Frank's Planted Tank How-To Mini Novel - The Mini S Returns! New Layout - Page 52
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:57 AM   #766
Francis Xavier
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Turned this into a well-spent 2-3 hours of reading at work

I can't remember if you've addressed this in previous posts, but how do you maintain the riccia carpet looking at a long-term tank? I'm thinking of starting a mini riccia carpet held down with SS mesh, but from what I've heard, it's a high maintenance plant that requires a lot of trimming and retying. Any way around all of this?

Regardless, thanks for all the info, it was a wonderful read and I'm glad that you took out the time to do this for all of us. Beautiful pictures!
Hopefully there was nothing pressing to do at work! If there was, I'm glad to do my part in internet non-productivity rates. I would submit the argument that it's much more valuable than random YouTube surfing.

1. Mini Riccia - after a long time looking into it, I'm not sure this plant exists as Riccia Fluitans. There is a Riccardia, Mini Pellia, which is sometimes called Mini Riccia, but is a totally different plant (dark green, doesn't pearl like Riccia).

After messing with the plant for a long time, The "miniature" stature of Riccia can be gained by repeated trimming and light intensity. Riccia splits just like stem plants.

2. Riccia Maintenance: Riccia is a fairly high-maintenance plant. The reason is, due to it's high growth rate it will inevitably grow so well that the bottom is blocked from light and dies off, causing the portion that's tied to stone to float to the top.

Once Riccia Gets going it's a trim thing every 10-14 days. That being said, this is also the reason why this plant is perhaps the best aquatic plant for truly sculpting a layout.

Frank's Techniques for keeping Riccia long-term:

1.) In a multiple carpet scenario, plant HC, glosso etc around Riccia. Inevitably, the HC and Glosso will spread runners through the Riccia and form a second layer to "tie it down" and hold it together. The roots of the other carpet plants serve as a binding source and seldom get seen.

2.) in a single, Riccia carpet only scenario use either Eleocharis Belem or Eleocharis Parvula, both very very small hair grass varieties which will grow and spread roots into Riccia without ever being noticed. Eleocharis Belem's curved growth creates a scenario where it blends completely in with Riccia.

3.) Trim every 10-14 days to keep it going well and healthy. After repeated trimmings Riccia gets smaller and smaller and smaller. Due to the easy nature of trimming Riccia, it's a great plant to learn trimming on other plants with.

4.) Over longer periods of time you can of course take the stones out and re-tie them. Alternatively, take more stones tied with Riccia and plop them on top of the Riccia.

I'm not such a huge fan of placing more stones on top of the Riccia, but it does work.

5.) Riccia takes the shape of whatever object you tie it to - so make sure to select a flat stone for tying.

6.) Always use a product like Riccia line to tie the Riccia done on objects - you need this fine line to thoroughly tie the original batch down it requires some technique to get use to but gets much easier over time.

Using hair net / bath sponge things is not really a great way to do it. While initially it may be easier, long-term it just doesn't hold the Riccia done as well as a product like Riccia Line.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:03 AM   #767
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So I did some detail work today on the Mini M.

Mostly, this involved trimming everything nice and down, and switching around the intake/out put to get some better mileage on Co2 distribution.



I made a few additions and modifications - namely I added Eleocharis Parvula (which I'll have a large bulk supply of soon, this stuff is amazing, it grows only about 1/2" tall and is perfect here) around the Tenellus (which I'll also have a bulk supply of at the same time) to cover up some of the root growth for the final shot.

As well I added the Parvula in the front right corner to cover up the space between the Riccia and the glass, and to the right of the left side of the scape to create a border that blocks the riccia stone from view.

This little touch will add a nice transition point between the elements of the aquarium.

Aside from that, the Tenellus, hair grass, Riccia all got a pretty hefty trimming to keep it going and get into more final stages.

I've way put off fish for this aquarium - and I'd like to get some Microrasbora Kubotai for this layout.



P.S. if anyone is looking for riccia, I have a bunch I just trimmed out of here.

