your input welcomed on this 75g - includes before and after photos!
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:04 AM   #1
tomfromstlouis
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your input welcomed on this 75g - includes before and after photos!


This tank is 75 gallons with CO2 injection and EI ferts. I have several issues and welcome any thoughts you care to share.

First, FTS:



I am happier with the left side than the right. As you can see, the dwarf hairgrass has done well filling in - too well, it gets too tall - and obscures most of the five rocks. Here is a closeup of the left side:



The myrio mattagrosense fills that back corner alright and helps hide some equipment, so I expect it will stay. I do wish I could trim more successfully so it fills in just so. The left-most plant is isoetes, a plant I rarely see for sale and one that has been with me maybe 10 years. It needs a trim to remove those algae covered bits, but it will always have a presence in this tank. There is a larger clump of it on the right that needs dividing. The cyperus helferi is glorious in that foreground because a powerhead adding flow shoots right at it. The DHG was recently trimmed hard on the left.

The right side is what we should discuss the most.


Let's ignore the whitish fluffy remains of BBA on the hairgrass; it is going away. Even this side has had the DHG cut, but it is too long and would go even higher if left alone. Last time I trimmed it left some brownish patches; I am not crazy about the results of trimming DHG. Frankly I am considering pulling it all (!) and putting in Eleocharis belem or something that will stay shorter. I like the overall effect and my kuhli loaches and endler fry both like it too.

The crypt balansae looks out of place; pulling that up will create a major dirt storm. The isoetes patch on right is crowded. The cyperus in the background is fine. The limnophila repens in the background does alright but my trimming efforts do not leave me completely happy. Behind the balansae is an unsuccessful patch of baby tears and the upper right is a mess because it has trimmings floating that I plan to give away soon and some Blyxa japonica that I cannot find room for and that refuses to grow roots.

Chime in please. I have more thoughts to add but let's get started redesigning the tank. I have too many plants and even have a crimun calamistratum I could add. Using these pieces, how would you arrange them?
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:01 AM   #2
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well, one thing to note is that your tank is very very grassy, which isn't a bad thing but just a thing to keep in mind

I would trim the hell out of that hairgrass though, because it just looks too tall, give it a nice mow down and I feel like it could really change how your tank looks.

Aside from that, the only other thing that jumped out at me was that you have your cyprus kinda in the middle of your tank, with a shorter stem plant behind it, which I don't per say think is the best aquascaping idea. Aside from that, I feel oike you should replace the miro that you have with a miro that has a little bit of red in it. Actually, I would put that myro in the back mid-right, where that c. balanese is, and then either use a red myro or some other sort of red/colorful plant in that left corner (L. aromatic comes to mind for some reason, as do any of the finer leafed ludwigia)

Aside from that, it looks pretty good :P
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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Thank you Herp for the thoughtful reply. The shorter hairgrass on the left was my experiment at cutting back the grass hard and it was not a total success: some brown spots showed up. But I guess I do owe the entire lawn a hard mowing before yanking it altogether.

The cyperus began as three plants, but I bet I could now make a nice backdrop with the 5 or 6 they have turned into. Uprooting them and the balansae I dread but I suppose it must be faced.

I think I need a mid height plant somewhere and maybe the baby tears (now hidden in back) is a candidate. Or maybe I could keep a group of stem plants short for that....

I'll be looking a more red too. Thinking............
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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I wouldn't be too worried about the brown spots considering you're dosing ferts and CO2. The grass is probably brown because its not getting much light. Definitely give the grass a trim, the brown patches will grow back.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:01 PM   #5
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Kudos on the Lush growth!

Working with what you presently have I would suggest committing to 3 Plant Sp. Then Get the rocks exposed to create some contrast.

#1 - DHG give it a hard mow. I agree with Tex, it will bounce back. I would completely pull a small triangular patch starting along the front right glass so the apex of the triangle points toward the rock work to draw the viewers eye to the Rocks.

#2 - Mayrio Mattagrosense - Leave it in it's current placement. But extend it toward the left front and start it along the back center. Create an isosceles triangle planting, along the left side and back wall.

ROCKS - Leave them in the current area but pitch them a bit more toward the center. Also cheat them up a bit toward the front, giving you a little space off the back wall. Have them jutting out of the longest plant of the M. Mattagrosense Tri-angle.

#3 - Isoetes - Any plant kept for 10yrs+ deserves some respect. I would Create a 2nd smaller isosceles triangle planting of the Isoetes in the right rear corner.

What this will do is make the rock work the focal point vs. the C. Balansae. The planting will frame the Rock work. I feel it will create a a simpler and more elegant Aquascape. I believe void space it an important aspect of Aquascaping.

