Minnesota Waterfall... decorah shale (photo heavy) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Minnesota Waterfall... decorah shale (photo heavy)

Hello all, here I am doing another journal.


I went for a hike in MN- at a local waterfall (we have tons of them here). Decorah Shale in the waterfall/river... I went down the bend, and realized the other side is pure white sand beaches and white sand cliffs with fallen trees adorning the outlet into the Mississippi- so I opted to make a tank after that same setup...


I collected enough decorah shale and tested it (5 gallon bucket, prime, rocks, tested water over and over)
I have a water softener, so from the tap: pH 7.6, KH 5, GH, 3
After letting the rock sit pH 8.0, KH 6, GH 5


Kinda brilliant!


So I purchased a Manzanita wood branch (I know it is not MN- but it makes the design), a 10 gallon rimless tank, lily pipes and a eheim canister filter. I drilled a hole in the desk, made a stand for the canister filter, and pushed everything through. I had to make some serious adjustments to get the pump setup right- I never used a canister filter before, so it was quite the feat for me (terrible arthritis, and even after boiling that tube was a nightmare).


The plan: Low tech 10 gallon, lighting: Chihiros LED Aquatic Lighting lamp Aquarium RGB Light, Full Spectrum for Plant Grow, WRGB Serial with APP Timing Control Sunrise Sunset
Bass: Hybrid endler livebearers
Snails: Nertite snail
Catfish: otto
Crayfish: shrimps (amano and cherry)


Substrate: Eco complete, and a bit of amazonia
Plants: Found mosses I have already had success submerging:

Fern Moss (thuidium deliecotulum)
Babies Tooth (plagiomnium cuspidatum)


Purchased:
Mini dwarf hairgrass
Water sprite
Nana petite anubias
Fissiden fontanus
Pheonix moss
Coral moss

and more to come once I do more research....Ill need suggestions for higher background plants as I want to keep my fry safe


Images of the tank with the tank and filter, and the stones after a good scrubbing. Ill be putting ALL this stone into this 10 gallon...I guess stone is my style, lol. Ill silicone some of it together.... its a super puzzle.



Ill post again in about 48 hours after I have the design
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Last edited by livebearerlove; 04-25-2019 at 02:59 PM. Reason: added substrate choice
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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This is the idea... I will make the rock portion larger- but its a good sketch start. Im so excited! I cant wait for this stone to dry out before silicone!
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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So I steam oven baked the stone up to 500 degrees (extra large ovens with steam setting).
After cooldown, this is what it looked like: lots of color variation... wet and dry. Please excuse my photobombing cat.. she cant help herself.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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OMG. Hooked up the light.... I have full control through my phone.... amazing. I can finally get the light balancing act solved! I am so happy!
I used to relent because the light was not the 'right' color white.... no more! it can be warm light, cold, etc. Im officially in love.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livebearerlove View Post
So I steam oven baked the stone up to 500 degrees (extra large ovens with steam setting).

After cooldown, this is what it looked like: lots of color variation... wet and dry. Please excuse my photobombing cat.. she cant help herself.


Does your wife know you cooked Rock’s in her Miele steam oven?


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 11:48 PM
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Love this idea, and also love the landscape of the upper Midwest.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bunsen Honeydew View Post
Love this idea, and also love the landscape of the upper Midwest.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
Thanks- I should have taken more images while hiking- but I was climbing over these giant drifwood trees- I am going to another waterfall this weekend to find more plants/mosses now that it is finally spring. It will be a bit of a long roadtrip.... but once I gather them, I have a seed sprouter that I put them in (it mists every 30 minutes) for about 7 days- that way I can see if they tolerate that level of moisture before trying to submerge them.


So I finished the hardscaping I think???

ill keep looking at it all day and see if I need to change things up- I put in some extra stone from a separate tank and some plants I had in a jar to get some good bacteria (but they wont be staying in there permanently).



Looks like I had a hitchiker- lol. So I guess he is the first resident. Im dosing ammonia, 1.5ml (per the calculator) a day with the lights off. But this is where I am so far.


So now I have to figure out the plants....
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 11:25 AM
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Out of curiosity, where were you hiking? I took my family on a fall vacation last year visiting waterfalls starting in the twin cities and ending in the porcupine "mountains" in the UP of Michigan. It was great.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunsen Honeydew View Post
Out of curiosity, where were you hiking? I took my family on a fall vacation last year visiting waterfalls starting in the twin cities and ending in the porcupine "mountains" in the UP of Michigan. It was great.

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That trip sounds amazing.... I went to 'shadow falls'/Minnehaha falls (because it is very close to my house), you have to do a bit of climbing to get to the white sand beach... but its well worth the danger to feel that powder sugar sand cliffs and beautiful foliage just starting to sprout up) and Banning state park (much larger waterfall, but lots of trails... I prefer 'off the beaten trail'. Dirt paths that weave along the creeks and rivers... where exposed roots become 'stairs' to assist your journey to waterfalls. Ill be heading up north a bit farther this weekend...


But of course I would never take stones or plants from state parks....
They just happened to fall into my backpack.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:02 PM
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I like Minnehaha falls, but that trip always ends up with my kids trying to talk me into renting one of those pedal cars.

I want to do more hikes like that, I just need to find that balance of when the kids are big enough and still interested in doing such things.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Purchased my first plants for the setup.... I was looking for something that is 'fern like'

Bump: Now I need some upright plants for the back corner.... I will have low-medium light, no CO2 (but I dose excel daily).
I also need to purchase some moss for my wood (thinking pheonix moss), and some mosses for in between the stones(thinking mini christmas moss).
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, second plant order....
So add that to my mosses, guppy grass, anubias (from the other tank) and dwarf hair grass. Im trying to figure out what else I see in the wilderness that I can replicate in this tank. Im huge on bonsai scapes... but I think this is more 'focused' rather than big picture (most of my tanks are big picture...)
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunsen Honeydew View Post
I like Minnehaha falls, but that trip always ends up with my kids trying to talk me into renting one of those pedal cars.

I want to do more hikes like that, I just need to find that balance of when the kids are big enough and still interested in doing such things.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
Minnehaha is a much easier walk/hike. The 'Shadow falls' is really almost rock climbing at times... since we didnt have the kids with us that was fine. Its a bit more treturus, but just amazing if you can make it down and around. But the water levels are so high!


The minnehaha dog park also connects to the coldwater springs (quite a few miles of trails).... it is just amazing (7 minutes from my house so im bias). Its less 'refined' and I love seeing the dogs now and then that are practicing hunting/obedience. They have looks of such grand pleasure!

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Slight modifications to the hardscape... much better. Now for planting:
New plant list....
Found moss........ oodles!!!! lol
foreground:
Mini dwarf hairgrass
Nana petite anubias
Mini christmas moss

Fern like:
Pogostemon Helferi Downoi
Hygrophila pinnatifida

Background/midground:
Water sprite
Baby leaf
Mini coin
Guppy grass (rooted)

Foreground (wood branch)
peacock moss??

I think this is where I want to be.... ?? plants will be delivered in a few days. Ill check back after planting.
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Last edited by livebearerlove; 04-24-2019 at 10:05 PM. Reason: update moss
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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I would like to add some color (red) to the tank. I need it to be pretty compact-
Is there a suggestion for medium light (no CO2)?

Im researching, but cant seem to find a good solution...

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