Complexity Journal: 75g "High Tech" Planted Tank / New pics 8-24-2012! - Page 3
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:30 AM   #31
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Hanging lights:

In this thread, it shows how I'm using retractable brackets to create a place to hang my TEK light fixture from the canopy lid so I can get the lights out of the way, but still have light shining in the tank when I'm working on it.

This was my own design, and whether it works or not, I'm proud of it. It took a lot of searching and thinking to finally come up with a way to do this. I didn't even know these kinds of brackets existed!

In this thread, I'm trying to find the best method of supporting the lid open to carry the weight of the lights.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/eq...pport-diy.html

I just posted the thread so no replies yet. But there are pictures of the design if anyone wants to see. I'll copy the pictures over here once I finish with the lid support. That way, it'll all be in this single thread.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:48 AM   #32
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Very cool how you have hung your light. So how are your lights hanging when the canopy is closed? Are they just up against the top of the wood?

Surely some of those hinges on your link will work. It reminds me of the ones that hold up the SUV tailgates. I'm sure some can take quite a bit of weight.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:53 AM   #33
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I'm sure some of the hinges will work, too, but I just don't know which ones. And no way am I risking my TEK fixture and bulbs (not to mention glass all in my tank) to test out the wrong ones.

When I'm not working on the tank, the lights will be removed from the hanging brackets and placed inside my canopy where I have put braces to hold it in place. The hanging brackets on the canopy lid will be closed, and I have some strips of velcro to keep them from opening up accidentally when I lift the lid.

So I will be literally moving the lights from resting inside the canopy to hanging off of the brackets.
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:23 PM   #34
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Finally, pictures!

This shows the whole setup together. The color of the wood is much more true in these pictures. It's a beautiful red mahogany stain on oak. I love the rich red color!



You can see the box for my Rena XP4 that I just installed! I still have a few things out of place as I work on getting the CO2, lights and other hardware matters taken care of.

So far, the CO2 is running well (just a few bubbles coming out). I'm using my TEK fixture with only two bulbs running (makes it 1.44wpg which is still pretty low/med lighting). And my ferts should be arriving today or maybe tomorrow.



If you look at the bottom right corner, you'll see my mess of electrical cords. This is why I really need to do something about this. At first, I had the power strips further away which seemed okay, but as I added more stuff, not only did I fill up the power strips, but the cords were too short to allow me to keep them far enough away to make them safe. I even have one power strip on the floor! Bad idea. Hopefully, with Biscuit's help, this can be made much more safe.



Ah, the "drag and drop" method of aquascaping! Yes, this is a total mess. There is absolutely no scaping done at all. Looking closely, you'll see plants still in their pots, one is turned over sideways, one plant is floating upside down, lots of stems floating wherever, with leaves caught in my filter strainer! I created a holding container for my riccia so it wouldn't overtake my entire tank (that's the big square thing floating on the left side).

Caves of all sorts are strewn about. I hadn't planned to get my pelvicachromis (kribs) when I did so I didn't have time to make nice caves for them. Instead, I took everything I had on hand that could be considered a cave and dropped it all in. So there are some lace rock caves, some caves made by placing plants tied to holy rocks together, some plain clay pots and lots of pvc pipes. Not very pretty, but they serve the function intended.



And a close up of the tank itself. What a mess!

Trying to switch from low tech to high tech is a bit of a challenge so I've trying to get a number of plants that can handle both environments, mainly java ferns and anubias. Plus, I want them to serve as basic green low maintenance plants that will then let the more high maintenance, more colorful stems take front stage. Being a regular gardener, I guess these are the shrubs, and the stems will be the centerpiece plants. At least that's the idea.



I have some more pictures to post a little later. They're more of the fish themselves. I'm not a great photographer and I have a very old camera, but I did my best. So more pictures coming soon!
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:13 PM   #35
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I think it looks great... the stand and canopy are beautiful.. good job! I know that the pipes are for the kribs to hide and spawn in.. but I personally think that the clutter up the tank.. wish there were a different way to do it. but looks great!
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:33 PM   #36
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Oh, no, no, no... those pvc pipes are only temporary. I stuck them in there because that's what I had on hand when I came home with my 3 pairs of Pelvicachromis. While the kribs were being drip acclimated, I grabbed everything I had that I knew could work as temporary caves and just threw it all into the tank.

