Re-doing sorry looking 64 litre/16 gallon tank

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
Hope everyone is well and keeping safe. I had a Betta that used to live in this tank. Since he passed, tank has been neglected. As of this morning, this was the tank:

101C0840-E0F1-478C-8BFF-8C1CF5CE676D.jpeg
BC56E129-85C3-42FE-A6D3-A2F7C3C978D0.jpeg

First step was to clean up and get rid of the horrible substrate. Didn’t take as long as I expected. After first attempt at clear out:

F0FD7F7D-28D7-4B0F-B23E-625F4F5A19DE.jpeg

A couple more rounds of cleaning:

154A63AB-3282-4D08-87F7-23998E222520.jpeg

And finally:

321100DE-353D-4EBB-99C7-5D71CD0A8DC7.jpeg
12EE134A-F907-48BC-B776-0FDE91AAE85C.jpeg
 
Best Answer - View Fisheye's answer
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #2
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
My plan for my next tank had been an amazon scape specific to Serpae tetra. I had bought this wood with that in mind:

D63CB52D-A26A-4155-BF95-DCAB62BAA10D.jpeg

However, this had been for a larger tank so wasn’t confident it would fit. However, I have managed the below:

1AE9885B-E5F1-43D7-8477-3FBBB1D9CA76.jpeg
373AA932-D22C-4B80-8258-B474CC2E5C5D.jpeg
28F0BE30-5031-492F-B3CA-AB2EAE7A375D.jpeg

Not the ideal placement I had in mind when I got it but will have to do as I do not want to cut the wood just in case I want to use it in future for a larger tank.

The tank will also no longer be true to the Amazon basin. The idea for this build was to use what I already have plus I have got into RCS since I had the original plan so for now I will be moving some of my RCS babies to this tank. The other residents will probably be ember tetras.

Other equipment I had lying around was:

1BF93D3B-B360-4E89-879B-9C196C840C0D.jpeg
 

e_watson09

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
4,171
Reaction score
1,034
Location
Dayton, OH
Experience
More than 10 years
Looks awesome so far! I can't wait to see how it will turn out when you're all done!
 

Fisheye

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
1,161
Location
Toronto, Canada
Experience
5 to 10 years
I love that wood piece-it looks like two aliens in battle! FWIW, if you want to cut, then cut. Just save the pieces and you can reattach later. Wouldn't be difficult at all with that diameter.

Have you done a maintenance test-sort of how you'll get your hand in there to vacuum/rearrange, whatever?

That substrate, if you didn't pitch it, is great for house plants, garden or drying out and repurposing in future scapes.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
I’ve managed to clean the sand. It has come out a little darker and grey than I would have liked but is okay:

30B5A504-6012-45EC-A1F7-A9E56B4A781B.jpeg

Difficult to tell but I have slightly rearranged the wood on the right and this means the middle of the tank has a smoother interlock between the two pieces:

90CEEDBD-B4C5-467F-847C-317C065A4A18.jpeg

All the plants for this are going to come from my other tanks. Will probably be mostly Java Moss (or similar) and Java Fern (or similar). The intention is a dark water tank so will add leaf litter too.
I have a few plans for my other tanks in terms of a few small re-arrangements. I will do those tomorrow while taking out any plants I want to use so hopefully can attach the plants and fill this up tomorrow.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
e_watson09 said:
Looks awesome so far! I can't wait to see how it will turn out when you're all done!
Thanks! Never done something based so dominant with wood so how fully turns out ok.

Fisheye said:
I love that wood piece-it looks like two aliens in battle! FWIW, if you want to cut, then cut. Just save the pieces and you can reattach later. Wouldn't be difficult at all with that diameter.

Have you done a maintenance test-sort of how you'll get your hand in there to vacuum/rearrange, whatever?

That substrate, if you didn't pitch it, is great for house plants, garden or drying out and repurposing in future scapes.
Thanks! The alien thing crossed my mind too. The plan was too have a tank that looks like a river bed and the two pieces of wood are a tree’s roots under the water. At the moment it is looking more like the left is a root and the right piece is a washed up tree part. I think I can make it a bit more realistic once I attach some moss and fern.

