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Jason's Colourful Merklap Aquarium

Discussion in 'Aquarium & Aquascaping Journals' started by Jason King, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Jason King

    Jason King Founder
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    Jason's Colourful Merklap Aquarium..

    As mentioned a while back I'm starting a new scape, new high tech tank.. the other tank will stay as the lower tech Scape but this one will be a Dutch hybrid more of a Plant sampler aquarium (merklap) instead of following the very strict Dutch rules.

    I have everything ready to setup but I'm just waiting on the paint to dry on the garage stand.

    2017-04-06 13.22.54.

    Ok the stand looks tidy but its not to cabinet makers standards, please note this is a open style stand as it's in the garage and it's not for display gallery purposes, the idea here is that the plywood you see on top is the exact tank size 120cmH x 60cmD x 45cmH. The gaps at ends are for the pipework, wires etc..

    I designed it this way so that it's all open for easy access, making it easier for maintanence etc.

    Underneath is a big space in the center that can and maybe used for a smaller tank? Shrimp tank? We will see :)

    Filtration will be 2x Eheim professional 4 600 filters with Eheim stock media

    Lighting will be my ati sunpower dimmable 6x54w t5s, I'll be getting a smaller light for the low tech as this is wasted on the lowtech setup.

    ADA AS substrate

    No hardscape just plants..

    For Co2 I'm undecided at the moment as I'm thinking should i go with 2x inline diffusers the cheaper option or 2x reactors, cerges? Rex Grigg? Aquamedic 1000s? One for each filter, I'll come to that part once I've Setup the basics.

    I'll also be moving my auto doser to this setup for a automated ei fertilizer setup.

    As for plants i have a list but I'll keep that for a later post once I'm Setup.

    As for Livestock I'm not even sure I'll be stocking it but if i do it will be entirely a clean up crew, Amano shrimp, bristle nose plecs etc.

    Thanks for reading (y)
     
  2. fablau

    fablau Member
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    It looks great Jason, good idea to have those empty spaces for easy access. What kind of lighting system do you plan using? And what kind of substrate?
     
  3. Jason King

    Jason King Founder
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    Lighting will be my ati sunpower dimmable 6x54w t5s, I'll be getting a smaller light for the low tech as this is wasted on the lowtech setup.

    ADA AS but I'm unsure if i should use my old stuff as it's a little mushy now and i don't want to caused large mud clouds when uprooting plants constantly.


    Jason
    glassboxgardeners.com
    rotalabutterfly.com
     
  4. fablau

    fablau Member
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    I see... Good plan. I will follow with attention :)
     
  5. Jason King

    Jason King Founder
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    Small update..

    The tank, filters and dosing pumps are in place, the tank background has been painted black and the tank and filters are currently being water tested.

    I'm hoping over the next few days I'll be able to get the lights hung and then start on adding substrate etc.

    Once this is done i need to decide on the co2 defusing method i want to use.

    More photos coming soon :)
     
  6. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Jason

    Looks like you have been a very busy Aquascaper lately.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
  7. fablau

    fablau Member
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    Looking forward!
     
  8. Jason King

    Jason King Founder
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    Substrate disaster!

    I decided to reuse my 2 year old ADA AS for this setup but sadly it became more work than planned.

    Looking at the soil it was still in granular form but was just crumbling, after slowly filling the tank all I had was muddy water, i rinsed and filled the tank over ten times and still the water was mud..

    For a Scape where the substrate will not be touched or for emersed growing it probably still has its use but for a Dutch style tank you require uprooting plants all the time as soon as i touch the soil big clouds of mud mix in with the water creating lots of extra work.

    So now i have to decide on plan B.. I'm thinking i should use some older eco Complete i have, i know it will be inert now but with root tabs and water column ferts it will fine and i suppose the really Dutch style was done this way using plain gravel.

    Also it will not break down like the ADA AS has.
     
  9. fablau

    fablau Member
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    Oh no! I am so sorry about that Jason, I have never dealt with ADA AS that much, but it is my understanding it is hard to re-cycle :(

    Yes, I am with you to go with something more "inert" and cleaner, Eco is the one I am using. You could also avoid using tabs if you find the right water column dosing. Actually I stopped using tabs to avoid screwing up my dosing values (specifically micros), and I dose just via water column.
     
