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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im wanting to put a 55gallon tank in our home because of the size of the tank floor for my aquatic pets. However since we're currently in a mobile home until our home is built and building extra support isn't an option at the moment, I was hoping to fill to approximately 30ish gallons (give or take). However I didn't want it to look funny with the amount of space above the water level. So I decided I wanted to build a second level to plant additional plants and would love to incorporate some sort of life on that level as well.
Picture for reference. Granted this is a rough sketch and its not to scale by far. I'm sure things will have to be changed a bit but it gives you an idea of the thought process I had. I'm also sure the math for the gallons to the height I have is off but that's fine and I'll adjust the aquatic animals accordingly.
The math comes out to roughly 336 square inches of terrestrial living area. Which is more than the average 20H or 25gal. However its not quite as much as a 20L or 29gal, its 24 square inches smaller so not much.
Rectangle Font Parallel Terrestrial plant Screenshot
 

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16g rimless cherry shrimp, 20g cube dwarf cichlid, 40g breeder nano community.
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I've had similar ideas, though I've not tried it yet. The issue would be filtration. I use canister filters and that won't work here. An internal filter would but that would also further limit the aquatic area as well as look (imo) ugly. I was also thinking - in the space under the terrestrial area - building an internal setup to filter like I have in my all-in-one cube and use a small return pump to make a waterfall through the terrestrial area.

One of these days I'll get around to trying this. I have all the parts...
 

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Do you plan to glue pieces of glass to create a second tier? I think it'll be really heavy and will need support beams if you plan to add soil and plants. I also think it'll be hard to find plants that are short enough to fit once you add a few inches of soil.

I think an easier and attractive idea is to use driftwood that sticks above the water surface and maybe to create glass planter "boxes" in the corners and along part of the back with glass that is glued to the bottom and sides.

A lot of people turn 55 gallons into paladariums without building a second level. I've also seen people use those plastic shower caddies to house plants with their roots submerged in the water.

What are you planning to keep in the tank?

Check out SerpaDesign on YouTube for ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've had similar ideas, though I've not tried it yet. The issue would be filtration. I use canister filters and that won't work here. An internal filter would but that would also further limit the aquatic area as well as look (imo) ugly. I was also thinking - in the space under the terrestrial area - building an internal setup to filter like I have in my all-in-one cube and use a small return pump to make a waterfall through the terrestrial area.

One of these days I'll get around to trying this. I have all the parts...
Apparently its been an idea for quite a few people lol which is really awesome.

Do you plan to glue pieces of glass to create a second tier? I think it'll be really heavy and will need support beams if you plan to add soil and plants. I also think it'll be hard to find plants that are short enough to fit once you add a few inches of soil.

I think an easier and attractive idea is to use driftwood that sticks above the water surface and maybe to create glass planter "boxes" in the corners and along part of the back with glass that is glued to the bottom and sides.

A lot of people turn 55 gallons into paladariums without building a second level. I've also seen people use those plastic shower caddies to house plants with their roots submerged in the water.

What are you planning to keep in the tank?

Check out SerpaDesign on YouTube for ideas.
I wasn't planning on actual glass due to the weight. We were looking into the lightest material that will be safe to use in the Aquarium.
It will definitely have supports to help hold the weight.
You arent the first person to suggest the boxes and I will definitely run those by my husband when we get back to brainstorming.
For plants we were thinking along the lines of mosses, air plants, button ferns, baby tears and possibly mini english ivy & nerve plants.
This is going to temporarily be my live bearer tank until the pond is set up later in the spring. After in which it'll house a few dwarf crawfish and a few male livebearers (which I completely understand may become crawfish food) both of which I find fascinating and can watch for hours.
 
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