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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made the unfortunate mistake of dropping in on AFA one day while walking along Fillmore in SF. A couple hundred bucks and countless hours of prune-y hands later, behold ... The Blue Steel (if you take this hobby too seriously you'll go crazy).
Substrate: Amazonia II base with a layer of Amazonia powder
CO2: the wildly overpriced ADA CO2 Advance System
Lighting: Archaea 27W 10000K.
Filtration: Eheim Ecco 2232
Hardscape: Chinese zebra rock. Haven't seen many tanks with this type of rock, and I think I know why. This stuff is an algae magnet. The white part of the stone is really porous and must take to algae spores really well.
Flora: a willy nilly collection of narrow fern, anubias barteri, HC, micro crypt, and rotala sp. pearl.
Fauna: 6 amanos (no names. too difficult to differentiate), 1 zebra nerite (Linas), and 1 mts (too itinerant to bother naming).
Ferts: the Estimative Index. "Estimative" being the operative word.



Couple shrimpies on view:


Alas, The Blue Steel is at about 4 months old and a few drastic alterations in (new filter, drastic rescape, reestablishing of bacteria for semi-embarrassing reasons), and while the algae is ...ahem... manageable right now, the tank requires a fair amount of vigilance. The amanos help, but I ask too much of them. It's getting better and I can only hope that I'm on the right track, but please tell me that this gets easier. I fear that I'm scrimping on the CO2 (those little ADA tanks, while attractive, are expensive. I keep it at about 1 bps), but I'm hopeful that The Blue Steel is simply finding it's center.
 

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If you want to get a sloping effect, the Rotala is out of place unless youkeep it trimmed. Otherwise, the tank is amazing!
 

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That front-right rock looks really interesting. Actually they all look great, they make the sloping of the substrate seem like it should be there. I really like how you've captured the essence of moisture in this tank. As we all know, moisture is the essence of wetness...
 

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Reg is right. Moisture is the essence of wetness, and the essence of wetness is beuaty. And, I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I can't wait to see ADA 30C: Magnum.
On a serious note, the tank looks great. One bps should be fine CO2-wise. You don't really have all that many light-loving, heavy breathers in that tank so if algae gets out of hand, just raise up the light fixture to reduce intensity and you should be fine. (HC carpets with much less light than many people think.)
The "roll" in the front of the substrate is fresh!
 

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Very cool scape! All my thoughts have already been mentioned above, but I just thought I would add my compliments to the pool. :)
 

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i really like your scape, different than many i see, i'm not an expert but have seen many nice tanks, one little thought, a nice little driftwood may look nice in the back right at the base of the left rock leaning towards right back and a branch or two extending over the front right rock
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the kind words, all. Reg and UG, I'm flattered that you think I've managed to capture moisture with a bunch of water :). Finfan, I think that you're responding to the gaping hole on the left side of the tank, but I kind of like the lack of symmetry. Regardless, I do agree that something's not quite right, but I'll let things mature a bit and then make some decisions. In the meantime, I just found some signs of staghorn in the tank. My first tank has proven to be a crash course in all the different kinds of algae. Will this ever end?
 

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Thanks for the kind words, all. Reg and UG, I'm flattered that you think I've managed to capture moisture with a bunch of water :). Finfan, I think that you're responding to the gaping hole on the left side of the tank, but I kind of like the lack of symmetry. Regardless, I do agree that something's not quite right, but I'll let things mature a bit and then make some decisions. In the meantime, I just found some signs of staghorn in the tank. My first tank has proven to be a crash course in all the different kinds of algae. Will this ever end?
The war with algae nevers ends sometimes it will usbside though.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Update pics of The Blue Steel. Algae is still there, but seems to have settled and may in fact be abating. I've added some hydrocotyle verticillata and 4 endlers to help with some tiny worms that seem to have made a home for themselves in the substrate, and now The Blue Steel is home to 6 amano and 4 endlers. Am I maxing the bio load on this tank (7.2 gallons)? Anyhow, the tank is pretty stable and I'm finally reaping the gentle rewards of this hobby.







Amano doing his work in the fields.
 

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Omg...those Endler's looks awesome! Where'd you get them?

Have you checked out Ocean Aquarium on Cedar Street? It's hard to find, but it's an excellent fish store.

EDIT: I am seriously thinking of making the third picture my desktop background;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey, Zoo. Got the endlers at AFA, of course. I have not been to Ocean Aquarium yet, as I keep trying to convince myself that I'm only dabbling in this hobby. The last thing I need are more things to look at and consider.
 

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Hey, Zoo. Got the endlers at AFA, of course. I have not been to Ocean Aquarium yet, as I keep trying to convince myself that I'm only dabbling in this hobby. The last thing I need are more things to look at and consider.
Seriously? I've been there all this time and missed those...

Anyway, the tank looks really nice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
New pics. Go some anubias petite and wedged it into a fold in the rock, as well as some crypt lucens in the background. Also picked up a pair of CRS to see how they'd do in the tank. So far, so good.

FTS:


Slightly more overhead shot:


New denizens:


Another shot with the anubias petite:
 
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