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 Planted Ledge

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James0816
Captain
Captain
James0816

Posts : 1194
Location : Spotsylvania, VA
Favorite Fish: : Stingrays
Otocinclus Catfish
Kuhli Loaches

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PostSubject: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/21/2011, 12:54 pm

This project was the result of two seperate things:
1) I wanted to create a wall for the Suesswassertang to attach to.
2) I also wanted to hide the heater.

Part 1 would be simple. I could just get some plastic grid material and affix the Suesswassertang to it. Simple. But then I got to thinking...How could I maximize the wall and hide the heater at the same time. Solution: Create a ledge. This enables me to plant something on the top of the ledge which will help hide the heater as well.

So here's how I did it.

Step I: Making the Ledge

........... Materials: 1 sheet plastic canvas
..........................tape
..........................wood blocks
........... Tools:..... Heat gun
..........................Scissors
..........................Case Knife
Planted Ledge LedgeMaterials

........... 1) Cut the canvas to the desired lengths. This part may be a bit of trial and error to get to the size you want.
Planted Ledge CuttoLength

........... 2) Using the blocks of wood for support, tape two pieces of the canvas to the wood forming a seam at the edge of the wood.
Planted Ledge SecuretoWood

........... *** CAUTION *** Use caution during this next step as you will be using a heat gun and it will get extremely hot.

........... 3) Using the heat gun, slowly melt the two edges of the canvas to make a joined seam. The plastic will turn clear when hot enough making it look like water. This will be very hot so be carefull.

........... * NOTE I * Keep the heat gun moving. Do not keep it in one spot. This will help to avoid over heating and ruining the project.
........... * NOTE II * During the heating process, you may find that one (or both) sides will buckle out. Taking a flat edge, you can slowly run it up and down the canvas and place it back into form.

Planted Ledge MeltSeams

........... * NOTE III * In doing this, I found it actually better melting from bottom to top instead of side to side as depicted in the earlier pic. Basically melting it as shown in the picture above.

........... 4) Repeat the last step for the remaining seams. It can be a bit difficult at time to get the last two seams together so use patience. It will all come together.

........... 5) When finished, you should have a product that looks similar to this:
Planted Ledge FirstAttempt_Bad

This was my first attempt. I had the dimensions wrong and it actually did not work as 90 degree angle. I made another one and as well, didn't get the dimensions correct. I'm not a major in geometry. ;o)

When you get the dimensions right, it will fall perfectly into place. I placed the finished product in my algae tank to test it (notice the chunks of algae in the sand I had scraped off the walls for the pics). Here's the finished product:

From the top:
Planted Ledge FinishedProduct1

From the front:
Planted Ledge FinishedProduct2

The middle will be filled with the SMS substrate and planted with Echinodorus Angustifolia.

This will replacing my makeshift wall which simply two pieces of the canvas held to the tank using suction cups. This allow the SMS to stay in place instead of leaking through the sides from the current one.

To attach the Suesswassertang, use fishing line and thread it through the holes of the grid. The line will go over the Suesswassertang. You can gently pull it into place and tie the line. Once the Suesswassertang takes hold, you can remove the line.

To plant the Echinodorus Angustifolia, lower the plant into the middle of the ledge to the depth you will be planting. Take a toothpick and run it through the grid in the middle the of the EA and out the other end. This will hold the plant in place while you fill with substrate. I will be using 5-6 plants to place on top.

First we have to attach the Suesswassertang. Take two long lines of fishing wire and attach them to the ledge. Instead of using a knot, I just made a loop around one of the back pieces of the grid. This enables you to tighten it if needed. Take a few smaller pieces of line and tie them to the long ones. Place the Suesswassertang on the grid. When you have it situated, take the fishing line and roll it on top and then thread through the grid on the opposite side. Loop the ends again instead of tying. This is how it will look: If you look close enough, you will see both the horizontal and vertical lines.

Planted Ledge AttachingTheSuesswassertang

Next, place the ledge into the tank where you want it.

Now we have to plant the ledge. This can get a little tricky as you'll need to use both hands. You will need some toothpicks for this part. I used the plastic ones instead of the wood to be safe.

