Design My Tank!

Discussion in 'Aquarium Aquascaping' started by Ziggi, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Ziggi

    ZiggiWell Known MemberMember

    Normally, I'm pretty good about coming up with ideas, but for once I'm stumped!

    I have a 10 gal (I may upgrade it to a 20 long) divided Betta tank. I'll be using EITHER or a dirted set up for a substrate.

    Originally, I wanted to do it iwagumi style with a moss wall as the divider, and a piece of driftwood (cut in half) on both sides set up like a tree with weeping moss on it, a carpet of dwarf hair grass and ... maybe some other plant for kicks. Unfortunately, the hunt for the right driftwood has me water logged, so I'm side-burnering that plan for now.

    So, I need ideas, only thing in concrete as of right now is:
    - the tank
    - the location, my room. not really important but its RIGHT next to my desk, so :) something not too busy would be nice I suppose
    - the substrate (one of those two options, but I'm leaning heavily toward the sand. I'll save the dirt for a larger tank!)
    - the Betta's (two shiny halfmoons! Check 'em out! )
    - the wall/divider
    - and the dwarf hair grass!

    :) Any ideas?
    Anyone up to the challenge of designing my tank?! :D
  2. RPPhoto

    RPPhotoNew MemberMember

    put the tank dead foot of the bed, so it can be a 360* focal point :)

    as far as i would go for design, im really into Hardscaping right now ... mean ZERO plants relying on beauty of wood and rocks.... however being betta's i would prob aim more towards Rocks as then wood to not risk fins getting snagged and ripped..

    substrate Argonite Sand or some form of Fine Black Gravel (sorry im a sucker for dark dark substrates w/ light accents , really makes tanks pop...

    unless your planing plants i would not go Dirted...
  3. chevyguy8893

    chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    A 10 gallon is a tough one to work with to me. If you go with aquasoil (I used one 8.8 lb bag of fluval stratum in my 10) or the flourite sand you can slope it up towards the back to add depth to the tank. Both of those substrates take in nutrients from the water to help fertilize the root feeders. A black background also helps with that. If it can be located, unless you already have hairgrass, you could use DHG belem which stays much shorter than other hairgrass species.

    Along the back you could do some stem plants such as ludwigia x arcuata which has smaller leaves and has some nice color even under low light. Rotala rotundifolia is a nice option too, but it stays green until mid to high light. Maybe some rocks in the back with the hair grass growing around it, and then have anubias nana petite tied to the rock to grow or some sort of moss netted to the rock. That's pretty much all I have in my mind. I'm curious to see what you come up with.
  4. OP

    ZiggiWell Known MemberMember

    :D That'd be cool ... if I didn't have this nack for traversing my room in the dark at least 2-3 times a day, and a dog that likes to run in/out of my room like there's a fire! Where it is right now can only be moved like ... a foot to the left :p I like the contrast of dark substrate/background with white/bright rocks, I think I'll put that in an order :) But I'm a sucker for plants! I'm almost as addicted to plants as I am to fish! :D but I think I'll leave the dirted alone for a larger tank. a 10 gal just seems too small for all of that.

    Thats the challenge! I wanna upgrade the tank to a 20 long, which should fit, location wise, but I dont know if the case/stand would be able to hold it... I mean it should. It holds the 10 with no problems what so ever. But 100 lbs vs 200 lbs water weight is a big difference, I'm working on that though. If you have ideas for a 20 gal, you can put that too! Just in case! :rolleyes:

    I already have the PetSmart Dwarf Hairgrass (Eleocharis Parvula), but it's not in the tank, nor does it have to go in there. I didn't know there were different types! I'll look into that. Will rocks and the DHG roots keep/support a slope? I'd love to do that but I'm used to my slopes never staying put :(
  5. RPPhoto

    RPPhotoNew MemberMember

    just a word of advise .. stay away from Westeria Plants .. Betta's or atleast mine loved to eat the out of them...
  6. OP

    ZiggiWell Known MemberMember

    ooooh, note taken! Thanks!
  7. throwthesand

    throwthesandValued MemberMember

    You should add some Egeria Densa! It's a yummy plant that my betta (and everyone else in the tank for that matter) absolutely loves! You can weight it or let it float on the surface... if your going to get some other animals like some ghost shrimp or african dwarf frogs (not together, as I learned a week ago) they'll like it too. :)
  8. OP

    ZiggiWell Known MemberMember

    Never heard of that one o_o
    I was considering adding shrimp, but last shrimp I had became lunch, and I have a feeling that may happen again here *shrug* we'll see
  9. chevyguy8893

    chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    It is a good challenge though. A 20L would open up a whole world of plant layouts and lighting it is still easy to do since it is shallow. If your stand could hold it that would be a good tank to go with, and the bettas would love it. I've been working with the same footprint as a 20L with my 29 gallon which has been a challenge since I decided to use the plants only for the layout. What is your plan for lighting to make plant suggestions easier.

