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Old 02-06-2012, 04:48 AM   #46
endgin28
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It will be interesting. I am not sure if what I have it mind, it will pose challenges anyways. The slope itself is holding it own. No slumping and have built a few slopes that have failed to maintain shape. that is a relief. The tank was dunked on Wednesday feb 1st. The water parameters are soft acidic with a hint of nitrite, some nitrate. The glass top definitely holds water, and will get hard water stains that will need to be addressed. This has actually been something I have expected, but I like the effect and the usefulness. I lose a ton of water from this tank, especially in my climate (dry, hot) and slowing the rate of evap. is not a bad thing.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:33 AM   #47
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So these are the hardware shots, there are few things worth mentioning but I will address them below.




The water comes from the lily in the back, and enters the 2026, loops around and hits the heater, then runs into the ista, and then hits the outlet pipes. When I do filter maintanence, I will pull the plugs, shut down the gcfi, and pull it out as the strip is little close. There are fairly smooth kinks compared to the usual multi stage set up and the flow through the tank after I tweaked the output lily pipe a bit is unrestrained. I have pipe clamps on every component, and I feel better for it, even though the pressure is less than large systems.





I have a pretty good space for tools and ferts on the left. I have started dosing procedures immediately, with E.I. I right now dosing 1/8 tsp of KNO3, 1/32tsp KH2PO4, odd, Flourish even. May supplement iron, may do other things later, but I am going to let the plants tell me.



First off the whole system runs through a Ground fault interrupt behind the stand in the wall. If I owned the place I would rewire the outlet, but that will have to do. Like all inline sytems I have set up, it is tight space wise, and I tried as best I could to maximize safety, accessiblity, and integrity using the tools at hand. I would love to add hard pumbing into the system, but flexible will have to do.





I am still planning on supplying the tank with aeration, especially giving the HC which is rotting right now. Additional air may help with BOD.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:02 AM   #48
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The tank itself has a few issues, which I have mentioned. Their is brown HC In the mix, and as seems to always be the case, some HC which has tried to escape. Tomorrow, I will attack the brown stuff, replant what seems replantable. So here are some shots of the current state of affairs.





The lights underneath the tank are actually an LED strip I got at HD. They back light the tank at night and glow underneath the substrate as they just rest on the back of the stand.





The condensation is kinda cool the way it diamond patterns underneath. It is definitely going to be a challenge to keep it clean, but some light reduction at this height over the substrate will be beneficial overall. If it becomes algae infested, not so much.



Home made drop checker, that looks like the right color.







Good surface movement. The lily I cut needed a little support to hit just the right spot. It does vortex a bit. I may try to angle it slightly or more likely build another slightly differently after my hand gets back in the game.





Anyways, sorry about the glass being dirty, The tank isn't perfect either as scratches are readily visible.

However, it kinda feels nice to look at it and the fill in process should not take too long. It possible that removing the far right rock and the second from the left might tighten the composition, but I need to look at it for a day or two, before I will be sure. An additional plant species up front may also be possible to bring it together. Both of these things could be done or left undone. We will see.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:22 PM   #49
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This what the tank looks like with just the LED's running. For ten bucks total, I really dig the effect. This is in a centerpiece setting in my apartment, so I like it that it maintains some character even when not fully lit.



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Old 02-07-2012, 01:39 AM   #50
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Looks like a pretty sweet night light at night.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:14 AM   #51
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Wow--a lot going on! I think I missed how you did the night light leds? Where exactly are they? It looks so great with the lights off!

My own tank arrived Friday. Now I'm just meditating on it before I do anything, but I'd like to try that led look you've got going!

What's up with the potted plant on the stand? Is is waiting to go in the tank? It's sort of distracting from the rest of the clean look if there's some other place to put it (I'm just sayin'...)

Can't imagine hooking up filters and tubing one handed....yikes.

sox
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:51 AM   #52
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The led's are just like a small strand (24") of white led's. I just laid it behind the tank. It runs on opposite the lights.
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:56 AM   #53
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Potted plant is just stealing light. Probably move it later. I think it some sort of Anubis. Has just been sitting in a coffee cup for a year.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:33 AM   #54
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I have done a little trim and replant. I have also added a night aeration schedule to the mix. I have a whisper pump and air stone running into the tank on the far left side running opposite the lights. This overnight removed any trace of protein film and has made the water crystal clear. It is part of the Amano theory that additional aeration after the lighted period is useful, so I am trying it out. So far no brown out or algae have arrived. Water is still a little heavy on nitrates, but nitrite is almost gone. Expect to see diatoms soon though, but should be able to get algae squad in there shortly. Getting the pearling and growth I hoped for.

