180 gallon rimless Starfire wood scape thus far

behhl

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Jan 16, 2008
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Tom Barr;26595 said:
No, it's not GDA.
It's a type of epidendric algae, somewhat close to Colechaete *(GSA).
In a sense, it's a welcomed addition.

I have some plecos I'll be adding in a few weeks that will likely remove every bit of it, but not gnaw the wood too much.

I only have a slight touch out of the reach of the rubber nose plecos in another tank.
This species of alga is really never an issue nor a problem, some do not like it, but it looks nice to me. High light, current and wood are the causes. It does not fair well at low flow rates or where diatoms might cover it, low light etc. I do not think it will last long now I've started adding plecos, the Gold Nuggets will maw on it some as well.

If you ever had issues with wood algae, a Panaque will gnaw everything off for you. Rubber noses are good and will do not harm to other fish, not gnaw nearly as intensely and still remove the algae.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Hi Tom

My curiousity is piqued by the explanation of the epidendric algae. When you say its not a problem I assume thats because its a type that most algae eaters will consume as food.

I believe I have some on my driftwood, it looks more like a kind of moss, either dusting of or very short fine hair carpet, is that correct? I was trying to reference it to the list of common algaes but it did not seem to match (its not slimy like BGA, nor clumpy like BBA - which I had and seem to have overcome using your recommendations).

Tried googling it but simpy wondering if you have more thoughts on this algae as it does not get any press in the aquarium list of algae greats to go down in history.

Thanks.
 

behhl

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Jan 16, 2008
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hani;34943 said:
any pics ?

Of the algae on my DW?

I can try to take some pics ... lets see if my camera skills are up to getting good close ups. Will post back here.

From the 'at distance' pics of Tom's tanks it has a similar appearance.
 

behhl

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Jan 16, 2008
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here is a pic - apologies for the quality - the algae is growing on the DW looks like a short fur or mossy carpet. Its a little out of focus, best closeup I could get with the camera I have.

(please ignore the spots which are GSA on the front glass which I need to clean someday soon!)

rimg0383.jpg
 

JDowns

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Tom how is the 4ft Tek working on this tank? I wouldn't imagine it being to troublesome at the right height. Only reason I ask is I'm contemplating a custom 6ft tank from Lee Mar for an Iwagami. 72x24x18.
 

ibnozn

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Hey Tom,

Noticed a few pages back you had an Aqualight on what I think is your 38 cube. The light baffles on them are just so wonderfully reflective don't you think?

I had to keep the backside baffle off mine too so as not to blind anyone sitting in front of the tank, of course this lights up the whole wall behind the tank then. There is a matte black foil called Cinefoil which is pretty common among studio photographers. Stuck on with Super77 and trimmed to size it works great for toning down the light bouncing off the baffle.
 

Tom Barr

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Still growing in for now, but it's not getting uprooted like the other plants.

Regards,
tom barr
 

keymaker

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Surface skimmer?

Tom, I wonder what to do with bottom-drilled tanks and surface agitation.

It is known, that Amano acutally lifts the filter lily pipes for the night to ensure oxigenation and puts them back for the day. For allmost all display tanks...

Most other tanks that we did operate with the goal of having proper surface agitation improving gas exchange without breaking the surface. Having a bottom drilled tank with inlets/outlets at the bottom would certailny cause surface scum at times and it would be desirable to have some kind of surface skimmer to remove the protein film that can appear for example after pruning, or at times... Even with non-limiting fert and CO2 levels, proper water changes and aearation - this can appear in a planted tanks from time to time.

How do you go about this in your tanks? How do you solve the oxigenation need? The same way as CO2 - through a venturi? I have seen you install a couple of setups with bottom-drilled technology. I wonder what you do with the surface issues.
 

Tom Barr

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Tank is s till empty after the move.

No rush to refill it, going to rework the wood some, adjust the CO2 system to accept Mazzei, Disc and Needle wheel for CO2 options.

Same fish.

Plants will be a little different, not sure about the foreground quite yet.
Blyxa and R pusilla/mexicana, Bacopa and maybe L pantanal.

Foregrounds are still a bit up in the air.

Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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keymaker;38417 said:
Tom, I wonder what to do with bottom-drilled tanks and surface agitation.

It is known, that Amano acutally lifts the filter lily pipes for the night to ensure oxigenation and puts them back for the day. For allmost all display tanks...

Most other tanks that we did operate with the goal of having proper surface agitation improving gas exchange without breaking the surface. Having a bottom drilled tank with inlets/outlets at the bottom would certailny cause surface scum at times and it would be desirable to have some kind of surface skimmer to remove the protein film that can appear for example after pruning, or at times... Even with non-limiting fert and CO2 levels, proper water changes and aearation - this can appear in a planted tanks from time to time.

