Hey guys, I'm moving back to my apartment at school in a little over a month so I'm planning a new tank for my room. I wanted to try something new and stay away from the regular tank shapes/stocking/etc. Here is the setup!
I have been looking at different tank shapes trying to find a good fit. I've been liking the shallower look for quite a while, so I figured this was as good a chance as any to try it out. The mr aqua 12 gallon long looked great, but it is glass. Since this tank will be with me at school I'll eventually have to move it, and I DO NOT like moving glass tanks. I'm going to have a custom acrylic tank built. Dimensions will be 32"x9"x9", black background, euro braced with a single cross brace in the center. This will give me a way larger footprint than a regular 10g even though the tank is only 11g. It's going to be made by GPS in Sacramento. They called me after I requested a quote to get a feel for what I was looking for, and the quote came quickly after with a few solid models of potential configurations. I'm impressed with them so far, a lot of the other acrylic manufacturers I have contacted just didn't seem interested in doing business, it's kinda strange. Does anyone have experience with GPS?
I'm going to build another in tank filter for this setup. See my last build thread, http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...8/#post1459165
, if you're interested. This filter will be built into the far end of the tank (end furthest from my desk). It's going to have three chambers, one for mechanical, one for biological, and one for a small sump to hide the pump and heater. This is probably tough to visualize, I'll try to get some solid models up soon. I really like this type of filter because it is so quiet. All the equipment is submerged so the water damps out any vibrations. The filter return will run to the far end of the tank to give me good flow across the whole length of the tank. I'm not sure if I'll run the return outside across the back of the tank, or keep it internal and run it under the gravel along the back.
I used a Marina 78 degree fixed heater on my last tank and really liked it. I'll probably use something similar. We will see, for small tanks I don't really feel like heater choice is critical.
I'm going to be building myself a new LED fixture. probably will use 10-15 1W diodes, but I'll use a dim-able driver this time so I can fine tune my brightness. I'm not exactly sure how I want to mount it all, but these 1W diodes don't generate too much heat so nothing fancy. For now I think I'll just mount them all to a long piece of aluminum L-bracket. The L-bracket will mount to a piece of acrylic which I will heat up and bend into place over the tank. I hope this will look really clean and be quick to put together. The diodes will be mostly 6500k white, perhaps with some 450nm blue and 660 nm red for color. I'll probably use the cheap Epistar diodes again just because they are so cheap, and this tank is so shallow I really don't need fancier diodes.
Probably going to use playsand. I just really like the way it looks and the cories love it. I tried fluorite sand on my last tank and didn't feel like it was worth it. I also disliked how cloudy it was when disturbed. I'll probably start out with flourish comprehensive, it's always done well by me. I'd like to try some root tabs too so we will see about that.
I've been wanting to try out CO2 on one of my tanks for a long time. My dad has a 5lb cylinder with regulator, solenoid and ph controller that isn't being used. It was from a 100g tank we had in a previous house when I was younger. I'm going to borrow it for this tank. I'm feeling really uncertain about the ph controller though. I don't have much experience with CO2 setups (so please chime in here) but it seems to me a pH controller isn't actually a very good way to control CO2 levels in the tank. Since it isn't actually measuring the CO2 concentration, it seems that any of the things that could normally change pH would throw the CO2 concentrations off. Maybe if you kept a careful eye on other water parameters the pH probe could give accurate CO2 regulation. I just feel iffy about it. I think it would be better for me to just put the CO2 solenoid on the same (or similar) timer as my lights and use a drop checker to estimate concentration. I'd really like feedback on this if anyone has experience. Either way, for diffusion I think I'm going to just route the CO2 hose into the filter return, if this is insufficient I can try something else.
Definitely going to add malaysian trumpet snails to this tank. I absolutely love these things. Their gentle burrowing keeps the substrate SO healthy. And since they burrow you hardly ever see them except when they come up to eat sinking tablets.
I'll probably get a few amano shrimp, I've been hearing what great algae eaters they are and want to see it for myself. I'll also be putting in some smaller shrimp. Probably just cherries since they are so easy, but it could be fun to try something new with some different color.
For a while I was contemplating trying to build my stocking around a pair of blue rams (love this fish) but I think that despite the increased footprint of this tank there just isn't enough space for rams. Instead my centerpiece is going to be a school of ember tetras. I'll also be getting about 6 corydorus habrosus for the first time, I have been looking forward to getting some of these little guys since I found out about them. I'll likely get a few otos as well, these guys are just too great with plants to pass up, and they always do well for me. I'm not sure how full the tank will look with these two schools and the otos, I'll have to wait and see. If there is space for more fish I may add a sparkling gourami or two, but it's more likely that if I really think I have room for more fish I'll just add to the ember tetra school.
I was thinking about trying some dwarf baby tears, but I think it's going to be too high maintenance for me. I really want to plant part of the aquarium with pygmy sword, really like the look of this stuff. I'll probably have some anubias nana or anubias barteri growing in the shade of a biggish piece of driftwood. I also really want to try some hydrocotle tripartita, I've loved the look of this plant ever since I first saw it, just haven't gotten to try it out yet. I'll likely plant a few stands of stem plants as well, we will see. I'd love to get plant suggestions if anyone has any
That's all for now, let me know what you think! I'd love to hear all suggestions.