I figured planning first wouldn't hurt. I'm open to suggestions of removing plants too.

As for what's in it right now:
35g hexagon
The substrate is primarily random gravel (don't worry, it's clean) mixed with a bit of fluval plant & shrimp stratum, as well as a tiny bit of sand.
Plants include anubias, amazon sword, marimo moss balls, and java moss.
I have a diy co2 diffuser, though I haven't got it working quite right yet. I'm currently saving for a real setup.
Lighting is less than ideal at the moment (15w t5 alongside a fluval aura), though that's gonna be my next purchase.
40g sponge filter.
Inhabitants are endlers and cherry shrimp.

tl;dr How would you improve this terrible tank?
Surge Davidson is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 04:08 PM
Algae Grower
 
Tributary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surge Davidson View Post
Maybe aquascaping is too positive a term for what I wanna do here, I'm fully aware of how terrible it looks as is. I put this tank together on a bit of an impulse, recycling plants and substrate from my other tanks to have something to let my endlers and shrimp multiply in. I've never tried my hand at aquascaping before, but I was wondering what ideas you guys would have as to ways I could improve it at least a little without having to dismantle everything.

I definitely want to make better use of the vertical water column, so I was thinking maybe something along the lines of manzanita wood and some taller plants along the back, though I have no idea what kinds would look best. Also fyi, I'm not at all attached to the fake blue rock, in fact I wanna get rid of it. I only have it right now for functionality of giving the shrimp more places to hide, though I do like the idea of bright coloring.

I know the plants are a mess right now, I plan on cleaning them up this week but I figured planning first wouldn't hurt. I'm open to suggestions of removing plants too.

As for what's in it right now:
35g hexagon
The substrate is primarily random gravel (don't worry, it's clean) mixed with a bit of fluval plant & shrimp stratum, as well as a tiny bit of sand.
Plants include anubias, amazon sword, marimo moss balls, and java moss.
I have a diy co2 diffuser, though I haven't got it working quite right yet. I'm currently saving for a real setup.
Lighting is less than ideal at the moment (15w t5 alongside a fluval aura), though that's gonna be my next purchase.
40g sponge filter.
Inhabitants are endlers and cherry shrimp.

tl;dr How would you improve this terrible tank?
George Farmer has a recent YouTube video on aquascaping a vertical small tank... You might want to check it out for inspiration. Good luck.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
Tributary is online now  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 04:14 PM
Planted Member
 
Colin Wrexham's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Wrexham North wales UK
Posts: 190
Hi surge
Firstly is it gallons or litres?
35g is 159litres and 35litres is 7.7gallons
Hex tanks can be awkward but can still be scaped. As i always say its in the planning. The height of your tank and basic width etc would help too if thats ok. As you dont have much in there its quite easy to start a fresh. Plants are easy to remove and replant too so dont panic. However, if you want to have your plants thrive they need a good subtrate (base).
If it was me i would replace that with new subtrate and maybe a new fine grade gravel. You could get a few chunks of natural stone and break them into various sizes for your hardscape. Now, you mentioned wood...rootwood gives great effect to a tank but for tall narrow tanks i would maybe suggest long rootwood that you can hang down from the lid. Its easy to put in and remove for cleaning should you need to. Moss and plants can be tied on to this up the length. You can still keep your ferns etc around the bottom by your rocks. But it gives a nice perspective. Fish have got room to swim between the roots and it creates a feature out of a tall narrow tank. It will also disguise the filter and cables too.
Erm...yes chuck the blue rock in the bin hahaha

I did a similar thing with one years ago but had a large buddah in the middle, dwarf hair grass around the base, small blue slate as a mini pathway, vallis around the back and some spindly rootwood hanging down over the buddah. Looked like something from jungle book with vines but a great effect. Get the kit you need together first and have a plan in your head. Google some images to get ideas if need be.

Hope that helps.
Ps...dont forget the blue rock and the bin lol.
Good luck

Sent from my SM-A310F using Tapatalk
Colin Wrexham is offline  
 
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 04:36 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
awesometim1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: US
Posts: 467
Maybe get some tall plants in the middle and chains words or dwarf sag along the diameter


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

~Tim
awesometim1 is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 04:58 PM
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 83
A tall rock or piece of wood leaning against the back with moss attached, with tall plants at the sides (if they fit) and smaller ones around the base graduating down in size towards the front.
ambe is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 06:41 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
sevendust111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 410
A couple things…

1.Get a better light. Go cheap and get a 23 watt or higher 5000-6500K watt CLF bulb and a brooder lamp and you would be much better off. Your doing DIY co2 so your tank should definitely be able to handle more light.

