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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

Opening this thread to detail the setup of my 6 gallon Fluval Edge. I bought this tank to set-up for my 2 year-old, having been out of the hobby since college (call it a trial to see if I want to take the plunge again).

The glass top / limited access of the Edge was a plus for me as I'll be setting the tank at my son's height and the design of the tank will keep his curious hands out of the water. Plus I love the design.

Will be my first attempt at a planted aquarium so am quite open to suggestions. This forum has proven to be invaluable already and I'm barely off the ground.

Current equipment:
- Fluval Edge in orange
- Zebrano wood stand (its actually an 18" high stool but just the right height for my little guy to see the tank)
- [STRIKE]LED Wholesalers lights from the Edge thread[/STRIKE] 2 x 13W Catalina Aquarium "Lighthouse" hood
- Aquaclear mini HOB (comes with the Edge)
- Cartridge-style CO2 system using a leland micro-regulator and a bunch of Clippard parts (www.clippard.com).
- ADA "ball glass" diffuser injected into the Aquaclear mini
- Catalina 50W titanium heater
- Flourite black substrate

Future plans:
- [STRIKE]Upgraded lighting using 9W flourescent biax-mount bulbs. Still deciding whether to entirely scrap what came with the tank and replace it with a DIY fixture of 2 9W bulbs or strap a single 9W alongside the existing fixture[/STRIKE] Need to retrofit reflector and lights from Catalina Aquarium fixture to the stock Edge hood
- DIY feed delay timer for the HOB filter
- DIY moonlights using parts from Oznium

Plants
- Dwarf baby tears (HC)
- Lilaeopsis mauritius
- Dwarf hair grass (Eleocharis acicularis)
- Mini pelia on the way...not sure where to put it

Dosing
- Pfertz [STRIKE]medium[/STRIKE] high tech package [STRIKE](just N and micros)[/STRIKE]

Fauna
- [STRIKE]Thinking CPDs and an oto or two[/STRIKE]
- CRS with a token CBS (added 2/28)
- 5 B. Brigittae (added 2/24 and 2/26)
- [STRIKE]2 Otos (added 2/23)[/STRIKE] (gifted on the S&S when I got the zebras)
- 3 Zebra Otos (added 3/16)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
First impressions:



We picked this up a few weeks back at a LFS in Venice. Opted for the orange color which is really a metallic burnt orange hue but looks great.

Have been pretty impressed with the quality of the setup, but I suppose when paying $120 for this tiny aquarium one would hope to be impressed. The finish on the hood and housing is nicer than you'd think (several times nicer than the plasticy finish of the Eclipse systems) and is flawlessly applied. The silicon joints on the aquarium are better than average but could be improved.

Looking at the lighting setup, I'm not sure why Fluval opted for such a complex rig. The setup has 2 MR11 sockets for 2 x 10W halogens set into a plastic light bar that is attached to the rear housing that also houses the HOB filter. While the light bar swings up and out of the way for access to the tank, one still has to lift up a decorative hood (the orange thing on the top of the tank) to get to the lights...seems like it would have made more sense to leave out the hinged arm setup and just put a couple of flourescent strips in the hood like a normal set-up.

Haven't fully decided yet but thinking of taking this out and putting in a DIY setup with 2 9W Coralife bulbs (flourescent). One option is to just get a couple biax sockets and fashion a mounting bracket. Alternatively wondering if its possible to gut one of these Coralife mini aqualight hoods and for the innards:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hardscape - opinions?

My toddler and I spent part of the weekend cleaning out the tank and brainstorming on the hardscape.

Materials:
- 1 bag Flourite black (15.4lbs)
- About 15 lbs of Yamata stone from Nature Aquarium in SM

For the Edge, 1 15.4lb bag of Flourite may be marginal. With a slope you'll have about 1.75 - 2" of gravel at the front and 2.5" at the back. However given the limited height of the Edge aquarium (8.8" high), I figured I'd try this first.

Tank with flourite black, rinsed 7 times in a bucket and the run through a strainer (I probably should have let it dry outside but its not that warm these days):


Now for the rocks...interested in people's opinions of the following ideas, as well as any suggestions for modifications:

Option 1 (did it before we put the flourite in):


Option 2 (my runner up):


Option 3 (this one feels too busy to me):


Option 4:


Option 5 (leaning toward this one -- same as option 4 but with the flat stone set so it looks more angular):
 

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I would go with 2 or 5, excellent rock arrangements. I would venture to guess you could actually remove some of the fluorite, you don't need more than 1" in the front. an exaggerated slope is ideal for rock work like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Personally, I like options 2, 4 and 5. Are all thirty pounds in the tank?
The ~15lbs of Yamata consisted of 2 larger stones (about the size of the main one in the pics above) and 3-4 smaller stones. I'm only using one of the large stones and 2-3 of the smaller ones. Suffice to say, its painful to pay the 1000% mark-up on these ADA stones and use only half of what was purchased. But at least I have a local source...

2 is a great start for a solid rock aquascape. However, what is your intention for the scape? Iwagumi?
Probably Iwagumi-like. I'm thinking of keeping it relatively simple given the small opening will limit my flexibility to maintain stuff.

