My Rescaped 5ft Tank

Discussion in 'Aquascaping and Member's Setups' started by Laure, May 5, 2011.

  1. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    Hi all

    I started this new thread to document the progress. I was faced with the difficult task of moving my main display tank from the dining room to the entertainment room. Hopefully the tank will add to the "entertainment" in this room :D

    I had a couple of headaches. The tank had to be emptied, but I had nowhere to put the fish. Luckily I managed to get hold of a used 4ft tank from a local tank builder. I cleaned this tank nicely, and armed with new polystyrene I placed it on a sturdy wooden cabinet. I pumped water from my tank into this 4ft tank, took some plants out and floated them on top, disconnected my external cannister from the 5ft and hooked it up to the 4ft. Moved one of my heaters also. Everything was now ready for the fish move. This took quite a while, but eventually, to make a long story short, I got all the fish and plants moved. And that was enough for one day...

    Day 2. Now the work started. Siphoning out the remaining water, and then scooping out the gravel and PFP substrate. Once done, it was time to start cleaning out the 5ft tank with bleach. I wanted to be sure I kill any algae spores on the glass, as I was determined to start off fresh and on the right track. You may all recall I had an endless battle with GDA on the glass.

    So here is the clean tank and cabinet moved to the new location. Polystyrene placed at the bottom as I will add some fairly large rocks.

    [​IMG]

    Some of the rocks I collected:

    [​IMG]

    I collected these at a local beach, cleaned them with HCl, followed by bleach, and scrubbed them clean afterwards. Sun dried for a few days and washed again, and then sun dried again.

    I used some of my old gravel which I cleaned in water to provide the bottom layer of the sloped area:

    [​IMG]

    I placed the main focus rocks:

    [​IMG]

    Added a layer of PFP with Chemicult:

    [​IMG]

    Now it was time to add the top layer of gravel, and for this I used playpen sand:

    [​IMG]

    I think that is enough for this post...more to come!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  2. boebie
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    boebie Green fingers

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    Great start Laure. You can't just keep us hanging you know, what are the plans? Plant selection, etc.
     
  3. traip
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    traip Noob

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    Those are REALLY nice rocks! I also like how you've kindof tapered them off to the left, looks great. Looking forward to the "more"!
     
  4. Algae wizard
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    Algae wizard Valued Contributor

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    Looking great

    Love the rocks,I wish that mine were that big.
     
  5. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    A couple of trips up and down a hill carrying those big rocks certainly took its toll...

    In other news, I have started planting, but need to take some pictures. The idea is to create a nature scene (river bank, sloped). There will be an open space (front left). Foreground plants currently planted:
    Marsilea sp.
    Eleacharis parvula

    I have tons of Vallis which I am temporarily going to use behind the two large rocks, but ideally I am looking for Cyperus helferi.

    Empty spaces will be filled in with various small form crypts, also possibly downoi if I can find any.

    I am also looking for narrow leaf / needle leaf java fern.

    My one cannister is on the 4ft tank with my fish. My other cannister decided to leak :( So now I have a bit of a problem. I can't put any filtration on the tank. I have an airstone and a small powerhead for some aeration and water movement as a temporary measure. I will probably take some pictures tonight and upload over the weekend.
     
  6. Toshi(Walter)
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    Toshi(Walter) Green fingers

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    Looking good..cant wait to see it with plants
     
  7. Firefly
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    Firefly Green fingers

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    Whoop whoop! Gonna look awesome!
     
  8. Ebrahim
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    Ebrahim Green fingers

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    looking good so far.good luck with planting and the final move
     
  9. wolf
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    wolf Valued Contributor

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    Nice big tank, what make is the tank?
     
  10. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    It is an Aqua H2O, which I've had for about 3 years now. I modified the lights in the hood from T8 to T5.
     
  11. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    Hi all

    As promised, the updated pictures. I did not fill water to the top yet, and the airstone is temporary. The Aromatica is also temporary. I need some fast growers during the startup phase. Currently I have the lights on for 3 hours, off for 2 and then on again for 3 hours. No fish yet; only snails.

    I am still waiting for some Crypts, Needle Leaf Java and Bolbitis to arrive to complete the planting. I hope to move the fish and the filter across by the weekend.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  12. Algae wizard
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    Algae wizard Valued Contributor

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    Well done
    It's looking really nice.

    Can't wait to see it grown out a bit
     
  13. tyronegenade
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    tyronegenade Specialist

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    Nice Nymphaea. That is one fast grower too.

    Mine died off a while back but has suddenly come back to life. Its root system is something very impressive.

    The tank looks very nice as is, even with the Aromatica. When you toss it out think of me...
     
  14. Toshi(Walter)
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    Toshi(Walter) Green fingers

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    looks really nice. Cant wait to see it fill up. And yes Tyrone I have to agree, there rooting systems are impressive, think it rivals an echinodorus
     
  15. Ebrahim
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    Ebrahim Green fingers

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    what fish are you going to put in the tank once its finished?
     
