Office Nano: 3 Gallon Iwagumi (coming to an end) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Office Nano: 3 Gallon Iwagumi (coming to an end)

Tank Shot (6/20/13):



I have decided that my aquarium obsession would be best served if I had a nano tank in my office at work. In the interest of keeping maintenance easy to handle and to keep a relatively low profile, something less than 5 gallons seemed like a good size for this. I didn't want to spend a ton on this project, so Mr Aqua's 3 gallon rimless at just $34 shipped was a good fit. The goal was to keep it relatively cheap while looking slick, so here are the other equipment selections:

Tank: Mr. Aqua 3 Gallon (MA-109A-2)
Lighting: Finnex FugeRAY 12"
Filter:
Zoo Med 501 Zoo Med 501
mounted under the desk
Filter Input/Output: Ebay 10mm Lily Pipes
Heater: None (office is kept at 72 degrees 24x7, which will suffice)
Substrate: Fluval Shrimp Stratum
Plants: HC & Staurogyne Repens
Hardscape: Seiryu Stone only
Care: 1/4 EI fert Dosing and Excel

I'm doing a dry start with the HC in hopes that it roots well. I've read that Fluval Stratum is light and notoriously difficult to plant in (buoyant plants tend to let loose). And HC is notorious for floating. So let's hope all goes well in 4 weeks. Thus, the next 4 weeks will be uneventful here, with the occasional growth update.

With everything finally here, I scaped it out yesterday and today and got some great feedback from people here. It's amazing how small of a space 3 gallons is to work with. Just a little under a foot wide, about 1/2 foot deep, and only 8" tall. I'm happy with how it turned out though, so I planted the HC this afternoon.







Live webcam (only updates between 7am and 4pm CST):


Last edited by AnotherHobby; 08-01-2014 at 07:52 PM. Reason: webcam udpate
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post #2 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 02:16 AM
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Looks really good so far. Are you planning to cover the tank while the h grows in?
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post #3 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehype View Post
Looks really good so far. Are you planning to cover the tank while the h grows in?
Yeah, it has saran wrap on it now. I just took the pics before I put it on since saran wrapped tanks aren't real sexy and all.

The plan is to open it up each day, do an air exchange and mist it, and then cover it back up. Except Saturday and Sunday since I'm not there. I hope it'll be okay missing 2 days each week.

It's also tilted back now to help even out the water in the soil for the slope.
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post #4 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 02:40 AM
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looks good. I just bought the same light. I'm curious to see what it will do.

40 Breeder in progress...
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post #5 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 02:52 AM
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That's a beautiful little office tank.
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post #6 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the compliments!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Couesfanatic View Post
looks good. I just bought the same light. I'm curious to see what it will do.
I'm guessing that once I put water in it I'll have to raise the light. The top of the hill in the back left corner is 5" from light and the lowest in the front is 7" from the light. At these distances the back corner is probably in the neighbor hood of 60+ par and the front is probably 50ish. Without injecting CO2, I could end up with an algae farm at those light levels, but hard to know if I'm dosing excel.

The light would be very easy to hang since there is a cabinet over that part of my desk. As you know, Finnex has a great PAR chart, so it'll be pretty easy to adjust the light as needed and then watch the plants respond. Raising it 12" above the lowest substrate would probably give me 25-30 par all around. Proper light will be somewhere between the two.

I don't need to get fast growth once it's filled in — since I'm doing DSM it'll already be filled in. I just need enough light to keep it nice and healthy. I have no idea how much PAR that will be. It'll be a fun experiment though. It'd be great to find a balance where excel, some ferts, and the right light level will allow it to sustain a healthy life once it's well rooted and filled in.

All of the HC in the pic (3 pots worth) was only $18 from my LFS, so it'll be a cheap experiment either way.
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post #7 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 02:43 PM
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Looks great!
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post #8 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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So the Zoo Med filter came last week. I don't need it for another month, but I figured I'd play around with it. It's rated to 79 GPH, but everybody says that's not even close and that it's only good for < 5 gallon tanks. That's what I was hoping for because 79 GPH in this thing would be a whirlpool.

I ran a whole bunch of tests on it and discovered that mine will pump a "real world 32" gallons per hour when it filled with it's provided media and sponge, plus 1 additional cut to size AquaClear sponge, and using 40" worth of 5/16" hose on both the intake and output. That's plenty of flow for this little nano tank, and will turn over the water 10x per hour. I'm happy with the test results.

I tested further because I want to mount the canister filter under my desk. Lots of google searching speculated it won't work well, but in my real tests it didn't matter if it was at the same height as the tank, 18" lower, or even 3 feet lower. It still pumps water at the same 32 GPH rate at any height.

We'll see how it does as it gets gunked up, but preliminary tests are good for use on my little project here.
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post #9 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 12:06 AM
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beautiful lil tank - cant wait to see it develop
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post #10 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Since it's in my office and I have a couple of computers in here (I'm an IT manager), I decided to hook up a webcam to it. It's taking a picture every 30 minutes. I plan on making a time lapse of the HC growing in over a month.

I have no idea if it'll pan out, but if it does it should be kind of cool. Hopefully it works out and I don't have to take the webcam down for some reason. Or, hopefully the HC doesn't die on me and make this an epic fail video.

In addition, there is a live webcam image in the first post now.
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post #11 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 02:12 PM
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Hey, good luck with your new tank!
I just broke down my same exact tank a few days ago, doing a 3 gal iwagumi of HC isn't easy. At least it required more attention than I was willing to give. Keep us posted, and here is my journal on it: bitFUUL's 3g High Tech Toilet Tank - (UPDATE - Iwagumi HC with PICS!)

Also, got more info on how you automated the webcam/shots?


[50g][30g][18g][12g][11.4g][7.5g][7.13g][5.5g][4.1g][3g][2.1g] - [waterfall] [grow][pond]
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post #12 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitFUUL View Post
Hey, good luck with your new tank!
I just broke down my same exact tank a few days ago, doing a 3 gal iwagumi of HC isn't easy. At least it required more attention than I was willing to give. Keep us posted, and here is my journal on it: bitFUUL's 3g High Tech Toilet Tank - (UPDATE - Iwagumi HC with PICS!)

Also, got more info on how you automated the webcam/shots?
I'm not too worried about maintenance. It's at work with me, so I sit right next to it for almost 9 hours a day. I take about a 1 hour lunch break every day, so I have built-in time to mess with it. We'll see how it goes though.

As for the webcam, I'm using a free piece of software called ImageCaster on the Mac. It has a lot of control over size, overlay, format, multiple schedules, etc, and even handles doing a secure copy to my remote web server. One schedule keeps a single image updated every 30 seconds (the one in teh first post), and a different schedule takes a picture every 30 minutes and increments the file names so as to not overwrite previous shots. One month of growth over a time lapse should be about 15 seconds long at 30 fps. It's the only piece of software I'm using, and everything is built-in. The webcam is a Logitech QuickCam Pro.
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post #13 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 05:41 PM
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Nice! Hope u post the time lapse that would be cool
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post #14 of 126 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 08:56 PM
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Bump, the HC looks smaller?

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post #15 of 126 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPDzeke View Post
Bump, the HC looks smaller?
Yessir. That's new HC, and 1 pot less of it.

If you want, I could put together a time lapse of HC starting to grow and then about 1.5-2 weeks in start to go brown and shrink.

I went on vacation and didn't have any holes poked in the top. Mold grew in quickly, and by the time I got back to work there wasn't much I could do. I tired for a week or so to revive it, but then gave up and pulled it all.

I was busy for a week at work so I just put 2 new pots of HC in on Tuesday. I poked holes in the top this time, so we'll see how it goes.

My web cam isn't updating because I updated my web server. I should get that fixed this weekend.
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