50 Gallon Zoomed Lowboy - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
I’ll be critical here and please don’t take it wrong way. It’s constructive criticism.

That fake /forced rock wall arrangement looks more like something that would happen in a industrial office park landscape project than anything that would happen naturally, in nature.

Sorry, does absolutely nothing for me.

That tank has so much promise for emergent rock/wood/plant growth as well depth of field arrangements when viewed from side.
I don't mind it, it's different which may be why I like it. So many beautiful tanks on here, but many have similar looks. That's not a bad thing, but it's kind of nice to see a complete different look every once in awhile.

It does kind of look centered to me, maybe a little more offset?
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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No offense taken. I’m not an artist by any means. Everything I do tends to be leaning towards the symmetric and precise, rather than organic, no matter how hard I try. I was staring at it this morning, and I actually did have a thought that maybe I should re-arrange before I put the soil in. I’ll try it and post.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I re-arranged...it’s more in line with the terraced look I had in mind originally. Once I get the cholla and such in there I think it will be fine. And the extra depth I’ll need with the fluval will hopefully cause it to last longer in regards to buffering since I’m using RO/distilled.
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, and I decided to order a second arm for the light. As it is now, the weight of the light pulls the arm down no matter what I do with adjustments. The tank is just so deep from front to back that the light has to be all the way out at the end to be centered over the tank. I'm hoping the second arm helps distribute the weight so the light stays level over the tank. If not, I've got some DIY in my future.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 09:18 PM
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Offset looks better. Curves always make something more dynamic and interesting to look at.

The symmetry of the design may prove to be very unique when the substrate and plants are added. Even though many try to make their designs as natural as possible, there is nothing inherently wrong with a design that goes against those principles. I like that you are trying something different and seeing where it takes you.

You will need to have alot of plants to make this look good- I think. Different textures, types of green- etc... I can see moss growing on rock, some buce, anubias petite. that would look great. Too little plants and there will not be a contrast of "soft" material (plants) with hard materioal ( rock) to make the design work.

Is this high tech or low? If high tech could grow some hairgrass, baby tears, or other plant to accentuate the terraced effect from one level to the other. on bottom

Just some thoughts---

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Originally Posted by Sub-Mariner View Post
Ok so I re-arranged...it’s more in line with the terraced look I had in mind originally. Once I get the cholla and such in there I think it will be fine. And the extra depth I’ll need with the fluval will hopefully cause it to last longer in regards to buffering since I’m using RO/distilled.
Personally, I wouldn't use any wood, you have enough going on with the rockwork.

But, what does the cholla look like?

My mind can change if it is a certain shape or style?


Edit:
I went back and read earlier posts: no co2. The Cholla wood be nice as a tree on top terrace with some moss on top for shrimp.


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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
Offset looks better. Curves always make something more dynamic and interesting to look at.

The symmetry of the design may prove to be very unique when the substrate and plants are added. Even though many try to make their designs as natural as possible, there is nothing inherently wrong with a design that goes against those principles. I like that you are trying something different and seeing where it takes you.

You will need to have alot of plants to make this look good- I think. Different textures, types of green- etc... I can see moss growing on rock, some buce, anubias petite. that would look great. Too little plants and there will not be a contrast of "soft" material (plants) with hard materioal ( rock) to make the design work.

Is this high tech or low? If high tech could grow some hairgrass, baby tears, or other plant to accentuate the terraced effect from one level to the other. on bottom

Just some thoughts---

Bump:
Personally, I wouldn't use any wood, you have enough going on with the rockwork.

But, what does the cholla look like?

My mind can change if it is a certain shape or style?


Edit:
I went back and read earlier posts: no co2. The Cholla wood be nice as a tree on top terrace with some moss on top for shrimp.

Thanks for the input, Discusluv. I'm still wrestling with the plants. I've got what I think are crypt. undulata from another tank I'm planning on putting in there, and I've never tried subwassertang but I want to try it in the domes and see if I can get something that looks like bushes. I definitely want some moss, just haven't decided what kind. Although I've had several varieties in the past, I never seem to be able to make it look very attractive like many have on this forum...I just don't spend the time trimming, etc. I suppose, and it always ends up looking spindly instead of the nice full frond-like patterns that would be ideal.

I've been examining anubias and buce. I like them both, but I've read elsewhere that anubias may be toxic to shrimp? Still need to read more. Buce looks very attractive, and its another plant that I've never owned.

