80 Gallon - First High Tech Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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80 Gallon - First High Tech Tank

I'm trying my hand at aquascaping for the first time. I usually go with the jungle type because it's easy and low maintenance, but I want something guest will love when they come over. I've never used Manzanita wood before so I'm excited.

I'm planning on ordering more wood as these pieces were a bit smaller than expected. I also need to get more sand to build a small slope on the left side of the tank. Not sure if the BDBS will keep it's shape so I'll probably have to use dividers. I will check the local store to see what rocks they have.

I have plenty of crypts left over from when I tore the previous tank down, so I need to figure out how to incorporate them into the scape. Maybe I can plant them between the rocks to fill in space?
I'm wanting to try my hand at high tech this time. I have the fertilizers, CO2 system, and lighting (I think), so i just need the plants. I currently have a 4 bulb Catalina Aquarium fixture and a Finnex planted plus, but I'm thinking of getting a hydroponic fixture since they seem to provide more light (better ballast?). Before I get a new light fixture, I will need to find a hanging kit that will attach to the tank since I can't hang from the roof. I'm hoping such an item exist. That would also let me adjust the high of the fixture to control light intensity.

I need new T5HO bulbs as mine are 3 years old. I would love to add a color combination that would give great colors. Maybe a red bulb that Iíve seen used on this site.
I need to put together a plant list too. I would really love to add red plants this time around.

I'm a full-time student so I'm working with a student budget. I'm limited to what I can purchase per week unless I want to eat ramen. I need to fix the power cord to the CO2 system that the cat chewed up.

I haven't settled 100% on a layout yet, but I have found many inspiring tanks on this forum to learn from.
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Last edited by Patriot; 12-21-2018 at 10:32 PM. Reason: better title
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 09:21 AM
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I think the wood is a pretty good size. Maybe use the rocks to frame it a bit. If you want cheap, take a walk around the neighborhood for interesting rocks. I just throw them in a bleach solution to clean them and then test with vinegar to see if they'll mess with the water. I really like where you're going with it.

I have Ludwigia Repens "Super Red" and it's growing quite well in my low light tank if you want an easy red plant.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CMcNam View Post
I think the wood is a pretty good size. Maybe use the rocks to frame it a bit. If you want cheap, take a walk around the neighborhood for interesting rocks. I just throw them in a bleach solution to clean them and then test with vinegar to see if they'll mess with the water. I really like where you're going with it.



I have Ludwigia Repens "Super Red" and it's growing quite well in my low light tank if you want an easy red plant.
I believe your right about the wood. Now that I look at it I'm happy with. I have one more store to check in town for aquascaping rocks. If I can't find anywhere I will walk along the river and look for some.



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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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I went across the border to Idaho to purchase some BDBS and to my luck Tractor Supply was out of it. They told me to come back tomorrow after the truck has made it's delivery.



I was able to get some dragon stone. At first it wasn't what I wanted, because I've only seen it used in Iwagumi scapes so I was unsure how it would look in a planted tank. I'm hoping to make it work since this is all the pet store had in stock. I got lucky because the cashier rung it up as petrified wood for 1.99/lb instead of dragon stone for 2.99/lb. I followed the suggestions and got more than I'll probably use just in case. My landlord turned off the water outside for winter season so I'll have to rinse them off in the tube after the lady of the house goes to work.



Some small pieces came with the Manzanita wood, each under six inches. Not sure what to do with them. Maybe stick them between the rocks to hold them in place so they don't sink in the sand.



This aquarium has a really thick brace. I've never seen one this thick on a 80 gallon before. It can be a pain in the rear because I have to keep in clean both underneath and on top.

The plan tonight is to get some rocks in the tank and position the drift wood. I was thinking that I should fill the tank so the wood would become water logged by the time the plants arrive and to remove any dust in the tank as I clean the glass. I have two Fx6 filters, but I'll probably only use one for this tank.

Tomorrow I'll make the drive back to Idaho for some more sand and add it to the tank between the rocks if there's water in it tonight. I would have to use a cup to add it so make things easier.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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I did my best with what rocks I had. She wouldn't win any competitions but I like it. The tank is filled so the wood can soak until I get some plants in there. I also wanted to see the color of the wood change and clear up the dust in the tank with the filter.

I'm thinking that I can plant the crypts along the edge of the rocks, put some java fern between a few rocks and moss of the branches.

Hopefully this will give me different textures and a mixture of low, medium, and high light plants. The ferns can shield the crypts.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 10:53 PM
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That does look good! Great job arranging the stones.


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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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That does look good! Great job arranging the stones.
Thank you. Does it look too heavy on one side? I'm wondering if I should move everything to the right by a few inches.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 11:08 PM
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Ideally you want things divided into thirds. Right now the hardscape bisects the tank, so maybe move it over across the halfway point or spread it out a bit so it covers two-thirds of the tank. I think keeping the same layout but putting space between each rock and wood will give you the coverage you want and allow space to plant between the hardscape.

Alternatively, you could consider moving the tallest piece to the left so that the hardscape creates a triangle sloping down to the right, also visually appealing.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMcNam View Post
Ideally you want things divided into thirds. Right now the hardscape bisects the tank, so maybe move it over across the halfway point or spread it out a bit so it covers two-thirds of the tank. I think keeping the same layout but putting space between each rock and wood will give you the coverage you want and allow space to plant between the hardscape.



Alternatively, you could consider moving the tallest piece to the left so that the hardscape creates a triangle sloping down to the right, also visually appealing.
Thank you so much for the advice. I will spread things out and put some space between the rocks.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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This is my holding tank of crypts from when the 80 gallon was a low light tank. I might plant them sooner instead of waiting on the other plants. This should give them the best chance of survival since they are starting to melt away.


I also need to push some root tabs in the substrate as well. Luckily I have plenty of Osmocote plus laying around.

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 09:32 AM
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Looking good so far! I like the idea of moving the entire hardscape over a couple of inches so the tank isn't split in half.

I'm sure you know about them already, but the RAOK section may help with student budget.

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 05:49 PM
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I just bought some dragon stone for my tank. Glad I did, I like the way it looks in your tank! Will definately substribe to your post to see the final product
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 06:19 PM
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Subscribed. This is looking very nice. I take it there have been no problems with the seal, so far?
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2018, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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I moved everything over by about 2 inches to the right pushing the tip of the longest branch out pass the brace. I like this look better. I can easily plant between the gaps of the rocks now. I have two more pieces of dragon stone that's too big to fit in the scape so I'm thinking of breaking them with a hammer. I could use those small pieces for something. I'm thinking I could stack a bit more on the other rocks on the left to hide the stems of the branches more and to hold the future sand in place for easier planting.

I cleaned the FX6 really good and had to take apart the motor since it wouldn't start. Lots of old gravel was stuck in it. Now I can wipe the dust off the interior of the glass and not worry about it settling again with the filter running. On thing I hate about the FX6 is the huge intake!

I was going to leave the tank drained as to save time so I don't have to lower the water again before I plant. Draining the tank using a python takes forever. However the roommate wanted the tank filled for when her family visits today. So they can admire my empty scape I suppose.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 09:54 PM
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I like the adjustments. I don't recall what lighting you had in mind, but some buces would look lovely in that tree.
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