moogoo's 30 gal. sacred tree - SCRAPPED.. redo to come - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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moogoo's 30 gal. sacred tree - SCRAPPED.. redo to come

Hey all. I'm pretty much a newbie around here and to the planted tank hobby, but I've always been ambitious and adventurous and it's not gonna change when it comes to this. I've been in the fish hobby roughly 7 years already and have kept african cichlids mostly on a very limited college student budget (which was a feat in itself).

So now, with a somewhat recent trip to Japan last year and seeing some amazing planted tanks (no, i didn't get to see the amano tank, i didn't even know they existed then), I've decided to get my hands in on a planted tank.

As of right now, I've been playing around with a 10 gal tank I had lying around to get my bearings and figure out the right ways of doing things. I guess I'm going through the usual newbie troubles of algae bouts and slow growth, but things are turning around as I learn more and more every day from this forum. I will be adding DIY CO2 to the 10 gal tank soon and will be dosing ferts as soon as it comes in. With a little time, I'm sure my 10 gal will grow in really well and make a very nice home for my dwarf puffer and cherry shrimp.

So enough with my little introduction. This photo journal is about my 30 gal tank. As of right now, I have nothing to show for except an empty tank and equipment. Unfortunately, I had some troubles with my lights as my strip light came with two broken bulbs and the extra bulb i ordered also came broken. Sucks, but I called in the broken bulb and they said they'd send out a new one. I still need to call about my strip light and see what they can do for me there.

My 30 gal tank is a standard tank. It's only 12" deep, which doesn't give me many options to really give any depth to an aquascape. So in order to do so, I'm going to try to take advantage of perspective with plant sizes to give a feeling of depth.

The scene I would like to create is a "sacred tree" scene. I ordered a piece of driftwood from drsfosterandsmith and wasn't too happy with the piece I got at first. But after looking at it a bit, I saw an aged, great tree trunk. My vision is this. Imagine yourself walking through the woods and you suddenly come across an opening. The land is green and sloping with lots of dense foliage in the distance. A small creek shimmers by with tiny white rapids from the distant forest down the sloping hills off into the distance where it vanishes into more woods. Then upon this cliff like hill, stands a great, aged tree. Growing valiantly on its own upon the hill.

It's pretty difficult to envision i'm sure, but that's the best I can describe it. I will be posting pictures as the hardscape and planting begins. As of right now, I painted the back of my tank with black paint. I also modified my piece of driftwood a bit by drilling into it and adding bamboo chopstick pieces as branches. I intend to tie moss (not sure which yet, probably xmas) to all the branches of the tree and let it grow out and fill out the top of the tree. I plan on doing HC for the green sloping hills. And other plants, i'm not sure yet.

I hope this will become an active thread some day like so many other great ones i've read here already. I'll be sure to update this soon with details on equipment, setup, etc. I will post a sketch of my vision if I have time. Until then...

Last edited by moogoo; 09-15-2008 at 01:02 AM.
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post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 10:12 AM
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i am interested in your adventure. i hope you post pics as soon as you have them! good luck!
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post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 02:17 PM
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cool! I cant wait! may the force be with u!*corny*
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post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-30-2007, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the encouragement! I'm really excited to get the design under way but i have to force myself to take my time. The light issue really sucked though. I'm going to order a regulator tonight and try to fine the pieces for an inline reactor this weekend. Anybody know how to figure out the diameter bend length reactor would be ok for my 30g? I was gonna follow rex's example but i have 1.5 inch pvc already. Can i use that?
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post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-30-2007, 01:08 AM
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Sounds cool..can't wait to see!
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post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-30-2007, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by moogoo View Post
Thanks for the encouragement! I'm really excited to get the design under way but i have to force myself to take my time. The light issue really sucked though. I'm going to order a regulator tonight and try to fine the pieces for an inline reactor this weekend. Anybody know how to figure out the diameter bend length reactor would be ok for my 30g? I was gonna follow rex's example but i have 1.5 inch pvc already. Can i use that?
I made mine with 2" PVC for a 29 gallon. If you look at my signature tank, there is a picture of the reactor. My reactor is based off of Rex's with a few minor modifications. One thing that I strongly suggest is to use the 90 degree hose barbs. It is much easier to work with and your hoses don't get kinked. I found mine at Ace Hardware. FYI, my reactor is working with an XP2 and it is roughly 14" to 16" long. It works perfectly for me. I get some gurgling from gas buildup inside the reactor after a a few hours, but I can't hear it unless I open up my cabinet. I am also pumping in a fair amount of CO2 at about 2 to 3 bubbles per second.

I don't see why 1.5" wouldn't work.

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post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-30-2007, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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I made mine with 2" PVC for a 29 gallon. If you look at my signature tank, there is a picture of the reactor. My reactor is based off of Rex's with a few minor modifications. One thing that I strongly suggest is to use the 90 degree hose barbs. It is much easier to work with and your hoses don't get kinked. I found mine at Ace Hardware. FYI, my reactor is working with an XP2 and it is roughly 14" to 16" long. It works perfectly for me. I get some gurgling from gas buildup inside the reactor after a a few hours, but I can't hear it unless I open up my cabinet. I am also pumping in a fair amount of CO2 at about 2 to 3 bubbles per second.

