55g g.f tank switch 2 lo-tec planted w/10g sump. Updated pics!!56k! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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55g g.f tank switch 2 lo-tec planted w/10g sump. Updated pics!!56k!

Hi all, new 2 this and 2 the forums. I do have years of experience in keeping fish. Ok, so I currently have a nice bowfront 55 on stand with a Fluval 304 C.F. Inside I have; 2 common G.F, 1 is 6" the other is around 8", 1 Shubunkin about 5" (want 2 get 1 more?), and 2 plecostomus. I am using big 3-4" smooth stones, river rock?, as substrate along with silk plants. To go with it all I have a 10g w/only 3" of black aquarium gravel cleaned by an HOB filter. No special lights on either 1 but both have factory hoods.

My plan is 2 use gravel as substrate in 55 under the rocks and plant with different low-light plants taking into consideration the G.F will eat sum (just gonna buy lots that they can eat in hopes that most will survive after they get their fill of them). I would also like 2 use my 10g as a sump/refugium and mayb keep shrimp or sumthin. "Update-5/10/11" Re-did the 10g. Put slate in as a wall which also contains my 6x8 land area on top where I planted some moss harvested from my yard, and my waterfall trickles over the wall! Awesome!! Also flipped the fake-scape pic over to the solid side, much better. I now have a cool vivarium.

Already plan on getting Seachem Flourish Excel and do use aquarium salt and conditioner since I have city water. Do u think this will b enuf since my G.F already put out most of the needed nutrients the plants will need? Also the gravel in the 10g was used b4 but stored wet and rotting 4 6mos or so, (should b good nutrients in it?)

*5-23-11*
Got what I hope is my final scape in my 55g done. Put in my black-gravel substrate, built a "mountain range", added my wood in there. Then I made java moss cigars and put in the cracks of the rocks. Also wrapped moss-stuffed screen around the bottom points of my wood. Plan on using Excel to dose plus soda water to avoid doing so many wc's. Should, hopefully, look good when it all grows in. 6-2/Planted my tank today!! It's a Tennessee biotope I do believe. I actually used plants and mosses I found at the river right down the road, and I think it turned out REALLY nice! Tell me what you think.
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Just because its dirt doesn't make it low tech.
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Last edited by [email protected]; 06-02-2011 at 03:45 PM. Reason: 55g done with plants FINALLY!!
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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 12:55 AM
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You really have to worry about a few things with the sump:

(1) Since your tank is not drilled, you need to create a 'weir' or overflow box that will hold siphon for you, but let the water drain at its own rate (by gravity). The goal here is to have a siphon that goes over the tank that *will not break*. I'd look at one of these: [Ebay Link Removed] overflow[/URL]. That overflow box will work, and has a fail-safe to keep the siphon, but isn't quite up to my standards. I want something that is quiet and I'm really paranoid about the siphon clogging and my floor getting wet.

(2) If you were to use a direct siphon to the sump, that would be bad. A cannister filter is a closed system. When the water drains into it, it can only occupy the inside of the canister and the tubing to/from the tank. A Sump is not a closed system. Your water will keep draining into the tank until your 10 gallon overflows. Matching a siphon to a pump would be pretty hard, hence the Weir.


What I'd recommend (but haven't tried) is to make a *big* overflow box that would let you put in three drain pipes in this style: silent and fail-safe overflow design.

I'd make sure I have enough siphon tubes taking water out of the aquarium and into the overflow box so that overflow will always handle more flow than the pump can push at it.


Overflows and sumps are awesome. 55 gallons of water on your floor and an angry home-owner's insurance is not . Local fishkeeper here has some beautiful saltwater tanks, but can't keep them in his living room anymore thanks to a faulty sump line. Better to be safe than wet.
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ty 4 the information. I have found an overflow diagram that is, what I believe, easier 2 build than this 1. This was provided by vaultboy from Australia, also a member of our awesome forums. Also, I have most of the things I need 2 build it!! Thanks 4 the info, I wouldn't have thought about the tank overflowing without it.
 
post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hey all, got my 10g about finished. Check it out from my signature. As always feel free to praise or criticise, thanks.


