46 Gallon Planted Journal(updated pics finally! 8/3 :)
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Old 01-02-2006, 02:24 AM   #1
organic sideburns
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46 Gallon Planted Journal(updated pics finally! 8/3 :)


Hey guys, I guess since I got a new digi camera for Christmas I thought I may as well start a log on my ever changing 46 gal planted tank..
It has been set up for close to 6 months..I have 110 watts over the tank right now but I may upgrade if I decide to go pressurized with c02..Any thoughts?..Heres a pic of the tank a week before christmas...



As you can see its okay looking but not that great..I think of my self as a preety good aquascaper but I have had problems with this tank (I have or have had over 10 tanks over the last few years set up)... I think a few things I could do to make this tank look better is...:

1.)Clean the algae off my glass which has been there since I set it up so its just old algae ( I dont have any algae outbursts anymore..knock on wood)

2.)Buy new bulbs..I was thinking just replacing my bulbs with 2 55 watt 6700 K. straight pinned compact flourescent bulbs off of any website (links appreciated!..)..I think my tank has a boring yellowish tint as of right now and I would like a cleaner light that shows off the lights and darks of my green plants (Wisteria,java fern/moss, etc.)

3.) I dont know maybe you guys can give me some more suggestions on what I could do to make my tank look better..

Heres an updated pic of my tank ( I took it tonight accualy..)





..As you may noticed the tank has changed a little bit..I bought 3 small pieces of drift wood and placed them in the middle of the tank and attached java fern and java moss to it.. and added 6 stems of wisteria to the right side of the tank..I looove java fern/moss, anubias, some crypts, and even wisteria which is really good because they are all low light plants so I am thinking that it may be easier to keep the tank low light.. and just add tons of java ferns in the middle and wisteria on both sides and it may look really good if I can pull it off right..

Ps: Please excuse the stupid water level line on the pics and the algae thats on the glass the next pic/s will be better I promise!..Any tips on making the pics look better? I am using a Nikon cool pix 7600 and I still manage to take crappy pics..I have tried lots of diff. settings changing the white balance, shutter speed, aperture settings etc. but I still can't take very good pics and I am preety frustrated because I just got this camera..Thanks again!! I hope with the help of you guys I can make my tank look alot better!
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:33 AM   #2
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Hi sideburns,

Nice to see you're starting a journal. Good start.

Taking better photos:
- make sure the room is dark, and adjacent rooms are not creating glare on the tank.
- make sure the flash is off
- set camera to shutter priority setting (usually called mode "S")
- set shutter speed to 1/10-1/50 second (play with it and find the best)
- use a tripod, or some kind of stable setting
- use timer to ensure that your pressing the button doen't blur the photo

Because you are using longer exposure times, capturing quality fish photos will be difficult. Also these longer exposure times require the camera to hold very still.

If you're looking for new lights, I buy all of mine from hellolights.com and aqariumplants.com. For some reason, aquariumplants always has the best price. They sell JBJ (strait pin) lights. Very very bright and white (especially for the first few months)

As far as your layout and plant selection, I think you just need to give the tank some time for now, and allow your plants to grow. When things start to get crowded, then you can decide what should go and what should stay. But, you'll need lots of healthy growth to get a hold on the algae/diatoms.

Are you using any CO2?
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Old 01-02-2006, 03:59 AM   #3
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No c02 ATM..Well, I am dosing flourish if that counts lol..I am going to set up DIY c02 right now because with my easy plants I dont feel I need to go pressurized right now..( I know pressurized c02 couldnt hurt, but I really dont want to deal with all of that right now so I am going with DIY)

Thanks for the quick reply also! I am very grateful for that..More photos to come..Once I can take better pics probaly some time next week.
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Old 01-02-2006, 09:37 PM   #4
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2 things I want to ask.. I have a penguin 150 bio wheel filter on the tank and I am adding flourish excel ferts and I was wondering if the carbon in the filter cleans all the ferts (impurities) out of the tank or not.. Because I would hate to know that all the ferts I have been using so far were a waste..

