The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 20 of 53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Time for another build journal.

Plans are high tech planted. Fish, maybe shrimp.

I have some ideas for a hardscape and inspirational pics.

Tank is ordered thanks to the Black Friday sale over at Marine Depot. Decided to grab a AquaMaxx Tall Cuboid Low-Iron Rimless Aquarium - 32.1 Gallon tank for the seemingly decent price of $165 with free shipping. Tank has great dimensions at 24x18x18 (23.7" x 17.8" x 17.8" actual).

Equipment plans are not in stone and I'm certainly open to suggestions....

Filter: Eheim 2217
Lights: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 SE
CO2: AQUATEK CO2 Regulator Mini maybe. I do have a 5# tank that needs hydrotested. Not sure I want to spend the money right now for a bigger more expensive regulator setup unless I can find a good deal on something used.

Fauna: TBD

Flora: TBD

Hardscape: lots of rock stacked on both sides with a valley in between.

Inspirational pics that I want to semi-emulate with this tank build:



or something like this but also mirrored on the other side of the tank



Of course thoughts and suggestions are welcome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Tank arrived yesterday. Very well packed. Didn't think to take any pics. I knew the dimensions but it still seems like a lot larger tank than I had imagined in my head...which is fine with more. More room for scaping and fish.

Still trying to decide on stocking. Lots of time...so this is one of the fun things and the most frustrating too. So many options. Lots of little fish? Some little, few medium? Some type of really nice show fish? Shrimp? Something common, something exotic? Possibilities are too many...lol

Right now I'm thinking a medium sized school of smaller tetra/barb/rasboras...maybe a combo of two different fish. The add in maybe a small group or just a pair of something like some dwarf Gourami or dwarf Cichlids. Who knows. I'd love to get some cories too if I'm able to fit them in. Definitely open to ideas and suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Sucked it up and ordered some Manzanita wood. It pained me to spend $50+ on some dead sticks...but with nothing locally available and not wanting to go out and hunt for wood...that was my only option. So...that should be here in a week or so.

Also nailed down and order the light. Going to give the sbreef sbox FW a try. Highly recommended and should be way more light than I'll need on this tank but it is adjustable...so I'll have the ability to grow pretty much anything.

Also decided on a filter, not ordered yet, but going with the Eheim 2215 Classic. I'll be doing inline CO2 as well as inline heat. So...I need to find out how much adding those will slow flow and decide if the 2215 is still the best option or if I should bump up to the 2217. Thoughts?

Tank design is next. Probably grab supplies to start on that project in the next week or so. Planning on a simple 2x3 frame skinned in birch ply, stained, simple time and door. It'll be a little larger than the tank to fill the wall space a little better and give plenty of under tank storage room and maybe room for some terrestrial plants next to the tank as well. Who knows. But I'll be building it roughly 32" wide and 20" deep. Tank is 24" x 18". I'd LOVE to be able to score a nice granite top...even thought about maybe making a concrete top. Something really nice and solid and flat.

Stocking still way up in the air. Bouncing back and forth between various options...no idea at this point what's going in the tank. Still plenty of time to figure that out with a minimum of 2 months before tank will be ready. Probably more like 3 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,229 Posts
I have a 2215 on my 75 gallon and it's pretty much useless other than as a filter for the reactor. I added an AC110 and a big dual circulation pump. With a reactor and an inline heater I would go no smaller than a 2217 if you want it to actually filter and have some flow.
If it were me.... I would do a big group or two of small active shoaling / schooling fish... I love Celebes and Gertrude Rainbows. I saw Blue Emperor Tetras for the first time today and they are amazing... I've got a school of Rummynose which are also awesome. You would have room for a group of Corys for sure I would think. I would do 8 of some of the smaller ones.. pandas or maybe 6 of the bigger ones like Juli or Sterbai. I really like heavily stocked tanks... and I can't stick to a plan... there are just too many awesome fish and some fish I just have not had luck with... like Neons and Cardinals... but they are really pretty. I hear green Neons group better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I can't stick to a plan... there are just too many awesome fish and some fish I just have not had luck with... like Neons and Cardinals... but they are really pretty. I hear green Neons group better.
That's my problem. I think I have a plan and I see some new fish on a youtube video or something. But yeah...what I do know is I want to school of small fish. Maybe two types that contrast. Then cories are definitely something I do want. Probably try to get a group of 6-10 oto. And perhaps a couple slightly larger center piece fish...was thinking gourami but then though possibly a male betta or female sorority. Not sure how bettas would do in a high tech type community tank...something I need to research. But the gourami I think would work well. Maybe even a pair of peaceful cichlids. Who knows. Too many options.

