First ever fish tank... gonna wing it! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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First ever fish tank... gonna wing it!

So ive always liked the idea of owning a fish tank and enjoyed looking at the AGA and IAPLC entrants after my father in law got a planted tank last yr. I decided to pull the trigger and purchased a bunch of equipment and a tank.

Ive never owned a fish or tank of any sort but the said screw it i might as well go large (relatively) and bought a 4 foot one. Its a local Malaysian brand. 120 x 45 x 45 15mm.

Then i realised i needed a stand!!! Ordered a custom sized teak piece from a furniture shop, Asked em to open up the back to allow pipes and wires through. The damn thing took 2 months to make and get shipped from indonesia, was torture seeing all my other stuff ready to go but with nowhere to sit.




Bought around 50kg of seiryu stones. Tried arranging them outside the tank. Tried using stacked plastic drainage things to build up height to place rocks on. But i figured it was a pain in the ass to fill with rocks as the holes were pretty small and if i didnt fill em up i was sure my shrimp would find a way inside and end up living inside them instead of outside where i can see them.



I went with lava stones as a base layer as i read so many people talking about aenerobic soil if the aquasoil was built up too high. Since for some strange reason i wanted some serious height. i lined my tank with cardboard to protect the glass and dumped in the lava rocks.


Ideally i would have used the big lumpy chunky ada soil they use on the greenmachine youtube channel since it looks like it would allow space for air to escape in the deep parts. but i couldn't find any so went with laval rock. Im pretty worried that my glass will be all scratched up when i come to rescape the tank. Have i already ****ed up my tank for future use?

I put gravel on top of the big lava rocks so i could more precisely arrange my seiryu stones . Turned out the gravel ended up going everywhere even after i put my aquasoil on top it ended up finding its way to the surface. on the other side of the tank i skipped the garvel and just mashed my stones into place.

On a side note i used aquarium silicone to stick a couple of the rocks together. I was worried about how to separate them for future use, whether i could get all the silicone off. I tested it by putting them ina 1000f furnace. vaporised that ****! Although the rock looked a bit smaller when it came out... so i dunno, it wasn't a very scientific conclusion.



Followed shamans example of painting on moss. Got us fissidens and mini fissidens and some mini pelia. Here's the equipment:



here's after painting:



us fissidens at the bottom, mini mosses mid way and higher.



Covered in cling wrap and am misting 2 to 3 times a day. The top of the rocks seem to dry out easily so i think they are probably sucking all the moisture from my moss. The bottom of the stones stay wet as they suck moisture from the flooded substrate.

It's pretty hard to see the moss after painting it on, i'm half expecting nothing to happen and end up with naked rocks in 3 weeks time.



I didn't really have a particular vision for the tank, i just sort of mashed rocks together until got something i figured would look half decent when kinda obscured by moss n plants. i find the best hardscapes out there looks worse when fully grown in with plants because the fine rockwork is obscured , but it works the other way around too, which is good for me!

Gonna flood in 2 weeks and carpet with hc cuba and put some mini anubias and buceps around the stones.

Last edited by Tomatoandegg; 12-22-2016 at 05:44 PM. Reason: i'm addidng stuff as i go
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomatoandegg View Post
So ive always liked the idea of owning a fish tank and enjoyed looking at the AGA and IAPLC entrants after my father in law got a planted tank last yr. I decided to pull the trigger and purchased a bunch of equipment and a tank.

Ive never owned a fish or tank of any sort but the said screw it i might as well go large (relatively) and bought a 4 foot one. Its a local Malaysian brand. 120 x 45 x 45 15mm.

Then i realised i needed a stand!!! Ordered a custom sized teak piece from a furniture shop, Asked em to open up the back to allow pipes and wires through. The damn thing took 2 months to make and get shipped from indonesia, was torture seeing all my other stuff ready to go but with nowhere to sit.




Bought around 50kg of seiryu stones. Tried arranging them outside the tank. Tried using stacked plastic drainage things to build up height to place rocks on. But i figured it was a pain in the ass to fill with rocks as the holes were pretty small and if i didnt fill em up i was sure my shrimp would find a way inside and end up living inside them instead of outside where i can see them.



I went with lava stones as a base layer as i read so many people talking about aenerobic soil if the aquasoil was built up too high. Since for some strange reason i wanted some serious height. i lined my tank with cardboard to protect the glass and dumped in the lava rocks.


Ideally i would have used the big lumpy chunky ada soil they use on the greenmachine youtube channel since it looks like it would allow space for air to escape in the deep parts. but i couldn't find any so went with laval rock. Im pretty worried that my glass will be all scratched up when i come to rescape the tank. Have i already ****ed up my tank for future use?

