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dustbust_1 01-02-2013 06:29 PM

3 gal shrimp cube
1 Attachment(s)
I built a 3gal cube with black 100% silicone (has no anti-molding chemicals)

I put down a 1" layer of organic miracle grow dirt then capped it with black flouraLite.

I bout a few lace stones from my local PS. I used 3 of them. I went outside and grabbed a few branches of a lilac bush (lilac is a very hard dense wood) boiled the **** out of them for roughly 4 hours and they are now soaking in a bucket and already sinking.

I made a DIY lamp with a 13 watt CFL bulb hanging over the cube. Not really happy with the size and ordered a GU 10 9 watt LED (3x3) and will try to build a smaller fixture from that. Will see what happens.

I plan on dry starting a HC carpet, putting in dwarf sag in the back and maybe doing a little hunk of anubias nana somewhere.

I plan on using excel instead of co2. hang on back filter and dosing dry ferts. I hope the HC will live in these conditions once I flood it, if not I may have to drain it and plant some glosso.

im posting a pic but since then ive dropped the water level down to basically just under the gravel and planted my HC.

Sorry for the crappy iPhone shot.

any thoughts on this setup? layout, equipment, plants


dustbust_1 01-02-2013 06:30 PM

I have my dark cycling 7.5 DIY AIO reef tank sitting right next to it. Still working on the LED lights.

picotank 01-02-2013 08:30 PM

I had great luck with HC when using co2 but it died when I went with just Excel.

dustbust_1 01-02-2013 09:05 PM

the more i research this the more im starting to lean towards a JaggedFury Paintball CO2 unit. Maybe get a 9 or 12oz tank to keep things on a smaller scale.

MABJ 01-02-2013 09:36 PM

I don't love the lilac. I think it would look perfect without it.

But awesome job thus far. I'll be following

dustbust_1 01-03-2013 06:48 PM

I planted some anubias nana and have my small amount of dwarf baby tears (originally planted in my 20g but didn't do so hot. salvaged what i could) and some dwarf sag.

Ill post a new pic tonight so I can see the progress.

I took the branches out and have them soaking in water, im going to wait until the plants fill in a little. MABJ might be right, it could make the display too busy which takes away from the harmony.

MABJ 01-03-2013 07:19 PM

Those plants sound nice. Take pictures soon!

Their sizes should go well in the cube. In place of branches you might try a floater or some stem plants.

Knotyoureality 01-03-2013 07:41 PM

Not a fan of the branches either--too delicate, too small for the rock. I'd probably use that space for a really strong focal plant instead.

dustbust_1 01-04-2013 04:07 AM

2 Attachment(s)
man, pretty tough to take a good photo.

anyways this is basically the start.

You can barely see the small amount of HC in there ha ha ha! Im lame. I just put an order in today for a pot of new HC at my LFS. Not really sure i want to wait 6 months before i can flood the dang thing.

got my new GU10 9 watt bulb over the thing. Visually it appears a bit dimmer at the edges of the tank. I might replace the 30 degree optics for 60s. Or.....ive read people say the 9 watters heat up too much and burn out quickly. First what is quick? in LEDs quick could mean 5 years. So i may build a 3 bulb 3x1 GU 10 light. will see what happens.

dustbust_1 01-04-2013 04:13 AM

ps i mist everyday and keep a glass lid over the top. It fogs up pretty good in there. I open the lid and blow the air around once a day as well. Not sure if that does anything but in theory it blows the stagnant air around to combat mold.

MABJ 01-04-2013 05:05 AM

Lol sounds like you could keep a frog in there.

Anyways nice look without those branches. Something wasn't right about them.

dustbust_1 01-04-2013 03:26 PM

thank you. A dart frog terrarium is on the to do list. Ha.

Ya I think adding the branches is one of those beginner mistakes. You want to add all of these elements so it looks SUPER AWESOME!!!! But you hit a tipping point where you just create Chaos. The thin branches might look better in a softer display with taller flowing plants vs Big Bold Rocks and short matted plants.

I will post a new pic when I get more HC.

MABJ 01-04-2013 04:31 PM

Hey. I'm no expert at aquascaping, but I do have a very good eye for what looks good :)

dustbust_1 01-14-2013 07:46 PM

update, the dwarf sag is growing, not worth a photo, just minor growth and my hc comes this friday so I can hopefully fill it in thicker and cut down the wait time.

A side note the microscopic amount of HC I have in there IS ACTUALLY growing so thats good news.

GMYukonon24s 01-15-2013 04:22 PM

Nice hardscape

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