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12 Gallon Wicked Long!

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Hey Everyone, after a long battle with some nasty algae, I have decided that it is time to completely redo my tank. My original setup, being my first foray in planted tanks, was a complete and udder mess, so this time I decided to keep it a little bit simpler.

The setup is largely inspired by Mythin's 12 gallon long (check it out http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=177261, it is very nice). I like the look of just a few rocks and a lot of open space.

I played around with the rocks for a while. Check out the progression!

I really like the way these three rocks work together, they're going to be the focal point of the tank


I like these rocks on the left as well, but they're too big. I don't want them to be bigger than the group of rocks on the right.


Same deal as before. Maybe I can find a way to include them...


This rock on the left is really cool, but I think it creates two focal points. Looks like I will have to use it on a different tank.


I put the rocks on the left. I think this creates a better flow of the eye. Something is still not quite right though...


I like this look as well. I think the rock on the right compliments the group on the left.


Here we go, this is looking better...


I really like having the rock grouping raised like this, but I am not sure if it looks better alone, or with other rocks on the right...







Here it is again with some water drained and the rock grouping alone.



From here I am going to add a carpet of HC, and maybe an anubia nano or some other taller plants. I am also toying with the idea of putting some white sand in the middle to create a river effect, but I think that might detract from the simplicity.

So what are your thoughts on the hardscape so far? Which of the layouts do you guys prefer? Any ideas on which plants might look nice with this setup?

UPDTATE June 19, 2013:
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the comments, guys!

I love those rock on the left side at the 4th picture!
Great start! Can you have some info on the substrate and light?
Sure, I'm using eco-complete for the substrate. It's about a bag and a half. For lighting it's a 36" Coralife T5NO. It will definitely be raised once I fill it, that's part of why my algae was so bad in the original setup.

I also have 9 green neon tetras and 9 CPD's. They're chillin in my 10g quarantine tank until this tank is ready to go.

I decided the tank does need a rock on the right, and I started adding some HC. I'm going to be dry starting for a while to allow the litte buggers to root. I have to wait until my LFS gets some more HC in stock before I can add anymore unfortunately, which will probably be another week.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Love it. And I love how you took a picture every time you changed up the scape. I should do that next time instead of fumbling around, backing up and looking at it, then fumbling some more. Good choice on rock shapes, too - not just placement. It's gonna be a sexy tank for sure.

Thanks! Taking the pictures along the way was fun and really helpful. Sometimes I would like something, make a change, then forget how I had it before. So being able to go back to the pictures helped a lot. Plus its fun to see how it progressed. I have an anubis nana in there right now, still in the pot, but I'm not quite sold on it. It's a good looking plant, but I'm just no sure if it fits with the rest of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
i love this thank set up. i'd rather have a tank long than wide/ deep they just look so much more elegant. what are the dimensions? is this a custom? if so did you make it yourself? what did you use to attach the panels?
Thanks. Its actually a 12 gallon long by Mr. Aqua. It is about 36" long, 9" high, and 8" deep. A good local fish store will often sell them, but they can be hard to find. There's a whole thread dedicated to these tanks. Check out the 12 Gallon Long Club in my signature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I planted some more HC yesterday, and filled in most of the right side. The HC on the plateau area, and especially the slope has been drying out, so I moved much of it, and I am now concentrating on growing the HC on the lower portion. I am not sure how to get enough water to the higher part :-/ I might put a different kind of plant up there, something with longer roots, or just wait until the lower HC has rooted and spread out significantly and raise the water level to the height of the plateau.

Question, should I be misting, or just let the natural humidity take care of everything? I keep the top covered with saran wrap.



I also got this little anubis I don't know what to do with...Does he fit? Where Should I place him? I think its a very handsome little plant, but I'm really just not sure what to do with the little fella. I tried placing it in a few different locations.





 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Definitely mist.

You'll be able to tell when the plants need moisture. I sometimes mist 2-3 times per day when starting dry.
This might be a dumb question, but...Can I use non de-chlorinated tap water? Will the chemicals in the tap water stay in the substrate and harm the fish when they are finally added?
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Here's the latest on the tank. I added a bunch of baby tears the other day, and a few anubias on the left behind the group of rocks. I think these will look real nice once they grow up :)





I upgraded the regulator as well. I bought a clippard ET-3M-24 mouse solenoid and I got a good deal on a Swagelok B-SS4 needle valve, but MAN are the swagelok connectors expensive! Who knew? That was a bit of an ordeal. The guys at swagelok had a real hard time trying to figure out how to connect everything to the Clippard's manifold port. Here's a look at it all assembled:





I'm also working on putting together an Arduino based DIY aquarium controller like Mike_in_MD's seen here: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=192436

I don't have any experience with this kind of thing, but it seems like a really fun project. It will allow me to monitor the temp, pH, control the lighting, my co2, and all sorts of fun stuff. They sky is the limit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Awesome tank!

Anymore updates!? After this long, it must have some fauna.
Oh wow, did I really last update in January? Man, time as gone by fast.

But, yes, there have been a lot of changes. The tank looks completely different now. I am expecting some plants in the mail tonight, so once those are all in I will give you guys another update with lots of pictures.. I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys think, as I went in a completely different direction with the tank (the tank was looking just a bit too empty for my taste).
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)


This shot was taken shortly after trimming and adding several new plants. Clearly this tank is a work in progress, and I need to get a lot more plants to fill it in. I'm not particularly fond of the anubias on the left, so I might get rid of those. I also clearly have an algae issue, mostly due to my laziness when it comes to adding fertilizers, so I built an Arduino-powered automatic doser. I'm excited to see the plants fill in, and I think this could be looking good over the course of the next few weeks.

I'll post some pics of the fish tomorrow.
 
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