Perfectly Accurate South AmerAfricAsian Biotope! *(Updated Pics 4/10-First Page)* - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link! I just bought a bunch of their individual test kits. I'll have to check to see if they use test tubes or not. Very cool though!

Vaultboy-

I can't wait to get it wet either! I've leak tested it and it's good to go. I'm struggling with a few last details. I originally wanted it to have a "natural" look; not the ADA/Iwagumi look. However, with the footprint I have I'm leaning more towards the later.

I also am having a hard time deciding on my Sand/ Amazonia set up. With the natural look, I wanted to put a one inch+/- layer of sand over the Amazonia. I'm hearing that the Amazonia works better without a cap and that I should have the substrates partitioned!?

Decisions, decisions.

Matt

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post #32 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 03:50 AM
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my understanding is that if you cap the amazonia with sand over time you will have the amazonia come to the surface thus defeating the purpose of the cap in the beginning
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post #33 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Ya, that's what I'm starting to learn. I think I'm going to concede and do the partitioned method.

Matt

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post #34 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaultBoy View Post
my understanding is that if you cap the amazonia with sand over time you will have the amazonia come to the surface thus defeating the purpose of the cap in the beginning
Yea this will eventually happen i learned the hard way just not with the soil. Btw i love the tittle to this thread made me chuckle for a while. Also liking the wood you have in there now
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post #35 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Kharma!

I'm still working out my wood issues...deeply rooted problems from childhood are now making it difficult to place sticks in a glass box. Damn my parents.

Matt

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post #36 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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DIY LED Moonlight

Alright, I made some "fun" progress. I built my DIY moonlights; well, almost built.

Another journal had a link to these strips of LEDs for $5 from www.hobbyking.com. I ordered one, got the rest of the stuff from the garage and radioshack.

In my haste, I made a few mistakes. First, I cut the strip of LED's to fit the fixture. I don't need NEARLY all those LEDs. I wired it up and practically blinded myself as it lit up the entire room. Second, like a bone-head I wired the light through the slot that the light cover runs through. Now I can't close the light cover... duuuuh. I'm very happy with how the switch worked out.

Once I get the tank filled I'll work with it some more. I want only enough light to light up a portion of the tank (like the upper left corner and the light dissipates before reaching the right bottom) so I'll remove more of the LED's and I'm probably going to relocate the LEDs somewhere inside one of the reflectors so the light isn't directly into the tank and rather diffused through a Fluor bulb. I think I'll also put a dab of silicon over the solder to protect it from water (note: to poet in me). Anyhow, you get the idea. When I redo it I'll take more photos of what I did inside.




Meyer for scale...but also good with Vodka.

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post #37 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
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Indian drum lost!...

Sand found! I would've hunted high AND low but, luckily, I found it on the high part. Stopped by a local rockery and found #2/12 Cemex sand for just under $10. Cemex is the company that screens it. I like that it's fairly large, smooth, and a natural color. I have 100lbs of the stuff so what's left is either going into my daughters sand box or to someone who asks politely.

Matt

Tac for scale, not good in Vodka

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post #38 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:49 PM
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post #39 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks SleepyOwl!

So I've messed around with it between kids baths and other little breaks in life. I'm still hunting online for a "stump" but with the wood I have in the backyard I've been trying different things. I figure if I do use the branches in the backyard I'll have to break them down quite a bit to pile them together. Here's a few of my attempts at throwing some sticks into the tank. Sorry for the different lighting. Not until the last photo did I think to plug it in and turn it on...

I've already shortened the base of the main branch in this one.



Sorry for the glare. Didn't see it until I uploaded.



I'll be putting in a little some "more serious" time this weekend hopefully. And see if I can produce something worth showing you guys! I should take a photo of the stack of manzanita firewood I have in the backyard. You'd throw up.

Matt

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post #40 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Something else I did that I thought came out pretty good was this branch. I had cut it square at all the ends and didn't like how it looked. So, I took a sharp pocket-knife and shaped the end of the branches. You can see where I did the first one on the way right. I'll get a better photo of the whole thing later.






Matt

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post #41 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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Fiddle around a bit

What do we think? I'll take ANY feedback!

I realized this root naturally hooks onto the side. And I LOVE the effect of the branch or root coming down from outside. Not sure I'm in love with this one but...



If I left that root there I'd cut it just past the second bend outside the tank and use the rest of the root inside the tank.



This looks chaotic to me but that might just be the reflection...dunno.



Little more simple.


These pictures also make me realize I need to dig out the DSLR; wider angle.

I'm still hunting for a "stump". I may be happy with what I've got. We'll see.

Almost there.

Matt

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post #42 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 02:53 AM
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I love the wood and the idea here. When I see wood that large, and then imagine the height of the plants that will eventually envelop them, I wonder why people don't consider going metal halide, just so they can raise the light well off the water surface and give the illusion of open space.

In any case, can't wait to see this one once planted.
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post #43 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 03:12 AM
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Looking good. Any chance of a pic with just the LED lights on?
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post #44 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Good call. I ordered this light with hanger eyelets on it but my wife and I are not in agreement of how a hung light will affect our kitchen/dining area. I may have to just do it and apologize later...


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Originally Posted by youjettisonme View Post
I love the wood and the idea here. When I see wood that large, and then imagine the height of the plants that will eventually envelop them, I wonder why people don't consider going metal halide, just so they can raise the light well off the water surface and give the illusion of open space.

In any case, can't wait to see this one once planted.

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"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken"
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post #45 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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Sure! I'll get one tomorrow as all the wood is back in the soaking tub. They are WAY TOO bright! Once I get it planted I'm going to readjust the LED's. Shorten them (remove half of the strip or so) and then reposition them inside the fixture, behind a bulb (cool refraction effect supposedly).

Matt


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Looking good. Any chance of a pic with just the LED lights on?

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