Dual 6.5g Mr. Aquas: Semi-Dutch & Iwagumi [56k] (2.5 Month Update!) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Dual 6.5g Mr. Aquas: Semi-Dutch & Iwagumi [56k] (2.5 Month Update!)

These tanks are my first co2 injected builds. I'm a starving student so I went with the DIY method. My plan is one 2-liter bottle reactor for each tank.

Big thanks to user 'rocksmom' for basically giving away half of the equipment and plants I'm using for this project.

Specs:

Tank 1 Semi-Dutch
6.5g Mr Aqua
Aquaclear 20 with Sponge, bioballs, ceramic, seeded bag of lavarock
'Hidoli' 9.4w 24" LEDs that came with the tank, plus a small 9w strip of LEDs zip-tied to it.
DIY co2 with up-aqua diffusor
Fluval 'Plant' and 'Shrimp' stratum
-Stauro
-HC
-Rotala
-Crypt Parva
-Myriophyllum mattogrossense
-Xmas moss
-Duckweed
-Hygro Compacta
-Red Plant needs identifying
-Slowly adding UG clippings from the other tank

Tank 2 Iwagumi
Currently in Dry-start Filled!
6.5g Mr Aqua
Aquaclear 20
Finnex Fugeray 24"
Pressurized co2 built from oxygen welding regulator
Fluval 'Plant' and 'Shrimp' Stratum
Rocks of unknown type - probably man made decorative (pagoda stone?)
-HC
-UG

Here's a [terrible quality] shot of the bookshelf to demonstrate my plan:

From bottom to top:
The 10gal low-tech that was my first tank. Going to tear it down and divide the inhabitants into the dual Mr Aquas.
The Recently filled Semi-Dutch undergoing a diatom explosion. This is my girlfriend's tank officially, but obviously what's hers is mine ;]
The Iwagumi, in dry start mode to grow out the HC foreground and UG background.

When both tanks are filled and cycled, the 10g will be given away and the two Mr Aquas will be moved down one shelf to look nice and tidy and also to make me look less insane ;]

Last edited by flippydoo; 03-16-2014 at 09:07 PM. Reason: title
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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I've had these tanks about two months now. Here's some photos detailing roughly what's happened with them during that time.


This is a few days after user 'rocksmom' gave me this tank. I was originally planning on buying one empty 6.5g with lights and filters from her, but she surprised me with this tank as a bonus, already sealed up with some spare hc strands and fluval substrate.


After only a few days/weeks, the HC nearly doubled in size


I moved all the HC to one side of the tank, and a few weeks later I was growing more HC than I knew what to do with.


Ordered some UG which took some abuse during shipping.


Stuck the UG in the dry start with the HC to nurse it back to health.


In the mean time, I found some hardscape and started toying with layouts in the empty second tank. The wood didn't end up being used but I still have it laying around somewhere because it's a beautiful piece.


Got some more Fluval Stratum to match the stuff in the Dry Start, more toying with the scape. Sucks.


Sucks.



I guess this will work. The smallest rock was a huge PITA to get where I wanted it. It's actually 4x bigger and only the tip is poking out. Burying that much rock in a little 6 inch wide tank while not tipping over the two bigger rocks was one of the more stressful parts of this project.


It was finally time to wet the substrate and transfer all the HC and UG over from the other tank.


Top view, all planted. Can you tell the difference between the HC and UG? Hint: Two patches of the UG are in the rear middle, and four more patches in the rear left.



Just a few days of growth. Hopefully the little array of UG plugs in the back will grow together and start spreading down the hills, eventually meshing with the HC. I have no idea how this will actually turn out, but I'm excited to see.


Between the rocks, a few days later






The tank today. The UG has brightened up immensely. The HC is exploding with growth. I'm excited to flood soon, but also really worried because it's probably going to be problematic getting the DIY co2 system to pump in enough co2 to allow for a smooth transition. (Any tips on this would be much appreciated!)
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have many pictures of the Semi-Dutch unfortunately. It's much newer compared to the Iwagumi, as it was first being used to grow out the HC for the Iwagumi, and then was just recently filled. So far it only consists of clippings of Stauro and Rotala from my nano-cube, Crypt Parva and Xmas moss from my crappy 10g, and some dying HC bought from a LFS which had it submersed in pots.

