Thoughts on layout

By: Fresh fish80
November 27th, 2015
2:17 pm

Thoughts on layout

Hi, So Im new to the forum just starting out with my new 30gal planted tank, I have it running with plants just stuck in to grow a bit, this weekend im going to change the subtrate to dirt capped with black sand, I was wondering if you guys had any good ideas for a layout with the plant I have, these are the ones i have: so I sort of want to follow this layout, but with the plants i have, no wood or rocks either, thoughts???
Bacopa Carolina,
dwarf lily
Green Hygro Siamensis
sunset Hygro
baby tears
ludwiga rubin
Green and brown crypt
Staurogyne repens
Lobelia cardinalis
and hopefully some downoi and postgen erectus, they were pretty brown, so I dont know if theyll make it, but i can hope, if not ill prolly just get another cup of downoi, Thanks for the help!! heres a quick shot of what it looks like now,

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75G Native Planted Riffle Tank (Central NC)

By: Itsnotme1988
August 10th, 2015
10:55 pm

75G Native Planted Riffle Tank (Central NC)

Figured as my build is going incredibly slowly I may as well start a pictoral journal! This is a 75 I picked up off of craigslist with the stand, T5 NO dual lamp, and Aqueon 75 HOB filter along with various supplies for $150. The plan as this point is to collect the majority of my decorations, flora and fauna around NC once it's up and running. I want to build a planted riffle tank (Vallisneria sp, etc) with a mix of darters, shiners and chubs with some crawfish or some arthropod that could survive with but not eat the fishes and plants. Looking to go low tech.

Built sliding glass canopies

The river manifold is 3/4in PVC with two 1" inlets and two 3/4" inlets. The hob is attached the inlet and the caps are only temporary until I order my JBJ SP2500 powerheads (530gph) and filter pads from Swiss Tropicals.

First test fit and fill with driftwood that had been soaking for several weeks...

I do still need to build a canopy to properly mount the light and need to order proper bulbs.

For gravel I used Quickrete Pea Gravel as a cap over a mixture of Scotts Topsoil and Special Kitty cat litter.

The soil is only across the back half of the tank.

The Hygrophilla difformis is planted in what I'm hoping will be a good current break. (sort of native, introduced species in Florida according to USDA) It was grown emmersed so I'm waiting for the leaves to shed.

Looking for comments, ideas, constructive criticism.

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My emersed bin :)

By: drewsuf82
May 4th, 2015
9:42 pm

My emersed bin :)

Well after viewing the thread up top, and a lot more in here, I've decided to give this a go. This thread will be a copy and paste from my other journal, but I would welcome comments here as well since I know there's members on here who aren't on the other and vice versa

Wish me luck!

My parts list!

  • Scissors
  • Clear Plastic large bin
  • Shoebox size bins
  • Topsoil
  • Light Timer
  • Humidity Meter
  • Water
  • Lights
  • Some time
Well I needed some space, so I got rid of my moss growout which wasn't doing anything but growing algae...

Then I got myself a plastic bin from walmart ($16.77)

And I def took the humidity guage idea to heart($5.97 @ Petco, I could have gotten cheaper on ebay, but I'm impatient today....)

Drilled many many holes, used a pair of nail clippers to take care of the ugly hole blocking plastic that happened with many of the holes

Cleaned out the bin in the bathtub

I then took the lids that came with the shoe boxes and cut them to act as free dividers for multiple species (plus they're free since they came with the box!)

Fill up the dirt

Get your hands dirty and have fun

Add water, I've added about 4 gallons here, also added dividers...I've now reduced about a half gallon of water out of the setup since the soil seemed to be super-saturated this morning

Added the lights -- These are the walmart plant lights that they have locally, they seem to be doing the trick so far (I had these laying around, I'm planning on adding a few more possibly, IDK yet)

Humidity showing about 95% about 2 hours after letting the lights run and closing the top, checking everything tonight, plan on adding a few plants tomorrow!


So everything seemed stable, I've worked plants into 3 out of the 4 bins now.

Humidity was at about 92% when the photo period started, I added a bit of dirt to the bins to take care of the settling/saturation and then reduced the water just a hair, I'll be watching the dirt over the next few days to see if I should add a bit of water back or not, currently the water is approx. 1.5-2" under the surface of the soil.

Found some decent looking HC at the LFS (was very surprised to see that) bought a planter worth and got it in there. Here's hoping it takes off

Also found some pigmy chain sword, I've wanted to try these guys in the past but have had no room in any of my tanks, so I said why not and decided to go to town with the planter, here's hoping I get some runners Also decided to try some rotala macrandra japan red in this bin as well.

Some Moneywort and some CW Green, they're small but who knows, if these guys don't work out I'll transplant a bit from my bigger tank, or if they work out maybe I'll transplant some red or bronze over from one of my submerged tanks into the empty bin

Full bin shot as of about 20 minutes ago. I may open up to mist the plants down in a few days but that will be it, going to try to run this guy sealed for 72 hours and then open for gas exchange and mist and then close.

Comments and suggestions are always welcomed Thanks for dropping by, be sure to subscribe since this will be quite easy for me to update versus a lot of my tank journals.

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60P ADA Style Aquarium Stand

By: IUnknown
March 27th, 2015
6:47 am

60P ADA Style Aquarium Stand

Going to give a diy ada style stand a try. I'll post progress in case anyone else is interested in doing the same project. The drawing is loaded on sketchup. Following the guide below:

page 1 by gfiske, on Flickr

page 2 by gfiske, on Flickr

page 3 by gfiske, on Flickr

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Supercoley's DIY LED minimalist luminaire

By: Supercoley1
November 29th, 2014
10:27 am

Supercoley's DIY LED minimalist luminaire

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.

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Custom Figured Cherry Veneer Stand

By: AaronT
October 5th, 2014
10:21 am

Custom Figured Cherry Veneer Stand

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.

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My Farm Tank

By: StrungOut
July 15th, 2014
5:02 pm

My Farm Tank

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 hybrid
Syngonanthus belem
Syngonanthus manaus
Syngonanthus madeira
Syngonanthus lago grande
Tonina fluviatillis
Tonina fluviatillis lotus blossom
Eriocaulon japan shiga
Eriocaulon aussie type II
Eriocaulon sieboldanium
Trithuria blood *****
Eriocaulon parkeri
Ludwigia tornado
Ludwigia senegalensis
Ludwigia North Carolina
Ludwigia …. pantanal
Rotala Mexicana goias
Rotala pearl type?
Rotala Mexicana green
Rotala Mexicana bangledesh
‘monte carlo’
Elatine hydropiper
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.

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Amanda's Carolina Plant Hunt 2014

By: asukawashere
June 16th, 2014
9:29 pm

Amanda's Carolina Plant Hunt 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.

Plants abounded:

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.

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My diy led ramp

By: Ultimbow
May 26th, 2014
9:55 pm

My diy led ramp

Her a few picture of the led ramp i built.

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By: Yo-han
May 8th, 2014
9:40 pm


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'...

The tank:

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:

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

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