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Discussion Starter #1
A friend of mine at work just gave me this tank.. it's 13"x13"x20". By my calculations it ~15gal.
I would like to have a centrally located mountain w/ driftwood, tall plants, and foreground all the way around. Would this work, look ok?
Any ideas or does anyone have a tank like this?
Thanks in advance for your replys.
 

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Are you thinking about doing something similar to this one?:



This aquarium only uses stone and java moss in the foreground. A school of small schooling fish swimming around a large stone can look stunning.

It doesn't have to be quite so minimalistic, though. You can use a larger variety of foreground plants, or even grow out some taller plants in the background to further accent it like Cryptocoryne balansae. Vertical plants will strengthen the vertical appearance of the rock. However, if you chose stem plants with more horizontal leaf patterns such as Hygrophila difformis, it will weaken the impression of the rock. The rock will look like it is being grown over/dominated by an encroaching forest.

Be creative! :)

Carlos
 

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Yeah, in that kind of tank, you only have room for one "event". It would be impossible to be too simple, IMO. I'd use vertical strokes in the center-portion of the tank. The hard decor will make or break it.

Your idea for the 'scape is right on. Just take your time and be sure the wood/rock placement is strong.
 

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Tall cube tank

The design of your tank begins with these question, like in any size tanks not matter the shape or size.
How many sides will this tank be view?
What type of light and wattage are to using?
The hard part is finding a driftwood that will fit that tall narrow footprint and your hands also be able to reach the sides to trim the foreground.

Before anything, test it to see if it leaks, since it looks like to me to be a terrarium tank.

Ken
 

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i think this tank is a little bit too high for bright light plants. if you want to plant some low light plants, that should be ok. the hardest part for this tank is lighting system. i like cube tank. i was thinking to custom a acrylic cube tank , but i gave that idea up later. its too easy to scratch it. acrylic tank can be fixed, but i keep plants or i keep tank??? :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I really love the first pic. its just what I was thinking of. But with three rocks(1 tall, 1 round, and 1 flat) and a few tall stem plants in back or to the side.
I found this light at Walmart on clearance for 15$ then I made a canopy to hold it. The light is a 65 watt 6500k luminex bulb. That should be bright enough to grow just about anything.
I have tried many times to slope or terrace the substrate before, but it always flattens out over time. Are there any tricks to keep the substrate where I want it, for this it would be a hill around the main rock. Would moss or other foreground plants and their roots help hold it in place.
thanx again for your ideas and comments
steve<><[/b]
 

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I think your ideas is interesting and has lots of potential. I like the idea of three stones located in the center. The "mound" technique. The first thing i fould do is pit a very thick layer of substrate. 4-5 inches. This would raise up the floor of your scape and make it a little easier to fill in, and find rocks to work. I, personally, would create a triangle of rocks in the middle. A taller rock in the back left corner of the triangle, second taller on the right of that and the third, lowest (possible small flat on on rock on its "side") rock in the front. I would then plant a small bunch of either stem plant of mabey crypt balanse in the middle of the rock. A tall, narrow, vertical plant would look best. Either that or I would cover the rocks with java moss and but the tall plant directly behind the largest rock. I am not sure about your light, but for a foreground I would do a mix of glosso and maybe some dwarf hairgrass. Also some baby tears not even going to try to spell the latin name. trimmed low in the foreground, maybe filling in the space where the rocks meet, would look nice.

Thats just my opinion. Hope it gives you soem ideas atleast.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well thanks for all the ideas. Like I said I liked that first pic, so I made mine similar, except I wanted to put the larger rock in the forground and smaller in back for depth. I dont know if I like the mirror (real hard to take pics of the tank). Wanted to try dennis's idea with Hygro difformis as a forground (I had alot), Ludwigia repens midground, and Giant Hairgrass
(Eleocharis montevidensis) as background. Three very different plant shapes. Really just trying different things out. I'm not real happy with the look! I'm open to suggestions and let me know what you think.

Steve <><
 

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Very nice.... I like it.

It looks like there are four stones in it instead of two because of the reflection. But I think I still like it with the two stones. :D

Steve Pituch
 

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Neat, neat, neat!

I like it very much. I would never have been able to visualize the aquarium the way you did!

I really like the stones, too. Look like plain ol' Jersey field stone. I must have dug up a million rocks like that and would never have imagined using them in an aquascape.

Mike
 

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You said you found the light at Wal-Mart? $15, you said? Wow, and it gives 65W? I am there first thing tomorrow morning!

