Planning my Aquarium - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Planning my Aquarium

I am hoping to get some feedback, suggestions, criticism, etc about my tank plan. I got a 30G Extra tall tank for free from a guy I work with. He was using it for Angel Fish (iirc) but ended up with a 90 Gallon tank for them instead. The tank looks like this:



I plan on using mineralized soil substrate topped in sand. For the soil I am following this link:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...on-talbot.html

I am currently washing the top soil and sand in plastic containers right now. I plan on keeping it low tech.

I purchased an API freshwater test kit because it came highly recommended and seems like it should last for quite a while (many tests). I also ordered Seachem Prime so I can use tap water, hopefully. I have a 150W heater on order, a 200GPH HOB fitler, digital thermometer, siphon for water changes, and a LED SAT+ (24").

My LFS has a few different types of plants and I will probably get some from people here too. I was thinking java moss, java ferns, Anubias and crypts mostly. Possibly some swords too. It will be a low light aquarium at the substrate, from the PAR data I've seen.

I think my biggest hurdle, idea wise, is filling the vertical space that comes with the 24" tall aquarium. I was thinking of using plastic barriers to hold the soil and sand and make a large hill on one side. I also have a piece of Malaysian drift wood I was thinking of partially burring in the hill side. I have never done any aquascaping like this and I am really not positive that my idea is viable. I've heard that roots from the plants will help hold the hill, but erosion will wear it down eventually.

I know a large factor on the aquarium is the fish I want to house. I was aiming towards quite a few red cherry shrimp, a couple otos (later due to need for an established tank), and a school of small fish (possibly Green Neon Tetras?).

I am really looking for some ideas to help fill the vertical void. I'd also appreciate some feedback or criticism on things I have missed. I'm fine with harsh criticism as long as you can point me to something to read and research. I've been reading a lot of the tank journals on here, but a lot of those are much larger than what I am doing here.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 02:07 PM
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Sounds a good start to me.
Might I suggest that you also include three or four bunches of water sprite.
This plant does not need much light and could help fill in the back of the tank due to it's fast growth.
(will grow fairly quickly to the surface)Always wise in my view to add some fast growing plant's to new tanks to make things tougher for algae.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 03:50 PM
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Due to the narrow width of the tank I think you might be happier with a pile of rocks with some wood cascading up and over it to gain height rather than try for a sloped substrate. Plant moss and tiny Anubias in the crevices so you don't waste the planting space. I'd skip the sword and use a crypt especially if you find some nice healthy wisteria to fill in as the tank matures so you have some color variation.

This is my favorite type of scape, see my current journal and even in the middle of the 180 long journal where I first experimented with rocks in the tank. Look at the ADA videos on youtube as Amano almost always does some variant of this. Loads of terrific tanks using this type of scape here as well, look in the journals forum.

I did successfully maintain a slope in gravel with Marsilea of all things [they don't have much in the way of roots!] but it was only a couple inches or so in an 18" wide tank.

If you decide you want your tall rosette plant on that hill perhaps making up a planting pot for it to use rather than a rock in that spot could work out. Maybe sew together strips of plastic needlepoint mesh for one that would allow roots to grow out and oxygen to get in?


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
Sounds a good start to me.
Might I suggest that you also include three or four bunches of water sprite.
This plant does not need much light and could help fill in the back of the tank due to it's fast growth.
(will grow fairly quickly to the surface)Always wise in my view to add some fast growing plant's to new tanks to make things tougher for algae.
A fair suggestion, I will look into for sure. I know quick results is a quick way to keep interest in a hobby too. So I will look at that plant!

EDIT: Did some searching and I like the look of it when it is planted. This could also help solve some of my height 'crisis'.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
Due to the narrow width of the tank I think you might be happier with a pile of rocks with some wood cascading up and over it to gain height rather than try for a sloped substrate. Plant moss and tiny Anubias in the crevices so you don't waste the planting space. I'd skip the sword and use a crypt especially if you find some nice healthy wisteria to fill in as the tank matures so you have some color variation.

This is my favorite type of scape, see my current journal and even in the middle of the 180 long journal where I first experimented with rocks in the tank. Look at the ADA videos on youtube as Amano almost always does some variant of this. Loads of terrific tanks using this type of scape here as well, look in the journals forum.

I did successfully maintain a slope in gravel with Marsilea of all things [they don't have much in the way of roots!] but it was only a couple inches or so in an 18" wide tank.

If you decide you want your tall rosette plant on that hill perhaps making up a planting pot for it to use rather than a rock in that spot could work out. Maybe sew together strips of plastic needlepoint mesh for one that would allow roots to grow out and oxygen to get in?
Your idea sounds pretty good. I have an issue with rocks though, mainly that I don't really know what to use and where to get them from. I'll skip the sword in favor of crypts if I can find some. I just know my LFS has many swords available and that is why I listed them.

Instead of a slope, would it be easier to maintain a plateau? I'm imagining something like a small cylinder, filled with whatever, topped with substrate. Then have plants around it and on top of it. Possibly linking the levels with drift wood or rocks. I like the idea of raised ground. But it may be easier to just use drift wood and have the plants grow off of it, adding height that way. This last idea is much like your tank, which I did enjoy.

