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Old 02-10-2012, 04:23 AM   #91
Marconis
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thanks bro... dude u live like 15min away from me... my sister lives in astoria. maybe we can trade plants sometime when i'm in the hood


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Sounds good
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:04 AM   #92
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Progress 02-10-12

kiss, kiss, good night FTS

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considering removing the dwarf lily on the left and relocating stargrass hotel... i think my dwarf lily knows it too, i've never seen her this red!


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Old 02-13-2012, 11:17 PM   #93
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Progress 02-13-12 post wc

i've thought about it long and hard... considering a pretty serious rearrangement of plants this weekend.

i thought about removing the dwarf lily on the left but i checked and its pretty well rooted. that and its been showing off for me the past several days giving me large deep red leaves that make me happy so, she conviced me to try another direction.

the keys to my strategy can be summarized as follows:

- limiting rerangement to stem plants only. i have many wonderful rooting crypts that are being shaded by growth. the crypts don't mind but i'd like to be able to see them
- the rooted plants delineate plantable zones where i can move/arrange the stems
- removing hardscape. as mch as my shrimp and little critters like my moss covered driftwood... its footprint uses up a lot of real estate. i need to
give up a piece, especially my favorite one that has flame moss and h. pinatifiia attached to it ... but then again, how can i appreciate it behind the overhrowth
- create a rotala corner. i'm making a decisive move to cram my beastly rotalas in the back corner of my tank. rhe flow in my tank will lend nicely to long stems and hope they will form a canopy when allowed to grow out. they are way too fast growers to go vertical in a shallow 12" tall tank
-relocating stargrass hotel... the stargrass is a invert favorite and is possibly the only reason they haven't been the main course for my ciclids lol... but i need to lose about 50% if the plant mass and/or temive it completely not sure yet tho
- moving sexy stems front and center. i've invested a lot of time and $$$ collecting these guys not to give them their proper place in the tank. too many to name atm lol... but believe me their in there (alive and thriving thankfully)

here's an FTS to remember pre-upheaval

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Old 02-14-2012, 01:26 AM   #94
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Stems can look really good planted very densely in small groups. In the past, I have done as small as about 2x2in of various stems in the background.

I tend to not use hardscape combined with a lot of stems. Not only does it take up real estate, it also is often hard to predict around growth. Ditching the hardscape isn't bad in a tank that doesn't need it, IMO.

I actually like stargrass but not in a high tech tank. It grows like a weed in every tank, much less with CO2 and high light. I don't know if you are considering getting rid of it but I would keep some. Again, it's a nice looking plant, it just can take over.

I think with some minor moving around, you can create a tank that is more "dynamic" while being easier to maintain at the same time. It does look good as is, but I think some denser planting and some planning can allow you to have more going on in the same amount of space.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:53 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
Stems can look really good planted very densely in small groups. In the past, I have done as small as about 2x2in of various stems in the background.

I tend to not use hardscape combined with a lot of stems. Not only does it take up real estate, it also is often hard to predict around growth. Ditching the hardscape isn't bad in a tank that doesn't need it, IMO.

I actually like stargrass but not in a high tech tank. It grows like a weed in every tank, much less with CO2 and high light. I don't know if you are considering getting rid of it but I would keep some. Again, it's a nice looking plant, it just can take over.

I think with some minor moving around, you can create a tank that is more "dynamic" while being easier to maintain at the same time. It does look good as is, but I think some denser planting and some planning can allow you to have more going on in the same amount of space.
your advice is always well recieved and appreciated bro... i thought of doing that (planting tight blocks of stems) initially when i started the 20L. of course i was inspired by the dutch style and stem gardens i've seen on out there...

