Stonewall 40B - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Stonewall 40B

Well, here it is! The humble beginnings of my first planted tank. I'm trying to be very budget oriented and therefore likely to remain low tech. Here are the specs so far:

Tank: 40 Gallon Breeder (36"x18" footprint)
Filter: Marineland 350 Penguin (Twin BioWheel)
Lights: BeamsWork EA FSPEC 18" (x2) running perpendicular. I like these lights but over the winter I'll likely add one more, either another EA or maybe a DA FSPEC to really step up my light game.
Substrate: All Purpose Sand (Much more coarse than play sand, but not overly sharp either. I was looking for PFS but couldn't source it locally, didn't want to mail order, and prefer the darker color of the APS.)

I've got two Koralia nano power heads in the mail right now to help turn up a little flow on the far end away from my filter outlet.

Aquascape is pretty simple. My plan was to present a natural appearance. Long story short; I live near a large reservoir that was previously village/farmland (circa 1920) that was flooded to create a controlled body of water. No clearing or clean up was done prior to flooding which left stone chimneys, foundation walls, and other man made structure on the floor of the reservoir. So this tank could be called an homage to said local history, having a stonewall running through it. I like the look of the scape and it offers some physical separation should I decide to plant different height/types of plants on either side.

Plants: Mostly low light. Swords, Watersprite, Java Fern, Crypt Lutea, Anubias Barteri... Those are some of the plants that my LFS stocks that are labeled low - med light.
Fish: Still deciding... Right now I know that my centerpiece will be a couple of Electric Blue Rams. Beyond that, nothing else has caught my attention. I saw a school of silver dollars yesterday but when I began researching I instantly found out that they will eat my plants so that's a solid NO GO! Also, I'll have some MTS to help sift my sand.

In the long term, I might experiment with DIY CO2. Currently saving the kids gallon juice jugs to build reactors from. One previous hobby was brewing beer, so I'm familiar with yeast flocculation and fermentation. Also, the whole DIY CO2 process seems really simple as long as you can maintain stability and not let your reactors fluctuate very much.

Quite soon, I'll research the best supplements/ferts, and likely dose something like flourish excel or the like. That's coming up soon on my "research to do" list. Maybe root tabs... Again, I'm to the stage where I need to start learning more about ferts next.

Right now it's currently cycling. My ammonia is dropping and I'd say in the next few weeks I'll grab a couple plants and perhaps the rams. I'm moving very slowly and monitoring closely, trying to "do it right" from the start to avoid paying for mistakes.

Anywho, here are the pics as it sits right now.
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Last edited by ItsTosh; 09-22-2017 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Added more info on future plans...
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 03:10 PM
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Really interesting idea! Canít wait to see how it turns out.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 03:41 PM
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I like the rock wall; it reminds me of several reservoirs in my area.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Wow. So the weekend came and went and my thread is already at the bottom of page 2! I like all the activity!

So the kids and I headed down to the LFS and we got some plants and two German Golden Rams. I was originally planning on Electric Blue Rams but the shop had the Golden's for a third of the price of the blues, so that's what we got. As nice as the bright blue is, it's the body shape and the demeanor that drew me to the rams, so I'm still very happy.

After planting the tank and acclimating the fish we now have life in the aquarium. The fish are still quite skittish but I'm sure they will come around. They have a TON of places to hide in this aquascape, so they really seem comfortable, they just need some time to settle in.

Next step is to get maybe 2 more plants and a few more fish.

Here's a FTS shortly after planting.

Big plant in the middle is a coffeefolia, there's a bronze wendtii in the mid-tank area, and a couple other leafy plants in the corners (I forget the exact type, I've got them written down at home. Some type or sword/anubius). I was a little saddened that they didn't leave the little plastic tag in the pots that tell what the plant is... Next time I'll pay more attention and ask to have the tags.

I'd really like to get some moss to tie to the top of the driftwood, right up near the light. Suggestions?
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Last edited by ItsTosh; 09-25-2017 at 02:04 PM. Reason: Moss comment...
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