Help Me Scape My 45gallon "cube" Tank

mwsenoj

My first serious aquascape tank is coming in tomorrow. It is a 45 gallon almost-cube. I decided to do some real planning to make my scape look awesome, but I am new to the hobby so I wanted some help with plant choice and positioning and compatibility with my very hard water. I am really trying to make this tank beautiful, for my own enjoyment, but also because my wife is not super excited at the money I am spending or the fact that this will be in our living room

Here is my first sketch of the hardscape...

41991299_10156598019838116_3668749042629738496_n.jpg
I was thinking that the anubias petite would be good in between the rocks, but I am worried about them getting too much light. Maybe more christmas moss instead?

The pyramid of rocks was my first instinct, but I am wondering if a corner placement would be better.

Below is a look at two of the rocks I will use (the big one is about 10 inches wide and 7 tall. The small one is 7x4.5". They were picked up off the beach in Mexico. I soaked them for a day and baked them at 300*F for a couple hours. Think that's fine?


41919769_10156598019843116_5660131481486360576_n.jpg

I plan to go low tech-ish. I *do not* want to use a CO2 system, but I am willing to give a little liquid CO2 to help out now and again. I also plan to dose ferts once a week. I want to heavily plant the tank. I was thinking about using soil as the main substrate and covering with pool filter sand (but would dark gravel look better??). In the gaps of the rocks I was planning to use a store bought substrate like Fluval Stratum etc. and hold it in with mesh or filter floss. I bought a serious light, the Fluval 3.0 24". I used to think it was dumb to pay more than the $35 on the Amazon/Ebay LEDs, but I have seen some videos that convinced me otherwise.

Plants I am considering:
Anubias petite
Cryptocorine Undulata
Other Crypts
Christmas Moss (I want to see if I can pull off having the moss grow half in and half out of the water on the hardscape.
Bucephelandra
valisneria??? maybe
I am considering some floating plants to offer shade for the slow growing anubias and buce. I don't know if it would work, but I plan to try and anchor the floaters via some fishing string attached to the back wall via a clip or suction cup.


Fish:
Redhorse minnow x10 or so (they are beautiful and active and will be wild caught locally. look here)
Cherry shrimp x40
corydora catfish x5 maybe more?
nerite snails x5-10
maybe trumpet snails x a million haha

The tank:

JBJ-Nano-Cube-45-Gallon-RL-Rimless-Biotope-Aquarium-98.jpg

In summary,
Do you see any red flags?
Do you have any recommendations for or against something?
Advice on plant choice/placement?
I am mostly set on my fish, but would be open to any further suggestions (remember: I have very hard water).
 

Discus-Tang

What you said sounds like a great idea! I'm thinking maybe more cories though. maybe go with peppered cories, to suit the lower temperature requirements of the minnows. So something like this:

10x peppered cory
Red cherry shrimp
MTS
10x redhorse minnow
5x nerite snail (they eat a lot of algae so 10 is a bit much)

I also think Christmas moss sounds great. It always looks great attached to hardscape.
 

mwsenoj

What’s funny is that the temp suggestions for the minnows is a joke I live in one of the hottest places in the US and they thrive in the shallow canals here where water temps are over 90*F regularly.

Thanks for the info on cory numbers!
 

Lacey D

Looks great! And who wouldn't want a large living room tank? *ignores her hubby's protests*
The buce will do great on the rocks, and they want higher light anyway. The Anubias nana petite could be on the lower parts of the rock, or anywhere in the substrate as long as the rhizome is not buried. Some java fern will also do well around the base--they can get tall and will give a nice sharp vertical element, along with the val, and are pretty great in almost all conditions. I can't wait to see it!
 

max h

I guess you wife sure wouldn't like me much, I have a 100 and 150 gallon tanks in the living room. The girlfriend loves it, she can watch them for hours.
 

mwsenoj

Here is what I opened today


41976632_10156600124783116_8943155764734722048_n.jpg
 

VeiltailKing

Is the whole panel of the tank shattered? Or is that just one chip? Either way, sorry
 

Nickguy5467

Here is what I opened today


41976632_10156600124783116_8943155764734722048_n.jpg
ouch, dude that sucks. can probably get a replacement since in was DOA
 

mwsenoj

It was in a million pieces :\

Seller is being great though. Virtually no questions asked and I am getting another one sent straight to me. Shout out to LiveAquaria for the good customer service.

