h2oaggie's low tech SPEC
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:12 PM   #1
h2oaggie
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h2oaggie's low tech SPEC


I recently picked up a Fluval SPEC from Amazon using a Christmas gift card. I got it set up and used media from an established canister filter to essentially instant cycle it. I love sitting at the computer and watching the tank, but I have had a horrible time trying to scape it. I am just going to post some pictures to hear everyone's opinions, please be critical as I know it needs work. I am thinking the mopani driftwood is just oo big, despite how cool it is.

Substrate: Fluval shrimp stratum
Lighting: stock
Heater: Hydor Theo 25W
Ferts: Osmocote + under the stratum, as well as topping off with water from my EI dosed 29 gallon
Flora: Crypt wendetii 'green gecko', Crypt lucens, crypt willisii x lucens, Cabomba caroliniana, Hygrophila polysperma 'sunset', Aponogeton natans
Fauna: Rex, the halfmoon betta

Front:


Left:


Right:


The only occupant, Rex:
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:01 PM   #2
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Have you tried the driftwood in a different orientation? Maybe on it's side? I love driftwood in tanks, but big blocky pieces tend to take up a lot of space for swimming and water volume. Perhaps the wood could be off to the side more and not so centered?

A smaller/shorter plant in the foreground maybe.

I actually think it looks pretty good.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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I always like moss on wood. I think fissidens would look great too.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Have you tried the driftwood in a different orientation? Maybe on it's side? I love driftwood in tanks, but big blocky pieces tend to take up a lot of space for swimming and water volume. Perhaps the wood could be off to the side more and not so centered?
It is totally flat on the bottom, so unfortunately it really doesn't fit in any other orientation. I am not totally sold on the driftwood, so I will just see. I think once the crypts start to fill in a little bit it wont look so huge.
A smaller/shorter plant in the foreground maybe.

Quote:
I always like moss on wood. I think fissidens would look great too.
I plan on it but don't have access to any moss at the moment. Hopefully can pick some up in the near future.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:37 AM   #5
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Also think that wood is too big, and it looks sturdy/thick enough that you won't be able to chop it up easily. The current setup feels a little busy, if you want the wood to be your center piece I would:

(1) Move the wood all the way against the back
(2) Trim back the Cabomba caroliniana a lot (cut in half and place new stem side by side with old
(3) Add foreground plants for dimension
(4) +1 to the moss on wood idea

You could also try setting the wood against a corner if you have some rocks to offset the other side, make it like a back drop (or saw it in half and use it as a background).
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:18 PM   #6
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Ok, I took a lot of the advice given here and rescaped the tank a good bit. I think it looks much better the the wood in the back corner as mentioned, it also lets more light into the tank as the wood was right under the fixture before. I don't quite know what to do in the front, though I have toyed with the idea of adding rocks or some other hardscape. Ruled out a true foreground plant as the light simply isn't bright enough to support anything.



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Old 02-06-2012, 09:36 PM   #7
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Quick update:

I have removed the cabomba, and have a crypt wendtii 'red' coming in the mail to replace it. I added a foreground of crypt parva, as well as some java fern and needle leaf java fern to the mopani wood. Overall I really like how it looks. I also have some Taiwan moss coming, and I really dont have a good place for it. Maybe on the wood where there are no java ferns. I would love a moss wall for the background but I doubt it gets enough light.

Any feedback on what I can do to improve it?

Rex, the halfmoon betta, appears to be having issues with his swim bladder, as he is either on the substrate or stuck to the filter intake. This is after cutting slits in the tubing, so its not an issue of too much flow. I read it might be caused by constipation as I was feeding him freeze dried bloodworms. He will not be fed for a few days, then I will add blanched peas, which apparently encourage him to poop. We will just see, he is already better today than yesterday.



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Old 02-06-2012, 09:48 PM   #8
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I love the foreground! I hope Rex manages to "go"
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:17 AM   #9
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I said OooOooo when I saw the foreground you added...Looks much much nicer...love it :-)
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:15 AM   #10
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Thanks for the kind comments. I think once the parva roots a little better and the other crypts and Java fern fill it will really look good. It's nice to have a low tech tank that requires very little work. It seems like I am always working on my high tech 29, plants grow so fast they always need trimming.

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Old 02-07-2012, 06:15 AM   #11
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Ok here are my comments on your aquascape.

First of all the wood is moved to the back and that was a good move. Unfortunately the only other thing I can say good is the C. parva. Right now the leaves look kind of large but when the new leaves start to grow in they will be much smaller and will be nice for a forground. But they do take a while to grow and get runners to fill in the foreground. But in time they will be really nice.

As for the rest of the plants my personal opinion all are too large for your setup. Anyone of those plants will overrun and fill the complete tank. Small tanks need small plants.

The java ferns can very easily fill the whole tank. I would remove them, and if possible trade them for some moss. Use some small leaf plants and that will give the setup a feeling of a larger one. Also the other crypts will become quite large for such a small tank


Some suggestions will be Rotalas, like Rotala macrandra sp green. Rotala sp green, rotala rotundifolia, Rotala colorata.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:15 PM   #12
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Quick update

Fauna
Sadly, Rex 1.0 didn't make it. On the other hand, Rex 2.0 is incredibly vibrant and healthy. I added 5 red ramshorn snails to clean up detritus and because I think they are fun to watch.

Flora
Plants are doing well. Crypts are starting to recover from melting off a bit. Java fern is growing incredibly fast, considering the light and nutrient levels. I have made an attempt at a moss wall on the back, but I am afraid it isn't bright enough to encourage growth through the mesh. Plants I have but can't decide where to put include an anubias petite and some fisidens. I am contemplating moving all the parva to the right foreground and attaching the fissidens to a lava rock on the left to add some more height contrast/dimension to the tank.







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