20 Long Rock Pile...V2...Now with Nano!
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:43 AM   #1
talontsiawd
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20 Long Rock Pile...V2...Now with Nano!


Some of you followed my other thread on this tank here- http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...ml#post1587111

I decided to start a new thread because my original goal of this tank was scraping together to make a pretty low tech tank. You can see the specs but it was basically some old lighting, some HOB's and a $20 20 long. Even the substrate was recycled from old tanks. This tank was hidden away in my bedroom and really nobody ever saw it. I also am a super light sleeper and the filters often kept me up at night so I was constantly turning them off.

At the same time, I had a 29 gallon with all the nice stuff. It was also in my recording studio which gets quite a bit of visitors. I had a really nice scape at one point but ever since that crashed, I could never get it to look nice. I had a variety of issues with each progression, some I could figure out, some still leave me clueless. My soil went anaerobic and I decided to combine the two. I took the equipment from my 29 and moved in my 20 long.

I had put my filter and CO2 on this tank in my room at the end of my journal but I really didn't have the space for it. Hence the V2.


If you followed my last journal, you know that whatever belem type grass I have is growing really slowly, even under CO2. It has barely quadrupled in size in over 6 months. I did realize a few days ago that my bulbs were probably well over their useful life but I did put some DHG in and that grew more than the entire growth of my belem in about a week if not less. I don't know if it will continue to be an issue. If it is, I now am committed to switching now that the tank is on display. I will give it some time but I will use some HC most likely if it doesn't work out. It's frustrating because the only thing I have yet to have trouble with is carpet plants, even with no CO2.

Moving on...
Specs:
Tank-AGA 20 Long, Top Derimmed
Substrate-Fluorite Black and Fluorite Black Sand mixed together
Lighting-Aquaticlife T5HO 4x24watt, 13 inch over tank for now, final position to be determined.
Filter-Eheim 2215 with 2217 impeller
CO2-20lb CO2 tank, generic beverage regulator, fabco needle valve, JBL style bubble counter, GLA Atomic inline diffusor, Cal Aqua Labs Drop Checker
Ferts-Fountain pump autodosing system using EI method
Heater-Aquaclear 100 watt (likely to be replaced with inline or made into DIY inline)
Other-Have a 9 watt UV that isn't plumbed. I may plumb it in or buy extra quick disconnects so I can plumb it in as needed on this tank and another with same tubing size.

I also will likely get some Lily Pipes. I am thinking going cheap but AFA isn't too far away so I can see what I am getting. My outflow is pretty sketchy right now lol.

Hardscape:
Rocks I bought at a rock yard that I found in a rock pile that I bought and arranged into a smaller rock pile

Fauna:
RCS. I may add fish. I am thinking about adding guppies or rummy nose tetras after shrimp are established. If I go with fish, it's going to be personality/behavior over "curb appeal" most likely. I like guppies for their "goofy" behavior. I have never owned rummy nose tetras but love the way they school. I don't know if they will school well in a tank this size though. Cardinals are a possibility too as they are one of my favorites. I have bought plenty of fish because I liked how they looked only to be bored. I may fall in love with something else though.

Flora:
Some sort of belem that grows hell of slow.
Some sort of red plant that grows low and slow that is common but i don't know the name.

As said, I may go a different route if the grass doesn't start growing. I am not willing to be patient any more. HC is likely but I may keep the belem and even add other plants to the foreground as long as they look attractive when trimmed.


Here are some pics, nothing new to those who followed my last journal, some things shifted around slightly but it doesn't bug me. One thing that is cool is my foam core background was back lit before. I was planning on doing it again but it looks back lit from the raised light but with a cool gradient. It picks up the blue from my 10k bulb in the morning, pinkish red from my rosette bulb at night, and a cool combination of both when they overlap for my noon burst.


This is what I see from my chair height:







This is how it looks standing up:

Last edited by talontsiawd; 06-28-2012 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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Beautiful; I look forward to seeing how this tank progresses!
What really intrigues me is the background lighting on the tank. I don't see that done very often.
I like guppies too; I have some now. I don't keep them with my shrimp, since they go after the smaller ones

How do you feel about the structural integrity of the tank without the rim?
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee04 View Post
Beautiful! I look forward to seeing how this tank progresses.
What really intrigues me is the background lighting on the tank. I don't see that done very often.
I like guppies too; I have some now. I don't keep them with my shrimp, since they go after the smaller ones.

