"Icarus Ville" - 60cm shrimp tank scape

Stu Worrall

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Hi All

I thought it was about time I posted some pictures of my 60cm clearseal tank that Ive been working on for a couple of months. Its always been my "spare" tank that lives in the utility by the washer so doesnt get seen much as we dont have enough room in the lounge for two tanks. I decided to re-scape it in February after spotting some nice pieces of Dragon Stone at TGM plus I wanted to try a type of Iwagumi as I'd not done this before.

The name Icarus Ville came from my decision to not hit the tank too hard with light and thus turn it into an algae ville so no flying too close to the sun for this one :D Its been running on 5 hours for a month or two and is now up to 7 hours per day.

Hardscape: Dragon Stone
Co2: Pressurised via ceramic diffuser
Lighting: Arcadia 2 x 24W T5 Luminaire
Filtration: Serafil 900
Heating: Internal heater
Substrate: Tropica substrate in the centre topped with lots of Acadama, graded gravel around the edges
Ferts per day: 2ml mix of 2/3rd TPN and 1/3rd TPN / 2ml Easy Carbo
Critters: Red Cherry Shrimp and some bloody annoying snails

Planting:
Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis on the foreground (kindly provided by Dave Spencer)
Echinodorus Tenellus in the centre
some crypts dotted around
Xmas and Flame moss on the rocks
Dwarf Sag on the back
HM (Hemianthus Micranthemoides) on the back left and right
Pogostemon helferi


27th February 2009 - this was the initial testing of the hardscape in the tank

3593350779_4b6cfa3238_o.jpg


Followed by taking all the Acadama and rock out, putting in Tropica substrate, acadama in the centre and graded gravel around the edges. Then trying the re-position the rocks like they were before! Planting then commenced with more added later but I dont have any pics of this

3593351039_84ba6ff1e7_o.jpg


This is the tank as of 4th June 2009. Not everything is fully grown in yet plus I trimmed the HM before taking the shots so its not got its proper crown. Im not entirely sure about the bare right hand side so any constructive comments are welcome :) The shrimps have now started breeding as there are a few babys in there so im hoping for a jump in the local population soon!

In situ with equipment in the tank

3594246798_dd973362e6_o.jpg


Side view

3594240362_f3bc1d60e9_o.jpg


This is the final shot I got last night when trying out the studio flashes on loan from mold camera club. Holding a hairdryer plus the heavy flash as it wont mount on the right hand side plus pressing the shutter for the timer is no mean feat!! I bodged slightly as you can see the edge of the card on the right but it was a bit late to change it once it was done.


Icarus Ville - 4th June 2009

Canon 10-22mm @13mm / F11 / 1/250th Sec / ISO-100
2 x 150w studio flash with difusers
Wifes hairdryer (dont tell her!)

3624865702_7f524ca8ae_o.jpg
 

Dave Spencer

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That last pic is very Aqua Journal. Studio lighting certainly makes a difference.

Lovely scape too! Another step foreward for sure.

How did you get the edges of the tank aligned with the edges of the picture so accurately? I reckon I must be doing it wrong.

Dave.
 

Stu Worrall

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Cheers dave and steve, i just wish I had it in the lounge so I could see it a bit more often :( (and pterodactyls would be nice too :D

Dave Spencer said:
How did you get the edges of the tank aligned with the edges of the picture so accurately? I reckon I must be doing it wrong
The original is a bit more bendy. Ive straightened it out in PS3 useing the crop tool with perspective turned on. You drag all the crop corners to the corners of the tank which straightens it out to a rectangle.
 

John Starkey

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Hi stu,love the rock placement and the choice of stone,the dragon stone comes into it's own under water ,at least with the low light it will be less work trimming and so on,superb pics as usual,
Regards john.
 

Stu Worrall

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aaronnorth said:
awesome scape, i like the addition of the crypt in there,makes it more original.
Cheers aaron, there are some more behind the rock on the right but I may have made a mistake in putting them there as they are too hidden

Vito said:
Fantastic tank stu, really like hardscrape and the plants go so well. The dragon stone owns, I might have to invest for the next scape.
john starkey said:
Hi stu,love the rock placement and the choice of stone,the dragon stone comes into it's own under water ,at least with the low light it will be less work trimming and so on,superb pics as usual,
Regards john.
thanks both, I really like the dragon stone. I did originally weigh some seriou at TGM but could quite get my head around the price at the time for how much rock there was :lol: Its so dense that a small amount costs a lot whereas the dragon is really light and full of holes so cheaper!

Superman said:
Hot diggity, that's one nice tank.
I love the way the dwarf sag has been used, I guess that is "Sagittaria subulata" and you've used it as a background when the tropica text states it's a foreground but can grow tall.

thanks Clark, I got the sag off someone on here on the for sale section, it grew quite long when I had it in storage so thought it was ideal for the back.
 

George Farmer

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Wicked Iwagumi! Very wild-looking but not too much so.

Makes a nice change from some of the clinical Iwagumis we see (mine included).

The photography is top notch. My next investment is studio lighting... Then L-series lenses... Then full-frame sensor.... Then.... (dream on). lol

I'm impressed with the lack of barreling using the 10-22mm. Better than the Sigma 10-20mm?
 

