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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the early stages of planning a DIY tank and wanted to throw up a thread to help get ideas in the planning. I can't find the tank shape I want, so that is why I am looking at doing it myself; plus I am the type that goes nuts without having a project around the house. So this should kill a lot of time and keep me entertained for a while. This is not a try and save me some cash type of thing. I'm new to planted tanks, but not aquariums. I used to keep lots of quariums with fish when I was young and have just gotten back to the hobby after 10+ years.

Here are my goals:
- Clean look inside and out. I plan to hide everything going into or out of the tank.
- The tank is going to be centered around a betta (girlfriend wants a betta) so I want to pick everything faune/plant wise to come from Asia.
- Low tech, I want to have a light, a canister filter and heater. I will budge on this if I get the impression I can't meet my goals.

I'm starting out small, for learning purposes and so my girlfriend doesn't kill me. I also want a tank deep enough that plants can grow tall, so I am planning on making a 12"x12"x18" tall cube. I may go a little taller, 20" or so. My thoughts are if I keep surface disruptions to a minimum and have a deep tank, this will lessen CO2 disprussion and act sort of like a nature CO2 reactor from the fish breathing. Is there a flaw in this logic?

For fish there will be one male betta splenda, a few Oto, couple botia loaches, and some sort of schooler (White Cloud Mountain Minnows?). Loach will clean the bottom. The Oto's will keep the plants clean, this is the one spot I plan on bending the Asia fauna rule because shrimp and snails are not for me.

I plan on having bulkhead holes in the bottom, back corners of the tank to allow for plumbing the canister filter in and out. I will be building the stand, so the plumbing can go in and out through the bottom. I will paint the back glass black and plan on stacking, with the help of silicone, slate like bricks up the back. I will cut the slate around an 1" deep with a tile saw so I have a nice flat back to place against the glass. The stack will go around 2/3 of the height of the aquarium and hide all the plumbing with the tank.

There will be a small 'curbed' area of slate coming out to build up the substrate to hide the filter intake. This will work something like a undergravel filter intake, but it will only be in one corner of the tank. I plan on sticking a Java Fern on top of it because they seem to be okay with a current around their roots. The outflow will come from a Loc-line setup hidden behind the upper rock wall.

Plants, I want a Java Fern, Tiger Lotus and some sort of moss to grow on the slate wall. The moss I would like to be slow growing or at least something I can manage so it doesn't take over the wall. I'd like the moss to accent the wall.

I attached a sketch, but the scan isn't coming out the best.

To sum up my questions:
- Suggestion for a schooling fish from Asia that would coexist with a betta.
- Is there an algea care option that is not a shrimp, snail or siamese algea eater that is from Asia?
- Suggestion of a region appropriate moss.
- What other plants would you add in? Have to be from Asia.
- Any general comments on something I am missing or suggestions?
 

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-A school of rasboras would probably work
-Not that i can think of. I think you pretty much ruled out all the common Asian algae eater options.
-Most mosses are from Asia other than Fissidens and pelia. So java, christmas, fire moss are some that might work for you.
-I would recommend any Cryptocorynes and Blyxa Japonica would be nice.
-If you hide your intake and out take like that you might get some areas with low flow. More importantly you will need some surface agitation to oxygenate your water.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If there is an asian algea eater out there that won't get large and become a PITA, I would be interested.

I plan to use dual wide outlets pointed more or less towards the surface to insure surface agitation and good mixing through out the column.

Thanks for pointing out Rasboras.
 

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Wanabe BKK Herder
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- The tank is going to be centered around a betta (girlfriend wants a betta) so I want to pick everything faune/plant wise to come from Asia.
- Low tech, I want to have a light, a canister filter and heater. I will budge on this if I get the impression I can't meet my goals.
This is exactly what I just did with the 20L in my sig (Crowley’s 20G Long). I’m planning on putting Celstial Pearl Danios and Kuhli Loaches with him. And I too am still struggling with an algae eater option . . .

There’s a whole discussion of plant options on this thread:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/plants/124377-suggestions-betta-biotope.html

Can't wait to see what you come up with !
 
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