Can you also tell me the brand and exact name? Cus the picture is kindda small to see. Also, at which section did you find it? Thanks!

Nice set-up you got going, btw:)



Paul
 

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Steve,

Nice to see you back:) First, I think it is looking very good. I like the stones and the diformis foreground :wink: If you don't mind I will mae a couple more suggestions. In the middle of the stones I could see using a nice crypt even something simple like a wendtii or tropica. Or maybe a Rotala species, maybe even an Ammania sp. I think the differnet leaf shapes would compliment but also contrast well. The repens I would let get taller, maybe just a little taller than the rock and use it behind the rock grouping. Just a single nice bunch poking out from behind the larger rock, slightly to the right of center. I would also loose the mirror. It seems neat but I think you will find it a bit distracting eventually and besides, then you will be able to see the bottoms of the plants towards the back, which can get ratty from lack of light. It looks very nice regardless, my coments are not because I find anything wrong, just maybe not my taste. But then I am not satisfied wiht my own tanks either:)

Looking good. please continue to keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the replies. My Idea is to have a shoal of 20-25 Rasbora hets. MTS's and some algae eating shrimp for fauna. The rocks I found in a stream near my home. I have diy CO2, HOB aquaclear 200, 65w L.O.A .CF yard light(Sur Wrathful-9165 FIXTURE,OUTDOOR 65W Lights of America Model: 9165 Do it Best SKU: 562416 (remember tho it was on clearance))
The day I set it up, a week ago the Ph was 8.0, GH 21, KH 13. I just started the CO2 today so I will test again tomorrow, hopefully I can lower that Ph....
BTW.- my water is that hard and alkaline out of the tap(well water)
:evil:
Steve<><
 

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SurWrathful said:
You said you found the light at Wal-Mart? $15, you said? Wow, and it gives 65W? I am there first thing tomorrow morning!

Can you also tell me the brand and exact name? Cus the picture is kindda small to see. Also, at which section did you find it? Thanks!

Nice set-up you got going, btw:)

Paul
I've seen a very similar light at Costco for about the same price. And although it's a 65W light, I don't think it has very efficient reflectors.
 

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I like it! And, I think you've done yourself a favor by limiting the amount of plant species. Let the difformis grow out and see what you think, but it may be a little big for this application once it reaches full size. You can get a similar effect (bushy) using Hemianthus, Crassula, or Microcarpae if you decide to switch. Of course, there are other plants that fit the bill, but those were first 3 that came to mind :)

The rocks are just right for this kind of tank-- way to go.

I don't like the mirror either, but that's just my opinion. I think you'd be happier with plain black...

The LOA fixtures aren't terribly efficient, but it's a small tank (gallons wise) and the price for the fixture was just right. It'll grow all your plants just fine. The L. repens should be just the right amount of color for this tank. Redder plants may clash with the brown/yellow stones.

At any rate-- Give it 4-6 weeks to grow out just like it is and see what you think. Also, try not to add fish until you've finished tweaking the decor. IMO, the Rasboras won't look all that great against the stones you've chosen. The stones are interesting enough on their own-- Try a simpler fish like Rasbora dorsiocellata, Hemmigramus pulchripinnis, Aplocheilichthys normanii, or blue tetras (sorry, the latin escapes me).

Just a suggestion;)

Good work!
 

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I agree with Wheeler. A smaller leaved plant would be a better choice than Hygrophila difformis.

Hemianthus micranthemoides would add a bushy effect.

Eleocharis acicularis can also be very interesting, providing a lot of vertical strokes in this tall tank.

Another possible fish: Black Phantom Tetras (Megalamphodus megalopterus)

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update

Thought I'd post some fresh pics. The H. difformis was no good, as it grew way to fast and wouldn't stay low. I replaced it with a mix of E. tenellus and E.acicularis. The Ludwigia has been trimmed and replanted twice to make it denser. Also the E. montevidensis didn't do very well mostly rotted away, I trimmed it down to 3/4" and it is coming back slowly, so I filled that area with a Sagittaria sp. (bought as shoestring sag.) Got rid of the mirror, painted the back in black. Had a terrible problem with brown algae, but that cleared up. Now I'm having a Hair and thread algae problem. Added 4 Amano Shrimp, 2 ottos and 3 Siamiese Algae eaters. Still haven't decided on my main fish to shoal.
 

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I think this aquarium is developing very nicely. Hopefully, the initial algae phases are over.

I think it'll look great once it fills out, although you may notice that your pygmy chain swords will become very tall. FAN has a reputation for selling "pygmy" chain swords that grow into giants.

Carlos
 
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