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Carpe Diem
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Tank:
rimless, regular glass "shallow cube" by Mr. Aqua @ 24" x 24" x 12"H.

I have been looking for this tank for 6 months: ADA does not make it, GLA is out of stock and is not answering my emails, DB has a black rim on the bottom and black silicone. So, the Mr Aqua's MA-610 turned out to be my only viable choice.

The quality is pretty acceptable, especially for $160:













The above is the worst area I found so far: the back of the left panel is slightly mis-aligned and you can see the silicon work. Hm. I hope it holds water. The side panels's thickness appears to be 5mm, with the bottom significantly thicker.

This tank will replace my 10g that I picked up while looking for this tank.



The tank's location is a bit awkward: it will sit on a 10.5' long x 32" high x 24" wide divider between the Living and Dinning rooms. That divider already houses my 120-P and 60-P tanks:

View from the house entrance:



View from the Dinning room:



You can see the existing 10g on the very left on the picture above. (my wife is a Saint, ... or close).
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Hardscape

I failed miserably at keeping the 10g lightly planted. Maybe I should not fight my nature and do something that I personally like, i.e. a lot and then some more plants. Reading some of the journals on TPT gave me an idea on how to maximize the number of plants I can possibly stuff into a tank: GO VERTICAL. Thus, the idea of a riparium took hold but more on that later.

Presently I am trying to lay-out the driftwood. The pictures below show the current state of affairs. I am still debating whether to use the middle driftwood branch or not - your opinions, please.

Layout # 1: (more driftwood)

Point of view:



Front:



Right corner:



Right side (will be hard to see as it will be ~12" from another tank):



Layout # 2: (the middle branch removed)

Point of view:



Front:



Right side:



Opinions?

My next debate is whether I want to also use rocks or just the driftwood. My current preference is driftwood only, but I think that I will end up adding some rocks...

In the next series of posts I plan to cover:

  • Lighting
  • Aquatic Plants
  • Emmersed Plants
  • Stocking
  • Filtration
  • Whatever else I missed
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: OVT's 30g Shallow Cube Riparium --> Design Stage (56K)

Yep, your opinion parallels my own to a point. I was thinking less driftwood == more room for plants. This is currently envisioned as a low tech tank and my plant selection will have to be in sync.

BTW, I do not like your riparium - I am BLOWN AWAY by it. Was waiting for the Dad's Day to express my awe :)
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: OVT's 30g Shallow Cube Riparium --> Design Stage (56K)

That's a replacement tank :)
Yeah, I will try to keep the fry out.
As far as the plants go, I am trying, friend...
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Filtration musings

With the hardscape tentatively nailed down, filtration is next on my to do list.
While reading a bunch of journals, I came across a number of builds that did not use a 'real filter'. The idea really appeals to me on multiple levels but I am hesitant to go that direction without a deeper understanding of pros and cons. While I was running 'low tech' tanks for much longer then 'high tech tanks', I did not really understand the concepts behind either. Ignorance is bliss. I certainty feel that I have a lot more knowledge and understanding now then 10 years ago and that actually makes my life a lot harder: my knowledge is nowhere all encompassing and I still have too many principles to tie together.

As always, I have a number of conflicting
Requirements:

  1. Circulation:
  2. Biological Filtration:
  3. Gas Exchange:
  4. Space and Esthetics:
  5. Fish health:
The cost of the filtration hardware is of little concern for this tank as I already have a lot of idle equipment ready on hand.

---> If anything, the available space for a canister filter is at a premium. I could possible be able to fit the PX-360 between the side wall and the left side of the tank (got about ~6" there, but, with my luck, I will be 1/16" short).

Any other external filter would either have to be on the floor between the dividing wall and a chair. I can get away with it for a while, but, really?

The only other choice is to put it inside of the dividing wall. The thing is, with the two existing access doors, the space is packed. Really, really tightly. I could cut out more Sheetrock, hang 2 or 4 more doors and add more power outlets inside and that would be the right long-term solution. But then I'd rather avoid the hassle and the expense.

The existing situation:
(2 Eheims 2075 running the 120-P and 1 Eheim 2026 running the 60-P. The co2 rig feeds both tanks through individual needle valves)



Possible Permutations:

  1. Use seeded Finnex PX-360:
  2. Use either Fluval 404 or Eheim 2075:
  3. Go filter-less:
  4. HOB:
  5. Internal:
  6. Anything else?
Decisions, decisions. Do help a guy out.
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I say try filter-less since that seems to be what you really want. If you're worried about your fish you could start with the seeded PX-360 on there and then remove it when the tank is more established. Plenty of "el natural" tanks go sans filter and it's not like you don't plant heavily.
Do it, do it, do it!
Finally, a voice of reason (and some passion), I am sold. I will add a small powerhead or such to keep the water moving after PX-360 is gone.