And also, I think I am going to start DIY yeast c02 tonight because I have a Hagen bubble ladder and tubing and an empty Juice bottle and I was wondering if I should take out the bio-wheel or take out the whole filter when I start injecting c02 because I heard that bio-wheels are bad for tanks with c02..?
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Old 01-03-2006, 01:13 AM   #5
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Carbon will remove most organics and ions - so yes, if it's in the water, it's being tied up by the carbon. However, the carbon can only tie up so much, so if it's been in the filter for a month or two, chances are that all the carbon is no longer active. For most cases, carbon is not beneficial to a planted tank. Carbon performs similar functions to live plants. Carbon is what you need to use in the absence of plants. Also, be aware that the biowheel on that penguin will work to remove CO2 from your water. Any/all interaction between air and water helps to exhaust CO2. You might consider taking the biowheel off, so long as your fish load isn't too high and your plants are healthy. When I (briefly) used penguin filters on planted tanks, I would not use the prefabricated filter inserts. Rather, I just used foam inserts (not made by marineland - needed a bit of DIY) instead.
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Old 01-03-2006, 02:35 AM   #6
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unirdna, I will take out the bio-wheel and insert foam inserts and a sponge also..Thanks for the help I appreciate it!..Heres an updated pic of the tank..I cleaned all the algae off the glass and spreaded the water sprite so it covers more than just the right side and I also took out the smaller middle piece of driftwood and bunched the java fern closer together and I like the overall look better than the last pics I took so thats good.. I am ordering 1 6700 K bulb right now to mix with my already used 9000 K bulb and I think it will give the tank a better overall color..I am also going to start DIY c02 most likely tomrow or sometime this week when I get around to it..Tell me what you guys think of the tank!..:



Heres a really neat shot of my female golden wonder killi turning to me..:



And another shot of my male killi (top fish) and a smaller female killi (bellow the male)..:




Heres my lighting set up so you guys can see what I am using (2 straightpinned 55 watt compact flourescent).. I think somewhere in the 9600 K. range and I am going to change one of the bulbs with a 6700 K. bulb ( you think that would look good??)..

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Old 01-03-2006, 12:29 PM   #7
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great lookin tank! gotta love the buta in there just sitting amongst the plants

that is a really cool shot of your killi makes her look like an arrowana almost...

great tank hope to see more shots in future!

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Old 01-03-2006, 12:35 PM   #8
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Hey that's nice work in a short amount of time!! That thing is going to be a jungle in a matter of time...especially the right side CO2 will definitely help once you get that going.
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Old 01-03-2006, 01:13 PM   #9
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Is that a Buddha statue on the right hand side? I like it whatever it is...one comment I was thinking of was that the tank seems too centered now, the driftwood and java fern create a real centerpiece which draws your eyes immediately to the center, and leaves the sides feeling kind of weak...do you know what I mean? Great looking tank otherwise!
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Old 01-03-2006, 07:51 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies.. Fish newb, I agree it does look like an arrowana!(about 25 times smaller tho).. I will be updating pics of my tank since I finally got my own digi camera!

bhare, I completley agree that the tank is too centered now with the driftwood set up so I am going to attempt to move it a little to the side.. Thanks for the tip my tank is going to start looking better and better with all your help guys!..I am setting up c02 today and I am also going out to Pet Co and Petsmart to spend both 25 $ gift cards I have so I will update pics once the c02 is set up with more plants and with the wood moved..Check my log out later tonight..
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:18 AM   #11
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Da da da dumm..I have permission from my mom, and I am ordering THIS in about 30 mins..

http://www.aquabuys.com/miva/merchan...roduct_Count=0

Tho I might order this since its on sale and everything..What do you guys think..Order the aquabuys one or the Dr.FosterSmith one??..

