Inspiration provided by Hydrophyte, I kept seeing all those lovely tanks he has and just had to try my hand at it.
I spent last weekend rooting around in the garage and found my old 8g Finnex tank. Its been sitting around for several years... I figured keeping my 1st Riparium as cost friendly as possible was in order.
Leak test and black spray paint done
I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but really no idea on how to get there. Picked up Great Stuff pond foam, pulled out the wax paper and sharpie. I mark the HOT filter (small Aqua Clear) on the wax paper and started foaming. Had I to do over again, I would have built an internal frame for the GS but did not think that far ahead... Oh well. Here's the blob:
Waited 24 hours and then pulled it out, grabbed a serrated knife and went to town. I wanted to create a small simple waterfall for a bit of sound. In the end I carved away about 95% of the foam! But was able to create two tiers that hold pieces of wood. I created little "well's" behind them that will hold a bit of sand and plants right under the waterfall. Over all I am very happy. Pulled out Black Aquarium Sealant, covered the entire 6"x8" waterfall in it and then patted on some Riparium Supply planter gravel for an almost black natural look to blend into the black background. What a horrible icky sticky ooie gooie mess it!!! Waited 48 hours and then used clear silicon to adhere it to the back, siliconed the edges and patted on a little more gravel.
The filter intake was way to short, so a quick trip to HD and 3/4 clear tubing and the problem was solved. I used hot water to fit it over the upper intake and then hack sawed off the bottom intake "grill" and fitted it to the bottom of the tubing. It added about 6 inches and is perfect now. Other then it did take about a minute to pull the water up. The flow seems to be perfect. Its a very gentle flow and may need a small power head to move more water - but time will tell.
The substrate is actually a combination of a variety of stuff - from the garage. Sand and three colors of small stone/pebbles. I wanted a lighter more natural substrate and I think I got what I was looking for. I then add a piece of mopani wood that has sat in a drawer for many years - love that wood, sunk the minute it hit the water
Then off to adding the rest of the plants. I love the hanging planters from Riparium Supply and the nano rafts are perfect for this little tank:
There is so much light coming in fromt he window that the pictures look pretty dark. I will try for a few more tonight after the sun goes down. Maybe I'll have better luck.
So, all in all I am very happy with the final outcome of it. Now for the slow part - letting the plants grow the out!