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Old 10-01-2012, 07:46 AM   #5
Brian_Cali77
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Update time....9/26/12

The eagle has landed! I'm now planted and up and running...

This was my first time working with Fluval Stratum (FS) so I poked around a bit online and read how cloudy it can get when disturbed. So I took extra precaution in filling up my tank SLOWLY and with a plate to deflect the water I was pouring in with the bucket.

I also got some mulm I siphoned out with some tank water from my established aquarium to pour in the GLA tank. I had an extra flourish root tab sitting around so I broke that in to several pieces and embedded it in the substrate in various places as well. Although I had some issues with how light the FS is, it wasn't too bad (so far); at least not as bad as some of the complaints I read out there. I had some chunks and stems of the HC dislodge and float from the FS as I was filling the tank with water (albeit being careful), but I was able to replant with some tweezers.

The Fluval 106 filter is working like a charm. I decided to not use the activated carbon that came with the filter. Instead, I cut out a piece of filter floss to provide a little extra polishing in case the substrate decides to get dusty/cloudy. I also seeded the biomax compartment with biomax from my established tank's filter. I love the self priming featuring of this filter by the way. Turning on the filter, I was afraid everything was going to get blown away, especially my HC. But so far so good! It's running super quietly and I'm glad there's a flow control to make it more appropriate for a 6g nano tank. We'll just have to pretend the lovely black, white, and opaque (intake/outflow) stock equipment are sexy glass lily pipes for now... haha.. it's not so bad to have an imagination...right? :brows:

Well... after several hours of prep and planting... here are the pics! It's not very Iwagumi.. but hey, like my title implies.... it's Iwagumi "Inspired"... meaning, I get to throw my own twist on it.

Filled with some mulm and tank water... with heavy spritzing from a spray bottle. Oh, and I found a decent piece of manzanita branch.




Tied some cotton thread around the manzanita branch to secure the Flame Moss. This was my first attempt at using moss of any sort. Hope it fills in nicely.


And post-flooding the tank. I'm really surprised at how clear the tank is. Taking care in gently pouring in water and not disturbing the substrate really helps. The instructions on the Fluval Stratum say to rinse well, while others who have used it (also) say not to. I think the people who complain about this substrate being super cloudy, followed the instructions or just dumped water in the tank. I did not rinse it and the extra care I took by not disturbing the substrate paid off.





Thanks for reading!
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