My first ever aquascape (40gal)
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:48 AM   #1
biotopium
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My first ever aquascape (40gal)


My last tank was probably 15-20 years ago (I'm 30). Goldfish + under gravel filter. What a nightmare to clean - and those poor fish. Well I've been inspired by the world of aquascaping: Takashi Amano, IAPLC, ADA, Jeff Sensek, and definitely plantedtank.net. So I'm going all in. Here's my buy list, arriving next week.
  • AGA 75P tank
  • Maxspect R420R 27" 10K
  • Ultra G Series 65 Filter
  • Cal Aqua tubes: Influx X2 13mm, Efflux G2 13mm
  • Hydor ETH In-Line Heater
  • Aquatic Fundamentals 50/65 Gallon Stand
  • Aqua Ultraviolet Advantage Series Sterilizer 2000 Inline 8W
  • 20 Gallon Rubbermaid and Danner pump for bucketless water changes
  • And a bunch of miscellaneous stuff: garden mat, chemistry test kits, etc.

I'm going to start with at least one hardscape only, non-planted tank. I realize this is a planed tank forum but thought I'd share here anyway and get feedback on design and everything else.

As I wait for all the toys to arrive, I'm trying to figure out what kind of environment I want to create. I want to create something that is kind of a biotope (as you might have guessed by my username). But I don't want brown brackish water or decaying leaves. I want a non-strict biotope with a modern minimalist design. Basically, I want to choose animals that are at least loosely geographically correct and make it look cool. I'm wide open on species. Here's one idea for an Amazonian tank.
  • Angelfish x4, not sure what kind yet
  • Hatchetfish to give interest to the top
  • Amazon glass shrimp or cory catfish to occupy the bottom

More to follow. Thanks for reading.

Graham
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:27 AM   #2
Aurie
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There are a TON of plants from south america that you could use. It doesn't have to be the standard "leaves and brown water" although I think that looks really nice for discus.

I can't find the research website now, but in general if you want to do south american or amazon in general from what I've read .. well, you know the saying "if you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes?" The amazon is like that. Don't like the biotope, go down 1 mile. Totally different in each bend. You could start collecting in general south american plants and just pick the ones that work for your setup. I did an asian tank although it kind of turned into "whatever the LFS had available" LOL. I don't have the money to buy a lot online. But you could keep your eye out. Swords are a plant from south america, you could always start there
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:50 AM   #3
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I almost peed my pants.


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Old 04-10-2014, 04:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurie View Post
Don't like the biotope, go down 1 mile. Totally different in each bend.
Thanks Aurie. Point taken. Ive never been to the Amazon but I can imagine finding many different environments amongst those rivers. I'm going to stick with a non-planted hardscape this time around and probably try a planted tank next time. I'll either be tearing down my tanks constantly or adding new ones.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:48 PM   #5
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ADA 75P. Stoked.


Last edited by biotopium; 04-11-2014 at 06:10 PM.. Reason: changed photo hosting
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:26 PM   #6
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The spot where I want my tank to go just happens to be about 4 feet from a 1000 pound safe. I have a raised floor so I'm really asking for it if I place both so close together in this old house. So I'm adding a couple posts anchored in concrete before moving forward.



On a side note, I'm also raising some painted lady butterflies. A few of the caterpillars have just started to hang from the roof this morning as they prepare to enter the pupal phase.

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Old 04-12-2014, 04:53 PM   #7
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Support installed. Remaining equipment arriving Monday.

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Old 04-12-2014, 05:21 PM   #8
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Sweet journal! Looks like it will be a fun project. What substrate are you going with??
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:45 AM   #9
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Thanks Duck. I'm just looking at my different sand options this time around. As mentioned, I'm planning to do one non planted hardscape and turn it over quickly, after maybe 2-4 months. I'm thinking a dark coarse sand or fine gravel for an Amazonian biotope-ish tank.

Last edited by biotopium; 04-14-2014 at 03:51 AM.. Reason: sand
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:36 PM   #10
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Things are looking good. Stand and lighting are up. I miscalculated the plumbing diameter on a few things so returning them and ordering replacements. I will be creating a black background for this tank because the yellow is not a good look. I don't want to attach it to the tank though so it will be something on the wall. Possibly just a black flag.



I also ordered the following pieces from manzanita-driftwood.com. They are all between 25" and 28" long so the chosen one will be dominant in this 30" long tank.











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Old 04-15-2014, 06:50 PM   #11
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Awesome start, following this tank
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:11 AM   #12
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After careful consideration, I have decided to go with Cemex Lapis Lustre 20 Mesh Monterey Sand. It is very clean right out of the bag. No more than 5 minutes in the bucket and the water is clear. As I understand it, this sand won't affect my water chemistry but someone please correct me if I am wrong. Still waiting on my Manzanita branches to arrive.


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Old 04-24-2014, 04:03 PM   #13
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I wanted to test the effect of the sand on the Kh of the water. I let the water sit overnight with the sand. KH was about 62ppm. I then did a baseline on my tap water and found KH of about 53ppm. One issue however is that the accuracy of this test kit is not great. 3 drops indicates 53.7ppm and 4 drops indicates 71.6ppm. For the water with the sand I took the average of 3 & 4 drops. For the baseline test, it was clearly 3 drops. I think I'll try it again later to see where things stand. It was also my first time ever doing a KH test so as I get more experience, I'll probably get more accurate readings. Do you stop when the water starts to turn a little yellow or does it need to be bright yellow?
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:46 PM   #14
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20 Gallon Rubbermaid and Danner pump for bucketless water changes

Wait, what? How does this work? Googling...
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefStatic View Post
Wait, what? How does this work? Googling...
The 20 gallon can is on a wheeled dolly. Drop in a submersible pump with 6ft hose on the output and that water will be in the tank in about a minute. That's the plan anyway. I'll let you know it goes when I get to that point.
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