I may keep the pvc pipes later, but only if I can camouflage them using the waterfall foam. Otherwise, they're outta there. But they do make great caves for fish in either Q/T or H/T. I had them for when I got my dwarf chain loaches in Q/T. So I'll keep some just as they are in storage for the next time I have a need for quick caves.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:34 AM   #37
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Your plants look so healthy! Your fish look so happy! Looks pretty nice to be such a mess!! Work on girl!
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:03 PM   #38
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Finally got my fertilizers today! That's the last piece of the 3-way balance puzzle (light, plants and ferts). So it's time for a 50% water change, a bit of a clean up for floating plants that didn't make it, and then my first time to add ferts!

I'm starting out using the method suggested in the first post of this thread.

I'm only running 2 of the 4 bulbs from my TEK lights. That is 108 watts of light, giving me a nice medium range of 1.44 wpg. I'm running my lights for 12 hours 9am to 9pm which I may have to change as I go. But with the low wpg, I'm hoping to do okay. As I continue with ferts, I'll start using my other 2 bulbs as "noon bursts" of sorts until I get the balance I want of enough light to enjoy some kind of front carpeting plant and red colored leaves, but still have at least 2 bulbs running long enough for me to truly enjoy the tank.

Most of the plants I have in the tank right now are slow growing, low light plants: java ferns, anubias and crypts. As I gradually add more lighting, I'll get a bunch of hornwort to help me through the conversion until I get some real stems in there.

Here's the fertilization schedule I'm planning on trying to get me started:

Friday:
Trim, clean up
50% water change

Friday, Sunday and Tuesday (all added dry straight into the tank):
3/4 tsp KN03 Potassium Nitrate (to dose Nitrate)
3/16 tsp KH2P04 Mono Potassium Phosphate (to dose Phosphorus)
1/4 tsp K2S04 Potassium Sulfate (to dose Potassium without Nitrogen or Phosphorus)

Saturday, Monday, Wednesday (premixed with water):
3/16 tsp CSM+B (to dose Trace elements)

Thursday:
nothing or maybe some trimming/clean up to prepare for Friday.

I may switch my days around as I go, but this is where I'll start.

At this time, I'm basically algae free. There's a little algae on the bottom of the front glass, could be diatoms. Most plants are doing well, but I have some anubias with yellow/melting leaves. Some vals need he tips trimmed from melting. Amazingly, my new crypts are not melting.

So today is DAY 1 of my first time using dry ferts! I hope this goes well!
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:13 PM   #39
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Everything looks nice!
Great job!!
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:01 PM   #40
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Very Nice!
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:04 PM   #41
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Looks really good
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:37 PM   #42
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Cant wait to see how things grow out. Looking good!
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:31 PM   #43
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Looking awesome!
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:03 AM   #44
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Thanks for the nice comments! I spent the entire weekend breaking my back by yanking out everything and trying to move things around to give it some sort of order that maybe, kind of looked like a scape.

Well, things were going okay at first.

But then I had to figure out what to do with this plant.

And this one, too.

And, oh yeah, those need to be tied to driftwood (gets out driftwood, fumbles to find suitable pieces, none found, get saw, starting cutting), tying to driftwood, but they won't stay where I want them, get anchors to weight them down.

Think I'm about to see the end when I remembered those plants over there in the bucket. They have to be planted or they'll die.

And, oh no, I totally forgot about those other plants! Where can I fit them in?

And, great, I completely forgot about that moss. Need to tie it down to something (rummages for driftwood, finds crazy piece, yeah, that'll work). Cleans out moss, gets wet tying it down, need a weight to hold it down.

Well, while I'm at it, I'd better get those floating plants planted. Now where can I put those?

And on and on and on....

You get the idea. My back is killing me. I've trimmed up every plant to remove dead and dying leaves, only to find more coming up just a day later. Not good. But I think most plants will make it.

I finally added my first ferts on Sunday! Now I have to figure out how to mix the trace ferts for tomorrow. So at least I have most of the plants actually planted (I still have some floaters in my 20L that I need to plant along with some crypt that's growing like crazy in that tank).

One thing I have learned for sure. I need a taller ladder. My 3 step ladder just isn't tall enough. It's not easy to reach all the way into that tank!

I'll try to grab a picture of the tank as it is now, but keep in mind that my goal right now is to try to keep the plants alive, and as I ran into problems trying to scape the tank, I kept having problems with adding plants from all kinds of sources that I've been using to hold the plants. And even with all I've put in, I suddenly remembered yet another group of plants in my Q/T tank. They're tall and fast growing so they need to be in the back, but where?

What a mess!
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90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:57 AM   #45
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Hey Vicki, have you seen these? http://www.rosenthalpottery.com/

I just ran across this site and immediately thought of you...
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