Tomb Raider Petrified Wood Anubias Garden- evolution pics p.1! video 3/6 - Page 2
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:37 PM   #16
whitepapagold
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Very awesome! I like it! I like the man's hat!
Thanks! I wasn't sure it would work because the top of his head isn't very rough... But its totally attached, and once the rhizome grows thick enough it will fuse with the rock!

I cant wait for that last rubberband to snap... But I promised I would wait till it did on its own. The other 2 already rotted and snapped!

Thats all NEW growth on his head as I started pruning the Java Fern early. That stuff could grow dry, in a microwave set on high... Once it gets full sized and the leaves get a few more inches of height I think it will look great! The tanks only 3 months old. I want a HUGE full native head dress!
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:58 PM   #17
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Default Current photo set

I realized all the photos were older so heres shots today, crappy phone, CO2 bubbles EVERYWHERE (thats not algae on the front!)- in the water column cause Im running the power head method until I get serious about setting up multiple diffusors- ie Im lazy.

NONE of the Anubias have been trimmed much since purchase- but thats because I WANT algae to gow on the leaves so I can establish the proper cleaning crew. Once I see the algae disappear- I begin heavy pruning.

This is just prior to me doing that pruning of all questionable leaves, but Im still waiting for more root development.

If I do it right, then all new growth is algae free and the cherry shrimp population will assist in that ebb and flow. They are the best thing thats happened to planted tanks since amanos and ottos!

But honestly thats the trick to jumpstarting a tank IMHO. Crank the lights, let the algae cover everything, then start adding ottos, shrimp, plecos and SAEs. BTW- theres not one snail in my tank... I check everything like a freakin lice check!

Left Side-

Notice the freshwater clam- the blurry brown thing at the bottom in the gully... Hes got a full BEARD of algae around his siphon- looks awesome! I have two. Both crazy healthy! The other is buried. This side is where the Khulis live- all 14- in that rock (psuedo trunk) along the far left wall.

Middle-

There is a 3 inch gully around the statue. Planting the petite caused the island to become undefined. Once the roots take, Ill tighten it back up.

Right Side-

A better shot to see how much rock there really is. Plus you can see the stepping and the coffeefolia planted in the crevaces. Just the dark rock in the back under the power head weighs 40lbs...

The rocks in front are literally against the glass(plexi) and they are the barriers for the hill. The HUGE stumps in the back are pressed flush (relatively) to the back wall. In an earthquake- this section wont budge! Rock front to back, side to side... Though that one up top by the nana falls over ANYWAY... But the rest will stay!
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:09 PM   #18
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Default Bearded Clam

Had to get a better shot of the super rare bearded clam... That algae on him grows ONLY on him!


I keep waiting for my LFS to get more! That mid level section the clam is in is intended to hold like 6! Had to put them there so they wouldn't burrow and get smashed...
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:52 PM   #19
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you have a nice system going there. No water changer, algae to a minimal and clams survive. Those things are supposed to be hard to keep.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:54 AM   #20
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you have a nice system going there. No water changer, algae to a minimal and clams survive. Those things are supposed to be hard to keep.
Thanks!

This specific combination of sand, plants and these specific fish (minus the CPDs) has been a VERY successful design for me! But I did start taking it very seriously about 15 years ago.

Specifically its this combo with only MINOR additions allowed-
Ottos
Amano shrimp (if these were easier to breed I would NOT use cherry shrimp at all)
Cherry Shrimp
small rasbora school (substitute any small rasbora, tetra or CPD)
khuli loaches- dig and clean the sand
Corys- not necessary if you have the khulis
candy stripe pleco (need wood as part of their diet my ass...)
rubber lip, bristle nose or equivalent smaller sized algae oriented pleco (MANY are really NOT happy with just algae)
Chinese butterfly loach- not necessary but I love them- they look like little stingrays!

Thats the core fish- and as you see by my count in post #1 you must keep it LOW...

Then you use the sand for structure, looks and the loaches barbells... the anubias for live plants, oxygen, water polishing etc -BUT mainly anubias because they sit up off the rocks and can handle FLOW.

My tanks all have a LOT of water movement. I got this from reefkeeping and it works like a CHARM in freshwater. If you notice my scape has NO DEAD ZONES. No places where the water doesn't flow freely. I also added a HUGE powerhead.

This is the biggest problem with the Amano nature aquariums... Those tanks do NOT have a lifespan of more than a few years at best without needing overhaul. Not just from over growth and depletion of fertz, but from build up of all the bioload.

If you want the BEST low maintenance tank that looks great do the same thing I did but no sand. Make sure all rocks have travel underneath if possible and all aound. Grow the anubias right on the rocks till they look like anubias chia pets... None of the fish care much and it makes removing excess food crazy easy.

The end result is a tank thats virtually indestructable. You can even STOP CO2 once you are grown to your liking and that will sloooooooooow the growth way down- and its slow already!

I sold my first one of these about 13 years ago and the owner who is a friend of mine just moved. He bought 2 tanks from me. He still has all the anubias from 13 years ago... I had one Barteri var Barteri in that tank (the rest nana)- it grew 4 feet tall and took up the whole tank... One Barteri in a 55 Gallon. It was so long it was making a big S cause the tank was too short! I needed to be trimmed- the rhizome was HUGEEEEEEEEEE- but he didn't have the heart cause it was just such a monstrosity!

