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Old 09/16/2020, 11:24 AM   #776
Chasmodes
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Thank you Michael. Yeah, every time I do something like that, even for fun, I learn how to do it better next time. My photo quality wasn't good, and the bright light washed it out. I think that taking the photo during the beginning "sunset" phase of my light will look much nicer. That's what I did with this video.

I kinda learned how to make better chili by entering chili cookoffs, causing me to alter my recipe to get more votes (and more people sampling). Eventually, it paid off and I won a few of those cook offs. This is the same kind of thing, except, there aren't many contests that you can enter in to see if you've improved.

But, the bottom line is that I need to get the tank to meet my standards, for my enjoyment, and to meet my vision. You do that with your tank too, and sometimes it takes a major change, other times, minor tweaks. I think that the addition of water stargrass, snails, empty FW clam shells, etc. really adds to the realism of the tank to a real stream eddy. I also adjusted the direction of my powerhead flow a while back and finally have found the most realistic flow pattern. The addition of more plants slows that current down at the end, and reduces the amount of reversed flow, and causes the main current to look more dramatic. Little tweaks like that make a difference.

Another thing that is similar in this stream tank to yours is managing the plants. At first, I let them grow and expand throughout the tank, even to areas that I never really envisioned plants. So, the other day, I pulled out my loose rock work and replanted most of those expanded plants. The reason that I did that was I wanted that viewing window clear in the middle of the tank. I am taking a wait and see approach to the plants growing under the fake roots. Like your tank, I'm becoming a gardener rather than letting nature take total control.


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Old 09/16/2020, 01:02 PM   #777
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I love looking at those web sites with the planted tank contests! Truly inspiring, and light years ahead of most marine aquarium aquascapes. It's amazing how important the photographer's skill is in getting that winning pic.

Very cool to hear about your experience with chili! I've recently gone vegetarian and I'm currently experimenting with veggie chili recipes.

You've really refined your stream tank. I see so many similarities to my tank. And now you are entering the phase where you have to exert control over your plants to prevent an out-of-control jungle. It looks amazing!

Valisneria eventually got away from me in my planted tank. It just started spreading exponentially. I ended up replacing it with plants that looked similar, but didn't spread. I suspect you'll get there soon. Once they start putting out daughter plants, the challenge to control them becomes a lot of work.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 02/16/2021, 11:28 AM   #778
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Sorry, I haven't been on the forum in a while. I don't have any new progress on the oyster reef build of the bigger tank. I need to do some clean up on my smaller tank and then I'll do an update of those fish. My procrastination has been due to me going fishing way more often than I have in recent years. I guess that I'm addicted. Now it's ice fishing season here

A lot has happened with my stream tank. I posted a few notes about the status of the tank in the video and a list of the fish in my tank now. I will post a few things here as well as the direction of this tank that I'm heading toward.

My plants died back but are not dead. I see new growth on them. Maybe because my water temperature is in the mid 50's? Last week it was as low as 52. Yesterday, it was 55. The tank is in my basement where I don't have heat. I know that in the fall in the river, most of the weeds die off and then come back the following spring. I don't know if this is happening in my tank as well. The problem with that is that when pieces of the plants float around the tank, they clog my filter intake.

The biggest thing that you'll note is the lack of the roots. I pulled them out so I could get to the filter intake to clean it out. The fish love the roots. The river chub loved to hide in there, and the other fish swam through them often, and the darters perched on them as well. But, visually, they grew old on me. They take up way too much space in the tank, making maintenance difficult.

