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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Matt's 12 Gallon Long Iwagumi

Some of you may have saw a bit of a sneak preview of this in my 60P journal. I don't know if it's truly Iwagumi or not but I am going to call it that. I did a dry start about 4 months ago. I was going to wait until after Christmas but after way too many days in a row working, and only one day off, I got a bit stir crazy. I have stolen the CO2 system from my 60P which has not been in use for awhile. Don't expect updates there for awhile, I may have hit the total tear down point but we will see.

Some notes, for good or for bad.

I don't think I will ever use an inline diffuser again. I was wondering what was up with my 60P and though CO2 levels looked good according to the drop checker, I had a big leak. I thought I fixed it when I set it up on this but not the case. These things may be cool for a year or so but I think I am under the false impression that aquarium stuff lasts. Much do, I love my Eheims, I love my Zoo Med 501, I love my ADA 60P, but even my AquaClear's fail, my heaters fail, etc. With inline, failure is not easy. I am glad I am not going inline here as it's going to be close to impossible to find leaks, especially CO2 leaks, until they are obvious. I am happy to drop back down to 10 PSI as well, never had an issue with leaks until my atomizer.

My 60P has been unheated and this will be too. I will just have to see what I can stock. Ideally, I want Green Neon Tetra's, I saw them at member OVT's house and feel in love. They are very much rare out here, he got them from someone who ordered them by mistake, I may try to go through the same person if my temps are hot enough, likely not. I know I can do RCS, something I want, I can also selectively breed guppies, though it won't fit the style. Red Cloud Minnows are an attractive option, given the circumstances as well. Tank will likely be at 73-75 degrees. I will have to see where it's really going to be, my last home recording studio was called the "Sweatshop" for a reason, it may be higher without a heater. I do have more than central heat upping the temperature, I do need double pain windows for extra heat I don't want haha.

Though high tech, I am trying to keep it simple. I am now officially over almost all inline stuff. As said, my diffuser had issues, my Hydro failed but I never returned it under warranty, my UV is still kicking but the bulbs don't last. This is a simple in and out situation. I still will dose ferts but I need the bottles as I don't want a bunch of bags of powder around my equipment.

Current makes a great light. I am happy to have this on my tank. I have had a weird relationship with lighting, I buy cheap stuff and it works OK but I need two. I buy a great light and it's too much for me to handle. For this tank, it seems to be doing the trick and I can dim it so I don't have a lot of excuses. I hope to buy an E-Series for my 60P as well, then put this CO2 system back on that, buy a paint ball or something small for this.

My Eheim Ecco 2234 seems sufficient if not overkill. My actual tank volume is about 8 gallons or so, assuming my gallon pitcher is really one gallon but it does flow to the other side. This filter may be too powerful for a standard 10, full throttle but fits really nice in this situation, so far. Not a big surprise as I had it on a 20 long, but that is great news as I love this filter.

Lastly, I keep saying I need to buy a new camera. That has changed with the new iPhone, I can finally use a camera phone with decent results in my personal life. Photography was a hobby but once we jumped to DSLR's and the like, I just couldn't put the cash up. My phone works and I don't plan on buying a camera purely for this purpose.

To do list (yes, I use my journals for myself as well)
-Buy glass diffuser (should have stored it better than, oops, I didn't know that was there)
-Buy fert bottles
-Buy new Eheim quick disconnect (or steal one from the fish keepers I know haha).

Specs:
Mr. Aqua 12 Long
Eheim 2234
Current Sat +
Flourite/Flourite Sand/Petco Sand
Cal Aqua Drop Checker
CO2 Diffuser to be determined, using a cigarette filter right now

Plants:
Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba'

-Note, I will keep it pretty simple for now but may add some DHG Belem (I bought today) later. I am on the fence about adding DHG to the back. I may add some R. colorata as a background instead. This will likely start as Iwagumi but change into something with some color.

Here are some pics from my other journal:














And...Filled today




-Matt

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Last edited by talontsiawd; 12-04-2014 at 12:48 AM. Reason: New pics
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 12:56 AM
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Beautiful!

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 03:49 AM
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hot damn Matt, I haven't been following. This looks great!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 04:31 AM
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Fantastic rock work! Looks really great!