  10. Jason King

    Jason King Founder
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    Cheers fab, yes i used it a few years back but was not really into the plants as much.. it was a lowtech tank, so more of a gravel than plant substrate.

    I did like the fact i can vaccum it like gravel
     
  11. Jason King

    Jason King Founder
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    To give you an idea of the ADA AS even after lots of water changes..

    2017-04-16 06.34.45.

    I can't be having this every time i uproot a plant, so i have decided i will go back to eco Complete and use the ADA AS for my emersed stuff.
     
  12. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Jason
    What is your filer like?

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
  13. Jason King

    Jason King Founder
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    Keith I have two Eheim professional 4 600s (2x 1,250 lph) running on this that now are full of mud.. i left the water to settle for about 3 days and the water did get a lot cleaner but as soon as i touch that substrate its back to square one. Because i will be uprooting plants and re planting the tops on a regular basis it going to be a problem.

    I thought about getting some new ADA but what happens again in the future? At a cost of about £120 for four bags it's an expensive test, using eco Complete or even plain smaller gravel will prevent this and will last for ever, wash and reuse..

    Being lava rock the eco Complete apparently soaks up Nutrients from the water column?
     
  14. Jason King

    Jason King Founder
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    I was just looking into when i got the ADA AS and it was when i started the 1200 scape in Dec 2105 so it's not even 2 years old :( if you remember that scape i had a cloudy problem also when i set that one up for a few days.. maybe i had a bad batch? Who knows but i got it from the green machine in the UK

    Pic from old Scape..
    20160131_094840.
     
  15. fablau

    fablau Member
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    Wow, the pic at the top above is really muddy! That's really hard to deal with. The second one, yes, I remember when you setup your tank, it is more "manageable", just cloudiness... I have used AS in a 2gl nano tank without any filter, and gave me the same kind of haze which disappeared after 2-3 days and 2-3 water changes. I think if you don't want to buy new AS, moving to Eco is a good choice.
     
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  16. Keith

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    Jason

    Decisions Decisions I never had any of those problems possibly because I only ever used the old 1-3mm standard river gravel.

    Could you take out all your filter medium and use a filter wool as a temporary medium, that can be washed easily then thrown out when finished.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
  17. Jason King

    Jason King Founder
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    Keith that's a good thought :) let me think on this.

    That's what's making me think small gravel or eco Complete for this setup, hassle free, cleanable.

    As i said for a static Scape where the substrate is not going to be disturbed constantly the current ADA AS will probably be perfect but with constant uprooting and replanting its going to continue to break down the ADA AS.
     
  18. Keith

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    Dont forget the 1-3mm river gravel and the old UGF if you going to be moving plants a lot. When syphoning you do it via the riser tube and the junk is always being removed. Only thing you must fert tabs for the rooted plants.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
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  19. GrandGoose

    GrandGoose Even goose dream. I know I do.
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    I had a similar issue using soil Jason. My tank was much smaller (30L) so I did 10 WC or so, back to back, and it cleared up.
     
  20. Jason King

    Jason King Founder
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    Thanks Both.

    Keith im not one for under gravel filters but makes sense, when i vaccum the gravel I'll be using a drain and fill python Syphon so it's basically the same, the good thing about the python it allows me to do a 50% water change 150-+ litres in 20 mins, just turn on the tap and leave it.. no hard work involved.

    Jr I've decided against using ADA AS for this one and I've ordered the 1-3mm fine gravel so i dont the have to be gentle.. the water column should be fine for Nutrients and believe the Dutch aquascapers prove this.

    Maybe some root tabs..

    Gravel, new heaters, arrive today.

    I will also be using air stones at night when lights go off and then air off again when co2 comes on.

    Lights for the low tech come tomorrow i ended up getting a £110 aquaone plantgro 120cm due to my budget, i have no experience with this light but apparently it equivalent to 3 x t5 bulbs? More than enough for a low tech

    http://www.aquaone.co.uk/new-LED-lighting.php

    I've also decided on using two sera 1000 co2 reactors, one for each filter.

    Only thing left to do then, maybe next month is to buy a new co2 regulator with twin outlets, one for each reactor.

    Then it's time to grow some algae.. i mean plants :)
     
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