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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My parents have volunteered in and run their church library for 25+ years. Two years ago, they asked me to build them an aquarium as a part of the library remodel/relocation. Never before had my parents voluntarily participated in any of my aquarium endeavors. For all of my childhood, in fact, the sound of running water made them wince! ;)

This 20 gallon tank is a collaboration between my mom and the church, who funded the project, myself, who advised and set up the aquarium for its first few months, and my dad, who keeps up with the weekly maintenance.

Major props to Dad, who for the 1 & 1/2 years this tank has been on display has taken meticulous care of it. After we moved the aquarium from Houston, where I lived at the time, to its home in Fort Worth, he would email me pictures and ask questions. He followed instructions to the letter. This qualifies as his first aquarium, and I think he's done a remarkable job taking care of it.

Capacity: 20 gallon
Stand/Canopy: Custom Oak Cabinet designed by Dad and made by a local carpenter to match the bookshelves.
Lighting: 2 x 65 PCs (6700K); the lights are both on for about 6 hrs in the middle of the day with only one at a time on in the morning and at night (about a 10 hr. photo-period total). Coralife fixtures
CO2: Pressurized through inline reactor. About 1 bps.
Substrate: Aquasoil Amazonia for background; Caribsea something or other for foreground.
Special Materials: ADA Old Black Wood
Fish: Rummynose, Cardinal Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Kribensis, Ottos, AE Shrimp, and one lowly male guppy that was a holdover from another tank (mostly left in as a joke). And yes, it's a lot of fish. Keep in mind that the tank is in the children's section of a library and they like variety.
Plants: Java moss, Ludwigia repens, hygro., crypt sp., bacopa, and I don't know what else.
Filtration: Eheim 2217; ceramics, Purigen
Ferts: My dad fertilizes pretty lightly. Mostly Seachem products (K, Comprehensive, Fe, and Excel).

Comments: This tank was meant to be a community tank for children, not an aquascaping contest entry. Dad's done a good job taking care of it, but the hardscape, rock choice, plant placement, fish selection (all my choices), etc. etc. are not contest worthy. Lastly, the tank will be taken down this Christmas. It will be redone and replaced, hopefully, by the end of January.

The pictures show a full frontal view, and two views in the setting. They were taken at different times, so the scape looks different.

Hope y'all like it!


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73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
davemonkey said:
Kudos to your folks! The tank looks great!
Thanks, davemonkey. Indeed, I couldn't be prouder of my dad. I've started more than a few aquariums for well meaning people in my day. Most never really get it. My dad is the exception. The church aquarium is something we have come to talk about constantly and it's been really fun. And, again, he's religious about the maintenance. The tank stays spotless (which should be a requirement for any publicly displayed aquarium!). He really does a great job.

I look forward to redoing it. We've already got plans to make the next scape a hundred times better.

BryceM said:
I love seeing planted tanks in public places. Imagine how popular this hobby will be in the future.
It's rare, at the moment, isn't it? Most people have never seen a planted tank. Some don't even know what they are! But you're right... they're getting bigger and bigger. Hobbyists are demanding better and better products, and information is more widely available. We all owe a great deal to the APC, AGA, local clubs, authors who stuck their necks out, etc. etc. for promoting the hobby. We've all reaped the rewards of their passion.

Phil Edwardsl said:
I like it! Y'all have done a fantastic job of designing and maintaining a beautiful aquarium. Please give your parents my compliments.

Did I read somewhere that you're working with ADG?
I'll let them know. My dad's already asked me, "Am I famous yet?" I told him I was finally posting the aquarium. I debated for a while, since it's not the greatest scape in the world. More important to me is the story behind it.

And, while I'm not at the moment, yes, I did have the great fortune to work for ADG. I loved it. No one is more passionate about aquariums than Mike and Jeff. They're among those that have stuck their necks out.

I hope to have some better pictures soon. Thanks for your comments!

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73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for your compliments guys. I really appreciate it (and Dad is thrilled).

I figured out how to make the pictures larger, so there's some repeats. Sorry... I'm learning.

Tex Gal said:
I agree with CrownMan. It's so pretty I would hate to see it go.
Again, I appreciate the compliment. But the aspiring aquascaper in me wants to tinker. For the tank to have been up for as long as it has without rescaping it has taken a lot of will power! I was never thrilled with the hardscape. I've learned a lot since setting it up and look forward to putting that knowledge into the next scape. It'll be the same aquarium/equipment... just different scape.

It will also be made into quite an event. There's going to be a display counting the days to the return of the tank once it's removed. I'm planning on having it running for about 6 weeks before returning it to the church.

I'm already lining up good homes for the fish/plants.

Niko said:
I doubt there are more than a handful of visitors to the library that don't notice the tank.
It does get noticed. I especially like seeing the kids swarm it. There are many that count the shrimp and baby Kribs, and notice even the smallest changes from week to week.

bigger pictures:

side view:

Other side view. Shows the "trough" at the back that the intake/return hoses go through. Also the lock that keeps the kids from "feeding the fish."

Thanks again guys! Sorry this is so long!

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