Hau Coast: Almost done but a change of title??? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-02-2006, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Hau Coast: Almost done but a change of title???



The aquasketch [spring 2006]



Original Hardscape [August 25, 2006]



Add twigs, raise substrate level



Bright Sand



Foreground plants in



Me at work



Aquascape is planted [September 1st 2006]


Thanks for viewing everyone, and for the help I've received through this forum that made this possible. If you want to see a better step-by-step, I'll post more photos soon in the "scraps" of my deviant art page (click banner)



Edit:



I got the filter working, so I decided to add a shot of the tank while set up normally. I'll give the equipment stats too since you can see now.

Lighting: Jalli 2x 55w PC
Filtration: Eheim 2213 + ADA in/out

There's a glass diffuser (not ADA) hooked up to pressurized CO2 using the milwaukee from Aquabotanic, and I also decided to put an air-pump on a timer too for night time . . . just because I had an extra pump around . . .

Last edited by Steven_Chong; 11-28-2006 at 07:13 AM.
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post #2 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-02-2006, 02:38 PM
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Wow,i love your sketch,how did u make it so beautiful? Looking at your progress pics,i can say that you are well on your way to creating a very beautiful looking tank,one that meets or even exceeds the intended look of your sketch.
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post #3 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-02-2006, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for the feedback youho. In the art community, we would call my aquasketch a CG, or computer graphic drawing. There are details at my DA page linked in my sig. When I did the hardscape for this tank, I figured out that the sketch has some difficulties that would make it hard to do in real life-- but I hope that the lay out I made will be able to surpass the original idea. It's been several months since that sketch, and I feel like I thought about a lot of things and changed a lot of my plans between then and now.
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post #4 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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60cm ADA Naupaka Coast

This thread seems to be kind of wavering, which is bad in my mind as I wanted it to be a serious and long lasting journal. Well, I know my fellow plantedtank members like to see more step-by-step so others can learn, so I'll give a bit more sustenance to this thread. I'll stick to the scaping stuff, because I really don't know anything special about equipment/dosing/complicated stuff like that.



Here are some tools of the trade-- a combination of aquarium and art supplies (ironic as aquascaping is an aquarium art) including ADA stuff, an assortment of un-used paint brushes, and un-used painting knives. As a side note, knives are my favorite tools for landscape painting too.



The original rockscape is pretty basic-- Make 3 main rock groups into an irregular triangle, also using golden ratio approximately to make a balanced lay out. Support them with smaller rocks. The smaller rocks also act as the support, and hold back the aquasoil. I wanted an even higher slope (this isn't iwagumi) so I carefully added more soil using a small tupperware. After the rock-work is done, the slope doesn't deteriorate easily, so it's fine to add more. I also added extra to the cracks between rocks so I could plant HC so that the HC will creep onto the rocks.



Large brush is useful for making the soil even.



Close up of the rock-work after slope raise-- look for as many irregular triangles as you can find.



The twigs were brought from Hawai'i-- I collected them from a stream bed in Nu'uanu. The twigs there become hard, slick, and also algae free. I've used them in the past and really like working with them. I left them out to dry over the summer to get rid of any living things that there might be.



Putting twigs in by hand, then smoothing the area around the twig with a finer brush.







After the twigs, I put in the ADA bright sand, and used the ADA sand leveler, as well as a fine brush to smooth it out. The fine brush was necessary around rocks and under twigs acting as "roots."



Normally, before planting, Amano-sensei fills the tank to the top of the substrate and then plants the short plants. However, the slope of this tank is too huge for something like that. If I filled it until the whole mound was submerged, the tank would be almost half-full, and the foreground would be so far under water that planting HC would be impossible. So instead, I had to slowly soak the surface of the all the soil.



At this point the soil is moist so using the brushes would be messy. Painting knives are used to make adjustments. With the angled edges and shorter handles, the knives are better suited than the ADA sand scraper, and allow for better control. However, they aren't as thin as the brushes.



Planting HC with tweezers.



There are a few different techniques for planting short stem plants. My personal favorite, especially with HC, is to first loosten a small bunch, then insert it partway into the substrate, and finally use a spoon to half-bury it with moist aquasoil. Then I use the tweezers to tustle the aquasoil until the leaves of the plant re-emerge. This way, the plant isn't crowded like it would be if you shove in a bunch, has soil around its roots but under its leaves, and you don't have to plant . . . each . . . stem . . . which doesn't hold HC down so well anyway . . .



