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Smithagumi

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by csmith, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    So I've mostly decided what to do with my 55 gallon. I couldn't decide what specific route I wanted to go, so I've come up with a design that touches most everything I know about. The front of the tank is relatively low, and so I'll have a nice garden of HC there. In the back there's quite a bit more slope and I'll have some sort of stem design back here. In the center I've created a couple caves, but I'm still not so sure what I'm wanting to grow there. The beautiful thing about DSM is there's always time and things can change, right? Being in Colorado and working on a mountain, I kind of took that picture as a starting guide to where I wanted to get.

    This is my first go with ADA AS, and it has some traits I'm already not fond of.
    1. There are a ton of stems and seed hulls. Anyone know the reason behind that?
    2. Mold magnet. I never once dealt with mold when I had the flourite, but this stuff grows it like nobody's business. It only happens around hardscape. I give the mold a good spraying with H2O2/distilled water mixture and not only does the mold come back faster and thicker, but it almost seems like the mixture breaks the AS down into dust. I took a hair dryer to the substrate this morning and dried out all of the problem areas even further (I've left the top open for a few days as well), so we'll see what happens next.

    One of the better points I've noticed with this stuff is it's like having a bunch of tiny sponges. I've dug to the glass in an open area with my finger to test how wet the substrate really is, and there isn't much "free" water. The AS soaks it up and holds it. Should make the DSM process easier. So, water level is about an inch below the substrate in the front which makes me feel good about this whole process. I won't be repeating the same mistakes I made with this DSM before. I do wish there was a way to get water to the higher regions in the back so it could cycle during this process, but not with the low substrate level in the caves and at the front glass.

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  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Chris,

    'Smithagumi'.... I like it...I would suggest a few more rocks, or is less rock a basic tenet of your philosophy?

    How about using small clay planting pots cut in half for the caves? Then use small anubias with the growing portion to the cave entrance. That way as the plant grows it will move forward and shade the cave entrance. Plus, the roots will eventually also cover the entrances as they push down to the gravel. Nice effect I think...

    Keep us posted of course.....

    Yeah, you're confusing a bag of funny 'weeds' from out CA way, with the ADA AS LOL...
     
  3. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Cedric. CL is Chris. ;) We're both from TN, so it's close.

    I'll go grab more rocks today, I was thinking about that as I stared at this tank. Most of the rocks in the tank now are actually quite a bit larger than what you can see, I just buried them quite a bit. I have no tenets, no philosophy. You can't be as bad at keeping plants healthy as I am with ground rules! I planted the foreground with HC yesterday, so the rocks'll have to go up a little higher. Hope this HC works out.

    I hadn't thought about that, the pots I mean. Both of the caves I have now are created by the rocks themselves (pictures 3 and 4). I like that anubias idea. Slow growers scare me now, though. My crypts were C. wendtii reds, but they were stem to leaf-tip green with algae.

    Amano got me. I knew it! :eek:

    I got the cave idea from here. Pretty cool design.
     
    #3 csmith, Jul 30, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  4. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    With my new layout I think I've improved a little, but gone backwards in a way as well. Not really sure what to make of it.

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  5. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    How wide is your 55 gallon? Mines 12 1/2 front to back, which made getting glass tops that fit difficult. I actually had to get a frame store to cut some glass panels for me to replace the back panels, which wasn't a perfect solution. I see your tops are flush front to back.
     
  6. csmith

    csmith Guest

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  7. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    Yeah, same dimensions. The 24" glass tops came up 7/8" too short for me with the plastic piece attached. So I replaced the back panels with panels that were 7/8" longer. Unfortunately, most frame stores use 3/32" thick glass, which is slightly thinner. I just added several layers of clear tape and pushed them into the plastic hingeto compensate for the thinner glass. Has worked ok so far. I wish they made the 24" tops as thick as the 30" or longer ones though. The lids I had on my bowfront were much sturdier.
     
