Benon's 60-gallon / 227 Liter Long (Some plants added)
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:06 AM   #1
benon
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Benon's 60-gallon / 227 Liter Long (Some plants added)


May 17, 2010

Well, I found a new bike. For anyone into bikes, I'm going to be riding a Cannondale track ('93) 57cm. My Colnago Master x-light 2009 with full campy was stolen a week ago.

Onto the tank...

As my fourth planted tank, and first tank larger than 20 gallons, I must say the scale is nice and fun to work with. The footprint, the sand I chose, and the fact that my axolotl is doing really well in here. I feel as if the larger animals require a larger body of water to really feel at home.

I hardly call this done or planted, but I can definitely get a better feel for what this tank is going to look like when I am finished. I still have quite a few more rocks to place into this tank (Dark yamaya stones).

I was at Aqua Forest Aquarium and found the yamaya stones I was looking for. They have quite a bit, and I wanted to take the whole box, but I was there for plants. I started looking at lighting... and all other kinds of madness, but quickly got back to the task of finding plants.



I came across "Nomaphilla Stricta." It was growing in bunches, and had a nice natural look to it. It looked sturdy and strong, and I saw roots growing all over the place, but I didn't care... it looked "natural." Maybe I should let the roots run around. This plant can also grow emmersed, so it will go well with my theme of above and below the water-line. (I have nothing above the water-line yet, as I'm waiting on my mist king to arrive)

Then I randomly decided to go with some Cryptocoryne Wendtii Brown. This is a really cool plant, and it matches the lighting and color of the manzanita quite well. From the beginning, I wanted Vallisneria, and so those went into the background too. Some of them are just floating around, unplanted... I didn't have a bunch of time, as my girlfriend was trying to pull me away from the tank (JUST GIVE ME ONE HOUR... WATER CHANGE!) I also forgot to mention anubias... all of these plants will also be attempted emmersed as well.

I'm considering the white cloud mountain minnow for this tank, as they are quick. Right now, there are some feeder fish in there, and they seem to be too quick for the axolotl to catch. It goes well with the whole "natural" look I guess.

Lighting is now 58-watts T5 normal output. If I dose, it will be iron and possibly excel. I purchased some ADA "Iron Bottom Long," which is basically root tabs with iron.



Here is the right side of the tank. The stump on the left has sunken in, and I've anchored it down with some rocks. I didn't want to take away too much roaming space for the axolotl. The stumps actually don't make much contact to the ground. They're being propped up against the glass by other branches.

That's about it for now. I think I have my big plants well in place. Nice water change of 25%.

May 16, 2010

Threw in the manzanita stumps.



Got some tea colored water for a bit. Added a bag of carbon to the zoomed 501. I think only a few water changes and some time will clear this up. No matter, my axolotl seems to love it. So do the feeder fish.



Here's a full tank shot of the axolotl, looking pretty majestic. Sorry for the blurry shot.



A closeup of Wilbur. I think he definitely needs a "carpet" to run around on. It will be calming for his feet that have been walking on a flat bottom of a plastic bin for months. His gills have become a lot more robust since I placed him into the deeper tank. Good sign.



Interestingly enough, I actually got pieces of driftwood that look like the ones in my drawing.

Not much to say really. I'm acclimating some bolbitis in there. I'm thinking I need about 10 times that amount. Just playing with what I have from my other tanks.

Both stumps are floating, so I'm soaking them. They will actually stay secure as there is a glass plate in the center of the top of the aquarium. I also have a third manzanita branch that I have yet to put in, so hardscape is yet to be fully decided.

Plants : Anubias, Bolbitis, Java fern, emmersed crypts... Willow moss? vallisneria? Not entirely sure about the list, but I will slowly build it up over time.

Manzanita & Axolotl pics :

Manzanita from Manzanita.com (I got 3 large pieces + shipping for $117)





(more below...)

A few days ago (Friday), I setup a 20-gallon long for my newts. I thought it was crazy, considering I already have a 20-gallon tall and a 12-gallon nano.

Today I went ahead and bought a 60-gallon long.

My 20-gallon tall and 12-gallon nano, strangely, were setup quite fast and without much planning. Inversely, my 20-gallon long was the result of a few months of planning ahead, and visually most successful result to date (in my opinion). Simple and not so cluttery.

I thought a 12-gallon was all I needed when my girlfriend showed up at my doorstep with it. I looked at all of the strange cables, filtration media, etc. and thought "wow, this is going to be fun."

Three years later I made the jump to a 20. 20 is a wonderful size. But something about the 60-gallon called out to me.

"Big... more plants... more water... good for axolotl... (at this point nothing could stop me)".

I got a good deal on this 60-gallon. $300 for the tank and stand. Actually, I think it was kind of steep, but I really liked the size and shape of the tank, and the stand was something I could easily fix up.




May 3, 2010 (going to take my time with this one)




Kind of an attempt at trying to draw what the tank will look like. I was inspired by Craigthor's riparium, and wanted to give my axolotl a similar environment. I went with the "longer" tank. Thinking about vallisneria in the back, a bunch of bolbitis branching out, and some riparium plants (crypts and java fern, I think). I don't know where I'm going to find driftwood that looks like that.



Looks a lot larger in person. This is huge! The tank is pretty nice. I'm not too crazy about the "carbon fiber trim" on the middle panel, which isn't a door. In general, the stand is very mellow and smells weird inside.



The tank on the left, all misted in there, is a 20 gallon long. I'm going to be moving it back a bit so the 60-long can fit in better.



