Playing around with a river/waterfall idea...need input - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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Playing around with a river/waterfall idea...need input

Yet another hypothetical scenario (because ichthyogeek's college won't let him keep a tank and he needs to study anyways...). This time: waterfalls!!! I saw a video of some sucker loaches under a waterfall last week...and I haven't been able to get them out of my head since! I'm toying around with an idea, and would really value y'alls input about some stuff that I'm still hazy about.

Ok, so in order to create a super cool waterfall-esque aquarium, I don't want the water to trickle down from the entire back of the aquarium. I want it to gush from one of the sides, which I could do with a sump. Make a fake rock wall (or actually take the time to glue like 200+ river pebbles together), and DIY spraybar using PVC or something. And then, to refill the sump, I'd only leave like 8 inches of water space (optimally 6 inches) in the main tank itself. Holes would be drilled in the tank on the opposite side of the waterfall, with coarse foam filter sponges attached to PVC heads acting as filters to drain water continuously as well. Obviously I'd need a very large sump so that I could keep water quality up. Which leads me to...

Plants: I'm thinking that plants might not be the best idea here, but java moss and fern are always good riverine plants, right? Also, could I start making the tank look more like a paludarium by planting things like lucky bamboo and other plants that aren't as water friendly as we think? Any suggestions for riverine plants? Since the substrate would only be river stones and river sand, plants would really only be there for decoration, meaning that..

Fish: Borneo sucker loaches are really really cool for me, but I've always held off on getting them because my tanks are always too warm/stagnant for them. But I'm thinking S. lineolata, B. kweichowensis (both are sucker loaches), and Yaoshania pachychilus. Also some sort of minnow-id species like Tanichthys, right? Any other super cool riverine fish? And as for inverts...

Inverts: Bamboo shrimp popped into mind. But would Caridina shrimp also work? Or would the water flow be too hard? I'm really blanking when it comes to inverts.

Finally...what size tank would I need for this sort of endeavor? I always figured that a 20L was basically two 10 gallons stacked side by side lengthwise which would be optimal...but turns out they're just really short 29 gallon tanks. So without custom building...what would be the best regular tank for something like this? Or even with custom building, what would good dimensions be? I would want to be able to see my fish, but also give them lots of good water quality as well, while encouraging a biofilm/algae. What would be the best ways to feed the fish, since the current would be so fast, and most of them are benthic grazers? An "algae" stone made by putting a gel on rocks and baking them to solidify it?

Any other constructive critiques? Suggestions?

So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 06:22 AM
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I'm wondering, is there any pics of similar types of waterfall aquariums? Love the idea.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 04:50 PM
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Great idea! For the tank itself, why not create a dramatic waterfall in a taller tank, like a 30xh, or if you have the space and cash, go for a 65.

As far as riverine plants, I'm picturing some Vals leaning and swaying in the current. No experience with them in a higher flow setting though. Anubias are stout enough to withstand the current, too.

Why not make your sump a planted sump? You could even have an open stand, and have two display tanks. That way, you can take advantage of the plants bio filtering your waterfall.
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