|02-12-2014, 02:59 AM||#1|
Planted Tank Obsessed
Landen 45P experiment in contrast
Life had forced me out of this hobby for quite a few years, but now I'm older, more settled, and coming back. My wife and I have a lovely blackwater tank in our living room that has survived all the years, but it's not something I want to get in and tweak. And a failed experiment with having Amazon ship out several Fluval Spec IIIs (they all ended up leaking, not good when it's on your desk) only served to make me want it more.
One night whilst trolling Amazon, I came across a Landen 45P low-iron rimless tank. It's clearly "inspired" by ADA, but the $70 price made me give it a shot. It's here, and it's lovely. The seams are perfect, the glass is clear (I've spent most of my life doing R&D work for machine vision, so I get optics, lighting, and the relation between the two) and I'm really pleased with my purchase.
Having said that, I'm not letting money be an object on this one. The Landen 45P is 17.7" x 11.8" x 11.8" (10.7 gallons) and if a perfect match for a small cherry stand i already have. Should make for a great tank in my office (I work from home) where I spend 16 hours a day, 6 days a week.
It's sitting, filled with ADA Amazonia, waiting on the rest of my hardscape to get here. The plan is a study in contrast, with all the biomass in a center island.
I've two perfect manzanita branches (and a handful of extras) coming to work into the wood mound, which will extend beyond the tank. I'll be hanging a pendant with a 38watt PAR38 5500K lamp, and will set the height so the center of the tank is bright and light falls off outside the river stones.
Landen 45P tank
23"x12"X32" Cherry stand
38w PAR38 lamp
*optional, but I suspect will be needed*
Marina HOB refugium (more on this later) with fugeray 11" light
Custom tank backing with Phillips programmable HUE lamps to highlight
More than likely I'll add a reef controller to carefully monitor pH and redox, as well as control CO2 and lighting.
I've chosen small branches and manzanita very carefully, as I want three basic colors of wood to show through gaps the moss covering. Malay driftwood gives a rich brown, mopani wood has been selected and positioned so that the light side is towards the viewer, and the manzanita is freshly sandblasted. I can't wait until it gets here.
For plants, I want the same sort of contrast in texture and color. the stocking list:
Riccia (I'll kick myself for this, I know)
Most of this came from members right here at TPT. Even the stuff still in the mail
Playing with the light by hand, I've figured out where the beam will focus at the height I want to hang it at. That's the ring of stones, which will be covered in riccia. The narrow beam of the PAR38 quickly falls off leaving the outer edges much darker. Of course, this will depend on how and where I can place my emergent branches, which will be the clear highlight of the tank with Hydro. japan growing up the branch and out of the tank.
The Blyxa, rotala mini #1 and S repens should each add their own unique texture and color, and i think the contrast should look beautiful. the idea is that everything stays short, except the Hydro. japan which hopefully will creep up the wood and give some nice floating/emersed growth. We shall see.
I've got a Marina HOB refugium here, with a FugeRay light that fits it. I'm worried that the lack of nutrient suckers will make things hard to balance if I provide enough light to tickle the top of the Blyxa red. My plan there is to add an opaque white background, with a couple Phillips Hue lights focused to give a nice pink glow from the bottom up — which will hide the refugium that I can fill with najas or water sprite to use as an algae buster.
The tank water will be reconstituted RO (I never stopped breeding shrimp so i have plenty of GH booster), pushed hard enough to hit the magic 30ppm CO2 while keeping the pH over 6.5.
Any fauna will depend on what it takes to keep the algae at bay, and I'll be completely happy if I never add even a snail. Of course, I'll be happier to put a few SSS CRS in there, but all that will wait until I see how the water turns out.
I expect a lot of algae, a lot of fiddling with things, and a lot of fun.
Will update as I progress.
|02-12-2014, 03:49 PM||#3|
Planted Tank Enthusiast
That's a great looking tank and it looks like you've got everything planned out well. Sounds like a recipe for success to me. Welcome back to the hobby.
|02-22-2014, 10:45 PM||#4|
Planted Tank Obsessed
Update, good and bad
I'm no longer staring at an empty glass box filled with Aquasoil and sticks. I had to get some plants moved over, so I jimmy-rigged up a light stand and tossed some equipment on the tank. Please ignore the junk and tools, I'll clean up shortly
Sure beats looking at it empty, but there's a lot yet to do.
