I actually waited for over a year to write this post since I got this tank.
So I feel like I have a pretty good beat on it now.
It’s taller, deeper, and not quite as long as your standard 10 gallon fish tank.
This makes it IDEAL for aquascaping.
And love, love, love the rimless design.
The bottom plate of glass is super thick and the glass is sanded to not have any sharp edges.
Clean, crisp and gorgeous.
I like how the leveling mat it comes with helps keep the weight distributed evenly while protecting the surface underneath.
The curved corners are really nice and don’t obscure the side view like a traditional silicone seam edge.
Enabling a better begging opportunity for the water piggies.
The lid it comes with helps prevent evaporation and is clear without rims, so it’s very discreet.
The kit comes with an internal power filter, a plexiglass lid and a light.
To be honest?
I removed it all except the lid.
The filter is okay quality but the current is super strong and it takes up a lot of space inside the tank.
Plus, it’s blue.
The light is useful for little more than seeing your fish in a dark room.
For the planted tank?
I upgraded the light and switched the filter out for a simple mini sponge filter.
You could also use whatever other filter you like.
So yes, most of the accessories are a waste of time (in my case anyway).
But you know what?
For the price of the tank alone…
… I really see them as kind of a “bonus.”
Finding a tank of this quality for the price of this tank is probably impossible.
And this is the only kind with the elegant curved corners, which I actually prefer to the angular corners in front.
If you don’t like them though?
Just turn the tank around – it’s reversible!
Aquascaping Your 10 Gallon Tank
It was definitely time for a rescape of this tank, as I allowed algae to take over.
Here’s the empty Penn Plax 10 gallon glass fish tank once emptied:
I want this to be a live planted tank, so first thing I’m doing is adding a layer of basic top soil.
(In case you don’t know, soil is really great for boosting plant growth in a new tank. I don’t want to add chemical fertilizers so this is called “low tech” planted tanking, okay?)
It’s 1″ at the back and gradually sloped to 1/4″ closer to the front.
I didn’t bother to sift it – just pulled out any bigger sticks here or there.
Time to place the rocks in an attractive and natural style.
(I just found these on the side of the road haha )
I like making sure to use groups of odd numbers and don’t put everything on the same plane.
HEIGHT is good!
Especially in a tank like this, that’s a bit taller than your standard 10 gallon.
Play around until you find what works for you.
This is your tank and your rules!
Sloping the soil in the back and from right to left can create some direction and visual interest.
Placing the rocks for the hardscape is best done before you add the plants.
I swept the sand in the very front back a bit so it won’t show up once the sand cap is added.
Now for the sand cap (using one bag of Flourite Black Sand here)…
Yes, it is going to be messy, lumpy, and just plain weird looking at first, especially if you’re using wet sand like I did.
But you know what?
After you make sure there’s no more dirt showing…
… Just add water.
So don’t panic – it’s going to look awesome.
To do that, I use a plastic bag and slowly pour water onto that so it won’t create a cloudy mess by disturbing the substrate.
At about 2″ of water, you can start planting it up.
Tweezers are perfect for stem plants.
I dig them in about 2″ so they won’t float back up.
The Flourite holds them down really well.
Expect some cloudiness when you fill it up all the way.
But pop a little sponge filter in there and by the net morning, the water is crystal clear.
Plants perked up too!
As you can see (hopefully the photo isn’t too dark for you), there is about 3.5″ of substrate depth in the back of the aquarium.
The dirt does not quite reach the roots of the plants yet.
But Flourite has such a great CEC that it can transport the nutrients from the soil up through to the plants.
Nano goldfish rescape complete.
There we go, another low-tech planted tank tutorial for you!
I always put snails in for algae control (and many other beneficial reasons).
For this tank, I’ve got brown and orange Ramshorn snails as well as a handful of nerites.
Some final things you could do would be to throw in some blackworms and Malaysian Trumpet snails to help with mulm dispersion in true FWDSB style.
I might do this later on.
For now I’m happy.
Yes, I have 2 fancy goldfish in this tank.
I’m a nano’er (at times) and don’t buy in to all the tank size hype.
My fish have done very well in this tank for over a year.
(Just in case you want to yell at me haha.)
They are very happy and active.
I hope you enjoyed the information and aquascape tutorial in this post.
Overall, I really love this tank and think it makes a fantastic addition to my office.
And the tank itself definitely couldn’t look any better.
Have something to share?
Drop me a line in the comments section below!