20g Long Enchanted Forest Build

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Bluestreakfl, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Well, it's finally that time to put together another tank. This will be tank #5 in the saga of my incurable Multiple Tank Syndrome.

    The theme for this build is an Enchanted Forest. I have a nice piece of driftwood that will be "The Great Tree" and will be topped with some moss. Around it will be a field of Staurogyne Repens. On the other end of the tank the focal point is a group of shell slices that I attached together to make a neat sort of fan structure. This will have some Cryptocoryne Wendtii Tropica going around the back and rear sides, and then behind that will be a dense area of Echinodorus Vesuvius. I will also add some small pieces of Quartz crystal "rising up from the ground".This is still a build in progress so of course not everything is here yet.

    The tank originally was going to be a saltwater tank and had a build in overflow filtration system. He ended up going with Cichlids instead. He moved out of state, regimes the cichlids and sold me this tank for $20. I decided to remove the internal overflow filtration system as it took up a very large amount of space, (basically like putting a large canister filter inside the tank) and am going to be using a spare whisper 10i internal, and a sponge filter rated for a 20g. I will also be using the water pump that came with the setup to create some additional water flow.

    The planned stock is a decent size school of Celestial Pearl Danio, and Yellow Neocaridina Shrimp. I will probably also add a nerite snail, as well as a few mystery snails.

    Substrate is a base layer of Carribsea Floramax, topped with black fluorite sand.

    I'll stop yapping now and show you some pics of the progress.

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  2. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Well, after some fine tuning, it's all filled up. Still waiting on the Echinodorus Vesuvius to arrive in the mail sometime in the next few days, need to get the quartz crystals, and also will need to get the moss for the tree top. Here are some pics with everything finally set up.

    Forgive the cloudiness, that fluorite sand is some dusty stuff!

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  3. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Nice! Are you just using the sponge filter?
  4. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Theres a Sponge rated for a 20g, as well as a whisper 10i internal. I also have a water pump hooked up for some increased circulation as well. I forget the make, model, and GPH but it puts out some serious water flow. I ended up adding spare spray bar pieces to it, as well as a flat wide nozzle on the end to spread out the flow better. Took some creativity, but I finally have it where I want it. No dead spots, and it kind of helps the whisper filter out as well.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  5. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    I looked into the pump more, it's a Rio 600 plus, 200gph. Also, the fluorite dust actually cleared very fast all things considered, I'm surprised the cloudiness went away so fast.

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  6. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Amazing difference. It really looks nice. I asked about the sponge because I thought a HOB full of floss would clear it up pretty quick. Guess I was wrong.

    What are you going to do for a background?

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  7. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Ya know, I hadnt even thought about that yet. All of my other tanks are against walls, which are mostly paneled in wood, so ive never really done a background. I might do a blue background, fade it from light blue to dark blue, or maybe just a black background. Will have to compare a few looks and see what I like best.
  8. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Echinodorus Vesuvius came in today, really loving the way it looks! I ordered 6 plants, however several had runners with new plants, so I got somewhere around 12 total, 6 larger and 6 much smaller ones.

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  9. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    I have some of those. Very interesting plant. Where did you get yours?
  10. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Got them from Dreamer Yoyo, he sells on Ebay and Aquabid.
  11. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

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    I decided to add some some land plants that can grow with submerged roots. 3 stems of Lucky Bamboo in the whisper filter, and then a bunch of peace lily. For the peace lily, I made an elongated triangular mesh basket out of crafting plastic mesh. I used zip ties to secure the pieces. I left the ends open, so that the spray bar and powerhead could be run through the basket, both to provide good circulation for the plant roots, as well as to baffle the flow some from the pump. I then added some filter sponge on the ends of side of the row of peace lilies to keep them upright and from falling over until they get a bit more established. The Staurogyne Repens is also finally starting to perk up some as well. Even the crypts are starting to look a bit better too, very little melt so far and the leaves are starting to regain their more natural spread.
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  12. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    So figured it's about time to update. Since my last posting, the tank had developed some very severe diatoms (brown algae). Also the peace lily wasn't faring so well. It has been removed. I added 3 Nerite Snails, and 3 Otos. I'll be adding 3 more Otos provided they're in stock Wednesday, they only had 3 left today. I also went ahead and threw a generous chunk of very well established media from another tank into the filter in this one. I added some Terra Cotta cluster pots, 1 in the center, and one in the back corner for hides. I also attached some erect moss to one of the cluster lots, as well as the driftwood tree. The corner is darker, so I figured it would be good to have safety in both the brighter and darker areas of the tank. The Otos and Nerites are in heaven with all the Diatom buildup. This tank is partially right up against a window, so I'm going to monitor the algae and see if it continues to worsen, gets completely devoured, or stays the same, and act accordingly. Once the Celestial Pearl Danios are available I'll be getting them as well.

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  13. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    got some more Otos today. I was going to get 3 more, but since theyre known for their high mortality rate, I got 5 instead, bringing my total to 8. I figure if I lose a few, I will still have somewhat of a proper school, but hoping they all do well. There is still plenty of algae in the tank, and once it starts looking a bit too clean ill start introducing greens and veggies. I plan to try Zucchini, Spinach, and I also have some Omega One green seaweed which ive heard they like. I added a small pinch of pure spirulina powder to the water just to make sure theres some green content in the water column so theyll inadvertently digest a bit of it. I also added some GlasGarten Bacter AE which is a micropowder that contains biomaterial for helping biofilm grow, as well as strains of probiotic and digestive bacteria and helps cultivate microorganisms. Although this is actually a shrimp supplement, the conditions it helps provide are similar so I figured it would be worth trying out.
  14. alirayFishlore VIPMember

    Love the way the tank looks. Those cut shells are really neat looking, and I really love those curly leaved plants. Alison
  15. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks Alison!

    Just a quick update, not too much to report. I am down to 3 Otos (I think the same 3 I started with),I guess they weren't kidding about a high mortality rate. They literally just dropped dead one at a time. I'm going to try to get another small batch of them, but this time I'll try and wait til the store has had them at least a week first.

    Still waiting on my Celestial Pearl Danios to come in stock, hopefully they'll be available soon. The tank looks kind of dull without fish swimming around.

    The plants on the other hand are doing fantastic. My Cryptocoryne Wendtii "Tropica" is developing its true colors, lots of red, orange, brown and hints of green with some cool stripes. My Staurogen Repens is also filling in nicely, it's about due to be trimmed so I can replant the tops in the gaps and that half of the tank will then be fully carpeted. My Echinodorius Vesuvius has also sent several runners with baby plantlets which I have snipped off and replanted.

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