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OVT's 30g Shallow Cube Riparium --> A Bunch of Fibs and Honest Lies

45213 Views 173 Replies 55 Participants Last post by  Discusluv
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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I was wondering why the Fluval 404 on this tank has been rather quiet for a while. Lo and behold, it has been all clogged up with roots growing up the intake - no flow that I could detect.

I freed the intake, got the air out of the filter, got the flow going and now it is back to it's machine-gun annoying stutter.

If the tank managed to flourish without a working filter for 3+ months maybe it does not need one?

I am sorely tempted to swap it for 2 x Finnex PX-360 that I have just laying around or just go without ...

v3
I have done no filter before. It's kind of fun to have that accomplishment, though even if you don't have issues, it never will help. I would just throw on the Finnex if it were me.
 

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I've noticed my taro also has dried/'burnt'/yellowing/browning leaves.. Have you ever determined what causes that? Or how to fix it? I tried looking at a deficiency guide for taro but it was no help.. according to it I'd have a calcium deficiency.. Well the hard water lines on all my tanks and massive calcium deposits on my terracotta pot which has turned it completely white (not that natural earthy-red hue anymore) strongly argue otherwise... so I'm still at a loss...

also PHOTO UPDATE PLEASE! (of this an all your other 'tanks'/picos etc)
 

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also PHOTO UPDATE PLEASE! (of this an all your other 'tanks'/picos etc)
All of them? Or just most? Probably one of the few people who have a crazy amount of tanks, without a dedicated tank room, yet no room is overwhelmed by tanks. A house tour video would be better haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #146 ·
Re-incarnation

This tank has been bone dry for the last 3 years. One day (i.e. yesterday) was rainy morning, day and night and I was looking for something to do besides what I had to do. I decided to do a good deed for a change and rescue Java Fern that has been sitting in a bucket since November 25. Yes, that's in the 2018. The next free miles upgrade from a bucket is a bona fide tank. It did not take long to come up with legit reasons for such a move: I actually had to test certain muddy visions for an upcoming tank. Namely,

- Substrate: do I want white, black, or something in between? With 50/50/50, CaribSea River of Doubt (Ha, even the name was custom made for me) caught my eye. Not white, not black, but in between. None of my LFS have ever heard of it and I could only find it in 3 places on line ... for a price. Turns out it's been discontinued, which means I now have to have it. Sight unseen, I bought 150 lb of it. After a week of converting weights into volumes I gave up and bought another 100 lb. When in the River of Doubt, double up. But how does it look in a tank (A: unclear). Did I get enough? Given that this tank is exactly 2.5 times the area of the new, yet to arrive tank, what is a better way to test? (A: I have 100 lb more the I will ever need or want).

- Light: Shallow tank to keep Java Fern alive. Then I have to mimic @Greggz and @burr740 et al and go with a low light high tech tank. That surely means x2 Current Satellite PRO (the jury is still out). Rimless tank --> can't have them sitting right on the rim as I want the view from above. Current USA Orbit XW brackets is the obvious option to test (Hm, could be worse, could be better).

- CO2: Java Fern needs CO2 to stay alive (in this tank of mine). What better way to test a new set-up I got for next to nothing (60g rimless cube) from @aquascape? A super DIY, Mensa-class guy but no tape on the joints? There must be leaks (and I just met the guy).

- Wife: This subject has direct practical ramifications (you know, like in being fed, clothed (somewhat clean and with minimal color combinations), talked to (in sotto voice, on occasion), and avoiding physical contact with skillets. Given that she owns everything I am supposed to, has no interest in sushi tanks (or any of my other hobbies, for that matter), and my balance sheet with her as it is (just think US trade balance with China), her reaction does matter. I placed a bet with myself on what her reaction will be first thing in the morning when she finds that her serf re-arranged her Eminent Domain. I bet $1 on "Beautiful!" and the full $25 of my monthly allowance on "WTF!?!" (spelled out). I won.

And that's how this tank came back to wet, even for a short while. You may judge the rest.

Dry run:



Both lights on at 100% all channels:



Side view with Private Reserve wood:



The sand @ ~2" average depth (~45 lb), unwashed:



We are PRO @ DIY background and rocks (TY Amazon):



Flooded (not bad for clarity):



Add a well used, but cycled HOB (for now):



The Java and friends to be rescued:



Eh, NVM - grab some (semi) random plants (they need a home too):



And this is where I stopped: canister filter, co2, heater, and other plants still pending:



- Impression: The tank looks white, like in WHITE, and I mean white. I would hate to end up with a 120g+ planted tank that looks like salt water. Sure, the water is not aged, no tannins, too few plants but I'm too used to black substrate. Worst case I'll just plant it over?
 

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Great post OVT.......especially the "Wife" paragraph!

I've got say, I just love seeing rimless tanks. With nicely mounted LED's, creates a very modern clean look.

In general, light colored substrate creates less separation of colors, and less definition of groupings (well, at least to my eye). But I am interested to see how this one looks filled in, as it is an interesting substrate, that is for sure.

And did I miss something? Are you setting up a 120G+ tank?? If so, you've got my full attention, and I will be looking forward to that.
 

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Looks good OVT, I like it! Even the substrate color looks good to me, it's different. It'll be interesting to see how the substrate looks once the tank has matured after a few months. Keep us posted on the project.

"Turns out it's been discontinued, which means I now have to have it." Don't feel bad, you're not the only one that has this curse. No telling how many items are buried out in the garage that fall under this category. Who knows, maybe some day I'll even find a use for them!!
 

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Turns out it's been discontinued, which means I now have to have it.
This line cracked me up. It is so true that things that are hard to find or discontinued seem to have some mysterious extra value.

- CO2: Java Fern needs CO2 to stay alive (in this tank of mine). What better way to test a new set-up I got for next to nothing (60g rimless cube) from @aquascape? A super DIY, Mensa-class guy but no tape on the joints? There must be leaks (and I just met the guy).
Yep, No tape. The entire assembly is sealed with anaerobic sealant. Much cleaner look and it creates a cross-linked plasticized bond between the metals. Good stuff.

Description of how anaerobic sealants work
 

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Discussion Starter · #152 ·
Nice! Not many folks can grow plants out of a granite countertop :p
Lol, just rub it in.
I'm getting rivers of doubts now. Like 250 lb of them. Could have bought 2x AI Prime instead.
Darken it up a bit by mixing in Tahitian Moon sand?
 

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Discussion Starter · #157 · (Edited)
I like how the cubes look from the corner and from the top. With the light sand and thin walls, this one now sparkles. And the plants did grow in already.
Canister filter, heater, and co2 are now hooked in. Debating whether I want to turn it into Pea Puffer species tank for a bit.

I like the lights but the mounting arrangement is a bit awkward - these tanks look much better with suspended / pendant lights. I'm going to try mounting a single AI HD Prime this weekend.



 

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Lol, just rub it in.
I'm getting rivers of doubts now. Like 250 lb of them. Could have bought 2x AI Prime instead.
Darken it up a bit by mixing in Tahitian Moon sand?
Do you have little kids? Pay them a dollar to separate it into black and white. If you have two or more, you can turn it into a competition. Winner take all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #160 ·
@ChrisX, I have big kids, big like after college. I could not afford them when they were little, now they are way out of my price range. If I have to pay them a $1/grain then they will retire before I do.
 
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