The Office Tank

Discussion in 'Members Systems' started by Ane, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Ane

    Ane Here, fishy fishy!

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    So. A coleague bought a 300liter tank for the office. Between him and myself we plan on doing the most amazing aquascape, but I reckon I will need some help from you guys.

    The tank dimensions are 900 high, 1000 wide and 400 deep. We have a beautiful piece of wood that will be boiled etc and placed in. Planning on starting with low tech plants and maybe add co2 if and when we have the cash.

    Substrate. How deep should it be?? If we make it 2cm, we will need 8liters of the stuff. Is that adequate? My 2 ft tank at home has 2cm and it seems to be working out fine.

    Lights. The tank came with two 18W tubes, but I dont think that will be enough if we want to have a carpet of some sort. My understanding is 3-5W per galon. That means at least 240W?? Is that even possible?? I’m sure I’m doing this calculation wrong.

    Pictures will be posted as and when we get power connected and all the rest.

    Thanks in advance for the support!


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  3. pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    Sounds very exciting. I love the tanks dimensions but the hight will defnitly change your mind about a traditional ground cover. I'm not saying it can't be done you will just have to look at it slightly different.

    With the hight of the tank you will always have an issue with enough light hitting the substrate. So basicly you are stuck with low light plants. Except if you invest in a metal halide light or high end led. I won't even go with a planted substrate. Get a bag of pfs and some root tabs, plant crypts and swords. Plaster the wood with epiphyte plants, which you can afford more of now that you saved on the substrate and lights. Throw in some angles, a few rummy noses and a swarm of corries and your good to go. Naturally a canister filter will also be needed.

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  4. OP
    Ane

    Ane Here, fishy fishy!

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    Ah yes of course. Forgot to mention the Dophin C1600


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  5. fux940510

    fux940510

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    I agree with pierreschoonraads suggestions, the depth will make lighting for carpeting plants a problem. Also, getting adequate water circulation close to the substrate will be tough. The plant roots and cories will help to prevent anaerobic pockets in the sand. Amazon swords have a massive root system, and get nice and tall given the right variety and time.

    If you are set on a carpet, see if you can find something like helanthium tenellum (used to be called echinodorus tenellus), which apparently does fairly well in low-medium light and isn't super picky about CO2. I have some that i recently added to a low-tech 60 litre tank about 2 weeks ago and it is already sending out runners everywhere.

    Low light plants like crypts will do well, and are pretty hardy. A big chunk of driftwood reaching high up in the tank festooned with bolbitis, java fern, anubias, maybe some nice bucephalandra, will finish it all off. You could add some moss to give it an aged look, but once it grows a lot small pieces will start to break off and sink to the bottom or get carried all over the place, which will be difficult to get to seeing as the tank is so tall.

    If you look for Aquarium Design Group on Youtube, they are really good at minimalist aquascapes - just rock, wood and fish. You'll need to be more regular about water changes due to no plant filtering goodness, but you won't need to worry about fertilising or trimming any plants, and can get away with much less light. Chuck in some nerite snails or a bristlenose pleco to help with the algae on the glass/hardscape and you have a relatively low maintenance setup.
     
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  6. David Kusner

    David Kusner

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    @Ane From your dimensions that is 360L of water. A 350W heater should do fine, as the lights and the lid will assist in adding extra heat and keeping the heat in. I would however make sure that been an office tank that you either purchase a more expensive heater like a enheim or if you use the cheaper heaters then at least make sure you have a external or secondary thermostat on the heater. Murphy law the heater will fail over a weekend or long weekend when no one is at the office and the thermostat gets stuck in the heater on the 25 of Dec and you get back to the office on 28 Dec to find "fish soup". You may even be able to get away with no heater in summer as long as the office is not air-conditioned. In my tiny Fluval edge tank at the office, the heater hardly ever comes in summer and the tank maintains a constant temp of 27C.

    In winter however a heater is essential at our office.

    We are actually in the process of setting up a nice 300L in our office board room as well and the tank is in the cycle process, so I like the suggestion of @fux940510 with the stocking ideas as I have been thinking about that for quite a while now as we want something nice and interesting to stock with, but also low maintenance and a little on the hardy side.

