5.5g Rock Wall Cherry Shrimpery - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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5.5g Rock Wall Cherry Shrimpery

Hello,

I came into possession of some aquaria donated by a friend and found myself with a 5.5g aquarium. My plan is to create a unique desktop aquarium using only items that I already have or that I can purchase for less than $20 in total. It will house cherry shrimp, and maybe a couple guppies if they won't interfere with the cherry shrimp fry (will they?)

I am still working on this, but this is where I am at the moment.


The aquarium - 5.5g


This is vinyl gutter I got at Home Hardware in Canada. I don't know where you can find something similar. I cut it to size using a hacksaw.


I'm using an aquaclear Mini, and so I needed to have the overflow not going behind the background all the time, so I made one piece narrower using scissors, an exacto knife, some bending of the plastic and removed two pieces from the side.


Next, I used a drill and hole saws to create the holes so that my rock wall can also be used as a cave.


Then I used a file and sandpaper to smooth the cuts and holes so that I and my residents don't cut themselves on it.


I then drilled holes into the sides and connected the pieces using zip ties.


It is assembled now and I cut some slots in the PVC to both fit the filter and to hold the background onto the back using the filter's weight.


This is my 150 gallon aquarium using the same type of background. That one took exponentially more effort but I think it was worth the final product.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 10:46 PM
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That is truly beautiful. How will you attach the rocks?
post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I'm going to use GE Silicone II. When I get to that point, I'll document it for you.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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The reason I like this type of background is that:
a) It doesn't take up a lot of space like other backgrounds
b) It provides a series of caves
c) I think it looks good
d) It's modular and can fit to any scenario
e) It hides the intakes for filters, CO2 diffusers, heaters, etc in the compartments behind the wall.


Using black bristol board, I cut a piece to go on the end as a black background. With the holes in the rock wall, you can still see through it a little bit so this will eliminate that.


To secure the rocks, I used Clear GE Silicone II. Silicone I will peel from the PVC gutter. I used "Windows and Doors", the one without any mold inhibitor or "BIOSEAL" as they call it.


I collected the limestone from construction sites around town, but you can use any kind of rock that you want. I will be using large limestone pieces for the hardscape, so I wanted to blend.


First, I rinsed the stones in some water for a few minutes, then I let them dry.


Next, I applied the silicone and started laying down the rocks one by one so that each was seated securely in the silicone and no large gaps between the rocks occurred. I started with the tops for no real reason.


Then I did the next section.


Here they are.


Then I started to do the sides.


And finally this is the finished product. The bottom is not completely covered as it will be under sand. I had to use very thin rocks on the sides as clearance between the wall and the glass is minimal (different aquariums will have different side allowances for this).

Time to dry, and then fill up the tank and get it going. Should be by tomorrow.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 07:53 PM
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This is really cool! Can't wait to see the tank!

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! It's nice to get some positive feedback .
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 08:37 PM
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Nice work man!
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Im just waiting for it to dry...I'll probably leave it until tomorrow or late tonight but I am impatient to get it going. I just hope the aquarium doesn't leak ha ha ha.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 08:51 PM
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Great idea... Looks really nice. What type of rock are you using? Is it plain construction gravel?
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 09:28 PM
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looks very neat! Would like to see finished product as well.
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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The rock is just plain construction aggregate...gravel. You can use whatever you want. It was in a pile on the side of the road and they didn't mind me taking a couple handfuls.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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An update. Went to a couple pet stores and Wal-mart to see if I could find some substrate in the pet/garden sections. 2kg of gravel for $7+tax, and no Schultz aquatic soil at this time of the year.

So I went to Home Depot and bought a 30kg bag of play sand for $5. I have just a bit left over after washing it for this aquarium.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Where it will sit on my desk and the simple desklamp that I will light it with. It will use either Philips Daylight Marathon 13W or 23W CFL bulbs. Depends how the plants react.


View from the end.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 01:17 AM
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Nice!!
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 01:42 AM
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That is really really cool. I wish I did that back in the day when I had my 90g african cichlid tank!

But what happens when a fish dies behind the wall?
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