How do you go about this in your tanks? How do you solve the oxigenation need? The same way as CO2 - through a venturi? I have seen you install a couple of setups with bottom-drilled technology. I wonder what you do with the surface issues.

I use a small powerhead with the high flow low pressure adapter.
Eg Sure Flow on a maxi jet for this tank. The pump is hidden behind the wood.
It's a few inches before the surface and angled up slightly.

Plenty of surface movement, far far more even larger area than any lily pipe set up. Loc line can also be directed and hidden well in the tank, or removed easily for a picture. I like adding the added powerhead in most tanks, it's at the top and generally hidden or out of sight.

I did add a reverse relay on a customer's tank, essentially turns on an air stone series that feeds into the return and the powerheads in the tank when the lights are shut off. When the lights are turned on, the relay shuts the air pump off.
You can use a timer or set up something like this if you want also.

Regards,
Tom Barr


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

keymaker

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OK, thanks for the detailed answer!

That was one of my thoughts previously, to put powerheads near the surface, but then what do you do with the power cords of the powerheads and what about the air pipes? They still need to go over the bare top edge of the tank thus ruining the "clean effect"... I would not want anything coming from there. Not mentioning that you need to bring the cables to the top of the tank somehow before bringing them into the water.
 

VaughnH

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Using lok line jets coming up from the bottom drilled holes would be the way to avoid the powerhead and its wires. If I ever set up another tank, from scratch, that will be how I will do it.
 

Tom Barr

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keymaker;38537 said:
OK, thanks for the detailed answer!

That was one of my thoughts previously, to put powerheads near the surface, but then what do you do with the power cords of the powerheads and what about the air pipes? They still need to go over the bare top edge of the tank thus ruining the "clean effect"... I would not want anything coming from there. Not mentioning that you need to bring the cables to the top of the tank somehow before bringing them into the water.

I have suspension light, the same wires they use a zip tied, the powerheads are up high in the rear corners so you really do not see the surface much.

Nor the cords, the wires are hidden behind the pole that holds the light.
You can feed the air into the same powerhead that moves the CO2 around but at night, CO2 during the day.

You can also try setting up an in line loop using say a Mag or Rainbow pump, ball T valves to adjust flow in/divert flow from main line to this, along with a Hydor heater etc.

You still have an issue with good surface movement however.

ADA still has pipes, lily's and the diffuser etc in the tank, perhaps for this reason, you need some surface movement still, the loc line is good, but needs to be pretty high/long/powerful to get decent surface movement.

Or a shallow tank etc.

So I still add a powerhead.
If I do that, then I might as well use it as a needle wheel CO2 and aeration at night.

A small powerhead uses much less energy than a larger filter.
So a in line system using iwaki RT 40 + 2 OC's vs a pair of Rena 3's uses about 1/2 the energy. I can still use the Needle wheel in or out of the tank, but the in tank version is easy to hide. I cannot use a mazzei now.

The thing is also much quieter.

I get about the same filtration overall, maybe more and changing a Rena filter is much easier than an OC filter let me tell ya!there are trade offs, but they are worth it to me and what I want.

With good plant growth and care, water changes, the trade is fine for me with this tank.


Now, looking to find me a decent Tek like 72" T5 hood.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

keymaker

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Thanks again. All clear. Not sure what you mean by "loc line" though.

I have seen pictures of your setups where you use Ocean Clear filters with iwaki (or other) pumps as well as a row of (6) Eheim filters and you also mention the two Renas. Not sure from that sentence if you mean that the two Renas consume less, or just the opposite? :) Does this mean that you consider the OC solution to be better (quieter and/or cheaper)?

Having the pump outside the canister certainly helps with heat issues in the summer for example. ADA does this in their external filters.

The "loc line jet" solution seems appealing, thanks for the suggestion. I have to admit that I do not know exactly what that is. I just guess it's a jet pipe output that directs the stronger flow towards the surface thus ensuring movement. Am I right? Tom, did you use that solution too as opposite to the powerheads? What's your take on this?
 

jeff5614

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Aug 11, 2006
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Locline is a modular hose system that comes with various fittings and in different sizes so you can customize it to fit your needs.

Loc-Line
 

keymaker

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Oh, that's what I saw on the pictures! Just did not know what they're called. Thanks Jeff.
 

Amoeba

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Apr 15, 2008
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Lessions learned

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?
 
B

Brian20

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:) Tom, what about the tank? no new pics. I want to see the system (filters, reactors, etc..) The tank looks excelent in the olds pictures