Osaka 260 - Winter Project 2020 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2020, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Osaka 260 - Winter Project 2020

Hello all. Over 10 years ago I had a few successful low tech planted tanks - a 120g with potted plants, anubias and goldfish, a 70g Oceanic planted community and some Walstad style nano tanks. When I retired and started travelling south in the winter, I gave up the aquarium hobby and focused on outdoor ponds that I could leave on their own for a few months at a time.

Now, I am staying home year round and want to get back into planted tanks, and am interested in trying high tech. I will take my time and spread the build out over the coming cold and rainy months (PacNW winter).

Iíve started with a search for a beautiful tank and stand. I live on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, so my options for any purchases are limited (long, expensive ferry trips to the rest of the world plus high shipping, taxes, duty and exchange rates to Canada to consider). However, I consider myself very lucky to have found this Fluval Osaka 260 (68g) tank, with the original stand and light fixture - supposedly unused! It seems hard to believe since the Osaka line of tanks was discontinued by Fluval back in 2011, but the owner said he bought it as ďold new stockĒ and never got around to setting it up. The tank and glass are pristine, in any case.

To match my 40ís house and 50ís decor, I decided to paint the brushed aluminum trim on the tank with hammered gold spray paint. Very pleased with the outcome.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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The original Osaka light fixture is a t5ho with 2 x 39w bulbs in a very nice reflecting hood. Iím also adding a Current Satellite Plus Pro that I had for lighting an indoor succulent garden. Since the tank is so deep, I think this combo will give me a Ďmediumí light range with an approximation of 52 par for the t5ís and 78 for the LEDís which will sit nearer to the front of the tank. I figure I can raise and lower the fixtures with chains and use timers to adjust the intensity when needed (the photo shows them as high as the rack will let them go).

I have a Seneye monitor on my koi pond which I will move to the Osaka when I fill it with water. Iíll purchase the light upgrade which may give me more realistic PAR readings.

Next step: shoring up the floor in the crawlspace and levelling the stand. Thank you for reading my journal. All opinions and advice are very welcome!

These numbers are from Rotala Butterfly:
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 04:35 AM
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Super Cool Tank. All you need is some Fluval Stratum ( to match your brand ).


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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I would like an aquascape that feels light as opposed to dark and leans towards tans and browns as opposed to greys and blacks. I put some frosted cling film on the back of the tank and found some tan/white rocks at a local landscaping stone yard, which cleared my safety tests. ADA Amazonia is on order - I like the dark brown colour.
Iíve been playing around with hardscape ideas in my dining room, on a piece of cardboard cut to the tank dimensions. Iím using black lava rock in mesh bags support rocks and fill in the deep areas (all that Ďsandí is dust from the lava. Iíll give the bags a good rinse before placing in the tank).
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 07:45 PM
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I like the rocks and wood
it'll look great


I remember drooling over this tank when Fluval introduced it, can't believe 9 years later it popped up again. happy that it is finally going to see some water!

--Oscar.
Fluval pimp #4 aka PIMP master!
I SAID ITS GREAT
TO BE

A FLORIDA GATOR!!


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2020, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Playing around with SketchBook on the iPad to see what the layout looks with soil added.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2020, 02:53 PM
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now thats cool! i remember when those osaka's came out! very retro vibe to them very MCM
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-31-2020, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, in my very small house, the only walls available for the tank run parallel to the joists underneath. Plus, in this old house the joists are only 2x6 construction! The position of the tank has it sitting on top of one joist near the front, so I added a second one under the back of the tank. The joists are held up in the crawlspace with nice, heavy beams, and the tank is sitting right on top of one on the right. I added two steel jackposts under each tank corner on the left. I think Iíve eliminated any possibility of sagging and the floor feels very stable when I jump on it.

While I was down in the crawlspace, I decided to run a stainless steel water hose attached to both my washing machine taps for warmed water and have it coming up through the floor behind the fish tank. Luckily, the bathroom is on the other side of my chosen wall and I was able to tap into the shower drain, right above the pea trap, and bring that pipe up behind the tank, as well. Water changes should be a breeze : )

1. Jack posts on one side of tank
2. Post and beam on the other
4. Hose and drain pipe behind tank (painted gold to match!)
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2020, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Iíve arranged the hardscape and bags of lava on top of a black eggcrate on the bottom. The spiderwood came with pieces of drilled slate screwed to the bottoms, but that didnít work for my positioning, so I removed them and tied the wood down to the eggcrate. Hopefully it will stay put, otherwise I can use some spare rocks to weight it (again, hopefully).

My substrate doesnít arrive for another 5 days, so Iím on hold for now. I ordered 6L of ADA Powersand Advance L to fill in the gaps around the lava bags and the spaces in the eggcrate, and 9L of Amazonia 2 for the rest.

