7 foot Planted / Tropical Tank

disco_stu

New Member
Joined
30 Jul 2020
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6
Location
Bath, UK
Hi all,

Moved house recently and had a 84x30x24 Marine tank with a very large sump which I had to shut down to move.

Am now going to go for my first tropical / planted tank; I have most of the equipment I need. Have just siliconed new bulkheads in place and done much of the wiring and plumbing. I've bought a load of bog wood for hardscaping and am now at the stage where I need to decide on substrate. I want it to be black I think (my marine tank had lovely white sand but it was difficult to keep clean).

I have :
2 x return pumps (each can run approx 8k litre per hour, but I used to just run them at about 80% in my marine tank)
D-D Dual Temp Heating controller + 2 x 300W Heaters
D-D 39W UV
2 x Evergrow IT5080 Marine LED
2 x Large Reactors, was going to run carbon initially to clean the tanin from the bogwood (homemade reactors; each holds approx 1.5L of carbon with enough room for it to tumble as well)
2 x Eheim Dual Auto Feeders

Will need to buy a CO2 kit (will probably use 3.15kg CO2 bottles - one a month I guess?) and a dosing pump for daily top ups of liquid fertiliser too.

Am planning on trying to have a planting approach that doesn't need lots of monthly pruning (very difficult to reach the bottom of the tank plus I don't need the extra work). I also dont want to have to tear down the tank every 18-24 months to replenish/renew soil etc, so looking for something that ideally doesnt break down and that I can boost with tabs etc when necessary.

I want to go for lots of small colourful fish (e.g. Cardinal Tetras, Guppies, etc) and probably some shrimp / snails, plus some catfish or similar to help keep it clean. Am open to suggestions ! Discus look really nice but not sure I can be bothered with RO water (even though I have an RO unit! - making up large vats of water is a hassle).

I've been looking at substrates on various websites and talking to a few shops and have had many opinions; but am thinking of using :
Dennerle DeponitMix Black 10 in 1 (probably 2-3cms = 25 - 40 Litres) capped with Dennerle Quartz Gravel Diamond Black (probably 3-4cms = 40-55 Litres)

Has anyone had experience (good/bad) with the Dennerle 10in1 ? I'm a complete beginner and there are so many options, but this looked pretty good to me (and it's black !).

Thanks in advance for any help / suggestions.

I'll post photos and updates as I go (with more questions / cries for help at each stage most likely).

Cheers
Disco
 

Onoma1

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Joined
12 Aug 2018
Messages
442
Location
Rochdale
Am planning on trying to have a planting approach that doesn't need lots of monthly pruning (very difficult to reach the bottom of the tank plus I don't need the extra work). I also dont want to have to tear down the tank every 18-24 months to replenish/renew soil etc, so looking for something that ideally doesnt break down and that I can boost with tabs etc when necessary....

I've been looking at substrates on various websites and talking to a few shops and have had many opinions; but am thinking of using :
Dennerle DeponitMix Black 10 in 1 (probably 2-3cms = 25 - 40 Litres) capped with Dennerle Quartz Gravel Diamond Black (probably 3-4cms = 40-55 Litres)

Has anyone had experience (good/bad) with the Dennerle 10in1 ? I'm a complete beginner and there are so many options, but this looked pretty good to me (and it's black !).

With a tank that size I woukd go for a dirted tank capped with black sand. John Innes Number 3 works well for me and is't particularly expensive. There is a superb thread on this in the substrates section.

The cost of proprietary substrate in a tank that size for imo a marginal gain would be horrendous :eek:.
 

disco_stu

New Member
Joined
30 Jul 2020
Messages
6
Location
Bath, UK
Thanks ! As it happens I have a of bags of John Innes Number 3 in my shed. How deep would you have the layer of dirt ?

I'll check out the substrates section for the relevant thread !
 

disco_stu

New Member
Joined
30 Jul 2020
Messages
6
Location
Bath, UK
So ... I finally got all the bits I need ordered and have made some progress ...

Will post the journey in parts (party to keep you in suspense and partly due to time constraints)... here's some initial pics

IMG_4352.jpg
IMG_4353.jpg
IMG_4375.jpg
 

disco_stu

New Member
Joined
30 Jul 2020
Messages
6
Location
Bath, UK
As you can see the tank started empty. I re-plumbed and siliconed the weir and the sump.

I did quite a bit of reading on substrates (as per kind suggestion above) and decided to go with a dirted (John Innes #3) tank.

Here's some pics of the tank substrates/layers being put in.

1: River Pebbles to bulk up the back and try to allow some 'circulation' below the bed. The 2 x white square blocks in the middle are MarinePure 8 inch x 8 inch x 4 inch high blocks. I have a number left over from when I had my Marine tank (I got them very cheap). MarinePure is great as a place for Bacteria to breed and help break stuff down I believe. Thought it might be interesting to try them out under the substrate.

IMG_4377.jpg



2: Green mesh over the top to help prevent the dirt from going into/among the pebbles and MarinePure.

IMG_4378.jpg


3: Dirt (John Innes # 3) - One and a half bags in total; approx 75 litres I would guess

IMG_4379.jpg


4: Some dry bacteria starter added over the top ( 2 x JBL ProScape PlantStart)

IMG_4380.jpg


5: More mesh over the top of that to prevent dirt mixing with the gravel

IMG_4381.jpg


6: Gravel on top (Dennerle Crystal Quartz Gravel - Diamond Black), plus some plate Pukani Coral pieces I had spare to sit on top of the MarinePure (to try to allow some 'circulation' under the substrate); will hide the Pukani with something which will sit on top of it (it's a surprise)

IMG_4382.jpg
 

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