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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 · #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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Looks great! I like the cluster of rock on the left side. I don't think that the anubias really fits. To me, it looks best in the second picture but still doesn't really seem right. Everyone will have different opinions though.

Update?
 

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So what have you changed aside from the layout? I'll assume the lighting is the same. What do you plan to do about algae? From the looks of things, that light is going to cause it with that few plants. The light is so close to the tank you'd need a lot more plants to combat it... lifting it higher, if that's an option, may help. I wouldn't want you to make the same mistake because I know battling algae is draining and no fun. Changing the layout but keeping all the same other factors will not stop algae so some more strides have to be done.

Being emersed right now you won't get that problem, but once you fill it up, I feel like that is too much lighting too close. Looking at the tank you referenced on your first message, you can see that their lighting (granted it's different) is way higher: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=177261&page=7 I think you'd benefit from lifting at least a few inches, if it 5+ inches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Yeah, I know the light will be too much if I leave it on the tank. I plan on lifting it once I fill the tank. I havent decided what kind of plants I want on the left. I am thinking maybe some tall DHG in the back left, but I think it will probably just over take the tank eventually. Anyone have any ideas?
 

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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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Et-3m-24vdc

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: DIY Aquarium Touchscreen Controller - The Planted Tank Forum

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.
So I ordered some of these 3 way solenoids. I'm just wondering if I have to close the 3rd exhaust port on top? I've always used the 2 way ET-2M-24VDC, and never had to deal with this before.
 
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