TY: you just saved me 2 hours of expanding my "Filtration Musings" and days of going back and forth :)
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: OVT's 30g Shallow Cube Riparium --> Filtration (56K)

The little mighty Finnex just could not handle all the junk that floats off AS. 24 hours after flooding I still could not see inside. Its little sponge got clogged up rather quickly, slowing the flow to a trickle.

Had to hook up Fluval 404 to clear the water. Ammonia is at 1 ppm.
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: OVT's 30g Shallow Cube Riparium --> Filtration (56K)

Thanks, friend, for the offer but I am good. Took me over 40 mins to figure out that the impeller shaft was broken on the 404. Luckily, LFS had them in stock. Still, set me back a day.

I really do like my 10g, but wanted a bigger beast. If l had any room, I might have kept the 10 going.
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The 10g got moved to a nearby dining table. Having a 12'-long table really helps:



The new tank goes int it's place:



One 9L bag of AS goes in. A bit thin, but I will move the AS from the 10g:



In goes the wood:



Add 6g of water... :



I am getting lots of help:



6g more to go. Added , heater and a pump:



Does he know something I don't?



Do I really want to know what they add to AS?:



Fill 'er up, add a Finnex 360. Getting late, me tired:



2 hours later and this is no longer funny:



Meanwhile, the filler is waiting:



Water check:



The filter needs some help. First plants dumped:



Might as well work on plants:



and chose my first victims:



The few, the proud:



Dump. It's getting light outside:



Tomorrow is another day.
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Re: OVT's 30g Shallow Cube Riparium --> Flood-ed

Hay OVT how many WC have you done to change

to


I'm a little concern about flooding my dsm in 2 weeks and I think I get the same AS as yours.
0 with 24 hours between pictures.

I did a 95% wc a day later because I had to reposition the tank. Another 15% wc one more day after that. I am mostly skimming the junk off the top and let the filter and plants to do the rest.

I am a bit peeved as it took just 1 day from mud to clear on a 10g. I am going to add a powerhead back to blow the dust off the substrate.

via Droid DNA Tapatalk 2
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Re: OVT's 30g Shallow Cube Riparium --> Flood-ed

Coming along nicely!! Always amazed at your plants, simply gorgeous!! Is that aromatica in the sink/tub?
Thank you. It is Aromatica, I want to see how it does in low light. I bet I will lose the pink but the tops should look nice from above.
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Re: OVT's 30g Shallow Cube Riparium --> Flood-ed

Ammonia still at 1 ppm: 30% WC + more plants + some AS from an existing tank.
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Re: OVT's 30g Shallow Cube Riparium --> Flood-ed

Well, friend, it's all your fault: I started looking for this tank once I saw yours :)
Stay tuned, I am planting atm. I cannot fit in all the plants I want...

via Droid DNA Tapatalk 2
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Initial Planting

While waiting for the reparium stuff to arrive, I did preliminary planting to get the feel for the tank. That C. Parva is indeed tiny, I might have to rethink the front a bit. The back is pretty packed. I feel like I am already running out of space and I still have a ton of other plants that I wanted to put here.

Some re-positioning will be in order, depending on how high the Parviflorus parviflorus 'Tropica' and C. wendtii v. Tropica will grow in this tank. Hopefully they will stay close to the ground.

This is where I ended 2 days ago:



5/23/2013:

FTS: still pretty cloudy



Point of view (front):



Point of view (corner):



Back:



Back Point of View:



I really like how Bacopa australis stands out:



Right front corner:



Until later ...
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
It does feel a bit over-planted. Will take me several days to see what I like and what stays, what goes.
Trade you plants for moss? :)
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I'm a pretty low stocking planter and low stocking fauna person
I do tend to dump in as many plants as I can when I start a tank... and then spend years trying to thin it out.

NWA-Planted said:
Looking very nice. your right I do need to fly you down to scape my tank haha
On my way. Get the Master Bedroom ready and don't forget the steaks for the pup. I do assume open bar?
I might stop at Frank's and pull some of his crypts on the way home.
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Additional plant inventory

I still have suitable plants that did not make it into the tank.
I do really welcome critique and advise. Thank you in advance.

Alternanthera Reinekii
A. barteri v. barteri
A. barteri v. nana
C. nurii
C. "Green Gecko"
C. crispatula var. balansae
C. pontederifolia
C. Cryptocoryne wendtii (green and red)
Clinopodium Brownei
E. 'Vesuvius'
Ludwigia repens x arcuata
Star Grass
Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Hydrocotyle Sp. Japan
Hygrophila angustifolia
Java Fern (regular, narrow, and needle)
Italian Vals
Banana Plant
Rotala 'Bangladesh'

Hm...
 

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Carpe Diem
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7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Re: OVT's 30g Shallow Cube Riparium --> Initial Planting

I will move the fish I have in the 10g this tank is replacing:

2 mated pairs of GBR
7 Sparkling Gouramies
20 Pygmy corrys

I also have 3 whiptail cats that could use a new home.

Eventually, might add a dozen Ammanos and maybe Ember tetras. That should be a full house :)
 
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