50 Gallon Zoomed Lowboy - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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50 Gallon Zoomed Lowboy

Hello everyone! Today I am happy to announce that I will be beginning a tank build using the 50 Gallon Zoomed Lowboy!

I discovered this tank on youtube and thought that with its unique footprint, it would be an interesting project. Unfortunately, it took me almost 6 months to find one. I could not find a vendor willing to ship one to me for a reasonable price. Ultimately, I discovered one at Dallas North Aquarium, a shop about 30 miles from my home. I think its also worth noting that I can't find more than one or two records of people using one with freshwater rather than corals, as it was originally intended.

Because of Nurse Practitioner school and other responsibilities, its been sitting in my closet untouched for several weeks (burning a hole in my mind). However, I recently experienced a back injury so I'm currently on hiatus. During my recovery, and with the help of some friends, I'm planning on getting this thing up and running.

So without further ado, the plan:

I think I would like to try my hand at keeping some higher-end shrimp. I'll likely start with CRS, and if successful move on to some other Caridina species. Any other suggestions would be appreciated!

As far as equipment goes, these are my thoughts-

I'm going to build a stand myself. I've researched quite a bit and the only pre-fabricated ones I can find with the proper dimensions are cost prohibitive. Rod-Iron stands are less expensive but I want to enclose all of the equipment to keep a clean look.

I have an Eheim 2217 that I can use for filtration. I also have lily pipes, but I think I'd rather go with a pre-filter sponge and a spray bar to keep flow down for the shrimp. I'll probably purchase the black Eheim ones from an online source. I'll also use a Hydor in-line heater that I already have.

I also have a 36" Current USA Freshwater LED+, but I'm not sure about the length. If I purchase one of the brackets they make for these, I'm not sure if the elevation will allow enough light spread. If not, I'll buy the 48" and another bracket.

Finally, I will be purchasing about 50 lbs of Fluval Stratum and the appropriate mineralizer for shrimp. Beyond that, I haven't decided on hardscape. I've got a lot of real estate but not much elevation. I am intrigued by the terraced rice field look one would find in the fields of Japan.

Finally, I don't want to go with CO2 because I don't want to risk gassing my shrimp by mistake. Furthermore, with such a large surface area, I think I might have a hard time with just losing it to the atmosphere. Maybe I'm wrong.


That's all I've got for now. A friend is planning on helping me with the stand this weekend, since I can't currently bend or lift a lot of weight. Stay tuned! Photographs to follow.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 04:01 PM
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Pics or it didnt happen

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, pics include the new tank still in the box, a 22g rimless that I will be taking down to use parts for this project, and a pic of my 150g just for fun.
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Last edited by Sub-Mariner; 12-27-2019 at 11:09 PM.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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So I didn't get the stand built over the weekend, but a woodworking friend of mine did put a print together and is going to get the materials cut this week. Minor delay but no big deal.

I've been thinking a lot about the scape and I'm thinking I'll do a rock fence type design as in the second picture above, but with a terrace element. I'm thinking two walls for a total of 3 planting layers, not sure what the tank depth will allow yet. I'll have to buy plenty more of those rocks, and this will obviously add to the substrate budget. But, if I have more substrate, I'm guessing that the buffering capacity will last longer. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I purchased some 1/2' and 5/8" tubing for the Eheim 2217, long with a new spray bar and intake with pre filter. Going to pick up some PVC, couplings, and elbows for the plumbing as well. I want it to be solid in as many places as possible to prevent kinks.

Please share your thoughts!
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 11:13 PM
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I'm really interested in this journal. I have a few questions, if you don't mind. That tank has an awful lot of surface area, are you going to put a glass cover on it or just deal with the evaporation? If you cover it, then you won't be able to have any driftwood rising above the water line (on the other hand, cover it and you can turn it into a coffee table and put it in the center of the room! OK, maybe not.).

It also has only ten inches of vertical space, so assuming some of that is taken up by the substrate, how high will each of the three levels be? I see that you are thinking about this also. I like the rock fence look, but ten inches is not a lot of room to work with and still have room for hardscape and plants.

How high will you build your stand? Because this tank is so shallow, will you go higher than 30 inches? I think looking into it at level will be cool, but looking down on a hundred shrimp crawling around in a four foot by two foot pool of water will really be something. That's the size of a small desk.

I said I had a few questions, so I'll stop here.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 06:58 PM
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You should send us an update

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Long overdue update

Oh man, I apologize for not updating this in over six months. It's been a slow crawl, sometimes literally. I'm finally over my back injury and I've completed this semester, so I'm finally able to come up for air. First, I'll answer all of the questions from several months ago.

1. I won't be putting a cover on it. With all of the surface area, it would likely have to be custom made, and I do enjoy the option of having driftwood, etc. break the surface. However, I reserve the right to change my mind if I have a lot of problems with evaporation, temperature control, or the livestock jumping to their demise.

2. I'm not planning on using anything more exotic than java fern, cryptocorynes, and potentially moss in this tank so I can keep it low tech. I have a current usa light over the tank using one of their brackets, so its 6-8 inches above the water's surface. Its set to a low setting so I don't expect any huge algae issues. We'll see.

3. The stand is built. I'm 6'2" and so with the back injury I want to avoid having to bend too far over the tank to work in it or be bending over a lot just to look through the front pane. It's approximately 43" high. I like how it turned out.



Pictures are going to follow shortly, but in the mean time, if there's anyone who has any input on the above I'd be happy to discuss.

