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Author Topic: Shaun's Second Nano Journal  (Read 5429 times)
MagpieTear
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« on: March 17, 2013, 09:21:59 AM »

Well, I'm not known for exceptional intelligence, but rather a stubborn streak, a touch of impulsiveness, and an unmatched knack for following tangents. OCDADD if you will. It's got to be perfect, for about 10 minutes.

So I bought a second Ebi tank. The hope of the custom cherry stand for the first has been discarded, the scape has become a wild mass of Fissidens, and the OBET's never materialized. Instead, I sold enough Cherries from it to fund a second one.

I did learn from it though. Ditch the Fluval provided internal filter. I have it new in the unopened box if you want it. Trade for a type of moss I don't have or $10. I have a Zoomed 501 for this tank as well, very happy with the performance of the first one, as well as ease of working inside it. Maybe I'll luck out and OneFang from Aquatic Plant Enthusiasts will go back into the acrylic pipe business since he's returning to the fold.

I also decided that I like tiered scapes, and that they do need support over the long term. the first one is slumping like a fifth grader at the dinner table. So one $12 piece of eggcrate chopped and hacked, and some Seriyu stone, a bag and a half of Stratum, and I should be good.

The scape will be much more simply planted than my previous attempts, so I can catch the little blue roaches I want to raise in it. Now that I have 2 Ebis, need to sell enough shrimp to fund 2 Aquaray 400s and a controller eventually. That's a lot of shrimp at wholesale prices. The plan for now is clumps of Gratiola viscidula and some flame moss.

Anyhow, I lost an afternoon rearranging rocks and looking at them from all available angles to decide on a layout. The rear two were easy, they fit together so nicely, it just clicked. But the front pillar, meh, hard to decide.
One


Two


Three




oh, and just like the first Ebi, this one arrived with drama. It was broken inside the box when it arrived at Oddball. Two tanks one year apart, two separate seperate stores (The first broken one was at Elmers in December of 2011), both broken during shipment. And this one had incorect hardware in the package. Both the broken one still at Oddball Pets and the one I brought home had 4 front lid supports and no rear supports. Took almost a week for Hagen to reply to my support request through their website. They apologized and sent out the new supports immediately, but dang guys, you're not looking really sharp here...

Anyhow, lost a week after deciding on a layout. The delay being Electricity.

I'm powering both Ebi's from a single Coralife power center, and the transformers for the Fluval 13w lamps are freaking huge. When one was plugged into the yellow (daytime) plug, the other yellow plug was effectively blocked. So I needed short extension cords. I saw them all over the internet, there's hundreds of choices designed for just this situation. However, I wasted an entire Saturday and way too much gas searching for one without paying shipping. No such luck, I ended up ordering this set from Amazon. It took a week for the cheap shipping option.


While I was waiting, I took OneFang's's advice and zip tied the eggcrate together. It floated but wasn't as buoyant as Styrofoam, the existing hardscape is more than sufficient to hold it down.


I used the combination of Amazonas and Stratum again, but learned from the prior tank that the color differences are enough to make it look odd to my eye. Being colorblind may make it hard to discern red's oranges and some lighter browns, but it also makes other color combinations stand out more to me than other people. So this time I filled Stratum around the outside to hide the lighter Amazonas at the glass.


Eggcrate filled with the ADA soil.


Finished slope

And it sat while I waited for wires.

Once they showed, I set up the light and the filter, thoroughly rinsing the Zoomed ceramic rings and swapping the sponge from the established tank into this one and the new sponge into the old tank.

When I turned on the light, saw that I needed a smidge more substrate is some areas.

Turns out Stratum is moist in the bag and when it dries out it's lighter.





Once I had the substrate where I wanted it, time to fill her up.



Remember when I said I thoroughly rinsed the filter media? Well in my distinctly finite wisdom, I neglected to rinse the Seiryu stones before placing them. Just like fresh gravel for the driveway, they were covered in a layer of quarry dust. Which instantly turned to a nasty scum on the surface as soon as the water touched it.



So, once I got close to having it filled, had to siphon off about a gallon and a half to get rid of the majority of the stone goop. Then topped it off to let the substrate burp overnight and the Amazonas leech some of the ammonia before I run my first parameter test tonight after dinner. Then a 5 gallon change, and swap in some biomax from a different tank into the filter and plant the Gratiola.



Doubting my original decision to use flame moss, will have to think it over. I don't want a carpet of plant mass in this tank, but not sure what to use as a lower growing bit of greenery. Fissidens tends to take over and I already have it in the other Ebi, riccia and subwassertang are just a pain to work with, I'm not planning on running CO2, so HC is out of the question. I have a bit of Fontinalis, some Taiwan moss and some unknown Taxiphyllum at my disposal, but all three of those can get sprawling and are not unlike trying to keep dog hair contained in a tidy fashion. I'd love to find a miniature Downoi or Blxa Japonica subspecies to have a few plants in the foreground at proper scale, but they get too big. Not sure what my options are without CO2. I'll be investigating and gladly taking suggestions.
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MagpieTear
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 02:43:28 AM »

Well, the cycle was 100% stagnant for a week with an unheated tank (duh) so I put in a 20 watt Cobalt minitherm. Despite being reommended for a 5 gallon or smaller tank, it bumped the temp up to a full 78 when the lights are on, or 72 at 4 am when the lights have been out for 6 hours.

The Gratiola viscidula has had a week to take root, and seems quite happy, even without CO2, but a drop or two of Excel every other day.. Have had to do numerous 4.5 gallon changes to get the ammonia levels down to something that my test kit can actually read.


The Gratiola should make a nice forest behind thge mountains once I trim it and replant the cuttings a few times.


Overall shot showing the hardware


Forest in training. I'm really surprised how the plants were almost stagnant growth wise in a high tech tank with CO2 and regular dosing, but every stem shows some growth since transplanting to this lower tech tank, but no competition or shading. Each stem has at least one pair of new leaves, some have two in a week.


Not sure what the little pipewort looking plant is at the base of the rocks, Efren gave it to me and the shrimp kept knocking it loose in the other tank. Figured this will be a good chance to take root since I won't be putting any shrimp in here until I get home from vacation in June.


Just an "artsy" shot
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Italian1026
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2013, 01:59:06 AM »

Looks AWESOME... keep us posted as it fills in...  Grin
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john b.
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 07:20:50 PM »

looks good man! that water is nice and clear, cant keep mine that way
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BrokenBox
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 06:12:19 PM »

Looks good. How many hours of light per day?
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MagpieTear
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2013, 02:45:44 AM »

running 10 hours a day, 11 AM through 9 PM. It does get a little bit of natural light as well, about 45 minutes of direct sun comes in on it right before the power compact kicks on., but it's not enough to impact much due to the angle to the window.
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