30" x 8" x 8" tank, layout ideas? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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30" x 8" x 8" tank, layout ideas?


I recently purchased an interestingly shaped tank... 30" long, but only 8" deep and 8" back. I've never seen this shape tank before, but the shop keeper said it was popular years ago and is no longer made. It is glass, framed, used, but appears to still be water tight. I was hoping to get a piece of glass cut for the top, a nice low profile LED (Finnex Planted+ maybe?), and then plant some mosses/ ferns.

My question is, after installing all the drainage and substrate, will this tank be too shallow for such a layout? Would the plants be way too close to the light, and would the substrate take up too much of the tank, leaving not enough height to grow anything worthwhile and viewable?

If this seems like a bad idea, any suggestions for a planted layout or specific species that would work well with this shape?

I'm not interested in animals at the moment, my focus is on the plants. However, I would consider adding a few compatible small frogs if I end up creating a nicely balanced ecosystem in there.

Thanks all!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 03:38 AM
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I think that shallow of a tank is better suited as a riparium sort of set up, with driftwood and plants growing out of the top of the tank. There will probably be as much or more of the display out of the tank as there is under water.
No lid.
Any livestock needs to be selected on the basis of 'who won't jump out'.

Other possibility:
Shallow substrate, long, low branch (just a single one, but very curvy) and small plants such as dwarf or nano Anubias, the smallest ground cover plants. Even the slowest growing stems will out grow this tank. You would always be pruning them, and they won't really look right.
Lighting will be pretty easy to get it into the high light range for best ground cover.
But keeping CO2 in there is going to be a bit more difficult. Seal it up the best you can, then whatever CO2 leaves the water is still trapped and will re-enter the water as the plants use up the CO2 in the water.
No worries about low water flow, though. It won't take much water movement to keep the oxygen level up once you decide on some livestock.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the advice. this is the direction im leaning at this point.

has anyone had success planting a bonsai in a riparium?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 06:15 PM
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Would make a nice shrimp tank....

Cape Town, South Africa.

Hi. I'm back.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 10:02 PM
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Mosses and ferns don't grow in substrate, plant them on rocks and wood and just have a thin layer of sand on the tank floor. That's all I have in my nano as I didn't want many rooted plants in there. Or do the ying/yang thing with deep substrate in opposing corners that James Finlay of Green Machine did with 'Reciprocity' if this will be a high tech tank with CO2 and carpets.

Find a twisty fairly skinny bit of wood or two that you like and there you are. Aquatics below the water and you will find that many ferns are perfect above water. Kangaroo foot for a large fern, rabbit's foot for one with finer texture and button for low growing work on my emersed branch. Wood will wick water up a couple inches and you can use wicking fabric covering the emersed area for more wicking if you like. That works with suspended lighting.

Check the 12 gallon long Mr. Aqua thread for ideas. Your tank is more like 8 gallons but proportions are similar.

Love what this guy does with a long shallow tank. His is about 48"x12"x8" tall.
Edgar's 1200 Shallow
1200 Shallow Scape 2

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