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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! This is my first post, so sorry if I post this in the wrong place! I figured this seemed the most appropriate place. Also I hope to do a build page too but that will come later. Anyway let's get on with it!

I purchased today an interestingly sized tank off craigslist. It is 9" tall x 5" deep (front to back) x 48" wide. And that measures up to about ten gallons.

I am planning on building a river manifold design, with a kind of sump-ish filter built into the left side with a few baffles and sponges and media, and then the water will be pumped through a pipe along the bottom to the opposite end.

Stock planned so far:

-Hill stream/butterfly loaches
-green lace filter shrimp
-any other kind of cool filter feeder
-otos probably
-blue eyes fork tail rainbows? (May not be able to handle the current I am wanting)

-as many plants that can take the current
-Anubis?
-jungle val?
-sword plants? (Small ones like Micro sword)
-suggestions

So basically I am posting this because I am looking for advice on... Everything haha. I want to have a very fast moving and stream with rocks and things forming interesting waves and currents along the way. A big thing in unsure of is the gph turnover rate something like this would require, as I'm sure there is some kind of happy medium between boring slow stream and menacing river rapid sucking all the fish and inverts and plants through the filter lol. Anyway this post feels like it's getting pretty long so I'll just list some of my questions and be done with it lol

-what gph turnover should this kind of tank have?
- interesting stock and plant suggestions?
- lighting such a long and also very thin and short tank
- possibly an algae scrubber in the filter to combat algae from high light levels?
- anyone with experience in river/stream tanks with suggestion/advice welcome

Thanks so much for the help I hope to get many new ideas from this and start up the build thread soon! Hooray!

In the pictures below the tank is sitting on top of an empty 55gal that is also in the works for scale
 

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Carpe Diem
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That is one interesting tank ...

How about a riparium?

Plants against most of the back wall, emerging 12-24" above the tank. That would almost dictate a light suspended 24+" above the tank. I would search for a Hagen Glo 1 or 2 bulb T5 fixture, they are great lights and you can score one dirt cheap. The 2-bulb versions come with 2 cords, allowing you to have one or two lights on. They also come with a good suspension system or you could use 2 ZooMed large light stands, < $20 each. If you want some light down at the bottom, 2 -4 3watt suction cup mounted Deep Bleu LEDS would do the trick (~$17 ea). The LED heads would be hidden by the vegetation.

Flow / filtration might be interesting, if you do not want waves coming over the sides. For a 10g, I'd be shooting for ~ x20 per hour, which would come to about 200 gph, which is not too bad. If you can drill the bottom, with one bulkhead at each end, you might get with less gph but still with a good fast current.

White Clouds or similar minnows?

You can do it 馃槇
 

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I would create some places the critters can hide from the current. White clouds come to mind in this setup. Rainbows like to play in current, but not hang out in it all day. Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That is one interesting tank ...

How about a riparium?

Plants against most of the back wall, emerging 12-24" above the tank. That would almost dictate a light suspended 24+" above the tank. I would search for a Hagen Glo 1 or 2 bulb T5 fixture, they are great lights and you can score one dirt cheap. The 2-bulb versions come with 2 cords, allowing you to have one or two lights on. They also come with a good suspension system or you could use 2 ZooMed large light stands, < $20 each. If you want some light down at the bottom, 2 -4 3watt suction cup mounted Deep Bleu LEDS would do the trick (~$17 ea). The LED heads would be hidden by the vegetation.

Flow / filtration might be interesting, if you do not want waves coming over the sides. For a 10g, I'd be shooting for ~ x20 per hour, which would come to about 200 gph, which is not too bad. If you can drill the bottom, with one bulkhead at each end, you might get with less gph but still with a good fast current.

White Clouds or similar minnows?

You can do it 馃槇
I would love to do riparium, and i think I would if the tank was wider. It is only 5 inches front to back and that doest leave much room. I was planning on maybe putting a pothos or something in the filter section.

I was hoping not to drill the tank or do anything that alters it permanently as i like to tear down and rework tanks a lot.

I am about to upload some pictures of what i was thinking to help show whats going on in my head.

Bump: I will loo up white cloud minnows! I haveseen them used a lot in famous aquascapers tanks but never really considered them. I was planning on using rocks and stuff to create some slower moving areas for fish to rest at as well. Thanks!

