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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first tank in almost 25 years. It's an acrylic 46 bow front (not my first choice, but I got it cheap from a friend who had never put water in it). Eheim classic 350 is up and running. Current USA Satellite Pro LED lights up and running. Substrate for plants in, and the beginning of my hardscape.

My design idea is to create a natural looking rock outcrop basically centered in the tank, pointing up and back to the left. On the left side (where there's a wall next to the tank) I've got a big heavy piece of branchy root type driftwood, and then the big branch of manzanita flowing from the left corner up and to the right out the top of the tank. So far I like the way it's coming together. The big root piece is still soaking. It wants to float like a bad momma, so a few more days in the bathtub are called for.

Once the scape is in, I'll start on planting. Still waiting for some parts of my CO2 setup to arrive, so I still have some time to play with.

I'm DETERMINED not to rush things with this tank. If it takes two months before I put fish in it, so be it. I want to do everything right, the first time out. I did learn one valuable lesson yesterday - NEVER under ANY circumstances drill an acrylic tank (had to make a hole in the Euro brace top bigger for my inlet pipe) when there's already water in the tank. I spent three hours last night with an HOB filter with a piece of clear hose attached to the inlet pipe, sucking out a bazillion little pieces of acrylic that were floating in the water. Live and learn :)

 

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Please keep us updated with plenty of pictures. Personally I like these threads quite a bit but I hate when people start a build then drop off and stop posting. I always want to know what the final outcome is.
What you have so far looks great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some progress. My big branchy root wanted to float. It's been soaking for a week, but it still requires a fairly substantial rock to make it stay down. The manzanita branch is doing okay. It wants to float a little, but the branches against the brace across the top of the tank are keeping it in place.

Got my CO2 tank yesterday, and am about to go get it filled so I can start planting (also on the plan for later today). I'll post more pics as I go.

Butch

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Got my CO2 up and running, and dimmed the lights down some for the new plants I got this morning. Still a very long way to go of course, but one step at a time!

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bow front tanks are a pain in the a** to take photographs of! It's virtually impossible to do it in the daytime.
 

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That looks GREAT!!! Frankie likie!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks. I'm pleased so far. Anxious for the plants to take hold and start growing so they'll fill in some of the holes, but overall I like it. The manzanita is kind of a pain with all those little branches. Makes getting your hand in that end of the tank a challenge. But I like the look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The beginning of week 3. Water parameters are getting there. Had a semi-serious outbreak of black beard algae, which is currently being treated. Hoping to be able to add some algae eating cats in another week or so. Doing 30% water changes every other day to help bring the ammonia down (which is actually ammonium from the substrate, since there's nothing in the tank to be creating ammonia). The baked potato sitting on top of the piece of spider wood on the right side is actually a rock holding it down until it sinks on its own. :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Starting week 4, and my ammonia is at zero! Well, I never had any ammonia, since there are no animals in there. Cycling with plants only, so what the test kit was seeing as ammonia was actually ammonium coming from the substrate. Regardless, the bacteria load is sufficient to take care of it!
 

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Nice! It's super-fun watching the progress. Thanks for braving the perils of bow-front photography!
 
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