Old tanks, all torn down:
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Hope to get a new tank (or two) up soon...
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. That said, I am getting a bit of die off, this happened throughout the dry start so I don't know if I should be concerned or not. Well, it won't concern me until it becomes a problem, haha, but it is an issue.

Here is the right side, furthest from the filter.



The left side seems fine.



Here is another front shot.

-Matt

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I am probably going to stick with HC but I am thinking of using some Belem instead. That was my original plan but I couldn't find any, until about 2 days before I filled the tank. I did my first trim last night and got maybe 1/2 way through it with the HC. HC is a pain to trim but in this tank, it's really a PITA due to the lack of depth and amount of rocks for the size. I am dealing with some algae, I somehow always get BGA algae from dry starts but it seems to be staying in once place. I also have a tiny bit of just about everything else.

I may just mix some belem and HC for texture. I am just feeling like this could take up way too much time to trim. It was really leggy from the dry start as I should have started this tank about a month earlier, if not more. In some places, it was more than an inch tall, even though it is carpeting well. I will likely have a photo update tonight or tomorrow but I hope to get the HC low enough to not cover some of the rocks, etc. I will see how much of a process i is then consider if it may be worth trying something new. I have done many HC carpets now, Belem is always really hard for me to get. I may use that as a carpet in my 10, and my 60P in the future instead, but I am not happy trimming this HC haha.

-Matt

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 11:39 PM
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Well done Matt!,

I like your stone placements. The stones are well balance on both side and to me, the biggest stone is the main focal point. You did a good job with the smaller rocks, they sort of guide the eyes to the main stone.

As for the HC carpet, I never done a dry start but I hear it's normal to experience melting. Maybe you can just add in the Belem to the areas that are melting? And yes, Belem and HC is a great combination! It's one of the few that works. Is Belem common around your area? It's like, super rare up here.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingHellFish View Post
Well done Matt!,

I like your stone placements. The stones are well balance on both side and to me, the biggest stone is the main focal point. You did a good job with the smaller rocks, they sort of guide the eyes to the main stone.

As for the HC carpet, I never done a dry start but I hear it's normal to experience melting. Maybe you can just add in the Belem to the areas that are melting? And yes, Belem and HC is a great combination! It's one of the few that works. Is Belem common around your area? It's like, super rare up here.
Thank you for the complements on rock placement. I know I am far from the best but I feel I get better every time. Plus, I just don't do expensive stones so that complicates things, even though I get way more for my money, I still have a work around. I have used many of these stones in combination, just differently, so this is my 3rd scape with these stones.

Belem is pretty rare out here. I was really surprised where I found it. We have two planted tank only/mostly places around here, Albany Aquarium and Aqua Forest Aquarium which usually have 50-100 species of plants, still rare there. It's not that they don't have it, they just don't have it when I want it. Anyway, I bought some down the street, for $14 for a small patch. Funny, they know I can grow some plants so they are encouraging me to grow more to sell back. Not really into the plant trade outside for fun but if I grow enough, I will see what they offer, I think this plant is amazing and more people should have it, especially since it works in low tech.

I didn't finish trimming tonight but here is where I am at. I plan to add Belem to the HC and though I am unsure right now, I know eventually I will add some Rotala to the background. I believee the single stem is Rotala colorata. I am just using it as an indicator of color/light/ferts and it was more red in my low tech.

Anyway, quick pic, more to trim...I have a cool prefiliter haha.


-Matt

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 04:09 AM
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Beautiful tank! How many pound of rock do you have in there? I'm currently planning a 12 long and I'm not sure how much to order.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thump421 View Post
Beautiful tank! How many pound of rock do you have in there? I'm currently planning a 12 long and I'm not sure how much to order.
I am going to guess around 25lbs or more. The two largest stones probably weigh more than the rest. You could also do smaller stones in a 12 long no problem but I happen to like the look of larger stones myself.

-Matt

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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So...long time no update. This tank got very neglected from the start. The HC was growing really leggy but since it is so hard to trim, it never got a proper one. I finally trimmed it mostly how I want to, may make a few more passes. In the process, I ripped out several large areas. In total, I ended up with about 1/2 gallon of HC, crazy for the tank size.

