180 Gallons of Ferny Wood - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 11:31 PM
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Looks great!
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post #17 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot. Definitely ferny wood! I am sure I will need to change the planting around but I really like the hardscape and hope it will stay the same for a really long time. Fish like it, I only see half of them except when I drop food in the tank.

This week I cut out most of the overflow teeth to increase flow through the tank. It was very easy to do with a Dremel and cutoff wheel but I need to go back and even it out. Now the pump is nearly all the way open so I may have 1500 gallons per hour going through the sump. Probably not, probably more like 1000 but it seems to be pretty decent flow. The hairgrass at the far end of the tank is leaning away from the tank end and under the front return I can see the hairgrass leaning too. I covered the overflow box's top with a piece of corrugated plastic and attached a length of black ~1/2" square plastic hardware cloth to the front of it to attempt to keep fish out of the overflow box. It is easy to take off to rinse clean and muffles the little bit of waterfall noise. I used zip ties the wrong way around so they aren't permanent and can be loosened and tightened.

At the water change this week with the overflow teeth still on I netted a platy, the small bristlenose pleco and an oto out of the overflow box. Yesterday after a day with overflow teeth replaced by plastic hardware cloth I netted out a large platy.

The bulbs have been changed to ADA NA. Very interesting that I don't need to play with the colors now, they are fine right from the camera although I have been doing some changes to get the photos to look precisely like what my eye sees. I prefer the warmer color of the 2 year old FNI 8000K bulbs but one was looking pretty strange when I removed it, flakes of white all over the inside of the bulb.

Tank last night. Pulled up the left hand pennywort and moved most to the right and pulled up the right hand Kawagoeanum and moved to the left. Looks better this way and will be better once I trim the Kawagoeanum down a bit. Moved the java fern at far left down quite a lot and did the same for the large narrow leaved java fern on the right. Kawagoeanum actually handles water movement better than pennywort so positions might need to be switched around.

Center of tank.

Right end of tank. I put the Anubias back in the opening of the wood. Without it the opening looks strange but just a few Anubias leaves there and it looks right.

Love this crevice, hope to convince a plant to grow in it.

Close view of left end of tank showing hairgrass blowing in the current.

DH's idea of how to handle the light ballasts. With that old tower fan on the ballasts in that nice but enormous ballast box the ballasts stay nice and cool. Issue is the fan must be on and not sure I have room in the stand for the thing. You can see the wood the power strips are on hanging from the end of the stand and there is the CO2 bottle in the back as well. Cannot wait to get the doors on with lots of baskets to get stuff I use daily out of the big bin.

So you can see I still have basic work to do to finish up. The doors need to be fitted and finished, need to decide how to handle the ballasts and I am going to modify the light bar to hide the cords better.
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post #18 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 07:18 PM
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Any pics of the b. heteroclita?

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post #19 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 07:26 PM
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Have loved your tanks for a very long time!!

Your one of the reasons I got congo tetra, but may I ask if yours have a problem in the highlight? I have 7 in a 125 gallon and they hide most of the day, I am wondering if its my high lights? Thanks
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post #20 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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HybridHerb, the B. heteroclita isn't doing well. There are a couple nice fronds at the left and that white spot at the top right with a couple of stems is a plantlet with no fronds left. I am leaving the rhizome on to see if new leaves form but it sure doesn't look good. Before the plant was in the area with the most current, now it is 6' from the return. Don't know if that is it, more likely the young water adapted fronds couldn't handle being stored for a couple days out of water.

rustbucket, my fish are fine in the bright light. The last tank setup was quite densely planted in back so they were forced to stay in the front. This time they have found spots to hang out in back as well. They were well treated adult fish when I got them and have been perfect tank citizens for me. They ignore baby platies, don't nibble on plants, eat their food, mostly hang out together and their 'fights' are just some shoving and fin flaring. Maybe they were in a bright tank before I got them so they were used to it already? That doesn't explain the females I bought later though that are out and about all the time.

How much cover does your tank have? Perhaps some taller or floating plants would provide more security? I have noticed that with the cooler weather that they dislike 72*F and are more active at 76*F so the second heater is now back in the sump.
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post #21 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 01:07 PM
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I'm quite heavily planted, with tall vals, my females are the bravest as well
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post #22 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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Been too lazy to take photos but sure have been enjoying watching the fish. The giant Anubias on the left has been a favorite haunt of corydoras and baby platies. I suspect I am going to have to reduce its size though.

