Aquarium Build - 38 gal


I'm going to be documenting the new aquarium and listing all the stuff I've accumulated so far here, so if anyone sees any sort of potential problems with what I'm doing in my set up or aquascaping I would really appreciate it. I will have pictures once I clean out and start building.

Y'all have a real wealth of knowledge and it's been a great big learning curve for me. So a big thanks to all of you!!

What I'm looking to achieve is a low tech and semi-heavily planted tank that includes driftwood and rock as the hardscape. I've spent quite a few hours researching the different methods and layouts so I have the basics set on what I want it to look like, but aquarium plants are so much different than pond plants with their lighting requirements not to mention they all don't go by common names and that's where a lot of my confusion has come in. Hopefully I've understood properly on my plant selection research and it won't be a total waste of a plant.

Tank Specifications

36 1/4 x 12 5/8 x 19 3/4 - 38 Gallons


Yikes! After re-reading the thread I have even less than I thought. I only have one 20 watt fluorescent light strip which would make my lighting at .53 wpg. Is that right? I wanted to go low tech, but not that low. :-\ Most if not all of my plant selection is low to medium low light, but now it looks like I'm seriously going to have issues unless I upgrade as soon as I have two nickels to rub together. Please tell me I'm not doomed with the plants I've bought??


This tank came with a Penguin 330 HOB with bio-wheel and I've purchased two bags of ceramic bio media that will fit in the back compartments and have one seeding in my little 10 gallon. I will start seeding the other one once I get things set up on this one, then transfer it over during the cycling process. I know it won't be nearly enough for almost four times the volume of water, so I'm going to go with fishless cycling. It should take less time with the seeded media. The biobag has been in for about a month now.


Not at this time.


Eco-Complete and PFS


What I've accumulated so far and I've probably butchered the names:

Hydro sp. "bold" (hydrophila polysperma?)
Rotala rotundifolia
Stargrass (Heteranthera zosterifolia?)
Asian Ambulia
Java Moss
Cryptocoryne Petchii
Broad leaf sagittaria (Sagittaria platyphylla)

Still want to get:

Anubias barterI v. 'coffeefolia'
Java fern (Microsorum pteropus)
Brazilian pennywort (Hydrocotyle leucocephala)
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Oops.. forgot to list


All the current stock of my 10 gallon, which will then be converted to a QT tank

4 - neon tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)
4 - glowlight tetras (Hemigrammus erythrozonus)
2 - bronze corydoras (Corydoras aeneus)

I want to add and round out the school

2-4 more neons and glowlights
3 more corys

Haven't decided totally on additional fish. The BF wants cardinals, but I saw a really striking school of Neon Rainbow fish (Melanotaenia praecox) in a planted tank that took my breath away. That was until I saw the price tag on them.
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Since Saturday's weather was rainy I finally got down to cleaning the equipment and hood for the tank. It cleaned up nicely and there wasn't a lot of calcium deposits/hard water on it and what was there came off easily with a scrape of a knife. The tank its going to be tougher because there are a bunch of hard specks on the inside of the glass that didn't come off initially. I'm going to use the credit card to see if that will do the trick.

Still looking for a driftwood piece and it's being tough to come by. I have some pieces soaking, but they are straight and not the gnarly kind I'm looking for. I may have to arrange the ones I have and just use zip ties to bind them together in an interesting layout.

The plants I've gathered so far are doing okay in a temporary aquarium, but I'd rather not leave them in there much longer so I need to get moving a little faster. It's hard with the weather getting nicer and so much outdoor work needs doing. There isn't enough hours in the day anymore and I just don't have as much energy as I used to.


Hi! good luck on your 38 gallon. Are you plannig to keep any fish in there?
  • Thread Starter


Thank you and yes, it's listed under fauna.

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