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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
El Funko
Algae Grower
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 68
El Funko's Ubiquitous 12G Long

OK, nobody here will be surprised to hear this (since you've all been there yourselves), but I've been thoroughly bitten by the planted tank bug. My wife uses the word obsessed pretty liberally...

At any rate, after only a few weeks up and running with my Fluval Edge planted tank, I convinced her to allow "just one more" tank. I researched quite a bit, and found the spot in our home where a tank could be comfortably established. I settled on a spot in our living room, atop a sofa table that's up against a wall. Since the table is long and narrow, I chose the Mr. Aqua 12G Long tank for this spot.

Mr Aqua 12G long (35.4" long, 8.4" wide and 9.4" high)
Eheim 2213
Hydor 200W ETH in-line heater
eBay lily pipes from Hong Kong
Catalina 36" T5NO single 39W light with LED moonlights (blue)
ADA CO2 with solenoid and glass (bought used on eBay - too cheap to tell!)

9 litres of ADA Aquasoil Amazonia I
Pool filter sand

Small Manzanita stump and sticks
Rocks from my back yard

Tried to choose plants that were shorter, given the dimensions of the tank
Anubias Nana "petite"
Staurogyne Repens 049
Crypt Wendtii (not so short, but looks OK in the back corner)
Needle Leaf Java Fern
Pogostemon Helferi (Downoi) My new favorite plant!
Peacock Moss
Fissidens Moss
Mini Pellia
Hemianthus Micranthemoides (HM)
Red Tiger Lily

No firm decisions yet, although I did promise my three girls (5,6, & 8) that they could each choose a male guppy...
Possible inhabitants (not all of these of course):
Small school of rummynose tetras
Move the 10 CPDs from my Fluval Edge where they're constantly in hiding
Ottos or dwarf cories
Pair of Rams

Inspiration for this tank has come from a couple of sources. Since I'm not trying to adhere to one specific style, but added elements from several, the name Ubiquitous seemed appropriate. The end results may not work, but hey, this is a learning experience, right?

First, other 12G long tanks that I've seen:
Jeff from SCAPE:

And second from others with similar driftwood:
Our own Zeldar's "10 Gallon tree stump scape":

I also bought quite a few of my plants from Zeldar, so this is in many ways a direct descendant of his...

I planned to have two sides to this tank, given the long narrow dimensions. The left side was planned to be lower light, so would have the anubias, crypts, and java fern with light blocked by floating frogbit. The right side was higher light, with the HM, and downoi. Staurogyne and mosses will be interspersed throughout. I was initially going to grow a carpet of HC on the right side as well, but space seems to be limited. I'm going to let it grow in as it is now, and decide later.

I also planned to utilize the magic ratio on each side, with a red plant on the left (Tiger Lotus) and the sand on the right.

I've learned enough to know that the thread is useless without pictures, so...

First, on to the hardscape.
I first laid out the Aquasoil with the pool filter sand, using cardboard (as demonstrated by Amano on his videos):

The rocks on the right weren't doing it for me:

Liking the rounded river-rock better, I went with it:

And added in my soaked Manzanita:

And added plants and water:

This was all back on 10/21, and the tank has been cycling since then. I did add some mature media from my other tank to the Eheim, but with the Aquasoil in there, it's still high in ammonia (4ppm) and 0 nitrite/nitrate. I also still have very low PH (seems to be 6 or lower).

Setting the hardscape was the most difficult part of this build. I initially aimed for a more iwagumi style for the right side, but couldn't find any stones that really fit. I bought some muriatic acid and set about testing stones from several different sites around my home town. Seems everything around here is limestone, so there were very few stones that would work in the aquarium. I also learned that acid is dangerous! Definitely wear goggles when testing your stones with acid (That's all I'm going to say about that...). Eventually, I settled on the riverscape look with the rounded stones. I think it works with the manzanita spread around.

Thanks to everyone on the S&S who sent me plants. Also thanks to those from whom I've taken inspiration. I hope you're more flattered than offended (I know Zeldar's good, since I already told him I was stealing his stump with anubias look...).

Since these pictures were taken I've also added more needle leaf to the back left, a red tiger lotus on the left at the "Magic Ratio," and some frogbit that floats over the lower-light side (anubias, crypts, and java fern). I also superglued some mini pellia onto the stump, and put some fissidens and peacock moss in the top where it's above the water line. We'll see if it grows there (and doesn't get burned by the light). Some fissidens was also attached to several rocks and placed in the middle "river bed" area.

Now that the water's cleared up a little, I'll take some new pictures. I'm also beginning to see some algae. The rocks on the left side of the sand river are beginning to grow some thread/hair algae. I initially had this set up on a timer with my other tank at 10 hrs/day, so I've moved it to its own timer and cut the photoperiod down to 8 hrs (3hrs in the AM and 5 in the PM - 6 hr siesta in between).

No ferts yet, other than some micros in the form of Flourish Comprehensive. I've ordered dry ferts from Rex, when they arrive I'll begin a regimen (PPS-pro, EI, PMDD, still need to decide). Almost everything I've planted has roots, so I figured the Aquasoil would keep them going until I dosed the water column.

Well, that's it so far. My feelings won't be hurt if you don't like it. Critical feedback is better than no feedback!

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