Starting up again after a long hiatus - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Starting up again after a long hiatus

It's been awhile since I've put together a tank. Perhaps 9-10 years. Diving back in with a 17g 23.5" x 11.7" x 11.7" frameless Amano style planted tank. This will be high light, high CO2 and something similar to EI ferts. Still waiting on light system and a few other things but am playing around with the scape. I'd like to combine those stones with some driftwood and think I have a basic design down but would like some thoughts, opinions or tweak suggestions. Please feel free to dive in and let me know your thoughts. The artistic placement of hardscape has always been one of the difficult aspects of this for me.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 08:25 PM
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IMO, the wood is out of place, the rocks I think aren't facing their "natural" directions so to speak. A lot to change here (in a nice way lol). You could "stack" or lean the rocks together towards the center facing the right direction and have the wood creeping over them maybe. also if you can, I suggest glass filter outflows and inflows so it does not stand out among your scape.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BettaBettas View Post
IMO, the wood is out of place, the rocks I think aren't facing their "natural" directions so to speak. A lot to change here (in a nice way lol). You could "stack" or lean the rocks together towards the center facing the right direction and have the wood creeping over them maybe. also if you can, I suggest glass filter outflows and inflows so it does not stand out among your scape.
Thank you. The one stick peeking out from behind the big rock is coming out. Might twist the other driftwood pc around in place to get a lightly better look. Definitely want a combination of wood and stone. Might need a taller piece. I thought about the glass filter in/out pieces but I'm worried about breakage. Considering their price and algae/dirt that will cover them I'm not sure yet.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 10:43 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forum.

The second pic loogs pretty good. Two small suggestions. Bring the wood towards the front right corner and raise the second rock from the left so that it adds more height. In the middle you can have a good bunch of stems like Rotala sp. and the wood will be coming out of them. This wood can be furter masked with X-mas moss or Fissidens. Staurogyne around the base of the rocks and wood will add flow to the tank.

Hardscape is just a part. Plant arrangement and selection is what gives the final product.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Hello and welcome to the forum.

The second pic loogs pretty good. Two small suggestions. Bring the wood towards the front right corner and raise the second rock from the left so that it adds more height. In the middle you can have a good bunch of stems like Rotala sp. and the wood will be coming out of them. This wood can be furter masked with X-mas moss or Fissidens. Staurogyne around the base of the rocks and wood will add flow to the tank.

Hardscape is just a part. Plant arrangement and selection is what gives the final product.
Thank you. S Repens, Monte Carlo, and something else with some color to it like bucelaphandra perhaps are what I'm considering for fore/mid. Some amount of moss will adorn the wood I think. I'd like to keep that minimal. I had not decided upon any background plants yet. I tweaked the tank a couple more times and just removed rock that was 2nd to right. I may swap that one in for the far right rock. Not sure.



Currently

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 12:35 AM
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looks pretty much done good, I would cover the "trunk" of that wood, so its not obviously just stuck there into the substrate. Otherwise I think it would be good 2 go

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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looks pretty much done good, I would cover the "trunk" of that wood, so its not obviously just stuck there into the substrate. Otherwise I think it would be good 2 go
Thanks! It will have some plants in front to help it blend in eventually. I spun it around 180 degrees and am pondering that effect. Might spin it back around before I fill it.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 07:59 AM
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Close to done. I would keep the 5th rock as most humans find groups with prime numbers attractive. Right at the right end of the wood towards the back glass would be a good place for it.

Also, make sure to put a large rock over the wood when you add water to keep it from floating

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Close to done. I would keep the 5th rock as most humans find groups with prime numbers attractive. Right at the right end of the wood towards the back glass would be a good place for it.

Also, make sure to put a large rock over the wood when you add water to keep it from floating

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Thank you. I added water today and that wood has so many root spikes it hasn't moved yet. I'll keep an eye on it though. I did add the rock back as you suggested and it fits quite well. I appreciate that idea. For now I hooked up my Eheim and am running without a heater and dark to start the cycling process. Light/heater/plants should be here by the end of the week I hope. I was going to order about 4x Monte Carlo, 3-4x S Repens, a couple Buce species, some Crypt Parva if i can find it, a moss for the DW, and still open about the rest. I've been out of the hobby so long I have to do some research. If you have any plant ideas please suggest away.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 07:28 PM
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Thank you. I added water today and that wood has so many root spikes it hasn't moved yet. I'll keep an eye on it though. I did add the rock back as you suggested and it fits quite well. I appreciate that idea. For now I hooked up my Eheim and am running without a heater and dark to start the cycling process. Light/heater/plants should be here by the end of the week I hope. I was going to order about 4x Monte Carlo, 3-4x S Repens, a couple Buce species, some Crypt Parva if i can find it, a moss for the DW, and still open about the rest. I've been out of the hobby so long I have to do some research. If you have any plant ideas please suggest away.
Glad I could help.