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Just because its dirt doesn't make it low tech.
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Last edited by [email protected]; 05-31-2011 at 07:24 AM. Reason: Couldn't get my 'lil man outta my seat, lol!!
post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Started on the 55g today. Updated pics!!

So, I started with a 1/2" of compost dirt I made myself. I got a new, cleaner, black gravel substrate and got rid of all the huge river rock. I used some brown gravel and made a "path". Found some cool rock to make a "mountain range" out of. Then in went my wood, which IMO, looks better in the tank than it did out. Got the water to the fat split in the wood, about 3/4 of the way up, and the wood started floating. I soaked this stuff for a month!! So I had to improvise and this is where a plastic-coated wire hanger came in (see the pic, pretty ingenious I think). Worked like a charm!! Got it filled and put my fish in as I had saved lots of the water, and realized that they were undoubtedly going to mix my path with my black. So I decided to take a pic before this happened.

My lfs was all out of plants except for banana plants and Java moss balls, and since I didn't have ANY plants, I figured "Why not?" So I picked up one of each. Not much but it is something and I don't plan on keeping these when I get the plants I want. Lfs is ordering them so will hopefully have soon.

I know I need around 3 more bags of black and some more plants, but atleast I got it started after trying to get a ride to the fish store for a week now. I had my hobby budget burning a hole!!

Here are some pictures, enjoy and come back and check on my progress and please give feedback as this is my first planted tank.


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Last edited by [email protected]; 05-31-2011 at 07:17 AM. Reason: Side shot, my favorite view!
post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re-scape. AGAIN!!

Redone my tanks, AGAIN!! Just tore my 10g vivarium (on the home page) down, was getting mosguito larvae in it and didnt want it breeding in my house. Ijust put in two inches of self-made compost topped with my ugly blue and black gravel. Going to use it to grow out my plants before putting them in the tank with my goldfish, they are too destructive to put little fragile plants in there with them. Got a banana plant in there the fish already attacked while I was sleeping, it is doing better though. I also put my bulbs I bought from WalMart in there to get them started as the fish ate every new thing that could grow out of them, already got one that's about three inches long. I even threw a couple plants in there that I found in my yard that resembled the aquatic plants I've been researching so vigorously. They are growing fine I am also growing some Java moss "cigars" in there for use in cracks of my rocks. Almost too much in there and none in my 55 And to top it all off, I just broke the primer handle on my Fluval 304. Hope this superglue works good!!
The 55g got totally redone, for the fourth time in two weeks!! I knew I didn't have enough gravel but I put things together anyway. I built my "mountain range" and filled it up n put my fish in, and they sucked right through the gravel into the dirt I couldn't get the water to clear up to save my life. Now I spread the rock out and used bigger rocks to take up more space. Now I've got about an inch or more of cap over my dirt, now lets see them suck through all that. Any way, filter broke and water cloudy so no pics tonight, and I cannot describe the layout. I like it very much, my favorite one I've done yet Will post some pics tomorrow. As for tonight, gonna be an even later (earlier?) night than it was supposed to be so I've got to hope superglue fixes this so I can get my filter going for an hour or so and get my fish in it and fed. Till tomorrow.


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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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New pics!!

Having to grow my plants out in my 10g as my golds wouldnt leave them alon but am done pretty much. With there only being allowed to be so many pics posted it would be nicer if you were to visit my profile and view my album. All the pics from this are in one spot. Here are just a few random pics of the 10g under the 55g. Only using this as a "dirt" tank to grow my plants before releasing them to the fishes as they like to destroy the little ones.
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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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55g planted FINALLY!!

Here's my finished project. A Tennessee biotope with plants harvested from the local river. Tell me what you think, enjoy.
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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Favorite pic!

