Cliff aquascape 40 gallons breeder

Planning your 40 gallons breeder aquascape

Another tank which I decided to do is this 40 gallon breeder aquascape. First I was looking for inspiration in the nature. Pictures from different areas of the world. I found out what I like and I tried to imitate this look in my aquascape. To build the cliff I used lava rocks. It is an easy way to add height, saves substrate and gives additional surface for beneficial bacteria to grow, cause it is very porous.
After I collected all the pictures from nature and other aquascapes, added pictures of the plants I want and placing them on the one picture, I did a sketch of all the plants names I would like to use. I placed them were I would like to use them so I remember when I will be planting later on. I know it does not look very professional, but it doesn’t have to be. It is for you to help you make the plan and stick to it. After that my friend helped me to do better sketch on the phone app.

40-g-cliff-project-from-another-aquascapes 2

40 gallons cliff aquascape project plants placement
Plants placement sketch

Here you can start seeing how it will all look in reality

40 gallons cliff project on the phone app

As a substrate I decided to go with fluval stratum. It is very rich in nutrients substrate. Whole proces took me a few hours to put together. Plants I was growing previously in another tank so I didn’t have to buy any. This tank was dedicated to my two favorite fish rummy nose tetras and sterbai cory’s. I love cory’s ! They are very useful and looks amazing with their cute whiskers.

Underneath of fluval stratum I used established substrate from my over year old tank, 50 % of water from established tank, and whole marineland c-360gph canister filter which was running in 20 gallon tank. I added two HOB filters in this 20g tank to get it ready for removing a canister filter and double sponge filter with air pump as well.

However cycling took me around 9 days even with those steps, because substrate was leaching some ammonia, I was doing 2 water changes in the week and it was showing 0.25, nothing scary but it wasn’t ready for the fish yet. Later on from my experience I would’t use that much fluval stratum(11 small bags), because it is just too much nutrients for this kind of setup, and I had some difficulties with keeping it all on track. Everything was growing very well I just started getting algae because of too much light and organics.

Putting it all together – Aquascaping 40 gallons breeder

I like buying stones in the garden stores, because they are cheap. You can always ask the professional on the yard, which rocks does not affect ph of the water. Then you can choose many interesting rocks, stones with many different shapes and sizes.

40 g aquascape rocks for a cliff from Lurveys

Building a cliff didn’t take a long time. I decided to put Styrofoam to prevent the glass from the rocks. I was not quite sure is it 100% safe, but I learned that it does not cause any issues later on. 

building cliff in aquarium
Building a cliff

Right after adding fluval stratum and planting. Plants used: flame moss on the stone gate, alternanthera reineckii on the top of the cliff (red plant), hydrocotyle, hanging from the cliff, steurogyne repens, lobelia cardinalis, dwarf hairgrass, bacopa caroliniana (very nice smelling plant), later on hygrophillia pinattifada and one carpet plant (baby tears I think).

40 gallons aquascape before adding water

The Final effect of aquascaping 40 gallons breeder

40 g cliff aquascape picture after planting


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments