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Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank (Read 2970 times)

Offline faulty_damper

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Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
« on: May 17, 2014, 06:13:06 AM »
Another one of my hobbies is fishkeeping and aquascaping.  I'm still relatively new to aquascaping (<2 years) and this is my latest effort.  This is the planting sketch of what it could look like when the plants have grown in:



This is what it currently looks like:


There are bamboo skewers with tags of the intended plant selections.  The skewers are a great way of visualizing where the plants will grow from between the manzanita branches.


Without the skewers.

I still need to get LED lights capable of growing aquatic plants and a CO2 reactor to dissolve CO2 into the water.  It's a work in progress but I thought I'd share this other hobby of mine.  

Offline Bob

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #1 on: May 17, 2014, 11:50:52 PM »
Interesting.  Do fish go in there, or is just for viewing underwater plants?
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #2 on: May 17, 2014, 11:56:27 PM »
Yes, a lot of fish will swim in there as well.

Offline senanserat

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #3 on: May 18, 2014, 06:24:09 AM »
Yes, a lot of fish will swim in there as well.

Can you put a piano cameo in there? So the fish can swing with pianoswag.
"The thousand years of raindrops summoned by my song are my tears, the thunder that strikes the earth is my anger!"

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #4 on: May 18, 2014, 09:53:49 PM »
No piano.  Just aquatic plants and fish.  Also shrimp.

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 01:52:15 AM »
Another one of my hobbies is fishkeeping and aquascaping.  I'm still relatively new to aquascaping (<2 years) and this is my latest effort.  This is the planting sketch of what it could look like when the plants have grown in:



This is what it currently looks like:


There are bamboo skewers with tags of the intended plant selections.  The skewers are a great way of visualizing where the plants will grow from between the manzanita branches.


Without the skewers.

I still need to get LED lights capable of growing aquatic plants and a CO2 reactor to dissolve CO2 into the water.  It's a work in progress but I thought I'd share this other hobby of mine. 

I have just recently acquired two small turtles in an aquarium, just wondering what you cover the bottom with.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #6 on: May 19, 2014, 09:54:30 PM »
For turtles, you can use aquarium gravel or go to Home Depot and get pea gravel.  I think it only costs <$6 for 50 lbs.  Turtles eat a lot and poop a lot so you'll need a water filter (either internal or external) if you don't already have one.  And be sure to vacuum and change the water once or twice a week to remove the poop.  Otherwise, it will accumulate and algae and bacteria will grow out of control.  Make sure the turtles have UVB light or their shells won't grow properly; you can also put them by the window as sunlight contains UVB.

What kind of turtles?  Some require water and enough room to swim.

Offline Bob

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #7 on: May 19, 2014, 10:50:23 PM »
Will there be... snails, by any chance?


*Snails begin massing in the direction of faulty_damper's new tank...*

       (     (    (          _@/ _@/ _@/ _@/
     (     (    (     _@/ _@/ _@/ _@/ _@/
(     (    (          _@/    _@/   _@/   _@/_@/   _@/
 (     _@/ _       (     (    (   @/  _@/ _@/_@/    _@/
               (     (    (    _@/ _@/  _@/       _@/  _@/ 
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #8 on: May 20, 2014, 01:11:47 AM »
No.

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 05:43:28 AM »
For turtles, you can use aquarium gravel or go to Home Depot and get pea gravel.  I think it only costs <$6 for 50 lbs.  Turtles eat a lot and poop a lot so you'll need a water filter (either internal or external) if you don't already have one.  And be sure to vacuum and change the water once or twice a week to remove the poop.  Otherwise, it will accumulate and algae and bacteria will grow out of control.  Make sure the turtles have UVB light or their shells won't grow properly; you can also put them by the window as sunlight contains UVB.

What kind of turtles?  Some require water and enough room to swim.
 
I have a couple of Red Sliders Which are quite common in the US but not necessarily a native in all areas.  I have a filter and a light shining down on them since they like that. But the bottom of the aquarium is reflective so worried the light reflects which increases heat in an unnatural way.

Offline Bob

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #10 on: May 20, 2014, 06:30:42 AM »
Whoa....


*Snails whoa....*

_@\ _@\ _@\ _@\
       _@\ _@\ _@\ _@\ _@\
          _@\   _@\   _@\   _@\_@\   _@\
      _@\          @\  _@\ _@\_@\    _@\
                 _@\ _@\  _@\       _@\  _@\


*Snails retreat....*

\@_ \@_ \@_ \@_ \@_ \@_    )    )
\@_ \@_ \@_ \@_ \@_ \@_ \@_ \@_    )    )
       \@_ \@_ \@_ \@_  \@_ \@_   )  )
          \@_ \@_  \@_ \@_  \@_ \@_    )  )
    \@_ \@_      \@_ \@_  \@_ \@_  \@_ \@_    )  )
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #11 on: May 20, 2014, 08:08:54 AM »
 
I have a couple of Red Sliders Which are quite common in the US but not necessarily a native in all areas.  I have a filter and a light shining down on them since they like that. But the bottom of the aquarium is reflective so worried the light reflects which increases heat in an unnatural way.