As for the wood, I've got a cholla log that's in one of my photos. I really like it, and I think its unusual, at least where I am, to find a piece that big or with so many holes. I've got another few smaller pieces I ordered and they should be here tomorrow. I think what I'm going with is a "fallen tree" look. I'd like to make the impression that there was once a tree growing upright, perhaps at the top of the terrace, but then it fell and was overrun by moss or buce, etc. I don't want to put any of the wood in the tank yet though because I don't want to let them absorb the tap water.
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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 11:01 PM
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Ive had moss not do so well for me in the past as well- I hear ya! What I have found is that it does better in cooler water ( below 75 degrees) and with snails and shrimp to clean up the fronds from getting full of algae and debris.
It sounds like this will be primarily a shrimp tank so you should have much better luck with moss now that you will keep temp down and have them to clean up moss.

I have anubias petite in my shrimp tanks. I haven't heard that they are toxic? Hmmm...


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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-20-2019, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Got the second arm in today, it’s up over the tank. I like the extra support and that the light is now more level. I won’t be doing much over the next week due to the holidays. Hope everyone enjoys theirs!
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Soil is in the tank, used about 3.5 bags of FS. The wall ended up being a bit understated, which is fine. The four smaller cholla stumps are in the tank, the long piece is still floating elsewhere so I'm waiting to put it in. I replaced the tap H2O with distilled/RO, and got lazy and left tap in the filter. Immediately after turning the filter back on, my TDS sits at 45-50. I'll check pH and TDS again tomorrow. Ended up with about 35 gallons in the tank, so when I'm closer to actually putting shrimp in, I'll re-mineralize appropriately. The filter should be cycled but I want to get through any ammonia spikes, etc from the FS.
I ordered my plants from a reputable site that I've seen several on this forum recommend. Awaiting subwassertang, christmas moss, crypt wendtii "green gecko", crypt lucens, anubias nana golden, anubias nana petite, and bucephalandra red mini. Some are potted and some are cultures. The sub will go in the domes, and I think I'll stick the moss to portions of the walls and the large piece of cholla when it's in. The buce and anubias will be glued or tied to the smaller pieces of cholla and also to small rocks that I will bury in the substrate.
Finally, please excuse my photo quality. There is a glare I can't escape from a nearby window and I don't own a fancy camera. The water is a bit cloudy from having just filled the tank.
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-31-2019, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Got my plants in yesterday! The highest terrace has the anubias nana golden, with the petite on the middle level with a subb dome. The bottom terrace has red mini with another dome. The “ground level” has both species of crypt, with the lucens in the back and the green gecko coming forward. Last, the log has Christmas moss (rocks temporarily holding down the log) and there is also moss on the middle terrace wall. Thinking I may give the plants a couple weeks to get going, then put in a few amano shrimp to keep the moss clean.

My TDS finally settled right around 100 right before planting. Will do a small water change and top of with RO before I remineralize. Ph check after that.

Opinions welcome.
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-02-2020, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Having issues with pH. I think likely my test is compromised. I have an API freshwater test kit that I bought some time ago for another tank. However, despite everything in the kit being in date (2023 exp), it continues to read that my pH in tank is above 7.6. I also tested a fresh bottle of distilled water and it still reads that high (dark blue). I haven’t used it in a while because I got the other tank zeroed in, so I suppose that it being opened shortened it’s shelf life.
Before I buy a new test kit, has anyone noticed that I’ve done something insanely wrong in the setup? I’ve followed the instructions a zillion times on the test. 3 drops and compare color to chart. And the stratum should be bringing it down to somewhere below 7. Advice?
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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Water Parameter Issues

So I got a new API test kit, still waiting on my GH/KH kit in the mail. I checked the parameters I could (twice) this evening and received some pretty strange results given what I've got in the tank.

RO/Distilled H2O
pH: equal to or less than 6
Ammonia: somewhere between 0.25 and 0.5
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 40-80 (!!!)
TDS: 130
Temp: 72F

I expected the ammonia, as the Stratum has only been in the tank about two weeks. I assumed it would leach some for a while. The TDS is from a bit of tap water still in the canister filter when I swapped the tank over to RO along with some salty shrimp GH+. What surprised me is the nitrate being so high! There are only a few hitchhiking snails in the tank, so I'm sort of at a loss for where it's all coming from.
I planted the tank approximately a week ago, so once they all get going I'm sure this will help with the ammonia and the nitrates. I also have cholla wood in the tank, so I'm sure with (presumably) 0 KH that it is affecting the pH to some degree. The rocks in the tank are inert.

My questions are the following:

1. How long should I expect the ammonia to hang around?
2. Where are the nitrates coming from?
3. Should I be worried about how low my pH appears to be? I'm planning on keeping taiwan bee shrimp and this is concerning. I didn't feel that Stratum would buffer that low.

Barring anyone suggesting I do anything differently, I think I'm going to put some seeded sponge from another tank's filter into this one to get more bacteria going. Perhaps that will help the nitrates. Otherwise, I'm looking for assistance here.
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