My Dirty Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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My Dirty Tank

This tank was setup to replicate the edge of a blackwater river or stream in South America and the life among the riparian vegetation. The specific location and waterway hasn't been decided yet because there are two things in there that prevent it from being 'accurate.' But I may not worry about that for a little while, if at all. Here are some stats:

Tank: 90 gal
Lighting: two 80 watt shoplights.
Filtration: Duetto 100 and 50 for circulation.
Wood: (mostly) dead red osier dogwood collected from local waterways.
Substrate: Sand collected from a local riverbed. Underneath, in the back left corner, is a couple handfuls worth of topsoil/peat for the plants. The leaf litter could probably be considered part of the substrate as well. It consists of boiled magnolia leaves from a neighbor's yard, and was recently innoculated with freshwater amphipods and larvea collected from a local pond. This was to help supplement the diet of the fish and provide some organisms that would aid in breaking down uneaten food and detritus among the litter.
Plants: H. zosterifolia (stargrass)
Fish: (3) Pterophyllum scalare, (3) Nannostomus harrisoni (which I plan to increase), (3) Otocinclus sp.



I'm going a bit away from convention on this tank and trying something a bit uncommon. One of the biggest things that I felt compelled to change about this setup from normal ones is that of traditional forms of filtration--I pretty much chose not to have any. The Duetto 100 has the small sponge in it, but I'm not sure that it will have a significant impact. I am relying on bacterial populations and biofilms within the tank (leaf litter, wood, plants, algae, etc.) to take care of the nitrogen process, as well as the microfauna that will hopefully begin to establish itself and repopulate.

I'm not sure why I felt compelled to try this, other than my interest and research in vivaria got me thinking about how bacteria, fungi, etc. are actually ENCOURAGED in those systems to help aid in various processes...and was curious about how that would play out in an aquatic environment. That, and I hate the look of HOB filters, can't stand the bubbles from sponge filters, and can't afford a decent canister. A combination of factors, really.

Anyway, comments or thoughts on this are welcome!

"I go right into the aquascaping without any design."
-Takashi Amano
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 11:44 PM
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that is an awesome looking tank! except for the leaves.
replace them with some more stargrass! slope it up toward the left side. This is gonna be an awesome angel tank.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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That wouldn't look very natural, though. Actually, I've contemplated completely pulling out all the stargrass, since most blackwater streams don't even have any aquatic plants growing in them (water conditions are too harsh). I'm not necessarily going for aquatic utopia and idealism with this setup...but natural and filthy. If the stargrass survives (light is fairly diminished with the tannins in the water), it might end up being pretty leggy and dismal as it stretches for the light, but that will just add to the character of the setting, IMO.

Welcome to the philosophy behind "dirty tanks."

"I go right into the aquascaping without any design."
-Takashi Amano
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 12:01 AM
 
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Love the look...
I would skip any bottom plantings (maybe one or two large Vals at the wood base... and opt for a handful of duckweed, maybe some phyllanthus fluitans (floating). It would keep the natural look and help with water quality as well as provide your freshwater amphipods and larvea a place to kick.

Excellent tank...
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 01:30 AM
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I like it very natural looking. When ever I fish I always see leaf litter on bottoms. You hardly see gravel unless it is a fast moving river.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Good suggestion, Buck. I might try that eventually.

"I go right into the aquascaping without any design."
-Takashi Amano
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 02:02 AM
 
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I wouldn't change a thing, it is stunning as it is. It looks like something straight out of nature.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 01:51 PM
 
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i dunno but what do you think about planting above the water, as what you would find naturally and convert it into a terarium ? provides cool looking shade too dunno but your tank looks really nice except for the plants, makes it look less natural, but thats just my opinion
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 02:38 PM
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Very interesting...

Raf
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2005, 12:34 AM
 
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could you e-mail me some more pics

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2005, 01:55 AM
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I wouldn't mind trying a tank based on local flora and fauna myself. There are two problems with that, though. Number one, the fish here in minnesota don't like water temperatures of above about 65 or so. Second, no tank is complete in my opinion without a lot of plants. With the exception of duckweed, hornwort, and some sags, I don't think there is much here that I could toss into a tank.
Ah, well, I guess I will just stick with what I have.
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I am an expert on algae, so ask me if you have questions. I know how to grow it, just not how to get rid of it.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thanks
that is an awesome looking tank! except for the leaves.
love the leaves. i had some oak tree leaves in my shrimp tank for a while...very natural looking... your tank has inspired me to try something like it as well, just not sure what yet~!
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 11:13 PM
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Hows it coming along?
Update!
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 11:26 PM
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Holy thread resurrection batman!


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-09-2008, 01:05 AM
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Well, in any case....

ALTUMS! They would look great in here.

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