My "perfect" wood was sold to me in centimeters, but the measurements were actually in inches. Derp. Adjusted a few things, and put the wood in where I liked it. The one piece is a little long, I'm still deciding where to cut it.
This also changed my plant layout a little bit. I now have S repens at the right and left edge of the high light area, and planted 2x as much downi as I had originally planned. I think it will look good when it gets a little bigger, and by the time they are huge and need thinned I'll be tired of this scape anyway
I still have to set up the correct CO2 system (fluval 88G is there on a temporary basis) and properly hang the light. The reptile light stand was a quick and dirty fix from petsmart.
Loving the PAR38 light though. Everyone should try a spot at least once IMO.
|02-28-2014, 01:55 AM||#5|
Planted Tank Obsessed
Decided to take a quick video of the first week progress. Might be a nice way to look back and see how things progressed if done weekly, and I'm testing the camera on a new phone for work.
Ignore the debris, hands just came out and I'm getting ready to change some water.
I think I'm going to keep the Brazilian pennywort. I love the way it's growing, and will be easier to tease it upwards that it would be the H. japan.
Of course, there's that sexy white biofuzz on the wood, but it's already starting to die back.
The Rotala Mini is doing great, the Blyxia is for the most part as well. The Riccia is Riccia, and i hate the way it looks right now. Will let it grow out before I get twitchy and yank it out. It can be so pretty, but it's so ugly while it gets there.
Hopefully will have time to get my CO2 tank filled and can lose the Fluval 88 gram setup. Saturday. Running 2 bubbles/second will burn through those little cartridges :P
Have one hopefully not too serious algae issue starting up in my Downoi. If you watch the video you'll see white hair algae in 3/4 of the plantlets. I know I could toss a couple amanos in there to knock it back, but I'd like to figure out the root cause and fix it. Going to wait for the AS to finish cycling before I do anything drastic.
Anyhoo, the things I'm loving outweigh the things I don't.
1. Pennywort + manzanita branches = the bomb. The lower nodes are already attaching themselves to the wood. I have them anchored with a plastic tie-wrap for now, but I think I'll be able to remove it soon.
2. Just a few stems of H. corymbosa angustifolia (rear right) seem to be doing the trick to keep the algae at bay under the high light and lots of ferts. It's also nice looking back there, so I may keep it in even after the Blyxia grows in.
3. A single PAR38 pendant is a thing of beauty, even if it's mounted on an ugly arm because you don;t have time to hang your permanent fixture.
4. My love-hate relationship with Riccia aside, at two in the afternoon it's a pearling machine — even when it's scruffy from 9 days in the mail.
Verdict on the camera? Bleh. Don't buy an Oppo N1 (CM edition) for the camera.
|03-17-2014, 09:29 PM||#6|
Planted Tank Obsessed
Holy equipment, Batman
A few changes.
Pennywort is gone. Was inhibiting light, and was an algae magnet because it was getting ALL the light. And as a bonus, I get to see the pretty white tie wrap I used to hold the manzanita together!
Riccia is gone. Tired of the mess.
Added some floaters.
Needed to add more flow, and I wasn't happy with the CO2 diffusion. SO I added a little Hydor nano for now, and whipped up a Tom Barr reactor. As luck would have it, the only color Viewtainer Lowe's had was red.
I'm glad I didn't buy any lily pipes just yet, because I think I'm going to need a bigger filter. The 2211 isn't going to push a reactor and still have enough flow to keep debris and algae out of the Downi and Blyxia crowns.
The good news is that everything is doing well. My Rotala mini #1 is growing like a weed, the blyxia is done melting and pushing out new leaves, and the repens is starting to throw some low, bushy, sexy growth.
Still need to add a heater This will be yet another Dario dario tank in the end, as the 7 fry that survived all look male. Thinking two of them and a nice plump female should look good in here.
Also have some Buce plantlets on the way to tie to the wood.
While it's not following my original plans, I'm pleased with both the cheap tank and they way it's turning out. Once I get all the plants in and get them growing, I'll work on making it pretty.