Hardscape feedback:

VibrantOrange

Hi everyone!

My 10 gallon Waterbox arrived today and after doing a leak test, I was hoping to get your thoughts on the hardscape :D
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I really love the look of rimless tanks, maybe that Aqueon cracking wasn’t a bad thing after all… XD

Here’s what’s currently in the tank!
- Ryouh stone (big thanks to AngelFins and to all the people who recommended them in my older threads!)
- Dead elm root: I feel very lucky to have found this piece when hiking near my local river! I snapped it in two since it didn’t fit (this tank was not as long as the Aqueon it seems), but I don’t think I’m going to regret it; it looks really cool to me IMO!
- River shale: also from my local river, did the vinegar test and it did not fizz!
- Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix: with a nutrient rich substrate, I still wanted to have a supplement at the bottom for the long run- thought I would try it out!

Also: I’m thinking of stocking it with one pea puffer and three amano shrimp (it seems some people have had success with it and I’ve always wanted to try out shrimp!) :) Would the hardscape be suitable for them (I have more wood if needed lol ;-) )

Let me know what you all think of the hardscape!

Thank you :D
Naomi
 

SotaAquatics

Beautiful piece of wood. I like the rock placement, my only concern is you would have to be very careful with what you plant, you could easily lose all visibility of that rock with even just a carpeting plant. You have an idea of how you will plant it? Looks great so far.
 

PAcanis

Good luck with the potting mix. I used that in my first build. The waters are just starting to clear after three weeks or so. I think it started out as tannins and then the bacterial bloom and then nutrients in the water column and tannins...
What did you cap it with? Maybe I missed it. I used CaribSea eco complete or something like that. I probably would have been better off with sand.

I like the look a lot. I like the way the wood and the rocks are all swept in one direction. Nice job.
 

A201

Looks real good. Be careful with the selection of shale rock. Here in Oklahoma shale from some areas can be a petroleum rock.
 

VibrantOrange

Beautiful piece of wood. I like the rock placement, my only concern is you would have to be very careful with what you plant, you could easily lose all visibility of that rock with even just a carpeting plant. You have an idea of how you will plant it? Looks great so far.
Thank you! I have the same concerns about the rock placement; I was thinking maybe I could trim the plants down and primarily keep low to midground plants near the rocks instead..? Here's a picture of what I'm thinking of doing (sorry for it being so messy!):
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Good luck with the potting mix. I used that in my first build. The waters are just starting to clear after three weeks or so. I think it started out as tannins and then the bacterial bloom and then nutrients in the water column and tannins...
What did you cap it with? Maybe I missed it. I used CaribSea eco complete or something like that. I probably would have been better off with sand.

I like the look a lot. I like the way the wood and the rocks are all swept in one direction. Nice job.
I will take all the luck I can get for the soil! Fingers crossed it doesn't end up being too much of a disaster :') This may 100% sound questionnable, but the cap is ADA Amazonia Ver 2. AngelFins (a fish store in Ontario) sells it much cheaper than Fluval Stratum on Amazon, so I figured "why not?"
I saw some people on YouTube using ADA supplement bags as a base (Green Aqua on YouTube has a video on that I saw when researching), so I was curious if potting mix could act as that base layer. Probably will cause a mess and lots of fluctuations instead, but I'm curious to see what will happen!

Looks real good. Be careful with the selection of shale rock. Here in Oklahoma shale from some areas can be a petroleum rock.
Thank you so much! For the shale, it was the rock used as the base of the river near me. Many minnows and other animal and plant species inhabit those waters, so I'm hoping that's a good sign for the rock :D I'll definitely keep an eye on it and see how everything pans out (maybe I can start an aquarium journal haha)!

Sorry for the long response, and thank you for all your help!!
I'll update soon with the plants :D (Oh! And please feel free to let me know your thoughts if my masterpiece of a diagram works out okay jkjk ;-) )
Naomi
 

SotaAquatics

That plant layout looks solid, you are a brave soul going for duckweed! S. repens and pearlweed are two of my favorites. The repens will look great in little spots around the rock and upfront.
 

VibrantOrange

That plant layout looks solid, you are a brave soul going for duckweed! S. repens and pearlweed are two of my favorites. The repens will look great in little spots around the rock and upfront.
Haha! Thank you so much, luckily a mischievous goldie with a love for duckweed (and all floating plants ;’) ) will be happy to eat them XD

I’ll send a pre-fill update of the tank soon :D
 

PAcanis

I will take all the luck I can get for the soil! Fingers crossed it doesn't end up being too much of a disaster :') This may 100% sound questionnable, but the cap is ADA Amazonia Ver 2. AngelFins (a fish store in Ontario) sells it much cheaper than Fluval Stratum on Amazon, so I figured "why not?"
I saw some people on YouTube using ADA supplement bags as a base (Green Aqua on YouTube has a video on that I saw when researching), so I was curious if potting mix could act as that base layer. Probably will cause a mess and lots of fluctuations instead, but I'm curious to see what will happen!

