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It is with great pride that I announce the October 2004 Tank of the Month winner- Dennis Dietz.

Introduction

Well, I am Dennis Dietz (dennis on the forums) and I have been been in this hobby for one year. I was given my first aquarium, a 10gallon, on Labor Day, 2003 along with a few fish. I got my first aquatic plants shortly after the tank cycled, some Certophylum submersom and an Echinodorus.
[IMG=right:58fa61df47]http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forum/images/hottonia.jpg[/img:58fa61df47]
I discovered the AB plant forums and I was hooked. The beauty of aquatic plants coupled with an inherent green thumb, and the obvious advantage of not having to remember to water, naturaly garnered my interest.

During the past 10 months or so I have really found an interst in aquatic plants. I have had more than my fair share of blunders and created numerous problems for myself. An early example would be reading that I need 2wpg for plants, so I crammed another tube into the striplight.

Well, I got more light but I did not know about CO2 so I also got lots of algae. I was even once scared to dose a trace fertalizer because I thought it would make my algae problems worse. The addition of DIY CO2 helped for a short time but eventually my plants began to wither away. I had not yet realize that Co2 and strong light meant the need for NO3, PO4, trace supplimentation, etc so the plants grew themselves to death. Nothing a little KNO3 could not fix however, once I learned about it of course. :D

And here we are now. I certainy know more than I when I started, thanks mostly to the many knowledgable people here at APC. The real accomplishment in my tank is not what I have done but what I have been taught. Thank you!

[img=left:58fa61df47]http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forum/images/rotala.jpg[/img:58fa61df47]Aquascaping Philosophy

My aquascaping philosophy is not somethng I find easy to describe. I have spent much time looking at other's tanks, trying to learn how to grow plants, what makes some of them red and combating our bane, algae, and it has been only recientlythat I began to truely attempt to aquascape.

I definately am most moved by the nature inspired tanks, ADA for example. Dutch aquascapes hold little interst for me for althought here is definately something to learn from them, they feel to regimented to me, to neat for my tastes. I tend to be most drawn to tanks with a strong hardscape and well planed out yet ramdon looking wood details so I tried to incorporate those same features into my design.

This layout started as a twin mound design that gradually evolved into a concave presentation. One of these days I will go back and try the mounds again.

Tank Specs

This tank is a Prefecto 10 gallon aquarium with an Aquaclear 125 HOB filter. I have pressurized CO2 fed directly into the intake. I have been trying a daily dosing regiment since the tank was setup in the beginning of July. I dose daily, 10 ml of a stock solution that totals to about 20:3:20 ppm NO3:pO4:K plus 8-10 ppm Mg and about 7ml Flourish and 4ml Flourish Fe. CO2 is maintained in the 30's ppm. I change 50% water weekly and at the end of the week, before the water change, I have been testing at ~10ppm of NO3.

Inhabitants

Title: Spring Reminiscent. The inhabitants are fauna; 10 neon tetras (Paracheirodon innesi) and some small snails that hitched in on plants. Flora are as follows; Glossostigma elatinoides, Rotala indica, Hottonia palustris, Hygrophila polysperma "Rosanervig", Lysimachia nummularia, Hemianthus micranthemoides and Anubias barteri var. nana "Petite".

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to share my tank with all of you. It was my entry into this years AGA and I certainly owe it to the knowledge I acquired at APC :D

 

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Congratulations Dennis! Well deserved! I've been against HOB filters for planted tanks but I can't argue with your results. Do you find it difficult to keep the CO2 levels high?
 

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Cool beans

Hi Dennis

Nice ank indeed, and well done. :)
 

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:oops: Well shucks.. Thanks for the nice compliments:)

Pineapple, my towns water specs are pretty good. Treated with chlorine only, no NO3 or PO4. Out of the tap, GH 9 Kh 3, Ph about 7.4-7.6. As for my dosing schedule, this was my AGA entry so its been awhile, but the dosing is still pretty close. weekly, 25-40ppm NO3, 2-4ppm PO4, I was dosing about 5ml Flourish weekly, but recently upped it to 10ml per Tom's recommendations. At the time of this photo I was also dosing about 7ppm Mg, via MgSO4, but I have since stopped and I don't notice any difference. This scape was dosed daily, so divide those numbers by 7 and you will get my daily amounts.

HanshaSuro, I find HOb's tp be OK although I am sure a canister would be much better. Before these photos were taken, I did 50% wc's ever day for 3-4 days. Nice and clean, although my water has always been very clear. Often, the water is clearer at hte end of the week than right after a wc. I would recommend the Penguin HOBs with Bio-wheel removed over the AquaClears. The penguins seem to have a stronger flow and the output "ramp" is longer, so there is much less surface agitation with the Penguins. I feel that the AC's waste alot more CO2 and don't give as even of flow in the tank. Whispers are way to weak. I have to use a HOB on this tank due to its location, height from the floor and the cabinet it resides on. I just switched to a DIY power reactor and I am definitely using less bps of CO2 to achieve the same concentrations.

I have a question for you all. One area of "art" I have always been bad at was deciding what style something is. What "style"is my tank. Nature aquarium I assume. I don't really try for Amano-ness in my designs but my last few really seem that way once they are done and grown in. My hardscaping always disappeares though:(

Thanks to Art and everyone at APC for this honor:)
 

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Dennis, incredible work! I'm glad to see so much can be accomplished in such a short time. You're an inspiration to people like me who are new to planted tank keeping (four months in and I'm hooked worse than nicotine). You obviously have an inborn talent for this as well because you're not only keeping a very difficult selection of plants, but your aquascaping really catches the eye.

Just viewing the list of APC Tanks of the Month is almost like looking at this year's AGA winners. This is a perfect place to learn the art. Thanks for the great classroom!
 

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Great job

I alway enjoy 10 gal. tank, since it's a limited amount of space to work with. I like the balance of color in your set-up.
Congratulations
 

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Well done Dennis. I can't get over how pristine your plants and tank looks. Everything in it is so clean! As for your question on style, don't worry about it so much. Your tank, for now is an example of the Dennis style, regardless of who or what you've been influenced by.
In the art world, styles and movements are defined by those who feel the need to set themselves apart form the master discourse of the time. These styles and movements are later identified and "accepted" by the efeet intellectuals and academics once a critical mass has been achieved and the "style" crosses the boundaries of it's contextual niche.
How this applies to our aquariums, well, I think this needs to be the topic of its own thread.
 

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I really have to agree with Guest on the style question. Rather than looking for a label that your work fits into, just make your tanks and look for the common thread that binds them together. That is your style. :)
 
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