Crazydaz's Square 200G RIPARIUM Stikes back-The End Teaser shots of new set up 7-24 - Page 45 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #661 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 08:55 PM
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This tank is an absolute work of art. Would love more info on this aquatic selaginella though. Never heard of a species that would grow submersed. Any info on what kind it is, or where you sourced it?
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post #662 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-25-2013, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Inka,

I was given a sample of this species from a friend of mine, about a year ago, who had received it as a sample from another hobbyist called simply "Aquatic Selaginella." It does very nicely submersed or emergent as long as it is saturated with water. I cannot provide additional info regarding the species. I haven't actually tried researching it, to be honest.

That's a ridiculous DBZ reference in your avatar. Lol!! Fusion!!
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post #663 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-25-2013, 02:38 AM
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Dragon ball 4 life lol
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post #664 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-25-2013, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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post #665 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by crazydaz View Post
Hi Inka,

I was given a sample of this species from a friend of mine, about a year ago, who had received it as a sample from another hobbyist called simply "Aquatic Selaginella." It does very nicely submersed or emergent as long as it is saturated with water. I cannot provide additional info regarding the species. I haven't actually tried researching it, to be honest.

That's a ridiculous DBZ reference in your avatar. Lol!! Fusion!!
If you're not the first person to get the reference, you're definitely the first one to mention it, lol.

As far as aquatic selaginella goes, you've got even google stumped. I wonder if this is something that's only growing submersed because it's in a high tech setup, or if it'll actually grow under water in a variety of conditions. LMK if you ever want to find out how it does in someone else's tank
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post #666 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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I had awesome friends in college that shared my love of animé. Our days would usually end with an episode (or five) of Dragonball or one of the movies, usually in Japanese, which only made it more sweet to watch. Anyhow, it's permanently burned into my head now.

I would assume that you are right. It does do quite well a few inches below the surface; bright light or low light doesn't seem to matter too much. But I sincerely doubt this would do well submersed in a low tech tank. And the enjoyment partially comes from having something that very few other people have, even if it has Google a little confused. Heh heh.

If you would like some, just let me know. You can do your groveling via PM. Lol! Worried about the weather, though.....we'll have to see how things go and play it by ear a bit.
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post #667 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 03:46 AM
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post #668 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 05:28 PM
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Good stuff about the anime. I'm 6 years post undergrad, and still indulge in my weekly manga fix, lol.

Also totally hear you about that feeling of having something nobody else does. That might have had a bigger effect on the stocking of my 90 gallon than I'm willing to admit, lol.

As it happens, groveling over PM's is a niche specialty of mine. I'll shoot you one when I get home from work. I may have some things that are suitable for a trade, and barring that, am happy to work something out.
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post #669 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-27-2013, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by crazydaz View Post
Some people have asked over the past few years how I came up with this type of tank...."why a square system? Where'd you get the idea?," and so on. The truth is that there really is no direct answer. I started this hobby right out of college...some time ago.....when the only cell phone available were the "flip" kind, or the "heavy" kind, it cost $1 for a text message. Some of you "youngin's" out there in this hobby now probably don't even remember such a time. "Your cell phone weighed HOW MUCH?!?!?" they would exclaim. Ugh. I did this to simply spite my folks who never would let me have one growing up. "It'll be too messy!" Yeah, right, Ma....and the cat hairballs from Mittens weren't?

Anyhow, yes, out of college, I bought myself a nice 55 gallon tank with one of those thick wrought iron stands that are open on the bottom. A couple of nice Whisper HOB's, black and white gravel, and BLAMMO, I owned a nifty cichlid set up that did surprising well. I lost a Venustus. I probably had 25 fish in that thing, too. ENORMOUS Tin Foil Barbs too! Had a Gold Severum that would eat out of my hand, which was neat. Eventually, I had to dismantle it because I lost my job, and no longer had the money to spend on it. I was out of the hobby for about a year. I call this my "Fish Phase"; the phase where I bought and kept fish, learned whatever I could about the species I had in the tank, and success was simply measured by what stayed alive and what did not. It was a horrid mish-mash of whatever looked neat at the shop found it's way into my tank. A mix of SA and African cichlids with Giant Danio as dither fish.

Finally, I was hired on at a automotive supplier near Detroit, north of town, so after I moved up to be closer to work and had the funds, I re-started the system. However, I had become interested in planted tanks, so I settled with species I knew weren't going to eat the crap out of my plants. (My first foray into the planted realm ended when I cautiously planted some Anachris and some ludwigia into my aforementioned cichlid tank, and kept wondering why they always ended up floating at the top every morning. Until I watch the Tin Foil barbs munching them down and the ciclids digging them up.) I think that I settled on a nice shoal of tiger barbs and a few Kribs. I also bought another strip light and was amazed when I was able to grow Anachris, Swords, and Hornwort. I also remember using Root Tabs for the first time for a source of nutrients. This is significant because it symbolized the fact that I could "care" about the well-being of a plant. And the fish, if anything, just picked at the leaves instead of eating them. Success! The first step in Planted Tankery was taken....but, you need to start somewhere, yes?

