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Old 03-29-2012, 10:03 PM   #271
Francis Xavier
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Tore down the 60-P today:





(last pictures of this tank up!)

So I have a lot of eleocharis acicularis for sale, completely clean and gorgeous growth:





Must go asap for quality control.

2"x2" squares = $12 shipped

Half of the whole mass = $55 shipped
The whole thing = $100 shipped
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:50 PM   #272
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If I had anywhere to put it, I'd definitely take you up on it since it's planned in my next tank along with some currently undecided foreground. Hopefully we can make some nice plans in the next email. Out of curiosity, why'd the 60P have to come down? Also, I saw the video where you added over 100 amanos to the 60p to combat some green algae. What's the normal name for this algae?
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:59 PM   #273
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What!!! Why tear it down?!?!

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Old 03-30-2012, 12:34 AM   #274
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Great looking tank and the journal's given me all sorts of ideas with how to handle my little tank if ever I need to start it over from scratch (i.e. if I can't fix my current mistakes).

Out of curiosity, how long would you expect the CO2 canister on the Advanced system to last? I'm trying to figure out whether I could get by with a smaller paintball setup or if a 5lb CO2 tank would be the better bet. I've got an 8 gallon tank with 7 hours of light per day from a 13 W compact fluorescent. (It's a Fluval Ebi and will eventually play home to shrimps once the plants grow in healthy enough to provide adequate cover. First tank since I was 10.) It's a little more underplanted than usual right now because I had to heavily trim down the dwarf hygrophila in the back because it had started to rot and lose all its leaves at the base of the stems.

Keep up the great work! Looking forward to see how your nano keeps evolving! And thanks for all the info so far!

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Old 03-30-2012, 01:18 AM   #275
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Get a tower twenty and Ada speed regulator!!! Can't go wrong

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:59 AM   #276
Francis Xavier
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Really quickly:

Here's the water change on Day 13 (or is it 12? Someone count for me).



Pretty beat after we worked to tear down and re do the 60 P in the gallery.

Responses to your great commentary as energy level returns.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:46 PM   #277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMYukonon24s View Post
Nice tank.
Thank you for your kind words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zchauvin View Post
Looking good Frank, I'm suprised riccia grows that fast. Hopefully in 2 weeks mine will be close the same.

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Riccia grows pretty quick. It takes about a week to 'stand up,' then from there it just goes and goes and goes.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:54 PM   #278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freph View Post
If I had anywhere to put it, I'd definitely take you up on it since it's planned in my next tank along with some currently undecided foreground. Hopefully we can make some nice plans in the next email. Out of curiosity, why'd the 60P have to come down? Also, I saw the video where you added over 100 amanos to the 60p to combat some green algae. What's the normal name for this algae?
The algae that came up from that event was the typical algae that Amano's eat, so an aquarium with them in it will rarely ever see it. The reason it even popped up to begin with is I had removed all the Amano's and O-cats from the aquarium and should have increased the Co2 levels in the aquarium since it was fully grown in.

The "Amano bomb," is my impatience with the process of them eating it away, so for about 2 days left them in there and then transferred them out to only keep about 10 Amano's in the tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zchauvin View Post
What!!! Why tear it down?!?!

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New Project! Last night Jeff Senske and I redid the layout inside the 60-P. We took final video cuts of the layout, some final pics, then tore her down.

She had been going strong for about a year, and even survived the Houston drought (which caused severe issues with water quality and lead to the use of nothing but RODI water for Planted Tanks...I'll leave nothing to those conditions of tap again).

We'll show the setup process again, but in this case, you'll have to wait for the play-by-play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeCanuck View Post
Great looking tank and the journal's given me all sorts of ideas with how to handle my little tank if ever I need to start it over from scratch (i.e. if I can't fix my current mistakes).

Out of curiosity, how long would you expect the CO2 canister on the Advanced system to last? I'm trying to figure out whether I could get by with a smaller paintball setup or if a 5lb CO2 tank would be the better bet. I've got an 8 gallon tank with 7 hours of light per day from a 13 W compact fluorescent. (It's a Fluval Ebi and will eventually play home to shrimps once the plants grow in healthy enough to provide adequate cover. First tank since I was 10.) It's a little more underplanted than usual right now because I had to heavily trim down the dwarf hygrophila in the back because it had started to rot and lose all its leaves at the base of the stems.

Keep up the great work! Looking forward to see how your nano keeps evolving! And thanks for all the info so far!

I'm glad you're finding the information valuable!

