80 Gallon Shallow Rimless Valley - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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80 Gallon Shallow Rimless Valley

This thread will showcase a project that I've been dreaming of doing for a very long time. I'm not sure how successful it will be, it will not be inexpensive but it will surely be a fun learning experience.

Goals:
-Seamless natural planted transition from immersed to emerged fauna
-Somewhat low (weekly) maintenance
-No visual equipment in the display
-Natural looking hardscape


Equipment:
Deep Blue 48x24x16 80 Gallon Rimless tank with built in overflow
Deep Blue Series V Stand /w side door
Aquatic Life 48" T5HO/LED Hybrid with 4x45 T5HO and (2) Kessil A360w Tuna Sun
CPR CR500 Wet/Dry Filter
Finnex Titanium Heater
Neptune Systems Apex Controller
Auto Top Off
Mist-King system (if needed)
Pressurized CO2 (if needed)

My idea is to build 2 rock structures against the back wall of the tank. 1 on each end of the tank with a valley in the middle. The rock piles will emerge out of the water several inches to allow terrestrial plants to grow on top with transitional plants growing submersed to emerged along with submerged fauna. The rock structures will be constructed of black lava rock and held together with epoxy to avoid toppling over. I may use substrate in the crevices of the piles to plant the terrestrial fauna.

I'm not totally decided on which species I will keep but here are a few that I like.

Flora:

Terrestrial:
-Several Tilandsia sp.
-Micro fern like Mini Boston Fern Nephrolepis "Mini Russells"
-Selaginella sp.

Transitional:
-Hemianthus Callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears)
-Vesicularia ferriei (Weeping Moss)
-Several species of Anubias

Submerged:
-Crypt. Lucens
-Anubia Barteri (Nana petite)
-Eleocharis acicularis "mini" (Dwarf Hair Grass)
-Echinodorus "Renei" (Small Sword)

I would like to keep the bio load fairly light but there is a few species of fish I would like to keep.

Fauna:

-Danio margaritatus
-Brachydanio tinwini
-Ancistrus
-Otocinclus vestitus

I have been keeping aquariums for 30 years and 20 of those I have kept mostly "High Tech" reef tanks. My last build was nearly fully automated. Planted tanks is something I have very little experience in but am excited to learn about. I have vivarium that houses dart frogs as well as another terrarium that I keep mainly orchids in. I have used water features in my vivariums before but were short lived. I am hoping this projects flourishes!

My biggest concern is using an open tank to attempt to grow terrestrial and emerged plants, I may need to in cooperate a misting system to prevent them from becoming too dry, especially during the winter months. I'm sure there will be plenty of other unforeseen "issues" along the way as well but am prepared to do what it takes to overcome them and make this build a success.

I am totally open to suggestions, ideas, concerns as this is sort of new territory for me and I will be looking for advice.

The tank and stand is being moved into the house tomorrow so hopefully I can add some pictures to this thread soon!
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Last edited by JeremyDMeyer76; 09-26-2018 at 11:01 PM. Reason: grammar and spelling errors
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post #2 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 01:38 AM
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I'm considering a very similar setup for a future tank right down to the Deep Blue 80 gallon frag. I'm planning to only go as far as semi-aquatic. Wood jutting out of the water with (ideally) flowering buce at the top. I could imagine a misting system being necessary and maybe an unusually low water level to keep that within the glass.

Anyway, I don't have much in the way of suggestions, but I am following with interest!
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post #3 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 02:09 AM
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Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Sounds very interesting, and love the Deep Blue rimless.

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post #4 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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I guess I could start with the picture of the blank canvas.

10 years ago I had a SPS dominated 125 sitting here rocking 3 400 metal halides that was plumbed to a complete frag grow out system and sump in the basement.

I then downsized to a 60 gallon cube which was fully automated including continuous waterchanges and dosing system.

I decided to "retire" from the reef tank hobby a couple years later.

After "retirement" the space was used for a 3'x5' Guinea pig cage. Long story short after 4 years my kids grew tired of the pigs and they were adopted my a new family.

Once the space was empty I knew it was time to setup another tank and try my hand at growing plants underwater.



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post #5 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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Tank and stand waiting for me to pick them up at my buddies new shop!

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post #6 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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A little setback today. I brought the tank and stand inside and realized the tank had no overflow. It's going back to the LFS on Tuesday and getting swapped with one with built in overflow.

He did have a 60 gallon with overflow in stock but at only 12" tall it's a little too short for my liking.

Also, the pre built stand I bought could really use some TLC before the tank goes on it.

The stand is constructed entirely of MDF. The bottom is completely raw exposed end grain. I can't even count the number of stands I've seen like this where the bottom is all swelled up from moisture. I'm going to prime and seal the exposed wood as well as reinforce to bottom panel with a couple pieces of lumber.

I will also be installing a rubber liner inside the cabinet to catch any drips or leaks around the sump area.

This is where experience and especially patients comes into play. Do it right the first time and this stand will last forever.

I'll attach a picture of the non reef ready tank on the stand. I'll need to find a new location for the Fluval Spec III as I plan on centering the tank in that area.

This is hopefully going to be my best aquarium build to date. I'm really excited to see it progress.

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post #7 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 04:11 PM
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Good idea to seal that MDF. Iím curious to see how you do the rubber liner. Iíd like to do something similar for my stand build on my 100 gallon.


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post #8 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abovo View Post
Good idea to seal that MDF. Iím curious to see how you do the rubber liner. Iíd like to do something similar for my stand build on my 100 gallon.


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The membrane won't be very tall due to the cabinet design but it will prevent water damage from minor leaks and drips. It will literally just be stapled in place.