Actually...The soil is ADA Amazonia or ? I've been wanting to try something for some time but never got the chance due to various factors. Maybe you can try it. Amazonia is know to release high amounts of NH4 in the first few weeks. Couple this with an uncycled tank and new/unadapted plants and you have a high risk of algae bloom or ammonia burn. Many people overcome this by changing 50% of the water daily for the first week and every other day for the second etc. However my thinking was to start with a no plant , no life tank just the filter...like yours. Put the Amazonia in, put water, increase water surface agitation, cover it with a thick blanket with no light exposure and let it run for 2 weeks. No light means no algae bloom, however this gives the bacteria time to start colonizing the filter and substrate and potentially complete the oxidative part of the N cycle. Drain the water, plant and enjoy... Just an idea, cannot deny that the waiting knowing that a scaped tank is there is a good argument against this method

As mentioned before, so far mini Christmas-moss is my favorite. It grows extremely dense at high light levels and readily attaches to any surface, unlike weeping moss.

Here are some of my current favorites Some mini Valisneria spiralis and Althernathera variety might work, pretty hardy plants too. Alternathera has great contrast with S. repens. If you want fine leaved... Myriophyllum Roraima, Rotala wallichii or sp. 'Vietnam'. If you prefer more nature aquarium look Ludwigia arcuata. As a general rule I would mainly focus on stems for the middle section to add height to the aquascape, add diversity in shape and increase the plant growth rate. I would also select smaller leaved plants to make the aquarium look bigger.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Glad I could help.

Actually...The soil is ADA Amazonia or ? I've been wanting to try something for some time but never got the chance due to various factors. Maybe you can try it. Amazonia is know to release high amounts of NH4 in the first few weeks. Couple this with an uncycled tank and new/unadapted plants and you have a high risk of algae bloom or ammonia burn. Many people overcome this by changing 50% of the water daily for the first week and every other day for the second etc. However my thinking was to start with a no plant , no life tank just the filter...like yours. Put the Amazonia in, put water, increase water surface agitation, cover it with a thick blanket with no light exposure and let it run for 2 weeks. No light means no algae bloom, however this gives the bacteria time to start colonizing the filter and substrate and potentially complete the oxidative part of the N cycle. Drain the water, plant and enjoy... Just an idea, cannot deny that the waiting knowing that a scaped tank is there is a good argument against this method

As mentioned before, so far mini Christmas-moss is my favorite. It grows extremely dense at high light levels and readily attaches to any surface, unlike weeping moss.

Here are some of my current favorites Some mini Valisneria spiralis and Althernathera variety might work, pretty hardy plants too. Alternathera has great contrast with S. repens. If you want fine leaved... Myriophyllum Roraima, Rotala wallichii or sp. 'Vietnam'. If you prefer more nature aquarium look Ludwigia arcuata. As a general rule I would mainly focus on stems for the middle section to add height to the aquascape, add diversity in shape and increase the plant growth rate. I would also select smaller leaved plants to make the aquarium look bigger.

Yes it's 9L of Amazonia and 2L of small Power sand special. It looks like my light won't arrive until the weekend or next week so I'll have it blacked out for at least a week. Longer if I wait til the light gets here to order plants. It's looking like you may get your chance to hear my report.. It will be hard to hold off for 2 full weeks haha. I did setup a 2g nano Walstead on Sat that I've been playing with in the meantime. I do think I botched the start of that tank by letting the guy at the store fill the bag with the "perfect" amount of gravel for a Walstead. I trusted these guys back in the day and saw no reason not to this time. Started reading last night and it looks like it was about 3x too much gravel for the soil cap. The 8+ppm ammonia reading today confirmed the soil wasn't able to do it's job. Sucked out a bunch of gravel and replanted everything. Ammonia is now about 1.5-2ppm. I'll remove more gravel later if it rises again.



Good suggestions on the background plants. I've grown 2 of them before and had good results. Alternathera R mini version would look good to the right side of the DW perhaps. Thanks again for the ideas. I'll keep you posted on the blackout results.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dukydaf View Post
Glad I could help.

