Frank's Planted Tank How-To Mini Novel - The Mini S Returns! New Layout - Page 16
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:16 PM   #226
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That's a great tip about HG. I was wondering why my E. tenellus eventually took over the whole tank when I had it together with HG.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:35 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
I have a precisely in-precise answer to that question:

I plan on keeping this setup for as long as it entertains me. I figure at least 6 mo's to a year. It all really depends and here's why: There are some layouts you do, which once you achieve the final result you absolutely love them and keep them going as long as you want. Others, you get the final result and decide you want to do something new, or are inspired to challenge yourself in a new way.

I would recommend with any layout to at least keep it going for enough time to enjoy fish in the aquarium and relax.
That makes sense from an enjoyment/satisfaction end of things. I'm curious and I could be wrong, I think I once read in a ADA publication that eventually a tank will find it's end. I'm pretty sure it was based on an accumulation of organic build up over time. Even with WC and good growth/maintenance eventually keeping it pristine become harder and harder and the tank needs to be started over. Do you have any insight on this?
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:46 AM   #228
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That makes sense from an enjoyment/satisfaction end of things. I'm curious and I could be wrong, I think I once read in a ADA publication that eventually a tank will find it's end. I'm pretty sure it was based on an accumulation of organic build up over time. Even with WC and good growth/maintenance eventually keeping it pristine become harder and harder and the tank needs to be started over. Do you have any insight on this?
This is absolutely true. Every layout eventually reaches its end. You. An revitalize soil with multi and iron bottom, but eventually all things must end for the planted tank. Inevitably the plants become old and tired, no longer able to pull from the exhausted resources of the ecosystem.

While this process often takes years in larger tanks when you at least resupply with multi and iron bottom, it is utterly inevitable that the system tires out and crashes. Not quickly, but slowly things just start to not Regrow as they used to. Eventually aqua soil starts to calcify, and loosen as roots keep pushing through it.

This is why you should enjoy the layout while it lasts and take measures to healthily prolong the system as much as possible.

Bit of a life lesson, no?
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:56 AM   #229
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...eventually all things must end for the planted tank. Inevitably the plants become old and tired, no longer able to pull from the exhausted resources of the ecosystem.
Makes perfect sense, and exactly what happened to my 20 gallon after about 4 years. At that time, should one just pull everything out of the tank and restart or is it possible to just replace the substrate?
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:08 AM   #230
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Makes perfect sense, and exactly what happened to my 20 gallon after about 4 years. At that time, should one just pull everything out of the tank and restart or is it possible to just replace the substrate?
Pretty much, you can redo the same scape, but will need to eventually just get new substrate, then the fun starts again.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:01 AM   #231
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Day 10 (I almost said Day 11, losing track).

There's no water change today, and algae growth has stymied a bit.



There are two things different here. See if you can notice. Don't read any further until you can guess.



















Did you guess it? Yes, I changed out the Riccia stones, three of them, as well as one other change, but first let's talk Riccia.

I've discussed my displeasure with the way the Riccia was growing broad leafed before. In response to this, I obtained more Riccia. Really more Riccia than I know what to do with, so the majority of it is sitting in a bucket pending another layout.

Midway through looking at the Riccia, I discovered that likely it's the same SP of what I've got. So it's 99% likely that my quest continues. However, the Riccia's growth on the right side isn't irritating me as much today, so I'm leaving it there.

Now the other three stones had some growth suffering: the basic stock had some brown spots and was growing in unevenly. So I went ahead and used the new stuff to retie new riccia. This will balance out probably within a week or so. Thankfully, Riccia is very forgiving with it's growth.

The other change:

I removed the Microsword. There was something in this layout causing me tension and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. After looking at it for a bit, I had a hunch that the microsword was messing with the flow of my layout, and after enough frustration of seeing it, I completely removed it from the layout.

