George's 33 - Nature Aquarium Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2006, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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George's 33 - Nature Aquarium Journal

Hello fellow enthusiasts!

This is the start of my 33 gal. journal. I am looking forward to trying out some new equipment and techniques. The end result will hopefully be a creation that resembles a Nature Aquarium.

This is my aquarium at its previous “best”.



Now it is empty and dry as I have been in the Falkland Islands for nearly 4 months. I sold all the plants and fish to a fellow hobbyist. It was a mixture of emotions – sadness to see my cherished plants and fish go, but excitement for the future.

There has been some major benefits to my time 8000 miles away from home….. Hardscape! Whilst exploring a beach in San Carlos, East Falkland Island I found some great ADA-style branchy driftwood. My excitement was rather perplexing for my non-fishy friends at the time. I don’t know if you guys are aware but decent wood is very rare in the UK. Aqua Essentials stock ADA wood but it’s rather expensive. I believe they are getting some new cheaper but good stuff in soon though (and rocks).

I have read that wood collected from seawater actually has advantages over freshwater. It has already been cured, it is denser, less likely to leech tannins and rot. Here it is.



I have positioned the pieces in all sorts of combinations and I can get it looking similar to this.



I have also collected some great rocks. The first type are “Riccia/moss stones”. They are 2-3” diameter and a quite flat with a rough-textured surface that makes them ideal for anchoring the Riccia/moss. I’ve also sourced some great larger rocks ideal for future potential aquascapes. One day I’d like to try my hand at an Iwagumi (Japanese rock arrangement style) composition.

Specs -

Tank – Juwel Rio 125 (32”L x 14”W x 20”H) – 125 l. / 33 gal.

Filter – Eheim 2028 Pro II (750 lph – 6x turnover rate)

Lighting – 2 x 25w T8 Interpet Daylight Plus (6500K), 2 x 18w T8 Interpet Daylight Plus all with Juwel reflectors. 2.6 wpg, 10 hour photoperiod.

Substrate – ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia 2 x 9 l. ADA Power Sand Special 2 l. and ADA Bright Sand for the foreground.

Ferts – Tropica Nutrition (was TMG). KNO3 and KH2PO4 (EI).

CO2 – 500g pressurized with Dennerle reg. May upgrade to 2Kg CO2 fire extinguisher. D&D solenoid. 1+ BPS. Direct into filter to start with. If I get sporadic output I’ll invest in an ADA mist diffuser. Does anyone have experience with CO2 straight into their 2028?

Water – 70:30 RO/tap. KH 2, GH 4. 50% weekly water change.

Substrate will be installed right away. No plants, light, CO2 or fish for first 6 weeks while I mature the filter and let the ADA substrate and water chemistry stabilize. I am maturing the filter prior to planting as I can plant with my desired species from the start rather than cramming it full of weeds. A friend of mine (Nick) had great success with this technique planting mostly crypts, anubias and C. helferi from Day 1 with no algae issues.

Aquascape - I’m looking at a similar layout to ADA 2005 catalogue NA no.5. Black background, U-shape compostion, dense green stems up at the left and right sides. Lots of narrow var. Java fern on the wood. Group of red Rotala indica or Ludwigia arcuata off-center for focal point. Sand foreground with moss or Riccia stones leaning against wood and possibly some petite var. Anubias.

Fish – Amano shrimp, Otos, 12 or so Harlequin rasboras and 3 Pearl gouramis.

All subject to change depending on wife!

I fly home soon but don’t anticipate starting until September or October. I will obviously keep you posted.

Any comments appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2006, 08:18 PM
 
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Looks interesting . Your not wrong about finding good wood is very hard in the UK I`m still looking..... have been for years

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 04:13 AM
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The glosso looks great. I could never get it to lay down so well. Probably not enough light.

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This message is always under construction: 75-gallon tank; 2, Eheim 2026 filters - one twice broken; Tek Light with 4, 54W T5s (6000K) ; Sand on top of 4:1 sand:clay mixture; Milwaukee CO2 controller; PlantGuild vortex CO2 reactor; pH = 6.6, kH=70mg/l, GH=120mg/l; EI; Flourish excel on 50% weekly water change: AGA Member.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 06:23 AM
 
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Your previous tank layout already looked so nice. A pity that it was torn down..I will be looking forward to your new tank layout though=)
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 06:50 AM
 
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Faulkland Islands . . . certainly a great way from the UK!

Good luck with your new tank, seems you have a pretty flawless plan for it.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2006, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update.

I had a bit of a scare re. my wood. It turns out that UK customs had an issue with allowing my driftwood in the country. Thankfully it's here safe and sound now though.

I still haven't started setting up properly yet. I'm awaiting some career news that may involve me moving house so obviously it's not worth starting yet.

I have however made a simple DIY in-line CO2 system. The filter tube is simply connected in-line with the filter inlet hose. The CO2 hose is connected to a modified Nutrafin yeast system nozzle (that normally slots into the ladder diffuser) and sealed in place. I've heard that the Eheim 2028 should be able to cope with my sort of bubble rate (approx. 1 BPS). I'm hopeful that CO2 levels won't be too sporadic, if so I'll take the CO2 mist route. I used to run CO2 direct into my Fluval 204 with no issues.





Any thoughts on my CO2 direct into filter would be welcome.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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At last I have rock photos for you. Please excuse the orange colour rendition, it looked worse with my flash so I've had to rely on my room lighting. One more reason to get a new camera with manual white balance!

First my bigger rocks. They are a very light grey colour and quite "chunky". They don't seem to contain any lime as I've tested with sulphuric acid. I'm not too sure if/where I'll use these. The wood will be the dominating hardscape feature.



And my slate-like rocks. Flatter and smaller. I'll probably use these to tie on moss for my low maintenance foreground.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 09:15 PM
 
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great start! I am looking forward to its progress.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 10:25 AM
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Great start.

One thought I had- I rarely see Amano use rocks and wood together. Maybe because its hard to balance them together?

And when he does use them together, the rocks are very suttle, almost hidden.

Anyways- good start- and i hope to see more pictures.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-18-2006, 07:22 PM
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Amano usually uses that petrified driftwood. where does he pick up something like that?


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-18-2006, 07:36 PM
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i know what you mean about driftwood. im in the usa but cant personally find myself paying $50+ for a good driftwood arangement, if it was ADA wood though... that would be another story. i collect alot of driftwood when i go on vacations to the beach and stuff. ive never had a tannis problem. i usually just tie the moss on and put it in the tank.

those small rocks you have i'm almost posative they are slate, i use the same stuff, works great but make sure to wash them off! they are very dirty rocks. the larger rocks look like granite but it probably isn't. probably just big chunks of slate like the smaller ones

for me when i prepare wood i make sure i get all the sand out. then i take a knife (usually my trusty lock blade pocket knife) and make sure to get anything off that i wouldnt want in my tank.

then i tie it with moss and sink it somehow in my tank, sometimes i attatch it to a rock if it wont sink..

good luck with the tank! looks like you have a good starting plan

- fish newb -
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-18-2006, 07:40 PM
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my LFS (which i happen to work at) has decent pieces of driftwood from $5.99-12.99, but no manzanita or this "petrified" wood that takashi amano uses.

i've never had a problem with tannins either.


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