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Vandiggity 12-10-2012 01:26 AM

6.6 build, beginning first aquascape (lots of pics)
Hello everyone. New here on Plantedtank. Just got into this planted aquarium thing serious, and after many years in the hobby, I've finally decided to do an aquascaped aquarium. I've always admired the beauty of the iwagumi aquariums and am going to shoot for something along those lines. In the interest of reducing viewable clutter, I'm going with a mini refugium type setup and will try to stuff everything in there(filters, heater, co2 diffuser, etc, it's going to get tricky). I have the two sponge filters in my big aquarium getting cultured and will put those in the refugium once I have everything pretty much ready to cycle. All I have is my cell camera so the pics are not the best. Posted on AAPE too, but I'm gathering all resources I can. Here we go!

Here are the "parts"
6.6gal bookshelf aquarium from petco.
Fugeray 24 & 10" lights from finnex
Nutrafin CO2 kit from Hagen
HOB refugium/breeder from finnex
shiruba mini water pump
Eco complete substrate
2x sponge filters
seiryu stones
parts from some old sponge filters, check valves, thermometers, etc.
This is what the tank comes with. Flourescent hood, HOB power filter, top and bottom frame.
This is what I am going to actually use. Ditched the top frame(rimless!), light and filter.
As with most of my tanks, the back got painted with black hammerite. I like the black look with the holes in it that hammerite makes. It's hard to capture in a picture, but it gives it a subtle texture and still black when viewed from the front and full of water.
Got impatient and started sawing on the old donor sponge filter before I got a picture. But here it is midway through dissection.
Here we have the HOB refugium/breeder/soon to be frankenfilter before modifications.
I wasn't going to even try to explain how this part goes together, so a picture will have to do. Green parts are from the old sponge filter, grey parts are from the new refugium. Threw on a fluval edge sponge over the strainer as I'm eventually going to keep CRS in here. One point which I would like input on is the green part with the air inlet on it. I am going to have the co2 enter here, sort of like "filter intake" diffusion. The magnet on the motor is downward, so there shouldn't be much issue with air getting in there and overheating. My main concern is will this be enough exposure time in the water for the co2?
Here is the aquarium fabbed up.
As with the AAPE forum, let me know what you think or if anyone sees any glaring pitfalls, I'm a noob......I'm going to start adding ingredients tomorrow probably, woohoo! Glad to be here, thank you for looking and any constructive feedback!

STS_1OO 12-10-2012 02:14 AM

Tank looks great and those are some sexy parts there. However, thats a lot of mechanical clutterage! Given that though I think you're doing great. Keep us posted on the tank!

RayT 12-10-2012 02:50 AM

Wow! Very interesting on your use of the refugium, you don't see many of those around here. I look forward to see all the hardware you will have setup in that box.

Those finnex lights are great and you will see some serious growth from them.

manzpants92 12-10-2012 02:58 AM

+1 on the refugium

Vandiggity 12-10-2012 05:51 PM

Got the substrate in. Only have three stones to work with, so nothing too crazy. Going for the mountain and slope look. Not a lot of depth to work with. Let me know what you think, it's easy to move stuff around at this stage. Thanks for looking!

rnaodm 12-11-2012 12:44 AM

I like the extra tech your employing, nice start, I really like the left side with the two rocks and slope, the right seems kinda out of place, but im a terrible aquascaper so im probably missing something.

Vandiggity 12-11-2012 03:29 AM

Yes, I agree. The right does look sorta funny, but I didn't know what else to do with it. I'll have to stare at it for a while, see if I can figure it out...........

somewhatshocked 12-11-2012 04:41 AM

You're off to a nice start.

While the stone on the right looks a bit out of place now, it likely won't once you decide upon plants and get things growing.

GMYukonon24s 12-11-2012 11:44 AM

I like the mini light.

Sakuras 12-11-2012 12:09 PM

How about if you flipped over the stone on the right? The left side looks really cool.

Vandiggity 12-11-2012 04:55 PM

The rock on the right is fairly boring on the bottom side. Almost completely flat so i put that side down in favor of the textured side being viewable. I do like the ledge aspect of it, it's just hard being patient and trying to imagine how cool it might look with dwarf baby tears all over the place.

Vandiggity 12-13-2012 01:54 AM

Well, not all of my ideas are good ones. The sponge filters do barely fit in the refugium, but they make SO much noise with all of that gurgling! The tank is really clear though. I think I might have to hook up my old fluval 204, can hardly hear that one running. Plants go in on Friday!

tryank 12-13-2012 09:22 PM

Love it. I really wanna see more pics of how the refugium turned out, even if you end up using your fluval 204. Like STS_100 said, it's looking sexy.

As for your scape, I think it's great. Don't add anything on the right. You said you were going for the iwagumi look, so you've gotta resist that urge to "balance" your layout into something expected!

Question: What's with the second mini light on the ref.? I think it's rad, but what's it's purpose?

Vandiggity 12-14-2012 04:36 AM

Ok, had to redo the co2 entry point. Where it was initially inside the refugium above the pump just made the pump suck air. Now it's in the tank near the inlet. With the pump on low, a bubble just kind of hovers in the water above the pump until it disperses.

Soooo, it's a tight fit.......but I'm pretty sure I can get the heater in there!
While the sponge filters do make a lot of noise, the tank is very clear already.

The small light on top of the refugium is a reef thing. Lots of reef people use their refugium to grow macroalgae (on purpose no less!) for it's beneficial properties. The Finnex folks had a package deal where if you bought the 10" fugeray with the refugium, you got a discount. They also set up a deal with the little water pump. It was almost free if you bought it with the refugium too. For now the little light has ended up on Mr. Grumpy's betta tank until I find a need for it on the refugium.

Here is a pic of the tank up and running. Going to start planting tomorrow after work!

bluestems 12-14-2012 05:10 AM


Originally Posted by Vandiggity (Post 2109325)

Here is a pic of the tank up and running. Going to start planting tomorrow after work!

You're right that the current far right stone doesn't have as much texture. If it's not too late to reconsider... you might try swapping the right stone with the far left stone.

Depending on what you're considering planting, there's not much planting space to the left of the stones. I ran into that issue recently...

I really like the mini light behind the papa light. :smile: What filter media are you planning to use? I'm trying a small breeder box, currently with some mini christmas moss as an add on. I think just the oxygenation of the water is helping with some bga I've been battling.

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