Still thinking about scape shifts. Still a little gun shy about doing sand "river" after last round, but I am tempted to drop in a focal point right between the center rocks. A thin river would add depth to the scape, but it is also a pain to maintain. The outlier rocks are also potentially shiftable. Anyways live creatures come soon.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:46 AM   #55
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Did a little adjustment and removed far right rock and the second from the left. I think it tightened up the composition a bit. It added a little more of an elevation shift to the scene and should be nice. The tank looks hammered a bit from the trim but once it gets a little growth time I will post Picts.
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:16 PM   #56
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It's looking real good I can't wait to see the new scape and good luck with the soon to be diatom battle
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:35 PM   #57
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Thanks, it is fun. I think I am going to add another power strip to be able to put the co2 on a staggered schedule to the lights. It is currently running even with the lights, and I much prefer + 1, -1 hours to the lights. Also the LED runs 24/7 and I prefer opposite the lights. I did a 70% WC last night and the pearling was off the hook. I really am anal about timing the system. High light takes real diligence.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:25 PM   #58
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I have been constantly trimming the E. belem and reseting HC this week. I am willing to bet that that substrate is hidden within a few weeks, maybe two. I went through yesterday and replanted about 30 tops that I trimmed off to keep the HC low. This is definitely a higher maintenance arrangement than I usually run.

The hair grass is particularly challenging as it really wants to grow into the whole enchilada, shooting runners everywhere. I will be selling some soon, it grows extremely quickly when happy. I need to get a small tipped scissor for substrate work, as untangling the HC and belem is a challenge and my curved tip scissors don't need to get dinged in the aquasoil. I didn't want to run any physical blockers in the tank to prevent the hairgrass from attacking the HC.

It will be interesting this summer when I "diversify" my hobbies and interests, and don't spend as much time on maintenance.

I have decided that I REALLY like the hard scape shift. The butcher shop comment was really useful to get me to refocus my efforts. The goal with this tank, like most good Iwagumi tanks, is a sense of simplicity, yet with enough visual detail to get attention. I have not managed to get to the "next level" with my scapes yet, hopefully this is my first really good showpiece planned tank. Growing plants is one thing, working the confines of the arrangement into a cohesive artistic statement is quite another.

The experiment with the toothpicks is working pretty well, IMO. When I have shifted things, they are easy to remove (and replace if desired) if visible, and the slope is maintaining. It should be even more stable once the roots have grabbed hold everywhere. I may put this into my permanent bag o' tricks.

Anyways livestock is on my mind right now. I really think I am going to run rummynose tetras in there, if I can find some reasonably priced. I like the other rummynose from a durability standpoint, but the females are lame, and I don't plan on them breeding successfulyl in this arrangement. I will either have to special order them from a local vendor if I can, or purchase them online. I think they are visually exciting, and when I had them last I found them to have the habits that I like- they seem to be sustrate huggers, great schooler's, act like they have ADD, and will have the right color arrangements. In my opinion, they will preclude fancy shrimp, as I used to watch them crush baby RCS all day long, when I had them last. I don't mind a little predation in my tanks, but watching them smash CRS babies may be too much carnage for my taste.

The algae removal crew will consist of oto's, nerites and possibly some Siamese algae eaters. I have never run SAE's before, but I have heard most of the right things. I ruled out Amano's for the moment- I don't need them tearing my arrangement to shreds yet, even though the are probably the most effective algae crusher in the game.

I will try to post updated pictures today or tomorrow. It will be sweet when my right hand is back in the game- my left is a PITA when trimming. Healing up good though, no infections and I have enough mobility (no tendon damage). I am going to have an awesome scar to talk about. Be careful with sharp (but dull) instruments!
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:17 PM   #59
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I blog too much. Pictures are more fun.



Current FTS. I will work on my photo's but right now this is what I've got.



The negative space on the left helps I think.



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Old 02-13-2012, 02:21 AM   #60
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VERY nice! Some staurogyne repens would look nice in the back left corner.
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