The Wonky 20H Low-Tech Riparium - Work in Progress - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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The Wonky 20H Low-Tech Riparium - Work in Progress

So I bought this tank back in October but things happened and I wasn't able to get to it until after the first of the year. It's only my second for realsies planted tank so I've been very diligent with how I go about it. The plan is to keep it as low tech and low maintenance as possible. I'm also on a budget so I've tried to go for options that have both form and function, but are also cost effective. It has most definitely been a labor of love. My boyfriend likes to call it an obsession but I think he's just jealous. I plan on going back through the whole build when I have the time but for now here it is in its current(ish) state. I'm still in the process of moving things around and I just got a new canister filter so that will really help open up more room for emergent plants.

Current tank info:
20 gallon high Aqueon (thanks, Petco $1/gallon sale)
AC50 HOB filter w/ DIY surface skimmer Penn-Plax cascade 700
Lights are clip on shop lights with CFLs
BDBS with osmocote plus
x2 Marina hang on breeder box w/ a Tetra whisper air pump for extra planting space
random river stones harvested from nearby locations
custom manzanita driftwood peices (AKA I glued a bunch of sticks together)
terra cotta hides

Submerged plants I either picked up from my LFS, moved from my 10 gallon, or ordered from Aquarium Plants Factory
Narrow leaf java fern
Java fern (“tropica”)
Java fern
Microsorum pteropus 'Trident'
Anubias nana petite
Anubias frazeri
Anubias congensis
Rosette sword
Bucephalandra Green Wavy
Bucephalandra Red Mini (which has melted/died back liek crazy and may or may not survive)
marimo moss (to hide where the driftwood was put together)
crypt wendtii bronze
Amazon frogbit floaters
java moss (to help hide the shower caddies)

The emergent plants I got from local home improvement stores and the internet
Purple waffle
Prayer plant x2
Dragon tongue
Pilea “dark mystery”
Pilea “pan am”
creeping jenny
polka-dot plant is hanging out waiting for space I did go a little overboard on the live stock, but who doesn't??
2x Otocinclus
8x Neon Tetra
2x adult male Platies
2x juvenile Platy fry (born in my 10 gallon)
1x Panda Cory
1x Mystery Albino Cory

That's it for now! Perhaps this weekend I can add some progress pictures.
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Last edited by LadyWonkyMcJankeypants; 04-15-2019 at 04:33 PM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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November 2018
When I got this tank I was hoping I could find a piece of solid furniture at one of the thrift stores around me that would be big enough to fit both this tank and my 10 gallon tank. I couldn't find anything that I liked and just don't care for the look of the metal stands so I decided to make my own stand. I'm not an experienced woodworker and just flat out don't have the right tools to make precise enough cuts so I decided to go with the ply wood and cement block approach. It's a little overkill and going to be a pain when we move, but it's customizable, sturdy, and relatively cheap. Home Depot did most of the cutting for me so that also helped. I doubled the ply wood and screwed it together for extra support. I decided to use wood on the bottom to keep it from scratching up the floor as much and to add a few extra inches.

The spaces are the perfect size for those cheap storage bins and most of the small, plastic sterilite containers.

I ended up painting everything so it would fit in a little better. I used a few coats of latex paint on all the wood to make sure the water doesn't cause any issues.

To cover the front I bout a cheap curtain rod and a set of two curtains. I cut the curtains to length and used iron-on hemming tape to keep them from fraying. The bottoms that I cut off had a hem that could be opened and used as a pocket so I hemmed those for a total of 4 "custom" curtains to cover the front. I just used screw in hooks to hold the rod.

Once I got it all together it sat empty for a few months due to reasons. I was able to get back to setting everything In late January 2019.
The driftwood I got was in small pieces, but had really great shapes so I decided to piece it together myself and use moss to cover the joins.

Bump: I decided to go with an eggcrate bottom to help create a slop and help hold things in place since I had orginally planned to ziptie the driftwood to the eggcrate.

Luckily there is a Tractor Supply about 30 minutes from me so I picked up some BDBS and put down some too much osmocote plus. Since the surface of the wood isn't completely flat and I didn't want to fill and sand down everything by hand I just cut a black yoga mat and put both tanks on that.

I also decided just to go with shop lights and shelf brackets for the lighting. I like the look of the lights and it was way cheaper than most other lighting options.

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Last edited by LadyWonkyMcJankeypants; 04-15-2019 at 04:28 PM. Reason: update
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 04:43 PM
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I like the setup! Good idea using the Marina boxes to plant in

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @KayakJimW! I got the idea from @hitmanx's The Celestial Swamp build. I added a second one just yesterday. To cut back on hoses and equipment I covered the outflow of the first box and connected the second box with a bulkhead through the side. I'm hoping to get those pictures up soon too.
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