Badger's 55g "Asia" Reboot
Well, the time has finally come to tear down my tank and get going on the new, improved version. This will not be a strict biotope, but rather a regional tank with plants, fish, and decor that will hopefully evoke the mood (or at least the critters) of southern and eastern Asia.
I have been asking lots of questions lately, and experimenting for several years with my tank, with this big change in mind. Here is what will be happening.
Standard 55g tank. Currently dark blue background. That might change.
Gravel over bentonite over organic potting soil.
Aqua Clear 110 filter.
48-60" Satellite LED+ lights.
Hardscape and plants:
A rock wall will create a raised area on one side, taking up about 1/3 of the bottom. This area will be dominated by a forest of lucky bamboo, accented by java fern, crypt wendtii and c. undulata, dwarf lilies, and floating plants. The wall itself will incorporate several caves and nooks, and will be greened up with some java moss, java fern, and anubias.
The other half of the tank will be dominated by a fairly amazing piece of found driftwood with a large bubbler underneath it, surrounded by c. wendtii, dwarf hairgrass, and a thicket of rotala indica along the back.
I am still trying to find a small-to-medium size Chinese vase to partially bury in the substrate to provide an extra hiding place, but am about ready to give up on that idea.
Livestock, from roughly bottom to top:
2 two-spot cats
2 bamboo shrimp
10 dwarf chain loaches
1 red tail shark
10 pantazona barbs
15 zebra danios
Extensive preparations, experimentation, gathering of materials, and research have gone into this. Next week, the payoff begins. Stand by for updates and photos.
Yeah. He gets a little cantakerous at times. But I have had him for several years, he is very beautiful, and I am rather attached to him. Besides, if he gets much bigger he can serve as an emergency food supply. Hahaha
I plan to incorpprate lots of hiding spots and broken sightlines into the aquascape. Hopefully that will keep bullying to a minimum.
I really like red tail sharks. I would love to design a tank that can house one. I know they are mean and all but they deserve a chance. I feel like so many newbies buy them and it never ends well. One of them has to get a good home.
Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.
You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.
Hi WhistlingBadger. Your tank plan sounds like it will be great fun to watch you flesh out – I’m looking forward to it!
I would seriously consider a canister filter over the AC110....you'd have right at 2X the filtration you need with just the AC, and with that stocking plan, it may not be enough, IMO
If you already have the AC, you could still add another, maybe an AC70, and really get that tank filtered nicely
Not sure, but a canister plus the AC110 may give you a bit too much flow
Couple questions / concerns / inputs:
1. Will this be an open top tank? The bamboo will only survive if the top of it is out of the tank
2. I agree with Slap that you may want to consider a canister. Having 2 AC110s on my planted tank is a pain... the large amount of flow clogs them easy and also blows plants around
3. Why the bubbler? I think that's take away from the natural look
4. Be careful with the depth of the raised section if you are using topsoil, unless you have MTS you could run into issues there
5. Look into Hygroryza Aristata for the floating plant, I love this plant in my 75
Thanks for all the input, everybody! Some answers to questions:
Yes, it will be open top, except for spashguards for the light. I have had the bamboo in there for a year and it is HUGE!
Filtration: I got a great deal on the AC110 (thanks, Ladyhobbes!), and I can't afford an additional filter at the moment, so hopefully the AC110 plus all the plants will be enough. I have a Penguin 350 currently, but it is too noisy for my taste. That is actually what prompted me to start thinking about this remodel in the first place: The AC won't fit because my tank is too close to the wall, so since I have to empty it out anyway, might as well do a full remodel.
Depth of top soil: I plan to put large, flat rocks underneath so the substrate is never deeper than a couple inches. The bamboo is not quite tall enough to reach the surface without something under them, anyway. Triton, what is MTS?
Current floating plants are dwarf water lettuce, duck weed, apanogaton (or however the heck you spell that) leaves, and dwarf lily leaves. No plan to add additional ones at the moment, and the apanogaton will probably go away as I don't care for the way it looks.