Ive had this 75 gallon tank setup before, but due to being a novice i rushed into things and the outcome was.......terrible ! Ive decided to take things slowly (even though its killing me) and decide exactly how i want things. The setup im going for is a little bit of everything...Dutch style, Amano & Iwagumi. Im not sure how it will come out but in my head it looks excellent ha ha!
75 Gallon standard
4x 54w Catalina T5ho
Pressurized C02 with Rex style reactor
Seachem Flourite (Dark)
Pool Filter Sand
I emptied this tank around 8 days ago, the last setup was a mess, i kept adding plants to it without fully knowing what care was needed for them, so some died whilst some went crazy and blocked everything else from the light.
I decided whilst the tank was empty i would scub the inside of the tank with a bleach mix to kill any nasties that was growing on the silicone or glass itself. This also gave me a chance to connect my reactor.
Next was to decide what i wanted as the main focal point, using the "rule of thirds" i decided that a leftover piece of driftwood i had from another tank would be perfect. The piece seems just the right height and has tons of potential to grow Anubias, java fern and/or moss around the base or the branches.
Next up was to decide the layout of the actual tank. Ive seen lots of "island" & "beach" effects by dividing 2 different color substrates which i like. Making 2 islands would be great to keep Iwagumi away from the Dutch & Amano styles. I decided to use plexi glass and cut them into strips, being 2.5" high. I used a candle to heat the plexi glass and bend it to the shapes i wanted. After i got the correct shapes i just simply siliconed them to the bare bottom of the tank. Once the silicone was dry i decided to pour the flourite from the bag straight into the tank (yep, no rinsing) I dont see the point in rinsing the substrate, you pay all that money for the goodness inside the substrate only to ....wash it all away ! Makes no sense to me.
Turns out im 2 bags short (only used 2 bags in the pics) but hopefully the LFS will have these for me on Friday. I filled the tank with water and will leave it for 24 hours before i switch my filter on. I did have a few suspended particles but i just used kitchen paper towels to soak them up which worked very well.
Underneath the driftwood and the right hand side of the tank i used pool filter sand in some panties to make the "hills". Once i get the other 2 bags of substrate i will make the left side a little more hilly. This picture was taken straight after the water was in........ not too cloudy considering i didnt rinse it !
This is the left side of the tank where i would like a dutch style background with a Amano foreground and around the "tree stump"
This is the right side where im hoping to grow HC in a Iwagumi style.