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Old 06-30-2015, 11:02 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Default Re: Woodwork

Wow, look at that. You have moss growing between the rocks. Did you plant the moss or did it just grow on its own there?

Either way it looks great!

The tank definitely needs more plants though

Do you have a water dripper to keep the exposed background wet?
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:43 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Default Re: Woodwork

Thanks, BruceF.

Zap, I glued some dry peat onto cracks in the rock and dents in the root, and then smudged that with a moss soup. I let it be there with just some regular spraying until it started greening. It's slow but to me it's very satisfying to see it grow from scratch.
After the moss looked like it's established itself I started the water circulation.
Circulation includes a spray bar to wet the background, outlet for the water flow and finally a spraybar under water, on the right hand side.
Overflow is on left, so I'm getting a nice lateral flow and hopefully cleanish water conditions…

In this vid all of the outlets can be seen, but waterflow is a lot weaker than it is nowadays, after switching the pump from Eheim 1250 to an OR 3500…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L4HRzygOh0

I agree, more plants on the way. Just want to take it easy and find plants that don't go all over the place in an instant. I want to enjoy the background, too…

Thanks for your feedback, gents.
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:00 AM   #73 (permalink)
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Default Re: Woodwork

Someone might like to see how the first inhabitants are owning this tank:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMevfVPd1PY


Acouple of pics, in case someone would be in for a shot at ID:ing the hillsters:






Thanks for watching!
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:22 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Default Re: Woodwork

Holy crap Batman! I can't believe that is pvc, looks almost like petrified wood. Your fish is beautiful as well. Does the cement alter carbonates at all (kh)? I had some cap material that ended up making kh skyrocket and ph stabilize around 8.5-9 at the top of the chart. All these posts make me want to make some kind of sculpture covered in epiphytes, as long as the material won't ruin the balance of the tank.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:29 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Default Re: Woodwork

A good alternative that does not change pH or any water perimeters is using Ceramics. The only issue with it is that you need access to a kiln to cure it.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:32 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Default Re: Woodwork

My husband just surprised me with a 3D printer, so there is another option.
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Old 07-23-2015, 01:29 PM   #77 (permalink)
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Default Re: Woodwork

Quote:
Originally Posted by pandragon View Post
Holy crap Batman! I can't believe that is pvc, looks almost like petrified wood. Your fish is beautiful as well. Does the cement alter carbonates at all (kh)? I had some cap material that ended up making kh skyrocket and ph stabilize around 8.5-9 at the top of the chart. All these posts make me want to make some kind of sculpture covered in epiphytes, as long as the material won't ruin the balance of the tank.
Cement. I keep hearing a lot of doubts about using it. Still waiting for some data to support the doubts, especially the harsher ones… But then again, everyone does what they think is right. Not aiming at educating anyone here.

To cut the long story short, with water changes I make I see very little affect in KH, let alone pH in tanks with hardscapes I make. I could be a bit cautious with tanks going for very low pH, since all buffering with carbonates makes efforts for lowering pH a drag.

"Affecting balance of the tank" is an interesting concept. Pretty much everything you dump in the tank, does. Hardscapes do. Plants do. Most sands do. Plastic does, light does, replacement water does, all inhabitants do.
Needless to say, any tank finds a balance, when you know what you're doing. Avoiding extremities.
Water change schedule is mostly to maintain the balance of the tank, not so much creating a balance?

Naturally, I let all cement cure thoroughly before taking them to action, so fresh cement affect is long gone by that.

Knowing all water I use comes from chambers made of concrete (a concrete-ring well or huge water towers), I see all replacement water being affected by cement already. Whether I'd be worried about using that water in my tanks, well… as I said, you choose.
Many, many of the puplic aquariums I've visited are using tanks made mostly of concrete. Some treated with stuff like epoxies, some untreated. To my knowledge they don't seem to be suffering any long-term problems with it.

Pretty much everything leeches something in water. All plastics we use do (as you know, food grade plastics are no exception), all stones we use do, all wood we use does. I do use some acrylic polymers mixed into the grout I smudge on the scapes and rely on them reducing leeching of cement to an extent, but don't have actual data on this.
That's why I'm a bit cautious giving specific brands or proportions I tend to use. Along with the fact that composition of these chemicals vary depending on the country they are sold. Even same brands do.

Poison is not a substance. Poison is a dosage…

That being said, I'm really just trying to inspire people to go for trying what suits them. I hope someone does. At least I find this very rewarding.
I would also like to thank a wide range of people for sharing their work and inspiring me on different angles of the hobby!

Not sure if using a 3D printer deliveres satisfaction, but I understand that it needs some kind of a model to make a copy? If you find a nice piece of wood, why not use the original…? Unless, of course, you want many of the same kind.
Molding is another fine way of duplicating what you find and like. Many suppliers doing it around. Great stuff.

I go for carving and individual pieces instead, 'cause I like it better. But again, I hope everyone finds a way to satisfy their inner doityourselfer. And I'm sure you do!

Thanks for your words and many good moments hardscaping, regardless of your methods!

Last edited by HX67; 07-23-2015 at 02:09 PM..
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:50 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Default Re: Woodwork

I typically do a quick sketch, sometimes from multiple angles, then recreate it in a 3D modeling program. I would still have to paint it if i wanted a natural color, not that important if merely a base for moss to grow on though or a rock structure for the animals to hide in. In that case I guess I could cover it in some kind of dirt/moss slurry. my printer can only do about 4-5 inches cubed, so anything big would have to be engineered to be very modular, which I happen to enjoy even though it does make my brain melt most of the time.

I have always enjoyed sculpting in many forms, but never was very good with controlling pressure and angle of tools/hands to get the media, clay, stone, wood, etc, to do what I want. I am amazed at what you have been able to accomplish and hope you keep posting more pictures and inspiring more people, who, in turn, will hopefully post pictures as well.
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Old 07-23-2015, 03:15 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Default Re: Woodwork

Quote:
Originally Posted by pandragon View Post
I typically do a quick sketch, sometimes from multiple angles, then recreate it in a 3D modeling program. I would still have to paint it if i wanted a natural color, not that important if merely a base for moss to grow on though or a rock structure for the animals to hide in. In that case I guess I could cover it in some kind of dirt/moss slurry. my printer can only do about 4-5 inches cubed, so anything big would have to be engineered to be very modular, which I happen to enjoy even though it does make my brain melt most of the time.
Ok, I see, I think.
Thanks for opening it up to an old… can't decide whether to be a dinosaur or just a plain old rhino. But my practices certainly are closer to palaeontology than printing 3D.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pandragon View Post
...keep posting more pictures and inspiring more people, who, in turn, will hopefully post pictures as well.
Spot on!
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:27 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Default Re: Woodwork

Just some quick water chemistry data, if anyone happens to be interested.

A lot of people seem to be concerned about how cement/grout effects water hardness. In my hillstream pall pictured above, both the rock work and woodwork are grout.
They cured for a good couple of months before setting the tank up with flora and fauna.

I made a long overdue water change to this tank today. Changed about 70 % after three weeks of negligence.

Before wc:
pH 7,8
kH 5 dKH
Gh 7 dGH

After:
pH 7,5
kH 3 dKH
gH 5 dKH

Tap water around here is buffered to stay mildly alkaline and pH is usually at high 7 or even 8.

I see a tendency of the effect cement has on water chemistry reducing with time.
This tank's only been in action for a few months.

My conclusion:
I would'n call the result dramatic.
I'm not worried, at all.

I'm still not saying that cement is safe however you use it.
But I'm pretty confident I can treat it right.

Thanks for looking!
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