The Planted Tank Forum banner

The Spawning Pool-- 75g shallow square

126208 109
Hello TPT, here’s to documenting the life of my bog+pond.








Equipment
36x36x14 rimless tank, 1/2" Starphire glass, open top

Filtration/circulation-- Fluval 406, Koralia 425, Koralia 240
Heating-- Marineland 300W
Lighting-- Natural sunlight supplemented by a Kessil spotlight

No dosing
No CO2

Hardscape
125 lbs Eco-Complete, 36 root tabs
Die kraken driftwood (courtesy T. Barr)
Locally-collected rocks

Kingdom Plantae
Aquatics- Cryptocoryne sp., Microsorum sp., Nymphaea zenkeri, Sagittaria subulata
Floaters-- Limnobium sp.
Marginals & emergents-- Saururus cernuus, Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon', Pontederia cordata, Colocasia esculent 'Black Magic', Ruellia brittoniana, Canna 'Pink Sunburst', Echinodorus cordifolius, E. palaefolius

Kingdom Animalia
Vertebrates-- Ctenopoma acutirostre, Melanotaenia boesemani, Poecilia wingei, Otocinclus sp.
Invertebrates-- Ramshorns, pond snails, trumpet snails, bladder snails, feeder shrimp





The bog+pond replaces my extremely overgrown 20g High and 5.5g shrimp tank.

The tank builder was Coast to Coast Custom Aquariums in NJ. Unbelievable customer service, a real class-act. Craftsmanship and attention to details are incredible also. The underside is lined with poplar and all edges are beveled and machine-polished. Fit and finish are superb. I planned on buying that "one tank" and this is it.





The stand I constructed is made of 2x4s with panels stained a dark walnut. The panels are attached magnetically and the space underneath is for supplies and misc.





The tank is situated in a corner of a room directly under four windows. The room faces east so the tank itself receives direct sunlight a few hours a day in the morning only. The rest of the day, the tank receives indirect light slightly diffused by the window screens. The supplemental Kessil Amazon Sun runs two 5-hour photoperiods with a 4-hour siesta in the middle of the day.

The Fluval runs with sponges, bio-balls, and Purigen. With the large surface area and the concern about stagnant water, I went with two smaller powerheads. The Koralias along with the Fluval give me about 10x turnover per hour after accounting for some organic buildup.

There is no testing, no dosing, no CO2, and no water changes unless absolutely necessary. Just top-offs as I see fit with dechlorinated water. I lose anywhere from 1-2 gallons or more per day depending on conditions. In warmer weather, I combat the slight humidity in the room with a dehumidifier going nearby.

I wanted a low-maintenance tank that I could come home to at the end of the day and sit down and enjoy (much like the 20g I broke down). My submerged plant selection reflects that goal so there will be no monkeying at all on the bottom and in the water column. I went with all heavy root feeders and a couple variety of java fern (regular and Philippine). The half dozen crypt species, dwarf sag, and single red tiger lotus all get their nutrients from the root tabs, which I will replace every 2-3 months, more or less, so I expect the Eco-Complete to get better with time.

I went mainly with hardy bog and pond plants for the riparium section, all transplants (harhar) from the previous tank. The lizard's tail and chameleon plant are slowly taking over. The cordifolius sword is shooting new leaves out the water every few days.





In the pond, the Leopard bush fish hunts shrimp, unwary Endler fry/juvies, and innocent skinny-dippers. Once it gets large enough to swallow otos (which won’t be for a couple years at least), I will replace them with bristlenose plecos. Even with the predator, the livebearers population should be sustainable for the foreseeable future. There is approximately a 1:5 adult male to adult female ratio with roughly half a dozen males, and with a gestation time of just 23 days, the spawning pool sees some action. The males are constantly chasing the females in the harem. :eek: Right now, there are roughly 75 fry of all sizes out and about. And finally, the rainbows and otos swim freely and mind their business.




The juvenile delinquents




The settlers






The stranger next door...




The creepy crawlers rule their underworld








That's it for now. Thanks for reading, any questions at all, just ask!
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks a lot all

I should have added in terms of Rainbows lol. I really like the dimensions of the tank, is the tank up against the wall? or is it "walk around"?
Oh yeh, those are the only types of rainbows in there.

