First Hardcore tank, I have Questions. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-11-2005, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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First Hardcore tank, I have Questions.

Well everyone I am planning my first tank that is designed around the fact that it is planted and should look natural. Instead of simply putting some plants in my tanks with the fish. (currently I have a 10 gallon with clown puke gravel and horwart and a 29 gallon with several amazon swords, the 29 gallon is 50% flurite and 50% gravel)

I am hoping to get a stump with some rootage still attached and cut it in quarters so that the two back corners of the tank will look like trees. The stumps will be hollowed out to allow for the uptakes of the undergravel filter.

Question 1
I have read some that planted tanks and undergravel filters dont always work. how about a little advice.

Question 2
What Kind of Trees if any are not suitable for use in this way. (I know some guys in landscaping so getting a stump of the right size should be possible)
My plan is to set it up and let it run with some fish I dont really care that much about. I have some feeder guppies that I would say are disposable?

On the roots and branches of the tree (I hope to have branches) I plan on attaching willow moss or some similar plant amano style (Green cotton thread Tropical Fish Hobbist August 2005 Volume LIII Number 12 #593)

Question 3
What other kinds of plants can be attached to the wood in this way

I am planning on using all flourite (SP) for the substrate, I have had better luck with it thank anything else it is a personal preference. This will be going into a 29 gallon tank. I made the layout below in AutoCAD so I know the proportions of what I am looking at. The quarter stumps would come from a tree that is about 8-10" across which would give me 4-5" quarters minus what the chainsaw takes off in kurf. I am not sure what I want in the way of other plants, I would like the center to be more open but have thought about taller plants in toward the sides. This would, however, hide at least part of the trunk. I'm thinking some nice stones would be nice in the center.

Once I get the stump and get it cut I will be sure to make a photo journal of the whole process. right now I only have my sketches in my sketch book (plan plan plan)

Here is the layout
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-11-2005, 11:40 PM
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Welcome to the forum Terry! Looks like a nice design so be be sure to take lots of pictures as you go along.

First, spend some time over at Rex is the local traffic director that is trying to stop new people from common mistakes and frustration.

He covers UGF's.

For your log, remember that drift wood is light and tends to, well, float. Look for bog wood instead. Plan on soaking the wood in a bucket for a while.

So take a look around, best of luck on your project.

Moved to Tucson.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 12:09 AM
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You can boil the wood to get any "nasty hitchhikers" from causing any problems in your tank. 15 or 30 minutes should do.. longer if you feel like it. Soaking it for some period of time should also water log it and help it not to float. Not sure if this works for all types of wood.

Probably 99% of peeps would tell you not to use an UGF because it can disturb the root system and push your substrate fertilizer into the water column.. which in turn will help you grow algae soup.

Another good fish to add at the beginning are Zebras.. Feeder guppies are cheap but they are similar to other live bearers that like a little salt in the water. Salt may have a negative effect on certain plants. But if you plan ahead like you are with the layout, you shouldn't have to worry about losing any fishes in the first place.
On the roots and branches of the tree (I hope to have branches) I plan on attaching willow moss or some similar plant amano style (Green cotton thread Tropical Fish Hobbist August 2005 Volume LIII Number 12 #593)
A couple of other plants that work well on wood are Anubias and Java fern.. but as far as Amano style.. I guess Riccia?

Have fun!


Eheim Pimp #159: Eheim 2233 Ecco & Eheim 2211 canisters.

55g planted- 80deg F.
2 Coralife Aqualights 65w 6700k + 2 15w lights .
Pressurized CO2 5lb tank.
Substrate: 1" Tex blast, 2" Flourite & Eco Complete, ~.25" sand.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 12:10 AM
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I just added some new wood to my tanks, and figured I'd do it right using cotton thread to attache java moss and java fern.
(Note: you may not have cotton thread lying around. My wife happened to have some because she sews for my kid's Am. Rev. re-enactment. But she says it is not the easiest thing to find.)
In short, the thread rotted away before the java fern attached. Tho I didn't consult the calendar, it seemed as tho the thread rotted in little more than a week. This morning I re-tied the floating bits with regular, non-cotton sewing thread. Which had never given me a problem before!
Since you like Amano, check out what he does with narrow-leafed java fern!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks I am logging all the answers, I will probably not go with a UGF, Even tho I really like them in general I have been using then in conjuntion with a HOB (never have to much filtration, I was hopeing to us the UGF since the Stumps would "hide" the two uptakes and I am hoping to have it look as natural as possible.

As far as "liking amano" I have no opinion I am really rather new to the whole thing and I saw what he did in the magazine and liked the results. if there are better ways I am always open to learning.

As for the wood and it floating I had originally planned on siliconing (is that a word) the hollowed out stumps in place, but I have to admit I really like the idea of boiling it, i Have no doubt that would kill just about anything. What I was really concerned about was any chemicals that might be released by the wood, dependeding on what Kind of wood it was from.

Everything is effectivly on hold until I get the stump.

Of course I just thought, if my plants are all rooted to the wood, do I need to have flourite as a substrate? (once again just a thought)
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 02:50 PM
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I would suggest not siliconing the wood to the tank, as you may need to move it later on. Rather, if you find that soaking and boiling don't make it sink, you can drill the wood onto a heavy object. That way, it will not float and still be mobile.

My cotton thread rotted away before my plants could root too. I ended up using green rubber bands.

And are you planning on using an HOB filter? How about listing the equipment you'll be using?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 04:24 PM
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Answer 1: UGF: Short answer is don't use them. Far better off with a canister filter. For a 29 Gallon, I would check eBay for a used Eheim 2013.

Answer 2: Wood: From your questions, I got the feeling you are planning on using a regular tree stump that has not turned into driftwood. Don't do this! Using uncured wood will cause all kinds of junk to leech out into your tank, and boiling it will not get it all. A little later, parts of the wood will rot. Best case, your water will remain discolored no matter what you do. If I have misunderstood, my apologizes, but use only driftwood. Most types will do fine. Boil it and soak it for a week or two, it should sink on its one after that. I like the idea of quartering the stump and using it to hide stuff. If you were to get a canister filter, you could use the wood to hide the intake and outtake. If you use Co2, you could use the wood to hide the diffuser.

Answer 3: Plants that attach to wood:
- All kinds of mosses: Java, X-Mas, Taiwan, Erect, Weeping.
- Rhyzoim plants: Anubias species, Java Fern, African Bolbitus
- Floating plants: Riccia, Pelia
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