Yes, will be using substrate for the garden.
Edit: maintenance is going to have to be using a very small gravel vac. Will take longer but the entire floor will be accessible. I’m going to have to be careful where I plant/attach as that will probably be the harder part of the maintenance for me.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
Yesterday evening I was doing a bit of research for today and going through the pics and I wasn’t happy with the wood in the tank. It’s hard to tell from the pics but the issue is that the middle has the wood at the front and middle of the tank with the back being empty. Didn’t really want that as i want the open space at the front.
I tried swapping the pieces of wood from left to right and vice versus. The result is the middle of the tank has a lot more open space at the front and the interlocking through the middle gives me the opportunity to create little spaces for the fish to go in and out of. Also the left now has branches coming straight out to the front which I prefer.The changes are difficult to get across in pics but new wood placement is shown below:
986848BE-A41F-41DB-ACEB-25184A1FF1F0.jpeg

The bottom is now mostly free which gives me the option of Pygmy corys should I decide to drop RCS and go for a full South American stocking
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
I’ve had a slight change of heart on the tank. After looking at the wood again I’m very happy with it now and it is close enough to what I wanted when I bought the wood. Therefore, I think this tank is the final destination for the wood rather than it being a temporary tank for the wood. So I have decided to have a go at a general South American tank. The ember tetras will be the main fish and as it is 60 inches long, should be perfect for the embers which grow to around 0.8 inches. Dropping the idea of RCS or moss and will be researching plants for a South American tank. I don’t believe I have any options for shrimp as there aren’t many available from that part of the world in the trade.

The change of plan means I’m going to have to re-arrange some of my other tanks as I need a new home for my RCS so that will take priority over this tank for the immediate future.

Filter and heater added to tank:

6661A487-6443-4AC8-94CB-39CDA9D43480.jpeg

Water added. Lots of small bits from the wood floating at the top which I have picked out with a net:

A3F5E33B-0E0A-4D23-B190-91155C4F8D62.jpeg

I wasn’t expecting this but one of the pieces of wood is floating. I assumed they were too heavy for that but apparently not! The wood trying to float away has also messed up the sand by moving it around. Slightly cloudy but should hopefully clear:
7CDCE372-EF22-4B19-ADB3-ACB5A25F2630.jpeg

I’m going to have to wait for it to sink before I start thinking about plants as my mind only works if I can see exactly as it is supposed to be.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
The sand cleared out and the water had a very nice tint from the wood. However, that is where this diary ends. Either, the wood has expanded since being submerged (most likely), or the floating piece has but pressure on the other piece, but the tank has cracked and leaked and is beyond repair:

0038ECEC-5EE9-4CBB-8070-DD0F3874A0C2.jpeg
BE47F528-EEAE-4793-9D60-FA5E4ECE2D08.jpeg
 

Danny002

Well Known
Member
Messages
524
Reaction score
351
Location
Florida, USA
Experience
3 years
That's a bummer! I was really looking forward to seeing how this turned out. If you end up using this scape in another tank, please, let me know!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
After the disappointment of yesterday I wasn’t really planning on continuing with this project. However, I have come up with some thoughts on the use of those pieces of wood and I think I have an alternative that can work. This time it will be 40litres/10 US gallons and based around only one piece of wood. I have ordered the same model of tank in a smaller size after trying a couple of things in current tank with placement. Reducing the size means I can use one piece of wood in full and possibly cut out the second.

Tank should be ready to collect tomorrow so I will hopefully make a start at the weekend. As it is the same model I can use the same thermometer, heater and filter in exactly the same place.

As it is the same project I have decided to continue posting it here and will look into if I can change the title.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
So I have the tank and have made a start. The new tank is smaller and that was deliberate as I have bought the tank to be able to fit either one of the two pieces of wood. Keeping it small would add scale to the scape as I am using just the one piece.

First option was the simple one which is to use the wood that came ready to use (the one that floated but didn’t crack the tank). I tried this as a test in the old cracked tank before ordering the new one:

3FB2D445-1AD7-488A-84EC-5BE34E59CED1.jpeg


With the second piece of wood, it was too deep:

95ED81FC-F75D-4161-A670-3B8B30041F1E.jpeg


The plan was to start by cutting of the top branch. The wood did fit but was very tight. But I was a bit worried of repeating the same mistake so trimmed down the front branches further:

11335A43-B33A-4491-AB76-4DDB2D908562.jpeg


Still too tight:

489D88D9-FC07-4185-AA79-2F88A9575836.jpeg


Trimmed a bit further and got to this which was happy with:
CE7CEDBB-16FA-4EB3-B312-4E9F1EC52FD9.jpeg

9BC7E00C-7506-403A-A15C-23312BDC2552.jpeg


Plenty of space all around.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
Sand added:

