November 29th, 2014
With a new 140ltr Opti-white aquarium replacing my old 125ltr and a complete redo of my lounge to a very minimal modern appearance I thought I would make a new luminaire to match the cabinet and other furniture in my lounge.
The MkII version was still working well after 3 and a half years. It hasn't been ditched. All the electrics and LEDs have been re-used in my emersed cupboards meaning that now all 11 of my aquariums are lit by LED.
Originally I was looking for a slimline unit and planning on either using MDF (painted white) or using some steel sheet that I have left over from another project. First I found the TMC modular mounting with the tiles and thought something similar but then.........I stumbled upon the 'Vitrea Bridge' and instantly fell in love with it.
With the Vitrea costing circa £1000+ for my size I decided to try and do something myself whilst using the Vitrea's design to house my electrics. Mine will have much less LEDs and wiring is a lot cruder. I will be using 3 seperate plugs each going to a driver that runs 6 x 3W. A total of 18 x 3W LEDs. Of course mine won't have the controller or anything techincal either.
Rather than a glass sheet I will be using acrylic.
So with the design decided upon I drew up a plan of where I want the LEDs over the tank and then came to the measurements of the acrylic piece I will be needing.
The Opti-white is 80cm x 40cm and the acrylic are for the lighting is 60cm x 28cm. Adding 3 cm to each end to fit in the 'brackets' I ordered a 12mm thick piece of acrylic with the dimensions 66cm x 28cm.
When the acrylic sheet arrived I set to work on it, drawing out the LED positions and then routing some 21mm holes for the lense holders to fit in.
October 5th, 2014
After purchasing the veneer for this project about 3 years ago I finally started on it this past fall. It's been slow going, but here's the progress on the stand thus far. The stand is a little bit longer than the tank (an ADA 90-P). Rather than the usual holes on the sides of the stand they will be on the top of the cabinet so the inlet / return hoses go straight down into the stand. A bit like the design on the bottom of this page, but only on one side.
The construction was done using 3/4" MDO plywood with the exception of the front header, which is solid cherry. All joints are rabbeted and screwed and glued using pocket hole screws. I'm still in search of some veneer that is wide enough to do bookmatched doors on the front. Excuse the glue residue. I applied the veneer using a veneer hammer and hide glue and have yet to clean up the excess. The solid cherry header is backed by a piece of 3/4" MDO plywood and is super strong. I can sit on the front in the middle and there is no flex and I'm about 185 lbs. The header has yet to be veneered as well. I chose solid wood there because at one time I considered doing a very slight bevel on it to mimic the bevels on the glass of the aquarium.
The inside will be painted either white or light grey as a nod to the ADA tank it will hold.
July 15th, 2014
I figured I’d start a journal here now. This is post beginning, the tank was setup May 11, 2014. So starting at July 8th, 2014.
30”x30”x13” standard glass cube ?frag? tank (equivalent to around 50gallons)
Lighting: 2 30” finnex planted plus, 1 finnex original fugeray (started 1 month with the 2 planted plus only)
Filtration: SunSun I believe 303-b, uv sterilizer does not work, rated for 75 gallons I think
Co2: cheap unknown to me regulator, atomic gla largest diffuser, feeds into the filter intake
Substrate: ada Amazonia (2 9l bags), ada Africana (2 9l bags)
Water: pure ro water reconstituted w/seachem equilibrium
Pair japan blue endlers
Some royal blue tiger culls
Some of these are single stems, looking to be propagated
Syngonanthus lago grande
Tonina fluviatillis lotus blossom
Eriocaulon japan shiga
Eriocaulon aussie type II
Trithuria blood *****
Ludwigia North Carolina
Ludwigia …. pantanal
Rotala Mexicana goias
Rotala pearl type?
Rotala Mexicana green
Rotala Mexicana bangledesh
Rotala macrandra green
Rotala macrandra japan red
Alternanthera reineckii variegated
Buce brownie red
Lileaposis Chinensis 'Maryland'
Some key tips on how I was successful:
I must of tried like 5 times or so and failed each time with algae or plants melting. Well, try try and try again, I gave up many times, wasted a lot of money, but passion to grow the syngonanthus plant alone kept me coming back.
First off if your gonna use ada Amazonia then you must do water changes. Water change is a must anyways, I believe in low tech and high tech, high tech being the greater amount. I did almost daily water changes in the start. Ammonia leech may or may not melt plans but it will cause algae, which nobody wants unless its that red algae.
Pack as many plants as you can in there
O2, Co2, get this right and it will solve most of your issues, I didn’t need to fertilize the first month or so on, diffusion method is vary important too. You can blast a glass diffuser and all the bubbles are going to do is rise to the surface with less diffusion rate. I’d suggest not adding fish right away so you can really mess around with the co2. Lots of flow is a good thing, keeps o2 levels up and mixes the co2 in the water level too. Proper mixing is important when doing a co2 tank.
Photoperiod, start off with 5 hrs a day, make sure you don’t get algae(it can get bad very fast), plants will do fine, then when the system is ready you can really up your lighting period
Start off with lower light, you may have a lot higher light then you expect.
Learn to trim, plant. This will keep things neater and not let your tank get too overgrown(I am guilty of this). Propagation? Trim a sideshoot and replant or however a plant produces, do it fast and you multiply that plant fast.
June 16th, 2014
Last April we went on a family trip to the Myrtle Beach area. While His Manliness and my baby brother creature (note: he's in high school and is several inches taller than me now, but as the eldest child, I will eternally call him the baby brother) were preoccupied with the golfing, I was far more sensibly intrigued by the availability of aquatic plants that don't range far enough north to find back home.
The house we rented for a week turned out to be something of a birder's paradise—sitting on the edge of a pond, its population of fish attracted birds like cormorants, herons, and egrets, and the usual array of anatids. My favorite was this awesome male hooded merganser:
He refused to come close enough for me to take a better photo, but you have to admit, that's a neat duck!
But, enough birds. This is about the PLANTS!!!!!! So I proceeded to raid the nearest roadside ditch:
This was part of a larger complex of channels and ponds created to collect rainwater and spit it out into the ocean. It's a fairly common sight in flat coastal areas down south.
Ludwigia palustris was, of course, everywhere. If you can't find L. palustris by any given ditch in the Southeast, you probably aren't actually looking at a ditch in the Southeast.
This Saururus cernuus lined the edges of the pond (in a small park) all the ditches flowed into. It may have been planted at some point, as there was some evidence of prior landscaping efforts—a good deal of non-native Colocasia esculenta was interspersed with the Saururus. However, both species had long since naturalized and plantlets and young shoots could be found all along the pond's edges.
Despite the proliferation of L. palustris, I did find a lovely patch of Ludwigia repens tucked away in the corner of one ditch.
It trailed out from the banks to form a small thicket in standing water.
I was rather shocked to see all of this Samolus valerandi in bloom—it doesn't flower until mid to late summer back home.
Another great little find came in the form of a few patches of Lilaeopsis carolinensis, a large species of Lilaeopsis that functions a bit like a Vallisneria in the aquarium—a tall, grassy background plant reaching heights of 12-18" It was cute and stubby here, but it was still very early in the growing season. The sample I brought home has grown much larger since then.
My favorite find was this stoloniferous Ludwigia, tentatively IDed as L. alata. I plan to flower it in the greenhouse and see if that's actually correct.
Alas, I couldn't stay there forever, so we packed up at the end of the week and started driving back home.
Not that that stopped me from ditch diving some more! somewhere in North Carolina, we stopped at a Chik-fil-A for lunch. It was a rainy, overcase sort of day, and a ditch out front was flooded. I poked around a bit, and found myself another prize:
Some Gratiola virginiana was growing amidst the grass!
So, all in all, a successful trip, especially for one so early in the growing season.
May 26th, 2014
Her a few picture of the led ramp i built.
May 8th, 2014
I bought a new house a few weeks ago and leaving my rental appartment on the 4th floor in a month, so finally time for a bigger tank! Couldn't find a minimum requirement for posting in the 'Large aquariums and Ponds' section, but I guess this one passes. If not, mods can move it to 'journals'...
Unfortunately no 1000+ gallon, but liter. Still, well over 250 gallon, so not a small tank. Here is the thread from my previous (100G) tank: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...g-planted.html
A few things I wanted to do different than my previous tank. First of all, I no longer wanted an open tank. I love the look, but I didn't liked the fact that I lost a few fish and am limited in the species of fish I could pick. Another thing why I want my new tank to be closed is that with such a large tank, I get too much evaporation. And third, I wanted it opti-white!
