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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all! So i wanted to start a journal for one of my dream scapes. There are 3 scapes/layouts that i call my dream scapes. This one is my oldest and the one i have wanted since as far back as i can remember. The main drive behind this comes from my favorite movie as a little kid - The Little Mermaid. When i was little i watched this movie several times a day with my grandmother, who first introduced me to fish tanks. I have always wanted a tank with a sunken ship in it, steming from the scene at the end with all the sunken ships at the bottom of the sea while they fight ursula.

Well now that i am an adult (or at least pretend to be :hihi: ) and have the space, its time to start making my dream a reality. This is going to be a long build, but a fun one. I wanted to make a journal not just to share, but admitedly i will need some help along the way.

This will be my first high'ish tech tank. I'll be using CO2 (non DIY) which will be a first for me. I'm not really planning on growing any plants that require CO2, but i want to have it for good growth and to bring out the best colors in my plant choices. So, onto the details!

Tank - 40 Breeder

Stand - DIY

Filtration - Aquatop AT-300

CO2 Non-DIY - Concoa/Airco dual-stage 3000psi/30psi regulator, Fabco NV-55 needle valve, JBJ style bubble counter

Lighting - Current Sat+

Hardscape - Seiryu Stone

Substrate - Play Sand

Ferts - Standard ferts, liquid macros/micros just need to calculate dosage and regime

Flora - Various Bucephalandra - primary plant of the scape
Various Anubias
Various Mosses
Hygrophila pinnatifida
Proserpinaca palustris (mermaid weed)


Fauna - Betta macrostoma

This will be a work in progess, but i figured i'd start it now to keep all my thoughts in one place. Like most of my tanks and ideas, i like to draw them out before hand. Below is a rough drawing of what i have in mind. Scale is a little off, but just to give you an idea. The ship i want to go with is 15"L 4"W 10"H. For reference, a 40B is ~36"L 18"W 16"H. Also included is a picture of the actual ship i want to order. Some big things that i would LOVE some insight on;

1. I know the ship will need work done to it to get it aquarium safe. I may have to sand it down, possibly coat it with something, remove sails, etc. The one i'm looking at is all wood. Worst case, i can always order a kit and build it myself to make sure nothing is toxic, but i really dont want to go that route as it will probly take FOREVER. Hoping to make the assembled work! What to do here...

2. The hardscape i'm pretty set on. I will play around once i get the materials to make it exact, but roughly you get the idea. Along the bases of the rock structures i'm sure i want to have Anubias nana-petite and on the log fallen on the left side i want weeping moss. Next to the ship towards the front, will be an Anubias Marbled-varigated (been saving up for this one :D). Other than that, i'm open to suggestions (and would reall like some). Where would you put what? I have several buce species, anubias species, i need to get the hygro. As for mosses i have anchor, NL, mini riccia, x-mas and i'm always open to getting more mosses. I'm also thinking Proserpinaca palustris. Open to any and all suggestions for plants. This will be a buce dominant scape

3. CO2. I have done a lot of research and understand the pieces and so forth, what i'm looking for is advise on how much/big of a tank to go with for this size of setup?? Again not planning on having high demanding CO2 plants. Also, should i just buy a setup pre-built? Or build one up myself?


Lastly just tips on the general planting and design theme of this tank. Any ideas are encouraged and welcomed, even if you just have an idea for one little area of the tank! I'll be picking up the tank and starting the sump build this week, and from there it will be slowly piecing everything together. Thanks for looking everyone, i'll update as i can :D
 

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I take it you are going to make some holes in the ship like it hit something underwater and sank?

I think it would look cool if you tattered up the sails a bit (and maybe even break a mast?) to make it look a little more battle-worn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Puffers, gobies and amano or ghost shrimp? (For an ocean themed set of fauna). Sagitaria or Val or java fern for a kelp like vibe?

This is going to be so cool.
This will definitely have some amanos in my cleaning crew. Thats a great idea with the kelp look. May be good in the background and some dwarf sag towards the front....hmm i'll have to play around with that. Thanks for the good idea!

Subbed. Curious to see how this takes shape, and how you decide to fish-proof that ship. I imagine if you are able to cover the paint with some sort of clearcoat, you should be ok.
Yeah, honestly that's my biggest concern/question mark at this point. I'm hoping a clearcoat will be ok. I'm going to see what info i can get on the products used on the ship.

I take it you are going to make some holes in the ship like it hit something underwater and sank?

I think it would look cool if you tattered up the sails a bit (and maybe even break a mast?) to make it look a little more battle-worn.
You got it! My thought is, the boat hit the large structure on the right and this is where it sank. There will be one large hole in the hull.

As far as the battle-worn, tattered ship, you read my mind. I'm contemplating between doing it myself, or just letting the tank break it down over time. At least as far as the sails go. At least one mast i will likely break and put somewhere else in the tank, maybe more.


