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-   -   30B Build for West African Riparium Biotope Input Needed (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=197926)

Wy Renegade 11-20-2012 11:12 PM

30B Build for West African Riparium Biotope Input Needed
 
I've been working for awhile now on this concept of building a West African Riverian biotope tank. At this point, I've aquired a pair of Kribs, a school of Congo tetras, and a small school of synodontis catfish. I'm working on incorperating a canister filter to drive the return, which will be a PVC pipe channel below the substrate with various outlets, and I'd like to make one of those outlets a small waterfall.

The concept for the channeled return is based loosely on this article;
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ug_jets.php


I'm planning to use a larger canister filter to drive the return manifold.

I'm leaning towards a riparium type tank, but I'm working with a 30 breeder, so height is pretty limited. Since I want to add some African butterfly cichlids (not sure if that may be too much of a bioload), I'm trying to figure all that out with a screen cover.


I've already managed to aquire a number of varieties of anubias and Java fern, and will be adding some plants as I go. The substrate will be white sand and I'll be attempting either a foam 3-D background or a BS foamed type background to cover the rear wall.


Here's the current layout of the channeled return, the return line will enter on the right side via the grey connection and then exit from the various openings. The main portions of the manifold will be behind the background or under the substrate and rock piles will cover the outflows.

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/i...d20Nov2012.jpg

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/i...I20Nov2012.jpg

At this point, any thoughts or input on the design or stocking are welcome.

hydrophyte 11-21-2012 01:33 AM

If you want to make a West African-themed riparium setup then Bolbitis heudelotii and Anubias spp. would be two of the best choices for emersed aquatics, but these will both do best if you keep them in high humidity. For these plants it would be preferable to use a tall tank with a lowered water level and lid on top to keep it moist inside.

schoolzoo 11-21-2012 05:02 PM

Neat idea - I'll be watching this one to see how it comes together.

Wy Renegade 11-21-2012 07:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hydrophyte (Post 2085205)
If you want to make a West African-themed riparium setup then Bolbitis heudelotii and Anubias spp. would be two of the best choices for emersed aquatics, but these will both do best if you keep them in high humidity. For these plants it would be preferable to use a tall tank with a lowered water level and lid on top to keep it moist inside.

Thanks hydrophyte. I've aquired several different species of Anubias at this point, but would like to come up with some of the A. nano. I also have to find some B. heudelotii. I could do a lid, but tall isn't an option for this tank due to where it is located.

Quote:

Originally Posted by schoolzoo (Post 2085733)
Neat idea - I'll be watching this one to see how it comes together.

Thanks, we will see what happens.

Wy Renegade 11-21-2012 09:01 PM

Messing around a little with some aquascaping thoughts;

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/i...e21Nov2012.jpg

Jonnywhoop 11-21-2012 09:02 PM

Rocks seem a little too big and out of place.

Wy Renegade 11-21-2012 09:03 PM

Hhhhhmmmm might have to go do a little riverbank walking.

Fishies_in_Philly 11-21-2012 10:12 PM

i really dig the undergravel jets, wish i saw this before i started building mine...lol have you had this sucker filled and running yet? i am kind of curious to know what kind of flow you get from the vertical pipe in the left rear. seems like after you pinch off all the extra jets on the bottom, it might have more pressure than you are looking for.

actually, i like the rocks, sorry Jonny. :) once you have a couple inches of substrate in there, they won't look as big and bulky.

any thoughts on how to cover up that jet in the right front corner? unfortunately, i think if you use the rock method like the left front, it is going to look too symmetrical.

what is your projected water level? i'm thinking if you have this about half full, after substrate, you may be looking at only about 12-13 gallons, which may be a bit light for all the fish planned.

are you looking for a. nana petite? if you are in no rush, i can send you some nice petites and some bolbitis in the spring. the bolbitis is just starting to take off and i have some crazy amounts of petitie growing in my 75. some are almost as big as my fist....lol actually, depends on if i can get my hand on a heat pack from one of my local guys. if i can, i'll send you some up as soon as i can trim out the bolbitis.

btw...i wish i had a science teacher as cool as you when i was in school....LOL

Fishies_in_Philly 11-21-2012 10:29 PM

hey devin, even though Renegade has this planned as a West African tank, don't you think a Lagenandra Thwaitessi would look cool in this setup?"

lochaber 11-22-2012 12:08 AM

I'm not sure how well the waterfall outlet will work if it's connected to the same piping as the lower outlets.

You might need either a dedicated pump/powerhead for the waterfall, or some sort of restrictive valves on the lower outlets.

Otherwise, I think you would either get too much flow out of the lower outlets, or none at all through the waterfall.

Why not have the waterfall be the only outlet?

I think the rocks and wood look nice, and having plants will fill in quite a bit.

hydrophyte 11-22-2012 03:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wy Renegade (Post 2085849)
Thanks hydrophyte. I've aquired several different species of Anubias at this point, but would like to come up with some of the A. nano. I also have to find some B. heudelotii. I could do a lid, but tall isn't an option for this tank due to where it is located.

