A study of the Hoh Rainforest 2 (Updated 12.05.08) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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A study of the Hoh Rainforest 2 (Updated 12.05.08)

Hello again!

This thread is dedicated to the second tank in my series of "back to basics" Nature Aquarium style aquariums taking inspiration from the Hoh National Rainforest. If you want to see the other thread, you can click here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...tml#post705529

Since we all love red and a lot of really pretty species have become available over the past few years tank #2 is going to have a more deciduous look to it. Some of the photos I've seen of the rainforest have been vibrant with the color of changing leaves among the myriad green tones that are the signature of the forest. Knowing I was going to have enough light to grow anything I could possibly want I went about planning a high light (!!) stem tank to contrast and accentuate the greens of tank #1.

Both tanks are visible from one another but this one is in the dining area of my apartment where rich oak furniture is going to be the foundation of the decorating, whereas the livingroom is mostly greens. Tank #2 needed to be the brighter of the two aquascapes to match the brighter feel of the room.

The fun stuff

Tank: AGA 90g reef ready with corner overflow. I've drilled a number of holes through the overflow to avoid burning up the filter if the water levels get too low. I'm in a second floor apartment and don't want to mess with a sump and potentially flood-prone auto topoff system.

Lighting: 2x 250w dual-ended metal halides. This used to be Gnatster's fixture, for those of you who remember him. I came by it via a mutual friend of ours.

Filtration: Eheim Pro II

CO2: 10lb running through an AquaMedic 1000 reactor. This one may or may not be on a timed release system.

Substrate: Flourite, baby! Even though there's all sorts of great stuff out there now, I'm still a Flourite man through and through. I've had this stuff for 5 years now and it hasn't failed me yet.

Hardscape: Manzanita. Any rocks in this tank will be there solely to provide a substrate for moss or other epiphytes.

Again, pics will be forthcoming. Planting will be starting on Friday so pics will be up Friday night and Saturday.


It's good to be back!!!

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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Last edited by Phil Edwards; 12-05-2008 at 08:39 PM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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View from the kitchen:



View from the livingroom:



That's my assistant, Khan, supervising from the safety of the diningroom table.

The white marks are the remains of calcareous algae from the days when I used this to experiment with growing various marine algae.

Hardscape and planting pics to come tomorrow.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 03:00 PM
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[shatner]Khaaaaaaan!!![/shatner] hehe

Welcome back. Would this be the same Phil that was previously in Charlotte and involved with CAAS?

Really nice tank and fixture. Any early plans on how you are going to cover the corner overflow?


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MrJG View Post
[shatner]Khaaaaaaan!!![/shatner] hehe

Welcome back. Would this be the same Phil that was previously in Charlotte and involved with CAAS?

Really nice tank and fixture. Any early plans on how you are going to cover the corner overflow?
Thank you for the welcome and compliments on the hardware. I'm pretty happy with the way it's worked out. Once I'm done planting there's going to be a facade on the front of the tank that's made from the front half of the hood I used previously. It's not going to be that great to look at from the side, but it's going to pretty spiffy from the front.

You hit the nail on the head with the [shatner] comment. I had the hardest time coming up with a name that would fit the little guy when he was a kitten but that would be big enough to grow into. I mentioned Shere-Khan to my fiancee and she said "How about just Khan?". My mind immediately went to Capt. Kirk yelling impotently at Khan and my mind was made up. I like the multiple significances of the Jungle Book and Star Trek references, and the regal impression of a Near Eastern Khan. They all definitely fit this cat.

Yep, I'm that Phil.

The overflow's going to be obscured from frontal view by stems. I've got all sorts of tasty species coming in tomorrow that I'm really looking forward to working with.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 03:47 PM
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Nice. We never got a chance to meet as I only recently started looking into the club, attending one meeting and the annual auction. Lots of really nice folks there though. I really need to send in my membership dues to join. I've been giving out as many trimmings as possible to get more people into planted tanks. :O

Now after that slight derailment...

I can't wait to see what you have planned for the tank. You have quite the lasting rep as being a plant guru from what I've heard and read. Nothing like adding a little more pressure hehe. Happy planting, nothing like starting a new project on friday and having the whole weekend (hopefully) to tinker with it.


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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Sounds like a great project!

But why is my cat on your table? There must be a generic black cat breed going around

Looking forward to seeing the final product
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJG View Post
I can't wait to see what you have planned for the tank. You have quite the lasting rep as being a plant guru from what I've heard and read. Nothing like adding a little more pressure hehe. Happy planting, nothing like starting a new project on friday and having the whole weekend (hopefully) to tinker with it.
JG,

Hopefully I'll be able to make it up to a CAAS meeting one of these days. I was up there during the weekend of the auction, but I had to be doing research or I'd have gone. Keep up the good work giving out the clippings. Hopefully you, Chris (if he's still active), and Eric (aka Thirston) will be able to turn a few more people around. As nice as all those CAAS folks are, it sucks being one of the few planties among all the cichlidophiles.

Now I've got Queen's "Under Pressure" in my head. Thank you to hell!

I'm looking forward to a weekend of moss-tying, twist-tying ferns to wood, and planting. The real trick for me is going to be leaving it be and avoiding tinkering everything to death.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticmaniac
Sounds like a great project!

