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Thread: Basalt Mountain (my first scape) - 50x35x35

  1. #1

    Default Basalt Mountain (my first scape) - 50x35x35

    Hi Guys.

    Finally think ive got this tank setup to the point im willing to share.
    Original cycling Q&A is here

    This was a spare Aquaone Aquastart 500 tank thats been sitting in my shed for around 5+ years... We have a 215L setup in our lounge but with a young family tank time just wasn't a priority, we almost put them both up for sale but my wife wanted to give the 215L one last go so she set it up and I got the bug again. I wanted to re scape it but thought ide get this one started for now and since ive got the 215L to a happy medium before it gets torn down and re done in a few months time.

    Basalt Mountain.

    Stone found locally, glued together and installed on a plastic grid to take its weight and not sink into the sub.
    Tank is going to remain low tech no CO2 setup as im trying to not let costs spiral out of control. If I was to splash out on CO2 ide rather that went into to the 215L

    I had originally planted this tank last week but made a few choices I wasn't happy with so re planted it last night along the lines of what I was originally trying to achieve. As things evolve these plants might change, depends what takes.

    Plant List:
    Dwarf Hair Grass
    Monte Carlo
    Anubias Nana
    Buceucephalandra Medium Leaves
    Buceucephalandra Long Leaves
    Staurogyne Repens
    Moss - at present there is a small piece of Java on the main rock, this will come out eventually and be replaced with fissidens or mini pellia. Not too sure what just yet, thinking of letting the tank establish a bit more.

    When I re planted last night I was happy to find that the DHG had started to send out runners after 1 week. I planted 2 more pots of the DHG and filled in the left side from front to back and half of the right side. Im planning on growing something with some height in the back right corner and behind the main rock, for now its go the S.Repens in place, mainly because I had it and its growing well in my eco system. Ide like to change it out eventually for possibly Long Hair Grass or something like Dwarf Sag, Blyxa Japonica. For now the Repens can grow there.

    Im hoping the MC works, the area its to carpet is small, what ive planted there was 3/4 of the pot to give you an idea of the size of the patch. If it takes awesome, if the experiment fails I might put the DHG in there. Fingers crossed. I know itll be slow, there is a pretty good started patch in there so we will see how it evolves.


    Red Cherry Shrimp mainly
    Galaxy Rasboras (thinking of 8)
    Otto or SAE, ide prefer an Otto for its size. just want to ensure the tank is mature enough before introducing an Otto.
    Nerite Snail(s) - Ide love a Tiger Nerite or a Zebra Nerite

    Overall im really happy with this for my first scape. Still going to the cycling phase before introducing any live stock.

    Hardscape design and layout

    Last edited by FishyFellow; 26-10-18 at 09:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013


    I really like this setup!

    I am worried that it will not thrive without CO2 though, mainly due to lowish planting density and lots of open rock where algae can take hold. Don't listen to me because I am addicted to gas....

    Consider some nerite snails early on as a form of insurance.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    I really like this setup!

    I am worried that it will not thrive without CO2 though, mainly due to lowish planting density and lots of open rock where algae can take hold. Don't listen to me because I am addicted to gas....
    Yeah I must admit im slightly worried about this. Im starting to dose a low amount of Excel into this tank, im hoping not to get smashed by algae but hey, its a learning process.

    Ive considered DIY CO2 but im worried about it getting inconsistent. Also considered one of the Sodastream kits as they 'look fairly cheap' to setup but the cylinders are quite small. Refils are about $18-19ea but I reckon they wouldn't last too long compared to a bigger canister. But after a quick read HERE i reckon it would be easier to do it properly.

    Lights are on for 7hr with a split photoperiod. 3hrs in the morning when im home and 4 hrs when I get home from work. The lights in this tank are pair of 11W PL's so the lighting is pretty low.
    Last edited by FishyFellow; 26-10-18 at 09:33 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013


    Keeping lights low will be your friend. Make sure you attend to any algae on a daily basis.

    Don't do DIY CO2. It's more trouble than it's worth.

  5. #5


    Small update on this tank.
    Cycling has been going well on this tank, no major issues so far.

    I picked up some Mini Pellia from my LFS for $12 which was enough to cover the tops of the two main stones. Thats been on for about 2 weeks now and is showing growth this week. DHG is sending runners and new shoots and the Monte has had a small amount of acclimatising but is sending its shoots into the sub and doing pretty well. One of my Buce's sent its first new leaf this week as well, happy to see that plant start to grow.

    Hoping to stock this soon but im in no major rush to do so. When its ready its ready.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    Very nice...

  7. #7


    Looks really good mate - my only gripe is that foreground anubias pulls attention away from your beautiful hardscape.
    Pellia was a good pick, really breaks up the silhouette on the stones.
    Chris -my tank

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