45 gal semi hex paly build

Asomeone

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Alrighty so! im planning a build for a new tank I'm getting. Im gonna try to be as specific as possible in regards to the build since my sketch is kinda hard to get a decent picture of due to the different darkness pencils I used. Plus I suck at drawing so...there's that too.
Mkay so 45 gal semi hex paludarium build. Gonna stock with only small schooling fish. At the moment I'm thinking 15 neons with a pleco or 2 and various species of shrimp. Im planning on the tank being about 60% filled and run to either a canister or sump. I have a spare sump so I may do that if I can figure out how to make an overflow that will suck water out from such a low water level. All tubes, wires, whatever will be run through a 2 inch pvc tube I'll place in the very rear center of the tank.
So this is kinda an ambitious build and I haven't seen many videos with people trying my idea...and maybe for good reason. My idea is to have the bottom level be entirely aquatic and create a shelf that houses semi aquatic and non aquatic plant life. This will not have any creatures aside from maybe some isopods or the like to sift the soil. So 3 inch thick shelf made from eggcrate and supported by stainless steel beams I'll run through the platform.
The beams will be anchored into 1/2 in pvc pipe I will layer entirely around the rear of the tank. The pvc piping will be silicone and further supported by an eggcrate layer on the bottom of the tank to prevent it from tipping. The eggcrate that forms the shelf will be cemented into the 1/2inch supporting pipes to further strengthen it. I figure since they're both made from the same material they should fuse reasonably well.
From there I will be layering the eggcrate with a fine mesh as well as peat moss to prevent any soil from escaping the shelf. I was considering utitilzing foam to fill in the gaps but I feel like that may create a rotting effect on the roots if water pools at the bottom. Still in thoughts with that as I could slant the foam and drill drain holes.
On the shelf I will route my filter return that will emerge from some rocks. This will lead to 3 channels which will fall back into the main water area. I plan to plant peperomia trinervula along the edges of the shelf so the vines hang off the ledge. further on the shelf I will plant rock cap moss along the channels which will merge into ferns and then various non aquatic plant life.
Down in the water Id plant tall hairgrass in the very rear to cover the pvc supports (painted black) then a species of ludwigia that is red. and finally hemianthus callitrachoides (Cuba).
I'll be lighting the tank with 2 asta 120's angled to hit everything under the shelf.
Also considering co2 use due to the Cuba and lower light hitting the aquatic plants. If I do co2 id grab a ph monitor and make everything self regulated cause I'm lazy

So this is a rough idea of the tank but id love ideas on further plant species to add and suggestions as to the shelf support structure.
Oh and I'm not tearing any tanks down but getting the same tank I have attached from a friend. Pic is for an idea of the tank design
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Myyyman

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Hmm, well this is a really good idea! But it'll be hard work. With the hairgrass, with low lighting CO2 is a must, don't trim it if you want it long. I would recommend drilling drain holes in case there's any build up like you suggested. You could stock it with more fish, that's roughly 27 gallons, almost 30. I could see a school of neons, and some lambchop rasboras, they look really good in my heavily planted 20 gallon. Then just a bunch of snails and a different assortment of shrimp. You know, I just had this random thought of seeing a school of glass catfish in there, don't know why.
 
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Asomeone

Asomeone

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Myyyman said:
Hmm, well this is a really good idea! But it'll be hard work. With the hairgrass, with low lighting CO2 is a must, don't trim it if you want it long. I would recommend drilling drain holes in case there's any build up like you suggested. You could stock it with more fish, that's roughly 27 gallons, almost 30. I could see a school of neons, and some lambchop rasboras, they look really good in my heavily planted 20 gallon. Then just a bunch of snails and a different assortment of shrimp. You know, I just had this random thought of seeing a school of glass catfish in there, don't know why.
All good suggestions. I'm not really too concerned about stocking as I view that as the easiest part. I know I'll have various shrimp species and some type of schooling fish.

Maybe instead of steel beams pvc will be able to support the load. I'd probably have to use 3/4 or 1 inch thick.....hmmm....I'll have to do some tests to see how much weight it could hold before bending or snapping
Glass catfish do sound pretty cool....but I think they'd pick off the shrimpies.
Definitely gonna be a process.
 
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Asomeone

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bumpity
 

Myyyman

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Have you tried the pvc, personally I would go wood or metal, but seeing as they are both negatively affected by water, plastic is probably the way to go.
 
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Asomeone

Asomeone

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Further thinking and research into other builds has guided me to the idea of utilizing some type of driftwood or fake resin driftwood as supports for the shelf. While it will take up space in the water portion of the tank. If I'm able to make the supports myself I can make them rather small and look quite natural. So far this is my best option as it detracts the least from a natural look of the tank.
 

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