Nope, the tank isn't against the walls. There's a little less than a foot of clearing on both sides. I was questioning whether to push it against the wall to start with, but I'm glad I didn't. It's convenient to be able to walk around it to troubleshoot :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Looks really nice, vincenz!......and, "familiar." Why did you take away a viewable side, bro?? I mean, I understand that you are relying on the sun for lighting.....but it kinda stinks that you had to take away one of the positive aspects of having a tank like this.

I'm a little surprised that you lose so much water per day, too!! How frequently do you have to top off?

Great natural looking set up, regardless! You're going to have to watch that lotus and be careful that it doesn't shade out the plants in the immediate vicinity too much! Which can be a shame....they send up the nicest flowers, but you have to let them keep their floating leaves. Thought of adding anything else that will produce flowers above water?
Heya crazy, thanks. Oh yeh a square tank has always been a bit of a dream for me and seeing your 48x48 and some others pushed me over the edge. :icon_mrgr Plus I was going to renovate the floors, so I got that done around the same time.

I have to ask how you managed to move that monster though. I had enough trouble getting this thing up a flight of stairs and through doors. 150 lbs isn't so heavy with 2 people, but the bulk multiplies the difficulty by a lot! I can only imagine how it was like for a 4'x4'.

Trust me, if I had it my way, I would make it viewable from 4 sides, but it's mainly a space thing plus it was just convenient that the width of the 4 windows lined up perfectly, so it's not so bad.

I top off every couple days or so, but it really depends on my mood, hah.

Yeh I hear you about the lotus. When I first got it, it was actually really bushy, but after a while it started shooting up. Going to have to trim. A lot of the pond plants I have are supposed to flower during summer, so I will look out for that. The sword should flower, the canna, and the pickerel rush too, but we'll see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thanks again all :fish:


Looks awesome. Have you tried mixing in some other colors?
I have the red tiger lotus in there, that's about it for color. Up top I have the pink canna. My choice was limited by light and my dislike for stem plants, but then again, I'm more a fan of the monochrome look too.


what awesome dimension! i love the quasi tank/pond look in the window. It kind of reminds me of that 700 gallon indoon sunken garden project that was on here for a bit, just a lot smaller and not 700 gallons...do you have any better pictures of the finished stand and your pluming?
Sure, hope these help. I have to cut down the input/output tubes some more on the canister filter when I'm less busy one of these days.






I didn't know that you could grow Canna Lilies (which I love) as a riparium plant... what do you have it planted in and how is it doing?
I have most of the riparium plants in small pond baskets with Eco-Complete. I just attached them to the side of the tank with a little gardening wire and tape. A couple of the smaller plants I'm trying to grow out I used hydrophyte's planter set.

I had the canna in a different corner of the room when it was in my 20g and it never got much light for a couple months. It did fine, but it started to lose its red color. It's in the corner of this tank now and it probably gets the most light out of all the marginal plants. It's gotten back the colors and the leaves are pink/red/orange depending on the angle and lighting. Here's a pic of it today:




This is awesome! great idea with the endler-leaf fish combo, leaf fish are so cool. And the best part is your growing some really nice plants without breaking the bank on a light fixture.
Yup, the Endlers provide a constant food source for it :icon_evil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thanks guys.

The tank isn't self-sustaining in the strictest sense, no. I can get away with not feeding the ctenopoma because it'll hunt the fry and shrimp. Same goes for the Boesemanis if they're hungry enough. But the endlers I still have to feed because they won't eat their fry and the shrimp are too big for them. Technically, all I have to feed are the food source themselves. If I could breed the ghost shrimp, I could guess I could call it self-sustaining, but we all know how breeding those go :icon_evil

If you're interested, I usually feed the tank twice a day with a pretty wide variety of food. Community flakes, spirulina flakes, blanched zucchini, frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, baby brine, daphnia, beef heart, and mysis shrimp (I think I got them all). It's one big mix that I do randomly day to day, so there's no set schedule. Some days I don't feed at all and I think the tank could last weeks without it, but I don't do that because I want my fish to grow, esp the rainbows, which grow so slow though they're pigs.