The Co2 system cartridges on the System 74/YA-2 will last about a 4-5 weeks on an 8 gallon aquarium at 2-3 bps.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:05 PM   #279
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Frank, little off topic, but I think relevant since this thread is in the nano section. There was a discussion in another thread about Nanos vs Large tanks. Unfortunately it was closed, when it got too personal, but it got me thinking. I agree that a nano can be more impressive than a larger tank if done right and I'm sure this tank will fit that description, but I starting thanking about the IAPLC contest. There are very few nanos that rank very high. Almost all of the highest ranking tanks year after year are 3-5 footers. You pretty much never see a Mini S/M rank way up there? What are you thoughts on this? Is there a difference between a tank being impressive and possible limitations to depth, scale, etc come with a small tank? Is probably shouldn't matter since the execution and artistic impression should be king. If you don't want to discuss it here, I can move the post.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:16 PM   #280
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Frank, little off topic, but I think relevant since this thread is in the nano section. There was a discussion in another thread about Nanos vs Large tanks. Unfortunately it was closed, when it got too personal, but it got me thinking. I agree that a nano can be more impressive than a larger tank if done right and I'm sure this tank will fit that description, but I starting thanking about the IAPLC contest. There are very few nanos that rank very high. Almost all of the highest ranking tanks year after year are 3-5 footers. You pretty much never see a Mini S/M rank way up there? What are you thoughts on this? Is there a difference between a tank being impressive and possible limitations to depth, scale, etc come with a small tank? Is probably shouldn't matter since the execution and artistic impression should be king. If you don't want to discuss it here, I can move the post.

Here's the thing: Regardless, at the end of the day size is a function of personal preference. If you like bigger tanks, make a bigger one. If you like a mix, get two, if you like nano's, do nano's.

Size is also a function of practical limitation: if you live in a small apartment like I do, a 6 foot tank just isn't practical. It's also a function of what you can afford: can you afford the $700-800 for a full ADA nano set, or the $14,000 for a full ADA 180-P setup?

The biggest misunderstanding about size is this: bigger is better.

An aquarium is just a glass box.

If you have an 8 foot aquarium, it is not automatically better than a 1 foot aquarium. Having 8 feet of glass does not by itself make your tank cooler.

Individual skill, layout ability, quality tools (the right tool for the right job) and follow-through is the only thing that makes one aquarium better than the other.

If you have a bare 6 foot tank with an asian arowana in it, I am never going to compliment you on how cool your tank is. Because it's not cool. Frankly the tank sucks. The Arowana? Now the Arowana might be awesomely great, and I would, in fact, compliment you on your Arowana.

Before I get into the IAPLC question, I'm going to explain something that might be a bit controversial.

If you take this as a negative, you're completely missing the point:

Let me state again, you need to read this very carefully. Every word. Beginning to end. If you are insulted I'm not going to respond to or support you, so don't bother, because you'll never learn and you'll never get out of your box without a mindset change.

Let's be honest with ourselves. Many of the layouts here are on a novice level. Even if you've been doing the hobby for 10 years, it doesn't mean that you aren't a novice.

When I was an avid video gamer, we had a saying "Noobishness is not a function of time. If you have to ask "so when will I not be a noob," or "why am I a noob," you are going to be a noob for quite a while yet."

We tend to take on a negative connotation of the word "novice." The word feels "icky," doesn't jive with our self perceptions in many cases, and we come up with a litany of excuses to defend ourselves of not being a novice, sometimes we even come up with the most random obscure defenses to attack being called a "novice." Sadly, that's the exact behavior of a novice, and only a novice. Someone who has truly gone on to expert levels and beyond to master, isn't afraid of admitting to not completely knowing everything - they aren't afraid to learn.

So, just because you're a novice, doesn't mean that your layout or plant growing abilities are just completely trash and suck completely. And even if they do horribly "suck," it just means that you're learning. You can, again, reference my first post in this thread to see what I'm talking about.

I would rather associate with someone who has a single sprig of HC, a plug of Lucky Bamboo and a plastic plant in their tank and has the enthusiasm to learn, admit to themselves fault and shows steady improvement (in fact, such a person I would spend as much time as I could with and be happy doing it), over the person who has a half-grown carpet of something, some stems in the back that they farm, and thinks they are just awesome at planted tanks.

The only difference is mindset: one is closed minded, the other is not.

I will bend over backwards for the person who is open to learning. I will not waste a second with the person who bickers more than they learn.

I want to look at TPT and be utterly inspired by other people's works. I get immense enjoyment when someone else produces something awesome.

Unfortunately, being completely honest here, that is really rare. That makes me sad.

Do we encourage each other? Of course, positive reinforcement is great.

This doesn't mean that we attack someone who isn't a master on day one. Or even day 1000. I wasn't a master on day 1. I'm not a master today. I'm a student of the only Planted Aquarium master.

We get in the way of ourselves

Inevitably as we learn the planted tank, at some point we have to believe that it is inherently difficult, and just growing the plant out itself is mastering it.

We grow our first carpet of HC out, hair grass, whatever. And while these are certainly milestones to be proud of, the frank nature of it all is:

It's not nearly as hard we think it is. We're the only ones that complicate things.

Growing plants is easy. Growing plants is only about getting the right basic equipment and waiting. You don't even really need a good fertilizer regime or good habits to simply grow a plant.

To sculpt the plants with the hardscape, and get them to pop vividly and pretty much algae free? Now that's a different beast.

