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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello again!

This thread is dedicated to the second tank in my series of "back to basics" Nature Aquarium style aquariums taking inspiration from the Hoh National Rainforest. If you want to see the other thread, you can click here:

Since we all love red and a lot of really pretty species have become available over the past few years tank #2 is going to have a more deciduous look to it. Some of the photos I've seen of the rainforest have been vibrant with the color of changing leaves among the myriad green tones that are the signature of the forest. Knowing I was going to have enough light to grow anything I could possibly want I went about planning a high light (!!) stem tank to contrast and accentuate the greens of tank #1.

Both tanks are visible from one another but this one is in the dining area of my apartment where rich oak furniture is going to be the foundation of the decorating, whereas the livingroom is mostly greens. Tank #2 needed to be the brighter of the two aquascapes to match the brighter feel of the room.

The fun stuff

Tank: AGA 90g reef ready with corner overflow. I've drilled a number of holes through the overflow to avoid burning up the filter if the water levels get too low. I'm in a second floor apartment and don't want to mess with a sump and potentially flood-prone auto topoff system.

Lighting: 2x 250w dual-ended 10000K metal halides. This used to be Gnatster's fixture, for those of you who remember him. I came by it via a mutual friend of ours.

Filtration: Eheim Pro II

CO2: 10lb running through an AquaMedic 1000 reactor. This one may or may not be on a timed release system.

Substrate: Flourite, baby! Even though there's all sorts of great stuff out there now, I'm still a Flourite man through and through. I've had this stuff for 5 years now and it hasn't failed me yet.

Hardscape: Manzanita. Any rocks in this tank will be there solely to provide a substrate for moss or other epiphytes.

Again, pics will be forthcoming. Planting will be starting on Friday so pics will be up Friday night and Saturday.


It's good to be back!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
View from the kitchen:


View from the livingroom:


That's my assistant, Khan, supervising from the safety of the diningroom table.

The white marks are the remains of calcareous algae from the days when I used this to experiment with growing various marine algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Like I said in the 75g thread, I got my plants a day early, woot! After two nights of being up until 3:00am I finally got them both set up. All the hardscaping and moss attaching was done on Thursday night. The anubias, crypts, and stems were all prepped and planted on Friday night.

When I initially planned these two tanks I got two fantastic assortments of Manzanita from Jake aka "Fishandturtlejunkie". After a few months of soaking in my tub just to be absolutely sure all the nasties were out and the bacteria had all the time it needed to digest the easy to get to stuff it was time to put it in an aquarium. The one thing I didn't do was separate out the pieces I wanted for each tank before I was ready to put them in. Since I was rushing around on Thursday I made a very natural and unthinking mistake...I used most of the good stuff on the first tank I did, which happened to be the 75. There were still some very nice pieces that were too big to go with what I wanted the 75 to look like. However, on the whole I didn't have as many choices for pieces or flexibility in how I could position it or how easy it would be to get covered in moss like I wanted. All I can say is thank the Lord I love Anubias and had the foresight to buy a lot!

In the end the hardscape of this tank isn't as nice as the 75's. That's ok though, the 75 is really the showpiece and is in the room where we'll be spending most of our time when not on the computer or sleeping.

I had originally intended this to be another very Amano inspired aquascape and it is to a large degree. There are a few of his aquariums that I just absolutely adore and have been analyzing and staring at the pictures for years. However, it was close to 1:00 am when I got started on the planting and my brain just wasn't in the following plans and careful analysis of plant placement mode. As soon as I started and fell into the repetitive movements of planting my mind went on instinct rather than following a carefully planned design like I had when I was fresh and working on the 75. The result is an aquascape that is inspired by images of the rainforest, is heavily influenced by my favorite Nature Aquariums, and ties both together with a large dose of my own aquascaping instincts.

Without further ado, here are the photos. Please forgive the twist ties, it was late and I forgot to snip the extra length before taking the pictures.

Hardscape Pallete: Yes, it's the same as the 75, for those of you who notice those things.


Stem Pallete:


Full Tank Shot 10.18.08:


Left Oblique 10.18.08:


Right Oblique 10.18.08:


Top Down 10.18.08:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Plant List:

Anubias barteri v. nana
Bolbitis heudelotii
Microsorium pteropus
Vesicularia dubyana
Cryptocryone wendtii "Green"
Cryptocoryone wendtii "Red"
Cryptocoryone wendtii "Tropica"
Blyxa japonica
Glossostigma elatinoides
Ludwigia inclinita v. verticillata "Cuba"
Ludwigia glandulosa
Limnophila hippuroides
Pogostemon stellata "Broad Leaf"
Hygrophila balsamica
Hygrophila difformis
Rotala sp. "Nanjenshan"
Potamogeton gayii


Planned Fish List:

Rummynose Tetra
Harlequin Rasbora
Apistogramma sp.
Pelvicachromis sp.
Corydoras julii
Ottocinclus affinis
Amano Shrimp
 

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Hello again!
Hello. Hello. Hello. Anyone home? Come out Phil. I know you're in there! ;) Well, maybe you're not, though, since I saw you and your fiance out in the so called Real World, at the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association meeting so recently.

CO2: 10lb running through an AquaMedic 1000 reactor. This one may or may not be on a timed release system.
AFAIK, Phil, one's choices are either constant flow, day/night timed, to run only when the tank is lit, or pH controlled. Am I right? Which did you go with? How's that working for you?

Again, pics will be forthcoming. Planting will be starting on Friday so pics will be up Friday night and Saturday.
Yes, this is a pretty bumpish post, but you got my attention, and I'd sure like a glimpse of what has been happening with your tanks in the last couple of months. I hope you'll fight through the sense that any pics you post have to be perfect, and just throw something up.

