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This tank was actually completed a few months ago as far as the final aquascape goes. I had hoped to continue to refine it, but work and other time constraints did not allow me to do so. Also, I apologize for adding this journal at the last minute. I don't know if it will still count for extra points, but even it doesn't I still wanted to share this tank's evolution with everyone.


Here's a pic from 3/23/2005. This was taken shortly after purchasing the tank. The driftwood I purchased quite some time before this off of ebay in anticipation of eventually getting this tank. In the pic, I was testing the rough layout of how I wanted to place the wood.
 

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For this tank I used a background material called "Oceanvisions" which attaches to the back of the tank similar to the manner in which window tint is installed. The result is a very smooth finish.
 

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After this I began a project to build my own canopy. I designed the canopy with my old 3d Studio Max program. The rendering was color coded for different stock size pieces of lumber. (1x6, 1x4, etc)
 

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For lighting I purchased 6 AH Supply 55 watt light kits... Err.. To be more specific 3 2x55 Watt Bright Kits for a total of 330 watts. This tank was a little tricky to light as it is not a standard 6 foot 125 gallon, but rather it is 5 feet wide and a little taller than a normal 6 footer. I would have loved to fit a little more light under the canopy, but it wasn't feasible with CF's.

Each bank of lights can be controlled separately with switched receptacles mounted to the back of the canopy. I also plugged my solenoid into one of these receptacles so that the CO2 will come on when a specific bank of lights turns on.
 

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Very nice equipment! I think an elegant and efficient equipment arrangement can be as effective in presenting the aquarium as the plants and fish. Good choice of lighting, it'll do you just fine.
 

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Phil Edwards said:
Very nice equipment! I think an elegant and efficient equipment arrangement can be as effective in presenting the aquarium as the plants and fish. Good choice of lighting, it'll do you just fine.
Thanks! My previous tank was not so nicely prepared. For this tank I wanted to do it right the first time.

Rek said:
very nice wood
Thanks! I was very lucky to find such nice pieces on Ebay.

-Jeremiah
 

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Below is a pic of the of the inside of the right side cabinet. In here I have my Rena Filstar XP3 as well as my CO2 reactor and the plumbing. The brass fitting is a quick disconnect that I use to attach hose and drain the tank, using the filter as the power source for draining. It makes water changes a breeze!



With the hardware in place, I drew a rough (very rough) sketch of the layout.

 

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Now that the layout was decided it was time to place the hardscape. The right side driftwood was actually two seperate pieces. I screwed them together and then screwed them to a piece of slate so that they would be sure to sink.


Next it was time to fill the tank! Unfortunately I ended up with a couple bags of contaminated eco-complete. As you can see, the substrate clouded up the tank quite a bit! Not only that but I discovered that it also drove my phosphate levels off the chart. This prompted my post on another forum regarding the high levels of phosphate in contaminated eco-complete.


I attached Bolbitus to the driftwood and placed the driftwood in its final position. After filling I also sloped the substrate from front to back.


I took a piece of slate and smashed it into several smaller pieces. To these I attached several Anubias Nana "Marbled" plants using black cotton thread. I trimmed the roots off before doing this.


I then placed these in the tank in their appropriate positions. I also added a few plants to get things going.
 

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5/2/2005: I planted glosso and hair grass and added a few more stems.


5/22/2005: ALGAE ATTACKS! Nearly every algae in the book decided to attack at this time. I had staghorn, BBA, Cladophora, Green Spot, Diatoms and some thread algae! This wasn't too surprising as it was a new tank, and all. However, during this time, my phosphate levels were still off the charts due to the eco-complete issue. Despite waterchages phosphate levels remained over 100 ppm. Although I could reduce the levels with a water change, more would leach back out of the substrate within a day. I realize that excess phosphate shouldn't cause algae problems, but considering that these were abnormally high levels, I can't help but raise an eyebrow at the possibility. I also added some Harlequin Rasboras around this time.


To combat the algae I added a lot of fast growing stems. This choice in stems will only be temporary until I can get the algae to subside. At that point I will aquascape the tank a little better. Cardinals went in at this point. I beleive this pic was around 6/2/2005.
 

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6/20/2005: The stem plants have started to grow in. Algae has slowed down a little but is still hanging on. The glosso and hairgrass have also begun to fill in rather nicely. I added a couple of discus for the moment as well.


7/4/2005: Stem plants are now overgrown and need to be trimmed! Algae growth is beginning to recede. Not only that but the glosso lawn has outgrown its boundaries. I ended up switching to HC after this as the glosso was growing way too fast.
 

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9/15/2005: At long last the algae disappeared. It was finally time to scape the tank the way I originally intended to. I removed the discus and replaced them with 6 Golden Pearlscale Angelfish for a more uniform look. All plants were trimmed and the final pictures were taken.







These were the shots I submitted to the AGA competition. As I mentioned earlier I was unfortunately not able to continue to refine the tank much further than this. I wanted to make it better for the APC contest, but too much was going on with work and other personal matters. As a result these will be my entry pics for the APC contest!

-Jeremiah
 

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Very nice tank, I like it very much. One question though, why did you decide to stick it out with the tainted eco? Why didn't you replace it with good stuff, couldn't you have worked something out with the store you bought it at and gotten a refund? It seems like dealing with it must have been a huge hassle, I would've been tearing my hair out in frustration!
 

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Thanks for the kind words everyone, I very much appreciate it.

Very nice tank, I like it very much. One question though, why did you decide to stick it out with the tainted eco? Why didn't you replace it with good stuff, couldn't you have worked something out with the store you bought it at and gotten a refund? It seems like dealing with it must have been a huge hassle, I would've been tearing my hair out in frustration!
Well, to answer your questions, only 3 out of about 12 bags of eco-complete I used were contaminated. At the time I had not yet discovered the phosphate issue associated with the contaminated eco-complete. By the time I did, I had already added plants to the tank and didn't want to start over. I figured I'd just take care of it with water changes, but I didn't realize just how many water changes it would actually take to get rid of it all!:shock: For what it's worth, Caribsea did eventually send me replacements, which I am saving for another tank.

-Jeremiah
 
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