And that's only mastery of three things:

1. Water Change & basic water chemistry
2. Immediate and Ruthless response to anything that threatens the tank's balance (e.g. algae)
3. Techniques (trimming, dosing, planting, etc)

Guess what? The water change part is really, really easy to master. Drain the tank, fill it back up. If you can't do one water change a week, consider another hobby.

The chemistry bit is a little more complex: but just start with RODI and basically add seachem equilibrium or penac w to raise hardness to about 2-3 kH and you're golden. Don't rely on tap water and the water municipalities for your art.

2. Immediate and ruthless response is also easy. It means when you see an issue, you immediately address it. You don't wait til tomorrow, you don't wait til next week. You do it now.

The only learning part is the proper responses to the different type of algaes.

So issues #1 and #2 are 80% about laziness or the lack there of.

#3 - techniques. This is the part that just takes time, experience and duplication of what other successful people do.


So, in the end, to really start learning to master the tank you first:

admit to yourself that your layout is probably between "not so great" and "okay."

Admit to yourself that this is "okay," and has nothing to do with me as a person.

Embrace that to get better, you need to open yourself up to learning the proven techniques, and that it's not hard for you to step up and start mastering the planted tank and have a layout that you -really- love and isn't just "well, okay, the best I can do so it's fine!"

Reinforce: I'm learning. I can do this. There's no significant difference between me and the experts other than time, technique and habit.

Start mastering. Take it in baby-steps. One plant at a time if you have to.

You will get there. You will create an awesomely-insanely-badass-aquascape, and when you do you won't have to delude yourself into excuses.


So start crankin those scapes and flood the forums with awesome journals so I can be inspired.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:04 PM   #281
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In other news, yesterday's daily FTS:

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Old 03-30-2012, 08:07 PM   #282
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Great post Frank. Anyone that aspires to take their planted tanks to another level should read it, probably twice.

Have you given any further thought to IAPLC and nanos?
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:04 PM   #283
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I will read every word of this thread religiously.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:38 PM   #284
Francis Xavier
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Great post Frank. Anyone that aspires to take their planted tanks to another level should read it, probably twice.

Have you given any further thought to IAPLC and nanos?
Here's the thing about IAPLC.

For competition, there is an aspect of scale that's important. Typically either exactly 3 feet or exactly 4 feet is ideal. This in no way prevents tanks of other sizes from competing and placing well, but these are the tank sizes of the winners.

Typically either:

36"x18"x18" (90-P) or 48"x18"x24" (120-H) will have an advantage due to the proportions of the tank being easy to manipulate focal points. The only other larger tank that ideally represents this ratio commercially available would be 6'x2'x2' (180-P)

The other "ideal" proportion tank is 24"x12"x14" (60-P) as it falls in the same category. The Mini M (which is like 12"x8"x10" or there abouts) also falls into this proportion window representing the nano's.

In a competition like the IAPLC, you are competing with other world class aquascapers. This means that the more detail oriented you are, the more precise you are and the more formulaic you are the better you will do. Consequently the more you use the proper tank, the greater your chance by nature of design of the canvas you're using.

Nano's teach you how to be -extremely- detail oriented and are the best tool to be as precise as possible since in order to be successful you need to really be on top of things. Translate this into a larger tank size and you have a winning formula.

The topic of competition aquascaping is a bit of an advanced topic, and has primarily to do with execution of:

1. Technique & Habits
2. Proper plant placement and growth (experience)
3. Proper Tools (tank proportions, not sheer size, etc)
4. Trends

You can't really guess what the big trend will be, so it's best to try to be innovative within the constrains of good design, classic aquascaping basic rules, etc.

Too creative and you'll lose.
Too standard and you'll lose.
Too overgrown you'll lose.
Too undergrown you'll lose.
Too....you see the pattern?

For example, Oliver Knotts' "Avatar" scape, while certainly playful and 'creative,' would never rank highly in the IAPLC.

You want to be "in the box" while simultaneously out of the box.

Following rules does not equate to being in the box. Practicing good technique does not equate to being in the box.

Truly thinking differently is much more subtle. Different isn't inherently better. Different is only better when the default is terribly bad anyway.

Then at the end of the day you have the whims of the judges to contend with. Could be that day they look at your scape they had rotten eggs and were in a bad mood. Could be that day they looked at your scape they had an adrenaline rush of some kind and yours stuck with them. Could also be that they just like your style and don't like other styles.

Also, the top 100 are the only ones actually judged by the judges. The entries are presorted by non-judges, who select the top 100, then the judges review the top 100 for placement. Everything after 100 is more or less placed at random according to some basic rules.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:28 PM   #285
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Frank, excellent thread you've got going. Most of the things discussed are applicable not only to nano's but larger tanks as well. You had mentioned in another thread a while back not needing mechanical media and just going with bio in the filter and then it came up again in this thread so I decided to give it a shot. It works great. The water is still clear and I even have more flow from the canister now that the floss is gone.
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