If anyone wants to have a tank you can walk away from (other than feeding) for 6 months... This is the combo.

All the fish are picked for so many reasons, its stupid, not worth explaining, and Im obsessive, but realize- if you change one thing- it may all go out of whack...

But Ill stop blathering now. I could go on for a very very long time. Again been planning this tank for over 15 years! And I use this as a blue print for the fresh tanks I sell.

OH and Im NOT trying to pimp tanks or sales. I just build them and people see them and make offers- and I like the building more than the finishing line so I flip them! This one aint for sale though!
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:47 AM   #21
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i like it...nice concept with the LEDs
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:51 AM   #22
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very nice work with the scape. usualy these things are kinda cheesy but you pulled it off with some great work
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:09 AM   #23
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Wow....just......wow.
Love it. And super low maintenance to boot.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:13 AM   #24
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i like it...nice concept with the LEDs
Thanks! Its caused wayyyyy less problems than it could have!

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very nice work with the scape. usualy these things are kinda cheesy but you pulled it off with some great work
Absolutely agree! Ive NEVER liked non nature stuff in the aquarium but when I was in college a friend had a bust we called "Black Jesus". It was a BEAUTIFUL african bust carving in a blueish stone where the chisels made white hair and beard... It was also, until the one you see here, the ONLY thing man made I ever wanted to center a tank around.

Im glad its working so far! I tried to stay VERY tasteful and cheese free!

Ive never had a tank with anything like that in it before. And the Java Fern really ties it together!!!
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:17 AM   #25
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This tank is awesome.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:18 AM   #26
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Realy cool scape. Now thats thinking outside the box.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:30 PM   #27
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I love the tank, it has such a great look to it. I hope you stick around on this forum so we can see it grown in some more. I just wanted to know how are you planting your anubias? Thread? Glue? Or something else?
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:52 PM   #28
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Inspiring work -- thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:38 PM   #29
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I love the tank, it has such a great look to it. I hope you stick around on this forum so we can see it grown in some more. I just wanted to know how are you planting your anubias? Thread? Glue? Or something else?
Thanks! All this positive feedback is really cool guys!

The Anubias is just inserted in crevaces or roots stuck in the dense sand. One is tied to a piece of driftwood with fishing line (I didn't have any thread at the time) and the Java Fern was just 3 rubberbands.

The trick is to place all your Anubias and wait a week. As Plants float out of location or you change your mind on placement- it gives time for the roots to take. Once the stragglers and fussy pieces are in good locations CRANK the CO2.

Im willing to lose fish during this stage- its that important.

The cranked CO2 will cause a growth spurt and the roots will grow MUCH FASTER THAN THE LEAVES! The roots by nature want to grab onto ANYTHING. Ive grown Anubias on the back wall of a plexi tank... The bare back wall. Yup. They eventually grab onto ANYTHING (but I admit those few pieces took a long time and were more fluke than intent).

Its the root systems accelerated growth that causes the plants to really take off, fill in the gaps to hold the sand and lock the scape together! I used thread much more in the past but now I have a different take- the tank will create itself. No thread unless its a special piece (the driftwood tree or java bust) and no epoxy and no frame under the rock for support... Let things naturally take form. I did NOT plan this scape prior. As rocks were purchased and decisions were made, it took its own form! I just try not to get in the way!

Thats the fun with anubias!

If you have issues then thread is ABSOLUTELY the way to go! Works great!

Note- I chose rubberbands instead of thread for the java fern cause I did NOT want it to dissolve quickly. Rubberbands work great for a more long term plan cause they too rot and snap eventually but it takes much longer.

If you want to shorten the life of the rubberband- use an older one or stretch it too far a bunch before using it. Its the cracks that develope from stretching or drying out that eventually cause release from rot.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:07 PM   #30
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Default Old tank link!

I set up my signature to have a link to the first really nice one of these I did- the one that ended up with the 4+ foot Anubias Barteri.

Its a video of a video (ghetto digital conversion) so be forgiving but you can still see the point!

Its got the fresh water clams as well! There is an actual shot of the Barteri Rhizom GOING OFFFFFFFF- I bought it at about 3 inches. Its the one where you see a blurry close up of an anubias where there are a bunch of hairs (roots) shooting out everywhere. Thats the exact one that got 4+ feet. Just watch :52 (at 52 seconds).

Right before the shot of the barteri is the shot of my first piece of petrified wood. Its small. Its only one piece. But it was the beginning of this tank now!!! I decided then I would do a petrified tank...

The plants are my big 3-
Java Fern
Anubias (nana and barteri- I now add coffeefolia as well)
Bolbitis

And theres also a few others (crypts etc) but in then end I bailed them all!

But thought it might be cool for you guys to see where this tank is headed! The video is its great grandfather!

I also was going to ONLY use plants from that original tank but the tank owner was too busy as a biotech engineer to chop me some rhizomes... So I just got new plants. Thanks for killing the dream Travis... (actually hes a good guy!)

The tank in the video is the tank that seeded 6 more tanks...
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