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Old 09-02-2011, 01:41 AM   #1
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Question Underwater Shelf

I just got my first big tank and I'm absolutely thrilled. Problem is, with how it's set up right now, the water from the middle to the top of the tank is completely open and my fish have been strictly sticking to the bottom where the plants are.

To help use up some of the space, I was thinking of putting some sort of shelf in the middle of the tank, ideally about 20" high. Maybe make it so it has little caves or arches to swim through and put some more plants on it.

Apparently there's a product like this sold, but it's very cheap and flimsy and fake looking. I don't want it in my tank. I've been trying to think of a way to make this myself with aquarium friendly products. Any advice or input?

P.S. I've put some taller growing plants in, but it'll be a while before they're actually.... tall.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:29 AM   #2
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Well, you could set up your own cave system, which would be much more natural looking. Like, slate, tiles, ceramic bowls/pots, rocks, or any other thing. There have been a few recent threads (within the last month or so) talking about making caves. You could search for those or Google them.

I'm sure walking around a Pike's or every the garden section of Lowe's or Home Depot would give you some more ideas.

Just a thought, of course.

A shelf, I'm sure you could use silicon to make a removable piece out of whatever material you chose. I'm guessing your tank is already filled and can't move the fish out to permenantly fix the shelf to the tank.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:47 PM   #3
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slate can be stacked to create a Shelf, and maybe you could put some java fern up there to get the greenery higher right now, a taller piece of driftwood can also have java moss and java fern attached to it to make the fish feel more comfortable higher up... Also, your fish may actually all be bottom dwellers and then nothing will get them up all the time, check out where the species like to be, maybe even look into gouramis as they are labryinth fish which means they breathe air as well as water, so they stay to the top naturally, dwarf gouramis are actually a pretty good community fish
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:21 PM   #4
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Could you use acrylic or glass to build a shelf and then add it to the tank after it cures. At that point, you could cover it with substrate and put plants and decor on it.
That is, unless I'm misunderstanding your request.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:40 PM   #5
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i saw an amazing shelf/ caves made out of foam
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:49 PM   #6
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@Homer What kind of foam?
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:28 PM   #7
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Ive seen different kinds. When i get home tonight or tomorrow ill post the video i saw
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:57 PM   #8
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3d Aquarium background with sandfall 1 - YouTube
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:24 AM   #9
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This is amazing! I was looking at something just like this for my upcoming discus build. Thanks for that link! It's beautiful!
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:30 PM   #10
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Could you take a piece of plexiglass as the shelf and then build like some steps up to it and cover it all with substrate and plants? Kinda like the zones in the ocean?
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:22 PM   #11
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I have a plexiglass shelf in my tank held up by pvc. It sticks out of the water with sand on top. You need a lip around the edge because the sand falls off.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:17 AM   #12
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I am looking into something similar, a slate or plexiglass shelf with (maybe) some plants and substrate on top. My concern is for the roots of the plants. Will the substrate be deep enough to keep the plants fed and healthy? I wouldnt want to make something even 1 inch deep because it would seem too large, so is that enough to do what I want or should I keep trying?


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Old 09-13-2011, 04:24 PM   #13
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My shelf sand is about 2 in high and i have and i have a 29 gal. You should be fine with 2-3 inches. It can be higher in the back and slope toward the front
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:41 PM   #14
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got a pic of the tank mate???
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer8 View Post
I have a plexiglass shelf in my tank held up by pvc. It sticks out of the water with sand on top. You need a lip around the edge because the sand falls off.
This just gave me an idea... Use PVC pipe coated with silicone (aquarium safe of course) and rolled in a mixture of sand and crushed shells, giving them a look like the pictures of Roman columns that had been submerged for decades. Then use something on top treated the same way as a shelf. I'm thinking of making it look like an old temple with the roof partially collapsed. That would give me the space underneath AND my shelf. Thanks!

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Old 09-21-2011, 06:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Retired_AF View Post
This just gave me an idea... Use PVC pipe coated with silicone (aquarium safe of course) and rolled in a mixture of sand and crushed shells, giving them a look like the pictures of Roman columns that had been submerged for decades. Then use something on top treated the same way as a shelf. I'm thinking of making it look like an old temple with the roof partially collapsed. That would give me the space underneath AND my shelf. Thanks!

That does sound like a pretty sweet idea actualy mate, gotta get some pics up wen ur done
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:22 PM   #17
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man your going all out. good luck post pics
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:12 PM   #18
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Why dont you get an Eco Level. I think they just started but there are shelves you can put inside your tank
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