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3 Nano 'heterogeneous' Triptych - The end.

jack-rythm

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21 Jul 2012
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Ashburton, Devon
Ok people....

I have been putting this off for a while.. not due to laziness but due to amount of time it has taken me to uphold all the equipment etc.. lack of funds.. you know the score...

Brief...
A few months ago I was browsing on here looking at the iwagumi style set ups and fell in love with them. I appreciate the jungles & dutch style tanks dont get me wrong, I have a jungle nano and love it. But as an Architect I cant help but get over the simplicity of an iwagumi... this by no way, means simplicity is simple.. In fact from experience you seem to spend more time achieving and building simplicity, than you do any other element of spatial delivery. Forms and space is a key significance to an iwagumi tank. I am by far, an experienced aquascapist, quite the opposite. I had only taken on the hobby about a year ago now being eased into it by my friend who actually recommended this site for me. Although it has been the best thing I have become obsessed about it has also ruined parts of my life :) I am a fond reader of diana walstad work, and although a lot of her theories will contradict all the high tech aquascapists opinions I couldn't turn my head and not listen. I genuinely would have an interest in this due to the job and eco life I aim to live so began to revise and try to understand the differences. To be honest some points I believe are not mandatory. With this hobby you can only test and experiment. Reading only gets you so far. My idea was to come up with a fully cycled and usable self inhabited low-tech tank with no filtration or heating. When I first read about this i didn't believe it. HOW?? But after reading and seeing and experimenting I found that the real question was WHY wouldn't this work?...

Idea...
browsing through this site and registering to magazines etc I became engrossed with differences within an iwagumi set up. Also taking in to account the walstad approach I needed something simple but able to carry out its tasks.. I already a 3ft tank and was deciding to put it into that but then it hit me. I remembered a project I had to do for university in paris. I had to design a triptych illustration for the places and buildings I visited.. for those who do not quite know what a triptych is its a "set of three" so to have 3 nano tanks all supporting the same theme, next to each other and connected, this immediately becomes a triptych. Now I had my understand and idea I had to create a Praxis. I searched for rock and flora for months trying to find something inert for my shrimp to survive happily.. I came across dragon stone and immediately knew I wanted that in my tank. I always found dragon stone on and off with some set ups. some could look beautiful but some could hinder a scape causing imbalance and clutter. I wanted minimalism and it was hard to keep focused on certain times. Your mind will naturally go off and decide your needs more in your tank than you actually truly do. Im an artist and I ruin my painted by doing too much.. this is fact. I had to tae this flore into account...

This is how it came to play...

Set up:
Tanks: Self built 30cm 6mm cubed optiwhite tanks, with White smoked film to the back panes. These were the VERY first optiwhite tanks I ever made so as a professional I kept them for myself and labelled them as practice tanks. Everyone has to begin somewhere right?
Lighting: 100cm Boyu, 2x 21w T5's & 1x 21w blue marine T5. (one bulb is currently taken out for my low-tech design) UPDATE ON MY LIGHTING - I only use 1x 24w t5 tube for a 7hr photo period ( get the blue on when im feeling 'party time'
Filtration: 3x Eheim 2213's with 13mm glassware lily pipes all with clear tubing and single taps.
Heating: None
Substrate: 9l ADA Amazonia Aquasoil, 5l EBI Gold shrimp substrate capped on top of ADA. Pulp from filters around the house.
Hardscape: Dragon stone
Flora: riccia fluitans, Pogostemon helferi & eleocharis parvula, bacopa, peacock moss, weeping moss, mini pelia
Fauna: None as of yet, although shall be ordering chilli rasboras (a few random fish to get started with)
Cabinet: Self built and painted to suit surrounding (black metal)

cabinet build:
The current cabinet I was supporting was two pine coloured ikea low units that I decided to sand down, paint and shelf. I had to paint it black because the sofa next to it was black! I also think the contrast of white light and greens would play off the colour black extremely well. here is my cabinet process...

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Once I had built the cabinet I could see something start to shape and form and was excited. I had ordered 5l of EBI Gold and it still hadn't come. I was expecting it in 3 days so I started to messa round with my hardscape trying to come up with striking styles. I think the main difficulty was getting all three to connect and support one another. I had countless attempts of this. I would have great success with two then the final one would not fit.. so out it all came again.. I knew my substrate was not complete so I had to take in to account different heights and positioning. Here are some examples of what I came up with..

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Whist I has waiting for the EBI I had my riccia in a baking tray under my light in lots of mesh pads I got from ebay..

