35g Hex Family Tank - Need ideas

  • #1
Yesterday I drove out with my father and picked up a 35 gallon hexagonal tank, which came with all the equipment needed and extra; essentially fill up with water, add fish. Of course I could do that, but I'm a plant/aquascaping fanatic and I have to make this look like it was somewhat pulled from nature. That won't be entirely possible, due to the hexagonal shape and that my family wants to include some artifical decor, pictured below, I'm willing to try though.

It also comes with some smooth stones, which all look different, and some fine/coarse gravel. Do you think a lighter, one-colour sand could look good with this gravel?

substrate + rocks.jpeg
Using some tigerwood I had lying around, 2 of the stones which look similar and the crashed plane my family insists on using in the tank, I created this little setup.

plane setup.jpeg

plane setup2.jpeg

I like this so far, but the surrounding hardscape may not make it into the final setup.

I've like to create a nicely planted scape, with enough plants to keep me and the fish happy, but not take over and be the main attraction of the tank. Some nice, large gray smooth stones to look similar to those used with the plane (if I use them) would fit into the background, I'm thinking seiryu stone if I can find it. If I could find a large chunk of tiger/spiderwood or another kind of wood which looks similar, it'd be nice to incorporate into the scape.

This will be a low-tech setup, with low-medium light plants, therefore a low-medium LED light. I'll most likely use Fluval Stratum with an inert cap. I have liquid ferts on hand if I need them. It'll probably include some limnophila sessiflora in the back, maybe some valsineria, and I'd like to have some rotala and bacopa varieties. I'd certainly like some different crypts in the midground, in addition to ludwigia. I'm not sure what to do for the foreground, besides some hydrocoytle creeping through the plane setup. I know I can plant much more than mentioned, but I'm uncertain what to pick.

Talking epiphytes, I'd like christmas moss covering some of the hardscape. Anubias varieties and some small java ferns dotted along the hardscape, maybe even a couple bolbitis or bucephalandra. A java fern at the back of the plane apparatus could look nice, or a large anubias.

Other than that, I'm not sure. I attached many photos of hex scapes I liked, although most of them are taller rather than wider, densely planted, and a smaller volume. The tank will be a community tank, possibly with a betta fish included. I'll definitely have shrimp, snails and some catfish species, along with cardinal or neon tetras (unless my family discovers a different tetra they love).

I'll answer all questions I can.

- Att.


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  • #2
Try to think of the scape from the angles you would veiw it from. I've never kept a hexagonal tank but i think that would be an issue so try think about that
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Try to think of the scape from the angles you would veiw it from. I've never kept a hexagonal tank but i think that would be an issue so try think about that
Yeah, it'll definitely be a challenge. The tall background plants will most likely stay within the back left corner in the picture, since the tank is by the entrance to the front room it has 4 or 5 different viewing panes, so I'll have to create the scape on a corner angle.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Been a while since I updated this post. I just came back from vacation (5hr drive from home), where I convinced my parents to buy an 8kg bag of Fluval Stratum and a large chunk of spiderwood. There were some nice rocks there and more wood but I couldn't get my parents to pick up more hardscape, they were about to spend $60 on soil. Speaking of soil, I spread out the 8kg as pictured below (2'' depth):

stratum layer.JPG

stratum layer (2).JPG
With limited resources, I've created a half natural, half artificial 'scape' for the tank. It's not the most eye-opening or the slice of nature I was wishing for, but I'm sure it can be enjoyable. It'll look 10x better once plants are in the dedicated spaces. My family wants to see more fish than plant.

maybe final scape.JPG

maybe final scape (2).JPG
Alternatively, I could put that idea on hold and go for a one central piece, with possibly that outcrop on the right just sticking out. I may try that out.

  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Hello FishLore, I'm back.

A lot has changed since I last updated this thread. My 35 gallon has been planted, filled, cycled, and inhabited. It is an established tank by now.

First planted:

first planted, best view (large).JPG


large best view.JPG

I didn't compare these images until now. It's utterly shocking how much my tank has grown. :)

The current stocking:

3 male guppies
*6 cherry shrimp
4 amano shrimp
Lots of small snails

*I haven't seen many cherry shrimp, although the amanos aren't shy. I'm going to start feeding the bottom feeders and hopefully draw the cherries out. I'm not sure if there's still 6 alive in the tank; I may end up purchasing a couple more.

Base stocking idea:
  • 5 male guppies
  • 10 shrimp (4 amanos, 6 cherries)
  • 8-12 small schooling fish
  • 6 bottom-mid dwellers
  • 8 - 12 neon tetras
  • 6 sterbai/juli corydoras
  • 8 - 12 small schooling fish
  • 6 khuli loaches

Some may have seen my post about sick guppies. The last two out of five survived and I bought three more. One of the new guppies wasn't doing good from the start and ended up passing away overnight, which caused a pH swing and ammonia spike, resulting in another deceased guppy. Luckily, the remaining three guppies were alright, and I decided it was better to move them over to the stable 35 gallon. I am now working on cycling the quarantine tank.

I have more pictures attached.

Thank you, FishLore, for awaiting my return.
- Att


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  • #6
I really like the look of your tank! Hexagonal tanks are frustrating. I have a 55 gallon hex and it just seems so small with so much wasted space at the top. I'm happy with how mine turned out, however, I still get envious when I see someone's breeder tank with all the aquascaping potential.

You did a good job using your space and making it natural and aesthetic, while still using the items your family wanted.

I think your stocking ideas look good. Personally, I vote for corys and a school of ember tetras.

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