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Aquascaping My Custom Aquarium! 75 Gallon Planted Tank Setup

By Tyler Rugge on

Tyler Rugge: Hey, what's up you guys. My name is Tyler Rugge welcome back to my YouTube channel. We're finally back with my 75-gallon freshwater aquarium from Custom Aquariums. As you can probably see, I got a custom background done for this aquarium which I went ahead and installed without trying to film it.

Really, because I've never installed a background like this so I didn't want to try filming the process when I didn't really know what I was doing but it ended up turning out pretty good.

I'm obsessed with the background that I had made. This background was made by Aquadecor backgrounds and they make crazy realistic backgrounds for not only aquariums but for reptile enclosures as well. They sent me a background for one of my reptile enclosures too. I'm not going to show it to you right now but that's going to be its own video. That background is even more insane than this one so I'm really excited to show it to you guys. I will link Aquadecor down below if you want to check out their website and look at their backgrounds because they're really amazing.

If you want like a really really cool display aquarium or a display reptile enclosure, I would highly recommend getting a background from them because they're just like crazy realistic.

This background I got for my freshwater aquarium, kind of looks like a wood type of background. If you look at it really closely, it just looks crazy realistic. I'm so impressed with it so thank you so much Aquadecor for hooking me up with this crazy awesome background. I got the background installed and I also went ahead and finished with setting up all the plumbing for the sump so that's all set up.

Custom Aquariums has their own biological filter media, I took some of it and I filled up four of the media baskets with their biological media. Then I also have some puregen that they sent me. Puregen, puregen, I don't know how to say that but I have that in the sump as well. Then the remaining two media baskets once the aquarium is running, I'm going to put my already existing filter media that's cycled in the sump so that we don't have to wait forever for this to cycle. I have a bunch of filter media in my old aquarium that we can use.

We're getting really really close to finishing this up and I'm really excited. Basically, what's left right now is actually starting to add stuff to the tank and aqua scape it. I'm going to add all of the rocks and wood and water and all that stuff and then I'm going to let it run probably for a couple of days. Then I'm going to add the fish to it and I'm super excited. First, we're going to start off with adding the substrate to the aquarium. The very first thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to take this and I'm going to put it in the corner of the tank.

You might be wondering what the heck this is. This is a mash bag filled up with lava rocks and this is because I want there to be a hill in the aquarium. Instead of using a bunch of extra sand in one spot, you can actually get a bag of rocks and put it wherever you want the hill to be. Then, it's just going to save you a bunch of substrate that you're not going to waste anymore. Then for the actual substrate for the aquarium, I'm going to use black diamond blasting sand. This is what I actually used for my previous aquarium as well.

It works really well for planted tanks, you just have to add fertilizer to the sand so that it has nutrients for the plants. What's really nice about this is that you can buy big bags of this blasting sand for really cheap at Tractor Supply as opposed to spending a bunch of money on sand that's marketed for aquariums. It's just a lot more cost-effective and also works really well if you like the look of black sand which I prefer black sand in my freshwater tanks. We're going to go ahead and I'm going to go rinse it and then we're going to add it to the tank.


I set all the substrate in the tank and I also set down all of the wood and the stone that are going to be part of the aquascaping and I'm going to show it to you guys. I'm really indecisive when it comes to aquascaping, I'm also not very good at it. I also want to give a huge thanks to Flip Aquatics for sending me wood and stones and plants for my tank. I'm going to link Flip Aquatics down below and they have a really good selection of plants, they have some fish. Their specialty thing is shrimp and they also sell things like aquarium substrate, stone, wood, fertilizers, all kinds of stuff.

Basically, anything you might need for a freshwater planted tank or a shrimp tank you can find at Again that will be linked down below and thank you Flip Aquatics for sending me the stone and the wood and the plants and making my tank look awesome because I think you guys are going to really love some of the stuff that he sent me so let's check it out.

All right, so this is what we're working with and I'm going to start off over in this corner. What you're going to see here is a bonsai tree, these look so freaking cool and I love them. I got it from Flip Aquatics, they sell them in a tonne of different sizes and shapes and different things and I just think they look so cool. On top of the bonsai tree, what I did was I took some marimo moss balls that I had in my old planted tank and I tore them apart and I kind of stuck them in the branches. Over time they're going to grow and spread, but it makes it look like an actual tree under water.

That's where I made my little hill so I kind of have the tree on top of the hill. Then I have these pieces of stone on the side of the hill and then when we get down over here, it's just a cluster of wood. I didn't know how to place the wood or what to do so I'm not really sure if I like it like this. I'm probably going to end up switching it around but I'm hoping once I add all the plants to this it's going to bring everything together. I don't know if I like this, I'm so indecisive. I hate filming myself aquascaping for this reason.

