Tank rescape

Nemo2182

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So when i started asking questions about what doing a gravel to sand rescape of my 46L Fluval Edge, a few people were interested in seeing regular updates on how it was going. So ive started this thread to show those of you who wanted to see progress....

My current setup is a heavily rocked, nano gravel-bottomed with a couple of Java Ferns, Vallisneria, flame moss and moss balls. I also have two large pieces of bog wood. I like the current look, but was concerned it was not the right habitat for my Corydora habrosus. After length discussions on other post, I decided to do the change from gravel to sand and give a little more space on the tank floor for the corys while maintaining hiding spaces and plants for both the Cory and my Fire red Shrimp. As this is a tall nano tank, my guppies have plenty of swim space and also love going in and out of all the nooks and crannys i I already have..

My new setup is going to be a bit more unique, not to mention challenging. My rubbish rough drawing which I have added below is the basic look. A medium Bonsai tree on left and a "rock mountain" on the right. I am going to "stick" my Javas on my artificial log and sink in the sand. On my first build i didnt think to line the bottom of the tank which was a mistake, so this time I have purchased a plastic grid which will distribute the weight of the rocks better and give a solid platform to be able to manipulate the rocks without damaging the glass. Last time I added substrate then rocks on top, but this time round i will partially submerge the rocks in the sand. This will give more height to tank and secure rocks better from movement. I will also partially submerge the Bonsai to give the illusion of it being "planted".

The sand arrived yesterday and ive already put tons of water through it to get it clear. For reference, if your considering sand, especially river sand like me, be prepared to rinse it a lot of times to clear any unwanted material or debris from the sand. Also presoaking it will help with reducing the "air pockets" when you install.

Bonsai is being delivered Monday, managed to find it for £49.99 from Real Aquatics, and had I note been so impatient, they sent me a 10% off voucher which would of brought it down to £45. Sand has cost £13 for 10kg, but i decided to get another bag just in case i want to build certain areas about the recommended 2inchs base.

I have booked Thursday off next week for the build, so i will take plenty of pics for any of you guys that are interested. Im nervous and excited, and just hope the fish will be ok in there temp home for several hours ????

Watch this space...
 

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Retired Viking

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Let us know both what went well and where you ran into trouble, I am looking at rescaping a 30 gallon tall from gravel to sand and changing everything in it later this year.
 
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Nemo2182

Nemo2182

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So after what i said was a painful amount of cleaning, i mean i must of used close to a 100litres through this bucket, the water is clear. I am happy now that any unwanted debris has been removed. The sand has also "lightened up" so I think this must hold a lot of natural clay in the sand. **THIS IS A WARNING** If you choose not to rinse, you will have a cloudy tank for sometime, not to mention what stuff filter feeding fish may take in. I also like the fact that heavily wet sand is very pliable, so should make for easier scaping...Ive also cut my flooring to size, so just waiting on the tree and going out to get some java moss to finish the tree look.
My first test before I start is picking all the java fernlings I seem to have acquired. On my tank change yesterday i moved a piece of bog wood out and was shocked how many young plants I have. They will come in handy as extra planting on new scape.....
 

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@Retired Viking and @NCaquatics The wood has arrived....well constructed, obviously man made. I personally think £50 is a bit steep, but thats the going rate I guess. Its bigger than i thought, but mostly in length on the main tree branch. Will be 30cm tall if I wedge it up. Having the grid is helping to understand what space I have, def going to have to change the design me thinks, maybe put tree on top of rocks....we will see...
 

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Colin_T

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I was gonna say wow, what a cool bit of wood, and it still is but it's man made not natural. I was trying to think what plant they used for it and Bonsai crossed my mind. But you mentioned man made so no Bonsai.
 
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Nemo2182

Nemo2182

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I was gonna say wow, what a cool bit of wood, and it still is but it's man made not natural. I was trying to think what plant they used for it and Bonsai crossed my mind. But you mentioned man made so no Bonsai.
Yeah its funny really. Its all wood but its just manufactured into the shape. Im bot even sure what the bonding material is
 

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Retired Viking

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@Retired Viking and @NCaquatics The wood has arrived....well constructed, obviously man made. I personally think £50 is a bit steep, but thats the going rate I guess. Its bigger than i thought, but mostly in length on the main tree branch. Will be 30cm tall if I wedge it up. Having the grid is helping to understand what space I have, def going to have to change the design me thinks, maybe put tree on top of rocks....we will see...
It is nice looking even if man made, it does take up more room too. A nice stone or two under it to balance it out would maybe look nice, I would try and leave a space under it too so fish can swim through or hide.
 
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Nemo2182

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It is nice looking even if man made, it does take up more room too. A nice stone or two under it to balance it out would maybe look nice, I would try and leave a space under it too so fish can swim through or hide.
Yeah thats the plan, keep the natural feel for the fish. Im contemplating placiny artifical log under it, giving the fish lots of hidy holes
 

Colin_T

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I wouldn't add any more logs/ wood or big rocks. Maybe a couple of smallish smooth pebbles and a thin layer of Java Moss on top. Then leave it at that. The tree with Java Moss growing on top with swimming space underneath would be just about perfect in that size tank.
 
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Nemo2182

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I wouldn't add any more logs/ wood or big rocks. Maybe a couple of smallish smooth pebbles and a thin layer of Java Moss on top. Then leave it at that. The tree with Java Moss growing on top with swimming space underneath would be just about perfect in that size tank.
Were see....i will play with all conceivable options im sure lol. I took the fake log out and the tree does fit ok on top...baring in mind i will be submerging the log slightly so sand lays the bottom of it...Have a look at pics and see what you think...
 

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Nemo2182

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So hit another snag. My second bag of sand isnt going to arrive by Thursday, so with regards to River sand, I see this go by other names such as "grit sand" and "sharp sand". These sands are available at the local DIY and garden stores. Do i just get some of this, clean it and mix with current sand? Or shall i just get some kids play sand and mix it up?? @Byron @PheonixKingZ @corylover5 @WhistlingBadger @Colin_T you guys are on the uptake of what I need, what should I do???
 
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OK, here's the thing about grit sand. It's made for sand blasting. It isn't water worn, so under a microscope it has sharp edges and points. Many people will tell you that this kind of sand is death for bottom feeders. This has not been my experience: I've kept panda cories, zebra loaches, and emerald brochis on Black Diamond blasting sand for multiple years, and they're thrived, with healthy barbels and healthy bellies. I find that when cories lose their barbels, it is because of poor water quality/circulation, not because the substrate is rough.

But that tends to be the going wisdom: Blasting sand is no good for cories or loaches. "Play sand" is generally smoother. I've used that too, and it looks really good in some setups. I just like black substrates. So, do with that what you think best.

Either way, it would be fine to rinse it well and mix it with your current sand.
 

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