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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I found this 89 gallon, custom built tank on craigslist for $150. Couldn't pass up the chance to give it a go. It has been challenging due to being viewable from three sides. It holds a total of 110 gallons, but the fish actually have 89 gallons to swim in. The rest of the water is flowing through the built in box containing a D.A.S. H39 filter.
The dimensions of the entire tank are 48" x 22" x 50", but the part of the tank that houses the fish is 39" x 22" x 24".
I got a huge piece of bogwood for the tank that adds some fun with open swimming spaces through the wood. I chose to use sand substrate and collected some river rocks. Have not been able to decide if I want to use plants in this tank or not. It has been difficult to find a look I am happy with on all three sides.
For the moment I have some Java Fern resting in the crevices of the bogwood. It doesn't look right to me though. I tried some floating plants too, but even they don't sit right. Here I have included pictures of the stages...hasn't had a lot of changes so far.
I had another thread about fish stocking in this tank, but decided to start a more appropriate Tank Journal Thread here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
More pictures of the changes to the scape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
With Plants...hmmm....

I really don't know if I like the plants or not.

Anyway,
I added 30-40% water from my existing tank, hooked up a HOB and a Magnum Canister Filter from an existing tank as well as added sand filled with beneficial bacteria, squeezed some bio-sponges from my existing tank into the DAS filter when I first started running the tank to quick start the cycle. Worked perfectly :) Now it is housing a mated pair of Angels, a pair of Golden Wonder Killifish and 3 Zebra Loaches. These fish will remain in this tank for awhile, but I do plan to have Geophagus Red Heads in this tank down the road.
 

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With the plants, I'd vote for moving all your tall plants to center/ far left (against the non-viewing short end), fill in with a few medium plants as you move out towards the corners and into the driftwood area, then find a few smaller accent plants to tuck in around the edges and far right of the driftwood and rocks--essentially creating a deeply planted bed that the rocks and driftwood "grow" out of with just a few small plants tucked in along the shelter of the wood and rocks as you move out onto an open sand bank.

That'd allow you a nice rich bed of plants, leave the wood open so you can see the details of the openings in it and a big lovely negative area of open sand. I wouldn't try to plant or place anything in the far right corners (along the short viewing edge).
 

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The hardscape is nice. In addition to the advice given by Knotyoureality, I would plant everything in the back against the black. This is coming from a frontal view perspective. The sword plant you have is a heavy rooting plant, so you would need some sort of plant substrate and I would use it as the center plant in the back.

How? I would move some of that sand forward and use some rocks as a barrier to create a pocket area for soil or plant substrate about maybe 3-4 inches deep.

Something similar to this..
http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2013/Medium/2590.jpg
But not entirely the same, you can play with it. You're going to be looking at it everyday, so design a scape that is pleasing to your eye.

Thanks for sharing this with us!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for your input. :) Sounds very nice. I will play around with it and see what I can do. I do plan to have 5 Geophagus in the tank so they will appreciate the sand so I will need to leave plenty open sand for them, with minimal plants. I really like to sound of tapering the plants from the non-viewing side to the wood.
What types of plants do you suggest? I will not be using heavy ferts or Co2 and will keep the lighting medium-low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The hardscape is nice. In addition to the advice given by Knotyoureality, I would plant everything in the back against the black. This is coming from a frontal view perspective. The sword plant you have is a heavy rooting plant, so you would need some sort of plant substrate and I would use it as the center plant in the back.

How? I would move some of that sand forward and use some rocks as a barrier to create a pocket area for soil or plant substrate about maybe 3-4 inches deep.

Something similar to this..
http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2013/Medium/2590.jpg
But not entirely the same, you can play with it. You're going to be looking at it everyday, so design a scape that is pleasing to your eye.

Thanks for sharing this with us!
I opened the link you shared, but am only seeing a thumbnail in the upper left hand corner of my screen. Tried clicking the thumbnail, but nothing. Could you try again? I would very much like to see it.
Thank you ;)
 

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I really love that tank! I do have a question though, is the hob just temp? Didn't you say you had a filter in the enclosed section because the hob kind of takes away from the tank a little.

Also, I second the ferm in the front going to the back. It may look weird now with the bog wood being taller and "Hiding" your plants but they will grow and soon fill up the back.
 

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Even in lower light, Rotala Macrandra would be a good stemmed plant that grows fairly fast and would be colorful along the back. It would help with algae also because of it's growth speed.
I might think about placing a small amount of mini Pellia on the very front tip of part of the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, the HOB is only temporary. After a couple good solid months running, I will remove the HOB. After another month I will remove the canister too and only be running the DAS H39. Just helping the built in filter get "seasoned" fully. :wink: It sure looks bogged down with filters right now ha ha! The canister is in a bucket outside the tank on the dining room side. Quite the eye sore. But worth it for my fish.

I will be placing the Amazon Sword into a "aerated baggy" with plenty of holes that will contain eco complete. The bag will keep the Sword happy while not having me worry about the Geophagus uprooting it once they are in the tank. I will use rocks to keep the bag from view. This is a trick a friend has been having great success with so I figured it was worth a shot in my tank.