I might post a minor update later when I get back because things like the cordifolius sword surprised me with its growth the past couple weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Well, a little update. Been pretty surprised about growth. The riparium plants have really started to take off the last couple weeks. The sword has shot up a foot and a half out of the water already and the taro plant leaves are bigger than my head!

Underwater, seems like all the root feeders are getting situated at last. I have runners everywhere from the dwarf sag and crypt spiralis. The spiralis is also out of control, starting to get long enough to form a canopy under surface. All the other crypts have gotten noticeably bushier.

The natural sunlight has been better than I imagined, really. No major algae outbreaks as I had hoped. I do a trim every week to get rid of the few leaves that do get a little bit of it to prevent it from spreading and at the same time this helps to keep the plants from getting leggy and they are responding by growing more horizontally instead.

Everyone is doing well, otos, rainbows, bush fish, endlers, snails. Shrimp are almost nowhere to be seen, mostly hunted down it seems, so I will have to refill within the next few weeks. I had the water level a little too high a couple weeks ago and lost about 5 male endlers from jumping, but the juvies are starting to show their sex already. Last count was around 10 males now, with many more females, so I still have more than I started with. It's crazy how fast these things reproduce.

Some pics included. Have a great rest of the weekend everyone.
















Spectacular tank! Job well done. How long have you had it set up?
It's been set up about a month now. :)

I've heard they won't breed in the presence of a predator, but otherwise, they'd probably breed in there if there was a little algae and detritus.

I've got them breeding fine in a 20H. I just leave the algae on the sides and back glass, run sponge filters, and overfeed a little. Current plants are java moss and hornwort.

Amazing tank you've got there. :)
I might have to try that some day, thanks. Last thing everyone needs is another tank right? :icon_cool

What a wonderful and unique tank. I'd imagine it's quite the conversation starter with visitors.
Thanks, it is. Mainly I get, "Wow, that's a lot of plants."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Thanks guys. It works out pretty well because the wires and tubes are hidden within the emergent section (other than one of the powerheads).

And yeh speaking of being a monster, moving it up a flight of stairs and through a doorway was quite the task... It was much more difficult moving it than setting up the flora/fauna/equipment. Just a word of warning for anyone thinking about a square tank-- best prepare extra well because moving it is an entire project in itself. You'll need to be able to flip it vertically and horizontally in transit as needed and you definitely don't want to set it down and then pick it back up. And invest in a pair of gloves with grip because it's very easy to lose it considering how bulky it is! It's not really the weight that gets you (though it certainly doesn't help), but having to deal with maneuvering it because of the shape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Thanks again all, appreciate it.

The tank was custom made. I'm pretty sure if you want a square tank, you'll have to go the custom route. As far as I know, I don't know of any retail companies that make them.

Here's an update because I actually got my hands on some new fish this weekend, six Bedotia geayi (Madagascar Rainbowfish). Saw them at the LFS and just had to get them! I've watched them for a couple hours and they keep changing colors, so that's a pleasant surprise. Silver, iridescent blue, light orange, it's great.

Fish and plants are all doing well. The bushfish has gotten enormous since getting him. Now I know why I don't see anymore feeder shrimp these days... I am looking to heavily trim back the crypt spiralis one of these days again because they're getting out of control. Dwarf sag is carpeting well and everything else is growing slowly but steadily. No algae problems, very happy. I'm totally loving the just-add-water habits for this tank.

OK, so more pics and less words.





















Hunter in stalking mode



I threw a banana plant into a corner a while ago and it shot up a pretty wicked lily pad.









Wheeee!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #45 ·
The emergent plants are in pond planters that I attached to the sides of the tank with a little garden wire and tape. I also have some in hydrophyte's riparium planters that he offers for sale through this site.

Here's a shot from the other day for a 2-month update. I lost the canna and the lizard's tail over the summer. Replaced them with an arrowhead house plant. Everything else is going ok. They both just died off mysteriously towards the end of summer, not sure why. I am guessing they need outdoor light and they don't really do well after the growing season. Other than that, this tank never changes, and I like it for that.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Thank you everyone!

now that is awesome! where did you get that tank?
I had it custom made from a shop out in New Jersey, Coast to Coast Custom Aquariums. Great people. If you want more details, feel free to shoot me a pm.

