Tomb Raider Petrified Wood Anubias Garden- evolution pics p.1! video 3/6
NOTE- all pics are in this first post to make it easy to see the evolution! Tank is now 4 1/2 years old! Stock list is current as of 3/12/2015.
Wanted to share my tank as Ive purchased the Anubias Petite and others here. Plus its a little different than most...
I should clarify all of this with-
I have always been consumed with creating a freshwater reef. Ive done salt water reefs for over 20 years but I no longer want that level of maintenance. I only have 2 tanks now- this a and a 60 gallon which is just a trash tank/hospital tank for this one. This tank is still my favorite of all time, reefs included!
Its inspiration was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom... then the large slab of petrified wood I bought made it feel more OG side scrolling platform games. Then once it started to develop it leaned towards Tomb raider and as the Anubias roots grow out- its really lookin legit!
Ive planned this tank for 15 years but never found a statue/bust that didn't look cheesy... Then my friend in Africa sent me the one you see here that I grew the Java Fern head dress on. That triggered the entire change (as this tank was a reef tank up until June. I had needed to change to freshwater for a while... the bust made it come together)
Then a few weeks of eBAY rock shopping and 800 dollars later... (though 1/3 of that was shipping!) Voila! I sold my reef tank for good money (just the contents) so I had more than enough to cover start up!
Heres the sequence from start to finish ending with the placement of the Anubias Petite.
The UPDATED (07/01/2015) current stock list-
10 Khuli loaches
1 candy stripe pleco
17 Rummy nose tetras
10 panda corys
1 Chinese Hill Stream Loach
3 Red Gobies (Sicyopus Exallisquamulus) and YES they eat shrimp LOL!
3-4 HUGE amano shrimp
4 Bumblebee gobies- freshwater, NEVER fed, living off cherry shrimp and LOVING IT! Best color Ive ever seen... STILL killing it a year later- all 4!
a bunch of ottos
a boatload of cherry shrimp
a few other species of shrimp I forget (tiger, the brown ones LOL, others I can't remember!)
a boatload of Malaysian trumpet snails
a few freshwater clams
Crappy iPhone video- current as of 4/17/12
New crappy iphone video- 3/6/13
Day after reef switch
sand, anubs and Harlequin Rasboras (I later decided against them)
first batch of rocks, more plants
THE SLAB ARRIVES!!!!!
tier added, gully dug
the full 200lb lot of petrified rounds added (on top of the prior pics- yep 200 more lbs...) and end of rock additions, hill built
addition of Snow Bengal kitten and ADA 60F for him (hes sleeping on top cause I covered and hes annoyed!)...
Petite added to virgin sacrifice rock and statue base centerpiece
wow that's awesome looking set-up there. You really put some dedication to your tank. The slope for the tank is another thing l liked. One thing that worries me is that the rocks might collapse unless you covered that already and didn't say it on the post. other than that good job! One question, how big is the tank and what kind of lightning system are you using?
I have no clue how you'll hold the slopes in place but congrats on the detailed layout.:proud:
125 gallon with built in wet dry, full CO2 rig, and for lighting its changed-
It was 1/2 10000K, 1/2 actinic (left over from the reef rig) T5s. Thats ALSO why the pics look BETTER earlier on- its the reef lighting- way cooooler (yeah thats a pun)...
Now Ive switched to 1/2 10,000k and 1/2 6700k T5s.
Total watts 156 watts T5.
I also run my lights 14 hours a day... and... LEDs 16 hours a day... add in indirect light (skylight) and my tank gets only 4 hours of true darkness a day...
I run actinics (but the LED version). You can see the LEDs on the back wall- they are really blue. BUT if you turn them off the tank goes soooooooo yellow. And the LEDS stay on for 2 hours after lights off so imagine the effect from midnight to 2AM-
The camera cant handle the light properly but the pic gives the idea. Just imagine it WAY more subtle and you can see the fish... barely...
When I bailed the Rasboras that was the only bad thing- they glowed at night cause of the contrary color orange and their translucent bodies refract the light- none of my other fish do that. I bet many tetras would look great too.
DOWN SIDE- the filament algae. But my SAEs are eating some of it and it ONLY grows directly under the LEDs. Not too bad but definitely worth mentioning.
