180 gallon rimless Starfire wood scape thus far

Tom Barr

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Amoeba;41556 said:
Hi Tom,
I am about to start a new tank and because I have the same view on overflows and lily pipes you do, I am thinking about a design very close to yours.

I am really interested to hear what the design would look like if you had a chance to build it again from scratch. Any new ideas/improvements? Especially after building the new 450g monster?

Due to the number of inlet/outlets/filters the 450g seems to be more flexible in terms of water circulation.
You had to use the marine power head to improve circulation in the 180g tank which is a bit against the “pipes purity principle” ;)

How about the filtering system, would you go for the Ocean Clear canisters again?

Yes, the 450 went on the same principles as the 180, I'd hoped to have the 1600 Gal tank done that way, but was dismissed and overruled by the general contractor.

Client remorse later:cool:

You cannot really see the powerhead in the 180, the scape is such that it hid the equipment that was in the tank, some in line heaters took care of the rest.

I could use the Eco MD-40 thru glass powerheads, but at 350-400$ each, a bit much to hide a cord.

Also, I prefer the needle wheel over the mazzei.

I'd need a serious set of lily pipes to handle the in/out flows in the tank also.
They have few directional options, loc line are infinite and easier to adjust at every level.

The 450 has the best solution IMO/IME, lots of filters, lots of flow, lots of options, all hidden.
So get lots of holes drilled for flow from the start.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Amoeba

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Tom Barr;41617 said:
Yes, the 450 went on the same principles as the 180,

Also, I prefer the needle wheel over the mazzei.

I think I will use an inline venturi for dosing ferts (yes, yes, dosing dry every day is too much of a hassle for me :D ).
What about needle wheel vs reactor? The 450 has reactors as far as I remember. Any pros and cons here?
 

Tom Barr

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Hell froze over, I took a pic.

Staruotropica180.jpg


Look how big the Hc grew:)


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

JDowns

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Tank looks great. I like the contrast of the Staurogyne against the Blyxa. I've had the japanese hairgrass against Blyxa for well over a year now in my large tank and I like the look but its getting tiresome now.
 

Left C

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All but one of the Cardinal Tetras is facing to the right. Can you train that one to face the same direction as the others? :D

That aquarium is simply beautiful, Tom!

What is the name of the low plants in the front where the HC used to be?
 
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JDowns

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Left C;46762 said:
All but one of the Cardinal Tetras is facing to the right. Can you train that one to face the same direction as the others? :D

That aquarium is simply beautiful, Tom!

What is the name of the low plants in the front where the HC used to be?


What! Those aren't ADA fish. In some of the ADA contest photo's all the fish are facing the exact same direction with the exact same markings at the exact same angles, and in some instances even the exact same distance from the camera. Those fish look to 'real' to be in that nice of a tank.
 

Left C

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JDowns;46763 said:
What! Those aren't ADA fish. In some of the ADA contest photo's all the fish are facing the exact same direction with the exact same markings at the exact same angles, and in some instances even the exact same distance from the camera. Those fish look too 'real' to be in that nice of a tank.
There aren't any 'fish herders' in the aquarium to get the right pose. How long do you think that the photographers have to wait to capture such a picture as that?
 

Tom Barr

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JDowns;46758 said:
Tank looks great. I like the contrast of the Staurogyne against the Blyxa. I've had the japanese hairgrass against Blyxa for well over a year now in my large tank and I like the look but its getting tiresome now.

Grass against grass can work, but I wanted a different color than hair grass for this.
The Blyxa is less management, so it's a keeper.
Same with this plant. Tropica 049 Staruogyne sp.

10X less PITA than HC, but not as small.
Nice bright color and compact low growth still.

If you look, you will find several royal farowella on the wood, they match and camofluage very well. Super red cherrys are all over the tank also, they look nice against the wood and plants. I cannot believe the dwarf cichlids did not make quick work of them. Must be 200-300 or more in here now.
I need to keep up on their removal of the culls to selecty for super blood red coloration. I try to do this monthly, but you can never get them all.

Then sell the culls off at 1$ a apeice, which is about 30-50 shrimp a month. Not a bad farm, livestock and crops that actually make some $, low light use, more efficient energy usage etc.
Less work/labor etc.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

yashaswibs

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Your tank looks great and appears to be ever evolving.
Few questions to help me in my quest
1. Why choose Staruogyne over Crypt parva?
2. How do you keep your aquarium completely free of algae- cleaning crew vs high co2 vs flourish excel?
3. How do you keep the wood from shifting- is it joined to a stone base for stability?
4. How do you get rid of the dead small leaves of the mid ground grassy plant ( cant tell if it is Echinodorus tennellus or something else?

