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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Updated 2/6/2012:
Was getting really low flow from the Fluval G3 so I cleaned out the tubes and pipes. Took a few pics to show more plant growth (the background really filled in).








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Updated 1/12, plant growth and new camera so new pics:

Macro shot of the almost inch espei rasboro:


The plants are growing well


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Updated 12/9, new tank top, new poppy glass, new video of the tank in motion

It's on the second page and here is a direct link:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/t...5-gallon-planted-crs-espei-2.html#post1628932





Video of the tank:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25xs5LI7Lb0


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Update 11/20, new filter added!

Scroll down to post #11, http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/t...5-gallon-planted-crystal-red.html#post1602801


New Fluval G3:



Tank with lily pipes. Intake is the metal ADA Metal Jet Pipe - V1 (13mm), and the output is ADA Lily Pipe Outflow P-2 (13mm).



Fish and shrimp enjoy the new filtration (or don't care at all)



Lily pipe closeup


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First post 11/7 below:

Hi all, this is my first post! I've been a fan of planted aquariums for a while now and currently have a 10.5 gallon tank with Crystal Red shrimps (3-4 generations there breeding), 9 espei rasboros, and a couple glowlight tetras which are getting old now and I haven't replenished their school because they're on their way out unfortunately.

Specs:
- Soil: ADA Aquasoil Amazonia & ADA Bright Sand
- Filter: Fluval C2 (power filter, put eheim substrate in place of carbon pad, added a pre-filter sponge on it)
- Supplements: Flourish Excel (the liquid C02), Flourish Supplements
- Lighting: Archaea 36W Power Compact Light Fixture

The tank definitely looks busy/overgrown but I think it's more of the pictures... I've been thinking of re-landscaping it but right now it's been a good home for the shrimps and as long as they're breeding I'm happy.

Cover on:


Cover off with floaty plants (a bit too many at this time):








Any feedback appreciated!
 

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Looks amazing. You make me want to get rid one of my 2.5g and get a 10g. Then again, I've never seen any tank locally that looks like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your photography is excellent ! And your plants look superb. Keep it up - show us more.
Love rimless tanks, and love Rasboras !
Thanks so much. I am really into photography and I found shooting aquariums pretty difficult so I'm still learning and trying out different techniques (still have yet to set up a good flash setup for it). I've always admired the pro-shots (like the ones from Amano and ADA) and hope to figure out that clean technique soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks amazing. You make me want to get rid one of my 2.5g and get a 10g. Then again, I've never seen any tank locally that looks like that.
Thanks PinoyBoy. I think it's a pretty low tech tank too and one that I think everyone could pull off (I saw your list of low tech ones). I found that starting off with the ADA Amazonia soil is really good not just for plants but also for setting the water requirements right for fish that need around PH 6.5. If you use more leafy plants and not small ground cover ones you can get by with Excel (and maybe not even need that).

I actually think my tank needs a good trimming or maybe some new plants (or repositioned the taller ones more to the back than the middle). But plants growing too much is always a good sign =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great looking tank. What are the floaters?
I'm pretty sure they're Amazon Frogbite. I purchased them a few years ago from Aqua Forest and forgot to write down the names but looking online they resemble Amazon Frogbite a lot. Let me know if you'd like some (I see you're close in Berkeley) because they grow really well and I have to throw them away pretty often which feels like a waste. And if you have anything extras in your tank we can exchange =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
10.5 Gallon Planted Crystal Red + Espei Rasboro - 11/20 Update, New Tech!

New pictures added!

I decided that my old power filter (Fluval C2) would get clogged way too often. It was most likely because of my pre-filter but I needed that to avoid shrimp fry from getting sucked up so that had to stay. I know when I go on vacation I have a cat sitter who will feed the fish, but I can't ask her to clean the filter haha. So ultimately I decided to get a canister filter. I decided on the Fluval G3, which is definitely overkill for a small tank like mine, but I liked the looks of it and its price has gone down a lot since it first came out. It was going to be placed in plain view on my kitchen counter so I wanted it to look nice. I added on a inline heater so I could remove the existing heater which was in the tank. Finally I lowered the water level that way I could remove the tank lid (though I plan to create a metal mesh lid for it still).


