Hi All, thanks for the responses! I'll try to kick back a few answers (may not get to them all though).....
Down_Shift: I've been looking for Sagittaria Flower for a while.. where the F do you guys get it?!!?
Funny, That's exactly how I asked at my local fish store! Kidding aside, the flower(s) grow from the base of the very common Sagittaria Subulata. The plants need to be allowed to grow to their full mature size... and once they do, they send up thin stalks that bud on the surface of the water. My small 15gal gets about 25 blooms at once. It's really quite striking.
Jdinh04: The 5g cube looks awesome, did you take any step by step pictures of building it? I'd like more info on it if you can!
Thanks, it's a favorite of mine. I simply cannot pass through my kitchen without stopping to take a look. I got the idea when I realized that the 15 gal was a little too overwhelming to take to my office at work. I wanted something that was "hi tech" but with a minimal footprint. In the course of an afternoon, this little guy was born. I already had everything on hand: 3 cube tanks, drill press w/diamond drill bit, pvc & connectors, bulk heads, co2 system, etc. The MH light was already installed over my kitchen sink (I have 5 MH fixtures over the sink area, for experimentation). There really was no time to stop and take pictures because I was just kind of creating as I went.
rountreesj: I take it you are a reefer first, then came into planted tanks? I say this because you seem to be very good with the plumbing and lighting in a way that looks like a salt water setup.
Actually, I've only ever done fresh water setups. They are infinitely fascinating to me. But I think I will someday do a marine/reef... The gracefulness of Lion Fish make me stop and go "Woooow.". I hope the stuff I've learned with FW will help in making a stunning marine/reef setup.
Canoe2Can: That is just insane. Your cabinet looks like it could be the environmental controls for the ISS.
Hehehe, It was quite a puzzle to put together. I like clean-line, no-clutter setups. My favorite piece of equipment is the custom built probe manifold. It's a see-through acrylic box that the water runs through.... it has four bulkhead ports in which I can mount things like pH probes, conductivity probes, temperature probes, etc. I'm working on a project to run/monitor all the systems with a flat mounted touch screen built into the canopy - with a custom designed graphical interface. Geeky, I know.
Canoe2Can: How about a large tank for your next project?
Amen, brother! Working in small tank volumes is very challenging. You have to be on top of your game. There's very little space. Most aquatic plants are too big for even a 20gal, let alone 5gal. I'm itching to do something much bigger. Don't worry, the gears are already turning...
boltp777: ...you have really good photography skills as well.
Thanks! Another hobby of mine. Photographing tanks is quite challenging. Especially if the shot includes both the inside and outside environments. The photographic impression of a planted tank is almost never the same as seeing it in real life. I strive to maintain the essence of what it feels like to actually be standing in front of the tank or looking through the glass. Thank you for not saying, "Wow, you must have a good camera."
Minsc: In addition to the soil, are you adding any other ferts? What are you doing for water changes? Where is the water flow being directed in the 15?
Yes, I am dosing a home-made mix of nitrates, phosphates, and traces using EI methodology. My kitchen looks like a chem lab. For water changes, I have a RO system which fills a full-time hard-plumbed reserve tank, this water is pumped into the 15gal tank on demand by flipping a switch. The water flow in the 15 gal is as follows: There are two outflow (drains): one in the bottom of the tank, and another on the back wall. There are two returns coming in from the back just below the water surface level: a high flow rate main return, and a low flow rate CO2 enriched return.
chonhzilla: That 15 gal sure is a beast!
I know. Doesn't that describe it best? I love it. :-)
epicfish: I like the re-scapes on the two tanks.
Yeah, I forgot it's been a while since you've been over! I was thinking, how did he know I rescaped them? Ha! Now I remember describing to you what I was going to do. Still need to see yours in person... :-)