Superior Roots 60cm 6.5 Gallon Long
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:13 AM   #1
AnotherHobby
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Superior Roots 60cm 6.5 Gallon Long


Current Tank Shot (10/20/2014):



Original Post:

Earlier this summer my wife and I stayed at a cabin along the North Shore of Lake Superior in NE Minnesota. I've been going up there my whole life, and looking at it this time made me want to build a planted tank that would remind me of it. As it turns out, I have a 3 gallon nano in my office at work that I'm not loving right now, so I decided the perfect replacement would be a 6.5 gallon "long" Mr Aqua bookshelf tank. I think it's the most amount of water I'm willing to deal with since I'll have to haul water to/from my office for weekly water changes (going high tech and EI dosing).

I know there are "better" rocks for aquascaping, but I wanted them to look like the North Shore, so I collected some rocks from the shoreline area that I thought I could make work. This is the shoreline the rocks came from:



Side note: Last fall I was backpacking and fly fishing in the Cloud Peak wilderness in the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming, and there was a massive area (as in square miles) of conifer deadfall that had been dried out by the sun. Most of the trees were uprooted, and the twisted roots were exposed. I couldn't help myself, and I collected a small batch of twisted little roots for an unknown future project.

So, one fun thing about this tank for me is it's all personally collected materials!

Along the North Shore, trees send roots out running over the rocks. I've hiked and tripped over many of them in my life. There just isn't much digging into the dirt to be had, so the roots go where they can. This was the look I was seeking. I wanted the feel of an old dead tree trunk with it's roots running over big Lake Superior boulders. After 6 vastly different attempts with many different rocks and roots, this is what I've put together.



Yes, it's pretty simple, but I'm really digging it. I have some more little rocks I might use, and I'm not sure about the little chips just yet, but this is definitely going to be the core. I'll have to glue the 8 or 9 wood pieces together, but it's pretty close to what I want for final layout. I'll also say that working in such a cramped area is pretty tricky (24" long, but only 6.5" deep and only 9.4" tall). This is a small space!

I'm planning on a mix between some sandy spots and some planted spots below the boulders (probably DHG belem). I'm thinking some willow moss and anubias nana petite around the trunk. Maybe a few little pieces of HC here and there around the tree. I'm still working out ideas for plants. To be honest, it's probably a bit premature posting this, but I'm pretty excited now that the tank is here and I'm settling on a scape.

Also, the egg crate is there to protect the glass. I'm going to trim it so it's only under the rocks in the end.

As for the rest:
  • Light: Current Satellite Plus 24"
  • CO2: Aquatek Paintball & 24 oz tank with a "mini" external reactor I'm making
  • Substrate: Aquasoil and Sand
  • Filter: Sunsun 602B
  • Automated dosing and lighting control via arduino
  • No heater (office is constant 72 degrees year round)

This will house my growing RCS colony (about 35 right now, with 3 pregnant females) and potentially a few RCS friendly fish like Ottos, but not sure on that part yet. Would otto's like a tank of these dimensions?

I'm curious what people think about this whole idea?

Last edited by AnotherHobby; 10-20-2014 at 04:33 PM.. Reason: None
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:26 AM   #2
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I love this idea and am very impressed with the wood and rock, as well as the story you told about getting it. I had no idea it was in eight pieces by looking at it. Conifer is a fir, isn't it and may contain a lot of sap so you may want to glue it to the rock or egg crate as it could be tough to keep from floating. Maybe a trial run in your bathtub would help you decide. Ottos would be fine in a tank like this and the shrimp are gonna look great. I can also picture some coral moss pushed in between the rocks as well. I will definitely follow this thread!
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquadawg View Post
I love this idea and am very impressed with the wood and rock, as well as the story you told about getting it. I had no idea it was in eight pieces by looking at it. Conifer is a fir, isn't it and may contain a lot of sap so you may want to glue it to the rock or egg crate as it could be tough to keep from floating. Maybe a trial run in your bathtub would help you decide. Ottos would be fine in a tank like this and the shrimp are gonna look great. I can also picture some coral moss pushed in between the rocks as well. I will definitely follow this thread!
Thanks!

