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Thread: The Fluval Flex trial

  1. #1
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    Default The Fluval Flex trial

    Here is the start of my journal for my new fluval flex.

    I was initially thinking of a high tech setup but in the end the all in one tank and itís look especially in my home office (on existing cabinets) meant that I have (for the moment at least, I think the cabinets will hold another tank ) gone for an all in one tank.

    The plan is to to a rockscape something Iíve never done before. Stocking will be school of threadfins (will be hitting up aquagreen) or maybe some luminatus if I can source some. There is spotted blue eyes in the other tank in the home office with some native shrimp (thanks to Dave).

    Iím reaching into a hobby I started dabbling with while taking a break from fish, opal carving and want to use boulder opal which had opal on an ironstone backing. Unpolished opal looks best when wet and under light & so to me makes sense that it should look good in an aquarium.

    Itís difficult to find large pieces that donít cost $100ís so itís mostly lower grade opal or off cuts.

    There are 2 types of host rock here primarily ironstone while the 2nd more patterned ones with the lighter colour I think is some form of hard clay (Iíve a bit worried it will degrade in the tank so soaking it & looking to test it out.



    So here a couple ideas Iíve had this is not a strong area of mine so I need your help & sorry about the quality of the photos. I donít have a lot of space to work with tank is about 40cm wide 25cm deep and 30 cm tall. Iíve got some flo cell in there to help add some height as I cant get it out of the rocks themselves, the biggest piece is about 15cm tall.



    Not sure on the rocks in the third image harder to find big pieces of it and have some thin slices in the front that with time and plants helping to cover they might not look so harsh and also might cover the disjointed patterns.

    What do you like? What needs improvement what would you do with rocks like this, I found I need to have them leaning back a little to get the colour to show out of the opal

    How do you think I can make this work and an awesome home for some shrimp & threadfins.

    Planting will be java fern, anubias, buce, moss, blyxa (if I can get it to last love this plant but never had success with it) or maybe some dwarf hair grass

    Thanks for your help.

    Matt

  2. #2
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    Hiya,

    #3 looks very unique indeed!! I reckon go for that one. Looks like 30cm cube is it?

  3. #3
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    Thanks Rebel

    I think it’s 40 wide by 30 deep and 30 high but there is about 4-5 cm of depth taken up by the filter.

  4. #4
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    I assume you will use aquasoil for this one?

    I had a look at the tank specs. Looks nice. You can inject CO2 just at the return if you like and hide the cylinder at the back of course.


    This might be slightly too small for fish but perhaps those small blue eye variety could fit? I suppose you can overstock and do lots of water changes tho.

    Keen to see your progress.

  5. #5
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    Yeah was thinking of some co2 in that back section and some aqua soil. Plus thought extra sponges/filter media in first part of the filter.

    It holds 57 litres so maybe 6-8 thread fins or blue eyes would go well in there with the shrimp. Depends on how much space is taken up with hard scape.

    The light levels have me confused the specs are 10.3 watts and it said 2450 lux on the box. I had hoped to get some carpeting plants but don’t think it will be strong enough. Even if I look to add in a led sumbersible 3w and auction it to the lid of the tank. Think that will add an extra 30%.

    Other crazy thoughts I’ve had included siliconing some wire mesh to the back of that big rock, filling it will aqua soil and trying to cover it in a carpet. But like moss walls I fear over time the the top will grow while the bottom won’t get the light it needs (even if I made it more of a cone shape)
    Last edited by matt3408; 10-02-18 at 07:08 PM.

  6. #6
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    Haha i thought it was the 30ish L version. 58L is plenty for some fish.

  7. #7
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    I could be wrong but that second rock looks like it has veins of opal on it. I have a piece of rock I found in my blasting days from the north west and it looks similar and was identified as an opal vein in it.

  8. #8
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    Yup Mundi, there is opal vein thru all the rocks, some with better/brighter colours than other.

  9. #9
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    Here are a couple more ideas, I was playing around with (my 5yo son was helping) I decided to allow everyone to play it was safer to do it outside the tank



    Couple mountain scapes with a central mountain, some quite rock heavy (thanks son) and one a bit more of 2 peaks and a valley.

  10. #10
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    After playing around a bunch more I think I've settled on a hardscape I think will work, my 2 favourites are (please excuse the photos I sprayed the rock to try and show off the opal colour but it didnt really work and steamed up the tank;



    While I like the 2nd one (and its my wifes preference) I feel its a little rock heavy and the "valley" between will flatten out pretty quickly.

    And I've refined the one I like the best a little


    The problem is to get that little rock some height there is quite the support structure underneath it


    This concerns me but I think with some of the use of that last rock to hold back the slope and some substrate supports I think I can make it work. I'll work on a better slope with another piece of flo cell now that I think I know what I want.

    Planting plan is some Blyxa or hair grass in the lower areas and potentially inbetween the rocks on the slope (would like some other carpet plants but fear the light wont be enough, I will put some small buce, anabius and moss on the less interesting pieces of the rocks, and some needle leave java fern up the back. I was thinking some val up the back to help dither some of the light for the fish but I think I might grab a small piece of lace fern and let it float and grow at the surface and trim it often.

    What are your thoughts?

    Cheers Matt

  11. #11
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    Looking good. You can carpet MC even in lower light. Will you be doing dry start?

  12. #12
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    Thanks Rebel, so MC will carpet in lower light (this tank has a 10.8W LED (2450 LUX) )

    If I was to place a carpet I would definitely dry start and it would give the moss a good chance to grow out on the rocks as well. I did a dry start about 6-7 years ago and had some success with it when I was growing some glosso in this old tank the tank is still running its at the office at work but looks a lot different as it was unloved, now its home to some cherry shrimp.

    So the really high support had me worried when I started to think that there would be an inch or so of substrate above it and while I like awesome slopes in the substrate (see my tank from 4 years ago http://www.aquariumlife.com.au/showt...way?highlight= ) I am concerned about the long term viability of them.

    So I played around a little more (basically swapped the 2 other "peaks") I'll probably spend the next week or so flicking between the 2 images but any input is appreciated.



    Now the other big question, is stocking, always going to have some shrimp, maybe some cherries or some more natives off Aquagreen, but what fish I was thinking threadfins (from Aquagreen) but looking at the pic of the old old tank I remembered how cool honey blue eyes are and also the neon red blue eyes I've spotted in a couple of the Melbourne aquariums look awesome as well (the other tank in the room has spotted blue eyes in it)

    I think this tank wont kick off until I come back from a trip to NZ at the end of April, so I guess I have a few of months to answer that one, and keep researching, trying to grow out some plants and moss to help kick start the tank, I'm going to try "dry starting" the moss on rocks once I get the hard scape locked down so hopefully they will progress well by the time the rest of the tank is ready.

    Cheers

    Matt
    Last edited by matt3408; 12-03-18 at 02:46 PM.

  13. #13
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    MC will do ok especially with that aquasoil. Btw I have plenty of emersed grown MC that will fit that application nicely.

    Other option is belem hair hairass carpet.

  14. #14
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    Yeah I was keen on some hair grass as well, the MC on the slopes I like the idea of.

    Thanks for your advice Rebel.

  15. #15
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    MC I got from Rebel grows extremely well in my cube man, I started with like 4 1cm long pieces from my large tank that i took out when trimming.

    This is how far its gotten in about a month

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