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Old 06-23-2011, 08:17 PM   #1
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I have slate, lots of slate

Hello Community,

I am a first-time fish keeper, working on getting a 29 gallon SE asian planted tank setup. I have really appreciated the wealth of information on this website.

To create a backdrop for my tank, I decided that smashing up black slate and stacking them together across the back would be a good idea. So I make this structure attached below. Here are my questions:

1. The structure is about 24 x 6 x9 , would this structure be too big for my tank (which is 30x12 x18)? I don't mean purely from an aesthetic perspective; I mean would it displace so much water where it would have a negative impact on the fish? Would I have to lower my stocking limit?

Here is my proposed stock:

6 x pearl danios
5 x Harlequin Rasbora
1 x pearl gourami
5 x glass catfish
5 x Amano shrimp

2. Would it be OK if I forgo the egg-crate and just put this structure on the bottom of my tank against the glass? You can see my stand (hollow in the middle) would it cause too much pressure on the bottom of the tank? If not against the glass, should I put a small layer of substrate below it (eco-complete-red and flourite mix)? I would guess the rock structure weighs about 20-30 lbs, Is egg-crate the only feasible option? I'm mainly worried about waste getting caught in between and under the egg-crate.

3. From a purely aesthetic viewpoint, would that dark grey slate clash with my reddish substrate mix?

4. Will plants effectively grow on this rock? Any suggestions on the types (SE Asian only)

Overall I am planning to have this structure with a medium sized piece of Root to the left with an open area in the front for the Danios/Rasbora to swim. I also chose mostly light colored fish so they would contrast with the red substrate dark slate. Small plants up front, with long leavy plants behind the wood on the left.

I am so excited! Getting my tank this Sunday (1 dollar per gallon at Petco sale), and planning to safestart and go with my danios the following day!

Thanks in advance for any responses.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:12 AM   #2
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Welcome to the site! The slate and the driftwood look phenomenal and I can't wait to see everything once it is all set up .

Since you seem to have done your research, I'm sure you are familiar with the process of cycling your tank. But as a friendly word of warning since you are a first time fish keeper, while some members have had notable success using Tetra Safestart, it is definitely nowhere near a guaranteed way to instantly cycle a tank. If you decide to add fish the day after setting up the tank, I personally suggest you purchase a quality liquid test kit like an API Master Kit and make sure to monitor your ammonia and nitrIte very closely until the tank stabilizes. It will be very important to keep your ammonia and no2 levels as low as possible ( below .25) as the tank cycles to prevent any damage to your new fish. Close monitoring and performing daily water changes as needed to keep your levels in check will be necessary to keep your fish healthy to enjoy their new home.

There is always the great option of fishless cycling (you can check out the link in my signature), but if you decide to use a bottled bacteria product, make sure you treat it as a fish in cycle until the tank proves to be stable. Here is a great link to guide you through the process-
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ow-116287.html

I look forward to seeing pics of the tank once it's set up!
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:29 AM   #3
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It looks good. It should work in the tank certainly worth a go. You can set it on the bottom. Be sure it does not move. While the weight will not effect the glass a corner striking the glass if it topples is a whole other story.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:41 AM   #4
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Welcome and I have to agree, those look awesome! Looking forward to seeing it all up and running.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:12 AM   #5
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Liking the rocks and the wood! If it were me, I would rather have something under the rock to disperse the weight...but it should be all right. I think your stocking plan looks pretty good. I'm not all that familiar with plant types, especially regions they're from. You could check at PlantGeek.net - Your Aquatic Plant Resource
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:35 PM   #6
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Finally got the hardscape and the tank setup.

I ended up putting a thin layer of eco-complete at the bottom and just laying the slate structure on top of it. Hopefully its stable, the bottom is mostly flat.

I think it looks a little too busy, that might change with the plants drawing attention away from all of the dark tones. I will probably have to get bright green/ multi-colored plants for this to work. Anyway, here it is!
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:47 PM   #7
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Great looking tank

You could try some moss (java or mini christmas) on the slate and let it grow between/around the pieces. Java fern on the DW would be another suggestion (moss too).
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:55 PM   #8
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I love the look of the slate. I appreciate the time and patience it takes to get it to look right.

The only thing I can think of that you might want to consider (it may be too late unless you want to start again) would be to get some compound like aquarium sealer to bond the pieces together so they won't shift or fall. A few drops in a place they cant be seen would help stabilize the structure and prevent them from injuring the fish or keeping a pointed edge from cracking the glass in the case of a collapse.

If you change the tanks occupants to fish that like to shift the substrate around (like some cichlids) this could become more important as they could undermine the support of the structure you already have.

Oh, that is a nice piece of driftwood! Great find!

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Old 06-28-2011, 02:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired_AF View Post
I love the look of the slate. I appreciate the time and patience it takes to get it to look right.

The only thing I can think of that you might want to consider (it may be too late unless you want to start again) would be to get some compound like aquarium sealer to bond the pieces together so they won't shift or fall. A few drops in a place they cant be seen would help stabilize the structure and prevent them from injuring the fish or keeping a pointed edge from cracking the glass in the case of a collapse.

If you change the tanks occupants to fish that like to shift the substrate around (like some cichlids) this could become more important as they could undermine the support of the structure you already have.

Oh, that is a nice piece of driftwood! Great find!

Oh yeah, the entire structure is glued (silicone) together, per the very first post!
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:59 AM   #10
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Great job. If your worried about the weight shifting, you could put some dense styrofoam underneath.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:52 AM   #11
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Looks good, you did a nice job arranging things. It will look great once it is planted.
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