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Thread: Don's 4x2x2 rebuild

  1. #16
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    Apr 2011
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    Mt Gambier, South Australia
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    239

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    *double post
    Last edited by ciler; 30-04-13 at 10:00 PM.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kenmore, Queensland
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    239

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    Quote Originally Posted by nautilusly View Post
    Beautiful, lush plants and gorgeous rainbows. i will aim to scape something like yours when i get my tank upgrade for my rainbows! one question, do you vacuum the substrate?
    I don't even vacuum my teenage daughter's bedroom anymore :-)

    When I do a water change, I might use the siphon to remove any excess loose mulm sitting on the surface of the substrate but I try not to disturb the substrate itself too much. It contains clay-filled propagating sand and a certain amount of blood and bone so rooting around in it could get a little messy.

    In the first month, the substrate was quite gassy but that seems to have settled down now. I'm not sure if that's entirely just time or the fact that I threw in a whole bunch of blackworms (late at night when the rainbows didn't notice them so much) which disappeared down into the sand. I'm fairly comfortable that this substrate (in stark contrast to my last effort) hasn't gone anaerobic even though I'm not digging it up.

    The other positive sign from the substrate is that the root systems of plants is much more vigorous than it was before. Roots are fibrous, multi-stranded, robust and white. In my previous substrate, they were prone to rotting and falling apart.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sydney
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    333

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    Love the tank, your rainbows look great and healthy!

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Brisbane
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    4,627

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    dcm, please allow me to join the rising chorus of AL members who appreciate your superlative commentary. Love you work; love your HC scatter cushions.
    Cheers,

    Rufus


    "I completely lost it. Well, okay, that sounded more awesome than what I really did, which was yell. And by yelling I mean sending a bunch of TEXT MESSAGES ALL IN CAPS!"

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by rufus View Post
    dcm, please allow me to join the rising chorus of AL members who appreciate your superlative commentary.
    Likewise. Throughly enjoying your words as much as the photos.
    It's like an epic novel; here's hoping the next chapter isn't too far away

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Chelsea Heights, VIC
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    1,524

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    Love this tank - is that a custom background or a purchased one? I like the idea of the shelf it has.

    Glad to see the gassing settled down - i'm still mustering up the courage/motivation to rescape and use a similar substrate (the ada isn't impressing me as much as i'd hoped it would) so am always keen to see others that are going the DIY route.

    And nice rainbows - amazing colour on them.
    I'll try anything twice.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kenmore, Queensland
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    239

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    Quote Originally Posted by dollarpots View Post
    Love this tank - is that a custom background or a purchased one? I like the idea of the shelf it has.
    It's a purchased one. It's made of some fibreglass-like material but has been coated with a real kind of gravel or sand so it looks pretty authentic. I bought it a while ago when I decided I'd proved a point with planted tanks and was going to run a low maintenance tank. I thought rocks would be harder to kill and a neo-rock background would spare me from having to look through the tank at the dust bunnies that would inevitably collect on the wall behind (since I wouldn't be having that many plants).

    I decided I didn't like the idea of a non-planted tank shortly before I was going to construct one so now I have the plants AND the rather dramatic neo-rock background.

    It makes a fair percentage of the water column inaccessible - there's quite a large void beneath the 'shelf' and behind the bits-that-stick-out on the rest of it but I've made lemonade from lemons there and used it to hid my heater and pump intakes. The shelf is great for creating a high light environment though.

    I actually did make one of these myself using styrene foam, a heat gun, brushed on tinted-cement and a highly refined sense of optimism. I used it on my daughters low maintenance (read: 'no maintenance') 24x20x14" tank. It doesn't look too bad at all although I can't use any vented voids to hid equipment.


    don

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kenmore, Queensland
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    239

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    So here we are a year later…

    Around October, one of my LED died. By November, 4 more had dropped off the perch, succumbing I suspect to a combination of heat and humidity inside the hood. I had 31 more left to go but it was getting a bit like the Burma railway project and I had shady spots. A visit to two of my favourite places (eBay and Bunnings) saw me with 3 x 50W (they don’t really drag 50W) cool daylight floods and enough metal work to convince family members that they weren’t going to plunge into the tank under the force of gravity and put them through the inconvenience and expense of an electrocuted breadwinner.



    I’m not convinced that they are any brighter than my home brew strip and I miss my blue LED ‘disco lights’ that made the fish colours brighter but at least I have light.
    As you can see, I’ve graduated from HC ‘scatter cushions’ to HC rugs. It’s still not exactly a carpet and I find its habit of propagating by having great chunks float off and clock the filter intake to be pretty annoying but it is a pleasing shade of green that contrasts nicely with the thick black bacteria stuff that covers the sand at the front of the tank.



    Only a fairly brutal pruning regime leaves room for the fish to swim.