I tried and failed at HC rug and now have to move on to something else. I have E.Tennellus and have dead leaves which stick out like sore thumb. The Manzanita wood keeps shifting and refuses to sink completely------- and that is why I have the above questions.
Thanks.
 

Tom Barr

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resized180staruo.jpg

lowforeground1.jpg

cards2.jpg

180staruogyne1.jpg


Need to whack the Blyxa back even further, uproot and replant to keep it lower. The back is still in the grow in phase as is the left side in general. Lots of current and the wood blocks a lot of light. Back ground will be mostly P stellata eventually, it'll tkae another 1-2 months worth of trim, grow out for it to look somewhat where I like.
I may switch back to Tonina. Both do well in current. The Starougyne responds well to pruning. I puinch off the tops, about 1-2" down, leave the rest still rooted. On higher clumps, I'll thin and take most of the larger dominate stems. Then the other stem tips fill in. This was less than a week after I removed about 70 plants. So it looks fairly good not long afterwards. Nothing is worse than a foreground trim/plant etc that looks bad for a long time after wards. I tend to try and hack the plant in the front more aggressively, trying to keep it a safe distance from the front glass. The plants will fill back in those spots in the front in about 2-3 weeks.
Cardinals and other critters are happy, frisky, well feed, eat most anything.

Sorry for the point and shoot photos, I may actually do a real photo shoot someday. This tank is admittedly a long way away from any of that.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 
C

CL_

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Hey, Tom. The tank looks great. The thickness of the glass is very impressive in that first picture. I love the look of that foreground, and how it seems to mound up the way it does, like a nice pillow of plants. How many cards would you say that you have in there?
Thanks.
 

Tom Barr

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I think there's 80 right now. Lost a few over the years. Might get a few more and quarantine them and fatten them first.

I'm leary about adding new fish to the tank without doing that.
You might lose 5% in one batch, then 95% in the next, nothing you can do.

Some are tough as nails. Some die if you look at them, treatment them, feed them the best etc and do water changes with pure water etc.
They come in with something, the move causes too much stress, the diseases manifest and become virulent.

I trim it to mound this way, I let it grow differently in the 120 Gal tank.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Mark Lem

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Beautiful tank...Do you prefer driftwood to rockscapes or do you scape in both...any photos of the 120 (that's the tank I have)
 

vosstc

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Tom,

If you get the chance could you put up a picture of your plumbing or give an explanation of how to set it up? I'm starting to try and plan a tank that I'll finally have the chance to purchase/maintain in 6 months when I finally graduate and take my boards. I'm just trying to work ahead and get any problems out of the way that I can.

I understand you had an inflow and outflow holes drilled in the bottom of your tank... if you could add more where would you place them? You have 2 OC filters and a wetdry right for filtration right?

Also, have you been happy with your iwaki pump? Do you only use that single pump (I know you use a high flow/low pressure pump in the tank)? I was curious what you thought was the quietest pump available and figured you would of used such a pump on your own tank.

I really appreciate everything you contribute to the hobby!
Taylor
 

Tom Barr

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Given a choice to do this over, I'd opt for an external overflow on the outside of the tank, not built in reef ready, then a good sized sump/wet/dry sealed at the top, the little giant 4QWMD works great and is quieter than the Iwaki.
A post Ocean clear canister or a pair of them would be nice, some Loc line for the return, a Vortech for current in the tank, needle wheel in the sump feeding into the return pump's suction side. 2 x 500W titanium heaters in the sump, carbon etc.
2 large 4x 18x12 open cell sponge prefilters and 2 round cone open cell prefilters in the overflow.

This is preferred.
I'll replace the Glass cages tank with a nicer LeMar rimless starfire glass, with no overglue on the seams and nice perfect beveled edge.

I did this with the 120 Gal, better system.
I'll replace the stands with ADA knock off first, then get new tanks later.

I have the 180, and then the two 60 Cubes to redo.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

shoggoth43

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I plan on bleeding off the "excess" GPH from my NJ5500 return pump and feed that into one of your reactor designs with the output of it in a T feeding directly back into the NJ5500. It should be pretty much the same result although possibly with more power and recirculation overall. The Vortech may have to wait for a bit and just rely on a Koralia.

How has the Vortech held up? Any issues with needing to replace the wet side at all? Noise levels on that? I'm finding my current setup puts all sorts of odd vibrations into the walls and the hum I hear in different places goes away when I pull the plug on some of my aquaria. Wierd...

-
S
 

vosstc

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Tom, thanks for the reply

Why the external over the built in? I would think it having a clean look with nothing hanging off the tank would be very nice, whats the downside I'm not seeing?

Speaking of the built in... I don't understand how it would work properly with a sump and pump. Wouldn't the water from the tank fill up the sump faster than the pump putting it out or vice versa? I know how traditional boxed off one work, I just don't understand how it does with the hole at the bottom not boxed off.

Taylor