180 Gallon Build! Need Advice For Scape!

Andrew99p

Member
Hey everyone! A couple months ago I found a great used tank for sale, and have slowly betting setting it up. It’s a 180 gallon, so I wanted to take my time to get everything right! For the first two weeks of having it, I left it filled outside to ensure no leaks. Which thankfully, there were none! My first step, was to build the stand!

As you can see, I just used cinder blocks to make it easy, and safe. It wanted to go the wooden route but changed my mind due to saving money. On the left and right, I have two holes for canister filters. In the middle I have another hole, might put some storage there. It’s three cinder blocks stacked up, and two 2x12 wood on top to cover the whole top.


Then I purchased a table cloth to cover the top, to give it a sleek black look, and think it turned out pretty great. Now for the substrate!


So I decided to go with PFS for this tank, as I have used blasting sand for all my other tanks. But like a fool, I completely forgot to wash my sand, so it has been pretty cloudy, even after doing several 100% water changes. Hoping this will fix, really don’t wanna have to rip out all the sand.

But I currently have x2 Fluval 3.0 Plant lights, will be using x2 304b Sunsun canister filters, x2 Fluval 300w Heaters, and C02 running from. 5lb tank.

I found that piece of driftwood at a store, and had to get it! Currently what I’m thinking, is a heavily planted forest like area on the left. A meadow with the rocks in the middle, and Monte Carlo all growing around it. Then maybe a canyon on the ride side? Or maybe another forest like area, still deciding and that’s why I need everyone’s help with this! I plan on making a community tank, and want something nice to go with them. Sorry for the long post, but if you made it this far thanks for reading!
 

Fashooga

Member
If you want to resolve the cloud issue get some poly fil and stuff it into your tank. That will gather all the particles.

If you don't want to open it up to stuff it use a old HOB and stuff the heck out of that with poly fil and let that run a few days and that will gather all the dust.
 
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Andrew99p

Member
Fashooga said:
If you want to resolve the cloud issue get some poly fil and stuff it into your tank. That will gather all the particles.

If you don't want to open it up to stuff it use a old HOB and stuff the heck out of that with poly fil and let that run a few days and that will gather all the dust.
Where can I find the poly fill at? That sounds like a much better idea for clearing the water!
 

Wraithen

Member
Andrew99p said:
Where can I find the poly fill at? That sounds like a much better idea for clearing the water!
Walmart in the fabric section. Hobby stores near fabrics. It will be listed as batting
 
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Andrew99p

Member
Wraithen said:
Walmart in the fabric section. Hobby stores near fabrics. It will be listed as batting
What does it look like? Is it just a white fabric??
 

Fashooga

Member
It looks like cotton candy in a bag. 3lbs of it is like $8.00.
 

Mcasella

Member
It is pillow stuffing, easy to find, normally between the drawing supplies and yarn aisles.
 

Wraithen

Member
Mcasella said:
It is pillow stuffing, easy to find, normally between the drawing supplies and yarn aisles.
Batting is a better form to purchase. It comes in sheets instead of the looser fibers
 
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Andrew99p

Member
Alright I’ll definitely check it out then!
 

Jellibeen

Member
I love your tank stand! That is such a good idea. I may try it.
 
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Andrew99p

Member
Jellibeen said:
I love your tank stand! That is such a good idea. I may try it.
Thank you! It was very easy to make also. Bought cinder blocks and wood at Lowe’s, then ordered the table cloth from amazon. Only costed about $80 for it all!
 
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Andrew99p

Member
Update! I just bought polyfill from Walmart, stuffed my filter with it, and wanted to make sure it was correct!

I stuffed it as full as I could, but the flow seemed to slow down. Which isn’t a big deal as long as some of it is working. Any help with this is appreciated since I have no idea what I’m doing with this.
 

Mcasella

Member
Andrew99p said:
Update! I just bought polyfill from Walmart, stuffed my filter with it, and wanted to make sure it was correct!

I stuffed it as full as I could, but the flow seemed to slow down. Which isn’t a big deal as long as some of it is working. Any help with this is appreciated since I have no idea what I’m doing with this.
Looks good for me, if it slows down too much you can take some out.
 
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Andrew99p

Member
Mcasella said:
Looks good for me, if it slows down too much you can take some out.
Seems to have gone back to normal this morning, and everything is working good! How long should it take for all the dust to pick up and be out of the tank?
 
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Andrew99p

Member
Update! I just bought three new pieces of driftwood, and am not sure how to place them. I have them soaking now, but I kinda just threw them in the tank before I went to work to get an idea.



