3 gallon Mr. Aqua/plant rescue side project (56K)
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:51 AM   #1
Dave Allen
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3 gallon Mr. Aqua/plant rescue side project (56K)


It's been a real test of patience watching my emersed plants grow in my main tank, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before I setup a second tank.

The tank was a craigslist find, and I've had it for at least two years. It did have a short run as a shrimp and moss tank, but neglect turned into a green mess. So after a thorough cleaning, its back to its original state:



I really get excited about empty tanks like this, especially once I start thinking about how it will get filled! One of my motivations to re-due this tank is to salvage a very neglected anubias and some seen-better-days moss. More on those plants later.

For substrate, I used the ADA additives and Aquasoil Amazonia left over from my 60-P build. Since I still haven't flooded that tank, I haven't seen the ADA substrate perform. I'm excited to see it perform in this wee little tank.



The Penac P and W, Clear Super, Tourmaline BC and Bacter Ball (crushed) is added. Something I forgot with the big tank (but made sure to do with this one) was to brush the additives away from the sides. Purely aesthetic, but so much of this hobby is!

Last edited by Dave Allen; 10-03-2012 at 02:22 AM.. Reason: title name change
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:59 AM   #2
Borikuan
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One quick question, how tall is that tank now with that fixture? I want to know if it will fit in my e-center. Looking forward to see this one, I want to set up one of those Mr. Aquas so bad.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:11 AM   #3
Dave Allen
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Next up is the substrate. A mix of Amazonia regular and powder.

After the cost of shipping this stuff to the East Coast, I hate to see it all get used up. But just like I know in my heart that an expensive bottle of whiskey wants to be drunk, I know that the dirt wants to get planted. Since I plan on capping with cosmetic sand, I opted for a mix of the two grades of Amazonia (to help conserve for future projects of course).



I forgot to take a picture of just the cap, but here's a two-for-one with the sand and woodwork.



The sand is Caribsea Super Naturals Moonlight Sand. I love the look of the white, and its unlike any substrate I've used yet, but I know there is no way its going to stay so pure-looking with the Amazonia foundation.

The wood is a pair of Petsmart mopani pieces that I've been soaking/boiling for the past week. Luckily I've been given my own "aquarium only" pots from the missus so that I no longer have to use the cooking pots for aqua fun time!
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:18 AM   #4
Dave Allen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borikuan View Post
One quick question, how tall is that tank now with that fixture? I want to know if it will fit in my e-center. Looking forward to see this one, I want to set up one of those Mr. Aquas so bad.
Its a fun little tank! The tank is 8" high (without the pad underneath) with an additional 5.5" for the light. It's small enough that I almost brought it to work for my office. The only downside for me is that I hate scraping algae off the bowfront because I always knock around the hardscape with my sausage fingers!
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:21 AM   #5
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I actually really like the look of the tank, reminds me of Halfmoon Bay with all the driftwood (forgot exactly what beach)

Any plans for what types of plants?

I am curious on how much light you are going to have. You may need to raise the fixture some how without some type of CO2.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:27 AM   #6
Dave Allen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KFryman View Post
I actually really like the look of the tank, reminds me of Halfmoon Bay with all the driftwood (forgot exactly what beach)

Any plans for what types of plants?

I am curious on how much light you are going to have. You may need to raise the fixture some how without some type of CO2.
Thanks Fryman! Where is Halfmoon Bay?

The brown on white definitely reminds me of snorkeling through mangroves in the Bahamas. Just need to get some epiphytes on the wood to complete the effect. Too bad tunicates can't live in fresh water.

For the plants, I plan to salvage here and there. More on that to come. And I do have a spare CO2 system to use on this project, so I'm curious to see what I can grow in here.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:35 AM   #7
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Planting time. Right now, I'm just using some odds and end that I have handy. Here is the initial planting:



Both the anubias and java moss came from the mess that used to be this tank. The moss was tied on with black thread, and the anubias was wedged between the two pieces of wood. I have no idea of what species of anubias this is, but if someone can ID it let me know!

I also have some emersed Hydrocotyle sp. Japan that has been growing like crazy in the 60-P, so some of that is planted in the back. It's too short to see at present.

Now it's time to fill! In the past, I'd just pour the water over my hand or into a bowl. Since I didn't want a sandstorm in the tank, I tried out the paper/plastic wrap method. I've seen some of the UK aquascapers do this, especially when planting HC, so what the heck!



As predicted, I've already sullied my perfect, white sand. Oh well, I guess I can live with it. . .

Last edited by Dave Allen; 10-03-2012 at 02:41 AM.. Reason: too quick to hit that "post" button.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:53 AM   #8
Dave Allen
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And the big reveal:



I added a tiny, little java fern remnant that I discovered in the tank breakdown. Small, but I'm curious to see if I can bring it back.

The filter is Red Sea nano HOB. It's already seeded from the last build. The CO2 is DIY paintball. I have an Aquatek for the larger tank, which freed this system up. One thing to point out to anyone thinking about DIY CO2, I had my first paintball tank failure while setting this up. The pin in the tank got stuck on and blew out the remaining gas in a very cold and very strong gust. No damage, but it gave me second thoughts about hooking up another tank (which I did, of course). The CO2 is currently dialed down to 1 bubble every two seconds, and the drop checker is reading green.

And here is the Hydrocotyle in the back and a closeup of my fuzzy anubias:



That's where I am for now. I'm not married to the scape and I may swap the positions of the fern and anubias. Also, I'll probably need to add some more plant biomass to suck up some of those nutrients before the algae gets out of control. That can wait until tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear peoples opinions.

-Dave
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:06 AM   #9
Jarek Strzechowski
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