tall tank, small footprint - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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tall tank, small footprint

I am wanting to set up a planted tank. I've had aquariums over the years and have had a few plants, but nothing much. I have a tank now that I would like to set up as a planted tank, but I'm not sure where to start. I don't have any tanks set up currently and i don't even have any filters or heaters anymore. The tank I have is about 24 inches tall and the sides are 21x21x9x13x9 (its a five sided corner tank). I haven't even done the math yet to figure out the volume. I'm looking for tips on how to set it up I suppose.

Oh yeah, I would eventually like to include small tetras, like neons and glolights, ghost shrimp and maybe other small fish.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 04:39 AM
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How you get set up will depend on two factors: how much time and how much money you are willing to dedicate to this tank. Those two factors will determine how you get started.

You have to decide what your goals are. Do you love plants and aquascaping? Do you want a tank that's a lush underwater garden that you constantly tweak to your liking, with a few small fish to accent your scape? Do you want to be able to keep just about every plant species? Or are you more of a fish person who just wants to provide them with a healthy, attractive home, sit back, and enjoy?

Do you have lots of time to dedicate to trimming plants, doing water changes, remembering to fertilize the tank? Or do you want a low-maintenance setup with plants that grow slowly and a scape that pretty much stays the way you planted it for a long time?

Are you willing to spend a lot of money on "top of the line" equipment? Order lots of things online? Or do you want something on a budget and equipment/plants you can find locally?

There's a huge wealth of information on this forum and elsewhere online, and once you answer these questions, people will be able to point the way for you to get started.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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I love plants, gardening. I have always had roses, veggies and cut flower gardens. I've always wanted a water/pond garden. I currently live in an apartment complex, so I can't have any of those. I have always had fish, from guppies and tetras, to African ciclids. I have had the space for any kind of tanks until now. I have just enough room in my apartment for this one, because it fits in a corner and doesn't take up much space. Ideally, I would love to have a lush aquascape, with rocky caves and crevices, about a dozen or so small colorful fish and a few shrimp. I only work 12 hours a week, so I have all the time in the world to dedicate to set up and maintainence. I have three petshops in reasonable distance, plus a dozen home improvement places, I should be able to get just about anything I would need locally. But, if there is something I "must have", I will order it online.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 05:56 PM
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Fantastic! It sounds like you probably want a high-tech, medium to high-light, CO2 injected tank. Fast growth, nice carpet of small plants, all that. You'll have to dose fertilizers daily and do weekly water changes. I would research into getting a nice light fixture, a canister filter, a heater, and a pressurized CO2 system. You could also go the DIY CO2 route. There's tons of in-depth posts on here on every aspect of equipment, or just do what I do and find a bunch of tanks you like and see what they're using.

Do a google image search for aquascapes and find out which styles best appeal to you. Then decide if you want to get driftwood, rocks, etc. Whether you like tanks that look natural, wild and jungly, or ones that look manicured like a garden. Or ones that try to emulate a natural landscape in miniature. Figure out which kind of plants you like best (grassy, stems, ferns, etc). That's a good starting point. In medium/high light with injected CO2 you'll be able to grow pretty much anything so you won't need to limit your plant options.

Your tank is vertical AND a corner tank, which is tricky for aquascaping (I have a corner tank myself) but it's also a really cool shape and a fun challenge. You might want to look at pictures of other vertical tanks for inspiration... there's not a ton of them but ones you can look up are Fluval Ebi/Flora. They're much smaller than your tank but there's some really lovely ones out there that use the vertical space nicely with tall plants or vertical driftwood.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 06:02 PM
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I think I have the same tank that you have. I will try to post a pic of it for you. It's nothing fancy, but I am starting to get quite a few plants in it.

Proud Momma of 1 Baby Girl, 8 Goats, 1 Horse, 10 Chickens, 2 Guineas,1 Rabbit, 2 Dogs, 1 Cat, 1 Hermit Crab, 4 Angel Fish, 16 Tetras and 2 Cory CatsOh, And a Hubby that understands my tank addiction! (Update! Since going planted he now SHARES my tank addiction!!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 07:17 PM
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A tank that is only 21 inches in maximum dimension of the footprint, but 24 inches high, will be hard to light very well. Sitting a light on top of it will mean very high light near the top of the tank, with barely enough light at the bottom of the tank. This is probably a good candidate for a MH pendant light, hanging about 2 feet above the top of the tank. With that the difference in light level between the top and bottom of the tank isn't as extreme, and MH is bright enough and small enough to adequately light the substrate level in the tank.

If you know someone who has the skills to put a DIY LED light together, that would be even better than an MH light - less electric power used, less heat, and it can be "tuned" to give just the right amount of light. Or, another possibility is a screw-in LED spot light bulb hanging over the tank. Now that I think more about it, that is the route I would try to go.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 11:30 PM
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Agree, search here for PAR 38 LED, been some interesting threads. The bulbs are spendy but you put them in a regular medium base fixture so that part is super cheap. No ballast and the bulbs are supposed to last for a really long time.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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When you said spendy I thought you mentioned like $100, but I found some for $30. That's not too bad.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 12:10 AM
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Make sure the color of the light is daylight or cool white, somewhere between 5000 and 8000K and see if you can find reviews and photos in use. These are a new thing and some probably work out better than others. Lower K makes everything looking the same color underwater, kind of yellowish. Still, since these bulbs can go in standard screw in sockets if you change your mind you can probably find a place to use a bulb that doesn't work for you over the aquarium!


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 12:42 AM
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I would look for a bulb that appears to use 9 LEDs in a square array, and which uses about 20-25 watts of electricity. Bulbs with lots of tiny LEDs, say 20 or more, aren't likely to give enough light.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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I think all the ones I looked at had nine leds. I'll have to look again to see what we have as far as k's go. I know at least one said "warm white" tho.
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