A professor of mine was recently given an old hex tank. What do we do with it? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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A professor of mine was recently given an old hex tank. What do we do with it?

(Sometimes "hex" is used to describe multiple sides, so this one has six.)

It's about 23 gallons, 20 inches tall. All he owns so far is the filter and some pool sand at the bottom. Being a teacher, he has a limited budget, but arrangements can be made if we have to get something a little pricey. A low-maintenance setup would be ideal.

I really have no idea what to do with this kind of tank - all I have is a tiny experimental 2.5gal with a crappy light, so I don't usually have to concern myself with lighting and aquascaping, as I don't have much to work with.

The tank will be sitting in a corner. I was thinking some schooling fish, or guppies - but as far as plants and scaping goes, I'm stumped. Help, anyone? What would you do with this?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 12:49 AM
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Youve got millions of possibilities! Though, being a column type tank ,your limited in that sense. Look for plants that grow up, instead of out, like stems. Look for easy, low light suitable plants, such as water wisteria, water sprite, etc. Go with a dirt substrate, very cost effective. Figure out plants, rocks, driftwood, substrate, put it all together and THEN think about fish.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 01:00 AM
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Blah, those tanks can be a challange, especially with filtration and lighting.
But every challenge presents an opportunity.

Given the situation, I would certainty go with a lower light tank: search TPT for Brooder Lamps with CFL bulbs discussions.

"Easy" plants: Java fern (especially "Needle Leaf" variety), Water Sprite (needs to be kept trimmed) and Water Wisteria can make the tank look 'lush' maybe even try 2-3 stems of Ludwidgia ripens or such in a corner (6 to chose from) for some height and a touch of color. Add 2-3 stones and a piece of driftwood (you can find nice pieces of Mopani at PetSmart or Petco for <$10) and you are set.

Shrimp (RCS) and snails do not require too much care.

Or for more fun/work I'd do 2-4 Dwarf Puffers and 3-5 ottos.

A bit of imagination and effort and that tank can provide daily enjoyment and positive vibes.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 04:21 AM
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Ditto OVT:
I have one of those. It was a nightmare until it leaked. Now it holds carnivorous plants, and water only about 6-8" deep. In-tank filter (smallest Fluval)
The best set up I had in that tank:
Driftwood with Anubias and a breeding pair of Angel fish.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 04:25 AM
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I can supply you with a brancy piece of wood for the price of shipping


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, everyone!

@Trickerie: What do you mean by dirt substrate? Is it something I can only buy at a fish store, or just regular old dirt? And do you know what the easiest way to remove the pool sand would be? I wouldn't really know how to go about doing that.

@OVT: What would be a good price for such a light? I want to make sure I'm not paying more than I should for these things.

@Diana: Do you have any pictures of your old setup? Sounds nice, I'd like to see it.

@Stinkmonky: I'll send you a PM in just a sec.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 11:03 PM
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get a cup/scoop and start digging the sand out then wash it out if you really don't want it in there. If you want a dirt substrate, you could use real dirt. You could get normal gravel and toss a couple of root tabs in there for the plants if you want color control. As for the light, this forum has a lighting section you can look at for your solution. After you have basically everything else set up, The question is what to stock it with. If you are looking for something unusual I would suggest cherry shrimp as they are cheap and bread readily for you. If you want fish than I would recommend a school of easy fish like zebra danios and/or cardinal/neon tetras. You could also go with angelfish, they will add some color and flare.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2012, 12:05 AM
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I'd suggest a shop vac to get the sand out, works like a dickens as long as the tank is drained.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2012, 03:20 AM
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+1 on dirt. Miracle gro organic potting mix capped with pfs or black diamond. whatever color you want
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2012, 02:04 PM
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Yes, real dirt! You get miracle gro organic. Put 2" of that on the bottom, then cover it with 1-2" of gravel, sand, etc
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2012, 04:02 PM
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No pics.

Do not get fish that are strongly horizontal swimmers (like Danios). Hovering fish like most Cichlids (especially Angels) would be better. That tank is not very wide, so there is not room for highly active fish to swim around.

Smaller fish are better, if you want a school of something that does swim horizontally. Then the tank is proportionately larger.

Because of the difficulty in water circulation, under stock the tank.
Shrimp and a school of small fish might be a good idea. Perhaps Dwarf Rasboras, Ember Tetras or Celestial Pearl Danios.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2012, 04:58 PM
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I would get a few lily bulbs (even the Walmart ones should work) and plant (or pot) them at the bottom. If you let them, they'll grow all the way to the surface, which will look quite cool in a tall tank.

I like the dwarf puffer/oto idea.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2012, 05:03 PM
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would recommend to use it as a shrimp tank, neocardina types.. low maintenance if you have plants in there, if you prefer regular substrate is cheaper than substrates that buffers, and you need to cycle the tank. What i mean by low maintenance, water change you just scoop off the top 20% and add water every 1 week to 2 weeks, but you need to make sure is old water to be safe.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 02:47 AM
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With my twenty hex the only time i got good circulation was with internal style filters my favorite being a sponge filter run by a 50gal rated air pump. Since i dont use co2 im not worried about out gasing and air pump keeps the natural co2 levels level. Home depot sells (i think you have to online order then only) t5 ho hydroponic lights in 2ft lengths for 25 bucks. With some aluminum flashing bent into a triangle for a reflector. I had no problem growing any plant i tried.
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