I only have a video from when it was first planted and set up on 12/19/13, and a few pictures of it today, 12/31/13.

http://youtu.be/J0e0vC6whF0





I'm getting some good looking growth on the Rotala and Crypts, but its quite difficult to keep the diatoms brushed off their leaves without uprooting them. I'm also having difficulty building enough pressure in the DIY co2 bottles to get a consistent stream of bubbles through the diffuser. I've checked the bottles for leaks with the soapy water method and the submerge and squeeze method, and they seem airtight. Thinking that maybe the mixture was running out of steam, yesterday I restarted the bottles with a fresh new batch of yeast and sugar. Today they feel very firm and the diffuser produces bubbles when I squeeze hard, but when left alone a few hours the bottle still seems stagnant and the bubbles from the ceramic eventually stop. Any ideas to fix this, other than buying new diffusers rated for a lower pressure?


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 07:35 PM
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Cool! Very nice tanks & read!


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Did a little work on the Semi-dutch:


Topped the Rotala, cleaned leaves, put some driftwood behind it which will eventually be covered up. This is just so our little Clown Pleco has wood to munch on.


Pulled out all the crappy wood, put in this nice piece of manzanita. Moved the scattered Stauro into neater rows, added a bit more Crypt Parva to thicken up the backdrop.


FTS. The diatoms are still raging but I'm hoping with lots of water changes and a little more plant mass added I'll be able to control them. The worst is the stuff on the substrate. It's too clingy to vaccuum up, and if i try brushing it loose the whole hillside starts sliding down!

Any suggestions on plant species to fill the gap in the rear-middle? Prefer something green, and probably not too tall. (Tank is only 9" tall!)

And here's some progress shots on my Iwagumi:






I love the growth on this. UG is still slow, but so pretty.


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Last edited by flippydoo; 01-06-2014 at 01:15 AM. Reason: words
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Came home today to a good 1.5 inches of water missing from the semi-dutch tank. I've never experienced a leak before. I assume the only real option available to me is tearing it all down and resealing with silicone?

Any tips would be a huge help!

edit: After a more thorough inspection, I actually think my filter was just overfilled with media. Derp!


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Last edited by flippydoo; 01-08-2014 at 12:16 AM. Reason: update
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 11:46 PM
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Do u see any water anywhere? Like on the shelves or behind the filter? Also make sure u don't have a leak from ur filter.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by II Knucklez II View Post
Do u see any water anywhere? Like on the shelves or behind the filter? Also make sure u don't have a leak from ur filter.

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Yeah, there was water all over the shelf it's resting on and leaking down to lower shelves. But as soon as the water level dropped below the intake of the filter, the leaking stopped. So I took out some extra media I put in, refilled, and everything is good now. So relieved I won't have to tear down the thing!


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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More dry start growth, I'm really excited to flood soon. Just getting the last pieces together for a pressurized system, so I can crank the co2 in the first few days.




The "dutch" is coming along, though slowly. Added more stauro, one clipping of hygro compacta in the corner. Diatoms are much better now.





The floating bundle of rotala is just serving as a nutrient sponge right now so I can dose EI without over-fertilizing. It will eventually be thrown out after the tank is filled in. The snowflake-looking plant I added in the middle is called Myriophyllum mattogrossense. I like it, just needs some growing out and clipping and replanting tops to form a more attractive looking bunch.


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Last edited by flippydoo; 03-16-2014 at 09:07 PM. Reason: plant id correction
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 07:41 PM
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Looking good, hope to see more picutres as plant growth progressed ^^
And don't get rid of the 10 gallon, you'll have an empty shelf!!! Fill it with tank-y-goodness (maybe 2 nano?)

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.
Starting to update these threads

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 02:48 AM
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Can't wait for you to fill it


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Finally filled!


