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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-04-2014 02:11 PM
FlyingHellFish Very nice looking tank, sorry about the LEDs not working. I think you would do very well if you added more coverage, which is a common drawback of LED fixtures. More companies are focusing on Lens with wider reflectors, but like anything new, it needs more improvement.

LEDs with a planted tank can be done, and I like your DIY fixture, give it another shot.

When I switch to LEDs, it went smoothly for me. I hope you rethink this and give LEDs another try because that scape is straight out of a ADA gallery.




I need to work on creating a decent scape, argh. You get the idea though,
03-04-2014 01:26 PM
Phil Edwards Hey there,

Japan was awesome, to say the least. I'm going back this August and hope to be able to visit the NA gallery, among other places I couldn't get to while living there.

Sorry to hear about your tank woes; I've been in the same boat with the 60 gallon. I'm also with you (and Tom) on the LED vs. T5 issue. I think LEDs are awesome for thin and/or small tanks, but they just don't have the kind of spread needed for a bigger tank and I'm not about to spend the $$$$ required to get the kind of coverage necessary.

Even though it sucks to go through what you did, I'm glad to hear it was a lighting issue and not something more insidious or harder to deal with.
03-04-2014 06:08 AM
Couesfanatic Is this tank still alive?
11-17-2013 09:31 AM
theblondskeleton Thanks! It's looking a bit fuzzy at the moment. I've had some CO2 issues that have really affected growth and resulted in algae madness. The plants are still kicking, but there was a few weeks of really poor growth, and I can't seem to kick it. Things are bouncing back, but slowly. I'm expanding my LED fixture to account for the poor coverage, but it's expensive and time is not something I have a lot if at the moment, so I have my crummy Odyssea "T5HO" units with brand new Coralife lamps doing the heavy lifting. Likely I'll finish the LED's up in December when I have the time.

It's frustrating because I feel like I have good 'scapes but for some reason I'm having such incredible trouble with CO2 and lighting that all of that is immaterial. This too shall pass, I suppose. I have no intention of giving up, though I'm sure my wife wishes I would, haha!
11-03-2013 04:05 AM
xmas_one Never saw this thread, nice aquascapes!
11-03-2013 03:21 AM
Bserve How does it look now?

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08-19-2013 11:30 PM
talontsiawd Thank you for sharing your info. I see a lot of nano's with LED's and they do fine. I actually was going to do a DIY LED at the same time you did. Something kept telling me that my T5HO fixture is perfectly fine so no need to drop the cash until LED's become more of a mainstay in the planted tank realm. My main concern was trying to diagnose any potential problems if I were to go LED. Looks like you had the experience I luckily avoided but I have to thank you so much for sharing. We all make mistakes in this hobby and seeing people who can obviously do very nicely with their tanks allows everyone else to learn. For me, I will wait on LED's but I will see what you do.

Hope to see an amazing tank as you switch things back over to your other fixture.
08-19-2013 09:32 PM

It's time to drop a little truth, here. It turns out that I have been completely wrong about what's been happening in my tank the last year or so. Let's start at the beginning.

When I first set up this tank, I had two 54W x2 T5HO Odyssea fixtures over the tank. At the time I was using all 4 lamps to illuminate the tank, and I quickly developed the brown fuzz.

Too much, right? Right. So, I raised them up and nearly blinded my wife and myself and we squinted to see either the tank or our nearby television in the intense glare.

So, I planned for the LED's. I designed and built my fixture to work with this tank. At the back of my mind, I always had a little doubt, nagging at my process, but never fully intruding in execution. It's not enough! the little voice kept whispering.

I hung the fixture, proud of my accomplishment - and proceeded to watch my plants fade slowly into mush. I was so frustrated. I thought it was too much light, a CO2 issue, not enough nutrients, contaminants in my tap water, poor flow, inadequate filtration - anything but what the nagging little voice told me, because as soon as I lowered my fixture or dialed up the faders, I would get algae again!

At the peak of my trouble, I finally dismantled the (now BBA-laden) scape, and installed a low-light plant scheme that was really just an effort to make myself feel better about the failure.

It only got ugly slower.

I was breezing through the forum a few weeks ago, and came across a post by Tom Barr explaining why he didn't use LED's at the moment. I'm not sure what exactly he wrote that triggered the little whispering voice to suddenly become a shout, but that's what happened. I realized that for my LED's to be an effective method of lighting my tank, I would need to double the width of my 6" wide fixture.

As a sort of test, I removed the LED fixture, and replaced it with my old T5HO's, this time with only the 2 Geisemann lamps plugged in, and lo and behold! Almost instantly, the tank appeared twice as bright. Within minutes my Marsilea was pearling - a sight hitherto unseen since the original scaping of this tank.

Since this replacement, I have seen much improved growth and health in my aquarium. What a bonehead I have been. Denial is a powerful force, people. Instinct can often be ignored as a result. It's unfortunate that the process had to go that far, and I had to lose so many plants before realizing what I needed to do, but there you go.

The next phase (to be implemented over the course of many months, as my annual tank budget is tapped) is to expand my LED fixture to accommodate the actual requirements of my tank. This means having one emitter for every 4 square inches of footprint, and hanging it at an appropriate height as well as dimming it to the appropriate level. It will take a while to adjust, but I'm ok with that. I'm nothing if not patient.

Until then, I'll keep my Odyssea fixtures in operation, and feed my tank properly.

Lesson learned.
08-10-2013 06:17 PM
theblondskeleton Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I think I'll just fill it in with the lilaeopsis and maybe bring in some hydrocotyle sibthorpioides as well. I'd like to keep that side open and simple.
08-10-2013 06:15 PM
Originally Posted by Phil Edwards View Post
Red Tiger Lotus or more anubias and let the stems grow in behind them.

Good to see an old familiar face back in the game!
Hey, Phil! Good to see you back, too! I hope your time in Japan treated you well. Looks like you have a couple projects brewing too!
08-10-2013 05:45 PM
talontsiawd I would personally add more micro sword right there. Possibly filling in a bit of that V shape behind the rocks.

Looks really good, can't wait to see this fill in.
08-10-2013 01:37 PM
Phil Edwards Red Tiger Lotus or more anubias and let the stems grow in behind them.

Good to see an old familiar face back in the game!
08-10-2013 03:16 AM
Fishmommy How about something with round leaves like lysimachia nummularia?

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08-10-2013 03:09 AM
theblondskeleton Attachment 189273

Blank spot between the rotala green and the lilaeopsis... What to fill it with?

Current list:
Lilaeopsis mauritiana
Rotala green
Hygrophila pinnatifida
Marsilea quadrifolia
Anubias nana petite
Fissidens sp.
08-07-2013 05:40 AM
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
Good to hear. I liked your first scape quite a bit better than the second so it's good to hear your stone will come back. Look forward to the update.
Haha exactly

Thanks! I'm looking forward to it as well. I think I would love to have a seriously massive seiryu stone. Something about 12"x18"x12" or so. I never quite get the mass I'm looking for. One of my favorite stone tanks is the manten stone 180-P in the ADA gallery. The main stone in that one is about 2 feet long and 12 inches thick! I wish I had access to that kind of stone here. We have a lot of basalt where I am but it's not terribly pretty by itself.
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