I put gravel on top of the big lava rocks so i could more precisely arrange my seiryu stones . Turned out the gravel ended up going everywhere even after i put my aquasoil on top it ended up finding its way to the surface. on the other side of the tank i skipped the garvel and just mashed my stones into place.

On a side note i used aquarium silicone to stick a couple of the rocks together. I was worried about how to separate them for future use, whether i could get all the silicone off. I tested it by putting them ina 1000f furnace. vaporised that ****! Although the rock looked a bit smaller when it came out... so i dunno, it wasn't a very scientific conclusion.



Followed shamans example of painting on moss. Got us fissidens and mini fissidens and some mini pelia. Here's the equipment:



here's after painting:




Covered in cling wrap and am misting 2 to 3 times a day. The top of the rocks seem to dry out easily so i think they are probably sucking all the moisture from my moss. The bottom of the stones stay wet as they suck moisture from the flooded substrate.





Gonna flood in 2 weeks and carpet with hc cuba and put some mini anubias and buceps around the stones.


Looks great so far. Lava rock wouldn't scratch too deep in the glass if it did and it would be fairly easy to buff out those scratches. Granted you would have to completely drain the tank to do so.


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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 07:18 AM
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Welcome to TPT and the hobby! Pretty good, especially for a first go! May I recommend tilting that really vertical rock on the left side.
Are you also from Malaysia?


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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 02:04 PM
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Good looking scape. I really like the layout. I will be subscribing for updates.


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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Opare View Post
Welcome to TPT and the hobby! Pretty good, especially for a first go! May I recommend tilting that really vertical rock on the left side.
Are you also from Malaysia?


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yep from malaysia!

i actually painted on a bit more mini fissidens today as i'm pretty sure some of the first batch dried up on the higher rocks. how wet do i have to keep it? was it really dead or is it ok to looik light green and dry? So many questions.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomatoandegg View Post
yep from malaysia!

i actually painted on a bit more mini fissidens today as i'm pretty sure some of the first batch dried up on the higher rocks. how wet do i have to keep it? was it really dead or is it ok to looik light green and dry? So many questions.
Ooo cool maybe we might run into each other one day.
I always spray plants so they never look like they are dryed out, and I think that is a pretty good rule to follow. Are you using cling film to keep in moisture.


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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2016, 04:41 AM
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That's a much better first setup than what I had! You are lightyears ahead.


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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2016, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Dont speak too soon. Theres still a good chance it may all collapse when filled and all my plants die!
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2016, 05:18 AM
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excuse me sir are you sure your creating your first tank? you going all takashi amano up in here!!!!
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-24-2016, 05:49 AM
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Yeah...you don't seem to be "winging it" at all. You seem to be doing your homework.
Nice tank and good luck, anxious to see the end result.


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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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who knew woodwork was so bloody difficult. Took ages but i managed to reinforce my tank with 3 bits of wood as per a suggested diagram posted on another forum.



Setting up the pump filter chiller took a long time. Stupidly i didn't read the instructions on the filter and put the rubber ring seal on wrongly so flooded my apartment when i turned it on. Wife was totally unimpressed i had to use all our towels to quickly soak it all up.



So i noticed a lot of my moss was disappearing, i think it was drying out too much in places and getting too wet in others perhaps? Not sure since i've no experience with this but i decided to flood the tank just to save the moss that hasn't died. I figure i can drain the tank in a month and tie some moss in places that it failed to grow in, the traditional method.

Quick detour to raid the father in laws old tank! anubias buceps and HC borrowed and off home to get to planting!



flooded, almost everything stayed in place. A few HC clumps lifted out a bit but i'll re secure later









Wonder how long the water will take to clear? any tips on water change volumes and frequency?
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 06:28 AM
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With ADA Aquasoil 50% water changes daily for the first week are advisable, then every second day the second week, every third the third week and so on. Until you get to weekly water changes of course.
If you are dosing EI, in the future weekly 50% water changes are a must. If you are following a different regime, you can do less than that, 30% weekly is probably alright.


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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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ughh sounds like a lot of work
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 02:34 PM
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First ever fish tank... gonna wing it!

True that, but planted tanks tend to be a bit like that, the high-tech/highly-scaped ones anyway.
You could probably stop the frequent water changes once Ammonia levels bottom out.
The important thing is just to do a lot of water changes at the start to remove the Ammonia leeched by the Aquasoil.
I'm gonna be honest pretty lucky I'm not in your place. Doing frequent water changes on my 60P was draining enough. (Pun intended)


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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 02:39 PM
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Subscribed - Anxious to see how this tank turns out
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