Mark Evans

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Dave Spencer said:
2 x 150w studio flash with difusers

do you find this enough light? would you wish for more?......i've just ordered 2 x 200w bowens mono blocs, so i'm hoping this should be enough light.

scape looks great. unusual, which is always good
 

rawr

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Wow, this scape is right up there as one of my favourites! It looks so natural and original. I especially like the fact you've used Crypts in a layout like this.

Is that tall grassy looking plant the Sag?

In regards to the open right hand side I think it works well but might flow more when it's a bit taller than it currently is.
 

Stu Worrall

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George Farmer said:
Wicked Iwagumi! Very wild-looking but not too much so.

Makes a nice change from some of the clinical Iwagumis we see (mine included).

The photography is top notch. My next investment is studio lighting... Then L-series lenses... Then full-frame sensor.... Then.... (dream on). lol

I'm impressed with the lack of barreling using the 10-22mm. Better than the Sigma 10-20mm?
thanks muchly mr farmer :D

Dan was looking at some studio lights on ebay for £199 for three lights with all the accessories! I'll post a link to them later but they looked very good value.

The 10-22mm is great for hardly any barrel distortion, its one of the main reasons I chose it over the Sigma as you can shoot sea horizons with no worry about fixing it later. The pic above has been squared in photoshop though as I was low down in front of the tank so i could get the ripple in shot :)
 

George Farmer

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stuworrall said:
Dan was looking at some studio lights on ebay for £199 for three lights with all the accessories! I'll post a link to them later but they looked very good value.

The 10-22mm is great for hardly any barrel distortion, its one of the main reasons I chose it over the Sigma as you can shoot sea horizons with no worry about fixing it later. The pic above has been squared in photoshop though as I was low down in front of the tank so i could get the ripple in shot :)
Wow! I was looking at around £400 for entry level (2 x 300w and accessories). Please do PM or post that link.

Very interesting on the Canon over the Sigma. Barreling is something I've not noticed in all the Sigma reviews so I'm glad you mentioned it.

Keep up the good work mate. Loving it!
 

Stu Worrall

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saintly said:
stuworrall said:
2 x 150w studio flash with difusers

do you find this enough light? would you wish for more?......i've just ordered 2 x 200w bowens mono blocs, so i'm hoping this should be enough light.

scape looks great. unusual, which is always good
Thanks mark. Re the 150's it was certainly enough for this. I thought id need my 580 flash to light the background but it wasnt needed plus I got a good amount of light as I was using F11. I could have gone up to F16 but didnt have enough hands to hold the lights and black card and so I could angle them better. I would guess that the higher levels of light would be needed for high key portrait photography though for this 150w is fine. I also used these on georges demo tank for the green amchine writeup but i did use my 580 flash for the background on that=

rawr said:
Wow, this scape is right up there as one of my favourites! It looks so natural and original. I especially like the fact you've used Crypts in a layout like this.

Is that tall grassy looking plant the Sag?

In regards to the open right hand side I think it works well but might flow more when it's a bit taller than it currently is.
Thanks rawr, yup the tallest at the back is the dwarf sag (at least thats what it was sold to me as cos ive not used it before :D )
 

Mark Evans

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stuworrall said:
Thanks mark. Re the 150's it was certainly enough for this. I thought id need my 580 flash to light the background but it wasnt needed plus I got a good amount of light as I was using F11. I could have gone up to F16 but didnt have enough hands to hold the lights and black card and so I could angle them better. I would guess that the higher levels of light would be needed for high key portrait photography though for this 150w is fine. I also used these on georges demo tank for the green amchine writeup but i did use my 580 flash for the background on that=
thanks mate, the guy i spoke to (no aquatic photography experience) reckoned with 2 x 200w @ f16 i'd be looking at roughly iso400 1/125....but with that kind of lighting i'd want to use iso100 and 1/250 on my 5D

ok, thanks. i've ordered them now so i'll stick with them £500 notes is lot of money when it's not right
 

Stu Worrall

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George Farmer said:
Wow! I was looking at around £400 for entry level (2 x 300w and accessories). Please do PM or post that link.

Very interesting on the Canon over the Sigma. Barreling is something I've not noticed in all the Sigma reviews so I'm glad you mentioned it.

Keep up the good work mate. Loving it!
I'd double check re the barreling, im pretty sure the sigma did it more than the canon but at the time there wasnt much difference in price due to a cashback plus cheaper deals. i seem to remember something about being able to get wackier distortion with the Sig which didnt suit me for landscapes.

the ones on ebay are very much budget flashes which would do me for this application but if you were using them seriously you may want to spend some more, some reviews on the internet were quite favourable of them apart from a long ish recycle time of 4.5 seconds

This was the link dan sent although I cant check if its working as ebay is banned in work :( http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/3-x-180W-PORT...0|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318|301:0|293:1|294:50
 

Stu Worrall

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saintly said:
thanks mate, the guy i spoke to (no aquatic photography experience) reckoned with 2 x 200w @ f16 i'd be looking at roughly iso400 1/125....but with that kind of lighting i'd want to use iso100 and 1/250 on my 5D

ok, thanks. i've ordered them now so i'll stick with them £500 notes is lot of money when it's not right
Bowens is quality kit so no doubt a worthwhile purchase. You can guarantee that if youd bought lower powered ones youd find something you wanted to photograph which needed the extra. Im still learning lots on flash so by no means an expert. You may need the extra power on a bigger tank with more water depth.
 
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