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Oh, this tank is just too cool! I keep looking back at my tank (a 4 ft long) and I'm trying to imagine it 4ft x 4ft. All the play-room available for scaping, fish, trying out new plants....JEALOUS!!!

As far as the layout, it looks great and I look forward to seeing updates. :D

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Well, Dave....the tank dimensions do allow for more play with the scape. I would say that it almost negates that whole "trying to create depth in the aquascape" thing that can be tricky. Basically, if you have four feet of depth, then there are not as many "rules" to follow. Tall stems towards the back and near the driftwood, shorter plants and groundcover around that. Which is why I am sooooo surprised that I have not seen a tank quite like this. Small cube gardens are one thing, but they have been around for awhile now. I do not know why nobody got this idea and tried it out on this type of scale. I initially got the idea by talking to a LFS owner a year ago; we were discussing my 40 Gallon Cube by a coral propotation tank! I put 2 and 2 together......

Of course, if it doesn't work out, it was a very expensive mistake for sure! I do feel a better sense of freedom with this aquarium, but we shall see how it turns out. Like any "idea," it has some potential. The rest lies in technique, practice, and humility in learning from making mistakes. I'm sure there will be plenty of mistakes!

TexGal--I don't really know about the "tea" coloring. I thought that it looked cool when there were no plants in it and no lights above it. When the sunlight hit it, it was very cool looking. With the lighting system and some color, I am not so sure now. Regardless, the color will disappear over time with water changes, and those colors will pop. It is hard to distinguish reds, yellows, and orange tones with the water being the color it is currently.

As you could imagine, though, to perform massive water changes needed to get rid of the tea coloration would be pretty expensive. I'm not a believer in carbon, so it will eventually vanish 20 gallons at a time over a few months.

For plants: (provided by Riley and plants that I gave Riley months ago that came back to me...thanks again, buddy!)

-Hygro Kompact
-Hygro Tiger
-Ammania Gracilis
-HC
-Polygonum sp. "Ruby"
-Hygro Roraima
-Rotala Colorata
-Green Hygro
-Eustrallis Stellata
-Fissidens sp. North America (Thank you JDihn04!)
-Michigan-native Ludwigia
-Java Fern "Trident"
-Bolbitis
-Crypt. Wendtii
-Stargrass

There are a few more species in there that I am forgetting off the top of my head (Umm...help, Riley?). That is fine as not all of the current plants will stay. Some of the fast growing hygros will go (eventually). I am expecting some of my Michigan friends to send me some of my Polygonum Porto Vehlo back to me with some small hydrocotyl species. Maybe a few more, but we'll see!

Oh, and I have Utricularia being shipped to me today. That will be fun!

Not too sure about shrimp or fish species quite yet, but I am in no real rush either. Probably go with some Threadfin variants for fish, and good ol' cherries for some of the maintenance.

More pics following my UG planting, and after I plumb my UV Sterilizer and CO2 this week, for those of you who are interested in the "guts" under the cabinet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Bun--Cool link! I stand corrected! Maybe I should have said, "I wonder why they aren't very popular here in the States?" as opposed to "I wonder why I have never seen anyone try this before."

The tank is only 20 inches high on top of a stand that is only 30 inches high. I am 6 foot 4 inches, so reaching the middle of the tank is not an issue at all. Since the lights are hung on chains, if I need to get "full into" the middle, I can always raise the lights to links on the chain that are "higher" up until I am done, then lower the hooks on the lighting pendulum back down to lower chain links.

The lights are pretty bright, but not brighter than the compact power fluorescents I had over my old 100 gallon. Plus, there is MUCH less heat now. I am a very happy boy!
 

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First off, awesome tank! :hail: That is exactly my next tank for my reef. I first fell in love with that tank when I saw that guy from Italy Aqua Cube probably a year ago.
Great scape! Love the UG, hill scape I think its gonna look amazing. Congrats on the set-up, I'll be following this one closely. *subscribed* also ygpm
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Bunbuku--I believe that you need to thin out the UG from time to time as opposed to "mowing it" down. At least that is what I have read. I think that mowing the UG would end up killing it.
 

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the tank looks exceptional!

I always wanted to have a square tank, but its such and weird shape, i would have no where to put it

Keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
HouseofCards, Dirtybirdy, Rekles75--

Thank you for your support! I hope that it will live up to your expectations when it is "done" in a few months!

