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Old 06-28-2012, 05:38 AM   #46
trenton
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Originally Posted by crazydaz View Post
As I was scrolling down, I had to do a double take! LOL!! I saw that you got your hardscape in a few days ago, but I was shocked when I saw the tank "planted".....I thought to myself "Holy CRAP that's nice!" and saw that you Photoshopped that in.

If you get your HC to grow like that, I think that will be pretty nice looking! I don't think that you need to add anything else....keep it simple! Therein lies the beauty of Iwagumi, right?
This made me laugh when I read it! I wish it was at that point already.

I think I have to keep it simple at this point anyways. Better do something simple and right, then complicated and screw up royally. Sure it would be "easy" for me to plant 10 different things but I have no idea how they grow at this point.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:39 AM   #47
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I think the formation + HC is sick.. that thing is going to be the focal point of the neighborhood
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:49 AM   #48
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I have to admit, when I saw the first pick of your hardscape it was cool but not my favorite. But from 3 angles, that is crazy stuff. Love it.

I personally think just HC is a bit boring, only because the rocks are smooth. I think a bit of Hydrocotyle of some type, maybe a bit of belem, or some other foreground that isn't round leaved would add just the right amount of character. I wouldn't say that HC alone wouldn't do it but just adding some extra "roughness" will do your scape and rock texture well, IMO.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:02 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Vermino View Post
I think the formation + HC is sick.. that thing is going to be the focal point of the neighborhood
Thanks, I dunno about the neighborhood though…

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Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
I have to admit, when I saw the first pick of your hardscape it was cool but not my favorite. But from 3 angles, that is crazy stuff. Love it.

I personally think just HC is a bit boring, only because the rocks are smooth. I think a bit of Hydrocotyle of some type, maybe a bit of belem, or some other foreground that isn't round leaved would add just the right amount of character. I wouldn't say that HC alone wouldn't do it but just adding some extra "roughness" will do your scape and rock texture well, IMO.
This is the thing that I have been thinking about as well. If I start to change the one rock, it may upset the whole balance seeing as how it has to be viewed from three sides. Right now I think I have laid it out in such a way as not being too much of an eye sore from each side while still maintaining some dramatic/unstable lines to draw the eyes across.

I am beginning to think that just HC may be boring as well. Once I did that photoshoped version, I thought maybe I should add something else. I was thinking I might add some taller plants between the rocks to make it look more like a natural outcropping of rocks. My LFS brought in some new plants and they have some DHG and micro sword that looked pretty nice as well as some other small taller plants that could suit those taller areas. I kind of wanted to go for a natural look, would it be best to put dividers between the HC and DHG if I put that in? DHG will take over my tank otherwise won’t it?
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:34 PM   #50
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Sorry, I didn't mean to say that I didn't like the hardscape, I just am saying it becomes way more impressive after you realize that it's supposed to have 3 angles.

I haven't done DHG as HC but DHG grows really fast for me. To be honest, I haven't used it in a scape for that reason. I put some in my 20 long to try it out and it doubled in size every 2-3 days. Most people think that if you are using it with something else, a divider is a must.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:44 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
Sorry, I didn't mean to say that I didn't like the hardscape, I just am saying it becomes way more impressive after you realize that it's supposed to have 3 angles.

I haven't done DHG as HC but DHG grows really fast for me. To be honest, I haven't used it in a scape for that reason. I put some in my 20 long to try it out and it doubled in size every 2-3 days. Most people think that if you are using it with something else, a divider is a must.
I knew what you were saying, I was just trying to explain myself and the thought process behind the way a laid it out to be viewed from three sides. I probably would have done it differently if it was to only be viewed from the front.

Yeah, I’m kind of sketched to use DHG for that very reason as well. Maybe I will try some micro sword between the rocks or something, we will see.


On another note, my LFS now has cultured HC in stock. It’s so tempting to buy some and plant right now… how long can it go without human intervention?? *Sigh* I still need to wait though cause I still don’t have everything for the regulator yet.

Also, I picked up an ADA thermometer yesterday as well as some Hikari Mini Algae Wafers, Hikari Tropical Sinking Wafers and New Life Spectrum Small Fish Formula. I will pick up some frozen foods later on to feed as well (Haven’t decided which ones yet though).

At my LFS they had shrimp are marked as “Algae Eating Shrimp” are they the same as Amanos? They looked the same to me but I don’t know if there are similar breeds or something.

-T
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:01 AM   #52
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Updated scape. Quote taken from my hardscape critique thread.

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Here is the update. More back to the original one I made. (Don't mind the tape, I just used it as a quick reference for the golden ratio points that I wanted to use.

t




-T
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:07 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by trenton View Post
At my LFS they had shrimp are marked as “Algae Eating Shrimp” are they the same as Amanos? They looked the same to me but I don’t know if there are similar breeds or something.

-T
Pisces? Yeah, they are Amanos. They should really change the labelling but they have it like that for the sole reason that people will buy them when they have an algae outbreak.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:29 AM   #54
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Pisces? Yeah, they are Amanos. They should really change the labelling but they have it like that for the sole reason that people will buy them when they have an algae outbreak.
Yup, you got it, it was at Pisces. I thought they looked the same, but I wanted to be sure.