Thanks for the input on the filter. I was concerned that the 2215 would be under powered with the inline diffuser and heater.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,229 Posts
If you go with warmer water fish like cardinals and Sterbai Corys you could do electric blue rams... they look amazing. Very attention grabbing. I have cooler water fish other than the group of cardinals so I couldn't do them. I will eventually. That crazy bright electric blue color with bright red eyes. I spent 30 minutes staring at them today trying to figure out where I could keep them if I rearranged my tanks. Just couldn't do it. All of my tanks are moderately to heavily stocked. The moderately stocked ones aren't fully stocked yet. I visit the LFS weekly or biweekly getting my stocking where I want it. Fortunately my LFS is top notch and will get me pretty much anything I want at very good prices. They focus on the more rare species. They keep the main stays like cardinals, Neons, and Rummynose, but also alot of the plant friendly dwarf cichlids, Rainbows of all types, CPD's, loaches, lots of cool stuff. New stuff each week. Have you checked out panda garra and panda loaches? Really cool really good algae eaters with really cool personality and interactions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Not much to report. Ordered a light and some Manzanita wood. Still waiting for both to arrive. Going out this week rock hunting if it's not too cold out. Working on a plan for the stand. Thinking of doing partially exposed 4x4's stained a light color with birch plywood panels in between each upright stained or painted dark. I'm going to make a concrete top with holes molded in to allow tubing and wires to pass through. Here's a really elementary diagram of the stand looking top down...

Black = 4x4
Red = 2x4
Green = screws
Blue = pocket for plywood to sit in
Purple = plywood, probably 1/2 for a little adding strength to help prevent racking. Don't need thicker since the ply won't be structural considering the main frame is made of 4x4's

Plan to make the stand 30" wide and 20" deep, 32" tall. That will give enough space to allow for the holes in the top so tubing can pass through and it will fit the space I'm putting the tank a little better. And more space underneath for canister filter and CO2 tank.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Another piece of the puzzle has been ordered. Grabbed a MATHESON 3121 dual stage regulator...just the reg so it needs build into a usable piece of equipment. Plan as of now is to build it up with a Clippard Mouse solenoid and Ideal Valve 52-1-12 needle valve. Should be a solid setup that will last a very long time.

Still waiting on the light...after being told it was in stock and ready to ship from FL I find out it's not and had to be built and shipped from Hong Kong...so eff you sbreef lights for the very long delay. I bought plants with the understanding I'd have the light in days...not weeks. So yeah...my bad for jumping the gun but sbreef kinda screwed me too. But...light is on the way so maybe next week and with luck all the plants won't be dead.

Wood...still in transit as well. Coming from CA. I swear I've order schiit from China and got my packages quicker than some (many) of the US vendors...I'm almost certain some of them pay extra for super slow shipping. 13 days since I ordered the wood and it was WYSIWYG so it should have been there and ready to ship...not like the guy had to hump 10 miles into the back country and find some sticks laying on the ground to bring back, throw in a box and ship to me. I won't call them out but to say I'm less than impressed is an understatement. Saving grace will be if the wood is nicer in person than it was in the pic...if I ever get it that is.

So yeah...still not much going on...just a little rant session and update that I did order a regulator. Just need to order the build parts and go from there.

Still thinking about substrate. I really am shying away from one of the soil based buffering/plant substrates. I know they are best for plants...but I'm afraid of having to deal with the possible issues when the buffering runs out. Or when the substrate starts to break down. Both of which are going to happen...just how long will it take and am I going to want to deal with a tank tear down when it happens? That's the question. If it takes 18-24 months...ok...may...just maybe I'd be into doing a rescape and replenish the substrate at that point. My concern is that it will crap out much sooner. Now might not be as big a deal with plants and just fish but I was also considering shrimp in the tank as well. And if I go cardinia I need the buffering to keep the pH lower and stable. If I go neo then I need higher pH and no buffering which would push me away from the plant soils. But...shrimp aren't the main focus so I probably shouldn't base my overall plans around them...it's just one of those in the back of my mind thoughts as I'm sifting through the substrate options.

Fish list...still up in the air with that as well.

I do think I have me tank inspiration nailed down...so there's that at least...I'll be trying to do my own version of something like this....