How much cord did your Kessil light come with?
I want to say about 15 feet? I'll have to get home and measure though if you want an exact length, just let me know. It's a little tricky because in the middle of the cord is the power brick (or whatever it's called). Not sure why they had to put it there and not towards the end, not a good design choice if you ask me. So if you're considering hanging the light too, you might have to find a solution to mount that box on the ceiling or wall like I did (I put it on top of the window molding). Otherwise it will be hanging in the air on the way down.

what plant is the "grass" in the front area? sorry but i dont know too many scientific names yet and google showed stuff that doesnt look like that

and what does it mean when you write "sp" after a genus name? i think thats what threw google off

thx
That's dwarf sag (sagittaria subulata). http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/myPlants.php?do=view&p=113&n=Dwarf_Sagittaria_Sagittaria_subulata

Pretty common plant and grows like a weed. In my case, it's choking out all the little smaller species of crypts I have around it.

The "sp." just means species. For example, you'd use it if you know what the Genus is, but are unsure of the species. Hope that helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I have a question, because I'd like to do something similar with my 40B...when you put the plants in the pond containers, are they in a planting medium or bare root? I ask because one other member has his sitting bare root in his tank, and I'm not sure which way to place plants in the tank.
Thanks!
I throw some ecocomplete in the planters too, but very little, maybe an inch? It's mostly bare roots just hanging there and they seem to do OK. I never really gave it much thought to be honest, it seems to work on its own.

I have some of hydrophyte's planters too with the gravel he included for them. For comparison, I find that the plants in there only grow to a certain size and then stop because there's just no more room for the roots to go after a while. With the pond planters, you have a lot more space and I find them more flexible in the end because you can move plants around without disturbing the substrate you have in them. That's when it helps to have a little bit of it or none at all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Well, after 7 months, I'm going to tear this baby down. Moving into a new place and it will call for a new set-up. I have plans to sell off most, if not all, of the dwarf sag that has overgrown the front section of the tank. Also most likely some crypt spiralis and lutea.

If you are interested in a plant package, just send me a PM to call dibs and we can work something out. Right now, the plans are to move this thing during the second week of January, but we will see.

Probably last few pics before teardown.




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #62 ·
So after much muscle strain and a sleepless night, here is ver. 2.0. Excuse the iPhone quality!

Got rid of most of the dwarf sag and a lot of java fern. Much more swimming space for the fish. The kids are growing up. :wink: I will be making a listing for a big lot of both dwarf sag and java fern sometime tonight, so whoever is interested, just keep an eye out!











 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Hey that's cool.

Are those Madagascar rainbows?

I have been thinking about doing a similar kind of setup on a smaller scale.
Heya hydro, I do indeed have some Madagascar rainbows in there!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #70 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #75 ·
Thanks all!

Was at an LFS yesterday and saw some Melanotaenia fluviatilis and couldn't help myself and got a school of them. The town is slowly growing. Maybe some more pictures one of these days if I ever find the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #76 ·
Small updates-- I took out all the rummy nose tetras and gave them to my fiance. No more small fish left in this tank other than the otos. Also pulled out all the dwarf sag and split up all the c. parva and willisii/nevilli so they could slowly (if ever) carpet.

Also took a vid during feeding time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NY78CPf330

And last but not least, an FTS:






 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #80 ·
sick! i'm getting one for my 125. how do you like him? how's the hunting behavior? does he really bother the other fish? finally, what do you feed him?
Love him! My favorite fish in the tank for sure. He leaves everyone alone, doesn't bother anyone at all. I can't put any other fish under 2" in there though, otherwise it's snacktime. I feed him frozen beefheart and bloodworms mainly. Very rarely will he eat flakes and only if he's starving. I used to feed him ghost shrimp, but not much more these days. He does stalk small fish-- named him Hunter for a reason. :fish:

I got him 8-9 months ago when he was about 1 3/4". He's now over 4" easily. :icon_eek: It's a unique fish for sure, and definitely a centerpiece.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top