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Old 02-13-2012, 05:59 AM   #61
endgin28
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I may look into a highlight plant to put into the game. I am probably going to do a little more shifting around, mainly to put the far right section to better use. Right now, I feel as though it is too high. If it comes down a bit, I think it will balance the left a bit more without making it too symmetrical.

Staurogyne, eh? You wouldn't be trying to tempt me would you
I was thinking maybe diplis diandra.

However, I need to address the hard scape first before I go nuts on additional species.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:03 AM   #62
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I did what I hope will be the final bit of hardscape adjustment tonight. Pictures will be a few days, but I am REALLY excited about the look now, much better depth, focus, and gets far closer to what I imagined. Moving the hardscape with the "rebar" in it was no problem at all, in fact I reused some of the toothpicks to maintain support of the slope.

Got ten little horned nerites in there now, doing the grunt work, although no diatoms or any other algae has reared its ugly head yet. Had a pair of siamensis in there last night, but one managed to learn to fly even with the cover on (it is not flush in all directions). Fish jerky is a hard thing to wake to in the morning.

I am filtering the hell out of it right now- the filter was fully colonized before hookup (three years of continuous service), and has carbon and purigen in it right now, on top of the strong bio filter. In these initial phases, I really don't want any excessive DOC's and I keep my BOD in check with the filtration and aeration program I am running. According factory specs I am running over 20x turnover, even cutting that by a third or more to drive the entirety system is still huge amount of turnover.

I may be foolish for saying so, but I (knock on wood) am cautiously optimistic that I will be able to keep all forms of algae under near complete control from the get go with this restart. I have never nipped it it the bud completely from the start, but I don't think it is mythical to aim for. The dry start definitely helped. I may look back on this post a year from now and laugh my *** off for the moxie of it, but I really think I have it dialed in this time.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:29 AM   #63
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Subscribed! Love it!
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:17 PM   #64
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Indeed, this is a nice tank.
Looking forward to future updates!
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:54 PM   #65
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Wow that's a monster filter for a 12g.....no wonder your water is so clean!
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:00 PM   #66
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Yeah, but its smaller than the one I used to use! Nice thing about it is that I can easily throttle it back if I want, but I really do like having excessive capacity. When I ran the xp1 it just wasn't getting the movement I wanted. The 404 was fine, no issues blowing fish out of water or anything, just noisy and ate juice like crazy. The 2026 is much nicer.

The shape this of tank changes everything, it takes a lot to drive the system with one sided lilies to get the gyre effect.

This same filter was used on my cube for years and gives me exactly what I am looking for with this tank- perfect circulation with no dead spots, near instantaneous off gassing of CO2 when the light goes out, no surface film, and a sense of redundancy if I see a nitrogen spike. I occasional tinker with the flow rates to ensure good C02 use, but most of the time cranking both the flows and the CO2 works best for me. Plus CO2 is cheap! Who cares if it goes for 3 months or 6? Tiny investment when compared to the time, expense and effort I put into these glass cages.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:51 PM   #67
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Tanks looking good!
Are you using 2 geisemann powerchromes?
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:10 AM   #68
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Not yet, I have the stock lamps in there right now. I think in the first post I mentioned GPC, but my stock bulbs are a little dimmer and for now I don't want to flood it with too light much, yet. I think I will be raising the light bar to extend the photoperiod soon, and I will add the 2 new geissman at that same time. Got about 14 months on them right now and its probably almost due.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:07 AM   #69
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So WC time. This is the pre frontal



So the hangers swivel, very important for digging around.



Notice the aeration. It has been nice to NOT have surface film. When I ran it with small filter it was scummy on the start up.

WC device. Shrimp guarded, saw something like it on this site and knew it was the answer. I like DIY.





Maybe I should just leave it half full



Yeah, I will definitely be bringing the light bar up. The glass is going to be off for a couple of days, while I play with variables. Missing this view is bad.

Pre lift


Post lift


Hope you enjoy the shots, thanks for the kind words.




Livestock soon. Transferred siamensis to another tank while still under construction on this side. Little trim and tuck today. Should have something to more to shoot soon. Gonna have to give back the SLR soon, I am looking at lens and camera bodies to be able to better pictures.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:38 AM   #70
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I just had a PM about the suspension system and I might as well post my answer. I set this up this summer when I got the stand.

The bars are DIY, the wire and mounts were from the OEM suspension kit. I bent galvanized bars with an angle bender, sanded them, primed and painted them. I used those u shaped holders for mounting them to the back of the stand. (I am blanking the name of those, just standard sheet metal things) and used some 5/8" ID clear tubing to make it swivel (the tubing maintains friction without coming loose easily under the mounts). The tubing is just a split ring of pre cut tubing about a half an inch wide. I also use those rings to support the power cable and guide it down the left suspension bar. It isn't perfectly level from the angle bender, but it is close enough. I drilled two holes in the bottom ends of the bars and loop the wire through that to hang the unit. I only did the one set, I would enjoy another try in the future.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:03 AM   #71
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So this is a transition week, getting the correct photoperiod in conjunction with adjustments to the filtration system, and CO2 has been tweaked to go optimal. This adjustment period is part of the game, and may be interesting to those running high tech systems. The HC was showing slow growth and very little pearling, with the top on, and my testing was showing a fairly marked increase of nitrates over the week, especially when compared to my other tanks rate of uptake. (I do a lot of dip strip testing, while notoriously inaccurate, they can be great if used for recognizing general trends, if used frequently.) This made me feel that either light, CO2 or both were inadequate. My drop checker was barely in the green, more like aqua blue.