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,229 Posts
Good choice on the regulator set up. Do it once, do it right, and never worry about it again. I paid to have mine built exactly how I wanted by someone that's built a bunch of them.
That sucks about the shipping... Ive been there... Things should ship out the next business day or AT WORST the following day. I had an IPhone 8 plus that I waited on for 16 days... finally I called and asked what's up and it was lost. They told my wife she had to wait 30 days for the investigation... I called back and said no I don't. I don't care where it is. I don't want it. Cancel it. You should have shipped it overnight or at least Priority. $1000 phone!! Ended up with $100 in bill credits and picked one up locally at a store a few hours later. I can tell you most people on here are top notch with shipping and packages. I planned on getting some huge pieces of driftwood for my 265 from the same person... but not if you don't have it 13 days later.
I personally don't think that those buffered substrates are all that important unless you have super soft water fish or shrimps. Pool filter sand and black sand (I get it from Petco) have grown everything I have every wanted. I will drop an osmocote tab under root feeders. With a quality C02 system and dry ferts you aren't going to have any problems.
This is going to be a killer set up. All first rate stuff. If you have any more plant purchases I can tell you that Herns and Burr are first rate guys... Strungout... and another guy that sells Buces 5 for like $35... they are usually my go to. I'm sure there are many others, but I check with them first if I want something.
Totally up in the air about fish or are you narrowing it down any?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Awesome plan. Just use another light or desk lamp you have lying around the house for plant light. I have experineced myself and read a bubch of articles about shipping being really slow this year. I think the cariers got more packages than they had expected.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Awesome plan. Just use another light or desk lamp you have lying around the house for plant light. I have experineced myself and read a bubch of articles about shipping being really slow this year. I think the cariers got more packages than they had expected.
[RANT] That's what I'm going. Some are under a clip on LED floating in my shrimp tank...shrimp love all those extra plants...haha...and the rest are in my still cycling shrimp tank upgrade but with just a lousy clip on and weak LED bulb. Some of the plants are losing leaves now so not sure how they are going to fare. And I can't even blame shipping on the carrier services in this case. The light wasn't in stock like I was told when I ordered it. I was told it was in stock in the FL warehouse and in stock orders go out same day or next day. Out of stock stuff is built and shipped from China...which I don't care about but tell me that so I can plan accordingly. That's my gripe. But...in the end it'll work out I suppose.

The wood though...I ordered that on the 2nd and it didn't even ship for 4 days and then the seller payed the extra for ultra slow shipping...so 14 days from time of order to get a box of sticks...IF I even get it tomorrow like the expected arrival dates says on tracking which absolutely sucks...no update in 4 days and any updates there have been just say enroute to Romney. Enroute to Romney. Enroute to Romney. But no current location of the box. [/RANT]

Bump:
Good choice on the regulator set up. Do it once, do it right, and never worry about it again. I paid to have mine built exactly how I wanted by someone that's built a bunch of them.
That sucks about the shipping... Ive been there... Things should ship out the next business day or AT WORST the following day. I had an IPhone 8 plus that I waited on for 16 days... finally I called and asked what's up and it was lost. They told my wife she had to wait 30 days for the investigation... I called back and said no I don't. I don't care where it is. I don't want it. Cancel it. You should have shipped it overnight or at least Priority. $1000 phone!! Ended up with $100 in bill credits and picked one up locally at a store a few hours later. I can tell you most people on here are top notch with shipping and packages. I planned on getting some huge pieces of driftwood for my 265 from the same person... but not if you don't have it 13 days later.
I personally don't think that those buffered substrates are all that important unless you have super soft water fish or shrimps. Pool filter sand and black sand (I get it from Petco) have grown everything I have every wanted. I will drop an osmocote tab under root feeders. With a quality C02 system and dry ferts you aren't going to have any problems.
This is going to be a killer set up. All first rate stuff. If you have any more plant purchases I can tell you that Herns and Burr are first rate guys... Strungout... and another guy that sells Buces 5 for like $35... they are usually my go to. I'm sure there are many others, but I check with them first if I want something.
Totally up in the air about fish or are you narrowing it down any?
That sucks. Communication. That's key. I can be quite patient and understand (and the opposite too at times) so just keep people up to date with what's going on. That can save a lot of grief.

Anyways....yeah....I was pretty set up using Eco-Complete and a larger grain sand. Eco in the main growing area and sand out in the open area. Then I started thinking about the buffering substrate so I could maybe keep some cardinia shrimp....but for reasons I posted above....I probably won't end up doing that. I just don't want to deal with depleted substrate. I can handle it as far as nutrients...but I think the buffering depleting will end up being an issue. Maybe not. But maybe. At least for keeping shrimp it probably would be. I'd think that fish and plants could adjust and I'd just have to start mixing my RO to have KH as well as GH but then my pH raises and all that...I'd rather just forgo having to deal with swinging parameters over time and just maintain a healthy stable tank even if it means no cardinia shrimp. But I'm fine with neos if I risk doing shrimp at all.