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and i may do something similar but with one major exception...my crypts.

i've got literally 12 or more species currently planted in there. even though they don't mind being shaded and like being recessed in the overgrowth...its only ok for now cuz they are slow growers but...many of the crypts will grow big and i have to consider their future growth especially when i start gassing co2. more importantly i put them there so i can (see) appreciate them and they're all hidden lol

just thinking out loud...i'm sure a pure stem tank has its own rewards and challenges. especially now that i have the plant mass to do so. my little dirt 5g is yielding some nice surprises. ratty stems from a tank take down in january, surprisingly have bounced back with a vengance. now that they have, i am realizing i have rare treasures i almost threw out (i'll post pics). i would love to showcase these and reintroduce my r. wallichi and sp. cabomba into a stem only tank. plus i've always been drawn to dutch style and collectoritis type tanks. i may still do this but perhaps in another tank... omg another tank! lol

getting back on track... i feel that i have welcome challenges in the rescape ahead. i may not totally remove all my hardscape (i have 4pcs of driftwood in there believe it or not) but definately 2 pieces. it sux cuz my flame moss is starting to shape up and i have h. pinitafidia growng on one. but we'll see.

as far as the stargrass... bro you know i've got the needle leaf rotalas all ripe for you. i will be more than happy to share the stargrass, i have tons. especially since i plan to remove most of it from this tank. the portions i do keep, i may either cut them down and keep them low (which isn't really working for me)... or relocate them to the front corners of my tank. heck i might just float those suckers and use them as green filler behnd my red lilys. we'll see.

i've got microswords in there right now that because of where they are (in the directin of flow) just collect a lot of mulm and poop. those guys are outta there! definately gonna be part of the next ROAK package lol. the only grassy type i will keep are the blyxa japonica you sent me

so the stargrass hotel will soon be the stargrass motel at the far corners of the tank. the central position in my tank will mist likely be my centerpiece driftwood/flame moss and a surprise weed in my tank Syngonanthus sp. 'Belem'. i didn't think this would thrive in an excel only situation but surprisingly it is competing with my rotalas! it is also part of the reason for the rescape since its lower shoots are being shaded... and i don't think it likes it :O i know my tonina fluvalitis definately doesn't like being shaded lol.

you'll be surprised talon when i rescape and bring forward the plants my rotalas are literally overshadowing. now that i am a little more experienced grower, i can inly now begin to visualize my tank in a new way. i love this hobby!







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Old 02-14-2012, 03:42 PM   #96
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You don't have to have a dutch scape to take advantage of stems. My first scape on my 29 was 100% stems (I am including HM and HC as stems) but it was not dutch, even though it didn't have much of a hardscape at all. Speedie has had a bunch of great examples of "colectoritis" tanks that were not dutch style.

I am not saying it's a bad way to go, or that you couldn't do dutch style with crypts involved either. There are just many ways to take advantage of really beautiful stems without being in that style.

Regardless, I think you could create something even better than you have now with some rearranging. I think your tank looks great, but doing some layering with some of your stems will look exceptional. Use the simple tricks like varying color, leaf shape, leaf size, and general appearance and you can really start packing stems in, while maintaining the look of each individual plant, and the look of the tank overall.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:30 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
You don't have to have a dutch scape to take advantage of stems. My first scape on my 29 was 100% stems (I am including HM and HC as stems) but it was not dutch, even though it didn't have much of a hardscape at all. Speedie has had a bunch of great examples of "colectoritis" tanks that were not dutch style.

I am not saying it's a bad way to go, or that you couldn't do dutch style with crypts involved either. There are just many ways to take advantage of really beautiful stems without being in that style.

Regardless, I think you could create something even better than you have now with some rearranging. I think your tank looks great, but doing some layering with some of your stems will look exceptional. Use the simple tricks like varying color, leaf shape, leaf size, and general appearance and you can really start packing stems in, while maintaining the look of each individual plant, and the look of the tank overall.
thanks again for the inspirational words... i've been a fan of speedie's crypt pages... if his collectoritis tank is anywhere as painfully beautiful as his crypts... i have to check them out! lol

alas "using the old tricks" to vareiate and layer my stems is still a new trick to a noob like me i hate to use tr cliche easier said than done... its definately going to be a challenge. not sure anymore if i can even do the rearrangement as part of this weeks maintenance as i have to take care of the elders (grammy and gramps) and work freelance this weekend :/

but at least now i can afford my new dual stage regulators!!! thank you maknwar!