A WHOLE YEAR later, I moved again into a bit of a nicer place, even closer to about a few blocks. But, I had grown tired of the Burger King-related riff-raff a block away from my house, and how I could hear the drive thru speaker late at night and early in the morning. A person needs his beauty sleep. So, a tear down and re-start later, I had really gotten into this "plant thing." I also started to work part-time at a LFS as well, which was the greatest-worst thing that could have happened. I took the position to make extra income to pay off my credit cards. However, as I got 50% off all livestock and plants, I simply couldn't let those good deals go to waste! Most shifts, I left with a new plant, new food to try, or new fish. They got half of their pay to me right back. So, those credit cards MAY not have gotten paid as quickly as I had wanted them to be. But, I sure learned plenty! I started buying my aquatic plant books....probably a new one every week and just read and studied. I tried the bulk of what is considered to be "common" species nowadays: anubia, java fern, a few Ludwigia, vals, sags, crypts, different swords, some Hygros, and so on. As well as the "Purple Krinkle Leaf" that, as I found out and scolded my boss, isn't a true aquatic plant. Neither is "Pineapple Plant." Good grief. I call this my "Basics Phase." I really leaned and gained my foundation during these few years. I was also able to try out additional lighting, different types of lighting, generic CO2 fluids (a poor man's Excel) and ferts, different root tabs, different substrates, and so on. The 55 gallon would actually look marginally decent during this "era."

Sadly, I got engaged (haha!) and I gave my 55 gallon tank to my buddy, and moved into an apartment. However, my fiance was down with me getting a few tanks....upgrades, even! I wisely figured out that I should start taking pictures sometimes. This is where it really starts becoming clear why I started angling towards the 200G tank, from what I can tell.

100G tank:

Later pics, I think:

Yup. Nothing impressive here. You can see the two HOB Whispers, and how I decided that it was a WONDERFUL idea to run my pressurized CO2 into my canister filter, which was a Magnum. But, hey, it worked! I can tell that this system really helped give me practice to properly plant and trim different groups, how to grow a nice foreground, how to use CO2, how to fertilize, etc. under HIGH LIGHTING!! This had four HO T5's and one MH as well. I also learned how to get the best colors out of the plants with this system. Perhaps, this was the introductory tank to high light/high tech systems, and learning all about the pro's and con's that accompany such a system. I also learned that high light makes some rotalas creep, which was essential for my last set up where I made Rotala colorata creep for part of my foreground/midground. I decided then that I hated the black bracing around the top of an aquarium as well; too distracting! But, I could see aspects of my tank in some of the other ones that I had admired on "other" websites, so I knew I was able to create "Depth" in something that was only viewable on one side. It was a CONFIDENCE BUILDER: where risk-taking, hard work, determination, research, common sense all come together to result in something unexpectedly positive.

The 40G Cube:

Quite possibly my favorite tank of all time. It was taking what I had learned from the large 100G system, and applying it on a smaller scale, but with comparatively more physical depth to work with. This was the tank where I could "fine tune" some of my skills, and was able to work with Manzy branches and such for hardscape.

This tank had six T5 bulbs (3 dual Coralife fixtures); the light wasn't terrific, and they weren't High Output bulbs. But, it was really nice to have the extra depth in that tank. Had a great Marselia minuta mat from Ghanzafar Ghori in there, and the Blyxa aubertii constantly flowered. IT wasn't as deep as it may have appeared; there was a built in sump which ate up a lot of space in the back. The cool thing was that the Persicarias (then called Polygonum!) would grow out of the water and flower! I thought that was the neatest thing! But, with the top lid on, you never could see that unless you were doing maintenance. What a waste of a neat aspect of a planted tank!!

So, alas, my wife finished Grad School, and we decided to go to St. Louis from the Detroit suburbs so she could attend Washington University Med School for her post-doctoral studies. But, before we left, I had my square 200G tank built, along with a customize pedestal and pendant lighting from a buddy of mine (I don't know if you are still on here or not, Riley! ) I wanted the size of a 100G tank but with the dimensions of a cube. I wanted to be able to view a large tank from multiple sides, essentially giving me three views of the 100G tank that I had come to enjoy, one from each side, with the back of the tank against the wall. I thought of the square shape from that. I loved that 40G cube, but wanted something more unique than a cube. The added advantage of a square is that I didn't have to worry nearly as much about physical depth for light penetration. And, with my aversion to the black top bracing running around the top of a traditional tank, I specified corner bracing instead for less of an eyesore, and a more seamless transition between "above" and "below" the water line.

YES! Part of this tank was based on laziness and practicality. It IS DIFFICULT to scape three sides of a tank. HOWEVER, post-substrate addition, there are about 17" of water for light to penetrate. The pendent light was designed to hold 12 HO T5 bulbs. Ergo, I would NEVER again have to worry about adding light in order to "get enough light" to grow a plant specie. They would all grow now. It negated that problem. Having three sides to work from allowed me to reach just about anywhere I needed to in the tank as well; no more rolling up my sleeve to stretching my arms in impossible angles and directions to do maintenance either. Just tip the light UP a bit, and presto! Instant access to just about anywhere in the tank I wanted to go. And with a pendent light, I could have that open top and have things sticking out of the water or have plants grow out of the water if I wanted to.

