RoseHawke's 55 Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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RoseHawke's 55 Journal

I like the idea of a sort of an online journal, and I really should have started this some time back so that I could record all of the disasters also. Or maybe not .




I think everybody getting into any hobby is bound to have a few issues as most things are going to have a learning curve of course.

These pictures aren't too good as I'm working with an almost 6 year old little 1.2 megapixel digicam. Hopefully sometime soon I can upgrade that as well.

I don't really have any aquascaping per se in this tank as of yet, as I've been too busy "fighting the good fight" (algae) and just seeing if I could get the stuff to live, and hopefully on the road to actually thriving.

The tank is a standard AGA 55 (48x13x20) with a homemade hood containing the AHS 4x55 compact fluorescent kit. Total of 220 of light. GE 9325 bulbs in the back and 6700 something-or-others (also from AHS) in the front. Although I have a couple of case fans mounted in the hood, I've never wired them up as the water seems to stay at a pretty stable 78*F without any additional cooling. Additional heating is supplied by a Ebo-Jager 150 watt heater, but it seldom comes on. I assume it still works .

Filtration is a Fluval 204 with ceramic rings and polyfiber floss in the baskets.

Substrate is 3-4" of Wal-Mart brand "Special Kitty" kitty litter with about an inch of gravel on top although this has since mixed.

CO2 is pressurized using a Milwaukee valve/controller/bubble counter set-up with the SMS probe. Set to 6.5pH approximately, with a Glass-Gardens external reactor.

Plants are cryptocoryne spiralis; limnophila sessiliflora; alternanthera reineckii; ludwigia repens; rotala indica (rotundifolia); hygrophila spp. and a few anubias of unknown variety.

Fauna at this time is 4 otocinclus catfish; 4 blue rams (3 females, 1 male); 5 cardinal tetras; and 2 american-flag fish, presumably a pair. Also countless pond snails (ecccttthhh .)

Right now I'm planning on tearing down this tank and changing out the substrate to eco-complete some time this summer. While I haven't really had any problems that I can tell with the KL, I don't care for the color and if you really get in there and stir things up you get a "dust" over things that's unsightly when it settles out, although it doesn't take too long to settle.

Slinte!
Cindy



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2wpg CF lighting; pressurized CO2; 18 watt Turbo-twist UVS; Eheim Pro II 2028; eco-complete; 2 Pearl Gouramis; 7 Harlequin Rasboras; 3 Otocinclus catfish

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lo-tech; 1.8 wpg DIY CF light; no CO2; Aquaclear mini; Schultz substrate; java fern; java moss; 7 Neon Tetras; 1 flame dwarf gourami

Last edited by RoseHawke; 02-16-2005 at 01:22 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 02:59 PM
 
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I like it....very peaceful! Thanks for sharing it!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 04:01 PM
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Wow, beautiful! I love to see results like these, and in such a short time!

One suggestion on the kitty litter - when you do water changes, siphon down deep into the gravel and pull up the fine dust, leaving behind the larger chunks of clay. Then slowly add a layer of gravel on top to replace the lost depth. You might be able to avoid having to tear down the whole tank and upset the balance you've worked so hard to create.

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 05:39 PM
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Peaceful was one of the first words that came to my mind also. Well done!!

Brian.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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I do try to vacuum down into the gravel. It'd probably help if I could keep from uprooting and moving stuff , but most of the plants were in such bad shape when I first put them in there that some of them you literally could not tell the difference. I'm trying to at least get everything grouped together now that I can tell what everything is.

I just got out of there and I actually got to prune stuff besides limnophila today ! It wasn't heavy pruning, just snipping a few stray hygrophila stems. I shouldn't be messing with it right at the moment at all, I'm supposed to be doing my stationary 'cycling. Any second now I'll probably start cleaning the house ...

The male and one of the female rams came out while I was pruning to say hello. The cardinals, of course, were not to be seen.

