The plants came a day early, so I threw them in the tank until I was ready to plant them after the wife went to bed.
I knew I wanted to add some rocks to my hardscape, so I picked up a bag of pond stones from Lowe's for $3.50. They came in handy when planting the Java Fern and Anubias, as well. They were dirty, though! Took a while to clean them in the tub.
While I was cleaning stuff, I decided to clean off the driftwood, too. It had begun to grow that white filmy stuff that usually comes with a new piece of wood in the tank.
Threw the rest of the crypts, Java Fern, and moss down in the sump. So many tannins leeched from the driftwood; the water looks like tea!
So this is what it looked like while I was planting... quite the elaborate setup.
Drained the tank.
The Anubias looked super healthy.
Some nice laves on the Wisteria.
Anacharis was good and chunky.
Diandra was super delicate, but definitely healthy and lush.
Java Fern was nice and sturdy.
I love the little brown dots running up the leaves.
Nice roots and rhizomes, too.
The green and red Crypts were nice and big, with big sturdy root systems.
I'm psyched about the red ones
Here's the Amazon Sword that I bought from my LFS. It held up for the past week down in the sump. I love the flower up at the top. The roots are small, but look promising.
Here's the Java Moss that I bought from my LFS. It's nice and sturdy and thick.
Aquariumplants.com was nice enough to throw in this big hunk of Java Moss with my order. It's not as nice as all the other stuff they sent, but it came in handy when I decorated the driftwood.
So this is everything all laid out and trimmed. This is probably my favorite picture of the setup process. I felt like Takashi Amano with all these plants to pick from in setting up the tank
Covered everything up with wet paper towels, misting it every once in a while so things wouldn't dry out.
Decided to bust out the sewing thread and tackle what I figured would be the most time consuming, tedious part of the setup. It was tricky tying down the Java Moss to the driftwood, but after a while you learn a few tricks and it goes a bit faster. Keep in mind it's probably around midnight/1am as I'm doing this.
Here's the finished product. I am REALLY happy with the way things turned out. I'm hoping it will grow out to completely cover the wood. Probably took me about an hour to do it all.
Makes me want to have a riparium...
Threw in some rocks to liven up the boring substrate. I'm not crazy about it, but it's something.
Started planting the Vals first.
Put in the Java Fern and Anubias next. It's probably around 3am at this point and I'm pretty deliriously tired. I was definitely getting frustrated tying them to little rocks to bury in the substrate.
Added the Crypts in the corners and filled up the tank a little bit more.
Lulu was not happy with all of the latenight commotion. She was running all over the place. She didn't know what to think!
Wasn't crazy about the placement of the Java Ferns when I started to see everything coming together.
Still wasn't totally sold on the final scape at this point, but it was 4:30am and I knew my wife was going to be getting up for work in half an hour. And my alarm is set for 7:45. Scrambled to clean things up and took a few minutes to snap some pics and admire the hard work.
I put the Anacharis down in the sump, by the way.
Here's a closeup of the Crypts and Vals on the left side of the tank.
I tucked the Amazon Sword in the back left corner behind the driftwood. I know it's going to get big, so I want it to stay in the background of the driftwood centerpiece.
These are the crypts on the right side of the tank.
All the cute little Anubias.
Here's the Diandra and Wisteria in the back/midground on the right. These were the plants I was the least excited about, and I think I like them the best. So light and fluffy.
A little yellowing on the Crypt leaves. I've read that Crypts will almost always melt when moved to a new tank. Then they regrow new leaves in a month or two. I'll be sad to see them go, the leaves are so big and healthy
Here is a closeup of the planted Vals; I hope they aren't in too deep. They really make the look of the tank, so I am hoping that they are successful. I put some API root tabs (I know they're not the best) underneath them in the hopes that it will help them establish roots faster.
As I was staring at my tank today, I noticed this on one of the Vals. I think it might have been snail or fish eggs? It was slimy and pretty sticky. I took it out just in case it was something weird.
Okay... so here it is. The final scape!
Leave some comments and tell me what you think.