Thanks!
-T
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:33 AM   #55
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Yup, you got it, it was at Pisces. I thought they looked the same, but I wanted to be sure.

Thanks!
-T
Yeah man. Though I should tell you that I like this second scape. It's a little simpler than the first and I think it is even better.

I only bought my first Amanos a little while back to pick up some hair algae that was in my tank. It was a non co2 setup for my quarantine tank and between adding a pressurized setup (just a little co2, maybe 10ppm) and a dozen Amanos, the tank was spotless in a couple weeks.

They are pretty sweet shrimp though. Kinda have this neon stripe in their back that looks sweet and they act pretty cool. I really like them and will use them all the time now.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:19 AM   #56
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Okay so you referred me to here, but I wanted to know how you tested those rocks - vinegar is not a strong enough acid to tell if they are inert, and im %99 positive that kind of rock is not inert as I have seen it in the field many times and tested it in hopes that I could use it, but it always foams to the HCL test!

edit: I see I am completely blind.. well thats awesome that you found inert stones!
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:05 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenton View Post
I knew what you were saying, I was just trying to explain myself and the thought process behind the way a laid it out to be viewed from three sides. I probably would have done it differently if it was to only be viewed from the front.

Yeah, I’m kind of sketched to use DHG for that very reason as well. Maybe I will try some micro sword between the rocks or something, we will see.


On another note, my LFS now has cultured HC in stock. It’s so tempting to buy some and plant right now… how long can it go without human intervention?? *Sigh* I still need to wait though cause I still don’t have everything for the regulator yet.

Also, I picked up an ADA thermometer yesterday as well as some Hikari Mini Algae Wafers, Hikari Tropical Sinking Wafers and New Life Spectrum Small Fish Formula. I will pick up some frozen foods later on to feed as well (Haven’t decided which ones yet though).

At my LFS they had shrimp are marked as “Algae Eating Shrimp” are they the same as Amanos? They looked the same to me but I don’t know if there are similar breeds or something.

-T
Trenton,
I love how enthusiastic you are about the hobby and the degree of precision associated with your planning. First, I wanted to express to you my experience with HC. In the past, when using Aqua soil, CO2 and the right lighting I could grow it without much effort at all. However, the issue with HC is that yes it is gorgeous and looks beautiful...for the first few months. Then it becomes a PITA, because it will tend to grow very thick vertically and when trimmed this only exacerbates the problems, such that eventually it will literally float up off the substrate. This isn't to suggest that you shouldn't try it - it's a great plant and an excellent way to hone your skills. But I would recommend something that demands less maintenance in the future when you eventually decided on a rescape. Second, I think that some Stauro would look very good between the rocks - it has the compact growth and height that would complement the HC very nicely. Or perhaps some short Anubias on rock? Just a few thoughts to throw out there for you. The HC is a very bright green and I think maybe some dark green color contrast might be appropriate...

Finally, be prepared to get pissed off with the Aqua soil. I strongly suggest patience when getting the tank up and running and cycling. I made the mistake years ago (when the original Aqua soil was out) of trying to plant right away - very bad decision, lol. The original version had so much organics that the damn water turned milky white (anyone remember THAT b.s.!?). I was doing water changes twice a day, everyday for ever, lol. Even with the new version, it will take some time. But IME nothing grows plants like Aqua soil! I'm not using it anymore because it compacts over time, but when new, it is truly impressive.

Hope this helps?! Subscribed!
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:24 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by jcgd View Post
Yeah man. Though I should tell you that I like this second scape. It's a little simpler than the first and I think it is even better.

I only bought my first Amanos a little while back to pick up some hair algae that was in my tank. It was a non co2 setup for my quarantine tank and between adding a pressurized setup (just a little co2, maybe 10ppm) and a dozen Amanos, the tank was spotless in a couple weeks.

They are pretty sweet shrimp though. Kinda have this neon stripe in their back that looks sweet and they act pretty cool. I really like them and will use them all the time now.
I tried a couple of other scapes, but I always liked the way the first one looked. Actually, when I took the first down, two of the rocks were pretty unstable, so it was probably better that I changed it anyways.

