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Old 04-09-2012, 10:51 PM   #106
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I'm probably going to be scaling it back to weekly updates now that the tank is past the two week point. This week the schedule is water changes every two days, but I upped step 1 to every day, since the HC seems to be responding well. It's looking greener, and the diatoms don't seem to be recolonizing it. The main rock sure does look cool right now though:
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:40 PM   #107
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That algae on the rock looks gorgeous! My absolute favorite part of well-scaped Iwagumi displays.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:48 PM   #108
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Have you considered adding any oto cats to help with algae? I added 5 to my 60cm tank and with the help of 6 amano shrimp, algae on the rocks/glass were long gone.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:19 PM   #109
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I may at some point this week, but I'm hesitant to in such a small tank, especially because I've had some bad luck with otos in the past. I may just get some more amano's and let them do their thing, since I don't particularly care about the rocks.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:39 AM   #110
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Do you want some more HC? I have been passively watching your thread for a while and have a good amount floating in my mini m. They're small pieces maybe .5-1cm long that all would be need to be planted individually, but I should have plenty extra once I trim mine and replant some.

You have a similar scape to mine, so I know how annoying HC can be. I just have a much larger hardscape than I was thinking.

Let me know,
-Andrew
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:17 PM   #111
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I think I'm just going to stubbornly try and stick the algae out with what I have. I may be deluding myself, but I think the HC has finally started to rebound now that the tank is coming into balance, the growth (that survived, sob) is looking pretty healthy and there's been some good root development just in the last week.

Consider this post 1 free coupon to point fingers and laugh at me if the tank takes a dive in a week and all my HC melts off and I end up buying more, though.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:44 AM   #112
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Well, let me know if you end up needing more HC. I know how that is and I wasn't looking at a sale, but just for the cost of shipping

I throw away too many plants these days.

It'll be bouncing back in no time for sure though.

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Old 04-21-2012, 07:46 AM   #113
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Whoa, I hate to make an update without a photo, but adding to the growling list of foolishness associated with this tank, starting it on a Friday was a bad idea. I know that sounds silly, but it's true, Fridays are the busiest days of my week usually, with basically zero time for maintenance, and less time for photos and editing. I think I'm going to go out of my way in the future to set tanks up on a Tuesday, when I have nothing else to do. (Seriously, when was the last time you had plans on a Tuesday?)

Speaking of maintenance, I've been putting off doing my first monthly filter cleaning. Frank advised me to change out the NA Carbon for Bio-Rio this week, but again, I barely had time for a water change. I'll be doing it when I get back first thing, however, since I definitely need to take the opportunity to clean the glassware.

The only major thing of note is that, yes, I finally broke down and added some more HC. I'm going to maintain my resolute stubbornness, and say I didn't really need to, as any residual melt off had basically stopped, and the diatoms have moved on to smoother, glassier pastures, but I was dropping off a job application at a fish store, and I figured I might as well pick up some plants anyway. I also took the opportunity to get a bunch of hair grass to add in behind the main rock(s). It arrived from their supplier as minima (is that even a sp?), very short, an inch and a half tops, but it had apparently started growing in their tanks like belem. TBH, I'm going to be perfectly happy with either growth pattern. Visualizing is great and all, but it really does make a difference to have the actual plant in there to really cement it. I'm going to have to aggressively curb the growth initially to make sure it doesn't out compete the HC.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:33 AM   #114
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I'm going to preface this entire post with the fact that I am about a bottle and a half of wine in, and my opinions may be tainted with liquor, but man do I really hate this tank now.

Nano's are truly the most unforgiving mistress. I've taken refuge lately in the arms of my 40 breeder, a tank with little more than sand and some java fern. It's reached the sublimely blissful stage of bulletproof-ness where you can leave it alone for a good long while, and it's, to continue the weird anthropomorphism I've got going on here, got enough self confidence to carry out without a second thought. It's got it's own life, it's own things to do, it'll survive a month or two without your input.

Nano's are not like that.

Nano's are the demanding girlfriends of the planted tank world. They're the ones who need that daily phone call, have no understanding of "me-time", the ones who wind their way into your very subconscious with their near omnipresence. I wish I was kidding, but I've started having nightmares about this tank crashing.

The problem is, I really suck at relationships. The tank and I have been having a spat for almost three weeks now, and it's kind of at the point where the tank is no longer talking to me, and I've just been pleading with it to tell me what's wrong. It's a freakin' glass box of dirt and water, though, it can't tell me what's wrong. Most of this, nay, all of this have been my own failings, and right now I just need to suck it up, swallow my pride, and work through it. I started with too little plant matter, I added amano's too early*, on top of trying to blunder my way through growing HC, a plant I've had absolutely no experience with.

