12 Gallon Nanocube Aquascaping Help
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Old 02-09-2005, 12:38 AM   #1
isuchopper
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12 Gallon Nanocube Aquascaping Help


Hi again-

Thanks to some help from this site, I bought the Nanocube (regular- 24W), but now I need some advice on my aquascaping plans.

I want a black substrate, so that makes me think Eco-Complete, onyx sand, or tahitian moon sand. I like the idea of sand, so any thoughts on the pros/cons to this? Will either type of sand hurt a cory? I've read some differing opinions on what sand is darker. Any hard facts out there?

For plants, I'm planning on a ground cover made of glosso, but the taller plants are still up in the air. Java Moss will likely be in there, too. Any help here would be great.

Finally, I'm thinking White Clouds, Corys and maybe neons. I'll be tossing some shrimp in when I'm sure the tank won't blow up on me.

I'm also going to be using a fair bit of petrified wood if that changes any asthetics-based opions regarding the above questions.

ALL suggestions are welcome. Thanks for the help.

Mike
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Old 02-09-2005, 05:16 AM   #2
Steven_Chong
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I'm not sure if petrified wood + moss will work . . . you can try it, but I've never seen a tank with moss tied to petrified wood before. Having petrified wood and real wood in the same tank is odd, and one should really stick to one type of rock (that spot would be taken up by the petrified wood). That means tie the moss to the petrified wood, or nothing at all.

Well, I have no idea how that'll work-- should be interesting.
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Old 02-09-2005, 05:47 AM   #3
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Onyx sand is grey, Eco-complete is black. I like the look of both however Onyx has a buffering capability - it will increase your kh and ph.

As far as aquascaping your tank goes, what composition were you planning on using? Concave, convex or triadic?

How big are the rocks? How many do you have? Could you create a Japanese style arrangement with them?

Hope these questions give you some further ideas.
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Old 02-09-2005, 06:24 PM   #4
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Yeah..Agree with greenmiddlefinger...dun think moss will attach strongly on those petrified wood...coz i have personally tried them before..it takes much longer time for them to be actually attach on the petrified wood compare to a normally driftwoood..

~Jeffr3y
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:28 AM   #5
isuchopper
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Default A bit more info

Thanks for the advice everybody.

Greenmiddlefinger- I actually hadn't thought out yet how to attach the moss. Maybe a few pieces of driftwood, hopefully to be nearly fully covered at some point? My plan for the petrified wood is to contrast with the black substrate, so not growing anything on it would be alright.

Locus- I have a fair bit of the petrified wood, but I'm not set on how to use it. One potential plan would be to have a central pile against the back wall, much like a reef set up, or I may just partially bury a few here and there. I have to admit that I'm not sure what a Japanese-style arrangement is.

The overall design is still up in the air (hence my cry for help), although I have a few general design concepts I'm playing with. In an abstract sense, I like the idea of createing some depth in the tank. In my mind, this would potentially mean random plant heights throughout the tank, and maybe half of the back wall covered by a row of tall plants. I would love the look of a (thin) kelp forest for the fish to swim through. Something to remind me more of diving than of a fishtank. Not sure how all this would work in a smaller tank, though.

Also, I'm considering a generally flat bed with a few depressions and raised areas, likely held in place by petrified wood. Something to add more large-scale 'texture' to the bed. If I can pull off of the kelp-forest plan, my thought is that this would add some more depth and variety to the tank.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts. Again, all comments are welcome and very appreciated.

Mike
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:35 AM   #6
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Default Back to gravel/sand...

Locus-

Regarding the substrate, I've heard that Eco-Complete can look a bit grey under the tanks lights. Any experience with this? Would Tahitian Moon Sand do better at keeping that pitch-black color under heavy lighting? Thanks.

Mike
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Old 02-11-2005, 02:08 AM   #7
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Default Eco Complete

Isn't BLACk black if that's what ya mean..
lemme see if I can find a good pic..
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Old 02-11-2005, 02:15 AM   #8
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Default Here's a pic of my 125 gal..

also have this in my 20 gal. Nice substrate. Could add some black sand to darken it up a bit..
But yeah, it's kinda a natural black..and fades a bit with time.. but still nice,to me..
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Old 02-11-2005, 06:14 AM   #9
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Petrified wood is a great material, both structurally and aesthetically. However, the decision to use it means turning down many possible designs. On the other hand, this narrowing of options is often welcomed by artists in any discipline-- we call it focus. I have to admit I myself have never had the chance to use petrified wood, but I've seen it used effectively in 1 of 2 ways--

--In an "open field tank" using strictly ground cover plants, with the petrified wood sticking out. If conservative pieces are chosen the lay out becomes more gentle, while if sharply shaped pieces are chosen the lay out becomes dynamic.

--As the foundation of an "island" of plants. The island can be positioned left, right, or middle. Middle is generally only preferable in a large tank, because it will split the lay out in half. If islands are created with equal shape on both sides, I would recommend the two islands have very different plants, because having a mirror-image tank is usually ineffective. The golden ratio can be used for better balance. If you do this style, I would try to over shade the petrified wood with plants in the island, because the light color of the petrified wood might take all the attention. Bolbitis is a perfect plant for shading over the petrified wood.

I'd also consider doing a "light feel" tank, because lighter plants can compete for attention with the light color of the petrified wood. Such a lay out would use plants like glosso, hemianthus/micranthemoide sp., riccia, cypris helferi, and other plants that have light colors. In such a tank, focal points could be accented by darker plants such as anubias and mosses.

It's also good to be creative, maybe you can find your own way of using it.
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Old 02-18-2005, 12:13 AM   #10
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Default oops

Folks- Sorry for the delay in my reply.

thegirlundertherainbow- thanks for the pics. It's nice to see the substrate in a tank and not a bag.

greenmiddlefinger- thanks for the advice. Give me a couple of months (years?) and maybe I'll be able to have a decent conversation about this stuff.

Update: I went with black sand and my petrified wood. I have two raised areas in opposite corners of my nanocube, about 2 inches above the surrounding substrate. I'd post a pic, but I'm going to wait until I have a couple more plants and fish in there.

I'll keep you posted.

Mike
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