Take your plant and lower into the ledge deep enough so the roots will be covered. Thread a toothpick through one side of the ledge, carefully through the plant and then out the other side. This will hold the plant in place.
Planted Ledge PlantingTheLedge_1

Repeat the last step for remaining plants.
Planted Ledge PlantingTheLedge_2

I wound up using (4) E. Angustifolia instead of the planned (5).

When the plants are all secure, pour in your substrate. I used a small measuring cup and scooped it from the tank and poured. Do this until the substrate is level with the top of the ledge. You'll have to do some smoothing out of course.

Leave the toothpicks in place for a while to allow time for the roots to take hold.

Finished Product:
Planted Ledge LeftSideOfTank_010710

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Elrollo
Major
Major
Elrollo

Posts : 870
Location : Virginia Beach
Favorite Fish: : Blue Acaras...first fish I ever breed still have a soft spot for them

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/21/2011, 1:44 pm

looks great
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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/21/2011, 1:51 pm

very very COOL idea!!!!!! Great work
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James0816
Captain
Captain
James0816

Posts : 1194
Location : Spotsylvania, VA
Favorite Fish: : Stingrays
Otocinclus Catfish
Kuhli Loaches

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/21/2011, 1:54 pm

Thx...and between the shrimp and Oto fry...they just love it.
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strawman1985
Moderator
Moderator
strawman1985

Posts : 476
Location : Asheboro, NC
Favorite Fish: : Jack Dempsey...Red Tail Shark... Severum... Raphael Cat...Cardinals...Cory's... Hy511's There are many more as well

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/21/2011, 5:14 pm

very nice. I like it!
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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/21/2011, 5:54 pm

I love plastic canvas sheets they are so great for planted tanks. Thanks for the info. Looks great. I did similar but did not use a heat gun but sewed the ends with fishing line.
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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/21/2011, 6:39 pm

cheers That is just awesome!

I was going to mention the fishing line too but Vixen beat me to it!
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FishWithTeethLover
Private First Class
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FishWithTeethLover

Posts : 44
Location : Keller, Texas
Favorite Fish: : All Central American Cichlids, Umbie, Red Festae, Red Tail Catfish, Tigrinus Catfish, Tiger Shovel Nose Catfish, Clown Knives, All Large Pikes, Haplochromis and Large Growing Mbuna.

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/26/2011, 10:00 am

FishVixen wrote:
I love plastic canvas sheets they are so great for planted tanks. Thanks for the info. Looks great. I did similar but did not use a heat gun but sewed the ends with fishing line.

I use to use fishing line now I like using clear zip ties.
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wildbeanerz
Captain
Captain
wildbeanerz

Posts : 1151
Location : Roaring Spring, PA
Favorite Fish: : Love my black ocellaris!

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/26/2011, 10:25 am

Very cool project that looks like most anyone could handle! Good info! Planted Ledge 393849
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James0816
Captain
Captain
James0816

Posts : 1194
Location : Spotsylvania, VA
Favorite Fish: : Stingrays
Otocinclus Catfish
Kuhli Loaches

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/26/2011, 10:30 am

Thx all!

I found the hardest part being getting the right size porportions of the front and back grid.
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jessecichlidguy
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jessecichlidguy

Posts : 1093
Location : menifee Ca
Favorite Fish: : cichlids cichlids cichlids

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/26/2011, 10:54 am

absolutely wonderful thanks for sharing
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wblueus
Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant


Posts : 272
Location : Oklahoma
Favorite Fish: : cichlids

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/27/2011, 6:40 pm

Planted Ledge 393849
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whisper
Betta Specialist
Betta Specialist
whisper

Posts : 1990
Location : Euless, Texas
Favorite Fish: : Betta's,Fancy Guppies, Plecos, kio.

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime1/29/2011, 10:37 pm

WOW that is awsome. Great job.
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elfwolfe
Chief Wrnt. Off. 2
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elfwolfe

Posts : 381
Location : San Antonio, TX
Favorite Fish: : graduating from community fish to aggressive fish (cichlids), but will always have a soft spot for my krbs and betta's.