To go on a tangent of a tangent, however, I did my first monthly filter maintenance on Tuesday. I scraped the glass of algae (o, the algae), cleaned the filter media, replaced the NA Carbon with Bio Rio, switched the filter input/output to the left side, removed algae, water change, replanted, etc, etc, etc. I did not, obviously, clean the pipes, since the ADG order I was planning to make that included a spring washer was delayed because of someone trying to steal my CC number. Ugh.

And it didn't make a darn bit of difference, really. The tank is still mad at me, I'm mad at myself, and now i've gotta give it another month to see if it'll even out and maybe speak to me again.

*The amanos have taken to obsessively cleaning the substrate, to the point of ignoring the plants, which, okay, w/e, the algae isn't terribly bad on the HC at this point, but they've utterly destroyed the slope around my main rock. I'm about to feed these stupid shrimp to my cats, honestly. I've been having to suction the collapsed substrate out, then replace it around the base of the rock, thereby terribly disturbing the HC. I should have waited until the HC had "anchored" the substrate in place, which would have happened if I had started with more HC. It's a vicious cycle, where one mistake only begets more mistakes.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:57 AM   #115
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Drinking red wine and pondering over your tank while the UB-40 "Red wine" music is playing in the background? Who hasn't done that?

I say you just start over, if you're not liking the tank then kick say the hell with it and change it up. I hear you're good with UG, not why just do a carpet of those?
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:13 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingHellFish View Post
Drinking red wine and pondering over your tank while the UB-40 "Red wine" music is playing in the background? Who hasn't done that?

I say you just start over, if you're not liking the tank then kick say the hell with it and change it up. I hear you're good with UG, not why just do a carpet of those?
it was actually Riesling with a fromage blanc cheese plate. There wasn't any soundtrack, but considering my taste in music ranges from Bad to Dubstep, it was probably for the best.

Honestly? I do want to start over. I have somewhat of an obsession with failures, and having a failure on top of a failure on top of a failure building up over the course of this tank annoys me to no end. But I figure it'll be a good life and planted tank lesson to roll with the punches so to speak, and try to rebound from my screw ups. Learning experiences are vastly underrated. And if I can't make it work? Well, hopefully someone will be able to laugh at me, and then learn from my oh-so-lovingly-chronicled mistakes.

Plus I hate UG. I can't stand it. The flowers are gorgeous, but the submersed growth patterns are just so weird and don't particularly work with anything. Amphiron's torn down 2.5 was honestly the only tank I've ever liked UG in. I can afford to admit that since I'm out of the game, right?
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:26 AM   #117
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Seriously? You hate UG? It is a gorgeous plant that is a carnivore, like a femme fatale but with a hint of zombie.

I say throw some Bassnectar songs on ye ol' jukebox and go to town on that tank. Show algae and anything else you don't like who the boss is. Once finish, turn to your other tanks and say "Let that be a lesson to the rest of you .....tanks"
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:39 AM   #118
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Emersed, it's fantastic. It's fascinating, gorgeous, a whole slew of adjectives that are terribly redundant, and the flowers are beautiful. It's been my dream to figure out some way to display the flowering emersed growth for a while, since it's so nice. But submersed, it looses its best qualities and turns into an ungodly, temperamental mess. It gets way too long, the bottom dies out, it's nigh impossible to trim, the roots are so shallow it'll uproot at the blink of an eye... It can be extremely rewarding if you really put the effort into it, and dare I say, get lucky, but I don't have any particular desire to deal with it again after three years of my farm tank.

Plus, it looks terrible with stone. Any stone. That plant is just ... not really suited to Iwagumi at all. It plays much better with driftwood and stems.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:34 PM   #119
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I know what you're going through.

It's a frustration that's not quite describable. It kind of makes you want to throw things out the window, smash expensive objects, so on and so forth.

There's just no way around it being a soul-sucking experience.

But, take it from me: I've been in worse spots and I've had more failures than successes.

In the process of truly learning the planted tank it kind of goes like this:

failure
failure
minor success
failure
somewhat success
failure
failure
kind of good
failure
failure

And then all of a sudden one day you pull together a layout That's just all-star ridden and all the techniques come together and from there on you have some fairly smooth sailing with similar layouts.

Then you get to repeat the process for new layout styles, each time you fail less and less and less and succeed more.

Just for some spot-on inspiration (these are all mine, though some I wish I could not claim) :

Failure:



Somewhat better, but still kind of on fail side of things (first nano) :



Failure, but getting better:



Complete Disaster:



Success:



That turned into sloppy trimming techniques:



Never Saw the Light of Day:



Got a little better at Riccia:



Let's not even talk about this:



And then, it finally kicked:




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Old 04-26-2012, 04:58 PM   #120
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That 60-p is still one of my favorite iwagumis, man. I'm so sad that it got torn down.

Anyway, since the -s and I are having issues, I decided to, er, mess around with scaping the 45-f, my one true tank love.



The plan for this one is simple. Moss on DW, This tank is my inspiration.
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