    I do like that hairgrass, but when it comes to smaller tanks it tends to be overpowering when it is fully grown IMO. Then that leads to trimming to keep it short. I think DHG japan is another that grows in short, and if I remember correctly it tends to grow more erect whereas belem curls downward. I think E. parvula would look just as nice though. If you plant the DHG in small plugs where you want it to carpet it should hold the slope well. Also, less substrate disturbance will help it hold.

    Here's a picture of the divided 10 gallon I have using sunset hygro (too big for the tank), crypt wendtii 'green', dwarf riccia, rotala, and marsilea hirsuta (filling in). The slope has held well with these plants since changing everything a month ago. It may give you some ideas, or you may hate it completely lol. I really think I have a bit of a problem when it comes to plants :).

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  10. OP

    ZiggiWell Known MemberMember

    Wow, :D Thats really nice! See, I was debating either the full planted, bold, black background look (like that) or the clean, simple, open white background look. The debate is only because one of my Bettas is black! :p I may lose him in all of the dark mysteriousness! it's a pain cause I love both looks! so I really cant decide at all! or my brain has just fried itself. Either is possible.

    Lighting, I dunno, currently I have some ... random IKEA desk lamp I found around the house, obviously I'll be changing that when I set the tank up :p As for what to, dunno. I'd like to keep it aesthetically simple if possible, like how my other tank is without a hood.
    The idea of making a few caves out of terra cotta pots (more like outcrops in a hill I suppose) popped in my head and I had actually wanted some type of flower: I had thought about a lily (Nymphea Stellata) but I thought it got too big, Spatterdock, couldn't find much info on if it was an aquarium plant or pond. thought about bamboo too, *shrug* and one of the aponogeton plants that is small but is still known for flowering. But all of those were just little things that popped in my head at one point or another. I think the only thing I know for sure is I'd like a green partial carpet :p

    I take it DHG Belem isn't easy to find? I've seen some sites/forums mentioning it, none selling. The sunset Hygro, is that the tall background plant? I THINK I can identify everything else (the mats are riccia, crypt are on the left side between the riccia and the tall plant, rotala... infront of the filter on the right side? and the marsilea I've never heard of before ... that the plant in the front right side? or is that the crypt?... am I even remotely close?)

    :D Nothing wrong with having a plant problem! I think it's good for us! Builds character! :;laughing
  11. chevyguy8893

    chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    Well the black background on that one isn't permanent, it is just a black trash bag taped to the back, so you could try out both and see which color works for you. If you have plants growing tall along the back though the background will only be there to hide any wires.

    Personally I would go with medium light since you have the 40 gallon under high light, if I remember correctly, and added CO2. With medium you can still grow nice plants, and just use seachem excel for the CO2 source daily, or low light and no CO2 added. With low light you could probably get away with dosing ferts once a week in an EI dosing schedule. If you don't mind the industrial look, the aluminum clamp work lights (or desk lamps) with spiral CFL bulbs would work and be cheap. This link may help if you were to try the CFL bulbs.

    The pots are a nice idea and then you could have moss tied to them the could drape down over the opening making a betta bedroom lol. I don't know too much about lily's or larger plants like that, so I can't really help with those. The red root floater will flower and they look pretty cool. I just got some locally that was already flowering and it has continued, so it may be an option. Anubius seem to flower in an aquarium fairly easy from time to time also. The other option there is riparium plants or growing plants in an HOB filter to have flowers.

    Belem isn't easy to come by, but it can be found. You are right about the ID's :), the hygro is in the corners on both sides and the rotala is near the divider on the right side. The marsilea is on the right side as the foreground plant. For me it has been pretty slow growing. It just creeps along the substrate with runners making it's care a bit easier.

    Here is a couple links that may help you find some plants that will fit what you want to do.
    And this link is just useful all around.

    Wow, that was longer than expected, sorry.
  12. OP

    ZiggiWell Known MemberMember

    So, I'm being bad... very bad! But, I'm gonna get the 20 long :p I just realized the $1/gallon sale ends on my pay day so, assuming PetCo still has them in stock, I'm making a trip! If my current stand wont hold (I'm pretty confident it will though) Then I'll take it down until I put up a new stand. So, I'll most likely use 2 10 gal filters since the moss wall will probably restrict water flow when it grows in.

    Current plans:
    Mild white or crystaline Rock-scape
    small terra cotta cave/dens with moss "curtains" :D
    Black sandy substrate (debating or or can I use both? Also, 35 lbs substrate too much for a 20 gal long?)
    Moss wall divider (willow, christmas, flame or taiwan moss ...?)

    Plant list:(I'm thinking medium lighting, ferts maybe low CO2 later down the road)
    Dwarf hairgrass
    Dwarf baby tears (maybe)
    Red root floater or Dwarf water lettuce? (is it bad to trim the roots a little if they get too long?)
    Rotala (maybe magenta on one side and indica on the other?)
    a small crypt?

    Is this too much for a 20 Long? any other suggestions (I honestly have no clue what I want in here besides the DHG :p ) anything I shouldn't have with Betta's? I may put some shrimp in there if the DHG provides enough ground cover, we'll see. :D
    I look forward to yer ideas!