For plants, currently trying to obtain some: HC (foreground), dwarf hairgrass (the smaller E. Parvula if I can find it) and maybe a couple b. japonica for the back.
 

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The style behind #2 is a solid classical Iwagumi aquascape, the others are fairly marginal, although #5 might look better if it was oriented on the right side as opposed to the left, given the tilt direction of the stone, although #5 doesn't have the impact potential that a design along the basis of #2 has.

1, 3 and 4 just don't work well, I'm trying to put my finger on precisely why, and all I can think of at the moment to explain it is that the scapes are too "flat" per se. In #3 the stone on the far left that is going the opposite direction of the main stone isn't large enough to perform that function, which is the same issue with #4 because the middle transition stone is "flat," where as in #5 it's upright which eases the transition and puts less strain on the far left support stone.

I would suggest, if you continue to experiment, to experiment with scapes modeled after #2 and #5.
 

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Agreed with Francis Xavier. #2 has the most classic look: it's very strong, good central focal point, and good "flow" between the rocks. Both the positive space (the rocks) and the negative space (empty substrate space) make powerful visual impacts.

I like the arrangement of the back two stones in #4 and #5, but I'm not quite feeling the position or angle of the smaller front one. I think it would look good if it were angling away from the largest stone, kind of mirroring what the second-largest is doing. Like all three stones are "exploding" away from a central point. Here's a quick-and-ugly Photoshop of what I mean:

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Latest and greatest

I would go with 2 or 5, excellent rock arrangements. I would venture to guess you could actually remove some of the fluorite, you don't need more than 1" in the front. an exaggerated slope is ideal for rock work like that.
Good idea, I used some of the flourite to build up the mound in-between the cluster of rocks.

Agreed with Francis Xavier. #2 has the most classic look: it's very strong, good central focal point, and good "flow" between the rocks. Both the positive space (the rocks) and the negative space (empty substrate space) make powerful visual impacts.

I like the arrangement of the back two stones in #4 and #5, but I'm not quite feeling the position or angle of the smaller front one. I think it would look good if it were angling away from the largest stone, kind of mirroring what the second-largest is doing. Like all three stones are "exploding" away from a central point. Here's a quick-and-ugly Photoshop of what I mean:
How's this, I took the "exploding" idea to heart, but maybe too much so? I'm pretty happy with it but feel like I might need 1-2 more stones.

My toddler loves how his rock garden turned out (he makes it a point to show anyone who will follow him into the living room) but the HC I bought from plantedrandall just came in, so need to get to planting this weekend.

 

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In general, the less stones the better, these look fine. I would just shift the whole arrangement over to the right, the main stone is too centered in the tank, and it gives the appearance of the scape being too weighted to the left.
 

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with this arrangement I would move the front middle stone to the right of the Main stone, leading into it (in a horizontal manner), while overall shifting the setup to the right. I would also recommend adding one more really small stone to round out the number to 5, or shorten it to 3 rocks. Generally speaking you want to avoid even numbers for stone arrangements.
 

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Good idea, I used some of the flourite to build up the mound in-between the cluster of rocks.



How's this, I took the "exploding" idea to heart, but maybe too much so? I'm pretty happy with it but feel like I might need 1-2 more stones.

My toddler loves how his rock garden turned out (he makes it a point to show anyone who will follow him into the living room) but the HC I bought from plantedrandall just came in, so need to get to planting this weekend.

I'm flattered you liked my suggestion! :biggrin: Digging this concept. I agree with Dollface that the setup would benefit from a shift to the right to keep the composition from being too left-heavy. And I second Xavier about rounding it out with another rock in order to keep odd numbers.

Should look great once it's 'scaped!
 

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If you're going to go for odd numbers, I would actually remove a rock, specifically the one that's on the farthest left, in the middle. I would then move the middle rock over to the left a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Many thanks for all the feedback. I stopped by Nature Aquarium to pick up a few smaller stones last night. I've seen some people ask about the ADA stones and what you actually get per pound; so I'll include the pic below which shows 1.5 lbs of Yamata stones.



So here is the mostly completed hardscape. Per Dollface, TsuRyuu and Francis Xavier's suggestions, I took out a stone and shifted the remaining ones around. I tried to keep it such that from most angles there was always an overlapping stone in the perspective.

However, I realized I can't move the overall arrangement to the right. Because the Edge only has a small hole in the center of the top, if I move the big rock over to the right, I can't access the right side of the tank.

So instead I threw a couple of smaller rocks on the other side of the tank to balance things out, keeping the total count at an odd number and trying to make it look they lead into the big rock. I'm not 100% happy with this aspect, but I'm planning on putting hairgrass in the back and this will provide a natural looking dividing line between the HC and the hairgrass.

Any final comments are welcome, planting starts tomorrow.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
just wondering, were u able to put in the coralife mini on this tank?
I got my hands on one and am 80% sure it will work, but have to take the thing apart and play around with it.

Will post more on this when I figure it out.
 

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You might need to have the stones on the right side be a little bit bigger, or if they are buried have them sit on top of the substrate instead so they aren't as 'invisible.'

When you plant, plant deeep so the HC grows in low and thick.
 
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