New Fluval G3:



Tank with lily pipes. Intake is the metal ADA Metal Jet Pipe - V1 (13mm), and the output is ADA Lily Pipe Outflow P-2 (13mm).



Fish and shrimp enjoy the new filtration (or don't care at all)



Lily pipe closeup



In order to use smaller 13mm lily pipes I had to convert 5/8" tubing to 1/2" tubes. I received the solution from friendly folks at Aqua Forest as they showed me they did this to their tanks. They put in 1/2" tubes 2-4 inches inside of the larger 5/8" and voila, it works. To make sure it was sealed even better, I wrapped a rubber band around the 1/2" tube's edge and then jammed that into the larger tube as far as I could have. You can see some of the rubber band sticking out in this picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Wowsa! That tank is gorgeous! I'm so impressed that you are able to do all that without CO2. Everything looks so healthy. What's your secret???
Thanks, yea I'm still debating whether or not to get CO2. I've had it in the past on larger tanks and it really does give the kick in the pants needed to get the plants to grow like crazy. Right now I'm just dosing once a week with Excel (just like 1 thread on the cap, very little) and the plants do grow but not as rapidly which is kind of a good thing because it's a lot less maintenance (trimming small amounts weekly or bi-weekly). The ADA substrate Amazonia really helps and I don't have any hard to grow plants in there (I don't think). Ground cover plants that you want to spread out throughout the bottom will definitely need CO2 which is why I avoided it. I also do very small water changes every 1 or 2 days (like a 16 oz cup full) because it's right next to my kitchen sink.

really liking the set up.
what brand tank is it and what's the plant in the left front corner?
Thanks! For the left corner plant, I am pretty sure it's Blyxa japonica (but not 100% as I forgot to write it down after I purchased it years ago).

Edit - The tank is 10.5 gallon rimless glass by "Huey Hung Miracle Baby". I like the tank a lot, it's held up 3 transfers where I didn't completely take out all the substrate/water/fish. It comes with removable plastic sides and a glass top as well (seen in the first post, first image). I couldn't find the tank on the companies website though; I bought it from my LFS Albany Aquarium (http://www.albanyaquarium.com/) and I imagine they could ship one if you contact them. The tanks are really affordable compared to ADA stuff and I think the quality is really nice - they come in a few sizes but I forget the exact gallon sizes... Mine is 10.5 gallon and they have one less than that and one that is more.
 

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What kind of lens do you use for your macro photography? I've been looking at a $1600 Nikkor (I can justify it for work) but I'm not sure what kind of flash I'd have to get to be able to catch fish.

Also, why use the 36W archaea instead of the 27W? I think it's narrower and would probably fit your tank better. I'm getting a ADA 45H in January and will probably go custom dimmable LED (I don't want to change a $35 bulb every year).

With regards to your composition, since your light is so bright, I think it would be interesting to see what happened if the floaters filled in entirely over the surface. It would filter your light and add perhaps some more drama to the environment where rays of light filter through.

Great tank - it looks like you've really got some luck fish!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What kind of lens do you use for your macro photography? I've been looking at a $1600 Nikkor (I can justify it for work) but I'm not sure what kind of flash I'd have to get to be able to catch fish.
Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you're a Nikon guy as I am, too. Most of the shots here were with a D3 and 18mm/f2.8 lens (an oldie but a goodie). The closeup of the shrimps were with a nikkor 105mm micr lens.

You mentioned a $1600 Nikkor for macro? I know practically all the lenses there are for Nikon and I can't put my finger on a macro lens that costs that much. A used 200mm f/4 micro? I haven't used that one myself but I've read it's probably the best macro lens as the next most expensive one is half that which is the one I use, the Nikon 105mm micro. But in the case with aquarium photography, I don't know if you need a focal length that high since you'll probably be sitting right next to your tank. If you were using the 200mm you'd have to sit a few feet away, but the optics are probably worth it (I'm just saying you don't need a far focal length since you have control of your enviornment; if you were shooting insects then the longer focal length is great).