I also saw that you have plexy glass tank covers, at least at one point. What thickness was that? I know small sheets of glass (my tank size) are cheap. I was going to try and research some topper ideas to keep evap down and fish in.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 07:18 PM
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Some just buy a bag of lava rock or even granite pebbles from Home Depot. Glue some together to make bigger rocks. Lava chunks are commonly used for Buces to grow on and would be great moss or Anubias rocks as well. Lots of threads on this forum on choosing rocks. I avoided rocks for ages. After reading and reading here I got brave and put in fist sized pebbles I had been digging out of the flower beds and tossing next to the house for years and was amazed at how much those nondescript rocks added to the scape. Sure those fancy $8 a pound rocks are wonderful but ordinary works too. Mostly because I was curious I did test for carbonates with nitrate test solution#1 and the rocks didn't fizz up.

You could definitely make a plateau. So long as you like what you are looking at it is fine.


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 04:34 AM
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The bunches of Water Sprite are an excellent idea although the Oak Leaf variety does make a mess and seems to max out at 18" for me. However, in my 55 they do a great job of hiding the canister hoses. You really should look at Cryptospiralis whose leaves get to be around 3' long for creating some appealing vertical activity.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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I picked up a bag of lava rocks. I think a cubic foot was $6?. Anyway, I got a bag and I'll wash them off since the color seems to be coming off in the condensation already. After that, I'm going to attempt some scaping.

As for the Cryptospiralis, I like the look of those too. Really, it just comes down to what I can find at a decent deal. If the water sprite only hits 18", that would be perfect. It would put it at the top of my tank (or close to) after I add in the height of the substrate.

Onto the idea of the lava rocks, what glue have you had success with? I am thinking of making a "cave" sort of deal out of it. A hollow rock basically, and growing moss on top of it. I believe someone on here is doing me a favor and sending me a huge chunk of java moss for shipping~

My drift wood should be in today. So I will get a photo of that and see about making a "cave" with the drift wood on top to get height in the corner. Or maybe I'll explore the plateau idea some more. I want to get to about 16" in the corner to appease the rule of 3rds. Then slope down to the substrate level in the opposite corner for another piece.

So many possibilities.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 12:30 PM
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For my taller hex tank I filled it with wood, literally. To me with normal means of rock work or substrate slope just don't look right in a tall tank. Good luck it's tough!
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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I suppose now would be a good time to explain where the tank will be. We have this awkward corner between our two couches. There is a table there, that I made, that is a little bit bigger than this tank. The tank will essentially be in a corner. That's why raising that back corner came to my mind.

I do like the idea of lots of wood. It isn't bad by any means. I'm going to play with it. This is mostly a brainstorm session. I'm going to take some of the ideas here and see how I can spin them to appease me. All good ideas so far.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead2fall View Post
For my taller hex tank I filled it with wood, literally. To me with normal means of rock work or substrate slope just don't look right in a tall tank. Good luck it's tough!
Normally I despise hex tanks, but I must say, I like yours.


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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 01:26 PM
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I hate the hex format. At the time it's all I had to work with. It's kind of grown in me. Promised the wife when I got a new tank I'd tear the hex down. Well I got a new tank and guess who's breaking a promise haha!

If you decide on lots of wood, imo one really large stump like piece looks better in a tall tank than a bunch of pieces. I think a tall skinny tank will look good caddy cornered in between the couches like that. I can picture it!
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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I think it will be a good place for the tank and it will be out of the reach of our 1 year old daughter. All good things! It isn't too far from the kitchen for water changes and it just seems like it will work out as a location.

I also have a small 5G tank, but no real idea on where to put it. Hmmm. Office tank?
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 05:53 PM
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Office or by your bed and shift the lighting to when you are most likely in the room. We got laptops and aren't in the office often so that little tank was taken down but it was nice having it there.

I haven't glued rocks together but it is very commonly done. I'd think an epoxy would work well. I haunt reef forums for information, herp forums would be equally good sources of information. Get a name of something and research that to see if it is generally works well or not.

One of the ADA videos showed what not to do. Mr. Amano tried silicone on a rock wall built of small rocks and it came tumbling down! I don't know if it works on rocks or not either. So far I have have only used gel super glue for putting plants on rocks and wood.


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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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From what I've read, silicone is recommended for gluing rocks together! Go figure haha. I'll do some more research today. But what gel super glue are you talking about? I use E6000 regularly and it is amazing super glue. But I'll see what is aquarium safe and what isn't.

As for the nano-tank. The bedroom may be a good place and it may not be. It is small and we are only in there for sleeping. I will think of a place soon enough. As for the office, I was referencing work. I'm not sure how my boss feels about it though!
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 12:31 PM
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From what I've read, silicone is recommended for gluing rocks together! Go figure haha. I'll do some more research today. But what gel super glue are you talking about? I use E6000 regularly and it is amazing super glue. But I'll see what is aquarium safe and what isn't.

As for the nano-tank. The bedroom may be a good place and it may not be. It is small and we are only in there for sleeping. I will think of a place soon enough. As for the office, I was referencing work. I'm not sure how my boss feels about it though!
Cyanoacrylate, gel form. Loctite super glue is a good one. I don't think it's good for rocks though.
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