    I think there must be some more lumens in those floods as I’ve noticed that the Tiger Lily seems to be lower and bushier than before. Either that or it’s finally worked out that I’m going to pinch off any pads higher that 15cm. It’s also reproducing wildly allowing me to give conventional-fish-tank-owning friends fair sized juveniles that they probably will neither appreciate nor give succour to.



    I wanted some different fish but rather inconveniently, my Rainbows show no sign of joining the choir invisible any time soon. Must be something to do with their sex-and-sushi-diet. Every time I change the water there is Rainbow fry swimming around but they never last.

    I did spawn a couple of dozen really nice Praecox in a tub outside (gotta love QLD summer) and then gave them to a conventional-fishtank-owning-friend whose tank I helped setup (well, architected really). Sadly, owing to a regrettable misunderstanding of the phrase ‘Let them grow out a few weeks before you rush off to your LFS and buy something with a mouth bigger than they are’ only 4 remain. A bit of a shame really as a shoal of Praecox would have been pretty good in the low-tech/mid-light planted tank I'd setup.

    The 2Toned substrate is doing its thing nicely. I’m still running CO2 with weekly Fe and K dosing with Leaf Zone.

    Just a tad bored with it really which is almost always bad news for the carpets...

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
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    167

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    Nice tranquil tank
    thanks for updating!
    How old would your rainbows be?
    Cheers
    Adam

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
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    Thanks for the update dcm!

    As to the red lotus (OK, it's been over a year, but I do get there) - I can't do much about dead. I'm really not that good. But sending leaves to the surface, that I can make a suggestion on. When the first leaf shoots to the surface, cut it at the base, otherwise the rest will quickly follow. I have heard that it's possible to get them back to low growth once they've all hit the surface by cutting all the leaves off, but I've never had the courage to try it.

    The tank is looking fantastic! Maybe this proves the theory of relative happiness? In its simplest form, that people are happy when they have something beautiful, but they become acclimatised to it, and need something new to make them happy again.
    "Weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place" - Jackie French
    Gardening is just racism for plants - Amber, The Old Guys

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Sydney NSW
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    131

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    Excellent read!! Has just helped me answer alot of questions about what view should do with my Substrate. beautiful tank mate!! Hopefully mine will look this good one day!

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kenmore, Queensland
    Posts
    239

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    Quote Originally Posted by linchpin View Post
    Nice tranquil tank
    thanks for updating!
    How old would your rainbows be?
    Mmm, that's a good question. The red rainbows are the oldest I think I've had them for around 4 - 5 years. The Boesemani's are probably more like 3 - 4 years and I got them as young adults. It's harder to tell with the Praecox. I only bought a couple but spawned and raised a dozen or so about 2 years ago. I think the Praecox don't live that long. My original Praecox have all gone to meet their maker and the juveniles (long since not juveniles) are showing age a little even though they are only 2.

    They are voracious eaters and spawn nearly daily so nobody is geriatric. They've also grown pretty big - double or nearly triple the size when I bought them I think.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kenmore, Queensland
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    239

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscusEden View Post
    Thanks for the update dcm!

    As to the red lotus (OK, it's been over a year, but I do get there) - I can't do much about dead. I'm really not that good. But sending leaves to the surface, that I can make a suggestion on. When the first leaf shoots to the surface, cut it at the base, otherwise the rest will quickly follow. I have heard that it's possible to get them back to low growth once they've all hit the surface by cutting all the leaves off, but I've never had the courage to try it.

    The tank is looking fantastic! Maybe this proves the theory of relative happiness? In its simplest form, that people are happy when they have something beautiful, but they become acclimatised to it, and need something new to make them happy again.
    Thanks. I think that the task of keeping the Tiger Lotus near the ground and out of the jet lanes got a lot easier when I went across to the LED floods. I suspect it may have been a light level thing.

    As for the tank, friends and neighbours think also I 'm mad when I muse about changing it. Analysing my thoughts I think one of the problems is that I've never been super happy about the shape of the 48" x 24" x 24". I used to have a 72" x 20" x 15" and I honestly think the extra 'wide screen' thing is better for 'scaping. I look back at photos of my old 6' planted discus tank and think 'that's gorgeous!'.

    I think I'd like a 6' x 2' x 2' really but it would be pretty intimidating to get a tank that size up into this house and I've already put a lot of steel c-section on the joists to support the current tank - maybe in my next house (that will be single story, concrete slab with a huge fishroom, micro-brewery room and a shed big enough to teach myself to restore old cars - it will also feature a large, friendly dog instead of a hostile psycho-kitty and exactly zero teenage children).


    dcm

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
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    Yep. With that setup the theory goes out the window, and you'd be happy forever!

    What about a 4x2x2?
    "Weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place" - Jackie French
    Gardening is just racism for plants - Amber, The Old Guys

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kenmore, Queensland
    Posts
    239

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscusEden View Post
    Yep. With that setup the theory goes out the window, and you'd be happy forever!

    What about a 4x2x2?
    Yeah, maybe, but it's practically the same size as the 48" x 24" x 24" I have today :-)

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