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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my 20 gallon tall with the driftwood I just scrounged.



I'm thinking I want to go low tech, since this setup would look best with dim lights, IMO.

The tank back is painted black, and I'll be using 2 inches of Black Diamond 20/40.

Does anyone know of a tank similar to this root structure styling with a low light setup that I could use for inspiration?

Also, is there a comprehensive list of low light plants and their PAR preference?

Any criticism is welcome!
 

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I don't really have much in the way of suggestions/criticisms, but I think that's a great looking piece of wood.

It looks like you already have the placement/positioning figured out, I'd get a slate tile that fits into the bottom of the tank and bolt the wood to that. It helps keep it submerged, and also makes it more stable/keeps it from shifting (especially if you have critters that root around in the substrate.)

Are you planning on having open topped with the wood sticking out and emmersed plants, or sawing the top off about level with the water?

Also, if you have to cut the wood, burning the cut area with a torch, and scrubbing it with a stiff brush helps a lot to mask the artificial-ness look of the cut, and make it look more weathered.

Keep posting pics, I imagine you're going to have a great looking tank.
 

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http://www.aqua-fish.net/index.php?cur_lang=2&count=no&secured=&section=6
You really don't want a tank on something which doesn't have support under each end and I do mean directly under. That may only be where you put it to take the picture
so just mentioning it.
Light is your choice but cheap light can be had for that/w clamp on light from Home Depot $9/take off clamp/spray paint black/hang from shelf bracket over tank.
Use 13W CFL @ 6500K. How high over the tank it is determines the level of light.
For better coverage of light use a 26W bulb but hang that starting at 12" over the top.
Not less or it will grow lots of algae/may need to be a bit higher/w 26W.
Fissidens grow very slowly but in any light. Tie to wood/w cotton thread.
Anubias and Java Fern can also be tied to wood as they grow with the roots dangling in water well and will "root" to the wood. Both are low light. But on the Anubias try to get "Petit" or just nana as they are smaller than the other Anubias.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't really have much in the way of suggestions/criticisms, but I think that's a great looking piece of wood.

It looks like you already have the placement/positioning figured out, I'd get a slate tile that fits into the bottom of the tank and bolt the wood to that. It helps keep it submerged, and also makes it more stable/keeps it from shifting (especially if you have critters that root around in the substrate.)

Are you planning on having open topped with the wood sticking out and emmersed plants, or sawing the top off about level with the water?

Also, if you have to cut the wood, burning the cut area with a torch, and scrubbing it with a stiff brush helps a lot to mask the artificial-ness look of the cut, and make it look more weathered.

Keep posting pics, I imagine you're going to have a great looking tank.
Thanks so much! It'll have a hood with a glass lid on it, so the wood has been cut immediately under where the class will be. The tank rim will hide the cut.

I'll have to consider the tile idea for fixing it down.


http://www.aqua-fish.net/index.php?cur_lang=2&count=no&secured=&section=6
You really don't want a tank on something which doesn't have support under each end and I do mean directly under. That may only be where you put it to take the picture
so just mentioning it.
Light is your choice but cheap light can be had for that/w clamp on light from Home Depot $9/take off clamp/spray paint black/hang from shelf bracket over tank.
Use 13W CFL @ 6500K. How high over the tank it is determines the level of light.
For better coverage of light use a 26W bulb but hang that starting at 12" over the top.
Not less or it will grow lots of algae/may need to be a bit higher/w 26W.
Fissidens grow very slowly but in any light. Tie to wood/w cotton thread.
Anubias and Java Fern can also be tied to wood as they grow with the roots dangling in water well and will "root" to the wood. Both are low light. But on the Anubias try to get "Petit" or just nana as they are smaller than the other Anubias.
Thanks for the pointer on nana anubias!

I'm building my own 6,500K LED fixture, water cooled with the LEDs on rails so I can vary light fields to work with the scape and planting regions.

As far as the tank location goes, The shelf is deceivingly strong. The back three inches is actually solid so as to support the tank more readily, this forms a triangle, so the weight will never push on the front right corner (The area in question), unless there was to be a 68% weight shift towards the front. The part I'm still nervous about is that it's attached to 3 studs, but the farthest left stud is adhered to a full CMU wall, so it should be just fine.

Thanks so much for all the great pointers and observations, any suggestions are totally welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When building the LED hood for this tank, should I arrange the LEDs at a constant spacing, or put fewer LEDs on the right side where the higher roots will be sitting?

I just wasn't sure of how placement would effect the lighting appearance.
 

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The question is not whether the shelf will break or not, it is whether it will deflect enough to not fully support the glass, which then deflects and causes a leak. I am not saying it WILL leak, but I've had a tank leak (after 18 months of not leaking) and would never take this risk. Put an extra slab of stiff wood - like 3/4" ply - under the entire tank across the entire span.

I have seen blackwater tanks that start like yours. search for some blackwater tank images for inspiration. Nice piece!
 
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