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Fresh Fish Freak
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, the weather yesterday kept me from working out in the garden like I'd planned, so I have finally gotten around to working on this tank!

I'm still toying around with ideas, but I know it's going to be a rather unique tank. Defnitely lots of mosses (since I've got them coming out my ears anyways!) I'm also going to have a terrace with a rock wall, and some pretty fantastic Manzanita trees. I'll probably do a Val nana background, since it's such a tall tank. I've got tons of Crypts and Java ferns I'm figuring out how to incorporate... and I'm going to TRY and figure out how to keep my Najas contained.


Equipment is:

Eheim 2217
Hydor ETH 300 watt inline
Coralife 2x21 watt T5NO
I'm going to try Mineralized Soil for the substrate.

Fauna also are still up in the air, though I'm still wanting a colony of wild-type Bettas for sure.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Yesterday I spent HOURS sorting through the jumble of plants that had just been tossed into this tank over the past year. Turns out I have all these plants to play with for the new scape:

Lots of Crypts, mostly C. wendtii and C. undulata
1 scraggly Hygro kompakt that may not make it
Cabomba furcata (it's fuchsia, too! Been floating in the tank right next to the lights..)
Tiny bits of Hornwort (I'm surprised this one hasn't done well in this tank?)
Little bit of Hairgrass
A few sword corms that I have no idea what swords they may be at this point (I'm ashamed to say I let many really nice swords die of neglect in this tank
)
Tons of Java ferns (Regular, Windelov, and perhaps some Needle Leaf)
Najas guadalupensis (this stuff always takes over any tank I put it in, but I love this plant!)
Stringy moss
Fissidens fontanus
Suesswassertang
Riccia
Red root floater
Azolla

I know I want some Val nana. I'm also thinking about adding some Lobelia cardinalis "small form."

I also need some fine stainless steel wire mesh for the mosses. I heard that Ace Hardware sometimes carries it, so I need to check that out.

I think I need a bigger tank to incorporate all these plants and play around with my ideas...
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Today I figured out that my paver blocks were still much too big, so I spent a good 2 hours knapping them down smaller.


Then I placed the terrace foundation layer.

Mixed the mineralized soil (I DO love playing in the mud!
), lined the tank edges with CQ/Flourite black mix, added the potash and dolomite to the bottom of the tank, poured in the mud, and capped it with more CQ/Flourite black, to the top of the foundation pavers.

Added the top row of pavers and filled in the back with the remaining CQ/Flourite black mixture. The amount worked out perfect!


Here's a "teaser" shot:


I just now finished filling the tank and plugged back in the filter. The water is actually clearer than I'd expected!

Now to start planting...
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The cats are always entranced by bubbles running through the Python LOL






Here's the preliminary 'scape. Not happy with it yet, but I'm pooped! Do keep in mind that there will eventually be a Val nana background, as well. Part of the goal also is to incorporate plants throughout the entire water column, as this tank will have a colony of some wild-type Bettas, probably B. simplex.



 

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Fear the Swamp!
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2,512 Posts
My dog is also curious about the bubbles in the tube. Mine will "attack" the bubbles if I'm not watching. I had to cut a 1' section out of my tubing because of him.
A betta tank would be real nice. I've thought about rescuing a few from the LFS around town, but I wasn't sure how well they get along with each other in the same tank.
I think a foreground of E. quadricostatus would look nice in there.
 

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Looks like you’re off to a good d start Laura. I will be watching this one, I have the same tank. Sitting empty, hoping to start working on it after the holidays.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I haven't quite decided on the foreground, but E. quadricostatus WOULD be nice... I may go with E. tenellus 'micro' just to pull in some more red, though... We'll see.

I'm probably going to go with a colony of Betta simplex for this tank, 4 males and 2 females, since the males get along fine unlike B. splendens. It's actually better to keep more males than females, since these Bettas are mouthbrooders, and the males won't eat while holding eggs and fry. With more males to spawn with, the males tend to get more of a break between spawns.

Here's some pics of Betta simplex:




 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks like you’re off to a good d start Laura. I will be watching this one, I have the same tank. Sitting empty, hoping to start working on it after the holidays.
This tank sat empty for quite a while, too. And has been just a "holding" tank for about the past year... I love bowfronts, though, so an empty tank is a crying shame! :hihi: Hopefully you'll get some $$ for Xmas to get to work on your own!

I must say I'm very happy with the mineralized soil this time around. It was definitely the bad ADA AS that I mixed in last time that caused my water issues, as the tank is already crystal clear!

I've got some Val nana on order and it should be here late this week, hopefully I'll get it planted this weekend.

I've got some ideas for playing with the 'scape some. I've already removed 2 of the blocks near the center of the tank and I think I'm going to make a "path" to the back of the tank.

No surprise, the Cabomba furcata won't stay put. It's only in there b/c I had it lying around, and it's probably going to go. I think I also will play around some more with the "trees."

It's nice that the tank sits right next to my desk, as I can play around with ideas in my head.

Oh- I forgot to mention that this tank is going to be a QT tank for Cardinal tetras for my 90gal before I ever put any Bettas in it.
 

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It looks cool. Have you though about adding another terrace? Good Luck!
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
looks good so far laura, i have a question about the hydor heater. does the heater slow down the flow considerably or just a little. i've been searching this site for 2 hours now and can't really seem to find the answer. thanks.
If they slow down flow at all, it's not much. CO2 reactors can slow down flow quite a bit, but I've never noticed any difference at all with the Hydors.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, according to my tracking #, my latest plant order left Tampa this afternoon... so I'm hoping will be on my doorstep tomorrow so I can work on the tank more!

I'm having a hard time not stocking the tank with something, though.

Since I have to take down my leaking 10gal at work, I may end up throwing all my RCS in this tank...
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So I just finished a major rescape.

Ditched the Cabomba (Kara, I hope you can find a use for it cuz it's headed your way! LOL), rearranged the driftwood into 2 trees instead of 3, and added the Val nana, some E. tenellus 'red', and 2 pots of Cryptocoryne parva.

I like it much better.

I still need to get a foreground, and get wire mesh so I can play with my mosses. I want to put some Fissidens fontanus on some of those pavers.

As soon as the tank clears a little I'll post some shots.
 
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