Fish...yup...still up in the air. Schoolers, cories, otos, centerpiece...that's as far as I've gotten...lol...but nothing more specific than that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
16 days later and the wood is here. Kinda disappointed too. I guess I was expecting a bit more to the main piece. I know the dimensions when I ordered...I guess perspective of the photo made the piece look like it had a bit more substance when in reality all I get was a twig that if laying in my yard...I probably wouldn't even pick it up when mowing the grass...I'd just run it over...that's how underwhelming this piece of wood actually is. I mean shape is great. But for $25...I was just expecting more. Then the nano pieces...well...they're nano. So for $52 shipped...I'm not a happy customer. Or maybe I did get what I paid for. Never ordered anything like this before so perhaps this is exactly what I should have expected. I just know that I probably will never order hardscape again without a lot more photos and with items in the photo to put things into perspective. Heck...even my photo makes it look larger than it is...it's definitely a lot more spindly than it looks in this pic. The base of the main branch is small around than my thumb so it's pretty skinny.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Contact your granite kitchen top people and give your dimensions. They are constantly breaking slabs so they will think of you when they have a crack up. Light from China....good luck..this sounds like a delay of weeks....you will have that granite by then.
What is that twig going to do? Stick that in a bird cage and get yourself a log that those shrimp can be proud of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Light will be here tomorrow actually. I thought about contacting a granite place just to see. Concrete will be cheaper for sure and easy to mold in holes for cords and tubing. But I've never done anything like that so it'll could be interesting. I know that granite runs about $25-$35 a square foot and I need about 4 feet plus holes so that's $100+ just for a top unless I can get remnants for cheaper or some of the less expensive quartz. I'll call about it before deciding. Might be surprised. But I also thought maybe double up some 3/4" ply and trim it with nice trim...maybe sink the ply 1/8" below the trim and then pour some epoxy on to the top for a durable water proof base.

And the twig...yeah...still a little salty about that. I'm using that S.O.B. since I paid for it. But I'd like to find something nicer as well to add to it. Or use the twig in my 11g tank and find a nice piece for the 32g. But I won't order again. I'll have to find something local-ish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,229 Posts
Ya you will need at least 2 more similar size pieces to make anything out of that. Oh well... If that's the worst that happens you're doing pretty good!! Sick looking regulator.

As to the top... could look really good either way... but you wouldn't see the nice finish of the granite. Concrete can look REALLY good if you know what you're doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Still waiting on the light. Was supposed to be here today according to tracking but when DHL gets involved...all bets are off. I wanted to use it over my 11g I scaped today to upgrade the 7g I have shrimp in now...then on Christmas I'm supposed to get a Finnex 24/7 for the 11g and the sbreef will get put away to wait for the 32g setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,229 Posts
Still waiting on the light. Was supposed to be here today according to tracking but when DHL gets involved...all bets are off. I wanted to use it over my 11g I scaped today to upgrade the 7g I have shrimp in now...then on Christmas I'm supposed to get a Finnex 24/7 for the 11g and the sbreef will get put away to wait for the 32g setup.
DHL is awful... I find myself calling Amazon or sellers and asking specifically about shipping methods now. It it's something I want / need I will pretty much demand Priority. What's funny is it's normally less than $1 more... DHL and UPS are atrocious.. I can't count the number of times they have lost things... like my IPhone 8 plus just a couple months ago..
I would call the seller to be sure, but if it were me I'd buy another and send that back when / if it ever arrives. Or refuse it. You were told it would ship right out... 2 - 3 days... that's not an acceptable practice. They should have contacted you if it was an honest mistake. I only expect that people do the minimum... but most don't do that. I'm very discerning about who gets my business / money now. When I was buying 30k cars no one really cared... 100k cars and some of the other expensive stuff I can afford now... I will take my business elsewhere if I see or hear of shady crap like that. I had to take my Z06 in for service the other day (months ago) so I took it to the dealership I have purchased 10+ vehicle from. Their new service manager treated me like a moron... like I was beneath him... it was unreal... the manager called me 3 days later to inquire about the new ZL1 I was considering so my wife could have the Z06 full time. I was very satisfied in telling him I'd take my 85k purchase to another dealer and would not return for any reason due to their obvious values in placing someone like that in charge of service. I did check out a new Hellcat Saturday and I think I'm going to pick it up when we get back from Christmas vacation. They introduced me to everyone in the dealership from the owner, to the GM, to the Head Service Manager.. They even took the car out of the showroom so I could hear it. No test drives on 707hp cars... even when you pull up in a faster more expensive 650hp car I guess.
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
Top