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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Update 4/3: Here are a couple full tank shots. 12/07 - 4/08
Stand and specs are here. Read on through the journal if you're bored.


Got a free 65gl tank and driftwood from some old lady's back yard, will make a great grow out for my angelfish. The plan is an SA biotope (edit 12/29; that's no longer the case and it never really happened here), but I'll likely be using non-region specific species here and there for whatever reason, so it'll be more of an SA interpretation, probably not a very good one at that, I'd rather not have a substrate of mud and dead leaves and I'm sure there are no play-sand valleys lined with purple rocks in SA. :hihi:

First a few inches of Eco that was payed for with lfs gift cards, driftwood, and 20lbs of rock the lfs guy called jasmine.





Now 1 to 3 inches of SMS, sand in the center, both covered with mulm from a filter sponge. *Update/Warning: SMS next to sand is super messy, it's much lighter than sand.





Next I'll start adding stems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you Finch_man, I agree about the wood. The tank and wood were freebies, so I'm doing what I can, was very aggravating at first but I'm learning to be less critical. I'm hoping it'll pull together more after the layout is complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I've come close to ripping the driftwood out of this one, but I decided to finish the idea I had first for the experience then rip it up later. The tank cycled in 12 days with the help of running it's Cascade1000 on my 30gl for a month, and using my nasty tapwater (amm 2ppm, nI 5ppm, nA 5ppm) to fishless cycle it. By day 11 nitrites dropped to .25ppm and ammonia 0ppm, I added an SAE, the next day nitrite was at 0ppm, the next week added angelfish and so on.
Anyway, here are some shots before removing starter plants. Vals will go in the back and I'll have replanted pics when everything comes in the mail. Tried to use the Chrome color setting on my new fuji and it wrecked the exposure on the second pic, but who needs it with starters in the tank.

Start


One month. I put a lot of starters behind the wood, but for some reason they didn't really grow regardless of having the light towards the back 70% of the time.
 

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Your plants and everything look great but I have to say it; for some reason that piece of driftwood suggests to me some prehistoric creature hovering over a stream!
 

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Looking good. I suggest putting some long stems back in the corner behind the wood, make that part tall height, the wood is already medium and the plants in front low, will look good I think.

EDIT: Oh yeah, that angelfish(?) is really nice looking!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Your plants and everything look great but I have to say it; for some reason that piece of driftwood suggests to me some prehistoric creature hovering over a stream!
That's funny, believe it or not I call it "the elephant wood", lol.

Thanks for looking, everyone. :smile:

Oh yeah, that angelfish(?) is really nice looking!
Thanks. Your right, that's Spike the anglfish, he's our bad apple. He's in with an SAE, a rubber nose and ten black neons. I have ten rainbow tetras (Nematobrycon lacortei) on the way and might put some apistos or rams in there.
 

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that wood is very unique. I like it alot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thanks Ryzilla.

Added some ET near the rocks, not sure if it clashes with the micro sword. Just finished planting tons of Valisneria nana. Tying down Peacock moss under water is no small feat!


Big thanks to all the members here and at APC that hooked it up in the swap and shop. :proud:



 

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I would add some more A. reineckii just to the left of the stems you have now, this would draw the eye slightly from the wood.

I personaly love the woods look
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would add some more A. reineckii just to the left of the stems you have now, this would draw the eye slightly from the wood.

I personaly love the woods look
Thanks for the tip, my g/f was mentioning the same thing. I'm sure I'll be plugging some more in there soon.

Any suggestions for another colorful plant to the left of that? There's some stargrass and ludwigia (cuba) there now but I'd like it to be all S.American at some point, leaving the L.cuba is an option since I've already decided to do val nana in place of val americana for personal aesthetic reasons, but that's just a val, not L.cuba.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Great tank :) plants are growing pretty fast ;)
Thank you. Yes, that is a good thing.....for now. :icon_roll

Here's the stand, It was hard finding anything with a 36"x18" footprint that looked decent and I didn't feel like making one this time. I ended up getting a 45"x18" TV stand from a local furniture store, I wanted something old world looking but still modern that could work with both an eastern or western theme, that could support the weight.

The woman did some decorating. :) Can't go wrong with Chinese Foo dogs protecting your tank. :thumbsup:





Nothing fancy, but at least it's clean today :)


Time for some specs:

Lighting: 192w 6700k Coralife (replaces a smoky smelling Odyssea equivalent)

CO2: 5lb pressurized, Home built regulator: Cornelius built to near exact specs as Rex's with solenoid and Fabco NV55. I got the Cornelius with metal gauges since they're more durable then the plastic ones, but they're so noisy when the solenoid is on that I had to wrap hair ties around them. DIY BC to Limewood diffuser under filter return.

Filter: Cascade 1000.

Params: pH6.4, 3dKH, 5dGH

EI NPK CSM+B dry dosed

20gl weekly change water: 1/4tsp baking soda per 5gl RO/DI - 1tspn Barr's GH booster

Sub: Eco-complete capped with SMS charcoal, ~1/2" play sand pathway

Plants and stock: Val nana, Echinodorus tennellus, Alternanthera reineckii, Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, Elatine triandra, Hydrocotyle verticillata, Microsorum pteropus, Echinodorus 'rubin', H. traian, Proserpinaca palustris, C. thalictroides, Eleocharis geniculata, various Anubius nana & barteri.

Gold marble veil tail angelfish, 6 Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, 5 Hemigrammus bleheri, 2 corydoras julii, striped rubbernose pleco, MTS, ramshorns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Experimenting with different backgrounds. I like what the white does in the room, with the shades of color and ripple shadows, it has more of a tan effect in person. I think the plants pop much better against the black.

No photoshop, the glow is the effect of moving the light to the rear
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
....and the ugly

I've managed to create my first vat of green water (pic below). I tried to up the P and K, I always underdosed it and thought I'd try stepping things up. I also did the first real filter and hose cleaning a few days ago, maybe a bit too much but the water was really filled with debri, so there could have been a slight ammonia spike. I'll just wait it out, maybe I'll have some nice pics of thick green soup soon, great time to start a daph culture. Everything else is doing great behind the curtain, but I didn't seem to make a dent in the ugly H.zosterifolia black spots, which was my intention, maybe they're still acclimating but new growth is still getting spots.

 
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