My planted tanks purpose is different than most... All I care about is 2 things-
1. Do I like how it looks (ie why the lights are on 14 hours a day- I hate it when the tanks off!)
2. Is it BEYOND easy to maintain! (reaction to reefing for the past 10 years)
Ive been doing tanks for well over 20 years. Ive consulted LFS, Ive designed and sold tanks and Ive generally been heavy fishy for a very long time. (Though Ive never gotten the chance to do a 6 figure tank or high end custom install- thats the dream!)
Im not that old, but this is my retirement tank! Low maintenance and high rewards! And every tank I build is for sale but... NOT this one! Petrified rounds are easy, but Ill never find a slab like that again...
The sand I use is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo fine it holds the slope. The powerhead will sometimes droop and blow some top sand off but honestly, your 100% wrong about the slope! All you need to do is make a rock barrier. Then the final trick is to grow anubias between the rock crevaces you want to hold sand... Once the roots take, you can build as high as you want (think of tiers in mountain farming cultures).
But you also may not realize Ive done this MANY MANY times! Slopes and gullies are my trademark! Its all about 3D!:icon_excl
OH and under the slope... its all really petrified wood rounds... Like 150+ pounds.... So the slope LOOKS all sand but its really rocks COVERED in sand!
If your gonna rune your lights 14 hrs a day, you will get an algae farm. Nice start!
That's a very unique tank you have built there. I really enjoy it. I do hope that you post pics 6 months down the line, when it has grown in a bit.
That looks really neat. You could always use a little two part epoxy if you're worried about the rocks moving.
Tomb Raider it is. Very unique scape! .
Thats just not true! I am actually UPSET that the slab which was COVERED GREEN- no white- has been polished almost clean again!
Ive been running the lights for 14 hours a day since JUNE... So nope- not an algae farm. Unless you think it takes 3 months for algae to grow...
Between the ottos (which I forgot to list), the shrimp, the rubber lip and MOST OF ALL the candy stripe- algae woes never existed. The SAEs are doing great on the filament algae but I still remove some from the back wall once a week.
But the week I got the Candy Stripe is the week my algae really started disappearing!
Ive been TRYING to over grow algae for the theme... My cleaning crew is already ahead of the game and the cherrie shrimps are breeding like they are on crack.
Balance. I could run my lights 24 hours a day and have NO algae issues... But that wouldn't be right for the fish.
Ive set up 5 large tanks EXACTLY like this (professionally)... The only thing thats changed for me over 20 years is adding cherry shrimp to the amanos (and some others but its the breeders that change the game entirely!) and being able to afford all petrified wood...
Great concept built into a great tank. Have you thought about fish stocking yet?
But thats just me being snotty- epoxy works GREAT!!!! And ill use it on others tanks if need be.
The tank is actually locked together far more than it looks- only the top tiers are in jeopardy. And once the anubias grows in, I doubt more than a couple rocks could even move!
Plus I love seeing everyone elses tanks!
Im a long term plan guy with tanks so chances are Ill post as I go! And most of my friends are tired of hearing about it!
The nicest thing that happened was a friend from Finland came to visit last week and we grew up together (in the US). He saw this new tank, and hes seen most of my others, and he said, "You really do make amazing tanks. Everytime I see one Im inspired to start my own!"
Thats success to me! And having so many friends international (from Dubai to Finland to Africa to Mexico) a good thread here will be easy for them to see where ever thay are!
Funny- my biggest inspiration overall was Takashi Amano and my personal show tank is the ANTITHESIS of what he would approve of! Unnatural, man made objects and all anubias- the "stiff" plant that should never be the sole plant...:proud:
I had 15+ CDPs but in a week most died out of NOWHERE (After almost 2 months of no problems at all). No other fish deaths, parameters fine... weird. It was really strange, BUT with all that petrified wood, I could run into some serious leeching issues... I knew that going in. Its not like lace rock where you know the majority of its contents!
I may replenish the CPDs but Im not 100% sure. You cant see how beautiful they are from where I sit and watch the tank so I may go with something else.
BUT Ill probably just add a pair of peacock gudgeons and call it a day. Ill need something to pray on the shrimp population anyway!
In my personal tanks, I stock like it should be- not like it could be! Honestly, 99% of the tanks Ive seen over 20 years are severly overstocked...
If you leave more room, the fish act MUCH more naturally and live wayyyyy longer. Not to mention all the extra filtration and water changes...
Me I dont EVER do scheduled water changes... And I dont want to start now! Once the plants take Ill mostly just top off evaporation and call it a day!
Very awesome! I like it! I like the man's hat!
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