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Old 05-12-2013, 01:45 AM   #1
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1st Aquascape - 10 Gallon


Hello,
Second aquarium, first aquascape. It's a ten gallon! Going to do DIY CO2, root tabs, and want to try EI. Rocks don't grow where I live, but broken concrete is everywhere. I'm sort of on the wall about the driftwood. I envisioned the tank with driftwood, but I feel it makes the concrete smaller looking. As for plants, I want my focal point plant to be red tiger lotus. I love those things. The rest I'm thinking some sort of moss on the right rock pile and anubias of the left with crypts scattered about. Maybe add some sort of tall plant into the mix too.

Comment are welcomed! I'm going drink now!

PS. Damn. Aquarium photography on an iphone is so annoying. I'll put more practice and research into that before an update.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:23 AM   #2
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Firstly word of caution concrete will raise your ph levels also you may have other stone and debris in the concrete that maybe even more harmful.

From your pics your still hardscaping so you can keep altering untill you get the look you want! (cos after all we wont be round your house looking at it )

But like any composition, think how it should be in your mind, if your arty? sketches will help, google aquascapes, check the yourtanks^^above for inspiration, obviously this takes levels of skill, time and patience of which we all have varying degrees of !(im low on all three)
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:43 PM   #3
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Hmm, damn. That's interesting about the PH. I've never actively monitored such a thing in a tank, though I planned to be more technical this go around. Guess I'll read up on having concrete in tanks.

So much more to look into...
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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The concrete will absolutely raise your ph in such a small volume of water probably into the danger zone.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:08 PM   #5
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find a rock that doesn't fail the ph test. put a few drops of white vinegar on the suspected rock and see if it foams. foaming is a fail!

I would also recommend boiling the rocks if you are able to
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:41 PM   #6
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for the scape itself - definitely check out some pictures for inspiration and go from there. You definitely want to slope your substrate front to back to give it more of that horizon effect.

I personally use a rock (if it's elongated) with the substrate to keep the line. Meaning I will build up a substrate hill with the rocks natural form so it looks like it's been bound to that floor for centuries. Like the currents have been over the years pushing water over the rock forming that line. Yours looks like they just been plopped into the tank, but I think that's everyone's first attempt though. Definitely get new rocks, place them, take pictures and try another position - repeat 1,000x

Also if you want to open up your tank itself, think about removing the top rim of that tank.. It makes your 10gallon feel more enclosed than it should but just make sure the glass thickness and silicone can handle the extra stress.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:09 AM   #7
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Man. I finally got a ph testing kit today and yeah, it's pretty damn high. That being said, my other tank's ph is pretty high too and has most plants that I was going to transplant. I'm not going to give up on the concrete yet. I like how it looks.

So, I'm going to look into adding something that lowers ph or maybe some sort of sealant for the concrete itself. Any ideas on either of those?

As for removing the top rim, my other tank has the same thing and I'd rather keep them looking the same. Think it'll make the difference in the actual tanks more pronounced. I do agree that rimless tanks look cooler though.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:33 AM   #8
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So here's what I've been up to.

Determined to use those two ugly broken up pieces of concrete for some reason, I researched aquatic sealant applications. It turns out water based sealants are used on DIY foam backgrounds for waterproofing. I decided on a water based clear spray-can sealant made by Rust-Oleum. After three or four coats to both rocks, the ph levels held constant at 7.6 for over 24 hours. Problem solved.

Next, I went with an upward slope to the sand instead of the weird mounds. And a single piece of driftwood, most of which is under sand. I had planned on crypts as my main plant so I went ahead and ordered those as well as some EI fertilizers. Root tabs were also placed in the sand at strategic locations!

I went all out on the lighting aspects. And by "all out" I mean that I drank and made custom shelves out of old wood. I think they look pretty damn good. Amazingly level too. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT make a craigslist ad about needing old wood. DO NOT!

Next came flooding the tank a bit and laying everything out once the crypts came in. Fun times. I think I have a nice layout going. In the near future, I plan to add moss of some sort on one rock, an anubias on the other rock, and a good amount of red tiger lotus. I'll probably start hunting after this post. I also will move my DIY CO2 over to this tank and try to get these ph levels down some more.

Thanks for looking.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:53 AM   #9
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Should I just get another aquaclear HOB filter?
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Old 06-02-2013, 03:44 AM   #10
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Mini christmas moss, huge red tiger lotus, and nana petite anubias are all now in the tank. Crypts are melting, but I expected as much. I'll see if any tiger lotus has a rough time, then prune him down accordingly.

PH is holding steady between 7.2 and 7.6. Is that low enough for shrimp? I've been considering what kind of clean up crew for this tank. I have corys in my other tank and don't want to double up on fish between the two. I probably won't add any fish till I see that the crypts have stabilized.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:42 AM   #11
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Time for an update. Just got back from the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta where I kicked my friend's ass. Dude came back to the states from the Virgin Island's just to get burnt. So, yeah, I'm feeling pretty damn good.

New additions to the tank include:

Crypt Wendtii Red, Lutea, and Bronze!
10 Amano Shrimp!
Malaysian Trumpet Snails!

Crypts seem to have gotten over melting, though some leaves should probably go. Overall, everything is growing well. I EI dose this tank and I'm not sure if that makes sense as crypts are root feeders. Perhaps the anubias and red tiger lotus enjoy it though. Lots more stem plants in the other tank, maybe I'll switch it over one day.

Amano shrimp are insane. Everything people say about them being algae eating machines is totally true. They're so efficient that I've considered upping the wattage in my bulbs to produce more algae. Also very fun to watch. I understand now why people work so hard at their shrimp habitats.

MTS are less awesome in my opinion. Perhaps I can't see the work they're putting in. For the most part, they don't seem to do much. Get stuck on their backs a lot too. I'll assume they're doing their job for now though.

Next plan is to get a gaggle of Green Neon Tetras. I'm thinking 10 or 12. I wanted to get some Otos because of the algae eating abilities and looking like sharks factor, but these amanos might be enough. So, I'll hold off on them for a bit.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:22 AM   #12
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It's looking alot better man. Kudos on the rescape
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:55 AM   #13
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I think it's looking better too. Not so much on a rescape, just throwing more stuff in.

Can't wait to get some fish in here. Should probably look into that this weekend.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:47 PM   #14
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I would get some river rocks from hardware store and glue them together with super glue gell. Or you could use canned foam to hold them together.

Fishbreath used the can foam to make mountains.
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