(Oh, no, Mr. Bill! Now I've pointed my finger and see the four pointing back at me, since I haven't even started a tank journal yet, and have had mine up in some form, since late January. Rats.)

Thanks for listening.
 

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Which I could study this up close. I can sure imagine it's beauty. I'll be waiting to see this puppy grown out! :D

I didn't see the link to the other tank. Did I miss it?
 

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Another bump - you leave for a few years and then come back only for a month? I'd like to see how your tanks mature :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello. Hello. Hello. Anyone home? Come out Phil. I know you're in there! ;) Well, maybe you're not, though, since I saw you and your fiance out in the so called Real World, at the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association meeting so recently.
Yes, yes, I'm here, I'm here! I'll update soon, I promise!

AFAIK, Phil, one's choices are either constant flow, day/night timed, to run only when the tank is lit, or pH controlled. Am I right? Which did you go with? How's that working for you?
I've got two regulators, one with a solenoid and one without. I decided to put the solenoid on this tank and have it so the CO2 turns on 1.5 hours before the lights and shuts off with the lights. So far it's working peachily. I could put it on a pH probe/controller but to be honest I didn't see a lot of benefit from having the controller and I'd need to get a new probe so I decided to skip it.

Yes, this is a pretty bumpish post, but you got my attention, and I'd sure like a glimpse of what has been happening with your tanks in the last couple of months. I hope you'll fight through the sense that any pics you post have to be perfect, and just throw something up.
This tank's done really well for the past few months. Things are growing well, if much more slowly than I anticipated for the amount of light going into it. If you saw all the stuff I brought in for the December meeting you'll get an idea of how things are in here; all of those plants came out of this tank. I know my pictures suck but that doesn't usually stop me from posting. I tend to forget to take pictures and then don't take them off the camera for weeks or months. Bad me, I know!
QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Which I could study this up close. I can sure imagine it's beauty. I'll be waiting to see this puppy grown out! :D

I didn't see the link to the other tank. Did I miss it?
Thanks! It's not the beauty it had the potential to be, at least not right now. Since this tank is by far the cleanest of the three I've got going now it's become my growout and collectoritis tank. Things are getting shifted around here and there as I turn in old species at club meetings for new ones. The whole middle of the tank has been taken over by Ludwigia 'Cuba'. It needs to go but I'm waiting on a couple other species to take its place. Thankfully the Anubias, moss, and fern branches are filling in nicely. Everything else can be changed around that.

I don't think it's really going to be settled down and all grown out for a while. The 75g and 20g are the tanks I'm using for more settled and disciplined aquascapes. This one's going to be a mutt for a while. :)

Hmm, there's not another thread for the 75g. Here's a pic until I get that started. The photo was taken three weeks after planting.



Regards,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Another bump - you leave for a few years and then come back only for a month? I'd like to see how your tanks mature :)
Hahah, I'm still here, sort of. I've been out of town a lot lately working on a 300 acre wetland reconstruction work's got me assigned to. I've found some pretty kickass native plants that I hope make the transition to submerged conditions. hee hee hee, evil hint. MUAHAHAHAHA.

Anyway, here's the most recent photo of this tank, taken a month ago. Or, if you prefer, three weeks after planting.


Here's the 20g three weeks after planting.


Regards,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Very pretty, Phil! I especially like the 20G.

Karen
Thanks Karen. The 75's really the only one I went into with solid plan that was actually accomplished. It's still going to need a lot of tweaking and growing in before it's finished and is put on maintenance mode. There are close to 50 ferns in the 75 that are just now starting to grow and the sides are beginning to fill in nicely with various Hygrophila I've accumulated here and there. I put the stuff I got from you in the 90g so it would have a safe place to grow out.

Ironically, the 20g was put together with leftovers from the two bigger tanks and no forethought other than what substrate I'd bought to use in it (Powersand Small, Amazonia, and Amazonia Powder Type). Of the three setups it's probably the "best" right now. If I had to judge my three tanks at this moment I'd definitely have to give the 20 highest marks for technical achievement. With all the small pieces of wood I had on hand I had a lot more flexibility with the hardscape than I did with the other two. I think it may end up being the overall best of the three but I'm going to reserve judgement for another six months or so. It's going to be going through a period of adjustment here in the near future. Now that I have a better idea of how things respond to the light fixture I'll be able to re-plant and replace some things to maximize effect, growth, and health.

Like you I'm more of an organic aquascaper. Though in my case, even my most well thought out aquascapes are based mostly on impression and daydream rather than a concrete, drawn-out plan. With the exception of my biotopes, none of my aquascapes are ever ready for at least six months. I need to let the aquarium show its personality before I can start making the final tweaks that get it into trim-only mode. In this case I've got to wait and see how the 75g ends up growing in. So far it's doing what I'd hoped...except for the algae; but that's another story altogether.

Everyone,

I've got recently updated photos on the camera, hopefully I'll be able to get them downloaded for next week. It's out of town at the moment.

Regards,
Phil
 

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Tanks are looking good Phil! Should take a couple more weeks for the stems to bush up and it'll look really nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Tanks are looking good Phil! Should take a couple more weeks for the stems to bush up and it'll look really nice.
Thanks John,

Those pictures were taken a week before the AGA convention. I'm just not good about taking new pictures or uploading the ones I do take. All three tanks have gone through at least one cycle of trimming at this point. The Ludwigia 'Cuba' has taken over the whole center of the 90g after two trims. It's about time to pull a bunch of it out for the sake of the other plants around it. :)

I'll have a separate thread for the other two tanks up soonish.

Regards,
Phil
 
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