Iím also waiting for a CO2Art dual stage regulator and their inline diffuser, and am hoping to source a CO2 canister and place to fill locally.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Iím in the process of planning my plantscape and am thinking about a very bright, light green and delicate overall look to the back and much of the midground plants, with small accents of deeply coloured, purple or black-ish plants.
Iíve been searching all the online Canadian plant options and found only one that has what I am envisioning for these contrast plants.
Two are bucephalandra, so I went ahead and ordered as so many places seem to be sold out of much of their stock - I didnít want to miss these. I figure they can easily be stored in a tank or bucket with heat and light until needed.

I think I will also grow a carpet in the low areas in the front of the tank, probably Monte Carlo, using the dry start method.

I would welcome any ideas for rooted plants that fit the dark black/purple criteria.

Hereís what I have coming:
Bucephalandra Catherinae Red
Bucephalandra Kemanai Black
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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My order of ADA substrate came earlier than expected!
I used the Powersand as planned and it covered the bottom and filled some gaps. Then I started putting the Amazonia soil down. Amazing how fast your rocks sort of dwindle ... I added a few more rocks and rearranged some others. I over ordered the soil a bit (4 bags and I only used 2!) so I felt that I could be generous with it. I might build the back up even more after I sit and look at it for a while, and while I figure out the best place to order my foreground carpet.

1) Power Sand
2) Amazonia plus extra rocks
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2020, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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All my Co2 equipment has arrived! I went with a Co2 Art Pro-elite series co2 dual stage regulator which includes a bubble counter and solenoid, plus their inline diffuser. The tank is a refurbished 10lb. ex-fire extinguisher in steel. Itís very heavy!>
I am going to use an Oase Biomaster Thermo 350 canister, with a Koralia 400gph powerhead for extra flow in the tank.

The drawback to the Fluval Osaka original stand, beautiful as it is, is that there are open shelves in the middle with only 2 smaller cabinets on either side. The filter and the Co2 tank basically fill the interior space ... oh well, Iíll manage : )

Plants are on order for delivery next week.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-08-2020, 12:24 AM
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Looking great; that's a spectacular layout. No suggestions of super dark plants since the few I've had brightened up in most cases, but I've got a dark strain of C. wendtii "brown" that might be worth looking into. My only advice for Buce is... be patient. The large leafed ones grow pretty quickly of the ones I own (for epiphytes), but the smaller leafed cultivars are like dripping honey. My favorite 2 specimens bought nearly a decade ago are just inches in diameter larger than they were, even in my high tech tanks. One small-leaved type could have its' growth measured best in millimeters. I *think* I bought it as "Buce mini, brownie blue, coin leaf" the first time and my re-order from the same place of the same name was a completely, entirely different -and green Buce. It's doing great though. But tie those bits of Buce you pay more than gold per ounce for exactly where you want them as if they were to stay that size as aquascaping goes. And hey, if they prove my experience wrong, that's a great thing.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2020, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Here is my complete plant list (items already ordered):

A) Myriophyllum mattogrossense
B) Pogostemon octopus
C) Echinodorus vesuvius
E) Ambulia (Limnophila sessiliflora)
F) Proserpinaca palustris (Mermaid Weed)
G) Cryptocoryne wendtii "Mi oya"
H) Hygrophila pinnatifida
J) Ranunculus inundatus
K) Rotala robustus 'Mini' (Ammania bonsai)
L) Cryptocoryne crispatula var. Tonkinensis
M) Bucephalandra Catherinae Red
N) Bucephalandra Achilles Black Dark
O) Cryptocoryne lutea ‘hobbit’
P) Eriocaulon Hainan Island
Q) Micranthemum ‘Monte Carlo’
R) Utricularia graminifolia

They are all tissue culture cups except for the bucephalandra, Echinodorus vesuvias, and Pogostemon octopus (potted). I may have over bought, lol!
I’m going to try dry starting all the tissue cultures, and store the potted plants and buce in a spare tank until I flood the Osaka.

Here is a tentative layout:
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Last edited by *Ci*; 11-09-2020 at 04:08 PM. Reason: sp.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-17-2020, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered mostly TC plants from two different online retailers, plus 2 potted and a few bucephalandra grown submerged. The majority of the TC plants got stuck in the mail for 8 days and arrived a bit sad looking. They were all sunken in and the gel was liquified and brown. I thought for sure they were pretty much melted from the cold, but when I floated them to clean them up and remove the gel remnants, they were all green and fairly healthy looking!

I went ahead and finished the DSM planting and have the submerged plants sitting in containers in the tank.

I am cautiously optimistic : )
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