4FC936E5-6B69-4911-A5AC-358273778139.jpeg


Wood added. I also had to use one of the cut off branches to support the main piece. Looks ok but will remove once I am comfortable:

C346BF85-0413-4FAE-B9FB-1DF2D26876FE.jpeg


Unfortunately the wood floated despite being fairly heavy. At floating I removed it as it was pushing on the sides of the tank and was worried I might crack it again. The only place I could find big enough to soak was:

BFA632DF-F492-489B-9D5A-12032DE4ADFF.jpeg


Hope the kids don’t mind :D :D :D
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
Not much has happened since my last post as the wood is still water logging.

In the mean time I have been reading up on tannins and got myself someone rooibos tea bags:

E71EDCD5-0A18-4557-9CB7-C0202EE03C6A.jpeg


Initially I boiled two tea bags:

DA435121-3A28-4612-A7E8-DD6A6D886B26.jpeg


This was the tank before adding the rooibos:

230819F7-402B-4E89-8580-6A41BC499636.jpeg


And this is after:

3EEA90B7-39EA-4484-B5F7-9739645ED239.jpeg


Happy with the tannins so far. At the moment I have 3 Indian almond leaves and some Adler comes in there. I do have more leaves coming in the post so will experiment with those to see how it affects the tannins in the tank.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
Not really been much progress as the wood still isn’t waterlogged so cannot do the final adjustments to the tank.

Added first fish to the tank. She is a female Betta and has been happy so far:


I soaked the wood outdoors initially which led to mosquito larvae in the tub. I cleared it out and began soaking the wood in the tank but some of the mosquito larvae made it into the tank so the Betta has had a fun first day eating up all the larvae. She’s now being fasted today and tomorrow.

Next step is to add 7 ember tetras.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
The wood has not fully sunk but is probably 90% there. This is the tank as of yesterday:

45071651-4356-48B0-8429-D3CE6FA27D06.jpeg


However, there has been a persistent thick layer of film across the top of the tank that won’t go away. As per thread I posted in another section, I have removed the wood and soaked it in a tub to see if that is the cause of the layer of film.
 

Danny002

Well Known
Member
Messages
524
Reaction score
351
Location
Florida, USA
Experience
3 years
VSA said:
The wood has not fully sunk but is probably 90% there. This is the tank as of yesterday:

45071651-4356-48B0-8429-D3CE6FA27D06.jpeg


However, there has been a persistent thick layer of film across the top of the tank that won’t go away. As per thread I posted in another section, I have removed the wood and soaked it in a tub to see if that is the cause of the layer of film.
How's your surface agitation? I know when the filter is due for a cleaning my 10 gallon gets quite the film. I would suggest adding a small secondary filter geared towards just stirring up the water a bit, or an air stone.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
Danny002 said:
How's your surface agitation? I know when the filter is due for a cleaning my 10 gallon gets quite the film. I would suggest adding a small secondary filter geared towards just stirring up the water a bit, or an air stone.
Thanks, that is not something I had considered. Surface agitation itself is fine. The filter is a Marina i110 (one of the waterfall types). I bought this specifically as I wanted moderate water flow due to the Blackwater scape. I was a bit concerned about low water flow initially so did test it and it reached all parts of the tank.

However, thinking about what you mention, I think surface agitation and flow in general may be an issue now due to the large amount of wood in the tank which may be stopping the flow. Also, the wood initially floated so covered a large part of the surface which may have stopped agitation across the entirety of the surface.

I have a couple of filters I may look at to put on the other side of tank to help with the water flow.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
OP
VSA

VSA

Active Member
Member
Messages
187
Reaction score
56
Not much progress. I haven’t really wanted to go further until the film on the surface was cleared. Fortunately it has been coming down with water changes. I haven’t added a second filter yet as it does seem to be clearing up.

The wood is releasing a lot of tannins so at the moment I have added too much. This was how tanned the water was at yesterday’s water change:

34533461-FB40-4E7E-A65E-575CA863EBD2.jpeg


This was the tank after the water change. I haven’t really done the final arrangement and reducing the amount of wood yet as I want the surface 100% clear before I do anything further. I am also toying with now adding some plants once the additional pieces of wood are removed and moving away from my original biotope idea:

9DFB21BE-6890-44A6-9266-1E4D5F1EDCCE.jpeg
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
249
Guests online
3,760
Total visitors
4,009

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom