Large Empty Tank - Looking for Suggestions/Help

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by jayne, 28 Apr 2008.

  1. jayne

    jayne Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Stourbridge West Mids
    Hello All
    I am in the process of having a large tank/cabinet set up in my dining room.The tank is 8'x3'x3' and will have two towers connecting to an undertank sump for filtration.

    After much thought and discussion with hubby we have decided that we definitely want the tank to be a planted community tank for small fish.

    We currently have several tanks including a 4'x2'x2' planted which contains mainly things that are easy to grow such as vallis,anubias,java fern etc.This tank does not have Co2.

    As far as the new tank is concerned we just don't know which way to go.We both love to see planted tanks but we are first and foremost fishkeepers and so the option of a beautifully aquascaped tank with just two or three large groups of fish does not appeal.We want a softwater community tank where we can keep our favourite chocolate and licorice gouramis,rasboras,dwarf loach,ottos,dwarf cichlids,corys and add to them when we do our regular trips around the country visiting shops (we also have a quarantine tank!)

    I love the slightly overgrown jungle look where you can spend ages watching and suddenly a fish appears as if from nowhere through the undergrowth and I suppose that we could just upgrade our existing plants into the new tank but I'd love to have a go at something a bit different and so I'm considering Co2.

    Then there's the question of light.We were thinking of 4 x 150w metal halides but I'm wondering whether that would be enough or would 250w be better.

    We don't really want to go too far down the high tech route,but it would be lovely to have the opportunity to try something new so I'm hoping that you may be able to offer some suggestions.

    We have bought 16 bags of caribsea ecocomplete live planted substrate so I'm hoping that will be OK :wideyed: Other than that we are open to suggestions about all the hardware etc.

    Here's a quick pic of our current planted tank - very basic but we (and our fish) love it :D
    plantedtank010.jpg
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    For a 540 USG tank the 4 X 150 halides ought to be enough, especially if you are planning on having the easier to grow plants. If you bombard the tank with too much light you could have problems. Additionally, the CO2 demand will be much lower and this will help because it might be difficult to saturate that size. Your current tank looks very nice so you clearly are an experienced plant grower. Your sump system will have to be sealed in order to prevent CO2 loss and you will want as little splashing in the sump as you can get away with. Again, this is to prevent CO2 loss so these are a couple of things to think about in the sump design. You will probably have to inject the CO2 into the sump so this is another issue to consider.

    16 bags of EcoComplete probably won't be enough to get the 3-4 inches of substrate but you could add other gravel on top.

    Cheers,
     
  3. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    8 x 3 x 3' planted? Now that's my idea of a planted tank!

    I agree with Clive, 4 x 150MH is plenty. Even three should be enough.

    I'd go for low-maint plants personally, in a tank that size, unless you have plenty of spare time. I'd even consider not using CO2.

    I'm thinking loads of crypts, ferns, anubias, moss, massive wood. But that's just me. I understand you wanting to go for something different.

    BTW, the tank in the photo looks lovely.
     
  4. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    Thats the sized tank I was going to get in my dining room but other devlopment work on the house has put that on hold. This time next year I fully expect to get going with this and might even call the experienced member over to give me a hand!
     
  5. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,289
    Location:
    London
    Now this is the kind of tank size that I like, shame I won't get one anytime soon hehehe
    I kinda like the current tank the way it is ;) but good luck with the new project
     
  6. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Another thing you might want to consider is noise. In a living room a sump and it's associated gurgling could be annoying.

    I can only dream of a tank that size.....although scaping something that big would be a bit danting!
     
  7. jayne

    jayne Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Stourbridge West Mids
    Thanks for your comments/suggestions everyone.

    I think we'll start off with the low tech approach with the option of adding Co2 to the sump at a later date.We have several large pieces of wood which are currently soaking,these will form the main structure to the design.Then I think it'll be lots and lots of things like giant vallis,onion plants etc. for height,and crypts at the front.We can attach anubias,javafern etc.to the wood.I'd like to try something like amazon swords and/or lilies,for a different shape/colour.

    We'll go with the 4 lights,and maybe some kind of moonlight tube for evenings.If it's too much we can always cut it down but again,if we should decide to go a bit more high tech then we'll have the lights available.

    As far as noise is concerned,we'll put plastic bioballs in the towers and then just adjust flow rates on the pumps,so there shouldn't be any problems.We already have 2 4' tanks both with sumps and we don't have a problem with noise from them.

    Hopefully,the towers/plumbing will be installed this week so things will be almost ready.Here's a daft picture of my hubby when he was siliconing the tank together :lol:
    billytonystef058.jpg
     
  8. Arana

    Arana Member

    Messages:
    1,059
    Location:
    London
    Lovely big tank but i'm not sure about that big fish :lol:
     
  9. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    I quite like the human scape myself.
     
  10. Arana

    Arana Member

    Messages:
    1,059
    Location:
    London
    maybe you could grow some Anubias on him :lol:
     
  11. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    You built the tank yourself? How think is the glass? It looks to be braceless?? Surely not on that size tank????

    Sam
     
  12. jayne

    jayne Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Stourbridge West Mids
    I should've said that hubby builds tanks/filtration systems as part of his job,sorry for not mentioning that before :oops:

    The glass is 15mm on the walls and 2 x12mm at the base,siliconed together.

    The photo shows the tank after the first stage was completed,since then the lower bracing bars have been added.The upper bracing bars won't be put in place until after the towers are installed and the plumbing has been done,it just makes it easier for access.Hubby has started to silicone the towers tonight but they won't be finished until after the plumbing has been done,we are hoping that TMC will make sure that the pipes etc.will arrive at the shop tomorrow or Thursday(we own a marine shop although we only keep freshwater at home :rolleyes: ).

    I'm not sure about trying to grow anubias on him,do you think he might alter my ph,what about ammonia(no comments about being full of ****).All in all I think I'll stick to bogwood,although he'll be having to climb in there for maintenance on occassion I suspect ;) .
     
  13. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Right that explains why you built it yourself!! It prob cost a fair be less doing it that way too! ;)

    Sam
     
  14. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    It'll be fantastic to see plants grown in a tank that size. So many plants aren't given justice when they're squashed into 3' and even 4' tanks due to the height restrictions. Growing vallis in that so they can stretch out with big amazon swords and aponogetons would be great. Most people with a tank that size give it over to marine, which I can understand, but a planted tank would be special.
     

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