6G Low Tech Planted Tank - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.
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Planted Tank Photos Let's see what you got! Show off your tanks here. Tank journals are encouraged!

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Old 12-20-2017, 09:39 AM   #1
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Default 6G Low Tech Planted Tank

I decided to get back into the aquarium hobby after a 2.5 year absence. I left the reef hobby due to a combination of nuisance algae that required a whole new set of stones AND little kids taking over my life.

My original reef journal is here, and it was a beauty: 34G Solana: My New Hobby

I really fell in love with some of the aquascaped planted tanks i found online and it started a new itch for me. I was/am hoping that freshwater planted tank would be much easier maintenance wise than my old reef. Additionally, i am hoping that my kids (now that they are older) can enjoy watching it..... anything to get me a 5-10 minute break from them.

I went to aquatic inspirations and got myself a 40cmx23cmx25cm (Approx 6 gallons) - I really liked their tank options here because they are all rimless and i will have it no other way.

I brought my kid along to make him part of the process... he thinks he has made all the decisions.

I enjoy the setup process alot, so i've learnt to not rush things. Similar to building a new computer, i enjoy the research, purchasing, and building far more than the ongoing maintenance to keep it "healthy" - so with this build i have taken the time to get the right products and the right look.

A key elements i learned during my research:
Planted tanks, if planted enough, can actually remove Nitrates from the water which significantly reduces the requirement for water changes due to toxin buildup. Aquaponics is a great example of this; In Aquaponics they have 30-40 big fish (like trout or talapia) and all the water gets pushed into media beds growing plants/herbs and there is NEVER a need for water changes because the roots absorb all the nirates/ammonia, etc.. as fertilizer.
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:55 AM   #2
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I found that i really enjoyed playing around with the driftwood i purchased... cutting off pieces from one branch and gluing it to another to make something completely new.

This was the perfect tool for the size of wood i was playing with.. and here is some of my glue-work.... Any nasty glue spots will be covered with moss.



Another trick i learnt online was that using superglue + baking soda creates an instant cement. This was perfect for gluing small branches onto my mini tree. Typically it would take like 1-2 minutes to set before i could move but with baking soda it would set within 1-2 seconds and it would be rock hard.



Some pieces came together really nice



I also discovered that dragonstone could be cut VERY easily by that same tool and i was able to shave off pieces of stone that were making it difficult to fit into areas.

I also used putty (like the kind teachers use to stick paper on the wall) to hold pieces in place while i did trial aquascapes)
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Old 12-20-2017, 10:07 AM   #3
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Part of the fun, as i said earlier, is all the planning and 'building' of something. I enjoy the experience more than the maintenance.

Here are some of my layout designs. Every once in a while i would get my wifes input/opinion on ideas.

A challenge with the aquascaping is that this tank would be viewable from two sides... the front (adults) and the side (my kids) so i had to break some aquascaping guidelines to accomplish this.

Instead of having a low depth in the front that gradually got higher in the back i had to go from a right to left incline so my kids (viewing from the right side) could see everything.

I tried to incorporate the 'rule of thirds' (look it up) to keep interesting perspective and alignment





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Old 12-22-2017, 09:08 AM   #4
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Swung by big-al's because i was driving through and spotted that they had 1-2-Grow for weeping moss and dwarf hairgrass... both things i was patiently waiting for on this forum (to purchase off another member) - Needless to say, i just splurged and bought it...

Covered the front area in dwarf hairgrass and my tree in weeping moss.


Now... any suggestions for what i should plant in the back left??
I was thinking a bushier plant??
Or maybe a red one?
Fern maybe?
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Old 01-01-2018, 09:45 AM   #5
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Default Looks fantastic

Great job, the tank looks awesome so far ! I just purchased quite a few plants from the aquatic plant man, jimmyjam, he has a great selection of plants for sale. He might have just what you need for that back corner. Cant wait to see more updates as this tank grows in...
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Old 01-01-2018, 09:53 AM   #6
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Maybe some pearl weed for the back corner? Hemianthus microanthemoids. It's quite bushy and you can trim it for the desired effect. I have a bunch left over from a new tank I just planted. You can have it for free. Will you be injecting CO2 into your tank? Not sure how this plant will fare without CO2. But google has the answer...
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:23 PM   #7
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for the back left corner i'd try something that is a bit bigger in leaf and texture as everything else is very fine, maybe some staurogyne repens?
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions. I did infact go with Srepens around the front area of the elevated back section. I have some Alternathera mini coming today for the farthest back section (some reds)

Ill have some pictures up soon.

Got my test kits in and Ammonia is at 2PPM after 4 days with no WC, so not bad.

I have some bacteria balls coming today, interested to see if they work or not.

I've been struggling to find a surface skimmer that connects to the aquaclear 30 filter.... I can see a reflective layer that i do not want
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:18 PM   #9
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Been a while since i posted... two kids will do that to you.

Tank has been going well and fully cycled about 1 month in. I purchased bioballs from angelfins and biodigest in hopes that i could move it along quicker... seems to have worked well because i havent noticed any problematic spikes or deaths.

Once the tank cycled i purchased 3 cherry shrimp (if i recall) and they are already breeding and making babies.. Infact, one clutch already hatched and the babies are all hanging out in my tree

The bonsai tree has really filled in pretty quickly. Took about 4 weeks but its very thick now and already requires grooming.

Anyway.. tank has been good... Im trying to get some more colours in here and maybe a red moss for the tree on the right.

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Old 03-02-2018, 04:48 PM   #10
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Looks awesome !!!
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