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113779

I am also ordering more light since I will have pressurized c02 and everything!.. Heres the lighting I am going to order..I will place it on the front of my canopy so the bow of the tank will finally get some light!..What do you guys think? ( good idea or no?)..

http://www.aquatraders.com/index.asp...PROD&ProdID=23
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Old 01-05-2006, 02:42 AM   #12
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Heres a rough drawing of what I may try to plan when I get my c02 and lighting set up.. I want riccia in the front as the main carpet.. and Dwarf hairgrass maybe on both sides..Then move the driftwood to the left so the tank isnt too centered and then pic some more tall background plants because all I am using now is water sprite and red ludwiga soo any ideas on some plants I could try?..Comments welcome because I want to do this right!...:



What you guys think..Not much thought has been put into this new aquascpae as it is just a rough sketch and its also late and I need to go to bed so I will do more research tomorow..Just want to get you guys thoughts on what my new aquascape should be..( plants and hardscape ideas)
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Old 01-05-2006, 12:55 PM   #13
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I can not comment on the CO2 stuff because that is not my expertise (I only have a 10G tank), good luck with whatever you choose. As far as the design I think you should move the driftwood to the left and also reduce the number of those large rocks. Right now when I look at your last picture, the order in which I see things: 1) centered driftwood/fern 2) large rocks 3) Buddha 4) everything else. I remember reading that one of Amano's principals with rocks is always conceal your intentions, don't let them stick out too much. And also, I hate to say it, I love the Buddha, but we all reach a point when we have to remove such things from our tanks because they ultimately distract from the natural look of the tank (I know because I had to remove one of my sunken ships from my tank! ) I guess its a matter of personel taste, so really its up to you, good luck
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Old 01-05-2006, 02:34 PM   #14
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Nice looking tank, I can see you closely followed unirdna's photo advice. The pics look 100% better! Agreed that the driftwood setup should be placed at a ratio of 2/3-1/3, not right in the center. This would be easy enough, and you'd be surprised at how different the tank will feel. I like the buddha.

As far as your planned layout of DH and riccia . . . try again to follow the 2/3-1/3 rule. For example, I would try something like this:
http://www.ernestjohn.com/images/fis...-06fish004.jpg
It just seems less symmetrical.
Also, if I were you i'd try to get 3 sections: fore, mid, and back grounds. the watersprite and ludwigia are great for midgrounds, but try for some contrasting and taller backgrounds!
Looks great, keep it up.

EDIT: I have the milwaukee regulator (same as the aquatraders.com one above) and i love it. been running for 2 weeks, and no problems. If you want the extra timer, then maybe go with DRSFOSTERSMITH, it also has the tubing. But if you don't need these items, stick withteh aquatraders. Also, will that light fixture FIT under your hood?? i've never had a bowfront, so no experience there
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Old 01-05-2006, 09:37 PM   #15
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Bhare..Thanks for the comment and I agree that there are too many rocks and that they are too noticeable and I will take a good amount of them out and hopefully grow some moss over it but I first have to find some moss ( either Christmas or Taiwan moss)..And I like the buddha but I know that I may have to take it out unless I can find a way to have it less noticable but still is there to do its purpose( I have the buddha there to give the tank a peaceful, calm feeling)...




Esarkipato..Thanks a whole bunch for that reply!..Some great advice there my friend..I also really appreciate that rough sketch you made for me thats awesome and I like your sketch better than mine..I agree with everything you said and I am going to look up some plants for the idea of the 3 sections like you said (wisteria in middle and a taller background plant will look soo much better)..

I will update pics once my lighting and c02 is set up hopefully late next week when it all arrives (plus I gotta get a c02 tank! doh'!)..BTW, the light hood I ordered is 24 inches long and 5 inches wide and I measeured the lid part of my canopy and the lighting hood will fit perfectly on the front of the canopy so I will have around 3.7 WPG and I can finally try to grow riccia!..Good stuff good stuff...
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