And Viola, there's all of a sudden a lot of tension gone from the layout: it flows much better and the planting scheme jives a lot better.

The broad leafed look of the Microsword was just not working with the slender leaf Tennellus and Hair Grass. It's color wasn't meshing with the Moss, and it's positioning on the left of the main stone just wasn't working.

So, compare the this picture with the previous day picture. All of a sudden the right side looks infinitely more expansive.

Now for a picture of my favorite section of the aquarium:

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Old 03-27-2012, 03:36 AM   #232
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There's something I want to point out on the difference a single plant makes.

Day 9:



Day 10:



Looks like the whole scape opened up and became expansive didn't it?

The first picture looks like the main stone is centered.

The second the main stone looks more to the left.

The reason? No microsword to the right of the main stone to focus your attention at a second focal point, therefore centering the scale. All it was was 4 sprigs removed from that one spot.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:25 AM   #233
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I liked it more with the Microsword, softens the look of the main stone which IMO is just barely too large, maybe 15% too large.
I think it helped to bring some unity to the tank as well, feels less balanced without it.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:00 AM   #234
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There's no such thing as "too large" a main stone in nano iwagumis, really. If it fits in the tank, it's good. A lot of the bulk is going to end up being hidden in either the substrate, or the plant growth. Keep in mind, this is only 10 days worth of growth. Over the course of the next few weeks and months, the carpet is easily going to eat that extra 15%.

If you've ever seen some of the old iwagumi nanos from the ADA gallery, (This video at 1:18, and here) most of the main stones are all oversized. Size can also be deceptive, take for example This stone, pictured in my Mini-S. That stone is gigantic, it's almost 2x the size of the main stone I'm using in my current scape, it barely fits in the tank, but it still manages to look undersized. It's much better to err on the side of "too large" and letting the plant growth eat up any extra, than starting out too small and losing your entire scape.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:33 AM   #235
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Yea I know, I like big rocks.
I think this would be perfect if it were identical but about 10% smaller.
It's all art anyway that's just the only thing I envision differently with the hardscape.
Love the main stone but just feels a hair too large.

You're right more growth will definitely take away from how large it looks.

I think the stone in your mini s is perfect dollface, it could be about 20% bigger and probably look even better but that rock also has a different look to Franks.
The mini s stone looks more like a cluster than a single stone.

Rock size aside the difference with and without the Microsword was barely noticeable, I liked it but it's fine either way, the overexposure on the second shot makes a bigger difference to the feel of the scape than the plant imo.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:07 AM   #236
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Rock size aside the difference with and without the Microsword was barely noticeable, I liked it but it's fine either way, the overexposure on the second shot makes a bigger difference to the feel of the scape than the plant imo.
I found the same. I don't really notice the loss of the microsword, but noticed the missing Riccia in the front a lot more. But then that could be my personal bias against Riccia. :p
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:16 AM   #237
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After looking it 10 times I have to go with frank on this one. It really does open it up a lot more. The scape looks like it flows up from the left. Really nice. It's really amazing what taking out a couple plants will do.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:48 PM   #238
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All this is the fun part: predicting where the scape will go. Honestly, it's where the most errors are made, and this is where experience with individual plants comes into play. How large will they get, how fast will they grow, etc.

For example, by the time it grows in, the Tennellus will be quite large for a nano and have a much more dominating presence. Much of the reason to eliminate microsword also had to do with giving the Tennellus more space to grow in.

I was in the mood for taking pictures last night and decided to show a few different angles:





The pattern so far is working really well. Although I will have to consider moving the diffuser over to the other side to deliver more Co2 to the front left and such, which likely will result in switching where the inflow and outflow are.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:21 PM   #239
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That's insane how removing a few sprigs of a plant makes that much of a difference in a scape like this. Nanos....you never cease to amaze me. The riccia is really taking off as well. Looks great!
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:26 PM   #240
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For whoever was keeping track:

Day 1:



Day 10:

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