    @Ane good luck with the setup, always nice to have a decent tank to stare at in the work place, especially if you are a fish nerd like me!
     
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  7. fux940510

    fux940510

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    Forgot to answer the substrate question - 2cm is not quite enough, if you can double that it would be better. Most plants i've seen prefer to send roots downwards rather than sideways, and deep roots seem to hold the plant better than wide ones. Adding a steep slope to the tank will help to increase the perception of depth, and the slope can always be "built up" using large gravel in a mesh bag or old stocking, which will also help with anaerobic pockets.
     
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  8. OP
    Ane

    Ane Here, fishy fishy!

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    I probably also need to mention that this office is filled with a bunch of nerdy-ass engineers. Today they were looking at underwater waterfalls and it seems we're going to have one of those as well. Let's see if they pull through.
    We're considering doing just sand in the bottom with the occasional pocket of ADA for a plant or two, just to see if it will work. One of them was even looking at waterproof LED lights... So perhaps a polystyrene "rockface" with an overhang and a light strip. But we're just spitballing at the moment. Don't want to electrocute our fish. We are changing the bulbs at the top for LED strips. Recommendations welcome. We will probably put two parallel strips of around 800mm in.

    The tank is finally clean and ready. Now to sort out the power, hardscape and background. Anyone in the Jhb Fourways area who would like to donate some plant clippings would be greatly appreciated. I will gladly return the favour with some clippings from my home tank. PM me. I have small and large annubias at home, but need much more for the big tank. Already have LOADS of fissidens, crypts, Vallisneria, water lettuce, Hydrocotyle and christmas moss. Does anyone have fire moss?? We we will probably only start planting in about a month's time.
     
  9. A new day

    A new day

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    This is an exciting project to follow!

    Some inspiration for planting / decorating a deep tank, but you’ve probably seen it already.


    @BoelderBeestie won’t approve of the discus in a planted tank :) but I like how they made use of the vertical space in such a simple and striking way. The Java fern will also be super low maintenance.
     
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  10. OP
    Ane

    Ane Here, fishy fishy!

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    Exciting project to follow. Yes!! Which is why I’m posting it

    We have talked about discus and angels and have decided against them. Peaceful non-garden-destroyers only!
    This tank is going to be all about the vegetation. So Corys etc.

    Thanks for the links. We’ll check them out.


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  11. David Kusner

    David Kusner

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    @Ane with regards to the LED strips, I never had any succes with them for main lighting. I simply could not find any that are bright enough.

    Having said that though the strips are very good to add in for the balance lighting like blue and red depending on what you want to achieve.

    In our office tank we changed out the old neon tubes with 3ft (900mm) Led tubes. I purchase tubes from ACDC in Edenvale that are clear and not frosted. We used 1 white and one blue tube and it makes a nice balance. The blue is however frosted but it works out well since it cuts the light a little so the blue is not so harsh.

    I have however used the blue led strips as night or moonlight lighting in my fish room as they are not to brite to promote excessive algea growth yet bright enough to simulate a nighttime effect and be able to watch your nocturnal species.

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  12. Cale24

    Cale24

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    That epic Altum tank is funny in that it blew up George Farmer’s channel and yet not a plant in sight!
     
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  13. A new day

    A new day

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    Yup, I meant the decor/planting, not stocking :thumbup:
     
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  14. OP
    Ane

    Ane Here, fishy fishy!

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    We have now filled the tank for some testing and measured around 7000 LUX at the bottom of the filled tank. I'm not having much luck finding online whether this will be adequate, but we will add substrate and low light plants and see how it goes. If the plants do poorly we will first add some LED lights, and if that still doesn't work we will take it from there.
    Now for the cycling phase to commence while we get everything else in order.

    Has anyone ever extended the intake for a Dophin cannister filter? Ours currently reaches about 2/3 of the way down and I would like to get it a bit lower. We have the spray bar on at the top so that we don't need to add air. Seems to be doing a good enough job. Good surface agitation and massive amount of micro bubbles all the way to the bottom of the tank.
    From the minute bits of debris floating around it looks as if we have good water movement all over but I guess that will change when we get our massive piece of wood in.
     

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