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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
CalmSeasQuest's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Brighton, MI
Posts: 93
CalmSeasQuest's 12G Long Iwagumi

My Journey From Reef to Planted...

For the better part of the past twenty years, I've kept reef tanks, mostly SPS. As did many, I got my start in aquaria with freshwater tanks. In my case it was 55 gallon tanks with Oscars and Jack Dempsys in my bedroom some 40 years ago. While I was certainly aware of planted tanks, I never really paid much attention, that is until a couple of weeks ago when I stumbled across Takashi Amano's builds at the Sumido Aquarium in Tokyo. These were different. While I knew they were an incredible and complex undertaking, they instilled a calmness and serenity that I found irresistible. I truly love my reef tanks, but I HAD to try this.

I have a few Mr. Aqua 12 longs and stands on hand that I had purchased for other reef builds that I imagined would provide nice proportions for an Iwagumi -style build, so I started my research which inevitable led me to TPT and many others 12 long builds. Enough of the backstory - here's the beginning...

This will be a peninsular build visible from 3 sides using the Mr. Aqua Elm stand stained ebony (just a hint of grain) and finished with Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane - Satin. All equipment will be hidden in the stand with only the clear drain, return, top off and CO2 lines visible.
  • Tank - Mr. Aqua 12 Long (36" X 8" X 9")
  • Lights - 23W TrueLumen Pro 8,000K, R2 LED Moonlights
  • CO2 - Aquarium Plants Carbon Doser, ADA Pollen Glass Type 3
  • Filtration - Eheim 2215 with Lily Pipe Outflow P-2 13mm and Lily Pipe Inflow MINI V-1 13mm, Cabochon Ruby check valve
  • ATO - YTBD (I travel a lot so an ATO is needed)
  • Substrate - Power Sand>Aqua Soil- NEW Amazonia Regular>Aqua Soil- NEW Amazonia - Powder
  • Hardscape - Ryuo stones
  • Flora - YTBD
  • Fauna - YTBD
  • Heater - Hydor ETH200 200W Inline (much larger than needed, but the smallest inline I could find.)
  • Controller - I have an Apex Aquacontroller managing two reef tanks in the room where this build will reside that can also manage/monitor this tank, I can easily add a temp probe (heater failsafe), pH probe (CO2 failsafe) and perhaps ORP if I can deduce some usage in freshwater IF I can figure out a way to hide them without having a sump. It will also manage lighting sunrise/sunset and Lunar cycles.
  • Test Kit - API
  • Water - Well water with 0TDS RO/DI available if needed
I have the tank, stand (waiting to be finished and assembled) CO2 tank regulator, Eheim 2215 and controller - The rest is being ordered with the ADA components coming from ADG. Due to my lack of planted experience, I decided to largely use ADA recommended equipment, supplies and dosing regimes understanding that while it surely could be done less expensively - it might help me avoid "nooby" mistakes.

I am slowly working my way through the tremendous differences and dichotomies between planted and reef and greatly appreciate any comments and/or advice on the overall plan and equipment chosen.

Thanks for following!


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

12G Long Iwagumi
12G Rimless Club

Last edited by CalmSeasQuest; 06-05-2012 at 08:41 PM.
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