Crypts are my own main plant in my Dirt floor tanks. I find if I Slowly and Gently wiggle them as a I pull I can do a very clean extraction.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:32 PM   #6
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I like it.
Mow the lawn.
Clean up the crypt.
But that just me. I by far have really no clue about it. Im grow a forest in my tank and my DHG is floating.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:00 PM   #7
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Agree with everybody else. Mow the hairgrass! Mine grows shorter if mowed and if it grows back thick then bare brown spots when it is mowed isn't really an issue, is it? I would pull out the balansae, it just isn't working out. Get rid of the baby tears as it is another fine texture that the tank is already full of and you aren't loving it. Corydoras love it though, mine would take naps seemingly stuck in the middle of it. I kept rescuing them before I figured it out.

Move the Isoetes clump that is poorly placed, I sure wouldn't want to rehome it either. Try drawing lines at the 1/3 marks horizontally and vertically to tweak placement of key points, it can help.

I wouldn't change the Myrio. If you want to try one of the reddish ones go ahead but don't pull out that glorious planting you have now unless you can see the replacement could do that good a job.

What about incorporating a plant with broader leaves that has red? Lily, crypt, Barclaya???

What about placing the rocks as part of the midground so most of the taller plants are behind them and the hairgrass could show off its growth pattern better?
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:56 PM   #8
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Okay, I really stirred things up this morning. I'll post some pictures when the water clears up a bit. Hope I do not lose any fish; a kuhli loach looked pretty stressed with the very dirty water from yanking stuff out of the substrate. Gotta run; will post pictures for feedback soon.

Plants for sale soon too.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:53 PM   #9
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Here is what I have done (sorry about the glare on the glass):



Obviously I mowed the lawn. Nice to see the hardscape again! I moved the limnophila repens to the equipment hiding role on the back left and the myrio should fill in back right. Cyperus went from 3 plants to ten in less than 6 months and so it is the primary background. Isoetes is spread out to form a thin midground screen. I want something in front of the big rock to soften its face a bit.

Left side:



I may want to adjust the powerhead flow once again although I like the effect it now has. Maybe plant a few more L. repens in front of the spray thingy. You can see the brown areas in the lawn. If some of those blades stay brown, I wonder if I should have cut it even shorter?

Right side:



You cannot see it, but behind that rock on the left is a very young Crimun calaministratum which should become a major focal point as it grows. There are also small "hedges" of Blyxa japonica (far right) and another unkown (possibly rotala?) in front of the row of Isoetes. These should give some more midheight stuff in the midgorund.

I'll post another picture in a couple weeks so we can all get a better idea of how this might look, but clearly mowing the lawn was a darn good idea!

RIP one kuhli loach that did NOT like the disruption.

From the right end you can get a better idea of what the myrio will do:

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Old 12-09-2012, 10:48 PM   #10
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A lot better. Still, more color and maybe trim back the dog even harder. Maybe a sword if. Tige lotus, or that thing I made a thread about would be cool additions.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridHerp View Post
A lot better. Still, more color and maybe trim back the dog even harder. Maybe a sword if. Tige lotus, or that thing I made a thread about would be cool additions.
How short can I make the hairgrass before I kill it off?

I like the tiger lotus idea. Sword not as much since with CO2 it would probably consume the tank.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:34 AM   #12
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I owe you an update since I have continued to fiddle with this tank in a major way. Turns out the large rock placement could be much improved - at least I think so since I like the new arrangement much better - and things have cascaded from there.

So, I rotated the large rock 180 degrees so the vertical face is on the left, moved the smaller rock that was in the front left towards the center, replaced two thirds of the hairgrass with Eliocharis belem for a shorter look so all the hardscape is more prominent, and added some plants. Not all the new plants have grown in yet, but here is a fresh full tank shot:



On the left is a Nymphoides sp. "Taiwan" which ought to anchor that corner. Near the center is a tiger lotus partially covered with baby tears. Baby tears is also in the front right corner. The M. mattagrosense in the back right has been slow to fill in but a big fluffy patch there is still a goal.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:43 AM   #13
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I like this layout. You've done a great job improving the layout over time. Love the large rock placement since it hides your equipment and gives a focal point. The right needs work but as you said your plant is still trying to grow in.

Right now my eye looks at the large rock and then hits the smaller rock and stops. Personally, I would rotate the rock in front of the large one 180 degrees so the slant goes with the larger rock. I would then try and continue that slope across to the right corner so your eye travels the entire tank. You could achieve that by trimming or other hard scape methods.

Or maybe move that slanted small rock to the right and leave it as is in terms of direction...hmmm...looking good either way.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:01 PM   #14
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This looks a lot better. The big rock on the left definitely needed to be rearranged, it fits really nice now
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:56 PM   #15
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Nice! Everything fits together really well. The overgrown version was just all blaagshsgdgddgalsa, but this looks great!
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