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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My wife got me a 30gallon tank back in November of 06' which was nice but we soon both agreed that we wanted a bigger tank as the center piece in our living room. After seeing post after post about aquatic plants i quickly fell in love with the idea of a planted tank. So we set off to acquire and build our first planted tank. So here is a picture tour of our journey!

Specs:
60gal. clear for life glass tank
4x65w coralife fixture
eheim 2026 filtration
titanium heater
DIY CO2
DIY Canopy

Here is ground zero, with eco-complete (75lbs), about 40lbs of gravel, and water already filled and ready to go. We had the tank running for about a week before we got all the plants we would need and the drift wood(11lbs) and rock(30lbs).



Our next task was to design a hood for the light fixture and to tie it all together. After two hours and 30 cuts later the home depot guy didn’t like us much :), but we had our pieces! As you can see my lovely assistant is doing all the grunt work while i take pictures:icon_cool



Next step was to pick out a stain that would match our tank stand. This was completed around 2am the same day we purchased the wood. :sleep:



Here is a picture of the finished hood mounted on top of the tank. As you can see there are some items in the tank, we gutted it out later and took a picture to try and make it look like we started from scratch :proud:



Here are some early shots of the possible layouts. We had a really hard time trying to decide how much wood to use, where to put it, and if and where the rock should be.





With the layout in mind we unwrapped all of the plants we had gotten.
Note: This is about 1/2 of what we got some where already in the tank at this point. We also soaked and cleaned the rock and wood.







Here are the pictures of the finished layout and plant design.





Here are a few pictures of the inhabitants.





Here is a shot of my dual 2-liter co2 setup with little bubble counter. The output from the bubble counter is running into the input on my eheim 2026, which does a fantastic job of diffusing the co2 into the water. Only draw back are the millions of tiny bubbles that shoot out of the output constantly.



More pictures will be posted once the plants start growing.
We have added a few additions, some extra java fern to the right side rock and some HC along the bottom.
 

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Did you put a gravel over the eco complete? if no, then that's not eco complete.
tank loks good none the less.
 

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What type of rock are you using. That is really neat looking. Does it affect your water chemistry at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
sorry i updated it, its about 40lbs of gravel, they called it River mix or something like that and then i added pure white as well.
 

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nice set up :). Your first attempt is on the way to be a great attempt. Only suggestion i have is to break up that clump of dwarf hair grass on the left to smaller clumps. It will spread faster and help prevent algae during the "bloom" phase building up in between in the leafs.
Great work though!
 

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looks nice. i would have stuck with the 75lbs. eco only, but that is just me. nice rocks

but, erm rams in the tank while cycling? call me a cynic, but that sounds like a recipe for death....
 

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Looks like a good start!

I agree with macclellan, eco only and dwarfs(not sure if they are rams) later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well it has been cycling for a few weeks now, and we started it out with a ton of good bacteria in my eheim from the tank they originated from. Plus i purchased a test kit and check it every week and the ppm are 0 on most and neutral on the ph.

I was going to leave it eco only but we had the extra gravel laying around and the guys at the fish store said its better to cover it :icon_conf
 

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The guy at the lfs was mistaken
 

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Ditto, I find it a pain when you have to move things around or uproot plants and the gravel mixes with the eco.
 

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Good job on the canopy. Are you putting a top on it? Consider pulling the gravel, I think the rocks and plants will look better. Vista is a beautiful place, I lived there while stationed at Camp Pendleton 15 years ago......DC
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ya we sure love it here, i actually have lived here since i was 4 :)

I think you may be right about the gravel, the only issue is the gravel vac sucks up the eco, its to light.

We actually have a top on it but I didn’t take pictures with it on.

It’s a matching wood; we actually modified the shelving used for the stand to fit the top of the hood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
its a mixture of pellia (which is hard to see and on the face of the wood), the thin shoots are riccia, and the main stuff on the left side i believe is singapore moss.
 

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One thing I've learnt time and time again, the hard way, every time, because I'm stubborn like an ox.... is that you NEED to have some fast growers in there when you first start the tank. It doesn't matter if you don't want to leave them in there down the road, just put some valls, wisteria, cabomba, etc in the far corner or something until the other plants/mosses start to set in, otherwise you're going to have an algae disaster. I'm great at algae disasters. ;P

Should turn out nice in a few months :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
i was wondering why everthing is taking so long to take, its been two weeks with no noticable growth.
 
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