I have moved some Java Fern back off the top of the wood. I like it better; I think. :confused1: You will notice wood and some floating plants at the waters surface. Don't mind them. The wood will sink eventually and it is holding the plants back from the HOB which has sucked them up a few times.
Anyway, here updated pictures.
 

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I'm sorry, I didn't realize the link didn't work. Here take a look at these...

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/custom/images/large/4d524152520f6.jpg

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5172/5434975832_537889f0f9.jpg

The 1st pic would be visualized as a frontal view and the 2nd pic could be either side. Just to give you an idea. Creating the pocket with the stones gives you the option of filling it with plant substrate.

To be able to make it look natural and visualize how the plants would grow in is another way to look at it too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Even in lower light, Rotala Macrandra would be a good stemmed plant that grows fairly fast and would be colorful along the back. It would help with algae also because of it's growth speed.
I might think about placing a small amount of mini Pellia on the very front tip of part of the wood.
Wow the mini pellia is beautiful! I may just have to try that ;) Would the Rotala Macranda need higher light to produce the red leaves? It is a very nice plant. I have some in my other tank; just added it a couple days ago so not sure how it's going to do as of yet.

Bump:
I'm sorry, I didn't realize the link didn't work. Here take a look at these...

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/custom/images/large/4d524152520f6.jpg

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5172/5434975832_537889f0f9.jpg

The 1st pic would be visualized as a frontal view and the 2nd pic could be either side. Just to give you an idea. Creating the pocket with the stones gives you the option of filling it with plant substrate.

To be able to make it look natural and visualize how the plants would grow in is another way to look at it too.
Oh no apology necessary. Appreciate the links. Thanks! I really like the look of the plants growing up through the driftwood branches surrounded by rocks. Very neat looking. I actually was going to go with "branches" on 2 corners, diagonal from each other the length of the tank and do just what I see in the links you shared. Then I found this awesome piece of wood and went with it instead. I tell ya though, it has made it difficult to scape because the tank is only 39" long. If only I had all 48" of it to work with.

I will toy around with the rock barrier tomorrow and see if I can get a "natural look" that I am happy with.
 

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How tall is the tank which the Rotala is in now ?
I asked becase it gets more ed the closer to the top it is.
I had some Indica and it was just green till it made it completely to the top. Then the tips turned pink.
It does like higher light, but it will have that after a couple of the stems reach the top or close to it. Just might not get that wild red
seen on those in tanks/w high light/injected CO2.
I just got a few stems of it that someone gave me which are very badly
taken care of. Just a couple of leaves at the top of each stem.
But after 4 days in there the very top leaves look good now.
Don't actually expect these to get red till they are in good enough shape from the tops growing up for the stems to start a new sprout and that new sprout gets up to the top. Then I can cut off the original stem.
These are in a 10G/w one T8 bulb. But after they reach the top that bulb will be like 1.5 inches away from it if that.
Someone on here is selling mini Pellia right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How tall is the tank which the Rotala is in now ?
I asked becase it gets more ed the closer to the top it is.
I had some Indica and it was just green till it made it completely to the top. Then the tips turned pink.
It does like higher light, but it will have that after a couple of the stems reach the top or close to it. Just might not get that wild red
seen on those in tanks/w high light/injected CO2.
I just got a few stems of it that someone gave me which are very badly
taken care of. Just a couple of leaves at the top of each stem.
But after 4 days in there the very top leaves look good now.
Don't actually expect these to get red till they are in good enough shape from the tops growing up for the stems to start a new sprout and that new sprout gets up to the top. Then I can cut off the original stem.
These are in a 10G/w one T8 bulb. But after they reach the top that bulb will be like 1.5 inches away from it if that.
Someone on here is selling mini Pellia right now.
Both of my tanks are 24" tall. My Lugwigia has pink to red leaves in that tank, so perhaps I have high enough lighting to keep the Rotala in some color. The tank has 5 strips of LED's. The 89 gallon (the tank in this thread) has two T12 bulbs. Not much light. I will be changing them out for something else eventually. Not sure what lighting I will end up using for the tank yet.
Thank you ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, I am not finished with this setup yet, but added some pictures to show where it stands right now. I've had a 20 gallon running for awhile with only Anubias attached to driftwood and nothing else in the tank. Took all of them out and added them to this tank.
Will be spreading the rocks out more. The plants will be moved around several times before I make a decision, I am sure. Thought I'd give them a shot since I already have them, before buying more plants.
The fish are loving all the new wood and plants. Especially the Zebra Loaches. Having a ball swimming all in and around the new stuff ;) Too cute.

The Golden Wonder Killifish bred yesterday and today. The Angels have been cleaning a spot quite meticulously, so i imagine they too will be breeding here soon. Glad my fish approve of their home. :hihi:

Still have the HOB at the front end of the tank. It will be removed, so that eye sore will not be an issue after another couple weeks or so. Everything is still running excellent so I will be turning the HOB off soon just to be sure the tank doesn't need it anymore. The flow is a bit turbulent at the top, but meanders from the driftwood breaking it. Keeps the flow "off" the Angels.
 

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