I saw a couple Tubers using it, also. And in theory it sounded like a good idea. But then while looking at my dirty tank (I even upgraded the filter) I started reading more and it seems like it's split 50/50 on the organic potting soil mix.
But what the hey? Most of the plants are thriving in that tank, so it can't be all bad.

My other tank I'm working on is the Waterbox Cube 10 if you saw it :)
 

VibrantOrange

I saw a couple Tubers using it, also. And in theory it sounded like a good idea. But then while looking at my dirty tank (I even upgraded the filter) I started reading more and it seems like it's split 50/50 on the organic potting soil mix.
But what the hey? Most of the plants are thriving in that tank, so it can't be all bad.

My other tank I'm working on is the Waterbox Cube 10 if you saw it :)
Yes!! I’ll be looking on the bright side when my tank dirties up: at least my plants will be thriving (hopefully) ;-)
I saw your water box, and your cube looks amazing! I really love the way you set up the Dwarf Aquarium Lily by the wood :D I’d love to try that plant out someday, if only it wasn’t out of stock all the time XD


Here’s a pre-fill picture! I was very surprised at how much S. Repens I had even after covering most of the foreground. I harvested some smaller crypts my Goldie tank, and their roots were over 2 inches! Hopefully they won’t melt too much.

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^I really like this spot of the tank :D
 

PAcanis

Actually... the water lily is in my Marineland 27g cube ;)
 

VibrantOrange

Actually... the water lily is in my Marineland 27g cube ;)
Looks amazing nevertheless! Both of the tanks do :D

Just finished cleaning up, luckily the tank didn’t cloud up too bad- hopefully it’s better in the morning :)
 

SotaAquatics

Are you going to do anything with the background? I know its kind of too late to probably paint the back but you could get some window tint - the frosted window tint could look really cool with this set up. Blocks most of the wall/equipment but still keeps the tank nice and bright looking and can be applied while the tank is running as long as you have a little room to work on the back. A lot of other options besides the frost too.

Amazon.com: Coavas Privacy Window Film Sun UV Blocking Frosted Static Clings Non Adhesive Opaque Vinyl Decorative Glass Door Stickers Heat Control Coverings for Bathroom(17.5 x 78.7 Inch, Matter Pure) : Home & Kitchen
 

VibrantOrange

Are you going to do anything with the background? I know its kind of too late to probably paint the back but you could get some window tint - the frosted window tint could look really cool with this set up. Blocks most of the wall/equipment but still keeps the tank nice and bright looking and can be applied while the tank is running as long as you have a little room to work on the back. A lot of other options besides the frost too.

Amazon.com: Coavas Privacy Window Film Sun UV Blocking Frosted Static Clings Non Adhesive Opaque Vinyl Decorative Glass Door Stickers Heat Control Coverings for Bathroom(17.5 x 78.7 Inch, Matter Pure) : Home & Kitchen
Yeah!! I was going to do the frosted background, I already purchased it on Amazon and it should come tomorrow :D I was worried my plants would be sad if they stayed in the bucket any longer (and I was too excited to receive the tank!)
I bought this one here: Rabbitgoo Privacy Window Film Frosted Film No Glue Anti-UV Window Sticker Heat Control Window Cling Non-Adhesive for Privacy Office Meeting Room Bathroom Bedroom Living Room 17.5 x 78.7 inches ( 44.5 x 200cm), White : Amazon.ca: Home

I hope it won’t be too hard to attach it onto the tank, all of the tutorial videos I saw were used on unfilled tanks. Still really looking forward to seeing how the tank is going to progress :)
 

SotaAquatics

Great minds! I love it and cant wait to see more photos!
 

Revan

Yes!! I’ll be looking on the bright side when my tank dirties up: at least my plants will be thriving (hopefully) ;-)
I saw your water box, and your cube looks amazing! I really love the way you set up the Dwarf Aquarium Lily by the wood :D I’d love to try that plant out someday, if only it wasn’t out of stock all the time XD


Here’s a pre-fill picture! I was very surprised at how much S. Repens I had even after covering most of the foreground. I harvested some smaller crypts my Goldie tank, and their roots were over 2 inches! Hopefully they won’t melt too much.