Also, here's the specs currently:

1. I've built the rock fence on the bare bottom. You can see that in the pics that are forthcoming. It's mainly slate from nature and a few craft stores that I've cobbled together. I'm planning on fluval stratum and I'll be planting crypts, etc. within those fences. Considering cholla wood and subwassertang elsewhere in the tank.

2. I'm filtering with an Eheim 2217 with an extended spray bar (keeps the current subdued), running with a Hydor inline heater. The heater is set to 72 which keeps the tank at about 70. Shouldn't be a problem since I'm planning on ultimately keeping caridina varieties. In the summer I may be able to just turn the heater off. I'm contemplating adding some additional sponge filtration, just because I prefer the bubbling noise to the spray noise I would get from placing the spray bar above water level- but then I have to balance that with additional evaporation. Thoughts?

3. I've already mentioned the lighting and bracket. What you see is what you get. This is a shrimp tank with plants, not a planted tank with shrimp, so no CO2.

4. Currently, the tank has Garland, TX tap water in it with feeder shrimp and guppies for my 4" kelberi peacock I have in my 150. It's actually been up and running for several months now, so that the rocks and walls can develop biofilm, etc. No issues with algae thus far. I've been stockpiling RO H2O and fluval stratum to prepare to convert over. I'll move the feeders to a yet to be determined location.


Any who, apologies again for the post neglect. Hopefully I can be more diligent from here on, especially since we are nearing the more exciting aspects of livestock, etc. Cheers!
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 11:38 PM
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Oh man, can’t wait to see this thing all set up!


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Photos!

Photos as promised!
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sub-Mariner View Post
Oh man, I apologize for not updating this in over six months. It's been a slow crawl, sometimes literally. I'm finally over my back injury and I've completed this semester, so I'm finally able to come up for air. First, I'll answer all of the questions from several months ago.



1. I won't be putting a cover on it. With all of the surface area, it would likely have to be custom made, and I do enjoy the option of having driftwood, etc. break the surface. However, I reserve the right to change my mind if I have a lot of problems with evaporation, temperature control, or the livestock jumping to their demise.



2. I'm not planning on using anything more exotic than java fern, cryptocorynes, and potentially moss in this tank so I can keep it low tech. I have a current usa light over the tank using one of their brackets, so its 6-8 inches above the water's surface. Its set to a low setting so I don't expect any huge algae issues. We'll see.



3. The stand is built. I'm 6'2" and so with the back injury I want to avoid having to bend too far over the tank to work in it or be bending over a lot just to look through the front pane. It's approximately 43" high. I like how it turned out.







Pictures are going to follow shortly, but in the mean time, if there's anyone who has any input on the above I'd be happy to discuss.



Also, here's the specs currently:



1. I've built the rock fence on the bare bottom. You can see that in the pics that are forthcoming. It's mainly slate from nature and a few craft stores that I've cobbled together. I'm planning on fluval stratum and I'll be planting crypts, etc. within those fences. Considering cholla wood and subwassertang elsewhere in the tank.



2. I'm filtering with an Eheim 2217 with an extended spray bar (keeps the current subdued), running with a Hydor inline heater. The heater is set to 72 which keeps the tank at about 70. Shouldn't be a problem since I'm planning on ultimately keeping caridina varieties. In the summer I may be able to just turn the heater off. I'm contemplating adding some additional sponge filtration, just because I prefer the bubbling noise to the spray noise I would get from placing the spray bar above water level- but then I have to balance that with additional evaporation. Thoughts?



3. I've already mentioned the lighting and bracket. What you see is what you get. This is a shrimp tank with plants, not a planted tank with shrimp, so no CO2.



4. Currently, the tank has Garland, TX tap water in it with feeder shrimp and guppies for my 4" kelberi peacock I have in my 150. It's actually been up and running for several months now, so that the rocks and walls can develop biofilm, etc. No issues with algae thus far. I've been stockpiling RO H2O and fluval stratum to prepare to convert over. I'll move the feeders to a yet to be determined location.





Any who, apologies again for the post neglect. Hopefully I can be more diligent from here on, especially since we are nearing the more exciting aspects of livestock, etc. Cheers!
Looking forward to the pics
I've been slacking on updating my journal also
My sd card gave out and that was 7 months ago havent replaced it yet and hence no updates lol. Happens to everyone. Excited to see how it turns out.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 11:45 PM
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What is the rock fence for? I may have missed it earlier

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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The rock fence is for aesthetics and also surface for biofilm. I've done it before in other tanks with stratum or amazonia and I think it looks pretty good when its all filled in and planted. Right now it just sort of looks like a pile of rocks.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-11-2019, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Ok so opinions...

I’ve got the rock wall set up, and I’ve got the domes to create the subwassertang bushes. I’ve also ordered some cholla wood for shelter. I’m thinking crypts too? Or should I try incorporating moss? I’ve decided I’m bored of java fern...there’s a ton in my other tank and I’d like to try other things.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Today’s arrivals:
X4 17.6 lb Bags of Fluval Stratum
Shrimp feeding dish
Salty shrimp GH+
TDS pen
Acclimating container
Cholla log
X2 Domes for moss, pellia, etc.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 08:10 AM
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I’ll be critical here and please don’t take it wrong way. It’s constructive criticism.

That fake /forced rock wall arrangement looks more like something that would happen in a industrial office park landscape project than anything that would happen naturally, in nature.

Sorry, does absolutely nothing for me.

That tank has so much promise for emergent rock/wood/plant growth as well depth of field arrangements when viewed from side.
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