The sap is a good point, but any sap in these is long since gone. They've been in the sun for decades. They are light as a feather and dry as a bone, but that's even more the reason to glue them down.

Good to hear a few otto's might work.

For moss, ricca is a cool idea. I've just heard if you change your mind it's damn near impossible to get rid of. I'll have to look into it more. It sure looks the part!
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:42 AM   #4
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Very nice start and I see your vision as I have been up to the North shore in the Duluth area and it's absolutely beautiful. I would make a suggestion of pygmy cories as I just got a group of twenty of these little fish and they have great personalities. And as small as they are I don't see having any problems with even the tiniest of shrimp. I also think some Myriophyllum Guyana (mini) would look good in a smaller tank like this. You could use it in the background as it stays smaller and would give you some height. Looking forward to seeing this planted.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:24 AM   #5
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I love your scape, it reminds me of the boundary waters as well as the north superior shore (I guess they are pretty close together). I went canoeing with my family in the boundary waters last year and had a blast.
best of luck!
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:18 PM   #6
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Updates?
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:54 AM   #7
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Updates?
+1
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:32 AM   #8
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Great start! Thanks for sharing your story and inspiration Subscribed!
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:42 PM   #9
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You know, when I first saw the name of this tank, I thought you had renamed your other tank at first! haha. It's looking good, but has anything been done on it recently?
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:15 PM   #10
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I've been cycling the aquasoil in another temporary tank for about a month. When I bring this tank online, I need it to house over 40 RCS on day one. The ammonia leaching should be completely done when I get back from vacation in 2 weeks. I'm going to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a week, and then a bluegrass music festival for half a week. From there I'm expecting to set this thing up pretty quick.

I have 100% of the equipment, including an arduino controller for dosing, light ramping, and a few other small duties. I've had the bio media in my 60cm tank filter for a month, so it should be quite mature by now. This weekend I plan on glueing the sticks together and sanitizing/scrubbing the rocks I collected.

I can only set it up on a weekend, or perhaps stay late at work one day. I can't do it when I'm visible. I can close my office door and cover the window, but like I said, it has to be after hours. That makes it a little tricky to get done.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:09 PM   #11
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Can't wait to see this all come together! I really enjoy your journals..

Dan, if you need any small plants for this scape, I have a lot of HM, True mini xmas moss, flame moss and not sure exactly what else I have. Just PM me and inquire...
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherHobby View Post
I've been cycling the aquasoil in another temporary tank for about a month. When I bring this tank online, I need it to house over 40 RCS on day one. The ammonia leaching should be completely done when I get back from vacation in 2 weeks. I'm going to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a week, and then a bluegrass music festival for half a week. From there I'm expecting to set this thing up pretty quick.

I have 100% of the equipment, including an arduino controller for dosing, light ramping, and a few other small duties. I've had the bio media in my 60cm tank filter for a month, so it should be quite mature by now. This weekend I plan on glueing the sticks together and sanitizing/scrubbing the rocks I collected.

I can only set it up on a weekend, or perhaps stay late at work one day. I can't do it when I'm visible. I can close my office door and cover the window, but like I said, it has to be after hours. That makes it a little tricky to get done.
Enjoy your trip.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:30 PM   #13
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Very nice unique and artistic layout. Look forward to its progress.
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Old 09-24-2014, 07:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquadawg View Post
Enjoy your trip.
My BWCA trip was awesome! Just dipping in for a day, and then off to a bluegrass music festival.

Quote:
Originally Posted by exv152 View Post
Very nice unique and artistic layout. Look forward to its progress.
Thanks! I'm hoping that next week I should be able to start making progress on this. The substrate is all cycled now, so I'm good to go there. I have to glue the root system together and boil/wash the rocks out.
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:19 PM   #15
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Made a little progress today. I'm in the process of gluing all of the roots together. It'll take a day or two because I have to let each piece dry before I move onto the next one.

If I don't glue them, there is no way it'll pan out. It'll all come apart and I won't get the look I'm going for.



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