This is the first time I have ever bought a really nice aquarium. I had no idea the glass would be so thick. It must have take a really hard hit from UPS.
 

Nickguy5467

This is the first time I have ever bought a really nice aquarium. I had no idea the glass would be so thick. It must have take a really hard hit from UPS.
id personally be scared out of my mind to buy a tank online lol.. fish maybe? not even sure aboutt that either
 

mwsenoj

id personally be scared out of my mind to buy a tank online lol.. fish maybe? not even sure aboutt that either

I’m pretty limited. We have a petco and petsmart in town, but they just carry generic stuff. Everything else is a few hours a way in San Diego.
 

Lacey D

This is the first time I have ever bought a really nice aquarium. I had no idea the glass would be so thick. It must have take a really hard hit from UPS.
Hopefully they're more gentle with the new one! And hope LiveAquaria gets an insurance payout from that blatant mishandling. I would have had a heart attack if I'd opened the box and found it so badly shattered
 

FergusDaFish

This is the first time I have ever bought a really nice aquarium. I had no idea the glass would be so thick. It must have take a really hard hit from UPS.

The glass is thick to withstand the hydrostatic pressure of the water because the glass is an integral, structural part of the tank.

The glass (or actually the acrylic) at public aquariums with very large viewing windows can be 2 feet thick!

I like your plan for the aquarium but keep in mind that the overall shape of the design will change when you add plants, so while you're arranging the stones in a triangle, the overall design might end up being more square if you plant tall plants on either side of the rocks. My advice is to be cognizant of the shapes you're creating when you plant and how they interact/overlap with each other.

Hope your replacement tank arrives soon and in good shape!
 

mwsenoj

....I like your plan for the aquarium but keep in mind that the overall shape of the design will change when you add plants, so while you're arranging the stones in a triangle, the overall design might end up being more square if you plant tall plants on either side of the rocks. My advice is to be cognizant of the shapes you're creating when you plant and how they interact/overlap with each other.

Hope your replacement tank arrives soon and in good shape!


Thanks! This is helpful. I was worrying that it would be hard not to create a very symertucal layout which wouldn’t look natural. I’m thinking about offsetting the rock pyramid to the left some. The tank will be in between my chair and the couch in the living room. It will probably look better when people come in the room, and I will be able to see the shrimp better, assuming they love the rocks like I am thinking they will.

Did anyone have any thoughts as to using black sand vs. pool filter sand?
 

max h

It really depends on the look you want. With black sand and a black background the colors of the fish and plants really show well. PFS shows more debris vs. black sand.
 

Lacey D

I don't know if you're going to do straight sand, or sand over potting soil (like I did), but I went with pool filter sand, and while I don't really regret that, it really DOES show all the detritus. It's easy to clean--I haven't had an issue with it sucked up the siphon, and Rachel O'Leary turned me onto a trick where you rubber band a chopstick the side of your siphon to help gently stir it and get around the bases of all the plants and rocks without disturbing things too much. But unfortunately in this tank I usually have to cover my siphon with pantyhose to keep the endler from "exploring" and playing inside it (and shooting down the hose) as I'm doing my water changes, because they're massively curious little idiots. So it really shows the mess.


IMG_20180919_045415[1].jpg

Black Diamond Blasting Sand (BDBS) is slightly finer than pool filter sand, but it does hide the debris better and if you're thinking about doing a lot of photography, it really will bring out the colors of your fish and shrimp better, especially cherry shrimp. I have ghost shrimp, and will be getting amano, and that is part of why I went with a light sand--they're almost impossible to see against it, which means they'll hopefully survive longer being in with betta and kuhlI loaches. But it also means I can't take very good photographs :/
 

FergusDaFish

I recently switched by tank from black gravel to pool filter sand over aquarium soil (and rescaped) but where's what it did to the overall look of my tank:


29722710677_edd9dfed6c_n.jpg

42929137450_44b1e18f90_n.jpg
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
4
Views
255
JLAquatics
  • Question
Replies
5
Views
318
Fishnturtleguy933
  • Question
Replies
4
Views
265
StarGirl
  • Question
Replies
1
Views
229
A201
  • Question
Replies
7
Views
499
emilymg

Random Great Thread!

New Aquascaping Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom