Crazydaz's Square 200G RIPARIUM Strikes Back! Updated 7/1 w/Video+submersed PICS!
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:27 AM   #1
crazydaz
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Default Crazydaz's Square 200G RIPARIUM Strikes Back! Updated 7/1 w/Video+submersed PICS!

Just finished up with the move from old rental property to new home. Life sure has been hectic lately!

So, the Journal starts over, and as much as I hated to tear down the tank from this:


and this:


To THIS:


and this:


.....but it had to be done. To re-set and try to go with the same aesthetic would have been uncreative and boorish. Everything was sold or given away. Many thanks to Tlyons01 who spent a "fun" afternoon tearing the tank down with me. It only took about 7 hours.

Prior to that, the outside of the stand/pedestal was removed. It was made of 2x4's: very solid construction, but the outside was made of pressboard. A terrible choice, in retrospect, for obvious reasons. It had been warped and bubbled, and was a total eyesore. So, I stripped it down and threw it out.

Here are a few pics of the new pedestal:




That is red oak stained with walnut with iron hinges and knobs. We're going for more of a "rustic" old-fashioned look for the sitting room, and I thought that this would look nice. Eventually, the pendant above the tank will be redone either in black, or it will be done to match the pedestal. Probably happen in January. In the new design, I added side doors in order to make accessing the equipment in the back easier to do. It has been triple coated in poly on all sides to ensure water resistance, and almost "water proofing."

The day following the drain and dis-assembly, we moved the tank, lighting, and new pedestal to the new house. This was all done within two hours, which was faster than I had anticipated. The move went flawlessly, and I was ready to re-start the scape. So....

IN went custom made Manzanita branches that came from hydrophyte, plain kitty litter (about 30lbs), and that was topped by MTS made by DogFish. The Manzy branches are semi-poseable that will allow me to move the "joints" as needed in order to access equipment with relative ease, or to alter the hardscape as desired. You will notice screws in some of the future pictures; these are the "joints" I refer to....just a simple screw and nut assembly. Hydrophyte did do a marvelous job cutting the ends of the branches into simple fittings through which the screw passes through and is held on the other side by the nut.

DogFish sent six large Flat Rate boxes of MTS to me months ago, and makes about a two inch layer in my tank. Wonderful stuff!:





Sprinkled on the potash, pressed it into the MTS, and then topped that with some of my old tank's substrate. Added the Seriyu stone and the old stone from CraigThor's tank, and now this is how it looked:





Three rock "peninsulas" are featured in this set up for bucephelandra, anubia, and java fern species; the substrate will feature mostly crypts.

More pictures tomorrow!!
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Last edited by crazydaz; 07-01-2014 at 08:16 PM.. Reason: Pics
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:29 AM   #2
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Yay!

Great hard scape!
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:46 AM   #3
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Looking like a fine start.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:51 AM   #4
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Subscribed! It'll turn out great!
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:14 AM   #5
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Wow, I would hate to even think about tearing that beauty down. This tank is going to look awesome! Subbed!
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:35 AM   #6
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awesome
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:52 PM   #7
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Life is about moving forward, I predict this new tank will take Don's hobby to a new level.

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Old 10-02-2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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the side view is super dramatic. very nice hardscape
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:13 PM   #9
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Can't wait to see it all done!!!

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:24 PM   #10
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Sub'd
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:44 PM   #11
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Looking forward to seeing this take shape.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:08 AM   #12
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Thank you all for the nice comments and for subscribing to the thread! It's a little overwhelming! I hope that it doesn't disappoint!

No pressure or anything, Frank!

So, we left off here yesterday......the rough set up with the position of the rock peninsulas:


and this:


The time-frame is still the same day of the physical move of the tank and stand, in the afternoon.

The rest of the stone went in, following the "lines" in the above picture. At least, the rest of the rock that I had at the time. Following that, I added about 75lbs of pre-washed pool sand as the cap. It was still a bit too light for my liking, but I suspect that it will dull out over the coming weeks and months. Started filling the tank, slowly, as I refuse to wash sand or substrate. It's a waste of time....you're going to get some cloudiness regardless. Added CLODS of anubia species...Tlyons01 can speak to that. I gave her at least a third of my anubias, and still probably had at least a few hundreds dollars worth that I used in this set up. Started dividing and adding my crypts, bucephelandra, java fern species, and a few slow growing stems.

Not my favorite photo, but it does show the light height above the tank. It is about 28" from the bulb to the surface of the water.


Filling up.....took about an hour to fill slowly:


Left side....you can see the XP5 filter under the cabinet churning away. You cannot see it "well," though! What do you expect? I have a mini-Sun over my tank, so it makes it a little difficult to capture items in the shade:


Front:


Finally, the water level was full.....and in went a massive amount of MTS (Malaysian Trumpet Snails).....

Right Oblique:


Left Oblique:


Close up of the front trying to capture the three rock peninsulas:


Close up of the front right side of the tank....if you click on the pic, you get a better idea of the amount plants in there. I was able to keep a stem of the Alternanthera sp. "variegated":


Close up of the front left side of the tank....again, if you click on the pic, you can see a crazy amount of crypts and bucephelandra through the haze.


So ended the first day in the new home! More pictures tomorrow, starting Day 2. There's plenty to show....

Remember, a Journal is about the process, or the creation of an aquascape. This is certainly NOT even remotely close to being "finished", and it will be several months before the plants can begin to fill in the holes and spaces. It takes foresight to see a final "product," so don't judge based solely on these initial photos. i'm not an "instant Aquascaper."
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:30 AM   #13
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im looking forward to seeing the tank when it clears up, and even more so when it grows in.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:49 AM   #14
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Love that big mass of anubias. Did it come like that or grow from one piece?
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:08 AM   #15
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Good looking start so far. I will be looking forward to the progress of this new setup. I understand you wanting to try something new with this setup as it can be real easy to get bored with this hobby if you don't try new things and challenge yourself. Have you thought about trying some other varieties of anubias such as coffeefolia or hastifolia. I think the anubias hastifolia would look really cool coming up out of the tank as they can get huge.
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