I was planning on putting the Amanos in the tank first (after the tank is cycled) to deal with algae if it becomes an issue. Do you supplement their diet with anything? I plan on getting some otos too, so I bought Hikari algae wafers for them to nibble on if there isn’t enough algae.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlorophile View Post
Okay so you referred me to here, but I wanted to know how you tested those rocks - vinegar is not a strong enough acid to tell if they are inert, and im %99 positive that kind of rock is not inert as I have seen it in the field many times and tested it in hopes that I could use it, but it always foams to the HCL test!

edit: I see I am completely blind.. well thats awesome that you found inert stones!
Yeah, I would have been really bummed if the rocks were not inert after all the work of collecting and brining them back home. Thanks for your concern though, much appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by styxx View Post
Trenton,
I love how enthusiastic you are about the hobby and the degree of precision associated with your planning. First, I wanted to express to you my experience with HC. In the past, when using Aqua soil, CO2 and the right lighting I could grow it without much effort at all. However, the issue with HC is that yes it is gorgeous and looks beautiful...for the first few months. Then it becomes a PITA, because it will tend to grow very thick vertically and when trimmed this only exacerbates the problems, such that eventually it will literally float up off the substrate. This isn't to suggest that you shouldn't try it - it's a great plant and an excellent way to hone your skills. But I would recommend something that demands less maintenance in the future when you eventually decided on a rescape. Second, I think that some Stauro would look very good between the rocks - it has the compact growth and height that would complement the HC very nicely. Or perhaps some short Anubias on rock? Just a few thoughts to throw out there for you. The HC is a very bright green and I think maybe some dark green color contrast might be appropriate...

Finally, be prepared to get pissed off with the Aqua soil. I strongly suggest patience when getting the tank up and running and cycling. I made the mistake years ago (when the original Aqua soil was out) of trying to plant right away - very bad decision, lol. The original version had so much organics that the damn water turned milky white (anyone remember THAT b.s.!?). I was doing water changes twice a day, everyday for ever, lol. Even with the new version, it will take some time. But IME nothing grows plants like Aqua soil! I'm not using it anymore because it compacts over time, but when new, it is truly impressive.

Hope this helps?! Subscribed!
Yeah, this is what I have read about HC carpets. They look nice for a while, but they eventually lift off. I have heard about “cutting holes” in the carpet to keep if from growing too dense. Does anyone have experience with this? Are there any other carpeting plants that have the same effect as HC but do not lift off?

Wow, I like the look of the stauro as well as the anubias. I found some neat looking anubia tetras that I could possibly use. I was thinking the same thing about having some darker green plants between the rocks. Maybe even some moss of some sort.

I was planning on doing a lot of water changes at the start, so yes, I am ready! Patience, I have, but I can’t wait to get everything in. About three weeks now till planting day!

Thanks for the great info about the HC!

-T
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:51 PM   #59
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Trenton, I used to cut smallholes in the HC carpet once it was fully grown, but before it started to grow vertically thick. Doing so promotes horizontal growth; the appearance one is trying for is a mini-swiss cheese like pattern that keeps the HC growing horizontally while maintaining the appropriate height. It's time consuming work though, but the results are worth it. Glosso is one that doesn't float up off the substrate, but E. Hydropiper is another that (while rare) doesn't float either - its root system is very deep unlike the much shallower rooting HC. I think that Stauro, Anubias, Moss maybe even some Hygrofilia Compacta would all be good options for the spaces between the rocks. And you're welcome - I'm happy to help!
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:47 PM   #60
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Got back from my vacation and have been pretty busy since. Got the tank planted and regulator built too! Bear with me, this may be a long post...

Got all the pieces to build the regulator. Since the needle valve had Swagelok fitting I decided to go with all Swagelok pieces.


Here are all the pieces layer out (Opposite side of actual output).


Put together!



Here are the plants I bought. I didn't want to wait to get any shipped, so I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but pretty much. The HC pots came with some other plants that I used as well. We will see how they grow in.

Hemianthus Callitrichoides 'Cuba'
Lilaoepsis Brasiliensis
Juncus Repens (The lady accidentally gave me this one instead of another pot of Lilaoepsis)
Cyperus Helferi (?? There was no label at the store)
Ammania sp. 'Bonsai' (Also known as Rotala Indica)
Crytpcoryne Becketti 'Petchii'
Echinodorus 'Red Flame'


I found it pretty difficult to plant the stuff in the ADA Aqua Soil. I also wrecked a lot of my slopes, but i figured that may happen. I will fix it once the plants start to take root. I thought that I had everything well in the soil, but after I filled, a bunch of them came up. I used crumpled up paper to fill, finally finished everything at 1am in the morning tuesday. At this point, I didn't have CO2 tank filled yet, so I used Excel for the first two days.




The morning after, no more bunches came up, yay!


After the first water change. I will be trimming that Ammania down once it roots. At this point, everything wants to float still so I don't want to touch anything. I tried replanting some HC and another bunch comes up, so I will leave it.


In-situ.


After second water change. Got the CO2 in too! My diffuser is not working very well though. There are only bubbles coming out in one area and they are large... anybody have any ideas? Could I have wrecked by putting too much flow of CO2 through it?





I installed the supplied ADA check valve inline before the bubble counter. This morning there was water in the line up till that point. Is this normal? Is there a leak in my system? I think I will leak check it tonight to make sure there are none.

And one last thing, I am having trouble keeping the bubbles at a constant rate. I had to turn my regulator outlet pressure to less than 10 psi and then the needle valve doesn't seem to change the flow. Is this normal, or does it take a while for the change to take affect once I turn the needle valve?

I think I may have seen some type of algae yesterday. It looked like hair algae. Will take picture of it if there is some of it tonight.

Till next update,
-T
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