I just ordered some Echino and Sao Paulo from TexGal; the UG arrives tomorrow. In addition, I ordered 25 Corydoras Hastatus and will be placing an order for 100 threadfin variants (2 different species, 50 each).

I still am looking for some very low growing hydrocotyle species, but am not having much luck. Would anybody have any suggestions for me? I would appreciate the help, please!

More pics this coming weekend!
 

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That's a incredible looking tank Donald. I am envious of the real estate you've got to play with.

I still am looking for some very low growing hydrocotyle species, but am not having much luck. Would anybody have any suggestions for me? I would appreciate the help, please!
Have you considered H. sibthorpioides? It is the smallest Hydrocotyle spp. that I know of. If you can't find it here on the For Sale or Trade forum I am growing some out now and can send you some in a couple of weeks. I've also got H. verticillata if you want something a bit larger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
12-6-08

Hello All!

I am experiencing pretty decent stability with the tank; I got my CO2 and UV sterilizer hooked up on Thursday. There has been a slight outbreak on brown algae on the foreground hygro and fissidens, but it seems to be dying off now. Also, I added Polygonum 'Sao Paulo,' Utricularia Grammifolia, and Echino. Quad. I will be adding a few more plants this coming week and about 25 Corydoras Hastatus.

NOTE: Thank you to Tex Gal for the Echinodorus Quadrifolius and the Poly 'Sao Paulo'!

Water is also being filtered through peat now. I plan on adding one more UV Sterilizer and am currently waiting for my bioreactor for additional CO2 injection. I may try experimenting with small doses of ferts starting next weekend.:-k

Anyhow, PICTURE TIME!














 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
Some more pics:



Hygro Kompact close up:


Utricularia Grammifolia close up (one of many clumps):


Polygonum 'Ruby':


Close up of E. Stellata. I am already propogating this BEFORE I had CO2 going! Whoo-hoo!


Someone asked to see the "guts," so here is what I have so far. It isn't done yet; I am adding one more CO2 injector and another UV, then adding hooks and clamps to keep the tubing organized and looking nice!


I have......something growing out of my wood. Not really sure what that's about! Time will tell....




Feel free to comment! Any plant suggestions?
 

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Wow Don! It's looking very nice. Wish the water was clear so I could really see the colors. Have you thought about purigen or charcoal? How about that diatom filter you told me about?

I just got my UG. I planted it. I was not thrilled at the amounts or how it came. It didn't seem to have a root, just a tangled mass. I hope I planted it correctly. I guess time will tell.

Plants go out Mon. I love your E. Stellata. When you're filled up with it I'd love to try some... (hint, hint.....:D)
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Good Evening, Your Worship! :)

I don't believe in carbon or purigen; there is really no need for it other than to clear up water quickly. Before you yell, I know that it aids in biological filtration, but with the amount of substrate and filtration I have, it just isn't needed for this tank. A few water changes with take the color out eventually, and the plants will pop through. The diatom filter won't filter out tannins, Tex; just particulate matter.

My UG came a little tangled, too. If you soaked it, you could see the roots and "untangle" it a bit. I would think that you would be fine, though; it will right itself. My understanding is that the UG basically is going to sit there for while as it adapts to the tank conditions, and then becomes unstoppable if it "likes it" in there.

I will be happy to share some stellata with you, Tex! I have to get some stems back to the person that originally gave it to me. After that, I will be happy to mail you some!
 

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You are so funny! LOL You know I am having a hard time waiting to see the true colors..... I suggested the carbon or purigen specifically for that reason. I see that you are gonna make me wait....

Can you tell me how the Polygonum ruby is different from the Sao Paulo? As you know I have the Sao Paulo. The growth pattern in the pxs looks the same.

Thanks for sharing. I will wait patiently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
'Sao Paulo' and 'Ruby' are similar in growth pattern, but the difference is in color. Paulo seems to get an intense brick red or fusia color whereas Ruby seems to get more purpley-red. The Ruby does get slightly longer leaves. I'll take a pic of both together "when the water clears up" ;) so you will be able to see them both side by side.

Good things come to those who wait, Tex. The tannins will be gone soon enough!
 

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Don I just looked up E. Stellata and find out that is Pogostemum Stellatus. I have that. I think the "COLOR" threw me off...... (damn those tannins.....).... :D
 
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