Future resident of the 60-gallon long. I don't know what else to put in there, maybe some more axolotls. I have to be careful with this one.

This axolotl was going to go in a 20-gallon long, but found it would be easier to maintain in a large tupperware bin for the quarantine period.

Last edited by benon; 05-18-2010 at 07:15 AM..
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:23 PM   #2
Nate McFin
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Looks like a great plan. Should be fun to watch it come together.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:26 PM   #3
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Thanks! Hopefully I can find the right pieces of driftwood...

A question about filtration for anyone that might be able to answer :

If I were to fill this tank about 65-75% of the way with water, would I be able to get away with using a single Fluval filter?

I'm concerned about current. With such a lengthy aquarium, I'm afraid I might need two filters.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:42 PM   #4
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I am not the right person when it comes to this type of set up but if the filter is enough for filtration then you could always add a powerhead to get the water moving. Which fluval model is it?
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:25 AM   #5
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Well, nothing new... I ended up getting an eheim ecco pro 60. Rated up to 80 gallons.

If I fill up the tank about 60-70% of the way, that should be a bit over 40 gallons.

I'm filtering a 20-gallon tall with the same filter. It works extremely well.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:38 AM   #6
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What are the dimensions on this tank? The footprint looks awesome!
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:52 PM   #7
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Hey,

footprint :

length : 48 inches
width : 15 inches

I loved the shape when I saw it!

Here's an updated drawing i started shading cause I just wanna set it up now...

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Old 05-07-2010, 07:58 AM   #8
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The tank has been filled up. This is as exciting as it gets for now.

Before I get any hardscape, I've decided it would be nice to have all this water cycled and good for the axolotl. I don't plan to have the water level that high. I've taken substrat pro from his Zoomed 501, and practically filled one of the chambers in a brand new eheim ecco pro 80.



I was very tempted to plant this thing, with stems growing out everywhere, plant bunches creating rolling planes and slopes, overshadowing tiny meadows of carpeted plants... Epic rockscapes... endless possibilities for a 60-gallon long...

But my axolotl would tear it up so fast. Not to mention, one tiny bloodworm could destroy a whole mass of HC. I've had it happen before...

My concept for this tank involves the tiniest slope of sand. I mixed Nile Sand and Sarawak Sand for this. I almost bought some monterey beach sand for it, but I thought the grains were a little too big. Anyways, 1-2 centimeters in the front, and 2-3 in the back. Very shallow, easy to vacuum.

All of the action will happen above the tank and near the surface of the water. I will have stones lining the driftwood hardscape at the bottom. Maybe those dark grey stones I've been talking about. Not too round, not too jagged.

I'm considering some background plants, possibly Vallisneria. But mostly, I want a few nice and simple stumps of driftwood to line the back.

Since I've been growing a bunch of bolbitis in all of my tanks, I will probably tie a good deal of bolbitis to the driftwood. Maybe some crypts along the top, above the surface.

I don't really know yet, but I'm keeping it simple. I want the axolotl to first and foremost have a really good home.

My main challenge will probably be finding good driftwood at a decent price.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:16 AM   #9
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manzanita.com has some nice driftwood pieces or stumps depending on what you want. l highly recommend them.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:37 AM   #10
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If you want wood similar to what I have in my tank pm me and I can send you an e-mail address for D.S. Drifter a member on the boards here. Its easier to get ahold of Rod via e-mail then pm. He can find almost anything you want and his prices are super reasonable. I will let you know he is in TN and with all the flooding down that way over the weekend not sure how busy he is.

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Old 05-08-2010, 09:41 PM   #11
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I wish you had posted earlier! It would be nice to get a killer deal on some stumps. I still have a very large discus tank I'm going to build this year, so I will be in touch with you soon Craigthor.

I went to manzanita.com and ordered three fairly large stumps. They should arrive wednesday. Excited!

The entire box was shipped for $17.00. Total price was $117 for three stumps approximately 25 x 15 x 15 in dimension.
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:50 AM   #12
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Just a quick update... the manzanita stumps came.

I love the way they look!

Some pics of the axolotl, wilbur. Hope his gills grow back very bushy. I got him from a pet shop and he was kept in one of the smaller kritter cages.



I will end up getting a blacklight setup as they can make these guys glow in the dark



The wood pieces!





Lots of wood... I will probably trim a few branches off and sand off some sharp points, then soak for a few nights.
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:07 AM   #13
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very nice l'm curious to see what you can do with them. l find it hard trying to get a nice position that you won't keep changing over and over when sticking a stump in a tank. l got lucky and l am still satisfied with how mines is at the moment. manzanita.com always delivers and that's another reason why l'll keep using them over and over again. l was 100% satisfied even tho the packaging could improve. when l got my piece there was some branches missing but l overlooked that. Oh speaking of fts i'll try to post some pictures of the 48g this saturday since i'm off work just for ya. definately keeping track of this one.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:07 PM   #14
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Thanks Shadow.

I plan to keep it very simple and easy to maintain, but very packed full of plants.

Since my driftwood is really insanely awesome and I love what I got, I'm going to create a few green planes with bunches of ferns and anything that attaches to driftwood.

I want light to shine down over a pass of ferns, and hit a spot on the sand.

I will probably end up going with a partially black background, with stem plants that require no enriched substrate to grow, just light and a bit of CO2.

I just have to research how much it will harm the axolotl, if at all. I may even up going pressurized since the tank is so large.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:30 PM   #15
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I love your little guy.
They do not sell them around here.
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