Here is the tank after about three months of being set up in St. Louis:

Check out this color of red:

This was some sort of grass that had grown into my driftwood:

This tank was on it's way to be something really cool. Then, I dosed too much nitrogen and killed my Utricularia lawn. Then my back went out on me a few months after that; it was physically impossible to do any maintenance on the tank for about two months. During which time, everything died. It was incredibly depressing, and I quit the hobby for two years. I didn't even go onto the sites anymore. Blah, blah, and etc. AGAIN, what I proved to myself, though, was that the tank, while it was up and running, had the potential to look unique and spectacular, and that it could be done well. It is also VERY VERY time consuming, as I quickly learned, to keep a tank like this looking nice; maintenance had to be done religiously twice per week and could take a few hours each time--not always, but it could.

Anyhow, the tank sat there for two years until my back recovered, and we learned that I was to be transferred from St. Louis to Nashville for my job. Which brings us to the first two pics in this journal, taken about a 4-6 weeks before it's last tear down and final move to our new home: where we are now, which focuses more on the hardscape and draws more attention to one of the strengths of the system (open top) than I have before; the bottom is filled with slow growing plants, mostly, because I am tired of doing so darned much pruning.

Well, thanks for reading, if you bothered to. LOL!!! I had fun going back and comparing how some of my older set ups have caused me to evolve to my current system. Feel free to comment or ask questions!
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post #670 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-27-2013, 06:08 PM
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Crazydaz... WOW! I like your style, I have seen similar setups, but the look is very different... you have gone for a lot of colour, lol I didnt think that was a "kinda Goth" thing.

I dont know if you wrote the specs on the lighting or not, there are so many pages, but your lighting rig seems to cover much of the tank very well and I wondering if you were using dimming at all?

Your Bucephalandra doesnt seem to suffer from Green Spot algae, I get it on these plants and on anubias, only in my very low light systems do they seem largely free of it. How do you manage it?

Also i wondering what tube colours you were using?

All in all excellent, your set up definately stands out from the crowd.

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post #671 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-27-2013, 08:28 PM
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Really liking how this has turned out. I like this set up so far just cuz it doesn't feel so crammed to me as in the open spaces are not really void, but have something there. The open top does give it a lot more, and your ripparium stuff looks a 1000x better than mine does. Hopefully will get my CO2 setup going and start dosing real ferts and the rest of the tank will take off.

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post #672 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 01:51 AM
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One of my favorite setups that I've seen... just throwing that out there
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post #673 of 848 (permalink) Old 11-29-2013, 03:34 PM
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its been a while I did not check in. You now got the pink flamingo! That is one beautiful specimen. Lovely reineckii btw.

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post #674 of 848 (permalink) Old 12-01-2013, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone! Sorry about the delay.....I just got home from Thanksgiving up North, and didn't have much internet access.

Asuran-- wow, you really went through the thread! Thank you for reading and looking. I'm not used to seeing those anymore.

Hi Sanj-- thank you for the compliments! I don't use any sort of dimmer on this set up; however, I do have them come on in sets of four and go off in the same order to try to simulate some dawn and dusk periods. A dimmer would be great, but I haven't gotten around to investigate it.

I run one UVL Red Sun Bulb; one UVL Fiji Purple; one Giesemann Lagoon Blue in each fixture, and either two Giesemann Midday bulbs and three AquaFlora bulbs, OR three Giesemann Midday bulbs with two Giesemann Aquaflora bulbs, depending on the fixture. I'm running two TEK Elite 8 fixtures for a total of 16 bulbs.

GSA doesn't really seem to be a problem in this tank, at least, not yet! I had a brief period of it happening roughly a year ago, but it seemed to go away fairly quickly. I just removed any sort of problematic leaves and that was all I really had to do. The bright light seems to burn leaves instead of promoting Green Spot, and I do have plenty of CO2 and current in the tank which appears to discourage algae growth in general.

C_gwinner-- thank you, buddy! I worked hard on trying to keep things a bit more tame in this one. Eventually, the foreground will happen in stages. The front is starting to fill in nicely now with true dwarf Sag, which will eventually five way to an all Bucephalandra foreground. The tank will continue to evolve over time and give way to some potentially drastic different looks. CO2 makes all the difference, man!! You will love it!

Qwe-- thank you for the kind words! :-) I appreciate it!

Keith-- thanks bro! I haven't seen you around for a while! How's Atlanta? I'll be swinging through there in mid-February for work. I'll have to see if you are free to meet up!
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post #675 of 848 (permalink) Old 12-01-2013, 03:05 AM
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It is probably somewhere in this thread but at 45 pages, I rather ask here.

Do you use RO water? What your fertz dosage like? Can you take more pictures of that "grass" that growing on the driftwood?

What your Co2 set up like? Diffusion?

Simply amazing tank, it looks like anything you put in just grows.

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E-series E60 on ADA60F - MicMol AquaMini x3 on ADA 60P - MicMol AquaPro on ADA30C
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