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Old 02-16-2012, 12:15 PM   #98
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2-16-12 progress

good morning FTS
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:58 PM   #99
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i woke up early and decided to do the trim before my wife woke up lol. i moved the stargrass and 1 dwarf lily to my nano. i decided to just hack the rotalas down to the base and will continue to do so in the same fashion. i think these guys have earned their place in the center of my tank.

since removing the stargrass i happily discovered my Syngonanthus sp. 'Belem' with numerous offshoots. i might pull a plantbrain and ladder them in size order along my driftwood in the meantime it opened up a nice little patch front and center where i moved some of my hidden stems.... p. yatabeanus, limno broad leaf and rotala type 2.

also to my pleasant suprise i found a baby c. cordata thailand sprouting up from a rhizom i planted and long thought melted!

the far corner left where the dwarf lily was uprooted left plenty if space for a crypt corner... where my balansae, retrospiralis and wendtii green now reside. i also decided to keep my driftwood and create a cove for the crypts... it is now flanked with lidwigua acurta-repens, an h. pinatifidia

overall the height of the plants have been chopped in half and i am pleased with the outcome. i am less afraid to hack away as many weeks of laborous maintenance have proved to me that my plants are at home and will grow with a vengance... now i am almost afraid to setup my co2 this week lol

my iphone ran out of space so i could only pop off an FTS post trim. will post later this evening




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Old 02-18-2012, 08:20 PM   #100
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Progress post trim 02-18-12
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:44 PM   #101
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MUCH better.....it was looking a bit scraggly in the previous shot.....

I wasn't going to say anything, though!
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:51 PM   #102
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Your plants seem to grow sooo fast! Your tank looks great and I like that you're trying to open up some space for some of the beautiful plants you have in there!
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:07 PM   #103
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MUCH better.....it was looking a bit scraggly in the previous shot.....

I wasn't going to say anything, though!
lol... please all comments and criticisms are welcome! besides it wouldn't change the fact that i am still a fan of (and inspired by) your 200g! :P


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Old 02-18-2012, 11:26 PM   #104
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Your plants seem to grow sooo fast! Your tank looks great and I like that you're trying to open up some space for some of the beautiful plants you have in there!
thanks bro... but its my rotalas and stargrass that were on a quest for 20gallon world domination lol :O the other plants were just trying to keep up. i'm glad i finally have the mettle to hack those weeds down and tame the beast.

all my trims beforehand i was lopping the bottoms and replanting the tops for fear of not getting the lush and leafy growth the macrandras are capable of... this was a problem because it was a totally disruptive to uproot and a huge PITA!

but now i know thats not the case. they have no problem growing in my tank and as i've noted above, they've earned their place at the center of my tank. i will allow them to develop their root system and treat them as such by lopping tops and shaping them like a bush.

I just ROAK'd those tops, i think the person who will recieve them will be in for a pleasant surprise when they see the size/qty of stems (6"-8" at least 25-30 stems) and beautiful growth and color of the leaves

as you can see from the previous pics, the overgrowth hid many of the species i did have planted including my moss and driftwood. the best part is..now i have a clear view my beloved crypts!




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Old 02-18-2012, 11:44 PM   #105
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Made some space on my iphone... here are the rest of the progress pics

Progress 02-18-12, post trim

head on FTS
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rotala "type 2"... mini red rotala
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Egleria fluctuans... this stem is quite special. compared to the regular Egleria, its leaves are longer and stem finer. i'm lucky to have this stem (thank you Kahnzer from thr APC forum). since i planted it, it has divided into several stems... a true softwater beast!
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surprise! i planted this H. Pinatifidia January as stem plus offshoot...i didn't realize how big it got until i pulled it from under my rotala afro lol
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the crypt corner... i decided to keep my little piece of DW and flame moss hardscape. its shape lent itself well placed to forming a little protected niche in the front corner of my tank. a little niche for my crypts... wendtii green, balansae and retrospiralis. i know these guys will love this spot cuz they're sitting ontop of osmocote tabs i planted a while ago (probabbly why my dwarf lily went arnold shvwarzenager in this spot lol)
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full view of the tank in our room...
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