Another option would be a few cans of "flex seal" I'm wondering if that would actually work? It might work well on the bottom of the stand to seal the exposed MDF. I'll have to do some testing.

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post #9 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not super impressed with the Deep Blue aquariums. The build quality seems "ok" but they don't seem to take pride in their tanks. A few minutes with a razor blade to clean up extra sealant on the outside of the tank would have gone a long way with me.

Also, scratched trim under the factory cardboard?

I realize these aren't "professional grade" tanks but the lack of pride and quality control shows.

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post #10 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 05:35 PM
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Like the plans and nice nook for positioning a tank. I'm planning a similar transition at the moment, got the underwater bit, then I'm working on using a HOB and hang on back breeding box for transition and I want to have some emersed behind so it all appears linked together.

Anubias emersed are going to be a tougher one. There are other plants that might cope better with slightly lower humidity i.e. no cover/misting. Depends on what looks you want. Spathiphyllum (peace lilly) is that sort of style leaf but may cope better. It's fun to experiment though.

Looking forward to seeing how you progress
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post #11 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 05:39 PM
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I donít have experience with flex seal. If it dries pretty hard it would wear ok and not be perforated easily. Does it dry like truck bedliner? That might work well. Maybe seal all the seams with caulk, let it dry, and seal it with whatever spray sealer you choose.


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post #12 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamsin View Post
Like the plans and nice nook for positioning a tank. I'm planning a similar transition at the moment, got the underwater bit, then I'm working on using a HOB and hang on back breeding box for transition and I want to have some emersed behind so it all appears linked together.

Anubias emersed are going to be a tougher one. There are other plants that might cope better with slightly lower humidity i.e. no cover/misting. Depends on what looks you want. Spathiphyllum (peace lilly) is that sort of style leaf but may cope better. It's fun to experiment though.

Looking forward to seeing how you progress
Thanks for the reply.

The original inspiration for this tank was from Hitmanx's Celestial Swamp. While I love the look of it, my focus is a smooth transition from emmersed to emerged.

I actually purchased a CPR aquafuge to hang on the back to use as a planter box. TBH I dont think I'll use it. I'd really like to not have ANY equipment in the display. I'm not sure I'll be able to affectively completely hide it.

Another issue I see with using plants like peace lilies is they tend to get very tall and large. They also consume large amounts of nutrients. That would require me to have the light very high and dose more nutrients. While my lighting will be easilly adjustable I want to keep it below "eye level" when viewing the tank.

My idea is to use terrestrial (emerged) plants that will hopefully stay relatively short and compact allowing me to keep the lighting fairly low and possibly give me the ability to use a misting system to keep plants from drying out.


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post #13 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abovo View Post
I donít have experience with flex seal. If it dries pretty hard it would wear ok and not be perforated easily. Does it dry like truck bedliner? That might work well. Maybe seal all the seams with caulk, let it dry, and seal it with whatever spray sealer you choose.


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Truck bed liner might work as well if I seal all the seams first. Good idea.

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post #14 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyDMeyer76 View Post
I'm not super impressed with the Deep Blue aquariums. The build quality seems "ok" but they don't seem to take pride in their tanks. A few minutes with a razor blade to clean up extra sealant on the outside of the tank would have gone a long way with me.

Also, scratched trim under the factory cardboard?

I realize these aren't "professional grade" tanks but the lack of pride and quality control shows.

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i have to run, so I'm typing fast...


Agreed. Decent tanks.
Hit or miss on Deep Blue tanks with the TLC we think we are getting.
No two tanks look alike, so choose the one you want with patience and Bring A Flashlight.
I caught one issue from my one dealers backroom that had a tank I was interested in that had a triangular chip the size of a coin missing up top, in the top corner under the upper plastic brace!~

Another note:
One dealer out here gives you a sheet to "sign off" with a signature, looking the whole tank over to make sure it's ok to take it out of the building to the car after.
The other dealers/stores seem to not bother so much with the details and just sell the tanks.

I just had my first issue with the large 120g 48x24x24.
I paid/pre-ordered it and when it came in, I had some corncerns.

By the way, you will like your 80 rimless except for the water line mark over time.
Very pretty, but has the slightest bowing in the glass when the water is in it.
I only kept the 80 tank for a few years, so I have zero record of any issue on the 80g 48x24x16.
-the 24 inch front-to-back tanks are a step up in landscaping space for sure.


Up until this month, I have had almost nothing but good looking tanks and silicon seals from Deep Blue and Seapora.
From what I understand, the glass is a import (possibly China) and the tanks get assembled in California by the Aquarium Masters facility.
Next, the tanks in the U.S.A get a Deep Blue sticker, and the Canadian ones get a Seapora sticker that go to Toronto.
Once the stickers are off, there may be not much to tell a Deep Blue from a Seapora tank.

We have 20g longs, 20g highs, a sold 60 rimless cube, kept a difficult but gorgeous deep 74 Seapora tower, a 90 Seapora, 40 Breeder, 30g low that looks like a shorter 40 breeder, an 80 rimless (like yours), an 80 shallow standard and last weeks ugly 120g 48x24x24.

Photos:
The left end (last photo of 4) of the big 120g Deep Blue had a nice straight run of silicon (outside of tank) on the lower plastic that touched the glass, but then the other end was looking like it was made the following Monday by an assembler.
End number two:
-A gap on each corner between the plastic lower brace and the glass, as well as a corner that had the glass panel walked slightly in (to make the gap previously mentioned look bigger).
No symmetrical work on the "bad end" as well as the lack of the nice bead of silicon shown that runs on the outside like the one on the other good end.
The pics should help.








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post #15 of 144 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 12:45 AM
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Aww yea, "seamless natural planted transition from immersed to emerged" sounds like my kind of tank! Looking forward to seeing it come alive!
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