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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I will not cover it all. I will be quite stratigic. But I do wish to have some moss on the back wall and fissidens on the big root, It begs for something like that.

I did texture the wall to look like earth, so I would like to show some off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
the hyper-tufa layer is erroding fairly badly right at the moment. I will drain the tank and put on a layer of coloured cement over the tufa. The coloured cement I used around the big rooties are holding well. Oh well, we win some and we lose some, but as long as we learn some.
 

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Wow!! Fantastic!! I will save the picture to my computer.

You said,"You plan on running a pump in it for a couple days with a good vinegar solution. You are going to get some pickling vinegar and pickling salt to aid in the curing process."

I don't quite understand why you are doing this. It sounds interesting. What will this do? By curing to you mean cycling?

Did you get the roots from outside? Did you do any treatment to the roots to prevent leaching or kill unwanted pest?
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
my curing, I mean the complete hardening of the cement and the leeching of the things that make the water's PH off the wall. Vinegar neutralises things and makes it more inert. PH is about 9 so I need to bring it down to somewhere in the 7's. Vinegar soeeds it up. the pump is to circulate the water so to aid in leeching of the cement.

I want the roots to leech tannins, but they are going to get soaked so will lose a lot of that. I pre-treated the roots by baking it in the oven at about 300 for 4 hours. They came from the local lake.

Cycling will happen once I get the cement cured and moss started on the walls.
 

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This is such a neat project. I only wish you had done it in a tank that was not cracked! All this beautiful hard work.... I hope you get the leaf fixed and are able to stop the erosion. I can't wait to see this one planted and running! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Well, I have a tank in mind for a larger idea. Although it probably won't be planted.

I am looking into getting some blind fish and whatnot, albino and making a sort of "Cave" What I am learning here will be VERY useful for working on the cave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Earthdate: 12.11.08
Subject: Stowaways and oddness

As I have often said, I do my water change once per week. I, as a rule keep my water change water in a bucket until the following week. This is because I am a monster softy and I rescue any baby fry to raise into big fish. So before dumping the water I look. I look well.

Seeing that Kaon is sick with some tail rot, I have him in his original jar and I am treating him. We'll get to a story about him later, just know he's not bad, it just started and he's being cared for.

Well I decided, why bother dumping the water out when I can use it to leech the tank. Good use of waste water in my opinion. So I dump it in, scrub the sides to get most of the loose matter off and drain, fill do it again and let it sit. I come to the computer, play some HMW (a transformers game called heavy metal war) scare the piss out of Kaon who leaps from his cup, flops across the desk. At this point I am up and he flops again into my hand and is returned to his cup. He's fine, happy as ever, but really kaon? Just as well I only take the lid off when I am at my desk. Yes, Deceptifishy, you are aquatic. Just because I have Starscream on my desk, doesn't mean you are a jet. You're a fish, stop trying to fly....don't look at me with that face, you're the jumper....I know I know I taught you to jump at a pepper...you think I'll give you a treat for that? Dumbwad.

So.... I return to the tank and What the frag?! Fry? But the bucket was empty; I checked! So I get my super huge syringe and suck the little freaks out and quickly deposit them into Kaon's vacated bowl. I find six....and huh? There's a shrimp too! I managed to get the shrimp out and also put him in the vacated bowl Talk about stressing the fish out. The salinity was quite high. I was using my home made bath salts in it too. That is made of epsom salts, baking soda and sea salt crystals. Very soothing.

I look in today's water change bucket. So far two little shrimp, they've been returned to their home tank.

So anyway, I siliconed the rim of the tank, it hopefully won't leak around the edges. I did it on the outside as well as the front of the inside.

My willow twig is producing a rootlet. I have it in mind to super glue it to one of the roots that are in the wall and grow moss over the end so as to blend it in a little better and train it as a bonsai. As I said, I am working to make this resemble a river bank. This effect will be also achieved by adding plants at the top.

So already my tank has had fish...and shrimp. Kind of wild eh?

No pics tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Earthdate: 12.11.08
Subject: Hypothetical

I took a pic this morning because I felt the need to play with the project in Photoshop.

That is where I am now, much of the mud colour that needs to leech out has leeched out. The water is pretty clear and I will do another water change in a few hours and yet another one tonight. My PH test gave me a lovely shade of purple, so I guess that means its pretty high. Curing and leeching will not happen overnight. It will take a while, just keeping the water changed should help it work faster.

But this is what I have in mind:



As you can see, I have plants growing out the top of the tank. A couple of the rocks are pockets that can take a small plant, such as Mondo grass. And a willow tree, I plan to shape and bonsai for my purpose. I want its branches to be leaning over the tank and the rooted trunk will be glued to the root at the corner. Sort of getting that river bank effect I am wanting so badly. I want a fair bit of moss growing at the top if the tank, covering the top of the cement walls, making it softer and more like the lovely moss covered rocks I saw at the lake where I got my willow treeling.I am not sure how I am going to deal with the plant's dormancy requirement. I will cover that issue when I get to it. It is highly possible I will have to locate some other poor sap, maybe fiscus...depends if it can be quite wet.

Anyway, that's the plan in my mind. I may have a bit more moss on the muddy walls. We shall see.
 

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Seems like the tank is e very heavy. What are you placing it on?
 

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Oh, so you are planning to use it like a center piece? Isn't that the tank you are adding cement to contour the back? I thought it would be much heavier with the cement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
the cement is actually only a thin shell over a foam inside. The tank isn't really a centerpeice. my dining room table is more like my work table. the tank faces my "fish area" But if I can find some sort of wooden box to fit the tank in and have a light system hooked into the top, I'd love it.

It is heavy, but it won't break the table. I had 200 pounds of canned tomatoes on it one year.
 

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I think I will use this idea to build a cliff wall, 1 day.
 

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Loving this build Sunstar. Since you got rid of that awful green colouring, it's really taken the appearence of the underside of a shelf in a stream or river; muddy, rocky protrusions, tree roots, the whole works. This is a fantastic effort and such a realistic setting for a Betta.

Well done!
 

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I thought of putting a screen on top of a ten gallon. Owner of pet store pointed out that the screen would reduce the light that gets into the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Loving this build Sunstar. Since you got rid of that awful green colouring, it's really taken the appearence of the underside of a shelf in a stream or river; muddy, rocky protrusions, tree roots, the whole works. This is a fantastic effort and such a realistic setting for a Betta.

Well done!
I could not get the green toned down. Where it still exists, it's hidden from most view. It was rather luminous and this seems to look MUCh better to me and gets the effect well. I hope to get the right sort of plants, if not the correct plants for the project. I just feel a hair impatient waiting for the leeching to occure, but this needs to be done and I have to wait, but I can dream about what I can do with this tank... boy can I dream.

Dawntwister: Depends on your aim, here I don't mind reduced light. But since this is open topped by design, I need to come up with another trick to keep the flying foosh in.
 

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I think if you choose the right plants the reduced lighting won't be a problem. Mosses and crypts don't like tons of lighting. Java ferns of all types like low light. Maybe a java trident would look great in there as if it was a "flooded" land plant. Not sure what grass as fine as you've grown them will work but others may know. I can't wait to see it done. I love your project!! :D
 
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