Looked at my tank for the first time in the dark and had to get a picture of it, it looked awesome. Don't forget to rate my tank please??
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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 03:20 AM
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Very nice. I am not too fond of big fish like that though. I am betting the plants love all the ferts from them though.


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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks cableguy, I think they do like the ferts. Has only been planted about two weeks and there are new leaves on almost every plant I put in there, aside from the ones my stupid fish ate or uproot constantly One of the big ones is even getting ready to come out the top. I thought about taking off the plastic piece in back and just letting it but I dont know yet.Might trim and keep them contained but might see what it looks like out first.

I really loved these .30 golds but now that I have plants in my tank they have proven to be quite the hassle I was warned about. Been thinking about trading them on a school of smaller ones or something but I don't know. There arent many goldfish tanks on here and I like originality. Might just get plants they will leave alone but dont know if there are any. I do have some bigger ones growing out in my bottom tank including an apagonten I grew from a bulb from Wally World and some vals on their way so I will see how they do with them and will go from there.


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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Thanks cableguy, I think they do like the ferts. Has only been planted about two weeks and there are new leaves on almost every plant I put in there, aside from the ones my stupid fish ate or uproot constantly One of the big ones is even getting ready to come out the top. I thought about taking off the plastic piece in back and just letting it but I dont know yet.Might trim and keep them contained but might see what it looks like out first.

I really loved these .30 golds but now that I have plants in my tank they have proven to be quite the hassle I was warned about. Been thinking about trading them on a school of smaller ones or something but I don't know. There arent many goldfish tanks on here and I like originality. Might just get plants they will leave alone but dont know if there are any. I do have some bigger ones growing out in my bottom tank including an apagonten I grew from a bulb from Wally World and some vals on their way so I will see how they do with them and will go from there.
I would say get rid of the goldies. I don't think there is a plant out there that they won't eat. (Then again, I have been wrong on a couple of occasions.) I would go with a nice schooling fish. Some tetras would be good. They will generally stay in the middle of the water column and would like the dense planting you are going for. Some hatchet fish would be good for the top of the water column and some cory cats or some smaller plecos would go good for the bottom. Maybe some rasboras as well. There are a multitude of things you can do and still be original if you decide to deep six the goldies. I look forward to how it looks when it has grown in a little bit. And, if you get rid of the big fish, you could even get some shrimps in your main tank as well, and that would be a whole mess of diversity. Just my rambling thoughts. Good luck with whatever you chose.

P.S. Those goldies can get to be a foot long. And the plecos can get almost 2 feet in length.


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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 06:20 AM
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The goldfish look cramped

Here someone has goldfish in a planted tank.
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Hilde, I have seen that tank setup, it is the same sized tank! The differences are her golds are small and she has 1 more than I do. The fish are REALLY gonna be cramped in there!! I am currently looking for a 125g though, or looking into replacing with other fish before they do get any bigger. For now, though, the tank measures 36"lx20 3/4"hx17"w and with my biggest fish @ under 8"l they have PLENTY of room to swim. I have read on here people recommending atleast 40g to 55g for golds, but have quickly realised even the 55 isn't enough.


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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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6-15 Update, Updated Pics!

So, I sold my 2 big goldfish, they were getting too big and I was getting tired of straightening the scape up everyday and losing plants to their savagery I also got some Italian Vallisneria and Gigantae's from my man treetom. Awesome plants and he sent me TONS on a RAOK.

Thus, the update. I plan on getting another Shubunkin and a couple Moor's and maybe a school of smaller fish. I also have some more plants coming in the mail to finish my vision for this tank. Oh yeah, and a couple shrimp's!! They will help keep things clean in my grow-out tank. Until then, enjoy the pics.

How I kept my Vals anchored after replanting 20 times.


Co2 bubbles from compost in grow tank. Banana plant now has 4 leaves.


Wakey, wakey lonely fish. You will have playmates soon.


P.O.V / F.T.S, Italian Vals on left, Gigantae in back, Guppy grass in middle.


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Updated 9-7
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