56G Column Zenscape (low-tech iwagumi style) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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56G Column Zenscape (low-tech iwagumi style)

background - this is the first "big" tank I've ever owned (30"x18"x24"), and it'll also be my first planted tank ever. I've had a couple 10G tanks 8 years ago while I was in college, and I've had an 8G BiOrb for my Betta for the past year.

I recently quit my job and finished my last day at the old company last Thursday, before starting at a different company next Monday (2/28). I wanted to reward myself for this, and also wanted a project that I could start in the week off in between. I wanted something that I could reap long term satisfaction from, and something that would make my home more peaceful. So I decided not to get a fancy watch and go for a fish tank. I have no idea how a fish tank even got into the running, but it did and won out.

So in a quick 5 days, I've spent $700 on tank, stand, halide (which won't even be used), substrate (organic miracle gro potting mix + black gravel + the "dark" flourite), 25lbs of seiryu stone, used fluval g6 filter + parts that were missing, hydor eth300 heater, 10 pots of Lilaeopsis Mauritiana, and a pair of long tweezers. The missing g6 filter parts should get here by EOW, and the flourite as well (just got a delayed shipping notification , was supposed to be here today, 2/23). Hoping the Lilaeopsis gets here Friday too...hoping the G6 works flawlessly...should be a big weekend! I'm nervous about it all coming together w/o any more headaches.

I plan to not bother with Co2 and so i am going with just 'low tech' plants. Aside from the Lilaeopsis, I might do some sort of moss but haven't decided yet. Would be open to suggestions.

So here's where I'm at with my hardscape; rocks came in today and I spent a couple hours playing with the composition.

okay - here we go.

FTS



Looking down from the top right side


from leftish


closeup of the centerpiece


please excuse the dirty glass and the brushes inside i used to landscape with. I'm not quite pleased with the transition from the centerpiece to the ridgeline on the right side, so will play more tomorrow.

Last edited by zenche; 03-03-2011 at 06:29 AM.
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 01:17 PM
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I think it looks great.

I do have one thought to throw out there. Last tank I set up, I put a rock about one inch from the glass, and a week later found out that I couldn't clean the glass in that one spot. Now there is forever something on the glass there until I feel like rearranging the tank It looks like some of yours may be close as well, so it may be something to think about if that could potentially be a pain in the butt later on. But it looks like only at the back so you might not have a problem if it's going to be hidden.

Last edited by Loop; 02-23-2011 at 03:18 PM.
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loop View Post
I do have one thought to throw out there. Last tank I set up, I put a rock about one inch from the glass, and a week later found out that I couldn't clean the glass in that one spot.
I have this same problem with a piece of wood in my 20 Long. Makes me crazy.

Love the scape here though and wouldn't want to disturb it too much.


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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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thanks guys (and gal! just read in bob's 10g betta journal that betta maniac is a lady)! that is good advice that comes with experience when my flourite comes, I'm going to remove one stone, put on flourite, remove another stone, etc - one at a time. when i do that, i'll shift everything forward by a couple inches.

ps. what do you guys use to clean your glass?
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 04:04 PM
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I've got one of the floating magnet cleaners, but I keep forgetting to buy a regular sponge to get some hard to reach places. I have a taped on black background, and I can't use the magnet there without ripping off the tape, so I need something to clean there as well. I would have painted the back glass instead if I had thought of this first.

BTW, I don't have that much experience, just good at making alot of mistakes in the short time I've been in the hobby.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 04:10 PM
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same! it drives me crazy when there is a little spot that cant be cleaned. the scape looks pretty nice though


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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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hrm...as it turns out, i don't think my plants from sweetaquatics will ship until next week from all the reviews I've read, seems like they are slow to process orders/ship, and very slow to respond to any emails. what a bummer.

magnet cleaner - i've never seen/heard one, but the concept intrigues me not sure i'll be able to use it either though...my back glass is covered with "black" window tint from home depot.

I've got one of them long handled sponge things...hopefully that'll be enough.

thanks bob!
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 04:34 PM
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It's called Mag-Float. Two magnets. One side with a scrubber goes inside tank, one soft side for outside of tank. You just hold the outside part and move across the glass pulling the inside magnet with it. I've got a small one for my 29G and it works well. You can find them at most places that sell fish stuff. I've heard not to buy the knock off brands but I don't remember why so I would recommend the "Mag-Float" brand. Small ones are under $10 usually.


Good for quick cleaning when you don't feel like sticking your hand in the tank.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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dunno what that shipping delay was about...the flourite came today. so i adjusted my hardscape while putting in 30 lbs of flourite and an 8.8 lb bag of fluval stratum. once the intake parts come for my G6, I'll fill'r up and start cycling.

should i wait until i'm done cycling before planting? or would it be okay to plant while cycling?

FTS


Closeup on main seiryu


Sideview


as you can see, while adjusting the hardscape i shifted everything closer to the front, so there's a good 2-3 inches from the back now at the closest point. thanks again for saving me from trial and error there!

I'm a little concerned that my plan to use Lilaeopsis Mauritiana for carpeting may not result in what i had in mind...seems like the Lilaeopsis Mauritiana might be too tall. trying to picture infront of my stones..seems like they'll be so tall that my mountains might appear more like hills


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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 01:45 AM
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i would plant before you start the cycling as it will speed things up a bit. i like the scape by the way
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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 02:38 AM
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Looks great!
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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thanks!

I'll wait for the plants then...prolly get here next Thurs/Friday. so prolly no new pics until then.


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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 02:51 AM
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That looks great this way too. You seem to have a talent for putting rocks together or something. I stare at a couple rocks, shifting them around for an hour and never like the way they look. I've never heard of problems planting before cycled. Plants should be fine and I've always heard it helps the cycle along. Wish I could help with your carpet plant, but I don't know about the height of Lilaeopsis Mauritiana. I can make a guess at something to help you though. How much are the stones burried? If they are an inch or two in the substrate, maybe you can lift them out more. It may not have the look that it does now, but once the carpet fills in around it it should give you the same height on the stones you have now with just substrate. I only say this because mine were buried alot because I wanted it to look as if it was part of the ground and not sitting on top, but once some plants started spreading around it, I thought the stones looked too short. Don't blame me if it looks bad though, this is just a suggestion. You seem to be doing good on your own instinct with the scaping.
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 02:59 AM
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A few questions about your scape.

I noticed you are using the Miracle Gro potting soil as a substrate with a flourite cap. Im a little worried about the depth of your soil under the cap. Are you using the soil to build up underneath your hardscape? If so, I would be worried about 2 things.

1. the soil compacting, and causing anaerobic conditions.
2. with that much soil, you may be introducing to many nutrients and this could lead to a massive algae outbreak. You might be able to avoid this by limiting and reducing your lights.

Just a few thoughts for you...


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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 03:02 AM
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other then that, I love the hardscape. I cant wait to see it planted. I have a 56 column I just started up myself ( a week old) and I love it.

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