60 gallon soil tank. * With stand!* - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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60 gallon soil tank. * With stand!*

I took my time to build the thing. Glad I did - this tank is far more impressive on the 36" stand than it would have been on a short, standard size stand.

60 gallon Marine land (48"*13"*24") tank with an inch of sifted, aired-out soil. Miracle grow organic choice. I used a plastic trash can with 1/4" holes on the side to sift it. It was slow going, but it worked.

I sprayed the soil well, and topped it with black blasting sand from tractor supply. This was sitting in a bucket of water for two or three weeks, getting rained on and drained every few days. No oily residue after all that!

Put down my plants and rocks and wood. The jungle vals had a rough time getting going, and the dwarf sag all died back to the base except for one plant (out of 6). That one is going strong. Now the Val's have sprouted shoots all around them.

I used duckweed and water Sprite , floating a small log to contain them in the corner. I drilled the log, ran a zip tie through both ends, and secured it in place with suction cups. This keeps the floating plants 99% contained to the back right corner.

The anubias and Java ferns are great. No issues with the swords at all.

I bought a few pieces of pogostamen(so?) "Octopus" from the guy at the lfs. They were freshly cut from his display. They went from about 8" to over two feet in Judy a couple weeks. I had to cut over a foot from them yesterday. They're a bit leggy; perhaps they're going to fill out when I get the fluval light in...

Using an eheim canister, with the biological media removed and polyester filling added. Flow was a little high for the fish I wanted (my betta has been waiting), so I drilled many smaller holes in the spray bar, pointing downward. This gives me flow, but not so much that it will kill my betta or cause the floaters to dislodge from my log in the corner.

Snails galore. Can't smash the fast enough. 6 otos, a tiny BN pleco, a pair of rainbow gobies, and a red fancy guppy. I put my betta in there, expecting to have to remove the guppy. The betta chased him a couple times, but... They get along. No aggression at all. It was... unexpected.

Planning on adding Cory's, maybe khuli loaches and Cardinal tetras.

Was going to stain it, but it was my first time building a stand - next time I'll use matching wood grain!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 03:30 AM
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The stand looks really good and sturdy, nice job!


Your swords are going to love that dirt!

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 03:58 AM
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You must be very tall! Can you reach the bottom?

Looks impressive.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Actually, I can't unless I use a footstool or chair. But, I bought a 24" long set of tongs - that works!

I also threw in some hair grass - and that's doing better than the sag. I do not know why. Dry start, probably.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-13-2018, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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Crazy that this tank has been going only one month. I filled it May 11. I put a lot more fish in it in the first month than I planned... Still, water quality is perfect. Been over two weeks since I did a water change. I want to see HOW it stabilizes.

I pulled the bio media from the canister, an eheim 250, and replaced it with polyester batting/pillow fluff. Going to have to clean it again, flow is reduced again. The plants are doing their job - algae is minimal, and seems to be in check.

I did switch lighting from dual t5hos to the fluval led 3.0. it's not really brighter, and I'm annoyed with the lack of programming so far... But it's nice. And the blue lights at night are cool - the wife wanted glofish. I wanted natural, but I do admit, they look awesome.

I've got a good school of neons, the 4 glofish, 5 otos and now 4 little Corys. My betta is actually not being a bas***d, and is allowing everything to exist with minimal flaring.

He has no issue with the two amano shrimp.

So far, I've had to trim the pogostamen s. Octopus twice. Each time I've cut over a foot from each stem. The swords are growing very well, Val's are slow and steady, but laying down runners. Dwarf sag... Is existing. Anubias and ferns are great. Even the hair grass is doing well. I'm surprised, as it's 25" away from the light without co2. It's but y really spreading much, but it's growing.

I threw in a pair of Siamese algae eaters (the guy swears they're legit) to deal with the remaining junk

This is fun. The only thing I'm upset about is not having adequate space to do MORE big tanks. Saw a big rimless cube at the lfs... I'd love to do one of those!

Next house... Next house...

Anyone have anything red that would grow in a soil tank with good lighting? My wife really wants colored plants, and I'm so far able to hold her off of those glow in the blue light plastic coral thingies they sell see PetSmart.
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