Keeping the low profile in an aquascaping tank.

dR3ws3r

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Hi, I am considering getting a "larger" tank to aquascape with. Probably around 80 gallons (compared to the 25 gallon I have now). Probably a rimless tank. But with that being said, what do people like to do to hide the components and plumbing. I am interested in using a sump, but that requires some kind of plumbing, whether an overflow or drilling through the bottom.

Most of the tanks I have seen for aquascaping tend to avoid the black glass in back, but without that, you will see equipment of some type unless you totally hide it with the scaping material (Rocks, plants, etc).

I'm guessing this is a "personal opinion" type of question, but was wondering if people have recommendations or suggestions that show the minimum of obstructions?
 

Byron

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Not exactly sure I understand the black glass issue...do you mean leaving the back of the tank open with clear glass? This is never advisable as it stresses out the fish. Some people paint the outside black, I prefer simple black construction paper. You can also use one of the commercial "pictures" but make sure it is very dull; bright colours like green plants will distract terribly from the tank's fish and interior decor (plants, wood). Plain dull black makes the back wall "disappear" as much as you can, and this enlarges the space and provides the best setting for the aquascape.

As for covering/hiding the plumbing/heaters, plants can work though they may not retain their coverage as well as solid hardscape. I always used fairly straight chunks of bogwood, stood on end to represent tree trunks. These have the advantage of being permanent, and the water flow around them is usually sufficient. Good plants to attach to this wood if you want are Java Ferns and Anubias, and of course mosses; these do well with less light as will be the case in the back corners, and they withstand the strong flow from the filter.

Two photos of one of my former tanks, a 29g, illustrate this. The heater is in the right rear corner and you can see the top of it (a larger standing chunk of wood would eliminate even this, though I liked to have the pilot light in view), and behind the wood on the left is a dual sponge filter. The black background expands the space. The two photos show two slightly different plantings.
 

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WhistlingBadger

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I always hang a piece of black fabric or paper on the back of my tank. As for stuff in the tank, filter tubing and heaters and such, I cover them as best I can but find they kind of blend into the background and aren't that noticeable. So I don't worry about them all that much.
 
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Morganna

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I've seen some video use a nice clear plastic equipment to make it look less noticeable, at the very least more pleasing to the eye. Other than that, I'd have to agree @Byron with using the scaping it self to try and hide it.
 
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dR3ws3r

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Thanks for the replies.

A lot of what i question is just from what I see. If you shop online for tanks .. almost always, the "marine" tanks have precolored back glass that is black and pre-drilled. Tanks that are listed for aquascaping are clear all the way around. IT just makes me think ... why? I get the whole marine thing, but for aquascaping I didn't necessarily understand the reason for being all clear, especially in an area where most people are going for "nature" or "biotopes" where hiding all unnatural things is a concept (which can be accomplished with a sump). Additionally I like to watch the ADA (green aqua) clinics on youtube, where they have guests come in and design a tank in front of a small group of students/attendees. They always are tanks that are clear on all sides, and use a sump. It looks like they typically use holes drilled into the bottom of the tanks, but use clear glass inserts for their inlets to the sump if not for the outlets too. That is the only place I have ever seen tanks like that, and as an engineer, it gives me a little hesitation to have holes in the bottom glass. I haven't done any calculations, but if you have a place on the tank with the highest stress (The bottom), and you introduce a stress (drilled hole), then you are introducing a possible failure. That is probably a reach though, or you would probably hear about aquariums cracking more often, especially when they are supported on the bottom. sorry I digress

So I would like to have a sump and was thinking about possibly buying a tank that is set up for "marine" use with back glass that is painted and drilled for a low profile overflow box, but just wanted to get a feel for what people think about aquascaping and how they hide their equipment. I mean having it out of sight in the sump seems like a nice idea. Although bending down below the tank to access everything maybe isn't pleasant. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions (pros and cons) of having used a sump in fresh water setups?
 

Lynnzer

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My black perspex sheets came today and this is what I'm doing with them
 

Stan510

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Depends on the fauna. If you are going nano fish in the 80 gallon,a good canister filter will do. Get one with built in heater and then you only have to hang the inlet and outlet pipes..nothing else to see. If you are going Co2 they make them able to be fitted to to the canister outlet..so eliminating that for inside the aquarium.
I would go nano fish again if I could no matter how large the plant aquarium..just makes everything so much easier.
 

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