But why is my cat on your table? There must be a generic black cat breed going around

Looking forward to seeing the final product

Thank you! I'm looking forward to getting both tanks up and running. My guest tub's been full of soaking wood for the past month and a half. It'll be nice to have it back.

Your cat? He's MY cat! I found him fair and square! No, really I did. He was out in the middle of Nowhere, Georgia laying in a dry stream bed. Now he's living the posh lifestyle in my home. He even has his own pillow to sleep on at night and he gets mad when I go to bed and put my head on it.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 05:29 PM
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Cool start.

We can tell from the pics who owns the place.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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Cool start.

We can tell from the pics who owns the place.
Oh heck yeah, his mom owns the place. The little man's content to follow me around and supervise every little thing I do. I'm glad he's the only one in the house who does.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Like I said in the 75g thread, I got my plants a day early, woot! After two nights of being up until 3:00am I finally got them both set up. All the hardscaping and moss attaching was done on Thursday night. The anubias, crypts, and stems were all prepped and planted on Friday night.

When I initially planned these two tanks I got two fantastic assortments of Manzanita from Jake aka "Badcopnofishtank" here at TPT. After a few months of soaking in my tub just to be absolutely sure all the nasties were out and the bacteria had all the time it needed to digest the easy to get to stuff it was time to put it in an aquarium. The one thing I didn't do was separate out the pieces I wanted for each tank before I was ready to put them in. Since I was rushing around on Thursday I made a very natural and unthinking mistake...I used most of the good stuff on the first tank I did, which happened to be the 75. There were still some very nice pieces that were too big to go with what I wanted the 75 to look like. However, on the whole I didn't have as many choices for pieces or flexibility in how I could position it or how easy it would be to get covered in moss like I wanted. All I can say is thank the Lord I love Anubias and had the foresight to buy a lot!

In the end the hardscape of this tank isn't as nice as the 75's. That's ok though, the 75 is really the showpiece and is in the room where we'll be spending most of our time when not on the computer or sleeping.

I had originally intended this to be another very Amano inspired aquascape and it is to a large degree. There are a few of his aquariums that I just absolutely adore and have been analyzing and staring at the pictures for years. However, it was close to 1:00 am when I got started on the planting and my brain just wasn't in the following plans and careful analysis of plant placement mode. As soon as I started and fell into the repetitive movements of planting my mind went on instinct rather than following a carefully planned design like I had when I was fresh and working on the 75. The result is an aquascape that is inspired by images of the rainforest, is heavily influenced by my favorite Nature Aquariums, and ties both together with a large dose of my own aquascaping instincts.

Without further ado, here are the photos. Please forgive the twist ties, it was late and I forgot to snip the extra length before taking the pictures.

Hardscape Pallete: Yes, it's the same as the 75, for those of you who notice those things.


Stem Pallete:


Full Tank Shot 10.18.08:


Left Oblique 10.18.08:


Right Oblique 10.18.08:


Top Down 10.18.08:

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Plant List:

Anubias barteri v. nana
Bolbitis heudelotii
Microsorium pteropus
Vesicularia dubyana
Cryptocryone wendtii "Green"
Cryptocoryone wendtii "Red"
Cryptocoryone wendtii "Tropica"
Blyxa japonica
Glossostigma elatinoides
Ludwigia inclinita v. verticillata "Cuba"
Ludwigia glandulosa
Limnophila hippuroides
Pogostemon stellata "Broad Leaf"
Hygrophila balsamica
Hygrophila difformis
Rotala sp. "Nanjenshan"
Potamogeton gayii



Planned Fish List:

Rummynose Tetra
Harlequin Rasbora
Apistogramma sp.
Pelvicachromis sp.
Corydoras julii
Ottocinclus affinis
Amano Shrimp

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 08:38 AM
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Phil it is looking great. I really like your light fixture what kind or brand is it?

ADA 120P x2 Iwagumi ADA 75P, 60Px3, 30Cx3 ADA Mini S solar (LED) Mini M solar Do!aqua Mini M


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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Phil it is looking great. I really like your light fixture what kind or brand is it?
Thank you for the compliment. I hope it turns out as well as your tanks. I haven't done a tank with so many stems in a long time.

The fixture is an Aqua Medic Aquaspacelight.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-05-2008, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Photo update: 11/10/08 - three weeks after planting

Of the three aquariums I have running right now this one is far and away the healthiest. Algae are virtually non-existent and there's a wide variety of small invertebrate life abounding in the system. I'm quite surprised by this as it's running under an amount of light generally considered unstable or very hard to manage by conventional wisdom. The plants are definitely growing more slowly than the other two using the ADA substrate system but I'm much more confident in the stability and health of this system.

As an aside, this tank is an unintentional example of my own personal aquascaping style. By the time I finally got around to planting this tank it was 1:30 am and I was going on instinct and intuition rather than anything resembling the plan I'd originally come up with.

With the increasing sophistication of aquascapes these days this tank's never going to be a place-taker, but it's one both Catherine and I enjoy looking at and I'm proud to have it in my home. So, in those two most important regards this tank's a success.

Because it's so healthy it's become my HAP and collectoritis tank. The 75 and 20 have much more formal aquascapes that won't accomodate a lot of shifting around. I'm going to use those two to focus on improving my aquascaping technique and this one to practice growing the different plants I encounter.

I hope you enjoy the view.


I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-05-2008, 08:37 PM
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Looking Fantastic! Healthy and green

Cheers, Orlando
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