I tried a few flash setups on my shots but really didn't have much success... I used the SB-900 by itself, then as the master with SB-600's with umbrellas. They really came out flat but those were for the full aquarium shots. Just for shots of the shrimps I could see using flash bringing out even more detail; however, the ones I have posted here are all without flash. I shoot aperture priority most of the time but anytime I need sharp pictures of fast moving things like dogs/birds/fish, I go to shutter priority. For my closeups of the shrimps in this thread, they were shot at 1/250s f/4 with no flash and the auto iso was around 1600. I don't think they were very good shots or anything, just saying their exif data if it helps because shrimps/fish could be difficult and I know I'm still learning. I just want to emphasize that with today's cameras with great high iso levels, and with the abundant lights from the aquarium, you should have no problem taking pictures of moving fish/shrimp without flash.

If you're on the look out for good lens prices be sure to check out fredmiranda.com's buy/sell forum - that's where I've gotten like 90% of my lenses for way cheaper than retail and I say more reliable than 3bay


Also, why use the 36W archaea instead of the 27W? I think it's narrower and would probably fit your tank better. I'm getting a ADA 45H in January and will probably go custom dimmable LED (I don't want to change a $35 bulb every year).
I actually didn't see the 27W one back when I was shopping for it. I went to aqua forest and I thought the 36W was good. If I was shopping now I'd definitely consider that one because the one sided mount is cleaner than the back mount on the 36W I am using. When you get the 45H be sure to post up a tank journal! =) I'd like to see its progress =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just an update on the tank.

Additions:
- Changed the lily pipe from the regular ADA one to the Do! Aqua Poppy Glass PP-1. The flow was too much (because of my over filtration) but the Poppy Glass does wonders. The water still goes fast but will hit the bottom of the glass , kill its momentum, then go upwards. The only downside is if I don't do a water change in 2-3 days a thin layer of film will appear but can be avoided if I lift up the glass for a few minutes which will disturb the water top enough.

- Added 5 assassin snails, purchased from NeoShrimp on these boards. They are really interesting to watch (more so because they seem to be nocturnal so seeing them out in the day is rare for me). I've seen lots of empty snail shells already so they're doing well.

- Made a DIY tank top with alumnium screen window sides and clear plastic mesh. I messaged speedie408 for info and he showed me the link of which he used: http://www.reeflounge.com/showthread.php?t=31685


New Picture:
- Here is the new tank top. Some challenges I faced were I had lily pipes on the left side and the top side had my light. I had to try to cover it all or my cat would find a way to drink the tank water which I didn't want (it must take like a cocktail to him heh). I wanted it to be easily taken off so making a one piece construction wouldn't work that well because I would have to lift up the lily pipes if I wanted to remove the top so instead I created a left side that goes under the lily pipes, and a right side that I can remove for trimming, feeding, and water changes. The right side has no back bar because of the light so it looks sloppier but I'm happy with it. My first attempt was with aluminum mesh but that was such a pain in the butt and was really hard to work with so plastic is a lot better. I was going to go with black plastic but found clear plastic and went with that (you can find it here http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/clear-1-4-screen-netting-7-x-3.html)




Video of the tank:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25xs5LI7Lb0

It's just filmed on my iphone so the quality is so-so but it shows the tank in motion. I was interested in the assassin snails because like I mentioned, they are rarely out during the day when the lights are on. Early on the video I tried to get a video of a berried CRS on top of frogbite but it was hard to pick up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Got myself a new Nikon V1 camera with FT1 adapter (to allow for the regular dslr lenses to be used on it). It has a 2.7x crop so my macro lens, a 105mm, becomes like 280mm! I didn't get a good one of my shrimps as most were hiding today but I like how close I could get to my espei rasbora which are about an inch long and I had to back up to get their whole body in the frame!




The plants are growing well

 
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