I don't like a standard hood either so the cabinet will go all the way up to the ceiling. Something like these aquaria from Oliver Knott, but no see-through:
Mine will be in a corner in front of an 195 cm (77 inch) wall. So will be 195 cm long. The depth is still an ongoing battle with the misses. I want at least 80 cm (32 inch), but she wants it to be 60 cm (24 inch) as max. The height can be as much as I want, but for easy maintenance I want a max of 65 cm (26 inch). I'm no small guy, but my arms can only reach so far:P So it probably will be 195 x 80 x 65 cm (77 x 32 x 26 inch). It will be viewable from the front and left side.
I tried making some Google Sketchup renderings, which wasn't easy, but here they are:
The two door version:
Three door version:
I want a sump. I want the flexibility and want to play more with filter media (if Niko ain't replying on this one someone call an ambulance:P) And I would love to have the sump in the room behind the wall. This will make maintenance easier and also make the tank more silent. But off course, this means drilling some rather large holes in the wall. So maybe it will be placed in the cabinet, not sure yet.
The pump I picked as a Jebao DC 12000. I picked this one because I know people who used it for their reef tanks and it is very silent. It does 12000 L/h (> 3000GPH) and is electronically adjustable. After taking the head pressure into account, it will leave me with a nice 10x flow.
The overflow will be a bean animal style overflow with the entire depth of the tank as an overflow, see rendering:
Sump in the room behind the aquarium:
The lighting I'll be using will be the same from my 100G. This is a dimmable 6x54W T5HO. But this is only 120 cm (48 inch) so I'll probably supplement it on the sides. Not sure how, but I was thinking about the LED floodlights. A 20W 6500K on either side will probable look good, but perhaps someone with experience with these lights can chip in
Rest of the equipment:
UV and CO2 off course. Probably in a closed loop on the sump with my Aqua Medic reactor. 3-4 heaters in the sump, to prevent overheating if one breaks and to prevent under cooling if one breaks. Since working in an lfs I've seen so many tanks being destroyed by overheating or undercooling (more of a problem with reef tanks), when only one heater was used. Perhaps I setup my dosing pump again, not sure yet.
Inside the tank:
Lots of wood with ferns and mosses. Stems on the back and low plants in the front. Sand in front and aquasoil in the back. Separated by stones and plants. Working in an lfs, I certainly will be visiting the wholesale where we get our hardscape from! The fish will be the same as I have now, perhaps some bigger schools (now around 20-25 per species), and I'll add a small school (of about 12-15 fish) of one bit larger fish. Always loved denisonii's, but I've seen them grow to 15-18cm (6-7 inch) which I find a bit large for my tank, but not sure yet. Another beautifull fish would be Dawkinsia rohani, but these will be hard to find:
We have some beautiful altums in one of our showtanks at work as well
Anyway, you get the picture, if someone thinks he knows a better fish, please do tell.
Not sure when the tank will be setup, but as fast as possible
By: Crispino Ramos
March 29th, 2014
This plant was sold to me with the name - Piptospatha 'Super Blue'. Like Bucephalandra, it can be grown submerged but this particular plant is grown emersed. I would recommend it as a plant for a paludarium or vivarium.
March 12th, 2014
Hello everyone, my name is Jaakko, hailing from Warsaw, Poland. (I'm from Finland though) I've been in the hobby for 25yrs but until last years fish always came first. Then I ended up on AGA competition pages and decided to give plants a go. I've had this tank for 2,5 years but the previous scape just never took flight so during xmas holidays I did almost total re-make. This set-up is now 2 weeks old, starting to grow-in.
I'll be happy for all kinds of comments. I've been aiming for fairly low tech, fairly low maintenance living-room center piece. I'm sorry the photos are mediocre quality, our better camera suffered battle-damage during new year celebrations.
Tank: 120cm long 60cm high, bow-front, appr. 325 litres.
Light: 2x150W metal-halide
Filtration: outside Eheim prof. II, inside Aqua-El sponge/keramic filter
Maintenance: 25% water change 2-4 times/month, daily liquid CO2, weekly Profito fertilization, weekly Easylife Fosfo and Ferro.
