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Tree of life pico aquaponics build

Discussion in 'Freshwater Tanks' started by SynDen, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    So, its not saltwater, but thought I would share this one, I've been working on, slowly, for a while now.
    Ive had this little 5g pico tank for several years. Jake Adams gave it to me several years back, and originally my wife had planted a cactus garden in it. Eventually she killed the cacti, and asked if I could do something with plants and a few small fish.

    Well duh, of course I can, but I wanted to do something that was more like functional, living, sculpture, instead of the standard freshwater stand/build.

    The concept is centered around the tree of life, and the cycles of this earth. So I wanted to do something where the stand was more organic and looked like roots of a tree. Would have loved to have actual mangrove roots, but those are hard to come buy around here lol

    Either way, I have been collecting random dead branches from around the neighborhood lately. They need to be dead, died, and a hardwood variety of some sort. I then strip their bark, and then rough sand them. I cut the top, then carve a tongue/groove joint, on it, and the top. Glue in place, then trim the bottoms to 32". The top is an old bamboo cutting board my wife tried to throw away years ago, but I wouldnt let her.

    Still need to find a few more good branches to complete the stand though, but I'm liking the initial result so far. Need to add at least one more branch in the front corner on the left there, and might add a few more in the back and mid. I may add a few branches coming up the backside to hang a light on as well, and give the plants something to grow up and around.

    Tank itself will be very basic. Likely have a small airstone, and/or sponge filter but not much else. It will be stocked with a few fancy guppies, a couple neon tetras and some cherry shrimp. Otherwise its all about the plants, which will be a mix of stuff like pothos, lucky bamboo, aquatic mosses, ferns, and a few others. Will need to find the right piece of driftwood for the tank too. It needs to fit in it, but also rise, and arch, out of the tank quite a bit, so plants can grow up it.

    IMG_20180711_110217.jpg IMG_20180711_110140.jpg IMG_20180711_120111.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  2. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Barracuda Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    I like it, I think it does look like mangrove roots. Maybe call them Colorado Mangroves :smiley:
     
  3. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Haha I like it. Colorado Mangroves it is ;)
     
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  4. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Looks sweet, but I would be worried one of the tips would break off. Have you weight tested it?

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
     
  5. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Ya, I weighted it with 100lbs last night to add pressure for the glue drying, and I think I could easily sit on it, so very sturdy that way. The branches use so far are elm, oak and alder, which will be more the enough to hold a small 5g tank. Its not perfectly stable yet though. Need like two more branches/roots added to stabilize the two corners and then it should be good.
     
  6. mebeknob

    mebeknob Copepod

    So are you going to do a tank like the Ecoqube C?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Alright found, some ash branches out walking the dog this morning. Ash and Oak are the best, so it should finish up the legs nicely.

    Kind of a similar concept ya, but the pothos and bamboo coming out of the tank wont be confined in a box on the top. It will spill over and wrap up and around the stand some.
    Plant wise, something like these, but more compact and smaller scale
    pothos-plant-aquarium-a-aquarium-with-left-and-ficus-right-pothos-plant-aquarium-filter.jpg 15nu3ia.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  8. Fourthwind

    Fourthwind Amphipod M.A.S.C Club Member

    love the stand. Did freshwater plant tanks for a lot of years. harder than a reef in a lot of ways. I wouldn't do the neon in a tank that size. believe it or not they get pretty aggressive with each other in tanks that size. I would stick with just a few of the dwarf species of rasbora. "About Fish" has been keeping a bunch of different shrimp on hand. Blues, cherry, greens ect.
     
    SynDen likes this.
  9. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Wow, that stand is super cool! Totally unique.
     
  10. laufeyson

    laufeyson Copepod

    Very creative design,i look forward to this build
     
  11. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Thanks all
    Managed to get the ash branches stripped and added in. Took all day, as they are very tough. Made a big difference in stability though. Next part is to find the right branch for the top. This one will reach over the tank and hold that light. I was going to use the branch sitting on top, in the pic, but its to short, so the hunt goes on.

    1531510811796.jpg 1531510828035.jpg

    Backside 1531510861717.jpg

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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  12. MuralReef

    MuralReef Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. MASC Vice-President

    This is really cool. I look forward to watching it develop.
     
  13. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I don't know if you have thought of this, but a dark green shag carpet underneath the base, gluing that fake moss stuff they use in reptile tanks to the tabletop, and/or wrapping some fake vines around some of the branches would look sweet.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
     
  14. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    I think I get you, but any plants or mosses will be real nothing fake in this one.
    Eventually the pothos and other plants will cover it on their own, which acheive the same effect I think.

    Anyway I got the light branch in place. I carved a channel in the back of the branch so I can hide the lights wires. Just need to run the wires down it and I will put the switch for on the under side of the top.
    1531672559867.jpg 1531672591726.jpg 1531672608953.jpg

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    Fourthwind likes this.
  15. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I was referring to spots that wont get adequate light and wont ever get real plant life. Help to fill the gaps so to speak.

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  16. FinsUp

    FinsUp According to my watch, the time is now. M.A.S.C Club Member

    I looooove this idea!! I might just hafta steal it, if that's ok. It won't be an aquarium, tho. Down here, there's almost nothing 'aquarium' available, not even freshwater, so this will be more of a terrarium situation. I've got the perfect corner available for a plant and stand like this one.
    I have far more than my fair share of driftwood available, but my challenge will be in finding a good clear vessel for the plants. And a good light. But I think I can do it.
     
    Haddonisreef and SynDen like this.
  17. mebeknob

    mebeknob Copepod

    This is coming along pretty well! You could almost put more branches on the top like the light holder one... balance out all ones on the bottom with the single one on top. Plus give some of your plants places to grow


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  18. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Steal away, my dear. Post up a pick when you do.
     
  19. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Kind of makes me consider buying a 20 gallon hex and turn a tree stump (with roots) into a table.

    The combo of these two pics would be the ideal tree of life build IMO if I ever get the desire to do it. (Upside down and taller for the table from the way the pic shows)


    shopping.jpeg Tree.jpg

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    Haddonisreef, FinsUp and SynDen like this.
  20. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Ya that would look pretty kewl
     

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