I also wanted to see more of the faux rock wall. So, I pulled them out permanently, at least as they looked before. I sawed them into two pieces, thinking that I'll keep one half on the left side, and one on the right, to provide cover. I also cut out the middle section. I didn't like it anyway, as the short branch looked like ET's hand. I need to trim back some of the roots at the base to get them to fit into the tank better, where I can easily remove them for maintenance and also have them not take up so much room. Then, I have to seal them to keep water out. They were never completely water tight anyway. If the trimming doesn't work or it becomes too cumbersome to fix, I may scrap them and create a couple smaller versions.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video. My favorite part is the duels between the feisty male satinfin shiner and the river chub.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E8-hnNC8Ao


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Old 02/16/2021, 12:05 PM   #779
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Hey Kevin! Your fake wall looks amazing with the patina of life on it. I understand your removing the roots. You lived with them awhile and realized their shortcomings. They looked great, but I can relate to them making maintenance challenging. My fake roots turned out bigger than I wanted too. It made them appear too big for the space. I always thought, if I ever did it again, the roots would be smaller and slimmer. I'm a big fan of the re-do. It's just impossible to think of everything in the planning stages.


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Old 02/16/2021, 12:44 PM   #780
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Thank you Michael. My plan is to get the bases of each piece trimmed so that they can fit flush to the bottom of the tank. Right now, the sections don't fit properly because of that. I need to shorten the branches that would be closer to the fake wall. It will be tough to do it while I have the tank set up and fish in it, so I will construct a cardboard replica of my tank. I also need to account for the fake wall dimensions. I'm sure it will take a good bit of duct tape to get it right, but, it will make life easier than breaking down my tank and freaking out the fish.

The final step would be to seal the openings and ensure a nice fit into the tank with good visual appeal. The main purpose of the root that will occupy the space on the left side of the tank is the same as before, to hide the powerhead.


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Old 07/01/2021, 02:31 PM   #781
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Hi Everyone.

Sorry that I haven't been around much. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I haven't made much progress on the large oyster reef tank. Life got in the way. However, I recently tidied up my working area and have reorganized the oyster cultches (dry) and am in the process of adding more Gorilla Glue to strengthen them. The 20g version of the tank taught me that, to have overhangs, those bonds must be stronger. There are many "loose" oysters, ones that are glued in but wobbly. I want them sturdy, like a real reef. I have a buddy that promised to help me with my stand, and another one that promised to help me set up and plumb my tank (including the sump and future water changing station).

I do have an ugly version of an oyster reef tank as well as some brackish fish in QT. Between both tanks, I have 7 skilletfish, 3 blennies, 3 gobies, 5 sheepshead minnows, one rainwater killifish, a bunch of mud crabs, a hermit crab and a bunch of other hitchhiker type inverts. I was thinking about collecting more osyter shells and creating a new reef for the 20g so I can focus on finishing the big tank without using the cultches that I already made for it.

That said, I've kept up the river tank. I ditched the roots because they took up too much room. I'm in the planning stage of how to hide my powerhead. I may make a different, smaller version of the faux roots, similar to how Michael made his faux mangrove root. I may use materials that I have now, or perhaps, spend money, on some sort of sculpting material. I'm leaning toward Polygem if I do that.

So, what about the river tank? It's full of colorful fish life. My plants died off during the winter cool down and did not come back as they might in the river, partly because of my battle with cyano and I pulled out the remaining plants.

I killed off the cyano by adding a phosphate remover to my cannister filter, and using a green slime algae killer. I got fed up as constant water changes did nothing. This worked. My tank has been cyano free for 3 weeks now and looks pretty good.

I'm really stoked because I've introduced a new species, added more of species that I've kept, and they're very active and in spawning colors. To find out more, check out my latest video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu-EfY2yaYA&t=199s

BTW, Michael, Dawn and others, sorry that I haven't been around. I'm catching up on your threads, lots to read, and I promise that I will participate once I catch up. I'm currently on page 65 of Michael's thread.

Best wishes to all!


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Old 07/01/2021, 02:52 PM   #782
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Good to hear from you again, Kevin. Life does complicate things sometimes. Sorry to hear your roots didn't work out. They were gorgeous at least! Mine came out bigger than I wanted too. Glad to hear you're still plugging along!