Last edited by Francis Xavier; 08-19-2012 at 06:05 AM.. Reason: forgot a second pic.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:17 AM   #768
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I got a PM asking about the plant list of the 60-P and here it is:

Riccia Fluitans
Eleocharis Belem
E. Tennellus
H. Pinnatifolia
Didiplis Diandra
Rotala Colorata

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Old 08-19-2012, 01:35 PM   #769
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Hi Frank ~

Thanks for sharing this thread , read thru every page from the start ,
very informative .

question : How do you find the flowrate of Eheim 2211 ?
Is it enough for your tank size

Thanks
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:36 PM   #770
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The flow rate for an Eheim 2211 is 60gph. Filled with media, I can't say how much.

Frank,
The tank looks AMAZING. I hope I can get my own Mini M to a level like that in the coming months....this tank is driving me up the wall. I think we may need to sit down and have a chat.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:51 AM   #771
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The flow rate for an Eheim 2211 is 60gph. Filled with media, I can't say how much.

Frank,
The tank looks AMAZING. I hope I can get my own Mini M to a level like that in the coming months....this tank is driving me up the wall. I think we may need to sit down and have a chat.
Fight through it my friend, you'll get to the other side and be able to put things together easy soon. You have all the tools for success, you just need to work on technique.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:53 AM   #772
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A quick post-trim Photo update.

60-P:



Mini M:



You can really tell the difference between light sources in these pictures. The yellow of the Fluorescents (which looks more white in person) and the ultra-clean white of the AQUASKY.

In other news

Expect both of these layouts to be redone in about a month - once I move I'll go forth and redo the layouts. For now I'm just trying to get them to a "final shot" point.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:56 PM   #773
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Frank-
Since eleocharis belem has a curled leaf appearance, it would mix in well with riccia right?
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:44 PM   #774
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Frank-
Since eleocharis belem has a curled leaf appearance, it would mix in well with riccia right?
I have belem mixed with my Riccia carpet in the 60-P - you can barely notice it at all. It's only purpose in the 60-P is to help keep the Riccia tied down.

If you want to mix a hair grass that will be noticed with Riccia - then use Eleocharis Acicularis.

Hair Grass + Riccia is a gorgeous combination, and are often found together in the wild.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:18 AM   #775
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I must say Frank, I'm absolutely in love with that mixed riccia/grass in the 60P....it looks amazing. I'm glad I spent the time tying all 13 stones worth of riccia you sent me. The 8 that are sitting in the 20 (random growout until Thursday) are already standing up. The ones in the Mini, however....not so hot.Thinking I'll just swap stones over from the 20 into the Mini come Thursday. In the meantime, cloudy water ahoy! *does water change*
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:32 PM   #776
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Finally fish are here! Microrasbora Kubotai coming up! These will go into the Mini M.



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I must say Frank, I'm absolutely in love with that mixed riccia/grass in the 60P....it looks amazing. I'm glad I spent the time tying all 13 stones worth of riccia you sent me. The 8 that are sitting in the 20 (random growout until Thursday) are already standing up. The ones in the Mini, however....not so hot.Thinking I'll just swap stones over from the 20 into the Mini come Thursday. In the meantime, cloudy water ahoy! *does water change*
Great Freph! Are the ones in the Mini not doing so well from the original batch? Or newly tied on? I wonder what's causing that. It might point to some issues in the Mini going on right now with all the transitions.

Glosso + Riccia is also another great combination for the carpet that's predominately Riccia. Either way having either eleocharis belem or glosso acts as an additional layer of 'tying down,' the Riccia.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:47 PM   #777
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The newly tied ones. There's some kind of imbalance going on for sure, but I'm not sure what it is.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:55 PM   #778
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Finally fish are here! Microrasbora Kubotai coming up! These will go into the Mini M.
Those are some sweet looking fish. It will be interesting to see if they can stand out in planted tanks with lush, green plants.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:10 PM   #779
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Those are some sweet looking fish. It will be interesting to see if they can stand out in planted tanks with lush, green plants.
I have a school of them in my 20L--they're very active and generally a lot of fun to watch (more so then chili rasboras for example) but it seems like their colour is much more reflective then passive. Under my lights (spiral CFLs) they look quite boring when backlit but stunning when on towards the back of the tank and the light is reflecting off the silver-green scales. I was really disappointed at first, but adjusting my water flow so that they hang out towards the back of the tank has completely sold me on them. They like high-flow areas and it was fairly easy to move them around by aiming a powerhead where I wanted them to go.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:01 PM   #780
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Beautiful fish, Frank.

Toastedtoast: Chili rasboras less fun to watch? Say it ain't so.
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