As in the previous photo's, I have raised the light about 15" above the substrate (lowering potential light) and have decided to remove the top during the lighted period to increase the overall level of light a bit. The top, especially with the condensation levels, dramatically reduces light levels in the tank, beyond what I expected. On a whole, I would guess it proved to be about a 10% increase in overall light. (I don't own a PAR meter, but by playing around with an SLR you can do a halfway decent impersonation) I kept the length of the photoperiod the same, we'll see if any additional adjustments are necessary.

After raising the light levels and removing the top, I began to work on the low CO2 levels in the drop checker. I wasn't getting much beyond blue, even with a really high (3 plus BPS) injection rate. I grabbed a spare drop checker to confirm the first and fresh solution. Still low. Previously I had run an inline Atomic CO2 injector, and when I had ridiculously high flows, I was quite capable of increasing the rate of injection to whatever level I desired, even to lethal levels when I screwed up. With the ista reactor, I can't just jam it to insane levels, so I went to fixing the off gassing the other way- slow the flow. Fortunately, the 2026 is adjustable. I reduced the flow about 20% and suddenly the green was quick and easy. Pearling started almost instantly. After these adjustments, the growth has dramatically increased to nearly double previous rates. In my dream world I would have a smaller version of a 2074 filter, with a day/night schedule that would automatically switch from a low flow, high CO2 daytime schedule to high flow, high aeration levels at night. Less garbage to rig, more safe and efficient for the livestock.

I am still replacing the top before I crash at night, and have kept the aeration up. I added a school of good old neon tetras to the mix. Kinda boring, but the tank needed some life in it. Until I get everything stabilized to my satisfaction, fancier or pickier fish are simply a bad investment. They are still sulking at the bottom of the tank, but should get active after a day or two. Still no algae, still no brown out from emersed growth period. It will be ready to show you all in a few days. This is the clearest water I have ever managed to maintain in a tank, it is airy to say the least.

Current stats
Photoperiod 8 hrs
CO2 2BPS 8hrs -1 off lights
Aeration 16 hours
PH 6.2 (7.6 tap)
Hardness GH ~ 75ppm
KH~120ppm
nitrate ~ 30ppm

Values approximate due to test strips, once nitrite is out of the mix, I prefer quick testing frequently, to accurate testing the doesn't encourage me to do it frequently. At some point in the near future, I hope to get a hold of a TDS meter to make accurate quick testing a reality for me. The new amazonia is buffering extremely well, and it will interesting to see how it maintains.

The top will be a bit of an issue, I don't believe that I can maintain "high light" with it on, but I like the reduced evaporation and the slightly reduced risk of escapees. It will make leaving the tank for lengths of time much easier, as I usually reduce the photoperiod for fishing absences, as my lovely wife is not quite as diligent in regards to maintenance as I am, and I frankly don't enjoy imposing on others the fairly strict schedule of ferts and so on. It is easier to leave high tech systems if you have a "low" setting that does not require the full attention of the aquarist (or bothering to get others up to speed on the arrangements.)

Anyways, I hope you find these ramblings useful. When I got started I followed a variety of journals to see what other folks did to to be successful with planted tanks and I like trying to return the favor.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:22 AM   #72
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Enough jabbering, pictures!









I am still a lousy photog, the lens I am using is more of a landscape type, definitely not a macro piece. My skills and excuses aside, the tank is doing exactly what is supposed to do: grow in, not be algae ridden, didn't brown out and look healthy and vibrant. Algae has been a non starter. No brown out period from the emersed growth period. The rate of growth has been extremely rapid. I have done a fair amount of trimming the HC, and replanting the clippings, but very soon I will be trimming for profit The Belem is still staying pretty low since the initial trim, but the shoots are starting get a bit taller now. I did a pretty severe haircut on it early and it has spread horizontally far more aggressively than growing vertically.

The neon tetras sulk when the light is on. I have had them a week now- slow adjusters apparently. I may move my robust Espei's from the cube into the Gate to try to get high riders into the mix. I am being really picky, and its not their fault its bright

Let me know what you think.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:05 AM   #73
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Just dropped in to check on your tank--it's looking seriously great! I like the shots that include the suspended lighting, it's sort of like going backstage in the production. I do admire that light fixture...

So Neons not Rummies. OK, I hope they stop their sulking, they can be quite pouty and lazy despite their reputation.

I haven't launched my own GLA yet, but I love watching yours-thanks for all the posts and pics!

sox
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:39 AM   #74
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Thanks for the kind words.

I kinda impulse purchased the neons. They may get more active soon, but if they don't, relocation may be in order. My LFS has alway been quite accommodating and if they don't get happy, I may do a little swapping. I may go back to the original rummy plan or I may pick up more Espei rasbora. (they could be trigonostra or what ever cousin species) as they are beautiful and bulletproof fish. Rummynose are anything but bullet proof, but at least they move and are far tighter schoolers than espei's.

The trimming on this tank is bound to be a chore, as I really hope to keep the HC LOW, without it floating out of the substrate. I know that proper
maintenance through trimming is really important with HC, and on my initial attempt with it failed a few years ago because of the "trim it and maybe it will die off fear" but this time around I plan on being at bit more proactive.

I am curious how tall the DHG "Belem" will grow in relation to the current 1"- 1 1/2" height? I have grown DHG before, but I have no idea what strain it was- it was significantly darker, but a lot taller. It is a pretty aggressive runner and I am not certain how aggressively I wish to control it in the scape. Should I keep the foreground pure HC, mid ground mixed, and DHG primarily background? Or keep th DHG locked into the background only? Hmmm. Let me know what you think.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:07 PM   #75
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I am curious what I should do in the next trim. Any advice?
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