A. hastifolia and similar big, arrowhead-leaf Anubias might do OK in an open-top setup.

A. barteri really hates dry air and its leaves will brown around the edges unless you keep it in high humidity.

I can probably think of a few other suitable more or less representative plants for a West Africa-themed riparium. I'm sure that various Cyperus occur there--there are hundreds of species in this genus all over the world--so you could incorporate some Cyperus 'Baby Tut' as a background riparium plant.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fishies_in_Philly (Post 2086004)
hey devin, even though Renegade has this planned as a West African tank, don't you think a Lagenandra Thwaitessi would look cool in this setup?"

That's another plant that needs humid air to grow very well emersed. It would be better in a riparium with a closed top.

Fishies_in_Philly 11-22-2012 02:49 PM

i thought he was going with a lid, that's why i suggested it. how do you think a. angustfolia would fare in an open top riparium setup? it is a rather broad, arrow leafed anubias.

Wy Renegade 11-26-2012 03:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fishies_in_Philly (Post 2085992)
i really dig the undergravel jets, wish i saw this before i started building mine...lol have you had this sucker filled and running yet? i am kind of curious to know what kind of flow you get from the vertical pipe in the left rear. seems like after you pinch off all the extra jets on the bottom, it might have more pressure than you are looking for.

Could be, but I also might not have enough. I won't know for sure till I hook up the pump. After thinking about it over the weekend, I've some major scape changes in mind, so its going to be a bit.

actually, i like the rocks, sorry Jonny. :) once you have a couple inches of substrate in there, they won't look as big and bulky.

My thought as well, but changes are in store.

any thoughts on how to cover up that jet in the right front corner? unfortunately, i think if you use the rock method like the left front, it is going to look too symmetrical.

No, that was one of the issues. I didn't want the tank too symmetrical, but can't just have a jet hanging out. I think the new changes should take care of the issue.

what is your projected water level? i'm thinking if you have this about half full, after substrate, you may be looking at only about 12-13 gallons, which may be a bit light for all the fish planned.

I'm really hoping to have it within about 3 inches of the top. But I'm currently considering going with an overflow and sump, which could change things yet again.

are you looking for a. nana petite? if you are in no rush, i can send you some nice petites and some bolbitis in the spring. the bolbitis is just starting to take off and i have some crazy amounts of petitie growing in my 75. some are almost as big as my fist....lol actually, depends on if i can get my hand on a heat pack from one of my local guys. if i can, i'll send you some up as soon as i can trim out the bolbitis.

Sounds awesome, I appreciate the offer, and I'm definitely in no hurry.

btw...i wish i had a science teacher as cool as you when i was in school....LOL

Thanks, I know the students enjoy watching and helping with the new builds almost as much as I do. One of them told me today the coke can has to go LOL.

Quote:

Originally Posted by lochaber (Post 2086083)
I'm not sure how well the waterfall outlet will work if it's connected to the same piping as the lower outlets.

You might need either a dedicated pump/powerhead for the waterfall, or some sort of restrictive valves on the lower outlets.

Otherwise, I think you would either get too much flow out of the lower outlets, or none at all through the waterfall.

Why not have the waterfall be the only outlet?

I think the rocks and wood look nice, and having plants will fill in quite a bit.

I'll definitely have to do some messing around with the outflow vents to get the flow I want, but I'll be running the pump before adding everything to the tank to make sure I can get the flow I want. May have to fine tune some things as you've pointed out.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hydrophyte (Post 2086304)
A. hastifolia and similar big, arrowhead-leaf Anubias might do OK in an open-top setup.

A. barteri really hates dry air and its leaves will brown around the edges unless you keep it in high humidity.

I can probably think of a few other suitable more or less representative plants for a West Africa-themed riparium. I'm sure that various Cyperus occur there--there are hundreds of species in this genus all over the world--so you could incorporate some Cyperus 'Baby Tut' as a background riparium plant.

That's another plant that needs humid air to grow very well emersed. It would be better in a riparium with a closed top.

Thanks Devin, I'll definitely be picking your brain a bit more once the hardscape is all complete.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fishies_in_Philly (Post 2086546)
i thought he was going with a lid, that's why i suggested it. how do you think a. angustfolia would fare in an open top riparium setup? it is a rather broad, arrow leafed anubias.

I am still hoping to incorperate a lid, if not a lid then a screen top, but that may have to adjust based on plant selection.

Thanks for all the input folks. Sorry I kind of dropped the ball, but Thanksgiving got a little busy for me, what with the youngest being home from college and all.

Fishies_in_Philly 11-26-2012 05:22 PM

So, are you scrapping the whole vent idea for something more traditional? Or are you planning on the same setup, just using a sump? And a piece of burl wood would cover that vent up nice. I like burls, the wood that look like a rock :)

Wy Renegade 11-26-2012 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fishies_in_Philly (Post 2089858)
So, are you scrapping the whole vent idea for something more traditional? Or are you planning on the same setup, just using a sump? And a piece of burl wood would cover that vent up nice. I like burls, the wood that look like a rock :)

Oh no, the vent idea still stands, just redesigning the manifold a bit to be able to incorporate more of a natural pool look in the tank (at least that is what I am aiming for). A burl would be a great idea on that vent, unfortunately, that would mean another long trip to my not so local LFS.


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