I just made a really, really stupid mistake. I totally forgot that Aqua Decor sent me these really cool fake long branches that go with my background. I don't know how I forgot to add them, I went ahead and added them and moved things around and it looks so much better. Holy crap that saved my entire life. I can't believe I forgot about that like that was one of the most crucial parts I feel like. I want to show you guys what it looks like now because it looks so much better.

You can see right there and here, you can see all the branches. There's also some in the corner right there but they're just these really cool realistic looking branches and they go really well with the background. I'm still going to go ahead and fill up the tank probably with water and then I'm going to fool around with the wood and probably move it around and see where I want it to go and then we can finally add the plants.


All right. Now the tank is filled up with water and by the way, it's also the next day I should probably add. We're going to add now all of the plants, this is the fun part and I'm hoping it's just going to bring this all together. I think it looks incredible already so I'm really excited to see how it is with all the plants. Let's go ahead and add all the plants, I'm just going to time lapse this because it's probably going to take me forever so let's go.


I've finally finished aquascaping this aquarium and I also added the fish from my old freshwater tank into this brand new one. I'm really excited to show you guys it all set up and it turned so much better than I could have possibly imagined. It's probably not the best aquascaping planted tank ever. It is my first real attempt at trying to make a cool aquascape but I think it turned out a lot better than I expected it to be and I'm really really happy with it. I'm going to shut up, let's just take a look.


Here's what it looks like top to bottom. I'm really, really happy with it. This is my oak stand and canopy from Custom Aquariums as well as the tank was made by Custom Aquariums and it turned out awesome. Ultra clear glass on the front and side panels. Again, I got a lot of the rock and plants from Flip Aquatics. The background was from AquaDecor background.

Then up there you can see I have the H2 overflow, there's the two outputs for the sump. Now that we finally have this running I can show you guys how the sump is actually working. What's really nice is they have glass panels for each of the tops of the sumps so that they just lift off pretty easily. That just helps prevent the water from evaporating out of the tank. The water is going to come down from the H2 overflow, from these tubes into this first sock tub. There's two filter socks and then it goes into this tub that has all the bio media.

I added a bunch of the bio media for my old tank into this new tank. It's already cycled and then over here we have the filter outputs in there. I'm not sure if you can see it but right there, in here I have the heater. The heater isn't visible in the tank which is really nice. Then I used this aquarium fertilizer that I got from Flip Aquatics that's made for planted tanks. This is definitely going to help the plants grow really nice. I also put these flourish tabs from Seachem in the substrate to help with giving the plants nutrition in their roots.

See, I'm really obsessed with the seamless sump which again is from Custom Aquariums. I would highly recommend Custom Aquariums. I am obsessed with this tank. Once again I need to give a huge thanks to Custom Aquariums for hooking me up with this aquarium. The awesome stand, the canopy, the sump. Everything, it just absolutely blew away any expectations I had. It was absolutely amazing. I'm so obsessed with how it turned out.

I also of course, do need to thank Flip Aquatics for helping me with all the supplies that I needed to make this awesome aquascape as well as AquaDecor backgrounds for sending me the background that I think really brought it all together. I'm really excited for this and I'm excited to give you guys updates. I want to let this run for a little while and then I'm going to go ahead and add some more fish to it. I'm really excited to give you guys updates about this aquarium. You guys will just see it grow.

It was really, really weirdly emotional almost in a way, taking down my old freshwater tank because that was the first freshwater tank that I ever did. It was a weird milestone to take down the terrible tank that I had and I was attached to. To set this up, that's growth right there. That wouldn't have happened if it weren't for you guys. I have this because you guys support me and allow me to have these crazy awesome opportunities. Thank you so much.

This is not just my tank, this is our tank. It literally wouldn't be here if it weren't for you guys watching. Thank you so much. I just can't stop looking at it. It just looks so freaking cool. Thank you guys so much for watching. If you guys liked it, make sure to give it a big thumbs up, subscribe. I post videos every week. Check out my social media and my vlog channel is [unintelligible 00:14:57] down the description below. I will see you guys in my next video.


About Tyler Rugge

"My name is Tyler Rugge. I have a lot of pets and I make videos with all of them! I have a variety of pets from dogs to more exotic things like reptiles, and aquatics ranging from my snakes, lizards, reef tank, birds and more!"

In addition to his recent purchase of a 75-gallon aquarium from Custom Aquariums, Tyler's channel features his many pets, including Gypsy the African Gray parrot, Desmond the Giant Flemish rabbit and others.

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