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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I've recently purchased a brand new 2ft cube aquarium. Not the best shape for aquascaping so I'd like some suggestions.

If YOU had this aqaurium, what would YOU do with it?

Thanks
 

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Maybe to you it isn't ideal... I'd do all kinds of things with a cube. Do you realize what kind of depth of field you can get in a tank with those dimensions? I'd be refreshing my knowledge of perspective, and figure out what kind of nutty substrate slope you could pull with that thing.

I'd spend my time reading and studying, trying to figure out how to get a sense of total immersion from the scene created within the tank.

-Philosophos
 

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Maybe a nice deep (front to back) riparium. with 24" front to back you could get a really nice shoreline type of look. I picture a rocky (slate) lake shore with tree roots protruding into the water from the rock. I have never looked much into how its done, but I think that size would do well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The tank is 600mm/60cm/24"/2' on all sides.

@ Philosophos, how high/steep could that slope be? I'm obviously wouldn't going to make the whole thing out of sand right? Do I put an eggcrate or lots of rocks underneath or something?
 

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Oh, wow. I way misread the first line.

I thought it read "not IN the best shape" (scratched, bad trim, etc.) for aquascaping... My mistake. I was recommending a riparium so the focus wouldn't be on the glass as much.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I highly disagree with that statement. Wanna trade for a 45-tall? :biggrin:
Do you wanna bring it to NZL? :hihi:

How do I create the slope without having to use 50 litres of sand. I got about 20L of black sand for free (traded for some plant cuttings) today, bit of a hassle getting more.
 

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I would LOVE to come to New Zealand! Are you offering me a place to stay? ;)

Seriously though, if I had that tank, I would use some creative driftwood placement and go for a terracing effect, instead of a straight slope. That's just me though.

And I would make it viewable from 2 sides. Although, now that I think about it, that tank is big enough for a nice "island-type" scape, viewable from 4 sides! (wait, I guess that would be 5 sides, if you include from the top looking down)

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You can stay at my place IF you scape this tank for me! :D
 

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Okay it's a deal! Now I just need to come up with a few thousand dollars or so for the plane ticket. :eek:

Just start using the search engine to look for some cube tanks, and get yourself some ideas.
 

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The tank is 600mm/60cm/24"/2' on all sides.

@ Philosophos, how high/steep could that slope be? I'm obviously wouldn't going to make the whole thing out of sand right? Do I put an eggcrate or lots of rocks underneath or something?
I put down a layer of egg crate under any tank that I'm doing rock in. Under that, if I'm doing a really fancy tank with spawning going on, I drop in an undergrav heater to keep the whole thing at an even temperature. It doesn't help the plants any; that's all scientifically unverified, but it sure can make a huge impact on your gender ratios.

For creating nice slopes, controlling pH and offering nutrients to plants through the substrate, I'd say invest in ADA aquasoil. If pH isn't a problem, you may want to try a DIY version with akadama or other fired clay substrate that's at least as hard. From there, nutrient load it in a fert solution and drop it in the tank. I haven't done it my self, but I've seen good success from people who have done it right. It's definitely not a newbie project.

If you go with ADA AS, you'll get better sloping if you lay a bit down, spray it with water, pack it a little, then add some more on; start from the back and work slowly up and forward.

Now, as for high high/steep, I can't say what the upper bounds are. Personally I've never gone deeper than 4 inches with a Aquasoil, which drains better than most substrate. I'm not sure how deep you can go before anarobic conditions occur. You'd definitely be safe if you keep it at 3-4 inches, and fill the back in with something solid. If you want a more definite answer, try bugging people who keep big tanks and do heavy sloping, or anyone who's good with sediment chemistry. Personally I'd ask one of the big names in the hobby; they don't tend to mind answering questions that push typical limits. They won't give you a conservative answer based on their own experience either; they should know what the upper bounds are, and why.

-Philosophos
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Unfortuantely, we don't get ANY ADA products over here :(

So I'm stuck with the basics. But I got some lovely fine black sand to work with.
 

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Just use RO and peat or leaf litter under the substrate to bring your shrimp into good egg viability range. If you can manage neutral pH with lower KH, you should be fine all the way around.

The nice thing about going with floating HC and shrimp is that the only filter you'll need is a sponge filter. You may want some ear plugs or a HOB if you're a light sleeper :icon_wink

-Philosophos
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We can't even get tropical shrimp here :(:(

So what I'm thinking is a sand depth of around 2" but using larger rocks to create a mountain and putting some small rocks and extra sand in the gaps. Maybe have a few rocks sticking out of the slope and having quite low profile plants. A few mosses down below, some Glosso (we don' get HC either) or Riccia up the top.

Ideas for anything different?

Lighting?

Cheers
 

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Does NZ have similar laws to AU for imports, or do you just suffer from proximity? If it's a matter of proximity, go talk to some people over on Aquatic Quotient; they love shrimp, moss, HC and and anything with an ADA brand on it. They're almost all from Singapore.

Anyhow, it's getting late over here. I'll be back on tomorrow.

-Philosophos
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Au has tropical shrimp, we don't, yet. Working on it.

This is probably going to be a coldwater aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'd like to create something like this: http://www.aquascapingworld.com/magazine/Magazine/Interview-with-Peter-Kirwan.html

Only a little bigger. Seeing as I can't get any ADA products over here, what would you suggest the best thing to create the slope would be? Obviously most of it would be solid rock (probably many small/medium rocks) but to define the shape, would sand be enough?

Also, I was thinking of using 4-6 T8's in a setup of 4x 6500k, 1x 4000k and 1x GroLux, that sound okay? More lighting towards the top of the mountain to grow Riccia/Glosso and lower light near the front for the mosses/moss trees.

Thanks!
 

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Sand might work; personally it's not my thing. I like my substrates to stay down. Any of the regular rooting substrates (turface, sms, ec, fluorite) would probably work to some extent.

You could try getting your hands on the clay substrates that they use for bonsai; just make sure it's fired akadama or harder. Read a few FAQ's. If you skip the nutrient loading process it'd be a lot easier to use as a substrate than what I was talking about before.

-Philosophos
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Is it possible to have the top of the slope halfway up the back wall of the tank?

I think I will put down a bit of sand, pack in heaps of smaller rocks and just build it up and keep it as dense as possible until I get the right slope. Any other way of doing it?

Thanks
 
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