First 55g scape. Critiques welcomed!
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:02 AM   #1
Lichard
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First 55g scape. Critiques welcomed!


Final finished scape (because I know you like to see these first (: )





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Hey fish tank people, after long hours of drooling over beautiful tanks I decided to finally have my first try at aquascaping.

I'll be keeping this as a journal to help myself mark weekly progress.

It's been set up for 4 weeks (3 weeks with plants). The lights are two 65w pc bulbs at 6500 and 10000k. I dose EI method dry daily, with 30ppm co2 (2-2 liter diy, soon to be Paintball DIY instead) through an inline reactor hooked to my Eheim 2215. I follow 50%wc weekly. The substrate is a mix of eco complete and flourite (you can see the color contrast in the pic).

I'm keeping tetras, neons, otos *my favorite, and SAE's.

The plants species are:
Bacopa Australis
Blyxa Japicona
Hemianthus callichtroides
Hygrophila Difformis
Anubias Nana
Christmas Moss
Vesuvius Sword







I have a few questions regarding the plants in my tank:

1.What is the best way to plant HC? I just split up the chunks and laid them in, but I read that splitting them up is better for growth. I want that lush green carpet I keep seeing. Thoughts?

2.On the left you'll see rotala Wallichii (it was subbed in for indica ). It hasn't shown growth but the faintest bit of green on the top, is this normal?

3.If you look in the middle on the right, you'll see parrots feather. Do the tops regrow, or do I have to replant the tops and pull out the old bottoms weekly to get the height I want?

4. I tied up some christmas moss on my the driftwood (blue string). How long until I start seeing noticeably new growth?

I want to add a rotala indica (or some other local bunched plant I can find) behind the driftwood on the left eventually and move the bacopa more forward left since it's more a midground plant.

Thanks for your time and for looking at/reading my wall of text!

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

Last edited by Lichard; 06-13-2014 at 07:44 PM.. Reason: Added final scape pics
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:10 PM   #2
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Looking great! Add a nice black background, spray paint or replace that E-green inlet tubing, and you've got a winner!

Regarding your questions -

1) Either way works, if you have a little, it's better to split it up and spread evenly for fastest coverage. Looks like you have plenty, and with some patience you will have the same result without the need for planting one-by-one.

2) Give them some time to get established. Not every plant will grow in your tank... Be prepared to chuck some and replace with others. Nothing wrong with that.

3) Not sure... For me this plant does better in cold water. It is often sold for ponds. It should resprout from its nodes.

4) Couple of weeks... If you start with a very small amount, it will take a while to show a significant increase in substance. Patience is the key.

Really nice start.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lichard View Post

I want to add a rotala indica (or some other local bunched plant I can find) behind the driftwood on the left eventually and move the bacopa more forward left since it's more a midground plant.
Welcome to TPT,

I have to tell you, for a first tank, you did very well on the scaping part. God job. As for rotala indica, that would be a great idea.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
I have to tell you, for a first tank, you did very well on the scaping part. God job. As for rotala indica, that would be a great idea.
Quote:
Really nice start.
Thanks for your kind words!

I'm a little impatient and eager, I'll admit it. The peacocks feathers started throwing out new tops today (2-4 per stem). And I can see the slightest bit of growth on the moss now. I'm going to chuck the rotala wallichii that aren't growing and keep the ones with visible growth in just to see if I can.

How should I go about adding a black background? I've heard about vinyl, but never quite understood the application of it.

I'll be visiting my lfs tomorrow and see what they have for bunched plants.

I've decided to post progress pics every Friday, as that lines up with my wc & trim time (with before and after).

Once again, thanks for your kind words. I've found a home here at plantedtank
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lichard View Post
Thanks for your kind words!

I'm a little impatient and eager, I'll admit it. The peacocks feathers started throwing out new tops today (2-4 per stem). And I can see the slightest bit of growth on the moss now. I'm going to chuck the rotala wallichii that aren't growing and keep the ones with visible growth in just to see if I can.

How should I go about adding a black background? I've heard about vinyl, but never quite understood the application of it.

I'll be visiting my lfs tomorrow and see what they have for bunched plants.

I've decided to post progress pics every Friday, as that lines up with my wc & trim time (with before and after).

Once again, thanks for your kind words. I've found a home here at plantedtank
I am impatient as well, and I keep hearing about "Patience is a virtue". Anyways. As for the background, if it's going to be covered by tall plants, I don't think it's necessary. But the idea, is to get dark background to bring up color of your plants. As for the vinyl, it's easy to apply, nothing to worry about. I can't wait to see the progresss
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:01 PM   #6
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What's up fish tank people?

Alright, today is update day!

I woke up at the crack of noon and visited my lfs and nabbed 3 new species of plants for my tank.