One of those stands of limnophila I'd like to change out for Cabomba. Anything that grows more slowly! Also the balansae (or spiralis ) isn't in a good spot, but I'm not sure what to do with it. I hate to just take it out as the otos like to hang out on it. I just took some crypt or sword or something out of that corner that wasn't doing well, and now I need to put something in that corner to fill up the empty spot over where the intake and probe are. Suggestions?

Slinte!
Cindy



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2wpg CF lighting; pressurized CO2; 18 watt Turbo-twist UVS; Eheim Pro II 2028; eco-complete; 2 Pearl Gouramis; 7 Harlequin Rasboras; 3 Otocinclus catfish

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 05:50 PM
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Very nice indeed. It's a great looking scape.

Currently tankless for the first time in 24 years... Getting the itch again
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 05:57 PM
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On the right side, I'd just let the Ambulia go all the way to the corner. Moving the bunch to the right might open up some room in the middle for something different. Maybe some Hemianthus micranthemoides.
On the left, the crypts should fill that corner in nicely. If not, some giant vals might look neat back there. They've worked well for me in shadowed corners.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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There's no "letting" ambulia do anything ! I've actually been digging it out of that right corner but I guess I can be pretty sure that it's not going any further than the glass, heh.

I actually did run across a tiny little runner from the crypt that was in the alternanthera earlier which I moved back where it's supposed to be. My husband actually told me he wasn't fond of it (the crypt,) but I told him it was probably because there really wasn't enough of it there to make a good grouping. Nice to have a concurring opinion on that. I think I'll just hold steady on it for a while except for tweaking here and there. I do however, want to try some glosso in the front. Just for the halibut (terrible pun, I know, but definitely not original, I swear!)

Slinte!
Cindy



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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 09:03 PM
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It looks wonderful!

There is little I would change! The C. balanase looks fine where it is, and will look better when it fills in. Adding Glosso is a very neat idea. It will green up the foreground and tie things together.

Nice work!

Mike

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, folks, you don't know how good this makes me feel ! I keep looking at everybody's tanks and think "Man, that is awesome! I wish I could get mine like that!" Even though my formal "training" such as it was, was a few semesters as an art studio major in my youth , I've never considered myself particularly creative. More of a "tinkerer" really, I just mess with it 'til I like it. Feedback/critiques are definitely welcome.

I'll have to change that, but the consensus seems to be now that the plant in the corner is cryptocoryne spiralis. There are some very good pix of the two over at plantgeek.com and after looking at them I agree.

Del says he sent my "Sillyscape" prize out yesterday. I hope it comes tomorrow as I'm going out of town Thursday! If it doesn't come tomorrow I'll have to make some sort of arrangements. If I'd been thinking I'd of had him hold off on mailing it out, but I never could be accused of thinking .

Slinte!
Cindy



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2wpg CF lighting; pressurized CO2; 18 watt Turbo-twist UVS; Eheim Pro II 2028; eco-complete; 2 Pearl Gouramis; 7 Harlequin Rasboras; 3 Otocinclus catfish

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 11:21 PM
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Impressive Cindy, Very good job girl, look's great

Craig

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 12:55 AM
 
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Cindy I think the tank looks great !
We are are own worst enema's (ies) when it comes to rating our own tanks. I really like the way the hygro is creeping in and filling foreground space. I have the same Anubia in my tank, its a Anubia's giganta and will really impress you if left to do its deed very soon. I have found that a Flourish tab under them will do wonders for new leafs... also, if a leaf seems to fade in color at all or the plant seems to stall... cut the worst looking leaf at the base and it will be replaced very quickly by two it seems.

Lookin good... keep the faith... it all works in the end ! You get two thumbs !
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 01:13 PM
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Very nice Cindy, no you don't have to show us the disasters, we have enough of our own to anguish over. Getting the plants looking as nice as yours is half the battle, keep up the good job!

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 01:18 PM
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Oops, I forgot something in my post from yetsreday...

5 star tank girl

Craig

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 02:23 PM
 
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What did you win from the sillyscape contest?
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