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Macrocosm 05-12-2012 11:04 AM

Need help with an idea....
So I have my new 90 gallon tank. I am starting to get all the things together that I want to use to do my planted setup. It should be pretty cool and I am very excited about what I have in mind.

I want to do a very dramatic "contrasting" tank. One side will be very hard. With tri-color stack stone and petrified wood. The other side will be very lush and organic with Amazon Driftwood and very planted. In between I want to do a "pond" or "stream" within my tank.

Here is my idea... When a tank is full of water and you see the exposed bottom piece of glass it reflects like a mirror due to the natural light prism that happens. So I want to "retain" the substrate so that the bottom of the tank is exposed. In the tank I need to find a way to hold the organic substrate back and keep it back. I have thought about using acrylic and bending it in the shape of a "pond" and using silicone to keep it in place. but I fear that the acrylic will cause it to look "manufactured". I really want it to appear as if it is a natural existing pool within my aquarium. Almost like "heavy water" would in the ocean.

I am wanting some advice on how you might make it look more natural.

The substrate that I am using is a black planting sand and natural gem pea gravel. Any advice would be appreciated.

I just don't want to rush this tank and I want it to turn out like a ADA type tank.

BTW I found a great GREAT place for plants and hardscape....

Aquarium Pond Plants Freshwater Aquarium Plants Aquarium Accessories Pete the owner is amazing and they have amazing deals.

Byron 05-12-2012 11:23 AM

Consider the fish, assuming fish are to be included. Fish do better over a solid and usually dark substrate. Mirror or reflecting glass is not advisable because this creates an environment that causes the fish stress.

I like the idea of dual aquascapes, the planted versus the barren. But remember that the fish will most likely choose their preference and stay there, according to their natural habitat conditions. I have seen this myself, where cardinals for instance will remain within the plant side as that is what they naturally expect in a habitat. That could be interesting in itself of course, so long as you are aware of it. One side of the tank might never see fish.

redchigh 05-12-2012 11:50 AM

For the 'water' area, have you considered tiny clear glass beads?

Macrocosm 05-12-2012 11:59 AM

Hello my fish Guru.... I hope you are well. I have thought of this a little bit. I plan on putting new world dwarf cichlids. And Small gourami and small shoaling fish in the tank and some bottom dwellers to keep the bottom of the tank interesting. At last for now.... :) I want to be sure that the fish I put in the tank will both compliment the planted tank and also keep scale. The reflection would be also of the planted side of the tanks overhang.

So would there be a way to make it look like water without the reflection.... I really love the idea of something dramatic and wow to separate the two sides....

Macrocosm 05-12-2012 12:00 PM


Originally Posted by redchigh (Post 1078329)
For the 'water' area, have you considered tiny clear glass beads?

Yes.... I have.... but my goal for the tank is to look "natural" I really only want to use things that would exist naturally.... hahahaahahah I know sounds funny for a guy that is wanting to put water under water.... LOL

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