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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lancaster, S.C.
Posts: 1,406
'close encounters' JG's 40B

So yea I haven't quite been able to come up with a catchy name yet.

The easy stuff:

Tank - standard 40 breeder, reclaimed jacked up tank actually used for breeding
Filtration - rena XP3
Heater - Hydor inline
CO2 - pressurized/rhinox 2000
Lighting - 2x96W PC but moving to T5HO or MH very soon
Ferts - dry @ ~ EI levels + seachem iron + seachem flourish

Those who followed my previous 40 breeder thread or may have joined the farewell raok contest know that I spent ~ 14 hours tearing the old scape down and building this one back up. It was certainly hard work but there is something cleansing about stripping a tank down to the glass and starting from scratch. Especially for someone like myself with such limited scape experience. Its a chance to improve. There is always another chance to improve.
I didn't really go into this re-scape with any hard set ideas on anything, didn't fiddle with stone on the coffee table to come up with ideas or have some vision of the end game. I just wanted to dig in and do whatever hit me in the moment. Of course I had thought about it endlessly since I got a few really nice packages of seiryu stone from boink. This is one of the reasons I decided to let go. No plans. No rule of thirds (at least consciously). No iwagumi rules. No grandiose vision of something that I'd probably fail at creating anyway.

As I stand there staring at the barren tank I look down to my feet.
The first thing that hits my brain. I'm going to need more substrate than this... or bigger rocks. Don't know why but I started building a base of granite up around the middle of the tank. If I didn't have more substrate I had to make up for it somehow right? I played jigsaw for a while... or was it tetris? Not sure but I feverishly tried to fit the pieces together to make small cups that would help maintain this slope that I didn't even know I was building yet. It was like that scene from Close Encounters minus the throwing shrubberies through the window part.

I wish I had taken an image of the moment that the base was done and I had a few of the actual seiryu stones teetering atop. I'm sure it didn't look nearly as awesome as I was thinking it did.

Insert an hour and a half of moving stones around, adding and removing substrate, and agonizing over balance and depth perception. Just general angst. At one point I came very close to calling my wife in and asking her if it was balanced enough but I caught myself... she'd call me crazy for sure.
I still think its a little heavy on the right side but it is what it is.... the substrate is wet now. No more moving.
After planting and filling back up I got a mild bacterial bloom which could be expected. As of today its *almost* back to crystal clear but still a tiny bit of haze. Fits the overcast weather outside at least. Later this evening after nightfall I'll take some initial planted shots and post them up.

Would love to hear some feedback on the scape preview. Bad good indifferent its all constructive. Like I said above there is always a next time to improve. Thanks for looking!

Last edited by MrJG; 05-29-2010 at 08:39 PM.
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