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5' Rimless - The Malaysian Driftwood Installation

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I have been picking away at this project for a little while: building a light mount, gathering equipment, etc... Just this evening I was finally able to get the tank itself onto the stand (it has been in the garage waiting on sufficient muscle and planning to make the move into the house). I figure this is a good time to start a journal.

Here's where things stand as of this evening:

Window Wood Twig Rectangle Art


Table Furniture Property Picture frame Building


Wood Building Couch Floor Art


Some of you may be familiar with this space, as it is the same spot that previously housed a 68g chronicled in this tank journal. As I came to realize (and note in that journal), this is the best spot in my house for a larger tank due to the arrangement of floor joists for the main level, which sits above a full unfinished basement. Ultimately, as much as I loved that tank, it was a missed opportunity for the space. I finished that project on a high note and took it down to make room for this five-footer. This tank size is a much better fit.

I already knew I was going to put a bigger tank in this space when I found this truly massive piece of driftwood at my local fish shop. Once I had the wood, the contours of the project started to take shape. For example, I was going to need spot lighting from about 90" off the floor. There will be no lid. There will be the potential for emergent growth and/or a mixed aquatic and terrestrial planting. Many things are still unknown, but they're starting to fall into place. One thing at a time!

First - the name of the tank journal should reflect the absurdity of the wood's proportions. Check.

Next is plumbing.

Then, hardscape.

More (much more) to come.
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Discussion Starter · #683 ·

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Discussion Starter · #690 ·
I pulled the macro lens out right after the lights came on this morning. That's when the lights are at their reddest, and it really brought out the fishes' colors.

Fin Fish Underwater Rectangle Marine biology


Organism Rectangle Tints and shades Magenta Fin


Water Organism Fin Underwater Fish


Fin Underwater Organism Fish Marine biology


Textile Organism Art Painting Adaptation


Rectangle Beard Art Magenta Tints and shades


Fin Organism Fish Rectangle Underwater
 

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Discussion Starter · #693 ·
I don't see why you should feel the need to apologize for sharing so many stunning photos with us! I really enjoy following this journal and your photography never disappoints.
Aw, thanks!

The tank hasn't changed much lately aside from some fertilizer changes, so there's not too much to post about... but I always seem to have some fresh glamour shots of the fish!
 

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So, my wife and I were trying to decide what color cabinet to get for the (approved!) 6025. I showed her this thread, described my plan for the layout, etc.

One thing we ended up talking about was why flow from left to right looks “natural” to us, but from right to left looks weird. There are other, real world examples of that. For example, when I think of a river, I think of it flowing from north to south. The main drainages of the US, for example. Yet, when we were sitting there with our son, eating tacos, we were next to the Blue River (Breckinridge), which flows south to north. Similarly, the Nile seems odd, to me, flowing south to north.


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Discussion Starter · #695 ·
So, my wife and I were trying to decide what color cabinet to get for the (approved!) 6025. I showed her this thread, described my plan for the layout, etc.

One thing we ended up talking about was why flow from left to right looks “natural” to us, but from right to left looks weird. There are other, real world examples of that. For example, when I think of a river, I think of it flowing from north to south. The main drainages of the US, for example. Yet, when we were sitting there with our son, eating tacos, we were next to the Blue River (Breckinridge), which flows south to north. Similarly, the Nile seems odd, to me, flowing south to north.


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Congrats on the 5 footer - it's a great format for a planted tank.

How interesting. I went left to right with this tank because of the room layout, but now that I think about it, left to right does seem more natural... Maybe it has a bit to do with the direction we read and write in?
 

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How interesting. I went left to right with this tank because of the room layout, but now that I think about it, left to right does seem more natural... Maybe it has a bit to do with the direction we read and write in?
This is a really interesting thought. I often find myself thinking the left to right flow seems more natural, but sometimes the room dictates the opposite. I wonder if any of our members whose first language reads from right to left see the opposite as more natural.
 

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Discussion Starter · #698 ·
@EmotionalFescue : Do you feel that the surface skimmer is a necessary part of your setup?

I started a thread about some 25mm SS jet pipes I’ll be making. Or if the questions I have is whether I need a skimmer or not.


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I do. I have found the most success when I've kept CO2 rock steady, and I think surface skimming is one of the best ways to achieve that, along with decent surface agitation. Plus, having it integrated into the intake just makes it a set it and forget it kind of thing you never have to worry about.
 

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I do. I have found the most success when I've kept CO2 rock steady, and I think surface skimming is one of the best ways to achieve that, along with decent surface agitation. Plus, having it integrated into the intake just makes it a set it and forget it kind of thing you never have to worry about.
Cool. I’ll be plumbing a tee, an elbow and an up-pipe into my 304 SS jet pipe intake now.


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Discussion Starter · #700 ·
Plant World Organism Purple Houseplant


Today is water change day, and I'm going to mow the rotala down pretty short, so I figured I would grab a shot of the tank before I do that. As long as I'm here, I'll give a general update as well...

The emergent plants have been doing amazingly well and the submerged plants have been struggling somewhat. I believe these are two sides of the same coin...

A couple of weeks ago on water change day I did a nitrate test (Salifert) after noting that the plants looked a bit lethargic and that there was some cyano proliferation in parts of the tank. Sure enough, I was only able to detect ~10ppm nitrate. So, this past couple weeks I've been running a +33% daily fertilizer regime. Last week I picked up ~20ppm nitrate on water change day. This week I've also been running a reduction (duration and intensity) on the #1 light program in an attempt to further reduce the uptake from the big Monstera. The submerged plants definitely seem to have perked up since the change. That change brings me to a weekly infusion of 56ppm nitrate, 14ppm phosphate, and 65ppm K. Those are the same ratios I've been using for a couple years now, just (massively) scaled up. To be honest, I'm well outside my comfort zone dosing at these levels, but it seems necessary given the ravenous appetites of the Monsteras, Pothos, and Creeping Fig.

I also noted within the past few weeks some tufts of BBA, mostly on the tips of the longest Vals draping into the high light zone. Now, curiously, BBA has never been much of an issue in this house. I've experienced all manner of other algaes, but hardly any black beard. Except for in one of my wife's tanks - a shell-dwelling cichlid tank with aragonite substrate. She had some spiderwood in there there that became completely encased in black beard.

Without any hard evidence - and potentially confusing correlation for causation - I surmised this was down to general hardness. At that time, all the tanks were on city water, which only had a dGH of ~3-4. When I set up the RO system I went with 30ppm Ca and 15ppm Mg which was about 8 dGH. Thinking that was maybe a bit high, last week I lowered the remineralization to 24ppm and 12ppm Mg, or about 6 dGH. We'll see what effect it has, though I'm not really worried about it being too little, given my experience running high light tanks with much softer water.

I think that about covers it!
 
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