Looking back at these photos of my old 15 gallon setup, I wish I could go back in time. I love this initial setup, but wound up deciding that the large white rock was just too large for the tank. I tried to chisel off the back side of it to give the tank more space, but it tragically broke the rock into smaller pieces, none of which maintained the height I wanted for the rock centerpiece. Later a CO2 regulator malfunctioned and gassed the entire tank, killing all of the rasboras, ghost shrimp, and most of the Otos. The bacteria was killed, causing the tank to cycle again. Many of the plants died. The riccia fluitans tied down to the rocks took off, intermixing with the HC carpet to the point where I had to dig up the entire foreground to pull out the riccia. Basically, this tank went into a rapid downward spiral not too long after these photos. Maybe one day I’ll get back to such a beautiful state, but, for now, this tank is back to being a work in progress.
Tank – 15 Gallon High from Marineland
- Same footprint as a 10 gallon, 20 x 10 x 18 [inches] – about 170 lbs when full
- I had to get this specially ordered. Originally I wanted to build this tank into a bookshelf, viewed from both sides, with a very thin, jutting rock cliff and tall plants growing all around it, short plants and maybe a moss tree on the cliff. I couldn’t find a rock to act as the cliff, and I never setup the bookshelf, so this is what I went with instead.
Filter – TOM Aquarium Rapids Mini Canister hang-on-the-tank C-80, 80gph, available here
Heater – Tetra Submersible 100W heater, available here
Lighting – 24″ T5 Quad High Output Light Fixture with Timer 6500K, available here
- Though tall tanks need higher lighting to reach the substrate with the same light levels as shorter tanks, this light fixture was overkill. I now run it with 1 or 2 of the 4 possible HO T5’s running. I’m still not sure if running 2 is too much for the tank, so I alternate days.
Substrate – CaribSea Eco-Complete in black
The tank used to home four female bettas, 5 Harlequin rasboras, 3 Otos, and between 4 and 10 ghost shrimp depending on how their breeding was going and how many I fed to my puffers.