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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Here is an update on my tank. I tried to post last night but I couldn't get on APC:

I just finished removing a lot of Salvinia minima. It covered the whole top and was about two plants thick. I let it grow this thick to imitate a black out without losing sight of my tank and watch the progress of the algae. It did a good job of lowering the light level and sucking up all of the nutrients. The only plant that seemed to suffer was the Blyxa Japonica. I had high hopes for that group of Blyxa and it all melted away.L As soon as I removed the floaters and stems this afternoon everything started pearling. The tennellus was streaming bubbles all over the place. I couldn't tell if my reactor was putting out bubbles because of all the o2 bubbles flying around. A good sight after the brown crud I had been seeing.

I am happy with the setup so far. The filter has been working great and so has the reactor. I haven't had any leaks in the system and nothing has broken yet. The lights are far brighter than what I need. I took all of the pictures with only two bulbs on. With four I couldn't get my crappy point shoot camera to focus right, suffice to say it is bright.

I took out the stem plants and replanted the back corner with the micro tenellus. I also changed the foreground to dwarf hair grass because most of the HC I had died. I don't have enough to grow out in time to fill in when the other plants fill in.

The dwarf hair grass is filling in rather nice. The back part is starting to blend a little to early for my liking. I wanted the Eleocharis parvula and tenellus to blend together but I don't want either one to take over the other. It will still be a while until it fills in completely since I just replanted the front portion.

I bought 5 ottos and 2 died rather quickly and the 3 others have been in there over a week and seem to be doing fine. I found two amano shrimp dead. I bought five and can only find two swimming around. I don't know how I killed them. I don't think it was two high co2 because I turned it down while I was doing my pseudo black out. Nutrients should have been low because I was dosing pretty heavy but I was taking out a handful of Salvinia on a daily basis.

Fish wise I think I might go with a big school of small rasboras. A fellow APC member suggested that Rummy nose might be too big an active for a 4 foot tank, or atleast in a school as big as wanted. I am still looking at the other tetras but if I can afford a nice school of dwarf rasboras I think taht would look nice.

Here are some pictures. Some are from weird angles because I was bored.





















 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
I was thinking about that but I didnt have anything big and black laying around. Thats a piece of cloth my mom had laying around. I was also thinking about trying a light blue or a white with different lighting effects. I will see what looks best when its all done. I think Black would probably look the best though. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 · (Edited)
Here is an update for week 11. I put in a few small blyxa plantlets and added some Java Fern, E. tennellus (emersed, probably green fat version), and some Rotala wallichii I just bought.

I got the tennellus and the wallichii at All about fish at the last scape meeting and this is about a 1/3 of the wallichii and half of the tennellus. The tennellus will probably stay if the blyxa dies again, which I am hoping won't happen. Due too my current slow growth with Blyxa japonica I decided to try a Java fern I had in my 29 in its place...

Over all I think THere is too much focus to much to the left. The wallichii is to powerful for this green tank, IMO, Maybe if it was a little more centered I could use it as a focal point. But that far to the left it just seems distracting...

What do you guys think. To heavy on the left. Do you think a nice patch of a different tennellus or a big bush of blyxa or how it is or perhaps just the grown in java fern.... I can't decide hopefully someone will have a good suggestion.

As side note I plan on photographing the final project with red tennellus but at the moment I am fiddling with the lighting to pretty succesfully drive off my brown algae and it turned back to green.:(













 

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Looks like it's really filling in dude-- no algae either. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Welll... Thanks for the compliment, but I do have brown algae problem but it siphons off easily when I lower the lgihts for a few days. You can also see the gsa on the back right glass. I am to lazy to reach and scrape it off. I also have algae all along the edges where I didn't want to send the mag float for fear of pulling up my hair grass. If I can get control of my brown algae I think I can really get some growing going and redden up my tennellus.

Steve: Nice meeting you at the scape meeting. Hope you can get your tank how you want it before you leave for Hawaii.
 

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Hi William,

Great journal, I can't believed I missed it up 'til now.

Your rocks rock!! I’m now on my third set in my nano Iwagumi and no doubt I still won’t be satisfied with them in a few weeks!

How long did you take to come up with your rock composition?

Is your brown algae forming fine “cloud balls” amongst the hairgrass near the substrate? This is what I am experiencing but as you say, it siphons up real easy. I’m hoping it is just the tank maturing and it will disappear on its own accord soon enough.

Keep up the good work, I look forward to following your progress. :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Yah i am not a big fan of the wallichii but I am lazy so It will remain until I find something I like better. I would like to balance the right with the left a little but I am not sure how. I dont want to start digging around because my hair grass is trying to spread.

I think the java fern isn't that bad. It kind of contrasts the colors but only a little, it blends with the grassy plants but it adds a darker tone and a little height. Anybody got some ideas for a replacement plant that will draw less attention or how to place a dueling java fern or another plant to the right to balance a little...
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Here are a couple pics of what it was like after a couple days of not siphoning of the crap. Right now I have the top covered with floating plants and it seems to be keeping it from coming back. My plan is to slowly cut back on the floating plants as the tank matures.



 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Ok. Its a few months in. I just removed all floating plants from the tank and will hopefully keep it that way. I think I conquered the brown algae.

I am now having slight problems with all the other algae including cladphora but hopefully with high co2 and a good fertilization regime I can get the best of it.