I don't see why 1.5" wouldn't work.
i'll take the 90 degree hose barbs into consideration. i went to lowes this evening near my parent's house while i'm visiting just to see their selection. i found all the parts i need for the reactor but didn't get them cause i wasn't sure if 1.5" would be ok. does it have to do with the volume? who knows. maybe something to post as it's own topic to get more attention. anyway, i like your mods to it cause i like the idea of being able to open it up to clean it out. did you accomplish that by using a threaded cap at the botton instead of a regular slip cap? if so, did you use teflon tape to make it water tight?
@ all

sorry for the lack of pictures at the moment. i will be sure to load them up with full descriptions soon.
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post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-30-2007, 03:42 AM
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anyway, i like your mods to it cause i like the idea of being able to open it up to clean it out. did you accomplish that by using a threaded cap at the botton instead of a regular slip cap? if so, did you use teflon tape to make it water tight?
@ all

sorry for the lack of pictures at the moment. i will be sure to load them up with full descriptions soon.
Yes and yes. I actually had a leak on the threaded cap with teflon tape. I wound up taking the cap off and putting more tape on it to seal up the leak. Worked fine. In hindsight though, I don't know if I would put the cap there or not. To me, it is just one more point of failure for a leak, and I don't think I'll be opening it up too often anyway. I just wanted the option since I wasn't sure how the reactor would work for my setup.

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post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-30-2007, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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cool. thanks for the reply. after thinkin about it, if it does get clogged up with gunk i'll just toss it out and make a new one... i mean how long will it take to really get nasty inside anyway right? probably years.
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post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-30-2007, 05:40 AM
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home for my dwarf puffer and cherry shrimp.
erm...maybe home for dwarf puffer, torture chamber for cherry shrimp?

most DPs are going to tear shrimp to peices.
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post #11 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-30-2007, 05:46 AM
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cool. thanks for the reply. after thinkin about it, if it does get clogged up with gunk i'll just toss it out and make a new one... i mean how long will it take to really get nasty inside anyway right? probably years.

I wouldn't toss it. I would just disconnect it from the hoses and pour some bleach in one of the barbs along with some water. Give it a good shaking and rinse it out. I would think that would be enough to clean it up.

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post #12 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-30-2007, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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erm...maybe home for dwarf puffer, torture chamber for cherry shrimp?

most DPs are going to tear shrimp to peices.
my DP ignores my shrimp. doesn't even nip at their feelers. my shrimp don't even hide during the day and are out and about in full force, eating away.

@biscuit

yea, that sounds like a better idea. haha.
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post #13 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the lack of updates recently, but really haven't had much to update. Still waiting on replacement bulbs from big al's since the ones that came with my strip light were broken upon delivery.

I also realized tonight that I ordered the incorrect Hydor inline heater, so I have to return it and get the correct one. I guess it's not a big deal since I have to wait for the bulbs anyway. Also, still waiting on a regulator but I got my CO2 cylinder today. I have my DIY reactor ready to go as well. As of right now I still need:

- Rocks (will go looking for some tomorrow)
- CO2 Regulator
- Replacement CF Bulbs
- Plants
- Fish

Of course, the plants and fish will come last. Once I get the equipment set up and running, I'll go ahead and order the plants. I'm still undecided on the particular mixture of plants, but I know for sure that I will be doing HC and xmas moss on the "sacred tree".

Below are some pictures of the empty tank as it sits right now and also a shot of my bare "sacred tree" (i.e., drift wood will bamboo chopstick pieces stuck into it). This is a total long shot, but I'm hoping the xmas moss will grow in and fill out the entire tree and make it look like a really nice underwater "bonsai" worthy of being called sacred. I want my scape to really give a feeling that you're coming into an opening and seeing a great tree in the distance on a cliff.





On a side note, I stopped by a local fish store tonight just to see what they had available. I found that they had rummy nose tetras, which is great cause I've only been able to find them online recently. They are $5/fish though, so I'll need to do some price comparisons. They had a decent rock selection there, but I found nothing too usable for what I am envisioning. In addition, I'd rather get the rock for free somewhere nearby. I did manage to pick up a decent piece of zebra rock and only $2/lb, which is way cheaper than aquaforest. Pretty happy about that. I'm not sure how I'm going to work it into my aquascape just yet, but it is pictured below. Thanks for checking up on my tank and I will be sure to update again soon. Hopefully on Monday after I've found the right rocks to set up an actual hardscape with substrate.



Quick question for anybody who knows. I have an extra bag of flourite and plan on using it under 2 bags of eco-complete. I've read that this is okay to do. My question is, do I still need to rinse the flourite first since it will be on the bottom and under all the eco-complete? My first inclination is "no" but I thought I'd ask and see what someone else's experiences are. Oh, and please excuse the crappy quality, underexposed photos. It was late and I was just snapping away with the on board speed light.
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post #14 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 08:07 AM
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I would rinse it, and rinse it, and rinse it until it is rinsed somewhat clean. If you don't rinse it you will have very cloudy water and it will continue to cloud the tank every time you do something to the substrate.

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post #15 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 02:36 PM
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You look to be going on the right track!

I wouldn't rinse the flourite because it will be topped off. Unless you plan on sturring up your substrate or something

Keep the updates coming!

-Andrew
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