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Williak's 55 gallon Iwagumi Tank

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by Williak, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Williak

    Williak New Member

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    Location:
    Auburn, AL
    Just started up a new 55 gallon! Have a current planted 55, but felt I wanted to give something more related to aquascaping a go :)

    Here are some specs!

    Tank:

    55 gallon AGA tank (48" W, 13" D, and 20" H)


    Light:

    2 54w T5HO set up
    Roughly 8 hours a day


    Substrate:

    Miracle Gro Organic Soil (bottom layer)
    Safe-T-Sorb (top layer)


    Filtration:

    Marineland Powerhead with prefilter (I think the 900?)
    Marineland Penguin 350 HOB filter (Possibly getting a 2nd)


    CO2:

    DIY CO2
    4 2L bottles via powerhead distribution when tank is eventually flooded
    Planning/Saving for eventual injected setup.


    Fertilization:

    EI method via GLA dry ferts [with extra random supplementation from Seachem Flourish Excel and Aquavitro Propel (iron)]


    Rocks:

    Random local rocks from state park (tested)


    Plants (Subject to change!):

    HC
    Microsword (?)
    DHG (?)


    Fauna (Subject to change!):

    No idea - Def alot of shrimp and a large school of small fish

    In my other 55 planted, I have albino corys, oto cats, neon and cardinal tetras, a clown pleco, amano shrimp, and RCS.

    Don't want to go with the same tetra school for this one... but I do want a large school. Considering some rasboras..... Open for any suggestions [​IMG]
    ______________________________
    Planning a dry start method on this for the HC. Will be receiving my pots in a few days time! Can't wait to get it going. Any tips from you guys on dry start method would be greatly appreciated! :D I've always heard to fill water to right below the substrate line, and mist 2x daily?
    Here are some pics of the current aquascaping.... Still changing it daily to fine tune it exactly how I want before I start to plant!

    Any feedback is welcome!
    P.S. Wondering about background options.... I want the classic white glowing background, what are some techniques you guys use to achieve this?

    IMG_3206.JPG IMG_3207.JPG

    IMG_3208.JPG
     
  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
    North Dakota, USA
    Hi and welcome to ASW! HC may be tough with a DIY setup in such a large tank. I like the slope in the back of the tank you have created, although it would give a much more dramatic effect with a level substrate in the front. I also would look into some larger stones. You will need more of them and bigger ones to get the Iwagumi look you are looking for.

    Tips for DSM...hmm..most people when doing DSM for the first time actually keep things too wet. You want to avoid any standing water. What you are really shooting for is humidity, so if the glass stays fogged up you are on the right path. If things are too wet you will see the HC yellow, brown and turn to mush. A DSM start will help you get off on a good foot, but I'm afraid that to transition HC to submerged growth a lot of CO2 is needed and I don't think the DIY is up to the task.

    Best of luck and keep us up to date with your tank!
     
  3. Williak

    Williak New Member

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    Thanks for the reply ShadowMac.

    Regarding concerns with DIY CO2.... in my current 55, I've managed to maintain ~30ppm (according to my cal aqua dropchecker) by replacing my yeast mixture every 5-7 days, and running 2 2L bottles simultaneously. For this new 55, I was considering even going up to 4 2L bottles. The CO2 is distributed via a power head intake, so it is probably being utilized best as possible :p I'm prepared to purchase/build an injected CO2 system, if need be. It will be 2-3 months before I flood the tank, and would need the CO2 supplementation, so in the mean time, I may put aside some mullah for a injected system :D

    About the substrate slope.... I considered cutting it straight across the front, and just sloping from back->front instead of back->front and side->side. Stared at the tank for about 30 minutes today, tools in hand, contemplating.... I'll further consider it.

    The rocks are a bit small, I agree. It was hard to find them locally, and I wasn't about to pay $100s for rocks and shipping from across the US. I may check out some local nursery stores and landscaping stores to see what else I can find.