As you can see from the photo the plants are still growing in. I had a weird die off of a couple patches of Eleocharis parvula. They are too small to be from a lack of light.(I had a lot of floating plants) I really am concerned because I have no idea what caused it and I had to pull a couple little patches to remove the dead hair grass.

The green neons are all doing great they are swimming around and tend to school most of the time.

The Rocks are getting a little brown algae and seem to be ageing pretty well.

I am using a black background that is a heavy black material. There are some water spots on the back glass but I was to lazy to reach back there to get them.

I got some E. tenellus at All About fish in long beach because I thought it was the short wider green version. Instead I think I got some type of bigger Echinodorus grass. Perhaps angustifolius but I really don't know. It doesnt get red and it grows pretty big compared to E. tenellus

I replaced the regulator with an Azoo regulator. It now has a solenoid that lets me control the co2 more and make it last much longer. I am also planning to attach a manifold and hook up my 29g and my Mini M to this same tank.

I also borrowed my parents new camera. Its a Canon G7. It is pretty sweet. I haven't had a chance to read up much about it so my pictures are pretty crappy. I tried the manual focus a couple times but I would focus on the center rock and the edges would get blurry. I preferred the automatic zoom with me adjusting the the brightness.(forgot the photo term I am a newbie :D). This camera actually comes with an aquarium setting but I think its meant to reduce glare and warm up the picture a little which is something I don't need and it didn't seem to help on the view finder. I don't know how much of a difference you will see because I usually just use image shack to shrimp my giant jpegs and I assume a lot of quality is lost. I also only cropped two photos because I am lazy. Sorry.

I managed to get some decent shots of the tanks and some mediocre shots of my Apistos. I couldn't get my mail Bitaeniata to flare up for the camera. He flares for me but runs away from the camera.(The apistos are in a 29g tank two feet two the right of this tank)...

Aquascape:
Overall I like how the two grasses look. Together~. I had envisioned the tenellus growing taller and I guess I will have to wait for it to thicken up some more before it does that.

The foreground hair grass was trimmed but that was because it grew some long leaves during a black out. I don't really like the mowed lawn look so I am trying to keep the trimming to a minimum so it looks more natural.

I have only one problem that can't be solved by waiting for it to develop. The left front Hair grass is thickening up much faster than the rest. I think this is because of my blinds letting some filtered sunlight hit that side front of the tank. While the right side was covered with floating plants.

I guess I was pretty stupid when I was placing my rocks. None of them really look right with the grass this tall and a couple of them are now invisible.:(

I guess aquascaping is all about learning and evolving. I kind of wish I could swap out the tenellus for the hair grass and the hair grass for HC but I made this choice and I will stick with it until I think its complete. Rocks should be much larger in a hair grass scape. If I make an hc iwagumi in the future I think I will use proportionately a lot more rock. It looks ok in person but all of the smaller rocks effects are lost.

Pictures:



Here is one from as high as the tripod would go. This shows the patches that died off. A couple to the right of the Big rock on the left mid. And the back right center.



Here is one in black in white because It was one of the filters. I tried all of the color filter options and this is the one I liked the best.



Here is an example of what my camera wanted to do. It has no contrast at all in the grass. Since this camera puts out Jpegs instead of RAW I figured I would try and get the colors right on the camera. The old powershot elph S230 had no control over aperture settings and what not so this was a bit getting used too.



Here is a random pic of a small patch of BGA on a piece of grass.


Here is a random photo of some more Blue-green algae and some greenish probably thread algae and a little brown algae on the glass that accumulated after I stirred it all up to siphon it off.

 

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Wow! What a fantastic tank. It's a shame that the rocks disappear under the plants, but then again it looks very natural too. It's hard to believe that all that growth came just in a few months. Besides the little bit of algae, it's clear that your doing it right. Well done aquascape!

-John N.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
Thanks. Its been worth it. Half of the fun of this hobby is setting everything up and the challenge of getting it right. If all I wanted was a pretty tank I would probably buy hundreds of plastic plants.

Of course a beautiful, algae free tank would be pretty nice right now.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Here is another update. Its pretty much finished. I am going to let it grow a little more but the only patches are from me pulling hairgrass out with the algae. This tank has been battle after battle with numerous types of algae.

I am still battling the persistan BGA that you can see small pieces of throughout the tank. I did two 50% water changes while physically removing as much algae as I could just to get it to look that good.

For my first attempt at a planted tank from start to finish I think its pretty good. I think I have learned a lot and am currently pondering what I will do with this tank next... but for the near future I am just going to let it fill in maybe just try some HC in the foreground...





 

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Very nice work. Now that you have learned and had experience with algae in this type of setup, I'm sure in the future you will have less trouble and greater success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Same camera. I only edited it to look more like my tank.ex. the pictures looked a little yellow. I tried not to change it to much. My tank also looks a lot better than it did in January. Those January pictures where taken right after a blackout and the Eleocharis parvula wasn't nearly at its best. It still has some patches from me battling algae but it looks a lot better. IMO

This was also the first time I have sharpened a picture and I think I might have gotten a little carried away. :)

The camera a Canon G7 so if I could only practice more I am sure I can get even better pictures. I used the same camera both times. I only shrunk these down two 800x600 just to see if they turned out better.
 
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