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Old 07/01/2021, 04:21 PM   #783
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Good to hear from you again, Kevin. Life does complicate things sometimes. Sorry to hear your roots didn't work out. They were gorgeous at least! Mine came out bigger than I wanted too. Glad to hear you're still plugging along!
Hah, I just caught up to my last post on your thread, page 74. My post said I was trying to catch up then on page 58 LOL.


I tried cutting the roots down, and still haven't completely given up on that, but, it's messy and not as easy as it would seem. Plus, they were built to fit exactly as they were from top to bottom of the tank. When I cut them down, the base didn't fit correctly, etc. So, I left them out until I could decide on what to do. On the plus side, at least the faux rock wall is highlighted more.


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Old 07/01/2021, 09:56 PM   #784
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Your faux rock wall is stupendous! The root was hiding it, now it's free.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 07/20/2021, 03:12 PM   #785
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Your faux rock wall is stupendous! The root was hiding it, now it's free.
Thank you Michael. Now I need to find a way to hide that circulation pump. Ughhhh...

I have my old roots that I can cut, modify, repair...or maybe make a new rock structure to attach to the upper left glass. I haven't made up my mind.

I'm leaning toward the roots first, and if that doesn't work out, get to carving a new rock piece. If I do that, I may have it run from top to bottom, and add another circulation pump behind it for more flow. I'm on the fence about that, because there seems to be a lot of flow already.


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Old 07/20/2021, 03:58 PM   #786
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Your roots did turn out nice. I don't know if it would work with your pump and roots, but maybe you could do something similar to the plastic pitcher I used in mine. Probably not. There's stuff specific to your setup I'm not clear on, so I'm sure I'm missing something!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 08/31/2021, 01:00 PM   #787
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Here's the latest update on my Potomac River Biotope Aquarium... I've added some plants and new fish caught two weeks ago, including one longnose dace, four rainbow darters, including 2 females, three greenside darters, and one fantail darter. I gave away a few fish to my buddy. I've been actually holding them for him (through QT and then into my display), from a previous collecting trip. It was good to thin the herd a little, because my buddies and I worked hard to collect more fish for our tanks as our local public Aquarium (GEPA). I have a few more longnose dace, a common shiner, and a couple central stonerollers in quarantine that I will add to the DT in about 10 days that we got this past weekend. My friend, Nick, also gave me some Valisneria for my tank, so I added it and added some plant food.

My 20g oyster reef tank looks almost like it did before, so I'll get a video together on that one day soon. I have a ton of work left on the video game (hiding my head in shame right now). Sorry I haven't been on much, as I've been out collecting fish or out fishing, which is my dominant addiction, of course.

Anyway, I hope y'all enjoy the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t96-8anaMlM


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Old 08/31/2021, 04:35 PM   #788
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Your Potomac River Biotope Aquarium looks awesome! Wall-to-wall fish and all wild-caught! Very impressive, Mr Wilson. Lot's of great color and movement too. Love the Valisneria.

I have a 6 foot diameter round garden pond that I've kept goldfish and a hardy water lily in for around 15 years or so. The other day I was kneeling down close to it and I saw something. It was a dark, tiny fish! And there were lots more. For the first time ever, my goldfish bred and now I have 'wild' goldfish. Thought you'd be amused!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/01/2021, 05:57 AM   #789
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Wow Kevin, I did not realize that your thread was under the discussion topic so am only now catching up on it! I love the Potomac river biotope. Last I saw it, you were making the fake rock wall. You did an amazing job and it appears that your fish residents agree. Such an active fun tank, I love it!


