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Kadina
06-29-2009, 02:57 PM
I have entered this tank in this competition (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=42071). I plan to do something a little different with this tank by creating a "village" theme. I am not sure if my ideas will work, but it looks awesome in my head!

First, the empty tank:
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/emptytank.jpg

Lights: Coralife Mini Aqualight - 2x 9w of 6700K
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/light.jpg

Filter: Mini Dive Clean Internal Filter
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/filter.jpg

Standard Glass Canopy
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/canopy.jpg

Kadina
06-29-2009, 02:58 PM
Here is everything put together out of the box. The light looks SO bright.
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/empty_assembled.jpg

My plan is to use dead bamboo sticks to create a forest effect on the left side of the tank in gravel. The right side will be elevated a few inches with a sand substrate and a coconut shell shrimp hut. Outside of the hut on the sand will be a fire pit and a wooden/rope bridge will span over to the forest.

First I bought some 6ft bamboo stakes and cut them down to various lengths with a miter saw to make tree trunks.
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/cutbamboo.jpg

The edges were a bit ragged from the saw so I took some sandpaper to them to smooth it out.
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/bambooedge.jpg

Kadina
06-29-2009, 02:59 PM
Then I coated each stick with no additive polyurethane varnish to hopefully prevent, or at least slow down the rotting once they are submerged in the tank. I then used silicone to "glue" the sticks to the bottom of the tank to prevent floating.
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/gluedbamboo.jpg
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/topdownbamboo.jpg

I made a "wall" out of crosstitch plastic, silicone, gravel and sand. I put a thick layer of silicone over the entire strip of plastic and gently pressed gravel into it. Then I sprinkled sand over that to fill in the gaps and cover any visible silicone. I forgot to take pictures of this part, sorry! After a day or so of drying, I siliconed the wall onto the bottom of the tank as well. I put gravel on the forest side and sand on the village side and filled it up with water for the first time.
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/filledfront.jpg
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/filledangle.jpg

Kadina
06-29-2009, 03:01 PM
Next came the plants. I used lacy, broad and thin leaved java fern, Sagittaria platyphyllia and Sagittaria subulata.
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/plantedfront.jpg
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/plantedangle.jpg

Finally, I added 20 red cherry shrimp.
http://olsonpages.com/storage/5g/shrimp.jpg

I am still constructing the bridge and firepit and will post with updates when they are complete.

rich311k
06-29-2009, 03:07 PM
Nice work. That is going to be a beauty.

MCHRKiller
06-29-2009, 03:13 PM
Very nice! :22:

matthew.shelly
06-29-2009, 03:18 PM
wow! that looks awesome. where did you get the bamboo?

Kadina
06-29-2009, 04:34 PM
wow! that looks awesome. where did you get the bamboo?

I bought it at a garden center (http://www.skh.com/gardencenter.html). Six, 6ft poles for $7.00.

HorrorShowRot
06-29-2009, 04:38 PM
Very cool I cant wait to see the end product:)

mommy1
06-29-2009, 06:39 PM
i love it! very unique thumbs2:

metallspuerhunde
06-29-2009, 07:38 PM
What a lovely showtank. I'm really digging the bamboo, it's given me some ideas for future decorating!

matthew.shelly
06-29-2009, 08:02 PM
i really need to start going to craft stores to see what i can find there. i always here about people getting awesome decor at great prices from different places.

Hailey
06-29-2009, 09:00 PM
Wow, I love this tank!!!
My 5.5 RCS tank sure doesnt look like this! lol

Gemini
06-29-2009, 10:53 PM
That looks great! I can't wait to see the fire pit and bridge!!!

korith
06-29-2009, 11:25 PM
I like the way you used the bamboo, using silicone on it never even occurred to me! It's given me a few ideas on how I can use it on my tank.

wolf_eyes
06-29-2009, 11:54 PM
Darn this is going to be a hard tank to beat lol I really love the look of it, it really stands out. I had wanted to do something similar with the bamboo once for my own tank, can you maybe send me the brand name of the stuff you bought to coat it with? I think i might have to try some bamboo with my betta tank^_~

Kadina
07-30-2009, 03:59 PM
Well, unfortunately this tank has turned into a complete and total failure. Despite my efforts, the bamboo began to rot and put off such a foul stench that I couldn't even walk past it without wrinkling my nose. I bought an AC20 for additional filtration and did frequent water changes but neither was enough to keep the water parameters from skyrocketing out of control and killing the shrimp. This past weekend I tore the tank down and it was so disgusting that I had to wear gloves and hold my breath the entire time. I seriously thought I might vomit from the smell or pass out from holding my breath. Yes, it was that bad.

I salvaged the plants that were doing ok, but everything else in the tank went into the trash. I used a razor blade to scrape off the residual silicone from where the bamboo and wall were attached. I scrubbed the entire tank with hot water and it is now soaking in my deep sink in diluted bleach.

I put the AC20 on my 37g and the internal filter in my daughters 12g to hopefully preserve the cycle in those filters. I gave the salvaged plants a quick bleach dip and put them in my other tanks as well.

Now what? Well, I have not given up on the "idea" behind this tank and I already have some new thoughts for things to try the next time.

Stay tuned!

korith
07-30-2009, 08:38 PM
Well, unfortunately this tank has turned into a complete and total failure. Despite my efforts, the bamboo began to rot and put off such a foul stench that I couldn't even walk past it without wrinkling my nose.

Think it may be possible to apply some sort of water sealer on the bamboo?

Kadina
07-31-2009, 04:06 PM
Think it may be possible to apply some sort of water sealer on the bamboo?

Yeah, I did that actually. I dipped each bamboo piece in a polyurethane varnish before sticking them to the bottom of the tank with silicone. I think one of the problems was that the polyurethane did not coat the inside of the bamboo well enough and it was rotting from the inside out. I probably should have "plugged" them up with silicone.