'freshwater reef' JG's Mr. Aqua Cube
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:16 PM   #1
MrJG
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'freshwater reef' JG's Mr. Aqua Cube


So after my summer madness at work this year I had the opportunity to move from my beloved cubicle into an office. Weird at first as to what am I going to do with all this room... now I'm getting settled in. I got clearance from the department director to set up a small cube after thinking about it for a bit. Wasn't sure if I really wanted to deal with a tank at work, definitely really don't have time or motivation to be mucking about with water changes, ferts, co2, etc.
I decided on the Mr Aqua 12x12x12 7.5 cube as the price was too hard to pass up. Never owned an ADA tank so I don't know what I'm missing anyway. Never had a cube tank to work with either now that I think about it.

So after the decision was made to go forward I knew I wanted several things from the tank and layout. I want virtually no maintenance other than topping off water as needed, I'm bringing a gallon of water from home once a week for top offs. This building is mad old and I don't trust the pipes. No trimming, replanting, no stems. Didn't want a fern/crypt type of tank as I have something like that at home. So in keeping with those thoughts I came up with this.

I had some spare seiryu laying around that didn't fit into other layouts. I'm not concerned with it increasing the water hardness as our tap here is borderline RO already without even considering the aquasoil. I struggled at first with visualizing a layout for a cube... quite difficult given my self inflicted constraints of no stems which also includes any kind of carpet that requires maintenance. After a while a thought came to my head. Pile up the rocks like salty folks do with "live rock" and make a fake saltwater freshwater tank using only mini pellia (also called coral pellia haha!). So thats what I did. I'm thinking of possibly adding in some chunks of subwassertang as well depending on how plain it looks with just the pellia. We'll see in a few months.

Heres the nuts and bolts:
12x12x12 Mr. Aqua
Hampton Bay 27W desk light
Aquaclear AC20 filter
Azoo plantbed natural (bottom substrate layer)
Aquasoil Amazonia type I (upper layer)

Not planning on stems so the substrate should never mix until I break it down. Honestly it doesn't really look that bad mixed together. Had to use two types because its what I had on hand but in the end I like the look.

It was just "planted" a few days ago. Basically took 10 minutes and superglue gelled the mini pellia to the stones. It'll be a while before it starts getting that reef look if ever.

Journals are worthless without pics so here goes:











Thanks for looking. Comments and critiques welcome.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:42 PM   #2
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I like it!!! I know you don't want any other plants in there that would cause maintenance but what about e. belem??? You've used it before on your tiger tank and it looked NICE!
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:46 PM   #3
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looks great! I love the rock. I have a cube in my cubical as well, it helps make the day less monotonous.

I would add a piece of paper or something on the back of the tank to hide the filter and light but other than that it looks awesome.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:07 PM   #4
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You have the same set-up as me mr. jg only diff is lm not going the saltwater look :P. can't wait to see this one grow out. Also what are your plans for fish/shrimp?
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:47 AM   #5
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Very nice, I like it. I agree on covering the back.
Im not sure I could get anything done at work if I had an aquarium there. LOL
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:53 AM   #6
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Thanks guys.

Chris the 'belem' is always possible. We'll see how the pellia does for a bit first.

Definitely agreed with all about a background. Thinking about dropping by HD to try to find some frost tint tomorrow.

No plans for fish/shrimp yet. Still under consideration.

Here are another couple of close-up pics that I took today to document the start. A few of the pellia plantings are already showing bright green nodes. I hope it does well in this tank for me. Might have to raise the lamp just a little more (phone book maybe?) to make it not so intense. Starting at @ 7 hours a day with weekends off to see how that goes. I've left the blinds open during the weekends so far and the tank gets 30-40 minutes of good full sun with them open.



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Old 11-06-2010, 03:32 PM   #7
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I had to look at the pictures a couple of times. I think this is going to look great once its starting to fill in.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:41 PM   #8
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Thanks! I hope it turns out ok. I think the biggest thing is going to be finding the sweet spot for the light so I get good pellia growth without promoting algae.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:27 AM   #9
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I've been trying to rack my brain to think of what should inhabit this tank. I was really hoping to find something to complete that saltwater look. Needed something really colorful and odd.
Not sure if the size or temperament will lend themselves well for this tank or not but I'm ordering a pair of peacock gudgeons tomorrow. I have 3 empty mature tanks at home so I'll house them somewhere there until I can see if they'll fit the bill for this tank or not.

Any other freshwater fish that strike you as being a saltwater doppelganger? I wish I could find some true freshwater bumblebee gobies. I think they would be a good fit as well but I don't want to subject some poor brackish fish to super soft acidic water.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:42 AM   #10
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a bit of algae might give it that natural look it's just how much and how it looks that's going to be the main concern.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:00 AM   #11
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Yea I'd imagine at minimum that I'm going to get some going on the upper stone. If nothing else it'll get a nice patina as it matures a little.

Just made me think of something though. Might have to hack up a marimo ball and make some plugs for another type of "coral". It is algae after all right?
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJG View Post
I've been trying to rack my brain to think of what should inhabit this tank. I was really hoping to find something to complete that saltwater look. Needed something really colorful and odd.
Not sure if the size or temperament will lend themselves well for this tank or not but I'm ordering a pair of peacock gudgeons tomorrow. I have 3 empty mature tanks at home so I'll house them somewhere there until I can see if they'll fit the bill for this tank or not.

Any other freshwater fish that strike you as being a saltwater doppelganger? I wish I could find some true freshwater bumblebee gobies. I think they would be a good fit as well but I don't want to subject some poor brackish fish to super soft acidic water.
What about dwarf puffers? I have seen some real brightly colored exotic looking black/yellows (of course I have also seen some that look quite dull).
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:17 AM   #13
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I like the goby or puffer suggestions. Not sure about tank size requirements, and possibility of jumping out, but what about some killifish? Some, like gardneri,certainly have the saltwater coloring. Cool idea btw, subscribed.

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Old 11-10-2010, 12:27 AM   #14
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Maybe some star moss, disguised as some polyps?

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Old 11-10-2010, 12:51 AM   #15
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Endlers have some cool saltwaterish colors. I have some in my cube tank and dig em
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