View Full Version : New 75 Gallon Scape

09-26-2012, 11:26 PM
Ive had this 75 gallon tank setup before, but due to being a novice i rushed into things and the outcome was.......terrible ! Ive decided to take things slowly (even though its killing me) and decide exactly how i want things. The setup im going for is a little bit of everything...Dutch style, Amano & Iwagumi. Im not sure how it will come out, but in my head it looks excellent ha ha!

75 Gallon standard
4x 54w Catalina T5ho
Rena XP-3
Pressurized C02 with Rex style reactor
Seachem Flourite (Dark)
Pool Filter Sand (maybe)

I emptied this tank around 8 days ago, the last setup was a mess, i kept adding plants to it without fully knowing what care was needed for them, so some died whilst some went crazy and blocked everything else from the light.

I decided whilst the tank was empty i would scub the inside of the tank with a bleach mix to kill any nasties that was growing on the silicone or glass itself. This also gave me a chance to connect my reactor.

Next was to decide what i wanted as the main focal point, using the "rule of thirds" i decided that a leftover piece of driftwood i had from another tank would be perfect. The piece seems just the right height and has tons of potential to grow Anubias, java fern and/or moss around the base or the branches.

Next up was to decide the layout of the actual tank. Ive seen lots of "island" & "beach" effects by dividing 2 different color substrates which i like. Making 2 islands would be great to keep Iwagumi away from the Dutch & Amano styles. I decided to use plexi glass and cut them into strips, being 2" high. I used a candle to heat the plexi glass and bend it to the shapes i wanted. After i got the correct shapes i just simply siliconed them to the bare bottom of the tank. Once the silicone was dry i decided to pour the flourite from the bag straight into the tank (yep, no rinsing) I dont see the point in rinsing the substrate, you pay all that money for the goodness inside the substrate only to ....wash it all away ! Makes no sense to me.

Turns out im 2 bags short (only used 2 bags in the pics) but hopefully the LFS will have these for me on Friday. I filled the tank with water and will leave it for 24 hours before i switch my filter on. I did have a few suspended particles but i just used kitchen paper towels to soak them up which worked very well.
Underneath the driftwood and the right hand side of the tank i used pool filter sand in some panties to make the "hills". Once i get the other 2 bags of substrate i will make the left side a little more hilly. This picture was taken straight after the water was in........ not too cloudy considering i didnt rinse it !

This is the left side of the tank where i would like a dutch style background with a Amano foreground and around the "tree stump"

This is the right side where im hoping to grow HC in a Iwagumi style.

09-26-2012, 11:57 PM
Love the step by step pics. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses. :

09-27-2012, 11:15 AM
Yes....staying tuned.....

09-27-2012, 11:58 AM
Decided to do a DSM with Hemianthus callitrichoides (HC), Glosso and dwarf hairgrass for the right hand side of the tank. Not sure which i will use yet it just depends which one grows quickest :-)
Still waiting on the rest of my substrate to arrive so at the moment i have to sit and wait :-(

09-27-2012, 12:12 PM
Decided to do a DSM

What is a DSM?

09-27-2012, 12:24 PM
Dry start method, sorry i got lazy to type a few extra words !

09-30-2012, 08:32 PM
This weekend i tried not to rush things so went slowly. Managed to get the rest of the flourite and sand , still not sure about the light color of the sand but it will do....for now.
I planted the HC and tried a few stem plants in areas, although not sure exactly where i want the plants just yet. Ive ordered some more stem plants so hopefully i will have a better idea on wednesday when they arrive.......but for now , here are the recent pics. The tank is still a little cloudy because i dont rinse the flourite, why wash the good stuff away ? AThe flat rock is holding the driftwood down and will be moved in a week or 2 once its waterlogged.





12-17-2012, 04:04 PM

12-18-2012, 11:53 AM
So 2-3 months later this is what i have so far. Although its not exactly how i want it, its going to have to do ! The Dutch style planting is the hardest part since i cant get them to bunch nicely together. At this stage im basically letting my plants grow so when it comes to trimming them, i can double up on the planting and hopefully make them more compact. Anyway, enough talking here are some pics.....

The plants look a lot brighter and healthier in person, my photography skills can be blamed for whats below :-)






12-19-2012, 07:19 AM

12-19-2012, 11:51 AM
I like how thats coming along, I think if the left side grows bigger so it shadows some of the right, it will give a really cool final look to the tank.
Thanks for the update!

12-19-2012, 12:00 PM
I didnt buy enough plants with to start with to be honest so im having to do it the slow way and wait for them to grow, trim and replant. It will get there eventually though !
Thanks for asking !

12-22-2012, 07:36 AM
Hey, can you give us a close-up picture of that hairgrass? Is it possible it is not actually hairgrass? I am just wondering.

12-22-2012, 01:11 PM
No hair grass in the tank , it's Hemianthus callitrichoides .

Did you mean the hairgrass that I'm having problems growing in another thread ? If so I can post a pic later.

01-22-2013, 04:16 PM
steven, thats a good looking tank my friend. Nicely done.

your HC is coming in well!

how about some updated pics.

01-22-2013, 09:33 PM
Thanks chad, in getting a little "Urghhh" with the setup at the moment though since my Dutch style plan is not going the way I want it. I was thinking of doing a simple scape using the driftwood in the tank and making it into a Fissiden tree with just HC carpeting the whole tank for a clean and easy look.

02-01-2013, 03:10 PM
Played around with the tank a little today, 5 hours later and a bad back.....





02-01-2013, 03:16 PM
lookin good!

what is that on the limbs? narrow leaf java?

02-01-2013, 03:24 PM
Yes its narrow leaf JF. At the very top of the trunk i have some xmas growing, it must have come in with another plant and started growing, i did not purposely place it there.

02-01-2013, 05:00 PM
That is looking really nice.

02-24-2013, 06:52 AM
Nicely done!

02-26-2013, 10:40 AM
really loving this tank!