Secondary project – Hastatus [decommissioned]

Posted: September 25, 2012 by ralliart12 in Roadblocks, ~ § Aquascape § ~
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This is not one of those events that have a happy ending. I do not feel like writing too much about it, but essentially, I bit off more than I can chew, & the results were disastrous. The final status of this project is: aborted. There will be no further attempts to revive it. All remaining life-forms were distributed to capable care-takers; most, if not all the equipment involved were either sold, sterilised (for future use), or destroyed (recovery efforts out-weigh the item’s value). What follows, is a harrowing tale that cumulated in one of my most unglamorous under-taking…

Initial setup for this secondary project is a GEX Glassterior Slim 450 low-profile tank. Substrate is GEX Shrimp Soil on top of a layer of Mosura Old Sea Mud Powder. This is coated by a thin layer of ADA New Amazonia AquaSoil (powder-type; to facilitate planting of carpeting soil). Main hardscape is a relatively large pice of driftwood, placed off-centre & binded with Christmas moss, as well as random units of Anubias barteri var. nana ‘Petite’. Secondary hardscape are various small pieces of lava rocks scattered around the substrate to make the surroundings look bigger. Illumination provided by a pair of T5HO tubes from an AquaZonic fixture (cheap, simple, gets the job done; cheap-looking fixture as well). Filtration is provide by an Eheim Classic 2211 containing maximum capacity of BioHome Plus media; output via a rainbar.

Performing some conceptualization of the hardscape…frankly speaking, the GEX Glassterior Slim 450 is a very narrow tank, but I still love it.

Placing the driftwood after it has been tied with Christmas moss & “Nana petite”. The environment has to be keep humid to prevent the moss from drying out. The driftwood is embedded deep into the substrate; even them, it is about as tall as the tank’s depth. Note the cheap-looking plastic light fixture.

As always, filling up a tank using soil-based substrate is always, a messy affair. Though the detritus usually clears up within a day, I may have came up with a way to greatly reduce stirred up debris from Day-0 filling-up…

Top-down view of the tank, showing the spacing between each glosso stalk; as well as the amount of Christmas moss deployed.

The Glossostigma Elatinoides is planted node-by-node to promote spreading. After so many times of using glosso, I still pay too little attention to burying them until their leaves touch the topsoil. The above planting, is an example of shoddy work.

View of the tank from the side.

Too long a photo-period, too rich a substrate & you get hair algae!

Illumination has been upgraded to a Beamwork Model 1300 (1-watt-per-diode LED fixture). A small Totto bubble stopper has been added to provide further aeration. Frogbits (the floating plant) are introduced to cope with the high levels of nitrates; as well as kill off some of the direct light. The colony is introduced after weeks of cycling. Notice the Tubifex worms wriggling in the substrate? Yup, that’s what happen when the worms are not introduced via a tray.

Close-up view of the colony.

Tank has been upgraded to an Ocean Free 2-footer, with a depth of 45cm. Substrate is changed to a sand that is even finer (& brighter) than the usual favourite: Sudo Bottom Sand. Compared to the Sudo, this sand is super-fine. Filtration is amp-ed up to an Eheim 2224; output via lily pipe to produce a large but gentle current. Additional filtration is supplemented by an internal sponge filter (which bubbles the water all the way up above the water level before splashing it down). A pair of Giant Nana is introduced to serve as rallying points for the colony. The Totto bubble stopper is upgraded to its larger iteration as well. The substrate is intentionally laid thin.

Another close-up view of the colony. In the new environment.

The Colony is never heard from again.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I liked those videos you take of your hastatus…what you use to capture those lovely moments? especially the close-up view of them feeding…hehe…nice! 🙂

    • ralliart12 says:

      I use the video capture mode of a good ol’ Panasonic Lumix LX3. In fact, all the videos are captured using the LX3, with the exception of the hair algae clip (which was captured using an iPhone 4S). However, you will notice that even the LX3 suffers from the rolling shutter effect, especially when I pan vertically too fast.

      Thank you for your comment.

  2. Larry says:

    Hi ralliart12. I chanced upon this wonderful blog of yours. Those hastatus were simply a sight to behold! May i know why you abandoned these beauties?

    • ralliart12 says:

      Thank you for your compliments. Long story short: I am unable to sustain the supply of quality food for them. & since they were not my primary aquarium project in the first place, I have to re-focus my efforts on another project.

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