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Amano-cube tanks / Tank Backgrounds / HGTV / Dr. Livingston / Photography
A while back I researched aquarium suppliers for a L20"xW15"xH12" tank.
Zippo! Only custom-built jobs are available costing an arm a leg and a
left eye! I resorted to having glass cut at a local window glass shop and I
built five L20"xW15"xH12" tanks for $140. They sanded the edges smooth at
no extra charge. They also cut one sheet out of mirror! I had one tank cut
with a length & a width mirror sheet and it creates the illusion that the
tank is four times as large as it is. The illusion makes creating an
"Amano-island" composition easy because it's PERFECTLY symmetrical!
Unfortunately, photographing it is a b----! Unless you have the right
equipment (I don't) you will likely blind yourself in one eye for several
They also sell BLACK glass at the window shop and when used as a
background length its a LOT cheaper than the overpriced black back grounds
you get at your LFSs. They don't get air bubbles like the LFS background
sheet sometimes gets when you install it; it won't get scratched and is
I recommend all List-Lurkers make an effort to photograph their creations.
It's such fun to be able to share with others what we do. BTW, a while back
I lamented not seeing planted tanks featured on HGTV. Low-and-behold a
gentleman who is a member of our "Planted Tank Fraternity" ID himself as a
reporter and sent me a cc of a pitch he made to "Anne Krueger" of HGTV
which included a copy of the HGTV segment from my post! To say the least I
was pleasantly suprised! I have not heard back from the gent regarding his
response from Anne Krueger or even if he got one. He has made several APD
posts, so I'm sure he'll read this; How did the pitch work out? Inquiring
minds want to know!
I know the "List-Lords" doesn't keep info on specific members, but I'm
curious how many of us ARE out there? Is there any way for us to know how
many list-lurkers there are in all? If the HGTV people knew there were
say...50,000,000 people worldwide and 200,000 in the US and Canada alone
that have plants in a fresh water tank and 75,000 SERIOUS plant tank
enthusiasts worldwide maybe we would be seen more often in media. Ever
notice the last passing shot of a "fish-tank" any recent film? Its either
got some hapless, endangered, enslaved saltwater fish that survived the
poison gas attack on his home reef and a cross Atlantic "middle-passage"
that saw the death of 80% of his fellow survivors or its got a stupid
goldfish-in-a-bowl-with-a-tacky-ornament. Yet here in the US saltwater
resigns supreme despite the environmental destruction it takes to maintain
This is why you guys ought to stop slapping around "Dr. Livingston;
Amazonian Plant Adventurer". I think the more plants he can bring out and
market the better. Remember, it is an order of magnitude easier to develop
propagation techniques (ala tissue culture) for plants than for exotic
animals. We ought to each be promoting our hobby, as an alternative to
destructive saltwater tanks, not be slapping around one of our own.
I have really gotten into photographing my tanks since I started hauling
in the Australian pine stumps. The camera I use is a Yasica T4 super D
($199) with 100-200-speed film. It has an "all-glass lens" and allows clear
shots of images just 13 inches away. I got tips from the photography news
group and they say;
1. Place the camera at an angle so you can't see the flash reflection.
2. Turn off all room lights and cover all reflective surfaces behind you
with black cloth.
3. Get a halogen light or two (I used one) and position them at 45 degree
angles above the aquarium ($14 each @ "Home Depot" OH! There is a boycott
on ...ehemm .."Lowes" $14 !:-).
4. Most recommend you turn of your florescent lights.
5. Use a tri-pod (I built out of three wooden dowels, a small hinge, two
small pieces of wood and a bolt).
"A-stumpin' in Ft.Lauderdale"
See my Driftwood stumps at