  16. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    Hi all

    Here are some updated pics. I have pretty much completed planting. This is a full tank shot:

    [​IMG]

    The floating Aromatica will be removed after a month or so. I just want some fast growing floating plants during the start-up phase. Also, I will remove the Aromatica planted in the centre. Not part of the actual aquascape plan. As with most tanks, we make do with what we have, and some plants are just temporary fillers while we wait for the grow-out of the desired plants.

    The Marsilea already started to grow in this area:

    [​IMG]

    The little piece going "downhill" wasn't planted by me ;)

    However, in this area I had some serious die-back of Marsilea and Eleocharis...I think the latter's issue may just be emersed growth dying off:

    [​IMG]

    I am not too sure about the Marsilea but my guess is that some of it took a bit of a knock while in a bucket waiting to be planted.

    Here is another picture of Marsilea and Eleocharis dying in this section...a little worrying, but for now I will see what happens. At least here I can see new growth on the Eleocharis:

    [​IMG]

    Then I also have a problem with the Bolbitis I got from Herve...some of the leaves are dying, while others look perfectly healthy. The plant is also sending out a new leaf:

    [​IMG]

    This is the first time I am trying to grow this fern, so any advice will be appreciated.

    Then finally, I have a small piece of Microsorus Pteropus "narrow". The idea is is that hopefully it will look lush with a bit of time. It will really be the focal point just below the large rock. Perhaps it was a stupid idea to base the focal point on something which may take well over a year to develop... ::)

    [​IMG]

    Thanks Raymond for the Crypts!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  17. Greystoke
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    Greystoke Specialist

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    I can see that you've done a lot of work. I like the rocks. It certainly looks very promising
     
  18. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    Thanks Cor. How are your Crypts doing? Mine...the usual, expected emersed leaf melt, but I can see new submerged leaves already!

    What I did not mention yet was that I attempted my first tank build with the help of another PE hobbyist, Eugene. And the first build was a sump which was intended to be installed in the cabinet below the tank. I have an external cannister, TetraTec EX1200, which I have had for a long time now and it served me well. However, I was looking to increase the biological filtration on this tank right from the start. I wanted to buy another cannister like the one I have, but in the end what I built was very satisfying, much cheaper and probably works better due to the enormous bio filtration capacity. Here is a picture:

    [​IMG]

    The sump holds 78L, but I fill it up to the 30L mark. The overflow in the tank handles 40L before the syphon breaks, so this is perfect (in case of pump or power failure). Still, 30L of bio media for a 300L tank is exactly what is recommended by Tropica, ADA, etc. One can improve on this by using highly efficient bio media such as Siporax, and then one can use less, but for this tank I decided to go overkill on bio filtration.

    Right now I don't have 30L of bio media in there...but I am working towards that.

    Furthermore, I have decided to do a few things in this tank:

    a) I am going overboard with bio filtration and flow, in other words providing a very good flow inside the tank and providing bio media for bacteria population way in excess of what I see to be adequate for the tank. Obviously the population should equalize in relation to the NH4, NO2 and O2 supply. This I addressed by ensuring there is maximum surface movement inside the sump, and also a very strong airstone.
    b) I took great care to avoid introducing anything with visible algae into the tank
    c) I added a ton of ramshorn and pond snails
    d) I clean the glass every 3 days followed by 30% water change. There is no visible algae on the glass, but I still clean the glass. Oliver Knott suggested this. He says as soon as a clear bio film starts building up on the glass it leads to algae. Being clear, once cannot see this, so just wipe it anyway. And then WC to get rid of whatever disolved into the water as a result of the wiping.

    So in this tank I have less demanding plants. Basically 3 types of easy growers. Grasses, ferns and crypts. I am not going to spend much time trimming, replanting, etc, but will spend most of the time cleaning the glass and changing water. ;D Apart from that, it is a fairly low maintenance tank. And this should slowly become less work after the initial break-in period...perhaps 3 months into the tank's life it should be very stable.

    Here are some more pictures of what it looks like under the tank, inside the cabinet:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the plant front, the Marsilea is definitely settling in nicely. Roots are starting to grow pretty deep:

    [​IMG]

    In the area where I've had a lot of Marsilea die after initial planting, I can see tiny new leaves:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  19. shihr
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    shihr Administrator Staff Member

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    nice pics! i like the rock scape.. im not sure how the aromatica will work.. but im keen to see how it turns out! :) good luck!
     
  20. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    Thanks I also like the rocks. Here and there a section that doesn't work for me, however you probably need to see it as I see it in my mind and the end result should be good once most things are grown in.

    The Aromatica will most definitely not work. Only temporary as I know how to grow it well and I know it just loves sucking up nutrients. So a good plant to have in a new tank for the first 2 months or so. I will just have to bear with it for that time. I know it doesn't do so well when floating, but those pieces I am going to trade with other hobbyists if there is any interest.
     

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