The Accidental Aquascape

Joined
25 Dec 2018
Messages
230
Location
United Kingdom
Hi All

First scape and first journal, so all advice and guidance is welcome.

This started a couple of years ago, when my daughter decided she wanted to keep fish. I obliged and bought her this 12 litre tank with a few guppies.

SmallTank.jpg


I think she forgot she even had fish by the 3rd day, so very soon we had some dead fish. After watching a few videos on fish keeping advice, I stumbled upon aquascaping. I was totally blown away and knew this was something I had to do….hence my moniker…and the fish are fine by the way.

We're gonna need a bigger boat.

With my appetite whetted, I wanted to put a large tank in the lounge, since this is where it will be viewed the most and there’s a sturdy sideboard just where the tank should go. The tank size would be 100cm wide, 40cm high, but only 35cm deep, as the sideboard is only 40cm deep. Low iron, clear silicone, rimless and braceless.

Sideboard.jpg


The sideboard wasn’t as ideal as I thought, so after some levelling off of the top and strengthening of the structure, my need to over-engineer things is satisfied.

Silicone.jpg


Tank in situ and leak test passed, it’s time to add the lighting. I made the stand from 28mm galvanised tube and used gold leaf on the connectors, with the aim to tie it in to the rest of the light unit and the rooms decor.

TankInSitu.jpg

Lightinig1.jpg


The light itself is made from floor boards, metal wire and RGB LED strip that came with controller etc… Had to buy a few connectors, but it’s surprisingly easy working with LED strip.

Lightinig2.jpg

Lightinig3.jpg

Lightinig4.jpg


The filter is an Oase Biomaster 250 thermo, modified as per Pondguru on YouTube. I’ve added Purigen to the top compartment instead of carbon. Outflow is a standard lily pipe and the intake is a surface skimmer. Co2 cylinder with Co2art Pro-SE regulator and inline inline diffuser. I’ve had to use an inline bubble counter to get it to fit. This sideboard is proving to be more hassle than it’s worth.

Cabinet.jpg


…and that is where I’ll end my first post.

Next update will be what’s going in the tank ;)
 
Last edited:
Joined
25 Dec 2018
Messages
230
Location
United Kingdom
Thanks all.

Part 2
Substrate and Hardscape.

I went round and round in circles with the substrate, as I initially wanted to use a normal soil and cap it with gravel. Mainly because I'm not keen on the look of the regularly shaped dark aqua soils. In the end, I chose the Tropica Soil 18kg and Tropica Soil Powder 9kg, since it would mostly be covered up anyway and looks like it's easy to maintain.

Substrate.jpg


The hardscape will be rock only and is Seiryu Stone/Mini Landscape Rock (mostly) and some will say Seiryu is not Mini Landscape etc... but lets's not get bogged down with that.
There are a few rocks that are show stoppers, but a fair amount of duds too. The top left large rock will be used as a base, so although it's very different, what you will see of it blends in quite well.

Hardscape1.jpg

Hardscape2.jpg

Hardscape3.jpg


Here's my inspiration for the hardscaping. Some of you may recognise this from the critique section.

Inspiration.jpg


Mock-up

MockUp.jpg


Plant plan
I've bought a few more rocks since this was done, so although the overall idea will stay the same, there will probably be a few changes. I'm trying to get the line of substrate flat at the front too.

PlantPlan.jpg


Next update will be the hardscape in the actual tank.

This should happen in the next couple of weeks. ;)
 
Last edited:

rebel

Member
Joined
4 Aug 2015
Messages
2,045
Wow your mock up PS diagram is unbelievable!!

Very nice scape as well. Some accident to get that sort of skill to set stones to look very natural.
 
Joined
25 Dec 2018
Messages
230
Location
United Kingdom
Part 4
Planting

Since doing the hadrscape, there's been a few tweaks to the rocks on the left hand side and I've added some Dennerle Grey Quartz Gravel. It's got a slight pinkish hue, but would have preferred it to be blueish like the rock. Any gravel experts?

The plants arrived at the weekend, minus the Eriocaulon Cinereum, but that's coming soon and I've got a bunch of plants to deal with. Have I over ordered or is that not possible?
Used the dry planting method and it worked a treat, no floaters! However, a few had started working themselves free and I could see the roots. I’ve tidied up some of it, but it’s bloody fiddly when there’s water in there. Think I'll leave it until I have the water very low, maybe I'll do a massive water change after the first cut. I've been told to wait 2 weeks.

I've added a Jebao circulation pump, as the flow from the Oase 250 seems pretty poor. Has anyone used the Jebao? It's reasonably quite, but would be nice to know if there are pumps as small as this that are quieter. I was told to place it on the same side as my outflow, is that correct? I thought I was doing the sensible thing by creating a circular flow.

I've got zero experience, so everything I’m doing is mainly learnt from the “internet”. I would appreciate all advice, no matter how basic. It’s been quite overwhelming at times, as I had no idea how complex it was going to be. I am having fun though and I’m looking forward to relaxing in front of it and watching it develop...or maybe stress about the algae. I’ll have you guys to fall back on at least ;)


Day 1
28th April 2019

Day1Front.jpg



Day1LeftAngle.jpg



Day1RightAngle.jpg
 
Joined
25 Dec 2018
Messages
230
Location
United Kingdom
Thanks for you comments all.

Consider removing the anubis (is it?) under the big rock. You don't want to obscure that detail. It's too nice.
Correct, Anubias Petit, but it's pretty Grand at the moment. It pained me to cover it up too, but I'll be trimming everything quite harshly as I want to make the leaves smaller. I might end up removing some, but probably not all of it.

Not sure on the front gravel ,but hey the overall stone layout is so good
Yep, it was something that I deliberated over for some time and it does look a bit awkward at the moment. I'm hoping that I can shape the carpet to make it look more natural, as it will be a nightmare to remove. I'll also introduce a few rocks to break it up.
 

Filip Krupa

Member
Joined
13 Oct 2016
Messages
579
Location
Liverpool
The light itself is made from floor boards, metal wire and RGB LED strip that came with controller etc… Had to buy a few connectors, but it’s surprisingly easy working with LED strip.
Looks fab!
I do appreciate a good DIY light fixture :D
How powerful of a LED strip are we talking?

Looking forward to seeing how it performs!

Fil
 
Top