The bad...I got really bad BGA. I am not sure why but BGA is a major problem since I moved here, especially on dry start tanks. I treated with API E.M. Erythromycin which didn't even harm the stuff. I usually use Maracyn but they only had a huge pack, way more than needed. I will use Maracyn in the future. I also have some other green algae, had some BGA that came and went, pretty much everything. I am hoping the BGA doesn't come back after scraping and trimming, it will probably survive but I hope it doesn't get worse. That is still an issue but I am waiting to see what happens.


Anyway, it's still more of the same. I tried some red plants but they turned green, I think it's because I neglect ferts. I have also put random pieces of Belem in but they grow slow. Here are new pics (that are a bit blurry) of my phone.








-Matt

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 01:36 AM
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I haven't figured out how to start a tank without battling BGA

I have ramshorn snails in every one of my tanks that wipe it out in a week or so. Nothing else eats it and NO3 dosing never really helped personally

I am glad I read your opening post because I was contemplating going inline everything on most of my tanks. I am always weary because failure of a component seemed catastrophic. Reading your post made up my mind to deal with the equipment in tank.

Love your rock scape!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I haven't figured out how to start a tank without battling BGA

I have ramshorn snails in every one of my tanks that wipe it out in a week or so. Nothing else eats it and NO3 dosing never really helped personally

I am glad I read your opening post because I was contemplating going inline everything on most of my tanks. I am always weary because failure of a component seemed catastrophic. Reading your post made up my mind to deal with the equipment in tank.

Love your rock scape!
Well, I did like my inline diffuser when I got it, I just had issues over time. I would consider something similar to what Cal Aqua makes which is a ceramic disk inline (lower pressure) but the cost is too much for something I would rather keep hidden. My bad experience with my Hydro seems a bit out of the ordinary and truth be told, I was too lazy to send it back under warranty which sucks, I would have used it on another tank that also isn't heated so if it failed again, sticking off, no biggie. Heaters in general, I have had bad luck so only one of my 3 tanks is heated. I will obviously heat this if I have to but I may choose livestock around no heat, rather than vice versa. I don't want to discourage anyone from not using inline, it's not like I had leaks, it was more the diffuser type, an intake version would have the same issues. I would have no problem using a reactor, for example, but space is minimal here. I do like my inline UV, on another tank, rarely used but I do like it.

Just saying, inline isn't bad, per say. If I were to add a heater, it would be inline but it would be DIY with either an AquaClear or Eheim, I have had good luck with both. Again, I would also consider an inline diffuser of a different type, I just can't find any that are low pressure that seem durable, etc. I may just inject into the canister as that is basically what I am doing now.

-Matt

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 04:27 PM
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Love the minimalistic look and the rock placement Matt!! It flows very and it's really soothing!

I wonder how a wall of Elocharis vivipara will look in the background. Will you be adding any fish?

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbless View Post
Love the minimalistic look and the rock placement Matt!! It flows very and it's really soothing!

I wonder how a wall of Elocharis vivipara will look in the background. Will you be adding any fish?
I have been hesitant to add any live stock because I have considered going back to DSM and doing DHG belem instead. I have some in there but not much. One problem with the HC is it's an absolute pain to trim in this tank, being so narrow and so little space between the rocks and glass. Plus, it needs to be trimmed more often than I would like, given I have some pretty small rocks. I have been thinking Cardinal Tetra's, Green Neon's if I can find them, or maybe just some shrimp, or both.

I have done the HC/DHG thing before and though I like it, it has some challenges as well. It's going to be hard to put any divider in at this point. Instead, I likely will do some sort of red plant, not sure what, or if I will keep it to one species or maybe a few. I do like Iwagumi with no background plants better, but it also gets boring over time. I am experimenting with certain plants to see coloration and leaf size. That said, like my above paragraph, I am likely trying to make this an easier tank so something on the easier side makes more sense. I am experimenting with some Ludwigia sp. Red, even though the leave size is bigger than many Rotola choices, it's also very easy. I have a stem of Ludwigia Pantanal in as well but the color isn't as good as I would like, I am not the best at red plants myself.

Thanks for the compliment as well.

-Matt

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