How do you feel about the structural integrity of the tank without the rim?
It's actually not back lit which is cool because it saves me some electricity. I was planning on it but the light is so high it just looks like that with the regular light. I will back light it if the effect goes away after lowering the light (assuming I do so). The only thing that kind of sucks is my stand is about 4 inches further out than I would like to accommodate back lighting but if I don't need it, I can't easily move the stand because I had to shim it quite a bit.


I am very confident with the structural integrity of the tank. This one has been derimmed for at least 6 months. I have another 20 long with the top derimmed that has been going for almost 2 years at my girlfriends apartment. Many people have derimmed the entire tank. I have two reasons for not doing so. First, I never took any substrate out of this tank. Second, I was afraid it may end up looking worse with the bottom seems since they are pretty sloppy.


That said, would I do it again, probably not. It's a bunch of work. Getting the actual rim off is not the hard part. It's getting the silicone under it off. On my other 20 long, I did everything as best I could and it took me at least 10-15 hours total. On this, I have only done the front well and that took me 5 hours. I got most of it off the sides and back but it doesn't have a "finished" look to it.

Instead I would buy one that is already rimless. It's quite a bit more, especially if you are comparing it to the Petco $1 per gallon sale but only slightly more than x2 the regular retail of a 20 long. With the amount of work it takes, I would rather just spend the money and have it right than do a bunch of work and still have the sloppy seems on the side, and the bottom if you do the bottom. A member says where he got his here- http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1773976-post8.html
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:33 AM   #4
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Looks nice, what is the on the background? Is it just a box? Can you take a photo of how your light it set up? Is it a DIY hanging light?
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:36 AM   #5
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Looks nice, what is the on the background? Is it just a box? Can you take a photo of how your light it set up? Is it a DIY hanging light?
The background is foam core poster board. I accidentally picked up some that has adhesive backing which is why their are logos and writting. Normally it would just be white, or whatever color you want. I just didn't feel like going back to the store and will put black paper on when I get a chance. I just moved the tank and before the sides were not very visible so I didn't deal with it. It's super easy to make, you just need a razor blade, a straight edge and some glue. However, if your light isn't super high, you will need to put a light below it (or above it) for it to light up. If I lower my light, I will add a fixture but this light is way overkill for my tank.



As for hanging my light...the way I did it is not how I recommend. I have to work around things people normally would not. I have acoustic panels all over my room and continue to add them as I have time/money. I needed something that didn't take up wall space and the ceiling was out of the question. I used copper pipe. I drilled holes in the end caps and used sheet rock anchors to hold them in. This light is heavy so I had to add some support.

My light has a hanging kit available which would look better than the chain I am using as well but I was under the impression it came with it. I just have not got around to buying it. That would also clean things up.


I would recommend you hang it from the ceiling for the cleanest look. You can also use shelf brackets or brackets for hanging plants if you use the wall. Both will be stronger than what I have and look better. Again, I didn't have that option as I will eventually have a panel right above where the pipe is.


However, here is a picture:
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the information. Your setup looks really nice. I've been trying to find ideas of how to hang my light since my ceilings are made of those little sandy dots that falls off when you touch or hit it I can't do any ceiling mounts.

My tank is on one of those 4 tier aluminum stand and right now I am just using the highest tier for the light. I just put my light above the 4th shelf and my tank on the 3rd shelf.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenRC51 View Post
Thanks for the information. Your setup looks really nice. I've been trying to find ideas of how to hang my light since my ceilings are made of those little sandy dots that falls off when you touch or hit it I can't do any ceiling mounts.

My tank is on one of those 4 tier aluminum stand and right now I am just using the highest tier for the light. I just put my light above the 4th shelf and my tank on the 3rd shelf.
I am no expert but I believe that when you mount something from the ceiling, you usually want to mount it on the top side of the dry wall, meaning the side you can't see. They make "anchors" (not sure if the ones for ceilings are called anchors) for this that disperse the load over a much bigger area than a wall anchor. The issue with this that you need to have a crawl space you can get to so it has to be on the top floor of a place you own, with an unfinished attic. Many of us don't have that. The other option is going into a stud but they are often not in the right places. I have read that wall anchors are not nearly as strong when vertical, like a ceiling, so you shouldn't hang anything heavy when using them. My light is pretty heavy, not that it was an option, again, no expert.


If you plan to use a single, traditional stand, you can go a different route. It's commonly called an "ADA style light bar". This is something that would attach directly to your stand, not a wall or ceiling. You may be able to adapt this to your setup as well. Here is a link to Tom Barr's version- http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...hqi-cheap.html

I was going to do that but I couldn't afford the pipe bender at the time. Some people have been able to have it bent up for them at the hardware store for free but none around here will do it for me (well, many would if they had a pipe bender handy). Some people will buy the pipe bender, be very careful, use it once, and take it back. For me, it's super hard for me to return tools so I just tried my own way.

Their are many ways, again, my way isn't how I would recommend, it just makes sense given the constraints of a home recording studio and the acoustic panels that come with it. If I did it again, I would go with an ADA style light bar.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:36 PM   #8
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Gorgeous scape.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:59 PM   #9
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Gorgeous scape.
Thank you sir, means a lot coming from you, your tank has been a huge inspiration for me. It sucks I don't have a tank bigger than 10 gallons with stems now as I always have done stems.



Question...Does Fissidens fontanus attach to everything like Java Moss? I am thinking about making little "bushes" by attaching it to little 1 inch pieces of gravel outside. I don't want it to attach to the substrate though as that bugs me. The only thing that is worse than algae is unwanted moss that attaches to everything and anything.



Also, if you are in the (925) area and want a free 29 gallon, PM me. I put it on craigslist for money but am not getting responses so if someone here gets to me first, it's yours. It has a few scratches and unfortunately one right in front in the middle but it's free. It didn't bother me but if it bothers you, make a farm tank.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:47 AM   #10
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Thanks for the details! Very nice set-up.
To my knowledge, fissidens grows rather slowly so it probably wont overtake your tank.
Also, it seems to really like high lighting and nutrients
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee04 View Post
Thanks for the details! Very nice set-up.
To my knowledge, fissidens grows rather slowly so it probably wont overtake your tank.
Also, it seems to really like high lighting and nutrients
I am not so concerned about the rate of growth, just if it will attach easily to whatever it wants to. Java moss grows slowly but I hate it because it will attach to anything and everything. In a tank where I don't want it, it's worse than algae. I actually have a bit of Java moss in this tank that was accidentally introduced and I am almost rid of it but I have to scrape the rocks with a razor to make sure it doesn't come back.

I do have more light than would ever be reasonable if I lowered the light down to the rim. 98 watts of T5HO with decent reflectors. I can dose as much as I want. I will likely wait for the foreground to grow in before I try.


That said, although I lost some of my belem (which was growing terribly slow before I switched things up), it's growth has noticeably improved in the last few days. I am guessing it was my light because I did have the same CO2 and filter setup for at least a month or two and it didn't seem to do a whole lot over no co2 and HOB filters. I lowered my light 2 inches which may be too much, I will see on Sunday or Monday when I am home. I don't know why but I like to make lighting changes when I am not going to be home. I guess it gives me enough time to see my mistakes lol.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:02 AM   #12
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So, not too much of an update. I was inspired by some of the journals on the board where people did some "personalization" to fit the decor of their room. It doesn't show up well in the photos but I covered the sides and top of my background with the same fabric I have on my acoustic panels. It really isn't much but took me about an hour. It looks much better, trust me. I want to do the top on the back piece soon but I don't know how to do it as the panel has warped a bit.

I also decided to put my back light in, or more so mock it up. It isn't mounted, just kind of wedged in. It looks really blue in the picks but it's really more pink as it has a 6500k and a rosette bulb. I would love to go with a two 10,000k bulbs or a 10,000k and antic but I am not really ready to shell out $40 in bulbs for a background. I may have a friend try to airbrush a sky with some light blue and clouds and use the 6500k bulbs I have. I may try to do a gradient myself but I feel like I will mess it up. I don't want to spend money printing a background as of yet.

Lastly, it looks like I have less plants. I was evening out the slope and burried some. Didn't feel like dealing with it. My belem is growing much more quickly under this fixture however. I don't want to say it's going to fill in quickly but it will be much more quickly than my other light in my last journal. I need to trim down the red plants (don't know the name off the top of my head) as well.


Anyway, some back light pics. I don't know why I love back lighting so much but it's really cool looking IMO. I will have it come on a few hours before and after my lights.





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Old 06-11-2012, 06:05 AM   #13
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talontsiawd I noticed you got that Mini Channel mixer on ur shelf, is that an Akai?

Do you record?
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:21 AM   #14
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talontsiawd I noticed you got that Mini Channel mixer on ur shelf, is that an Akai?

Do you record?
I don't record a whole lot but I did just track two albums recently in this room. I mostly do instrumentals. I mean, I record my samplers but that's different.

This is the room my tank is in:





Are you a musician? We have a little thread going in the lounge- http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...ic-artist.html
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:22 AM   #15
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Oh, I am also a crate digger as well

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