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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi there!
After a year of research and saving, the time has come to finally start the journal of my first planned tank. The first tank was a 20G that I originally bought for fish and stumbled upon plants. The fish are ornaments for the plants now. :proud: With my first tank I made all the typical mistakes...wrong substrate, wrong lights, no ferts, loads of algae, no co2. It was invaluable as a learning tool however. So on to the new set up!
Equipment as follows-
1.Lighting- 3x39 Catalina Solar T-5 with moonlights. (Only the 2 outside bulbs will be used unless a noon burst is needed) They will be hung above the tank according to Hoppy's helpful info!
2. Substrate- Flourite Black
3. Filter- Rena Xp3
4. Heater-Hydor Inline
5. Pressurized Co2- Sumo Regulator, grigg style in line reactor, drop checker from Orlando (also thanks for Seiryu stone package!)
6. Ferts- EI (also thanks Orlando!)

Fauna plan- Corys, Otos, Cardinals, and a pair of rams possibly

I set up the substrate today and was playing with rock formations. I have HC that should be arriving Monday or Tuesday and I will be growing it emersed to get it going. In the pics to come this looks like it may work well as Iwugami but the plan is more like a Mullet...business in the front and party in the back. :icon_mrgr Suggestions on plant choices are welcome but here is my initial thought. HC in the foreground, Blyxa Japonica midground (on the sides behind the rocks and possibly up toward the center) Some anubias petite in a few cracks between the rocks or Willow Moss hanging over them. The midground will be to just soften the lines of the rocks. In the background behind the Blyxa I was thinking I would use Rotala Sp. Green for shrubs (maybe some Rotala Sp. Pink if I decide for more color) I may for L. Aromatica or something even lighter like Myriophyllum tuberculatum. Think the red might be too much? Its something I have been wondering.

So anyway...suggestions welcome and here are the initial hardscape pics! I am toying with an idea I had for a sand path made out of plastic which would be coated in silicone and sprinkled with sand. I just cant commit to a sand path and the thought of trying to remove it is horrid. With the "acrylic sand path" I would be able to just remove it when I get sick of it. Cheating?LOL


shot from slightly above...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Luke! I have been watching your Riparium come together looks great.


Added side note about the set up-
BTW...the black background may be temporary. I put it up to see how it would look but may end up doing a foam core with backlight. The stand should be here Tuesday hopefully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update time!

Time for a quick update. I am about 3 weeks into the emersed HC set up. I also just finished building 2 matching stands for my 20G as well as the 40B. All in all not too bad for my first time using the garage for something beyond auto stuff!
Here are a few pics.

3 weeks in and compared to the first pic you can really see a big difference!


The stands before they were skinned. The top and bottom are 3/4" ply.


Skinned with MDF 1x4's, the sides are beadboard, and a couple decorative mdf pieces in the corners. Primed with Shellac based primer and coated with high gloss enamel. ( I wouldnt use this as my paint choice a second time around unless I was going to spray it!)


This one is for the 20G...gives a better look at the beadboard on the sides.
 

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Honeycomb Master
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BEAUTIFUL tank. That's going to look amazing when filled with water!
Stand looks great too- nice job. :thumbsup:

At first i thought that the rocks were kinda on the small side for your tank, but it looks REALLY good.
 

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Tank is looking good... DSM is the way to go with HC !!

Those stands are very nice looking (first effort or not)...

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
BEAUTIFUL tank. That's going to look amazing when filled with water!
Stand looks great too- nice job. :thumbsup:

At first i thought that the rocks were kinda on the small side for your tank, but it looks REALLY good.
Thanks! I was a little worried about the size of the rock as well but I actually took one of the larger pieces out and it really seemed to help. The rock is mostly in the front with the small leaves of the HC and it seems to work ok so far. The trick is going to be finding the right plants for the background that will also work with their size. I may be tweeking my initial plan a little now that I have seen it set up.

Those stands are very nice looking (first effort or not)...

Larry
There are a few mistakes that I wont be pointing out to the wife...she allowed them in so they must look ok. She said that she got final approval on furniture so....I was under a microscope. :D

HC is off to a great start homie. Looks good.
Thanks Speedie...coming from you it means alot. Your 40 is one of my favorite tanks. :thumbsup:

everything looks great.
Thanks nemo!

Wow, looking great. Nice stands too. :proud:
Thanks Holokai, I just hope all the planning pays off. When I fill it with water I really hope its not algae fest 2010. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Looks great! Good composition, nice hardscape. When are you planning on flooding and finishing off the planting?
Right now as you can see the light fixture is on the tank. This next weekend is a light hanger project to suspend the lights. I should also be able to get some of the plumbing set up. If all goes well with the projects it should be weekend after next when its finally gets water. Which means I hit the swap and shop this weekend as well. Hopefully I can nail down the plant choices...I have been bouncing back and forth on the rest of the plants. I do feel I need to keep the leaf size small which is making me lean toward Rotala Sp. Green. , R. Colorata, L. Aromatica,Blyxa J. for midground, and either Staurgyne or anubias petite for some texture change around the rocks.

IDEAS WELCOME! The deadline is fast approaching when I need to commit...as you can tell I haven't!
 

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Rotala? I would never have envisioned that for this scape. Rocks are a bit low for a high growing bushy stem plant IMO. I liked the Blyxa japonica or a nice thicket of cryptocoryne, maybe even Downoi or Erio.

Should be interesting to see this develop with that stem plant selection. I have been amazed before by people on this forum and some of the scapes that they pull off, so I wouldn't be surprised if it happens again! LOL!
 

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ShrimpRetirement
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Nate,

I think Gatekeeper has a good point about the stems overshadowing your rockscape. That is what I experienced in my 40B as well. I've since taken out the big rock I had near the back because of this. You couldn't even see the rock after the plants grew in. You're rocks are smaller compared to the rock I had so they'd be swallowed in a matter of weeks with Rotala. It's def doable if you keep trimming the stems back. You're idea for the mid - foreground sounds good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Points are well taken.

The reason behind the Rotala is the scape is based loosely on this tank. My idea was to use the HC path as a focus rather than the large rocks which are the focus in this tank. The large rocks in his midground would be replaced by midground plants like Blyxa and staurogyne. etc. I am imagining less pink or red (though I do want highlights) hence the Rotala Sp. green. with highlights of Colorata.
I have always loved the very trimmed look he has in this tank and in my 20G my Rotala has always looked lanky and lacked any shape. Its one of my aquascaping goals to learn the fine art of trimming.
Do you think I have enough room front to back to pull off the look I am after here? Thanks or the advice I will take all the help I can get!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
UPDATE~

Well I finished the Grigg style reactor and got all the plumbing hooked up yesterday. It was just in time as the Blyxa arrived just as I was wrapping up. (Thanks CL!)
Got it all planted and filled the tank. Drop checker is a nice greenish yellow! I have some Rotala on the way to go behind the Blyxa. If it doesnt look like I imagined I will pull it out and stick it in my other tank. Hopefully I wont have to.
Here is a few pics! (Pardon the bacteria bloom, I guess the cycle is started. LOL)



Thanks for looking!
Nate
 
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