Rotala Indica (I think, just labeled as Rotala)
Temple (don't know scientific name)
Cherry Shrub (can't find the real name of it either)


I forgot in my excitement to take a before picture, woops.

I performed a relatively heavy trim and a 50% wc. I read on these forums that plants love scissors! So I gave all of my plants a thorough chopping. The anubias was also moved, and all of the cotton stings tying down stuff in the tank was taken out. I hated looking at it lol.

Mostly bacopa and parrots feather, that stuff explodes!


I apologize about the bad pictures, I need to learn how to take aquarium pics!
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The rotala indica is behind the wood on the left where the bacopa used to be.
-------------

-------------


I'm still on the hunt for the black vinyl I need for the background. I can't wait for everything to grow in, now to sit back and enjoy it . Thanks for looking at my journal!
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:05 PM   #7
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That looks very good! I dig the wood layout and the substrate color differences. Normally I don't dig rocks like that, but they work quite well in this setup.

Well done. Now the hard part, leaving it alone long enough to grow in, lol.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:12 PM   #8
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I think your tank is beautiful! I have kept fish for a while but never had live plants before and I am now redesigning my tank so I can put live plants in...if I can get my tank looking half as good as yours, I will be happy!!
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Daximus View Post
That looks very good! I dig the wood layout and the substrate color differences. Normally I don't dig rocks like that, but they work quite well in this setup.

Well done. Now the hard part, leaving it alone long enough to grow in, lol.

Haha, the substrate layout was an accident to be honest. I thought I had ordered enough flourite, but just ended up with two mounds. I found some eco-complete and decided it'd be alright until carpeted .

Waiting is the hard part for sure, I just want to keep putting my hand in and fix things.

Quote:
I think your tank is beautiful! I have kept fish for a while but never had live plants before and I am now redesigning my tank so I can put live plants in...if I can get my tank looking half as good as yours, I will be happy!!
Thanks for your kind words! The transition from no plants to a planted tank is pretty brutal, but totally rewarding. If you have any questions feel free to ask, or better yet search around on these forums. Everything I've learned from here and a few other places, the internet is a wealth of information. Good luck!
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:11 PM   #10
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Today is update day!

Sadly, the large trim and rescape last week let my tank succumb to the dreaded pea soup! I ordered a 10w inline UV sterilizer today and expect it to be here by tomorrow. From what I read, this is the best (and simplest) method of clearing the water.



All of my plants show noticeable growth, so I don't think they are being stunted by the pea soup. I'm remaining vigilant in watching them though, and will have a picture up as soon as I get clear water.

I'm also excited to start using my new C02 based off of a thread on this site, switching over from DIY so I can have better control (and less maintenance).



I was wondering what would be the proper bps that I would require for my 55gal. I've read that 2 bps would suffice, but I'm open to any and all advice.

Once again, thanks for looking at my embarrassing tank (for now!). Feel free to critique.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lichard View Post
Rotala Indica (I think, just labeled as Rotala)
- More properly labeled Rotala rotundifolia.
Temple (don't know scientific name)
- Probably Hygrophila corymbosa 'angustifolia'
Cherry Shrub (can't find the real name of it either)
- Alternanthera ficoidea, which unfortunately is a non-aquatic plant.
Nice tank! Too bad about the green water. The UV sterilizer will definitely help clear it up. Expect to notice some clearing within 48-72 hours of running the UV.
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by AzFishKid View Post
Nice tank! Too bad about the green water. The UV sterilizer will definitely help clear it up. Expect to notice some clearing within 48-72 hours of running the UV.
Thanks for your informative reply!

That's too bad that it isn't a truly aquatic species, I'll need to find a new plant to replace it. I'll be more wary next time I visit my lfs.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:21 PM   #13
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Very nice start! Hope the soup fades away. I'm lucky my tank never got plagued by green water, since I have a bad habit of re-arranging plants every other day. :P
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:55 PM   #14
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Where did you get that DW found on the left side of your tank. That think is awesome looking!
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:32 PM   #15
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Where did you get that DW found on the left side of your tank. That think is awesome looking!
I got it from aquabid a long time ago when I first made this tank. To be honest I never fully wrapped my head around the whole planted tank thing until recently (I was a newb lol). There was a slew of problems that I couldn't comprehend (no ferts, actinic lighting, no wc) and I eventually hung up the reigns until recently.

The UV sterilizer is working, now I just have slightly cloudy water.

I have since added a few more tiny stones to pull everything together a little more, I feel like I was lacking on the left side with that lone wolf.

As I promised, here are some pics as of today! (Excuse the photography, cloudy water is a pain)







Also as a side-not for anyone attempting the c02 rig like mine: don't put needle valves in parallel. I nearly blew out my ear (twice!) from this and found it more simple to just have the single needle valve from the On/Off ASA.



Thanks for looking!
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