Have been increasing the light by taking off the window screen for longer periods each week. So far so good, no explosions of algae. I have wiped the tank panes though and been dosing Metricide at water changes.

Myriophyllum is doing very poorly and the fish have been eating it. Hoping with more light it will recover. The big Bolbitis has a lot of badly damaged fronds I have been removing. Suspect I was too rough when I wedged it in the wood. Staurogyne is sulking and most looks like tiny palm trees as lower leaves have been shed. I trimmed the hairgrass as I see lots of new growth and it is starting to shed old growth so hoping to only have short hairgrass blades floating. Marsilea is doing terrific and looks like a carpet if you look through it at substrate level. I think I may be mowing it next week to see if the main part will grow more uniform.

Full tank shot.

View of left end, the view as we come in the house. See how strong the Marsilea is growing? Loving my little fern 'island' as well.

View of the inside of the overflow box. I cut out the teeth so I can have more GPH and each week work to get them more even. The 12 year old Dremel battery only has so much juice per charge these days. You can see the white corrugated plastic top that is zip tied to the black hardware cloth, the emergency drain on the right and the blue sponge covering the main drain deep under water. I wouldn't mind a bit more waterfall but not sure fussing with the ball valve is worth it, there isn't any water noise and the water level in the tank is good so it is fine. The return on the left comes from the Cerges CO2 reactor. Fish haven't been going over any more without teeth as they did with teeth. On Nov 17th I fished out a platy and an oto and on Nov. 25 an oto and a black neon tetra were in there.

No the leaf patterned fabric isn't in the tank, that is a reflection. My returns are nearly invisible so I took a shot of just them. There is another black painted PVC elbow on the other side of the overflow box as well. That is black plastic hardware cloth more or less covering the intake. Already black and seemed to be a bit smaller mesh than the egg crate. Lots of surface ripple!
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post #23 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 05:36 AM
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This tank is fantastic! I love alot about this one. The ferns, the scape, and the variety of carpet plants, alont with the Congos. Awesome job!
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post #24 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 07:13 AM
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post #25 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 10:45 PM
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Hey?!! There's two feet missing somewhere.

Nice setup Kathyy. Looks great.

How do you like the extra depth vs the extra length?


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post #26 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Since I basically am doing the same thing in this tank as in the 18" wide tank it seems just about the same! I have lots more room in front for the low growing plants but I probably could have moved the hard scape back even more.

Even so this tank is much clearer, bows very little, larger openings to work in, no U tubes and the size is just better for the room.

Hoping with time I will be better able to use the extra depth.
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post #27 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 11:34 PM
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This is truly an inspirational tank!
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post #28 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 11:47 PM
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Bolbitis is not a plant I see a lot in pictures. Odd that you have two species in the same tank! I've seen the heteroclita for sale before but never the heudelotii, the latter always being my favorite. But I've never had the room to keep one. Do you have a favorite between the two?

Great use of the hydrocotyle with your ferns.
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post #29 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 12:03 AM
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My what a talented aquascaping artist you are! Very natural feeling and the gradual change from a Bushy forest to the bare tips of the driftwwod on the opposite end is very tasteful! Excellent work!

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post #30 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! It has been a lot of fun playing with the sticks I have accumulated over the last couple years. I may be getting the hang of it.

I like B. heudelotii a lot more. For one thing it has been growing very nicely for me so far. There is even a 1" bit glued down that may grow out. I like the way it looks like a terrestrial fern too. Both Bolbitis species were a bit of an impulse buy. I think the heteroclita isn't going to last much longer in the tank though I won't remove it until all hope is lost. I probably should sprinkle it around the tank to see if there is a sweet spot for it.

Have you seen the videos from aquadesignamano? I have subscribed to the channel since the first Upstream streaming videos of a seminar setting up a number of tanks a year ago and been following them since. Lots of Bolbitis heudelotii used in small amounts tucked between rock and wood and kept trimmed back instead of allowed to grow into big plants. I am hedging my bet by keeping the big plant and also placing smaller rhizomes between rocks to grow out. Hope you can find some soon!
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