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Old 09-20-2013, 05:08 AM   #1
Luminescent
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Sleeping Beauty Castle


Album is here.

Sept. 8, 2013- just started:



Backlights only:



Sept. 26, 2013 - New plants and filling in:



Just the Backlights on:



The natural iron filings in our soil- what I 'sandwiched' a thin layer of in the substrate. I have not added any iron supplements to the tank at all.:



Hardware:

40 Breeder

Quad Nova Extreme strips with (currently) two 39w 10,000k and two 39w 6500's.

I will be putting one 6500 in place of one of the 10,000k.

Cobalt mj1200 Powerhead fitted into a 8x6x4 pond sponge. Upside down for easy sponge removal- diffuser aimed up (along the back wall) toward the surface for surface flow without surface breaking.

Marineland 600 facing the opposite direction -diy filter attached.

DIY CO2 with the airline into the filter intake under the sponge- gets impeller chopped. 3-4 hrs per day.

Substrate:

10lbs fine lava rock 5 lbs River sand+tiny pebbles from our alpine meadow river (rated 99% drinkable water).
40 lbs Eco-Complete
15lbs Dark Flourite.

About 6 Pantyhose kneehighs filled with:
Eheim Substrat Pro,
small lava gravel
Expanded Clay Balls*

'Stuffed' kneehighs arranged on the bottom of the tank to build up the hill the castle is on, also some partly filled to help hold down the wood. This will hopefully help aerate the bottom strata of substrate since it will be deep in spots, This also is doing a good job stabilizing the hill.

Rocks from our river area.

Locally collected dry mesquite and manzanita.

Plant Food:

Flourish Excel and Flourish Trace plus some crappy offbrand plantfood that came with an order. I'll use that up then switch to Flourish.

Current Plants:

Assorted variety of fast growth starter stem plants.

Some Milfoil/Myriophyllum type from our river. New growth on that is extraordinarily fast - bright green and fluffy.

HC Cuba (Net over pantyhose bag of Eco-Complete- as seen in pics).
Riccia netted to rocks/wood.

Couple of Swords (Rubra and common)

Creeping Jenny

Crypt 'lutea'

Bacopa madagascariensis

Marsilea

H. difformis

Planned Plants:

Bucephalandra trailing down the hill and climbing up a bit into the 'trees'. (ordered 'Kir Adonis' this week)

Various tiny mosses on Castle battlements, walls, wood and rocks. A few tiny braided moss 'vines' wrapping the trees and up the walls - and hanging from the branches. Blepharostoma trichophyllum (mini rose moss, Fissidens to attach to the roof and peaks to make a thatch roof.)

3 Pogostemon helferi. Far right mid-ground.

2 Ludwigia Sunset or Alternatheria r.. Alternatheria seems to have such large leaves, still undecided- want something very magenta.

3 Limnophila sessiliflora

1 Red Lotus

Animals

5 Congo Tetra

Pair German or Electric Blue Rams

6 Pseudomogil Gertrudae - Gold variety (2 males/4 females)

5 (more) Neon Tetra (or Cardinals- depending)

5 Dwarf Corydoras

3 Otocinclus

Possibly some shrimp.

*About expanded clay balls: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expanded_clay_aggregate

Last edited by Luminescent; 10-14-2013 at 04:47 AM.. Reason: Updated
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:12 AM   #2
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Loving this tank! I'm usually not a fan of artificial decor, but that castle fits the vibe of the tank perfectly!!! Also digging the congro tetras, a nice fish you don't see enough.
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:43 AM   #3
laurenjane
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That is so amazing!! Love the driftwood coming in over the castle.. nice. x
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:47 AM   #4
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I like it a lot. It takes guts to mix natural with man made and I think you pulled it off!
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:33 AM   #5
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I can honestly say this is the only tank with plastic decor that I've actually liked. It is simply incredible. Wonderful job!

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Old 09-20-2013, 03:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markahsf View Post
I can honestly say this is the only tank with plastic decor that I've actually liked. It is simply incredible. Wonderful job!

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I agree. It's amazing how great that looks!
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markahsf View Post
I can honestly say this is the only tank with plastic decor that I've actually liked. It is simply incredible. Wonderful job!
+1
Right out of a storybook. Love it.

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Old 09-20-2013, 04:20 PM   #8
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Looks great, love the castle!
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:33 PM   #9
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Awesome awesome awesome.
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markahsf View Post
I can honestly say this is the only tank with plastic decor that I've actually liked. It is simply incredible. Wonderful job!

Sent from my SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 ACTIVE using Tapatalk 2
+1 looks amazing, great job!
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:53 PM   #11
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Thank you all so much. I have been doing natural tanks off and on for 35 years and worked in the business but I was pretty intimidated styling my first 'serious' planted tank. (focused on cichlids and reefs mostly).
My main problem is that I am pretty much away from civilization and no good lfs nearby. So I am having problems getting pogostemon helferi. If anyone knows a source- let me know.

Edit : found a seller!
Thank you!

Last edited by Luminescent; 09-22-2013 at 06:10 AM.. Reason: Dogs
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luminescent View Post
Thank you all so much. I have been doing natural tanks off and on for 35 years and worked in the business but I was pretty intimidated styling my first 'serious' planted tank. (focused on cichlids and reefs mostly).
My main problem is that I am pretty much away from civilization and no good lfs nearby. So I am having problems getting pogostemon helferi. If anyone knows a source- let me know.

Thank you!
Petsmart has some now. At least the one by me.

Nice job on the tank. It's hard to pull off what you did.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:17 PM   #13
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I love it. Looks so dark and sinister.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:47 PM   #14
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Great job, that's awesome!
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:57 PM   #15
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Awesome.
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