60g rimless transformation - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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60g rimless transformation

Hello! I'm a noob here. I have been into aquariums for about 35 years. This will be my first planted aquarium. I have a tank I propose to use. I will throw my ideas out there and welcome everyone's 2 cents. It's the best way to learn.

  • My tank is a 48"lx24"wx12h rimless reef tank with built in overflow.
  • I have LED's hanging above. The white light is dimable and can be put on timers.
  • My initial idea was to use the overflow to feed a 20g sump with polyester batting, lava rock, and crushed coral. The return pump would be a Jebao Model DC-3000 Max Flow 794 GPH (3000 LPH) Max Head 8.9 ft. It is a fully controllable pump. I would include a Jebao RW Series Wavemaker with controller. BUT, I have a FLUVAL 406 Canister Filter and 2 Penguin Biowheel 330's. I prefer the ease of the sump and don't want HOB filters. I think the sump with the Fluval as a polisher would do great. Yes?
  • The substrate will be either potting soil or Seachem Flourite Planted Aquarium Substrate. I will be using RODI wastewater to do water changes, while topping off with RODI water. I want to fertilize as little as possible and keep it as low maintenance as possible. I realize I have to keep to the shorter plant varieties.
  • I like the idea of small schooling fish and lush plantings. Snails, shrimp, and what ever else that will work. I also like the idea of some plants growing out of the tank in strategic corners, so as to not block the light. Unless you have any cool ideas.
I am reading as much as I can but I will get going on this in the next few weeks. Please jump in with your ideas, I welcome them all.

Here is a pic of my tank as a reef...


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 07:28 PM
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With a shallow tank I would have some emergent growth coming up from the tank. Just a matter of personal taste, but I think it's a really nice look for a shallow tank.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Jeff5614, I was just looking at the Low Tech Tank Show-and-Tell (low tech can be lush, too! =) thread. I got some great ideas. I have to agree with you, aquascape coming out of the water will be part of my plan for sure! I have removed the corner overflow and am going to do some custom, camouflaged pipework for both the intake and return. I will post pictures as I go. I'm kinda excited since I have almost everything I need except the substrate, decor, fish, and plants. I should get away cheep compared to "reefing".
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Update, covered the overflow holes.
Setting up the filter soon.
Just purchased my Black Diamond Blasting Sand
Sifted my soil...

Pics coming soon
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Started the mineralization process...

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 05:44 PM
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sick tank set up. i love the shallow size of the tank. I think a lush carpet look would be super cool for shallow style. dwarf hair grass?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Cool Ideas...

Quote:
Originally Posted by IntotheWRX View Post
sick tank set up. i love the shallow size of the tank. I think a lush carpet look would be super cool for shallow style. dwarf hair grass?
I have yet to learn the names, but yes, I like the carpeting look. I will have some rock work with moss poking out of the water with some driftwood doing the same. Carpeting filling in the rest. Maybe a tall backdrop plant in the corners. Maybe sloping up towards the back of the tank. I don't want to do a jungle with lots of plant species. More like 4-6 species. Keep it simple stupid... KISS. I like simplistic designs. I guess I'll see as I go and grow. .

Going to change the angle of the lights and hide them with a wooden planter box style fixture.

I would love to design around this idea and design:


Credit: www.thegreenmachineonline.com
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeF1L View Post
I have yet to learn the names, but yes, I like the carpeting look. I will have some rock work with moss poking out of the water with some driftwood doing the same. Carpeting filling in the rest. Maybe a tall backdrop plant in the corners. Maybe sloping up towards the back of the tank. I don't want to do a jungle with lots of plant species. More like 4-6 species. Keep it simple stupid... KISS. I like simplistic designs. I guess I'll see as I go and grow. .

Going to change the angle of the lights and hide them with a wooden planter box style fixture.

I would love to design around this idea and design:


Credit: www.thegreenmachineonline.com

love it. going to look sick. for your moss, dont go for java moss. its the easy beginner one, but will weed your tank in weeks.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Some River Flats from Colorado...

A little boost to make it taller with some silicone support.

Lava rock and clay litter to raise the levels a bit.



More litter...

Created a hill on the back right for either more stone or driftwood. Not sure yet.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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I leveled the tank against the wall.

I inserted some 2x4 supports in the cabinet to support it better since there is some water damage on a few cabinet pieces.

I turned the lights sideways and took out a rod. I tilted the lights back so they would not shine in our eyes.



Getting there Soil still needs some more drying and then it is on to rinsing the blasting sand. I bought the Muriate of Potash today. Have to get some crushed coral from the beach.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Update 10-26-16

Time for an update:
I did a few trips the last few weeks so everything was moving at a snail's pace.

I have a stump coming in from EBAY to add to the right side of the tank.
I made the soil the consistency of cement.
I am rinsing the blasting sand in my tub and dumping in the toilet.
Doing small portions since I'm on the 3rd floor of a condo.

In hindsight, dirt is about 3/4" deep. Suggestion to everyone: make too much, better to have extra









Getting there...
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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So I forgot to put the Potash down. I poked holes with a pen, roughly every inch, and put a few crumbles in each one. Now I'm covering with the BDsand. I have to work, finish next time.





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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-04-2016, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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I got some great plants from the WTB/RAOK thread. I put out a WTB notice... I got a few replies. foster and djtonydo answered the call. I spent $50 between the both of them and received a [censored] load of plants!!

I'm jussayin... Great guys and happy to buy from them. Here are the pics. foster sent me like 15 different plants when I requested like 3. Amazing!!!
djtonydo also hooked me up. A whole lot of extra plants...

I just have to say, the WTB/ROAK thread is on point!!!

Pictures to come.. Photobucket is down... lol
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-05-2016, 07:34 PM
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Looks good so far man. Make sure to put at least 2 inches of cap over that soil, you'll need it. If it's at all possible, you'll be better off in the long run mixing the soil and crushed coral together rather than layering them. The calcite will help to buffer the pH a little bit and keep the bacteria happier, but the most important benefit is reducing the bulk density of the soil. That allows better root penetration and reduces highly anaerobic spots.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-07-2016, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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I spent a total of $50 on the WTB/RAOK thread after shipping. Thanks to Foster and Djtonydo, I received a very healthy selection of plants. Thanks again guys.











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Quote:
Originally Posted by PEdwards View Post
Looks good so far man. Make sure to put at least 2 inches of cap over that soil, you'll need it. If it's at all possible, you'll be better off in the long run mixing the soil and crushed coral together rather than layering them. The calcite will help to buffer the pH a little bit and keep the bacteria happier, but the most important benefit is reducing the bulk density of the soil. That allows better root penetration and reduces highly anaerobic spots.
I put about 1.5" of black diamond blasting sand as a cap. I did forget the crushed coral. I will put some in the canister filter. I'm going to add a 5g DIY canister before my Fluval 406 that will have matting and some lava rock. I'll add the crushed coral to that when I build it.
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