You don't have to worry that the bare glass bottom will reflect heat.  It makes it easier to keep clean without gravel, but gravel just looks nicer.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #12 on: June 07, 2014, 02:50:29 AM »


So I made changes to the arrangement of the wood.  I added much more and arranged them in a more random manner pointing upward.  I think it looks better since it's more natural.  It will be a couple of weeks before I start planting.

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #13 on: June 07, 2014, 05:53:01 PM »
You should do it in slightly thicker glass. I looked at it with slightly thicker glass, and it clearly better that way.

I wont show it, but it's better. Trust me.
It's not that it's my opinion, it's just the truth. It makes so much more sense if you'd use thicker glass.

I once had an aquarium, so I know what I'm talking about.

Offline perprocrastinate

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #14 on: June 07, 2014, 06:01:23 PM »
You should do it in slightly thicker glass. I looked at it with slightly thicker glass, and it clearly better that way.

I wont show it, but it's better. Trust me.
It's not that it's my opinion, it's just the truth. It makes so much more sense if you'd use thicker glass.

I once had an aquarium, so I know what I'm talking about.

rofl.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #15 on: June 07, 2014, 06:24:42 PM »
You should do it in slightly thicker glass. I looked at it with slightly thicker glass, and it clearly better that way.

I wont show it, but it's better. Trust me.
It's not that it's my opinion, it's just the truth. It makes so much more sense if you'd use thicker glass.

I once had an aquarium, so I know what I'm talking about.
It's acrylic, not glass.

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #16 on: June 07, 2014, 07:13:19 PM »
DON'T ATTACK ME!!!!!!!!! YOU JUST CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!! I had an aquarium, and it was glass. So you're wrong!

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #17 on: December 10, 2014, 07:38:16 AM »

Planting in process.


This is what it looked like immediately after planting.


Twelve days after planting.


Day 29.


Day 39.


Day 100.


Over the course of time that this tank has been running, I've realized that there were technical errors in hardscape placement.  Mainly, the stones were placed too close to the front and some stones were too large.  This resulted in reduced foreground area which reduced depth of view, and it also skewed the scale.  Had these stones been placed farther back, there would have been a much more obvious fore-, mid-, and background areas.  The wood placement also made it difficult to trim the plants, especially so because of the small openings of the top of the tank.

Currently, it's day 131.  I have an algae infestation which prevents taking a decent photo so that will have to wait.

Offline Bob

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #18 on: December 11, 2014, 06:53:10 AM »
I'm impressed. It's a lot closer to the original drawn image than I expected.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #19 on: December 12, 2014, 08:06:23 AM »

Day 133

Algae scrapping was done.  I'm always surprised at how much I appreciate being able to see into the tank.

I've been having fertilization issues.  Specifically, I think one plant, Hygrophila pinnatifida, is a nutrient hog, taking up most of the nutrients before the others can get to it.  This results in what appears to be nutrient deficiencies and algae growth on the plants.  I'm adding way more fertilizers than even some experts recommend and suggesting that I'm actually fertilizing too much.  However, the more I fertilize, the better the growth so this observation has merit.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #20 on: December 13, 2014, 01:12:45 AM »
I'm impressed. It's a lot closer to the original drawn image than I expected.

To give you some context of what other aquascapers are doing, here's a slideshow of the top rated works in this year's International Aquatic Plant Layout Contest:
http://s1360.photobucket.com/user/SolcieloL/slideshow/IAPLC%202014

It's the most prestigious aquascaping contest in the world. The Grand Prize winner received 1,000,000 (+$8400), which is an awful lot of money just for a fish tank. :o

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #21 on: January 05, 2015, 09:56:02 PM »
Day 148


There are some changes to the hardscape.  Stones were replaced with smaller ones (right side) and pieces of wood were removed for the ease of trimming plants (front right, back left.)

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Aquascaping a 63 gallon fish tank
«Reply #22 on: February 07, 2015, 11:29:21 PM »
Day 180





It's been one half year since this tank was planted.  Most of the fish are breeding and seem happy.  I'm still making minor adjustments every now and then to the hardscape and planting.  I don't know why the water is cloudy since I didn't do anything major.  Perhaps cleaning the canister filter caused it?  But it makes for more interesting photos as you can see.