I found this oxygen welding regulator on craigslist for $35, stuck it in a vice to break loose the many years worth of dried pipe dope on the connection that goes to the gas cylinder, threw on the correct CGA connection and hooked up my first pressurized system.

It's awesome.

Running a fabco needle valve inline with no solenoid or bubble counter (yet.. im broke) into a glass diffuser pumping out plenty of co2 for a solid yellow indicator. I got a 5# tank from a friend for free, had the tubing and diffuser left over from my adventures with DIY, so my grand total cost for going pressurized ended up being $96 including filling the empty cylinder.

Here are just a few of the pictures I took the day of the flood:

(Full imgur album, makes it easier to view in proper sizes)












The UG is finally starting to meld together, and as you can see the HC is quickly encroaching on it's territory. I might have to consider putting a plastic border inserted in the substrate around the periphery of where I want to UG to grow in. I never really considered how the two species would look as they grew together at the edges. Learning as I go!

I'm very pleased though, and best of all, the ugly 10 gallon on the bottom shelf has been removed and relocated until the twin tanks are fully cycled and rooted in.




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Last edited by flippydoo; 01-31-2014 at 08:47 PM. Reason: included imgur link
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 08:58 PM
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Enjoying the two different types of scapes. The iwagumi is my favorite of the two. Some reds and oranges would add some contrast in the dutch tank.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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The tanks have been through some rough patches.

My iwagumi was looking pristine in the last update. Right after that, the melting started and caused about two weeks of pretty fierce algae. Unfortunately I didn't document that process very well for obvious reasons.

Here's a few pictures of my ADF enjoying the UG, and some shots of what the Dutch looked like with the Myriophyllum mattogrossense grown in and trimmed to look its best... which was still not very pretty. I'm glad I tried the plant out though. It's pretty cool from the right angles. It just grows way too tall for my 12" high tank and ends up looking ugly.

The update today is an exciting one if you don't mind watching a video. I finally added the full stock of fish I've been wanting for each tank, and shot some videos with my phone of them swimming around. Google+ took those videos right out of my auto backup library and automatically stitched together a little movie with music and everything, and I thought it turned out pretty cool. So here it is: (make sure to change resolution to 720p)


The fish in the iwagumi are Celestial Pearl Danios and Threadfin Rainbow fish, and not pictured is a lone Amano shrimp to keep my UG picked clean.

The Neon Tetras and Otos got some company in the dutch, too. A small school of Furcata Rainbowfish.

It seems for the first time, the dutch actually looks a bit nicer than the Iwagumi, which is a fun little twist. I don't have an ID on the reddish plants I added, but I'm so glad I got them because they pull together the tank so well. If anyone reading perchance could watch the second half of the video and identify it for me, I'd be much obliged. My next goal with that tank is to get a foreground going along the empty front edge. I'm hoping I can propagate some UG and get a nice dense mat of it all the way across the front of the tank. The Iwagumi has recovered pretty nicely compared to what happened to it. I had to do like 4 water changes a week and back off the ferts, and trim the dying HC like crazy, but if you watched the video you can tell the left half has bounced back nicely and the portion around the rocks and on the right side will just need a little more time. Here is another 2 minute video I took of the Iwagumi before the melt, around the time of the last update. Just for a quick comparison:


So clean! Hopefully it will look like that again soon.


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Last edited by flippydoo; 03-16-2014 at 09:07 PM. Reason: links
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Added some Panda Corydoras to the Iwagumi. Love their behavior, they seem to really enjoy the UG. The tank seems much livelier now, without detracting from the scenery too much. I was considering holding out until I found a supply of c. habrosus or c. hastatus, but the pandas are really nice looking and I'm happy with them.

The amano is taking his time tackling all the green algae, but it's slowly getting better. I'm going to trim the UG again tomorrow and hopefully the carpet will even out some more.

Here's the c. pandas in action:


Feedback welcomed. Are the video posts discouraging anyone who may be interested from watching? Or are they preferred over picture heavy posts?

Thanks.


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Last edited by flippydoo; 03-23-2014 at 07:06 PM. Reason: links
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