Planting e. tenellus as well

In this photo, my camera-man (a friend in the dorm who did a pretty good job considering he's a Nikon guy and we were using my Canon 10D) captured another technique that I use. If a plant is inserted, but feels like the tweezers are caught and would pull it back out, use another tool (here, the ADA sand leveler but even a wooden chopstick would do) to hold the plant in whild you slowly pull out the tweezers. This takes some practice as you might not even feel that the tweezers are caught, or even if you notice you might push or pull something too hard, but I promise that it'll become second nature as you set up more and more aquariums-- this and many other similar tricks your hands will figure out without much help from your brain. XD



Foreground/midground done.



Tank should be partially filled before planting stem plants/other tall plants so that they aren't crushed by their own weight. I used one of those synthetic wash cloths that are popular in Japan to make the water just trickle out of the bottle, not ruining the scape. I don't have a special hose like Amano-sensei . . .

This also keeps the foreground wet. Planting stems is simple, just use tweezers insert, don't over-crowd too much.



And there you have it, ta-da!!

Last edited by Steven_Chong; 09-17-2006 at 05:05 PM.
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post #5 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 11:50 AM
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That is another amazing tank Stephen, love the step by step.

PS Got any More fish Artwork Love the ones you did for me.


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post #6 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 02:44 PM
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I am really impressed with the amount of dedication as well as the thorough step by step set up journey that you have taken us on. Very detailed and well done.I'll be anticipating the progress pics in time to come.
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post #7 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 03:10 PM
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thank you for the step by step instructions and hints on planting the HC. i know i as well as others appreciate what you're doing.

"Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions." - Jurassic Park

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post #8 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys-- to be honest, it's the other members of this forum that set the bar for detailed step-by-step, so I'm just giving as much or even less than some of the other journals already here. I suppose I just focus more on different parts of the set up.

Gill-- I remember the pieces I did for you so long ago! Out of curiosity, how did you know I'm the same "Steven Chong" that was "tear-scar" on fishforums? Oh, and I still do lots of artwork-- if you want to see some of my newer stuff just click on the banner in my sig and browse around (and give me deviantart pageviews) lol. I'm trying to be active on Deviantart too so that more people in the general art community will learn about aquascaping.
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post #9 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 07:12 PM
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Thanks for the step-by-step. You've really got an eye for form, and using your artistic talents. I'm a graphics person as well (3d animation at FedEx Multimedia), and I hope I can work out as many pleasing shapes as you have when I start a 50 gallon this fall.

Very nice.

Mahlon
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post #10 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 07:34 PM
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now i remember my question steven. what K lighting are you using? and how many wpg?

"Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions." - Jurassic Park

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post #11 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Mahlon, good luck.

Dane,
My light regime is pretty simple.

Bulbs:
1 x 55w 6700k
1 x 55w 10000k

6700k 10 hrs/day
10000k 3 hrs/day

The tank is 18 gallons, so for the 10 hrs it's a bit more than 2wpg, and for that 3 hrs it's over 5 wpg.
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post #12 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 08:06 PM
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I absolutely love your layout, gives me a lot of inspiration.

What inhabitants are you planning on keeping?
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post #13 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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What I really want is an assortment of some of the more colorful not commonly used tetras, like lemons, pristellas, skirts, maybe even some glow-lights. The idea is to have some consistancy, but varying colors with fish also of wider bodies-- this will method is suited to re-creating the crowded community of a hawai'ian coral reef where all sorts of colorful fish mingle. Definately no neons/cardinals/etc.

I was also planning on Amano shrimp, otocinclus, and also wanted to try olive nerites which look just like the "pipipi" salt-water snails in Hawai'i. I was thinking of ordering them from azgardens (unless someone knows a better source) along with some tube-mouth pencilfish and tiger shrimp. If anyone knows a better source for olive nerites, please clue me in because I really don't need the pencilfish or shrimp-- they would just to fill out the rest of the order.
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post #14 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmiddlefinger View Post
Gill-- I remember the pieces I did for you so long ago! Out of curiosity, how did you know I'm the same "Steven Chong" that was "tear-scar" on fishforums? Oh, and I still do lots of artwork-- if you want to see some of my newer stuff just click on the banner in my sig and browse around (and give me deviantart pageviews) lol. I'm trying to be active on Deviantart too so that more people in the general art community will learn about aquascaping.
You posted on here and TFF with 1 of your tanks and guessed it must have been you.
TBH yourself and Rain Outclass the TFF Mods.


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post #15 of 89 (permalink) Old 09-03-2006, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot Gill-- there are some really strong guys out there that I'm looking forward to catching up to though . . .
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