Bump: Here are two mock ups I made of a few ideas. The filter part is basically the same, it is just the input and output that change. I feel like filter with the baffle full of holes would work better but i like the idea of having a kind of waterfall at the beginning where the water comes back in. what do you think?
 

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Carpe Diem
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I hear ya on drilling the tank and I can argue both sides. Some food for thought on your design:

- I like my equipment out of the tank. Splitting the tank into 3 areas might take away from the tank's 'looooong' factor.

- Hiding or camo the pump and buffers will be a challange

- How much the internal pump will heat the water?

- How do you clean the buffers?

- It's a 10g dry. EVERYTHING inside the tank replaces the water. Even a 1g cannister filter would increase the water volume by 10+%. Not to mention the media capacity

- the waterfall on the right is cool but is there enough drop to get anything practical out of it? At which point the buffers get clogged up, pushing the water over, and not through, the buffers? Might as well position the outflow above the right buffer. Evaporation is not your friend.

- Yep, only 5", but if you keep the foliage above the tank, the branches themselves would be maybe 1/4" in diameter. If you go with emerged rotalas, AR, ludwidgias, ricca, crypts and such, the stems would be even thiner. I would worry about the roots more.

- Pulling roots out of the filter is no fun either

- The riparium plants are your natural filter, replacing the need for buffers and media. An alternative idea is just plumb an external pump outside the tank, with inflow / outflow pipes over the edge in the rear corners, just for the flow only. Easy to hide.

What about using some slate to create 1 - 3 downwards 'rapids'? Good place to grow algae for loaches.

I get the most kick out of setting a new tank. I envy you the agony of choices.
 

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Look up a HMF filter if you want to do an internal filter manifold thing, and if you do go that route I would reccomend uing 2 pieces of foam, one very short one (barely taller than your substrate) and the other one the full height, that way you can remove it for cleaning and such.

You could also try setting this up as a satellite tank, plumbed into another tank for water volume/heat/filtration and then just put in a manifold in with an external pump for flow. Similar to how you have it setup now on top of another tank, drill an overflow and let it drain down into the lower tank, pump it up from a canister/pump whatever
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OVT
- what did you mean exactly about making the "rapids" section out of slate? That sounds fun but im not sure what you mean lol
also I like the idea of growing some aquatic plants emersed. I will probably do that with some. I have a some extra acrylic I was going to cut into a lid to help with evaporation but I could move it forward and trim it as the plants get taller.

Bump: theatermusic87
- I like the HMF filter I will probably use that. I made a new mockup and ill upload it below.
-While the satellite tank idea would be easier, the kind of fish I want to keep require lower temperatures than what would be in my large tank so I dont think that will work.

Bump: So here is my new mock up. basically it is a hmf corner sponge filter on the left and the water is pumped through that to the other end. the pump could go in the sponge if its small enough, but i imagine i will get the most flow with it right at the output into the tank.

Also i was thinking about somehow creating a small sump or something, doesnt necessarily need baffles or anything, just something to expand the amount of water in the system. Like OVT said, just a gallon is 10% more water. im sure i could find something small enough to hide behind the tank to hold some extra water and maybe some more plants like a refugium and maybe a algae scrubber i could harvest algae from to feed some grazers.

I like all the ideas so far! Im glad i finally posted on here, I already have improved the this design a lot. Im excited to get building it!
 

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Very unusual custom built tank. I like it.

One thing to consider, you'll need an pretty powerful, high gallon per minute pump to get anything resembling a full river's flow lengthwise.

What you might compromise getting is a laminar flow across the top water layer with some eddies and reverse flows deeper. It might help to randomly break up the bottom of the tank with varied height with driftwood and rocks in addition to the substrate. Don't skimp on the return pipe's diameter, make it as big as you can squeeze it in so there's less restriction in the return flow.
 

Carpe Diem
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I am not that great with drawing pictures.



I meant arranging slates like threads on a staircase, with sand / pebbles underneath for support.
How much of the "rapids" effect you will achieve will depend on the water level in the tank and the location of the outflow.

I'm sure you have already searched for "hillstream loach biotope" on the web and on this forum. Loaches Online - Community Edition ? Loaches Online also contain a ton of useful info.
 

