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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Starting up keeping aquariums again, this time as a hobby with my 5 year old twins.

We are reviving an old 55H reef tank i had set up 15 years ago as a planted tank with a lost fairytale kingdom theme.
I have done a large low tech planted tank before in addition to my marine tank, so this will be the best of both worlds, my better tank and favorite type.

A lot has changed in the hobby aquarium world in the last 15 years, so i have a lot of catching up to do as i unpack everything and geek out on all the new tech. I have been reading this forums and many other sites for a few weeks now and sort out the set up.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hardware:

I am reusing a 55H tank i used to have set up for a coral reef tank.
it is the TruVu 55H it has a nice matching black acrylic stand (with sump) and hood.


It has a built in TruFlo Wet/Dry sump I will figure out how to utilized to my best advantage. its a bit smaller but otherwise the same as their current TruFlo Series 180 model.
I also have a nice protein skimmer, but from what I'm reading i don't need it for freshwater.



I have a nice 120v 1.45Amp 174 Watt ballast that was powering 2 lamps, but i think I'm wanting to LED this time around. i also really want a sunrise, sunset effect, so I'll be reading more on that.

I'm also researching CO2 systems, that is the big deference that i would like to do for this tank compared to my last one.

more to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A lost fairytale kingdom huh? Hoping to see a castle and maybe even some figurines. I'm sure it will be fun! :)
yeah we have a friend sculpting a large castle that looks like it is carved straight out of the rock cliff that will be going all the way up one corner of the tank (covering the overflow as a nice side effect), in the far corner down below we are going to do "The Dark Woods" and have a spooky dark haunted cave, i keep thinking very "temple of doom" or Ta Prohm Temple

i have 5 year old twins that are almost as excited as me and have been helping me draw out the plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so we have decided to go with a 3D print, we found a amazing castle we could not live without. So I'm modifying the file it to be more hollow and swim thru able and crumbling and also to be coming-out of back wall and around the overflow box.

i think in the tank it will end up surrounded with what will look like either slate or basalt cliffs, so it will look like it has been carved and built out of the cliff face.


fun fun, the scale it sets for the tank is a little challenging, but it is pretty awesome in this 24" tall tank
 

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WOAH! Whole lot cooler than what I was expecting. When you said doing fairytale kingdom tank with your 5 year old twins I was expecting to see some kid's toys! haha

You can get dwarf/nano sized fish and plants to make the tank look more to scale with the castle to make the tank look larger than it really is.
Just a thought though, I know tiny fish aren't the most appealing, especially from afar.
However, the mention of the castle having "printed/carved/etched out" tunnels/hallways should definitely be put to use!

Let us know your plans/thoughts and maybe we can offer some suggestions.
Planning high tech with co2 and strong lighting or low tech?
There is quite a good selection of small leaved plants being offered in the For Sale section by members of this forum. I definitely recommend getting plants from here, so many rare selections and good prices.
Any must haves in way of fish?

Can envision maybe Kuhli loaches slithering all over the castle and through the "forest" of plants. Maybe even shrimp crawling all over.

Can't wait to see this tank come together! :)
I will definitely follow along with this thread!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yeah even my kids don't really do "kid stuff" that much, they have real tools and we are by far a family of makers.

i actually adore large schools of very tiny fish, my last (and only) planned tank was a 55L and often had a school of nearly 50 cardinal tetras in it as the main fauna attraction. i loved how the more you got of them they tighter they tend to school.
i also tend to avoid any fish that would normally have a bigger habitat than the tank size, as a life long scuba diver that has always felt a bit sad to see them pace around. So small fish and invertebrates are my favorite by far.

on the other side of the tank is going to be a dark forest region with a spooky cave, I am looking for some eels or similar shaped fish be the dragon/serpent to live there hopefully.


yes i will work really hard on scale plants, i have another thread going to start collecting info on those.
i think I'm going to take the plunge and sow a HC carpet, a carpet is frankly my bigest goal and reason to do a high tech tank

I am going high tech with CO2 and a 24/7 style high light LED bar. the tank has a great wet/dry sump, so i can hide a lot of the workings down there

Bump: taking suggestion on the best ways to build a evergreen style forest.
from what I'm reading, bonsai style drtiftwood and christmas fern seem to be the main way to go, but i would love to hear other ways too.
 
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