    Thanks for your input! :D
     
  4. abhradip1986

    abhradip1986 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
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    Hi! i read that you wanted to start off with a DSM , so sharing a link to another topic where I had penned down how to go about it for another fellow aquascaper: http://www.aquascapingworld.com/threads/iwagumi-layout.6538/page-3
    hope it helps, you can see the results of it as well in the same thread in page 4 for reference. For me too the rocks look a tad bit small, IMO get two bigger rocks of the same texture use them as focal point with these existing ones as the transition, will save you a lot of trouble to again rescape with new rocks. Plus with such a tank I personally would have gone with a slope were one of the focal point is in the left back which you now have and instead of sloping it to the back I would have done it to right front. kind of diagonal if you get what I mean..:) best of luck from my end for the beautiful upcoming project! :D
     
  5. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Finding good stones in the US is a giant PITA. This guy sells a ton of Seiryu stone at a reasonable price: http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/9641-Seiryu-scaping-stone-groups-check-em-out!-NEW-STONES-)

    Rocks at landscaping/lawn and garden stores is another possibility.

    For the background you can use a material from a hardware store used to frost glass, it is a film that is easily applied (and easily removed, I believe) then get a cheap t5 light bar to place in the back at the bottom of the tank to light up the background.
     
  6. Williak

    Williak New Member

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    Abhradip,
    Thank you for your reply! I referenced that thread, had alot of great info on DSM. Def be following those guidelines.

    I understand what you mean about the sloping... Since this is a one sided viewing tank, I'd be concerned to have a slope on the front side of the tank. I think it could be obstructive to the view. I'm planning on adding more substrate, maybe 2-3" worth, across the backside of the tank all the way across. Hopefully help give it a bit more depth :D


    ShadowMac,
    Excellent source for rocks man! That is a great price too, and shipping isn't through the roof ;). Thanks for that! I'm planning on rescaping the other planted 55 gallon soon. I will have to take advantage of this.

    Great idea about the background. I'm nervous to put it on the tank itself, but I think I may grab a piece of acrylic from HomeDepot, cut to fit the back of my tank, and apply the film to it instead. I think the light bar behind the background is the tip I'm looking for. I may even look for a long 2-4 ft single row LED strip to give it a soft glow. All else fails, I can just grab a cheap single 2ft or 4 ft T8.
    ________________________________________________

    Regarding rock arrangement, I had some other rocks that I'd collected from a beautiful local state park. I want to maintain the look of the rocks I've gone with thus far. I had one very large rock that I had opted out to put in. I went back out and got it, then replaced the weaker left side arrangement with the big rock, and rearranged the others all around it. Furthermore, I re arranged the right side of the tank as well. I'm very satisfied with how it looks thus far. The rocks still may not be as large as some use in a 55 gallon, but with only carpeting plants planned, I don't think they'll be overtaken. I really want to maintain alot of "breathing room" or swimming room at the top of the tank. I figure this could help with creating an illusion of depth.

    Once I add the extra substrate this evening, I will update with some new photos!
     
  7. jimi

    jimi New Member

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  8. Williak

    Williak New Member

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    Jimi,
    Thanks so much for that link! Excellent information! The more I read regarding the dry start, the better I feel about it. I'm also being allowed an extra month or two to save for an injected CO2 set up by this as well :p

    HC should be into the LFS today. Fingers crossed! Got everything ready to start it up. Will post pictures later on of the new and final hardscape along with some HC planting!

    (After viewing that webpage, I'm thinking I should have gotten alot more HC to start up my 55. He used 6 pots on a 5 gallon :cautious: That is what I ordered for my 55 haha.... may have to place another order for next week :D)
     
  9. Williak

    Williak New Member

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    Well... no HC today. Disappointed to say the least. I'm atleast relieved that my LFS owner opted to look out for me and not pick them up today because he said they looked pretty melted. Should be getting in a new stock on Monday. I'll hold out for these :cool:.

    Still went ahead and took some photos of newly arranged hardscape.

    IMG_3217.JPG IMG_3219.JPG IMG_3220.JPG
     

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