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Your last picture will work, but only if all the plumbing and pump are inside the tank. Small pumps wont be able to pull that far. If you use the pump behind the HMF foam it should work, provided the pump is powerful enough to push the water to the other side and through the spray bar. It's a neat tank, I drew up plants to build an 8 foot version many years ago and have not executed it yet. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am not that great with drawing pictures.



I meant arranging slates like threads on a staircase, with sand / pebbles underneath for support.
How much of the "rapids" effect you will achieve will depend on the water level in the tank and the location of the outflow.

I'm sure you have already searched for "hillstream loach biotope" on the web and on this forum. Loaches Online - Community Edition ? Loaches Online also contain a ton of useful info.
Thanks for the link, I will check into that when I have some reading time

That idea with the stair stepping rocks is kinda what I wanted to do, something to create some interesting currents/Rapids
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am not that great with drawing pictures.



I meant arranging slates like threads on a staircase, with sand / pebbles underneath for support.
How much of the "rapids" effect you will achieve will depend on the water level in the tank and the location of the outflow.

I'm sure you have already searched for "hillstream loach biotope" on the web and on this forum. Loaches Online - Community Edition ? Loaches Online also contain a ton of useful info.
Thanks for the link, I will check into that when I have some reading time

That idea with the stair stepping rocks is kinda what I wanted to do, something to create some interesting currents/Rapids

Bump:
Your last picture will work, but only if all the plumbing and pump are inside the tank. Small pumps wont be able to pull that far. If you use the pump behind the HMF foam it should work, provided the pump is powerful enough to push the water to the other side and through the spray bar. It's a neat tank, I drew up plants to build an 8 foot version many years ago and have not executed it yet. Good luck!
I actually got a mock up set up and working earlier tonight. It's a hydor pump I think it said up to 300 something gph. With a 3/4 inch pvc pipe exiting the tank and a crappy diy spray bar that is going to be replaced by a 1/2 inch loc line that Y's into two flat spray nozzles that I ordered off amazon today for about $16. (Never realized lock line was so expensive!)

anyway I think I will either arrange them both above aiming down across the surface of the water or one up too and the other submerged to get some more movement down there.

I think the basics are going to work and the biggest challenge is going to be scaping a tank that is literally 5 inches wide... 馃槄

I also might have to put a support across the top in the middle as I have some significant bow when the tank is full. It was fine filled up for about a day and a half but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh and also one note, I tried setting up a kind of sump version with an old tank I found that was the right height, but the siphon that output from the tank to the sump would not keep up with the pump going from the sump to the tank. It just sucked the water out until it was dry lol. Would anybody know how to solve this problem as I'd love to have a kind of little sump to add more water to the system and probably more plants as well
 

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You really don't want to use a siphon drain into a sump - there is no way to 100% match it to the return pump, and it will cause problems. You'd really need to drill to add an actual sump. The return pump then dictates the overflow speed - no possibility of floods. It would be easier to just use a large canister filter and use the internals of the canister as a pseudo-sump. Then the canister's intake / return are all you need to use. That could also provide all the flow you need in the tank itself.
 

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Oh and also one note, I tried setting up a kind of sump version with an old tank I found that was the right height, but the siphon that output from the tank to the sump would not keep up with the pump going from the sump to the tank. It just sucked the water out until it was dry lol. Would anybody know how to solve this problem as I'd love to have a kind of little sump to add more water to the system and probably more plants as well
Either a bigger overflow pipe or a lower sump. If you want the sump to be on the same level as the tank you are actually creating more of a water bridge than an overflow. The more of a change in height of water the more flow you can get through a smaller pipe
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I pretty much finished up the pump/return part today. That pipe in the middle sticking up will be trimmed to not stick up over the top of the tank. It is there to prime the pump basically.

I still need to get a sponge somewhere for hmf filter. I found a website where a guy can 3D print a custom hmf filter for your tank but it was kinda expensive, but I wouldn't have to silicon anything onto the tank. Anybody have any ideas for that?

The picture below is of the tank running about half full before I weld all the pvc together. I'm still waiting for the loc line sprayers to come in, hopefully they will be here tomorrow!
 

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