  8. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    My biggest issue was the ridges in the plastic piece. It holds itself up from the top frame of the tank and allows a lot of the humidity to escape. After I added the plastic wrap on the back half of the tank I haven't had much of a problem. My only potential problem now is the plastic wrap can't cling to the back glass, as I've got the privacy film on it to obscure some of the hardware back there. I guess it's my own take on the ADA "Mist" aquariums.
     
  9. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    I considered replacing the rear panel with acrylic and just cutting holes for the equipment, but I decided against it as I have no experience drilling and cutting glass/acrylic. That might be something you could do that would have the top sit more flush.
     
  10. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    So I had some stauro left over after I packed in my other tank. I'm looking for a few opinions on its current placement. The more I look at it the more I don't really think it'll fit there. I'm thinking I can also place it midground, near the open areas at the glass on the sides in small groups. Ideas?

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  11. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    Have you decided on the stem plants for the background yet? I would plan the stauro arrangement around the placement of the background plants. Maybe plant them along that slope that runs from the middle to the right side. Since you don't have to dig so deep to plant stauro, you should be able to maintain the slope while planting them. That large rock in the middle right would create a break in the stauro that might look nice.

    I wish I could have started my stauro with DSM. Four fat cory made it a chore. I had to replant several plants daily from all their digging. Probably 90% are well rooted now. The others are placed where the cats are less likely to go, hopefully.
     
  12. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    So my tank is now flooded as of yesterday night. Due to some questionable packaging only 1 out of 3 ordered packages were actually usable. The other sellers did make it right (refund) but I wish this thing was planted denser right now. I'm still waiting on Wet's more than generous package to arrive hopefully later today, and I have to wait until next week for the other two to come in as I didn't buy them until yesterday. I can already feel the algae blooming in the tank with the lack of plants. :eek: I'm holding off on dosing until next weekend, as I won't have all of my plants in until then and I'm sure the AS can sustain until that point.

    The DSM had mixed results. I'm losing HC left and right as it floats to the top of the tank. Even though it spread while dry, it didn't really do so into the substrate but moreso onto itself. The second it was submerged large chunks stood up straight and stayed there. Once I added the filters today they had the final push they needed to work themselves loose and float to the top. I've turned the filters to about half strength to see if it'll stop, but who knows what'll happen when I add the powerheads next week.

    I did remove the stuaro and placed it into a dense mat in my 20 gallon, so time will tell if it's happy there. I've bought plenty of very large stems in order for this tank to begin with, in an effort to get it started right. I figured planting hundreds upon hundreds of smaller stems in here would be somewhere between "this is definately not fun" and "I'm going to rip my hair out!". I do have a quarter of the tank planted thickly with smaller rotala stems right now (and more coming), but I've come across some great deals as of late on some packages containing mostly larger stems. Hopefully it works the same.

    Other issues are two canister filters that just don't want to stop humming and somehow find a huge air pocket to release every 10 minutes (it's amazing, the noise difference between my Fluval 205 on my 20 and these 305's on this tank is extreme) and a water pump that for some reason waited to run loudly until after it was completely hooked up into my CO2 reactor setup. I'm currently trying to work out those issues, so we'll see what happens.

    Pictures of stage 1 coming later today, hopefully after Wet's package arrives and I can plant it.
     
  13. csmith

    csmith Guest

    Local Time:
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    [​IMG]

    Issues abound with this tank. One of my Fluval's continues to leak, even though I've coated the inner lip and o-ring in more vaseline than seemed logical. I'll be returning it to the LFS so they can deal with it tommorrow. Some of the plants are rebounding nicely, some not so much. I don't quite have the hang of CO2 reactors down, so I have no idea how my CO2 levels are. My HC carpet continues to float out of the substrate, but the rate slowed once I slowed the filters down a bit. Hopefully it'll start spreading again this week. The ADA AS keeps my water a nice tea color despite two-a-day water changes. I do have two more hefty plant shipments coming this week to fill in the empty spots. I really hadn't set out to gather what seems like every stem I could get my hands on, but I guess while the tank is in its infancy it's better that way in the end. Once it matures a bit I'll try to go back to my original plan of a less stem/more HC setup.
     
    #13 csmith, Aug 27, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010

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