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I have actually run out of riccia due to all this but I have managed to order 200g off eBay for 15 measly squid! so well chuffed about that. expecting it monday so monday morning I will be preparing more mesh pads for the far right tank. I decided not to put to hach hardscape in that particular tank because I felt I was getting carried away with flora.. I aimed to only have riccia but pogostemon and eleocharis managed to creep in... Honestly? I will probably end up taking out the eleocharis and filling with riccia.. My EBI finally came so that went straight in and I could finally start messing with scaping. I kept the middle tank how it was but altered the side tanks. Its incredibly difficult to achieve successes through all three. Im not entirely sure I have managed it but am hoping once the ricca begins to sprout we will see a change and an element of tranquility throughout the tanks.. here are photos of the decided scape...

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They seem to be in the wrong order... but you get the idea..

So now im up to date, comments and tips and criticism is always welcome as you know. I am currently waiting for the mesh pads and will get an update of that once they arrive. I aim to post at least a couple of times a week and hope that this posts lives for a while..

Cheers guys :)
 

Gary Nelson

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Now then, this is my kind of journal! I love to see pics of the planing and thought you have done to the cabinet, this is great and I really like the idea you have got here... I'm really looking forward to seeing more and the progression - a great start :clap:

PS, I also like the idea that you could house different inhabitants, but all separate.... But all as one really :thumbup:
 

jack-rythm

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Thanks Gary, Im going to try and do this properly, producing dilemas and issues I find along the way. Im also looking forward to this project. As I know deep down its only JUST begun! :)

Jack
 

jack-rythm

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Cheers buddy, yeah I personally have not seen any triptychs that connect all together so I'm looking forward to it. The hardest thing to learn to have with these things is patience and I'm not the best with that! :)

Sent from my Nexus 7
 

jack-rythm

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Yeah, not too bad at the moment. looking forward to some growth. only then will it take its scape. I have been tying up some riccia this morning so will get some images up tonight or tomo for you all.

Jack
 

jack-rythm

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Thanks for your words Adam. The good thing about doing it this way is I'm not buying co2 kits or filters so I can spend the money on scape :)

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jack-rythm

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OK people, been looking at ordering 15 tiger shrimp for my middle nano.. can anyone advise on the time scale I need to wait in order to be able to stick them in? I currently following tropicas set up guide and it has advised me to put them in already.. on my 3rd day of set up. Does this not seem to early to some people?

Jack

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jack-rythm

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NATH- just a quick silly question I would imagine.. What ammonia and nitrite levels do I need to achieve before adding fauna. I have been advised 4 weeks as a safe bet from you and another. Could I hypothetically throw in some fast growing plants to speed the process up and take them out after the cycle is finished? or is it just as important to wait and let the cycle do its thing over time? my main concern is no filtration so when I water change the levels will ultimately alter. Is this right? Apologies if Im not quite getting it.

Jack
 
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The main thing you want to establish, is bacteria. Which converts the ammonia into nitrites which in turn converts into nitrate.

You have to give this bacteria enough time to establish a decent sized colony to convert any ammonia, as shrimp sensitive to bad or polluted water.

Anything you may do will not really help these said bacteria establish, unless something like seeded filter material is used ( get a dirty sponge from a running filter). This could cut time. But the longer you wait here, the more stable the environment for the shrimp.

:)
 

jack-rythm

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wazuck

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James Marshall said:
Hi Jack

Its great to see another aquascape triptych :thumbup:
My only critism is that i feel the tanks are a bit too close together to get maximum impact.
I did one back in 2010 for an art exhibition and used the golden mean 1:1.618 ratio to set the gap between the tanks
Please click on the links to have a look

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2011/show100.html

http://www.aqueousart.co.uk/index_files/Page525.htm

Cheers,
James

:) me and jack were talking about the gap when he was planning it but unfortunately there wasnt enough space to make them any bigger. I believe I remember seeing your tanks on YouTube James. Was a while ago now.
 

jack-rythm

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Yeah, thanks. I actually don't have any more room at all. As for yours I did see yours on YouTube and personally thought in my own opinion that they were too far apart. You chose to have different themes in your tanks as I recall? I wanted to keep them as far apart as I could but keeping them fluid and responsive as one impact tank. I was aiming for 15cm gap but my lounge just would not allow it! Should of cut the sofa in half! :) I spread them as far as I could so that's the best I could do fella. It's my first triptych so it's nice in a way to have the two differences :) maybe next time I move I take that into Consideration :)

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Having looked at the pictures again i see you are at maximum gap what with the sofa. I remember now that i had mine set up right in the middle of the lounge floor, my girlfriend was not happy :oops: .
As I said its great to see one again, they are extremely rare. Obviously they take more effort to maintain than a single tank, but they're definately worth it. I am really looking forward to seeing it grown in :D .

I fully understand not having filters or CO2, as 3 externals and 3 pressurised CO2 kits would cost a small fortune.
I found dosing small quantities of carbomated drinking water was very useful, I think I dosed 1ml per 5litres.

Cheers,
James
 
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