Substrate: mixed gravel and under that Pro-Soil.
Background: "blue lagoon"-paper. I would have gone for black but my better half insisted on this one.
Hardscape: manzanita roots?
pogostemon octopi ?
echinodorus bleheri, hopefully hiding the equipment as it grows
two variations of cryptocoryne (wendtii, I think)
hygrophila pinnifatida both on wood and in substrate
red lotus in a plastic pot, wrapped in nylon pantyhose to prevent taking over the tank
Quite a mixed bunch, some my own purchases, some I've been saving from quitting hobbyists.
9 rummynose tetras
8 black neons
10 corydoras rabauti or aenatus
2 german blue rams
3 keyhole cichlids
2 butterfly plecos
3 nerite snails
10+ assassin snails
+- 15 amano shrimps
January 15th, 2014
OK. Sorry for the trouble with the last post attempt. Hopefully, this post will not create a problem.
This is my first post though I have been lurking for a while and have really enjoyed the creativity and inspiration provided by all of you. I'm looking forward to learning more!
Here is my new paludarium build and my first attempt at a build such as this. My hope is to create the appearance of a cliff with land mass jutting out above and beach area below. The water section will be sparsely planted. My thought was to create a bonsai forest on top of the cliff. I am not sure of options for species that can interact with the land section and would love your input on this...
Tank dimensions- 47" x 22" D x 19.5" H
Light- Medium-high LEDs though I have not measured PAR levels- about 12" above water level
Substrate- Medium Sand on the bottom with some Microbe-Lift Aquatic Plant Media. I used some spare Fluval Stratum and top soil for the land area
Filtration is via a 45g diy sump with biomedia and separate refugium
I am also using a MistKing misting system for the emersed plants/bonsai
Background- These are real rocks that are foamed together with black expanding foam to create a nice stable cliff-like appearance (no worry of falling rocks here)
Rocks were chosen to fit together and then foamed. Sand is piled up initially and pressed into foam before it fully cures/sets to give a more natural appearance. I like the way this has turned out so far. Will let you know how it stands up over time.
I used styrofoam to support the rocks while the foam cured and then removed it. The styrofoam was replaced with a PVC and egg crate false bottom to support the land area.
View from behind showing the foam 'seams' that will completely separate the land section.
Plumbing is hidden behind the cliff and enters the water area through a couple of small supply holes built into the cliff wall. Detail view below.
I used some weed barrier fabric over the egg crate to allow water to travel under the front gravel section in the area of the submersed cliff. This will allow this area to be 'flooded' so I can have some emersed plants that like wet feet. I am thinking of an HC carpet here that will be partially emersed. In the areas of land that I want to keep dry, I am using some spare EPDM rubber pond liner that I had laying around that I siliconed to the back side of the rock cliff. This is being supported by the false bottom.
Perspective view of the tank positioned in the living room wall unit.
Starting to plant and stock with some colored skirt tetras, danios, and Endlers.
Couple of detail shots.
Side is viewable as well showing open top. Water is still hazy in this pic.
I'm experimenting with some mosses for the land portion. Need something that likes light!
This is where I'm at right now in the build. I will post updates when I've had a chance to plant the land section.
Are there any suggestions on a semi-aquatic species that will get along with fish and perhaps come out on the land section without risk of escape through the open top? FW crab maybe?
Also, any thoughts on some nice submersed plants that are small leaved and will maintain the desired scale? I don't want a broad-leafed or stem plant that will look too large in perspective.
Thanks for your input in advance.
November 20th, 2013
Hey there, my name is Alex, i'm from Romania and for the past year i toyed with a colorful "island scape".
But first, a few words about the tank :
-lenght : 100 cm
-width : 55 cm
-hight : 45 cm
-lighting : 3xGiesmann Aquaflora [39w], 3xGiesmann Midday [39w]
-external filters : 2
-heater : 1 AquaEl ComfortZone 300w
-pressurised, 2 bubbles per second with DIY reactor
-DIY plus some Easy Life Easy Carbo
-20 Ember tetras, 3 Glass bloodfin tetras and 1 Siamese algae eater
Here are some clips of Tranquility Island :
And the last pics of the Island setup :
And more pics :
Up next i'll show you the 2 week old scape, with a dutch touch.