So the first ones, I kind of like together to make them look connected, but am not sure how to place them. The second one is hard to see, it’s the small piece on the right.

I plan on making a forest type look on the left and right, then an open meadow in the middle. Any suggestions are appreciated!
 

Wraithen

Member
You could do a canopy look with plants attached to all those upper "branches"

I'm really curious to see what it would look like as an exposed root system also. Spiderwood is a blessing and a curse. It's almost perfect for making a tree, and almost perfect for looking like roots. Not vertical enough for roots, and not vertical enough for branches. I've got a piece that looks like an upside down truck with horizontal branches, but I never did figure out a good way to make it look right with a plant as "leaves." Your setup lends itself to looking more like a forest canopy though and may work out better. I'm experimenting with weeping moss. It could work. You could try almost anything though depending on lighting and how it may react. I use wisteria as a carpet lol. Be creative!
 
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Andrew99p

Member
Wraithen said:
You could do a canopy look with plants attached to all those upper "branches"

I'm really curious to see what it would look like as an exposed root system also. Spiderwood is a blessing and a curse. It's almost perfect for making a tree, and almost perfect for looking like roots. Not vertical enough for roots, and not vertical enough for branches. I've got a piece that looks like an upside down truck with horizontal branches, but I never did figure out a good way to make it look right with a plant as "leaves." Your setup lends itself to looking more like a forest canopy though and may work out better. I'm experimenting with weeping moss. It could work. You could try almost anything though depending on lighting and how it may react. I use wisteria as a carpet lol. Be creative!
Thank you for your feedback! That is kind of what I was thinking. Having the branches look like trees and fill in rocks around them. I’ll have to look into weeping moss. I’ve always had bad luck with moss. So I’ll have to look into it more!
 

Wraithen

Member
Andrew99p said:
Thank you for your feedback! That is kind of what I was thinking. Having the branches look like trees and fill in rocks around them. I’ll have to look into weeping moss. I’ve always had bad luck with moss. So I’ll have to look into it more!
What do you mean by bad luck? I can't tame java moss to save my life, but the weeping moss is much easier to get superglued to driftwood. Mine arrived about half brown but is making a decent comeback. Out of about 8 sq inches of it, I managed to get 4 in a few decent clumps so I ended up throwing the rest out. I'm too lazy to deal with the tiny clumps.
 

FriarThomasIII

Member
You could do valsenaria spiralis since it gets really tall and curls over the top and looks really pretty? And some dwarf sage under the tree, or you could do water clover, which gets pretty thick and grows fast and easily. My father is growing his in a flex without C02 and its about 4 inches thick, and makes a lovely hide-away.
 

Mazeus

Member
Lovely tank! I used cinder blocks for my stand as well (I didn't trust my carpentry skills).
 
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Andrew99p

Member
Wraithen: Everytime I have gotten moss, it has died rather quickly. For example, I glued moss to driftwood on my 125, within a week it was mostly dying and hadn’t grown at all. And in my 65 and 20 gallon both had moss that hasn’t really grown at all.

@FriarThomanIII: I have some jungle and needle leaf valisneria, that I was planning to move to it. I might try spilaris but I’ve heard it is rare to find! I love the looking of the overhang the valisneria makes.

Mazeus: Thank you! I really wanted to try to build a wooden stand also. But I didn’t really wanna risk it with such a massive tank!

Also, if anyone would like to share with me how to multi-quote, I will be eternally grateful! As I have no idea! Thanks!
 

Wraithen

Member
Which moss have you tried? I've gotten lucky with source water here but I killed a lot of easy plants when I was in Kansas. Moss just fell apart and got sucked out usually but this weeping moss is different. It went really brown and took a bit but is coming back. Not nearly as annoying as java moss.

You could also tie or glue glosso to it. I haven't gotten up the courage to experiment with it though so I'm unsure how easy it really is.

Pro tip: tissue cultures tend to not wilt and you get a lot of little plants for the money. Yes they start small, but I have my greatest success with them.
 
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Andrew99p

Member
I’ll have to try the weeping moss! I’ve tried java and flame moss so far. I’ve done tissue culture before. I’m looking at doing Monte Carlo, or S. Repens for a carpet in the middle. I believe they both come in tissue culture!
 

Wraithen

Member
Aaaaand, I just lost a chunk of it. It doesn't seem to want to attach to my driftwood and the superglue will be failing soon. Could be too much water movement though. Next week when I transfer to my 125 it may do better.
 
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Andrew99p

Member
I’ve always had a problem with mine attaching also! I’ve come to believe it is just a myth!
 

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