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^I really like this spot of the tank :D
Love what you did with the rocks, making it look like shards! The wood also was a nice addition, I’d love to see an update once you full your tank
 

VibrantOrange

Hi everyone!
I probably should have named this thread something else if I were to update it with the final build, haha ;) *This is a messy post, so I've seperated my ramblings ;-)

The Current Tank Setup:
It's been almost two weeks since I've filled up the Waterbox, and things have progressed since then :D There was (and still is) a huge hair algae bloom- taking over most of the mid and background plants. I underdosed some Seachem Excel (drop method) as well as more water changes and shorter duration for the light schedule. The algae seems to have condensed and shrunk up a little bit, so I'm taking that as a good sign :p.

Here's the tank so far (with the algae and everything else):
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Scroll to the bottom for a one day update (the background plants grew taller, which I thought was very cool :O).

Ooh, I almost forgot: I added the window frost to the back and it surprisingly helps hide the cords from the heater and filter! I really like the look of it so far :D

Hitchhikers:
Unfortuantely...it seems as if there were some hitchhikers that hatched and others who chose to make an appearance. It appears that I have (quantity to be determined) several infant bladder snails, detritus worms, and rhabdoecolea (I presume). Since none of them are harmless and are a good indicator of showing if my tank is balanced, I figured I would leave them. Besides, I planned to stock the tank with one pea puffer, so the snails can not only keep algae in moderation, but provide an extra snack for the puffer, lol :D Most of the plants were in-vitro, except for the duckweed and some old dwarf watter lettuce, so I'm expecting the culprit was the duckweed (the ONLY thing I happened to not sterilize and quarantine...). Detritus probably came from when I filled the new tank with the 30 gallon's water; so snails and rhabdoecolea come probably from the duckweed :(
Here's a video I took of what I think is Rhadoecolea? Sorry for it being in portrait position.

VIsiting the LFS:
On a different note, I went downtown a few days ago and visited the Menagerie (great LFS! And they JUST restocked on livestock and Tropica plants :D) to purchase some Amano shrimp. Of course, it was hard to resist and solely focus on the main objective at hand, so I also came out of the store with some hydrophylla Taiwan (luckily it was nothing more haha). My tank parameters have been stable at 0 ppm ammonia and nitrite, and ~0 ppm nitrate with 7.5 pH, so I went with three Amano Shrimp so far, and I'll stock the pea puffer sometime in the near future (but until then, just the three musketeers). They're juveniles, so I'll wait until they grow larger in size! One also molted yesterday, which gave me a fright as I thought I already ended up with a carcass.
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Shrimp:
The Menagerie had new stocking of Amano shrimp, but as they were only a few months old, I think I should let them grow out a bit before I add the pea puffer. I wasn't too sure on how to acclimate them, so I went with drip acclimation (1-2 drip/sec for 1.5 hours), but when I put them in, they started stress swimming for around 15 minutes. I turned the lights off (should have done this earlier), and eventually they settled down and started eating.

I also made some changes to the HOB filter to make it shrimp friendly (adding a sponge to the intake), however it still wasn't effective enough in preventing them from entering the filter (both willingly and unwillingly). They had taken a liking to climbing through the output (where the filter lip extends into the water) and up the exterior of the intake tub then into the crack which I believe leads to the motor! One of the three had gotten themself stuck in that situation, which resulted in me having to submerge the whole filter in the tank in order for the shrimp to swim out. So, I've modified the filter a little further so it still has some flow but provides too small of a crack for the shrimp to crawl in. It's been three days since this was put in, and no shrimp have vanished so far.

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Their behaviour has changed over the last few days too (I think in a good way)! At the beginning stages, they would normally group, or stick together whenever doing anything in the tank. For instance, you could tell where all three shrimp are if you spotted one shrimp lol!

But today, I could see that all three shrimp were dispersed throughout the tank, doing their own thing. I hope it's a sign of them getting more comfortable. I had originally offered them a small chunk of banana yesterday (I was baking) but they didn't take it and continued eating the hair algae in the tank. I didn't stock them solely for eating algae, so I didn't mind letting them be spoiled and having a picky appetite. They did accept half an algae wafer today, so maybe I'll try again with fruit and veg sometime soon :)

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^They liked sticking together in the beginning stages.
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UPDATE:
I drop dosed Seachem Excel yesterday, and the red plants seem to be doing much better as well :D
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I have an urge to create an aquarium journal....it seems really fun and a great way to keep posts organized :cool: (edit: I did ;) )

Naomi
 

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