30 gallon Tree Scape Critique
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:38 AM   #1
ShawnS
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30 gallon Tree Scape Critique


Hello forum. I'm in need of advice pertaining to how i should go about the continuation of one of my scapes. Heres what it looks like:

I think i have a pretty good concept, but the plant growth or lack there of is really killing me. As you can see i do have a Co2, (paintball set up with one of those soleniod adapters.) and it is a dirted shrimp tank. The substrate is just a bag of organic potting soil with a layer of black diamond blasting sand on top of it, thus explaining my low plant growth. I've had the hairgrass in there for quite a while. Maybe 3-4 months, and it has spread well, just not carpeted as quickly as i would of liked. What id really like to do is to replace the substrate with Fluval Shrimp Stratum, but if im going to spend the time to redo the substrate i might as well redo some other things as well. I dont know if you can tell from the picture or not but i have some seriously dreadful green string algae all over my mosses. The top "branches" are christmass moss, and the bottom "moss covered root" is fissidens. So when I go to redo my substrate i'll redo my moss by untying it from the driftwood and put it through a black out for a few days.

This is where the advice comes in:
A) should I make more a seperation between the top moss and bottom moss when I re-tie it?
B) what type of plant should i put at the base of the tree? I tried to use pennywort, but it never really worked out.
C) Currently im only running 1 T12 light bulb for about 8 hours a day, because the algae was getting out of control with 2. What light fixture should I buy AND/OR how long should I leave the lights on to promote growth but still prevent algae?
D) I was using the soleniod on my CO2 to the full extent of its abilities by turning off my Co2 whenever the lights went out. But now i just leave it on all the time to help fight off algae. Is this a waste?
E) Overall what do you guys think of my concept?



Also, the reason why I wanted to wait to do this and really be patient and see what my options are is due to the fact that I've finally broken my bad luck and my shrimp are reproducing like crazy. The fissidens are literally covered in baby shrimp, and id like to let them get bigger first and make them easier to catch and contain. I'm actually starting to be too afraid to do water changes and try to remove any of the algae because im afraid i might accidentally suck up a few baby shrimp.

Last edited by ShawnS; 05-12-2013 at 06:12 PM.. Reason: .
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:55 AM   #2
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No one has any feedback?
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:13 AM   #3
Bluek24a4
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I think you have a good thing going so far, and I wouldn't break down and restart anything. I think you just need to keep being patient, especially if the shrimp are doing well. I didn't see anything in your post about how/what ferts you dose, and I think you should start there. Let us know what your doing with that.

Then it's the upping your CO2 conversation, followed by possibly (eventually) adding that other light back if your CO2 system can keep up with that, but the second light is a little ways down the road still.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #4
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A- I think the placement of the fissidens on the root relative to the other moss is fine
B- I would do blyxa japonica, because it looks like a shrub, if you are doing a prairie field with a tree there should be some bushes.
C-I would get the Finnex Ray 2, best bang for you buck and 8 hours a day is a good amount!
D-Keeping it on can create a better balance, just make sure to monitor your KH levels as long as the saturation of Co2 in the water stays lower than the KH levels you are fine. Get a drop checker if you can. Green drop checker= 30ppm C02. 2.8 DKH = 50ppm. You don't want KH lower than 30ppm, because you will run the risk of a horrible outcome.
E-I think it is a cool idea, I would add another smaller tree or bush, doing the same method under the bigger tree, just to the left of it. Or a smaller tree over in the back right corner.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:42 PM   #5
umdterps96
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If you keep trimming the xmas moss it will grow in bushier and nicer. You can tie the trimmings to the upper branches
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:10 PM   #6
ShawnS
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Thanks for the responses guys. Like i said i wont do any of this until my shrimp get big enough to move. But this has helped me in seeing what my options are. Replacing the Substrate is going to suck, but at least now I know i can just trim the moss down to the bare bones and retie the trimmings after a good black out. Also that Finnex Ray 2 looks like a beast. I'll be sure to get it. Along with a Canister filter....
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:15 AM   #7
aquacalm500
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Seems like you're off to a great start. There's a lot of the same color green and a lot of black. Maybe a splash of color or a section of lighter colored substrate or rock work. Looking good though.
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