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Old 10/18/2021, 10:29 PM   #790
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Thank you so much Dawn. Sorry I'm so late in responding. A lot has happened with this tank since my last video. I obtained some Valisneria americana (that is native to my river) from a friend and also collected two species of plants from my river (water stargrass and curly-leaf pondweed). I jammed a bunch of plant food spikes into the gravel, have a heavy fish bioload, and do my best to keep algae at bay and the plant growth has taken off over the past week and a half. The collected plants were starting to die off in the river due to lowering temperatures, but have really greened up and grown in my tank. I couldn't be happier. Michael, you might like these plants!!! LOL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYVoRIwiuOU&t=39s


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Old 10/19/2021, 08:56 AM   #791
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Love it! Looks great, Kevin. I DO like those plants! Great to see the lush growth. Nice video too. I like how you talked at the beginning and end, and in the middle, it was like a fireplace video. Nice relaxing vid to start my day. Yay!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 10/20/2021, 08:22 AM   #792
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Thanks Michael!

Here's a much clearer video but with me rambling more LOL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUThTDVKNww&t=337s


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Old 10/20/2021, 09:37 AM   #793
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It does look better. When you zoomed in, It looked like a scene in a natural stream! I noticed too that your fabulous fake wall has now taken a back seat to the plants and fish. It was nice to get another look at it. Best fake wall EVER!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 10/20/2021, 11:54 AM   #794
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Thank you so much Michael!

I might be having to put forth some effort harvesting soon. I kinda dread doing that for fear of hurting the plants. Before I do that, I might move the stargrass and some Val from the center and put them into the left corner to fill up that space next to the left glass. I will leave the curly-leaf pondweed alone. Maybe clearing that area out will give that pondweed more light. I've read that it doesn't do that well in fish tanks, but we will see. I'll keep trying. It doesn't make sense to me though because supposedly in the wild it can handle a wide range of environments and is very tolerant of pollution, etc.


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Old 10/20/2021, 02:11 PM   #795
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I hear ya. Once you finally have luck with plants it's hard to mess with a good thing. I remember once my giant vallisneria took off, it threatened to take over the tank. I ended up removing it and trying similar plants that were less prolific.

Yours looks amazing. I'd let it be until it doesn't. Enjoy!


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Old 10/21/2021, 07:20 AM   #796
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Thank you so much Michael. Good advice. That stuff is growing fast. I may have to move and trim very soon.


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Old 10/23/2021, 03:00 PM   #797
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Oh man I really love the plants. I can understand why you are hesitant to risk rocking the boat when the plants are thriving. It would feel tragic for them to be negatively impacted and then watch them recede. I love the way it looks now, and it's so cool.


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Old 10/23/2021, 05:02 PM   #798
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I've not thought of a river before; the idea could be furthered into a super shallow but wide top-down layout.


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Old 10/26/2021, 01:19 PM   #799
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Thank you Dawn and Santa Monica!

Yes, SM, I agree that a wide shallow riffle would look really cool, especially if you could view from above and from the side. I was on a recent collecting trip in search of madtom catfish and we found almost all kinds of stream critters (dace, minnows, shiners, chubs, darters, minnows, suckers, madtoms and inverts) in less than 6" of normal flow stream levels. I love looking down at my fish from above, but it's hard to see anything in the current, but perhaps a wider, more shallow tank would enable that. It would be fun to have a tank, say, 6' long, 4' wide and like a foot deep with a max faux stream depth of 6". You could do a couple patches of star grass too. A deeper tank with a faux bottom for the shallows emptying into a deeper pool would also be possible, but a custom tank would be needed for that width. I think a nightmare, if I could afford such tanks, for me would be getting those tanks into my house and making room for them


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Old 10/29/2021, 12:54 PM   #800
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Hi everyone. It's been a long time since I've posted an oyster reef tank update, so now I finally have something worth updating and showing. I've kept a sloppy tank with the fish and inverts since my last post about this tank, nothing like my 20g tank when it was in its heyday. But, I've added enough structure to the tank and cleaned things up, and I have a decent selection of fish and invertebrates, so I decided to resume some videos on this topic. I hope you enjoy the update.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDrZ_ECtYNw


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