2. Ditch that rock and get some tall driftwood.

3. Type in “planted hexagon aquarium” into Google images. Their a half dozen or so pretty nice tanks you could imitate. There is one pic in the top row that is only Java and crypts that I really dig.
sevendust111 is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Surge Davidson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Wrexham View Post
Hi surge
Firstly is it gallons or litres?
35g is 159litres and 35litres is 7.7gallons
Hex tanks can be awkward but can still be scaped. As i always say its in the planning. The height of your tank and basic width etc would help too if thats ok. As you dont have much in there its quite easy to start a fresh. Plants are easy to remove and replant too so dont panic. However, if you want to have your plants thrive they need a good subtrate (base).
If it was me i would replace that with new subtrate and maybe a new fine grade gravel. You could get a few chunks of natural stone and break them into various sizes for your hardscape. Now, you mentioned wood...rootwood gives great effect to a tank but for tall narrow tanks i would maybe suggest long rootwood that you can hang down from the lid. Its easy to put in and remove for cleaning should you need to. Moss and plants can be tied on to this up the length. You can still keep your ferns etc around the bottom by your rocks. But it gives a nice perspective. Fish have got room to swim between the roots and it creates a feature out of a tall narrow tank. It will also disguise the filter and cables too.
Erm...yes chuck the blue rock in the bin hahaha

I did a similar thing with one years ago but had a large buddah in the middle, dwarf hair grass around the base, small blue slate as a mini pathway, vallis around the back and some spindly rootwood hanging down over the buddah. Looked like something from jungle book with vines but a great effect. Get the kit you need together first and have a plan in your head. Google some images to get ideas if need be.

Hope that helps.
Ps...dont forget the blue rock and the bin lol.
Good luck

Sent from my SM-A310F using Tapatalk
Thanks for the tips! Yeah, the rock will be the first thing to go haha. The tank is 35 gallons, with a depth of 24" and a width of 21.5" flat face to flat face, or 23" corner to corner. As I'm thinking about it more, I'll probably just redo it from scratch, since as you said it wouldn't be too bad with how little I have in there. I might wait a bit though since one of my endlers and two of my cherries are about due to give birth, and I don't wanna risk any of those getting eaten in my 55 gallon with guppies and platies and tetras (oh my!). I know there's still a chance of the endlers eating their young as well as the shrimp, but I figure it's a much smaller chance with the smaller fish. This is definitely more of a casual breeding tank lol, technically just a community tank. I'm thinking of manzanita or spiderwood to have hanging down, though I'm not sure which yet. I'll definitely get some better substrate, though I'm not sure what kind to do yet. I have dirt covered in sand in my 55 gallon which has served me well, though I don't know whether or not that's the best route. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tributary View Post
George Farmer has a recent YouTube video on aquascaping a vertical small tank... You might want to check it out for inspiration. Good luck.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
Since I'm new to scaping I hadn't heard of him before, but now that I'm watching his videos he's super helpful. Thanks for the recommendation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awesometim1 View Post
Maybe get some tall plants in the middle and chains words or dwarf sag along the diameter


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I really like the idea of dwarf sag, I think some carpet plants would be nice. I might not do tall stuff in the middle though, since I wanna go for more of a natural-ish route, and I feel like having all the tall stuff in the middle would look a little too staged. Not to mention the lack of visibility since the tank is currently up against a wall haha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ambe View Post
A tall rock or piece of wood leaning against the back with moss attached, with tall plants at the sides (if they fit) and smaller ones around the base graduating down in size towards the front.
I like this. I have a good tall rock in my 55 gallon, which I'm trying to phase out anyway, so that might be a good option. I don't want to remove it just yet since I don't have a lot of scape stuff in that one right now and I don't want it to be too empty, but if I can find something to replace it then definitely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sevendust111 View Post
A couple things…

1.Get a better light. Go cheap and get a 23 watt or higher 5000-6500K watt CLF bulb and a brooder lamp and you would be much better off. Your doing DIY co2 so your tank should definitely be able to handle more light.

2. Ditch that rock and get some tall driftwood.

3. Type in “planted hexagon aquarium” into Google images. Their a half dozen or so pretty nice tanks you could imitate. There is one pic in the top row that is only Java and crypts that I really dig.
Like I said in my first post, I'm already planning to get a better light. I'm gonna get the 16" freshwater LED from SB Reef Lights as soon as I can get the money together. The lighting I have now is extremely temporary, it's really just to keep the plants alive until I can get the SB Reef one. Yeah, I was definitely planning on getting rid of the rock, it looks way too fake and awkward. I have some decent driftwood in my 55 gallon, but I can't take it out until I find some other temporary-ish stuff to replace it since even though I'm trying to phase out that tank, I still have fish in it.


In summary, since this is a long post:
1. The tank is 35 gallons, with a depth of 24" and a width of 21.5" flat face to flat face, or 23" corner to corner.
2. I'm gonna re-scape it from scratch
3. Should I use manzanita or spiderwood for a canopy-type thing?
4. Substrate suggestions?
5. I'm gonna recycle some rocks and wood from my larger tank
6. Yes, I'm getting rid of the dang rock
7. I'm getting an SB Reef Lights SBox Pro 16".

I put together an EXTREMELY rough idea of what I'm thinking of design-wise for the tank, not including any extra driftwood or whatever I might add. Excuse the MS Paint, I just wanted to throw something together as quickly as possible. Any thoughts on what I should change, plants I could add/remove/replace, plants other than moss to tie to the manzanita wood, or any other types of suggestions/critiques?

Also, I got some rocks to use for the tank, so I'll post pictures soon of those and the stuff from my other tank that I might be able to recycle.

Thanks for the help guys!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	plan.png
Views:	30
Size:	39.4 KB
ID:	757010  


Last edited by Surge Davidson; 05-18-2017 at 08:00 AM. Reason: forgot to attach image
Surge Davidson is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 03:10 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
sevendust111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 410
Looks like a solid plan to me. Remember, the sbreef sbox is very powerful so run it low.
sevendust111 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome