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Old 11-26-2012, 10:23 PM   #16
greenman857
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Current status of my Clay Tower aquarium. Everything is going great guns. With only a small hair algae issue everything seems quite balanced.




The floating moss island, bobbing around with Salvinia and Duckweed


Baby Rilli or Malawa shrimp


The wabi-kusa balls are still going strong submerged, although you cant even recognize them anymore!



Copepod on the glass, there are hundreds if not thousands are living in this tank!
My theory is that if the copepods are happy the shrimp are happy! I'm not sure what experience others have had.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:37 PM   #17
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I love it!!

Working w/ clay is neat. I haven't done it for YEARS and don't have the room now.

So I want to see lot's of pics
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:58 AM   #18
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So I discovered a way to clean up plants and feed my shrimp. I put plant or moss from my other tanks and let them clean each plant.
The shrimp mob the plants in all sizes. The next day I switch in a new plant
One of my best Rillis
Attachment 58297

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Old 12-06-2012, 08:46 PM   #19
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that is SO funny... i just did that with my frogbits today... now for the planted ones... i'm thinking mr betta will have to 'vacation' for a day or two while the shrimp move in and clean.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:07 PM   #20
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I love it!
Now I want to try something like this
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:54 PM   #21
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This is great. Have you thought about selling these? I'd be first in line. I love the idea of also using it not only as a decoration, but a way for micro organisms to populate on and feed your shrimp. You should post a full tank shot!
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:25 AM   #22
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these are amazing !!!

think TINY! i have an 8x8x8 so TINY... this would be so cool!

i love these
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:22 PM   #23
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Thanks all!
First photograph is a full tank shot. It's 13" cube handmade.

I have thought about making them to sell but they'd be expensive, the time to build and then fire.
But the cool thing is I could pretty make them to any specs including small, or to fit in a corner. I even figured out a way to give them a kind of natural appearance.


Below is another Claytower I made actually an earlier one so was still working on technique. It's filled with compost and peat, too much nutrients I think.
Attachment 58434

I make little cups in clay for surface islands
Attachment 58435

An island in a corner tower.
Attachment 58436

I'll post some other clay pictures later.

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Old 12-07-2012, 08:54 PM   #24
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Very neat. I like the earlier one you did very much, it has a cool drifwood look to it. I remeber working with clay in school a couple of times, but dont really remember any specifics about the types or firing processes.
I would really like to try to make one of these as I have been searching for the perfect peice of driftwood now for 2 years without sucess, and if I could make it out of clay that would be perfect. Here in Columbus there are a few "make your own pottery" stores around. If I were to go try to do one of these there are there any tips for what types of clay to avoid using in an aquarium? Also what about adding color, is there a pigment or paint that you would/could use? And from what I gathered from the above converstion, Bisque is a lower temp initial firing, then you would add glaze and refire at higher temps to finish? I understand that you dont do the glaze, but just checking on the meaning of bisque. Thanks and great work!
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:56 PM   #25
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I never thought of those make you own pottery places!

Cool idea
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:10 PM   #26
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I use a stoneware that I bought commercially. most clays are fine, the only problem might be if unusual refractories (helps the clay "melt" at a certain temp) for really low-fire they add some weird stuff that may not be good for an aquarium. But all in all the stuff has to be non-toxic for food consumption for humans and so is safe for aquariums.
Pottery is frequently fired (baked) twice, once at a lower temp (bisque) and then higher temp (glaze). The glaze firing actually causes the clay to fuze into a glasslike substance (stoneware or porcelain)
My theory is you only want to bisque it because its more porous and as such harbors micro-organisms in its body which could act as a filter of sorts.
High fire is more like glass or a quartz rock.
Plus its quicker and cheaper just to fire to bisque.

Here's a couple of pieces I have kicking around.

Attachment 58438

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Old 12-07-2012, 09:30 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenman857 View Post
I use a stoneware that I bought commercially. most clays are fine, the only problem might be if unusual refractories (helps the clay "melt" at a certain temp) for really low-fire they add some weird stuff that may not be good for an aquarium. But all in all the stuff has to be non-toxic for food consumption for humans and so is safe for aquariums.
Pottery is frequently fired (baked) twice, once at a lower temp (bisque) and then higher temp (glaze). The glaze firing actually causes the clay to fuze into a glasslike substance (stoneware or porcelain)
My theory is you only want to bisque it because its more porous and as such harbors micro-organisms in its body which could act as a filter of sorts.
High fire is more like glass or a quartz rock.
Plus its quicker and cheaper just to fire to bisque.

Here's a couple of pieces I have kicking around.

Attachment 58438
Now thats what I would like to do. Very nice looking work, Im thinking the sharpie is for size reference or do you use it to shade the peice? How did you get the color, and shading so perfect?
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:08 PM   #28
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Yeah the sharpie is just for reference.
I have my own small kiln which allows me to develop my own techniques.
Basically its a modification of Raku
http://www.garyrferguson.com/raku.htm: if you look at the pics where they pot the pot in paper or whatever thats what I do, the burning makes all kinds of earthy colors on the clay.
One could probably do the same after the fact by burying the pots in a pile of leaves and lighting it on fire, I think.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:17 AM   #29
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love the idea of a 'natural' looking driftwood corner!
I WISH i could do that!
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:54 AM   #30
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Default Update: Shrimp babies and more!

I've added some more Rilli shrimp to hopefully diversify the gene pool. The copepods, snail, flatworm and shrimp all seem to coexist quite well. In fact I'm finding the shrimp (of course) are quickly over-populating the tank!
Click image for larger version

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Here 3 differant age classes all hanging off the glass. I think these are Malawa?
Click image for larger version

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I really love the idea of mixing species together. Having Copepods, Snails and shrimp all with in a 2" square inch is kinda cool to see!

Click image for larger version

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How the tank looks today. Only minor algae problems which so far have been controlled by hand. 20% water changes 1-2 /week.
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