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime2/9/2011, 11:24 pm

I took your idea, and made a "fish house" with some java moss Planted Ledge 2
Planted Ledge Img_0510
Planted Ledge Img_0511

Cant wait to see how it looks after it starts to grow! My kribs have already started to hang out around it, and the little stow away peacock hyb has started to cear out a hole underneath it. I also took 2 large sheets and put some java moss inbetween them to start making a moss wall :) Once they all start growing I will post some pics of them all.
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strikingthematch
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Captain
strikingthematch

Posts : 1118
Location : Virginia Beach, VA
Favorite Fish: : Discus, Stingrays, Arowana, Rams, and Angels

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime2/10/2011, 12:07 am

Thats really cool! haha I really like the "fish house" idea. I think some of my fish would love it. They like the plants but some of the tetras will hide under the space I leave under my diftwood. Should be fairly easy to make hehe and the next project begins!
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the.c.word
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the.c.word

Posts : 28
Location : San Diego, CA
Favorite Fish: : The kind that live in water. :)

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime2/10/2011, 12:57 am

I can't wait to use some of these great ideas on my 55!
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James0816
Captain
Captain
James0816

Posts : 1194
Location : Spotsylvania, VA
Favorite Fish: : Stingrays
Otocinclus Catfish
Kuhli Loaches

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime2/10/2011, 6:24 am

I like the idea of a moss arch way as well. Just to throw that out there.
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Guest
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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime2/10/2011, 9:42 am

The fish house should look nifty once it grows out!
Nice spin off!
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istrober
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istrober

Posts : 2643
Location : Lehigh Acres, Fl
Favorite Fish: : Africans, Peacocks, Catfish.. pertty much everything that has fins and tail...

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime2/10/2011, 9:45 am

nice work james..!! keep us posted!
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mike205
First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant
mike205

Posts : 692
Location : shelby, Alabama
Favorite Fish: : peacocks and koi

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime2/10/2011, 6:35 pm

looks good cant wait to see it filled out
keep us updated
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mike205
First Lieutenant
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mike205

Posts : 692
Location : shelby, Alabama
Favorite Fish: : peacocks and koi

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime2/10/2011, 6:37 pm

looks good cant wait to see it filled out
keep us updated
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grad2k1rulz
Private First Class
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grad2k1rulz

Posts : 35
Location : Overland Park, KS
Favorite Fish: : I'm finicky and picky so it varies and changes regularly.

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime7/10/2011, 9:43 pm

I'm curious to know how these tanks look now that it is 4-5 months after starting this venture! Can you post new pics if they have grown in?!?!
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elfwolfe
Chief Wrnt. Off. 2
Chief Wrnt. Off. 2
elfwolfe

Posts : 381
Location : San Antonio, TX
Favorite Fish: : graduating from community fish to aggressive fish (cichlids), but will always have a soft spot for my krbs and betta's.

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime7/10/2011, 9:47 pm

my A-frame died, but I now have a syno who calls it home.... my large 8X10 is starting to grow, it has a 1/4 inch growth on it (it didnt start growing till it floated to the top, so I left it there and its growing).
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grad2k1rulz
Private First Class
Private First Class
grad2k1rulz

Posts : 35
Location : Overland Park, KS
Favorite Fish: : I'm finicky and picky so it varies and changes regularly.

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime7/10/2011, 9:54 pm

Oh, interesting, My hatchet fish would probably love that!
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James0816
Captain
Captain
James0816

Posts : 1194
Location : Spotsylvania, VA
Favorite Fish: : Stingrays
Otocinclus Catfish
Kuhli Loaches

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PostSubject: Re: Planted Ledge   Planted Ledge Icon_minitime7/11/2011, 6:10 am

grad2k1rulz wrote:
I'm curious to know how these tanks look now that it is 4-5 months after starting this venture! Can you post new pics if they have grown in?!?!

Thought I had an updated pic in the The Oto Journal but guess not. Here is the most recent shot of the ledge. Has been trimmed several times since it was originally built. Back left corner behind the Bacopa monnieri.

Planted Ledge OtoVitattusHome_062311
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