My first step will be getting the 20L and building the sump, as this will take the most time. From there i'll get the 40B and drill it, and then figure out construction of the internal/external outflow. Something i now find myself contemplating is what 40 gallon to go with. Originally i was thinking the dollar/gallon sale. Would certainly be the cheapest way to go, but now i'm thinking rimless. ADA 75P is more than i want to spend, thats for sure. Anyone have any other reccomendations for a good, ~40gallon rimless??
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So i went to petco on my lunch break today to pick up the 20L on the LAST day of the $1/gallon sale. They had ONE left, but the silicone was terrible. No chance that thing would have held water. So i had to pass :icon_neut . Thats ok though, i'll scour craigs list. Plus its that time of the year for garage sales and flea markets. I'm sure i can pick one up. It doesnt have to be pretty, just hold water!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the comments all :D My rough estimate, i should have all the parts to put everything together in about a month, month and a half. I already have orders going out on several of the plant species listed to start building my stocks up further.

Got a couple more rough sketches here to better estimate scale. Below, each section represents 4.5" / 4.5" as far as real distance goes. The red is rough estimate how much room the ship will take up.

I'm going to need a lot of rock.......:icon_eek: . So my immediate thought is seiryou stone. Finding exactly sized, big pieces will likely be impossible. So i'll be piecing the structures together most likely, although i want to keep the number of pieces as low as possible. If anyone has any objections and/or recommendations on stone type please, feel free to provide it :D The shading in the pics below is the different levels of rock. Size increasing from front to back except for the middle structure (ship bed). Again rough sketches but just a better idea of scale. Stay tuned :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Also, on another note. Looking for some input on two things regarding CO2 that i would love some help on. Keep in mind, i will not be growing any plants that require HIGH CO2, just want this to promote better growth in the tank;

-What size storage tank should i be looking for on this setup?

-Would i be better off to buy a full kit or just piece everything together, in YOUR experience?

Thanks in advance for any and all help!!
 

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Hey Duck, honored that I got a mention in your journal XD

On the co2 note, I would look at the swap and shops on the various planted tank forums, alot of people do their spring cleaning and you can find great deals on a full setup or pieces and parts. Pieces and parts will require a bit more research, but if you are up for learning/ have the time go for it. Regardless get a dual stage regulator if you can. You can find them for decent prices in the swap and shop sometimes. Don't be afraid of used parts. And as far as the tank goes, get the biggest one you can. I have a 20# tank on a 20 gallon setup. A little overkill, but it will last me several tank generations.
Good luck with everything!
Excited to see it all come together,
Joshua
 

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It would be sweet to get some mosses growing on some of the masts. I was also thinking miniature urns, plates etc the kind of booty a pirate ship would have spilling out of the hole you make in the ship. But alas im not sure the sell stuff that small. Fun idea anyway. Good luck this project sounds fun
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Duck, honored that I got a mention in your journal XD

On the co2 note, I would look at the swap and shops on the various planted tank forums, alot of people do their spring cleaning and you can find great deals on a full setup or pieces and parts. Pieces and parts will require a bit more research, but if you are up for learning/ have the time go for it. Regardless get a dual stage regulator if you can. You can find them for decent prices in the swap and shop sometimes. Don't be afraid of used parts. And as far as the tank goes, get the biggest one you can. I have a 20# tank on a 20 gallon setup. A little overkill, but it will last me several tank generations.
Good luck with everything!
Excited to see it all come together,
Joshua
Thanks Josh! The more and more i look, i think your right. At least for my first official C02 i'm going to get a kit/already assembled unit.

This is going to have a very Oliver Knott feel....also, be the perfect tank to show a kid to totally wow them. I'm excited for this :D
Thanks! It's going to be a fun build, this has been in the makings since i was a little guy so it has a lot of meaning to me.

It would be sweet to get some mosses growing on some of the masts. I was also thinking miniature urns, plates etc the kind of booty a pirate ship would have spilling out of the hole you make in the ship. But alas im not sure the sell stuff that small. Fun idea anyway. Good luck this project sounds fun
You read my mind :D Once everything is set up it will be a big work in progess as far as planting, but definately gotta get some moss on that ship. Most likely mini-pellia or mini fiss. As for the treasure, i know what you mean. I'd love to have a small treasure chest inside the hull, and maybe some loose treasure around but i'll have to play that one by ear.


Quick update-got some hygro pinnatifida, more roserpinaca palustris, and more nana-petite on the way to build up my stock and start cultivating for the amounts i'm going to need. Slowly but surely :D
 

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Try Lego for mini treasure... They make tiny gold coins and vases that are pretty realistic, and would be even more so when covered in algae. I think most Lego pieces are also going to be aquarium-safe, since they're molded plastic. You could clearcoat them just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Try Lego for mini treasure... They make tiny gold coins and vases that are pretty realistic, and would be even more so when covered in algae. I think most Lego pieces are also going to be aquarium-safe, since they're molded plastic. You could clearcoat them just in case.
Thanks for the idea!! I just ran a google search for "lego treasure" and there is TONS of stuff out there. I had no idea. The fun level on this just went up lol
 
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