Actually...The soil is ADA Amazonia or ? I've been wanting to try something for some time but never got the chance due to various factors. Maybe you can try it. Amazonia is know to release high amounts of NH4 in the first few weeks. Couple this with an uncycled tank and new/unadapted plants and you have a high risk of algae bloom or ammonia burn. Many people overcome this by changing 50% of the water daily for the first week and every other day for the second etc. However my thinking was to start with a no plant , no life tank just the filter...like yours. Put the Amazonia in, put water, increase water surface agitation, cover it with a thick blanket with no light exposure and let it run for 2 weeks. No light means no algae bloom, however this gives the bacteria time to start colonizing the filter and substrate and potentially complete the oxidative part of the N cycle. Drain the water, plant and enjoy... Just an idea, cannot deny that the waiting knowing that a scaped tank is there is a good argument against this method

As mentioned before, so far mini Christmas-moss is my favorite. It grows extremely dense at high light levels and readily attaches to any surface, unlike weeping moss.

Here are some of my current favorites Some mini Valisneria spiralis and Althernathera variety might work, pretty hardy plants too. Alternathera has great contrast with S. repens. If you want fine leaved... Myriophyllum Roraima, Rotala wallichii or sp. 'Vietnam'. If you prefer more nature aquarium look Ludwigia arcuata. As a general rule I would mainly focus on stems for the middle section to add height to the aquascape, add diversity in shape and increase the plant growth rate. I would also select smaller leaved plants to make the aquarium look bigger.
Promised an update after the blackout so here goes. I let the tank run blacked out and undisturbed for 1-1/2 weeks, did a 50% water change, blacked it out again for a few days. Also added a few doses of Tetra Safestart+ after the water change. Lights arrived and planted it on Friday after a visit to Albany Aquarium. They had a number of plants I was looking for and a few I wasn't. I dropped the water level to maybe 10% before planting. Will be adding some stem plants, Buce and xmas moss when I get some.

Ammonia was 8+ ppm after the 1st water change, about 2ppm after planting. Today it's sitting at about 0.75ppm prior to lights and CO2 coming on.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:15 PM
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Thanks for the update B dude. Looks like a great start and the beginning of collectoritis You are among friends.

The lovely shade of red on the support stone is a nice surprise that was not showing in the dry stone. The small foreword stone seems to share this red colouring. It might be worth to lift it up a little more and when the foreground grows make sure it lifts above the plants but is fully surrounded by green. The wood certainly screams for some buces

It seems like my blackout suggestion was not the most efficient. Need to do some more tinkering . Thanks for taking part in this. Do you know if there are any nitrates? If you see some melting on S. repens it is because of the ammonia. No need to panic or change things around. Water change and wait for the tank to cycle. A reserve stem kept away from the aquarium might provide back-up in case the melt is severe.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:31 PM
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have to agree, it definitely beat my expectations! great job
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the update B dude. Looks like a great start and the beginning of collectoritis You are among friends.

The lovely shade of red on the support stone is a nice surprise that was not showing in the dry stone. The small foreword stone seems to share this red colouring. It might be worth to lift it up a little more and when the foreground grows make sure it lifts above the plants but is fully surrounded by green. The wood certainly screams for some buces

It seems like my blackout suggestion was not the most efficient. Need to do some more tinkering . Thanks for taking part in this. Do you know if there are any nitrates? If you see some melting on S. repens it is because of the ammonia. No need to panic or change things around. Water change and wait for the tank to cycle. A reserve stem kept away from the aquarium might provide back-up in case the melt is severe.
I think it's cycling faster than expected so I'm pretty happy overall. Yes I like a lot of species and collect a little but i'll pare the list down as I determine what grows well for me with my tap water. The red on the rocks is less red than it looks in person. I had the blue channel of the lights turned down for the photo as my camera is giving me fits trying to take a good picture. Perhaps one of the next investments needs to be a tripod or a dslr that isn't 8-10 yrs old. Maybe lessons too? lol

I have one more stone I've been thinking about adding to the scape. It's similar in size but taller than the farthest right one. I could move the short one further to the front corner and add the remaining stone where it is. Lifting it up a bit too. Might try that out after the monte carlo roots.

Thanks for the advice and comments. One of the 4 S Repens stems in the 2g shrimp tank melted a bit but is recovering nicely there. That could be my back up if the stuff in the big tank melts badly. Hopefully it won't as the ammonia has dropped so much. Nitrates are high at 80-100ppm. I'll do another water change in a day or 2. Trying to be as patient as possible vs immediately reactionary.

Any particular Buce you have in mind?

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have to agree, it definitely beat my expectations! great job
Thank you very much. I may start a journal thread to post more detail and regular updates in.
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