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post #74 of (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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First, here's a picture for @JJ09, the consistent fan of my tank's more ..err.. overgrown looks . It's the view from the left most side glass. If you look close enough, you can see what my "mass" of stuff hides. A super useful as heck sponge pre-filter. I got it back in the day with dreams of having shrimp in this tank. They never really survived for whatever reason so now what it affords me is the ability to practically ignore my cleaning my fluval 206 canister -- and yet another bad, lazy habit.

Next up, I did not know vallisneria can flower. After all these years, this popped up out of the blue. Wasn't even sure what it was. I'm there topping off the water and suddenly I notice this odd runner across the surface. I think, huh... I don't recall an odd leaf like this and I swore I just trimmed the Vals not too long ago. These things really shoot up. So as I go to remove it, I see this on the end, along with one spent bulb and one to come. They only seemed to last a day and I'm glad I got to see it as I already missed the first one.

And here's the tank as of yesterday's wild "guidance" trim.

If you're noticing that the images seems a little bit clearer than previous ones, your eyes do not deceive you. For the first time, I'm doing "post-processing" in my pictures. I was always a fan of what the camera can capture -- partly because I'm stubborn about using the camera to get the shot I want and I feel a little bit of cheating when I digitally create what I want. Perhaps misguided as the camera itself is digital and well, it probably does a bunch of processing itself. They teach you in operating systems (for IT guys) that software=hardware so, ehh, I've decided to revisit my earlier convictions. And the other "real" reason is that I suck at photoshop Just too lazy to figure things out, load it in, mess with it and then save proper copies. Well, enter google photo's new editing feature for dummies. I was trying to do some simple brightness adjustments, and I accidentally discover the POP feature.

As google defines it, the pop feature enhances color more against grey backgrounds. I don't know truly how the algorithm works, but it definitely looks awesome to my eyes. As you can see in the above pic, I promise that I only turned up the pop and didn't add color. I thought about adding color, but that seemed too blatant

Also, the pic was taken with a different camera, my Galaxy S9, which I realize seems to go a little too bright by default (and probably does a ton of processing --hence my rethinking mentioned earlier). However, I suspect its small sensor compared to my old Lumix GF3 is allowing it to take pics at a much lower ISO setting with ease and getting clearer details - like individual hairgrass blades and moss stems. Maybe I'll be embracing it more for future pics. I hate to admit it, but I simply don't have the talent or my old m4/3 setup just can't get a better pic. I did a side by side yesterday of this shot and the GS9 shot won out for this posting. Maybe I've finally outgrown that camera.

Anyway, enough rambling about pics.. about the trimmings,

The ludwigia red in the back was hacked off real low because I didn't like how I did it last time. The splitting of the stems was a bit too high and started to show its awkwardness above the midground plants. Now, you can barely see them and hopefully the new shoots will be hidden behind the lobelia cardinalis. Monte carlo is spreading on the left side to form up that carpet that I was hoping to fill up on the front. Amazing how such a small change tidies up the cohesiveness of the whole look. Perhaps it's partly because everyone does it or because its the "proper" thing to do, but yea, it definitely looks right now instead of the previous blocky transitions against the glass that I had between the different carpet types.

The left side, as I mentioned in the last update, is now comprised of two driftwood chunks and as I've sort of bridged them up, I noticed that it sort of formed a cave. I decided to embrace it and cleared up more moss in that hole and tidied up the windelov to all go upwards in a more uniform look. That gaping cave also conveniently leads straight to the filter intake behind it so no doubt that has improved the flow in this tank a bit. No takers fish wise though. They don't seem interested in it at all.

Everything else, I'm just trying to keep them up with a modicum of health so that they can survive trimmings and my continued "lax" treatment. Fingers crossed!

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Last edited by ipkiss; 07-29-2018 at 03:00 PM. Reason: spacing
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