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ShadowMac's 90 cm Ultratech

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by ShadowMac, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Here begins what I hope to be the only journal location for my 90 cm. I think it would be cool to have everything in one place. All the scapes put into it...the changes in equipment or tank management strategies, etc.

    First question you probably have is why am I referring to it as ultratech. The first and foremost answer is...doesn't that sound friggin' cool? Your answer is probably....um yeah...it does. The second reason is in lieu of not being able to upgrade to the 120 cm I so want to for quite a while, I have been building upon the tech of this tank. A cabinet shot for you:

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    I've run an ecotech mp10 on and off on this tank for some time. I have found that I usually always appreciate the extra flow.

    I added an ATO system because I was topping off as much as 5 gallons of evaporated water each week. Changes in water level can alter surface agitation and play havoc with your CO2 injection due to varying rates of degassing. The ATO saves me the hassle.

    I also added an auto doser. As any who have read any previous journals you may find that I tend to be an irregular doser. If life gets in the way, the tank can get neglected. Life has been busier than ever before with my 17 month old son and about to get busier with another on the way in July...so the odds of poor dosing were only increasing.

    I'd run into a couple times where algae, poor growth, etc. from bad management resulted in having to hack things down and wait for new healthy growth. Caused me to miss the IAPLC deadline last year. The added gear ensures that I am not my own worst enemy.

    Its also super cool.

    Before I dive all the way into the current scape and equipment...I want to show where its been. Here are some photos of past scapes in no particular order. Much of these are years old. I've been in the hobby for about 6 years and have been improving each year. Its important to know where you've been so you can see where you are going.

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    Can you guess the order? Which one do you guys think was the first scape in my 90 cm?
     

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  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Shawn

    There has been a lot of work done there.

    What was the time frame from first until now?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
    ShadowMac likes this.
  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the first scape in this set of photos was 2012.
     
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  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Shawn

    Only four years you must have been very busy.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  5. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I put a dollar on #3 as your first scape.

    But wow, all are awesome. I'm loving the life support system you got there in the cabinet.

    My favorite is the last. Looks like you started with no background but glad you went with black in the end. Black seems to get disregarded as old school and clashes with the sterile ADA look of everything spotless and clear, but it just works really well when your scape has a lot of contrast and shadow. Good choice and great layout.
     
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  6. Gary Murphy

    Gary Murphy Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I would say this is your most recent scape? Absolutely stunning!

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  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    several of those photos are of the same scape at different stages. The plants covered the hardscape in one almost completely.
     
  8. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you!

    That was the second scape ;)

    The last one with the black background was for the final contest photo of the scape. I don't normally keep a background behind it. I've been meaning to apply window frosting to the back of all my tanks. I just don't want to screw it up and have an awful bubbly background...tearing it off is very difficult.

    One problem with the photo is that I lost all the anubias in the lower left. It was just too dark there. I had trouble getting those visible without blowing the highlights at the tops of the stems.
     
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  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    thank you, this was done about 3 years ago. I didn't carry it on too long, probably 6 moths or so. It wasn't shaping out how I had envisioned, so I did another scape...which was the final one in the photo series.

    There are a couple photos in there of scapes that did not go to a final presentation photo.

    My current scape isn't in the photos and has been running for two years.
     
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  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Shawn

    OK but where is the photo?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  11. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll get the updates in here soon
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    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Shawn

    You certainly have a lot of plants in that Greenery tank.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  13. Dantrasy

    Dantrasy New Member

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    Great collection of scapes!

    May I ask ... what is the white box next to the filter?

    Also, to keep the ultratech theme going will you switch to a reactor? Perhaps a powered reactor (if one exists)
     
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  14. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I used to run a reactor, but the internal pump went out. I noticed a slight electrical feeling when I put my hand in the tank. The cord must have broke somewhere and exposed a wire within the chamber. Without the pump its efficiency was way down.

    But, I have emailed a group who make custom reef equipment to see if I can get a better designed reactor made.

    The challenge of a good reactor is to get quick dissolution and limit head pressure so you don't choke up your filter. Also, if you run it off a canister filter, as the filter begins to filter out detritus the flow can reduce...which also changes your CO2 dissolution rates. They work best when put on an independent loop, but I don't want to run another pump and put more pipes in the tank.

    In the meantime, the atomizer works well enough and does not contribute to head pressure on the filter pump.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, and the white box is the reservoir for the auto top off.
     
  16. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Some more photos
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    Mid maintenance

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    Shortly after planting

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    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
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  17. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    All those little shrimps look good.
     
  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Shawn you certainly have some interesting photos there.

    Can you add a little information under each photo please.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  19. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Not much to say about them really. All snaps from my phone. Once I started using tapatalk it was much easier to get them into a thread straight from my phone.

    The mid maintenance one is interesting. That was after a long period of neglect. Things had grown very dense. Without regular trimming the plants start to choke themselves out. So I hacked everything way down. The left side was first...I thought it was interesting to see how much I had cut down compared to the right.
     
  20. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    The 5th picture down is when I probably should have taken a contest photo last year. It was looking good, but I still thought it had more potential...so I wanted to wait and work on it more. Not even sure if the changes I've made will be ready in time for IAPLC this year...I'm itching to rescape. I've had the stone scape for two years now and the aquasoil is four years old. Some new substrate and a new scape sound good. The old soil will be saved and go to other tanks. I'd like to do a low light crypt tank with some driftwood and mosses for some killifish.
     

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