"Broken Bridge" - 3gal picotope journal
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:36 AM   #1
Solstice
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"Broken Bridge" - 3gal picotope journal


Ok, so here's the start of my first tank journal. I'm going to try to post a little something every day. I'm sure there well be days when I can't get to a computer (at least I hope there will be), but that's my goal.

The first few pics unfortunately will be from my cell phone, but I'll bring a better camera to work and snap some higher quality ones soon. I just got the last of the equipment shipped to the office today (boy is the mail guy annoyed with me ) and just unpacked it all. So here it goes!

The JBJ Picotope all boxed up:


Unboxed and my first iwagumi attempt:


The two rocks in the middle (Okho stone) are keepers. I may change them out with some other rocks but that basic layout is what forms the "broken bridge". The others I plan to play with over the next couple of days.

A quick rundown of the equipment:
Filter
Azoo Palm filter. I like this more than the filter that came with the picotope
Heater
None
Light
23w spiral screw-in in an architect's lamp. I had originally bought this light but have found the spiral bulb to be brighter and much whiter. I may consider switching after getting a true 6700k bulb for the other.
Substrate
AquaSoil Amazonia

Planned flora:
HC
Spikey or Java Moss
Maybe some small leafed stem plants in the back corners (rotala???)

Planned fauna:
5 RCS
2 Sparkling Gouramis
1 Black Tetra (he's adopted - his siblings died before I took him and he needs a better tank to live out his days)

So what do you guys think of the first rock layout? Any suggestions?
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90gal non-planted - gone - It sprung a leak and shattered
10gal planted hex - 6 neons, lots of RCS, a few CRS, 3 Ottos, oogles of snails
3gal nano - 100+ CRS, Red Ramshorn Snails

Questions about dosing nano tanks? Please see this thread.
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:40 AM   #2
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I like the idea, how about Rotala "mini" for the back?
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:32 AM   #3
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Great layout!!!
I do like the idea of Rotala mini in the back.
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:10 AM   #4
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Since you asked for my opinion Solstice, I'll try to give the best advice I can.

The right side is definitely more in keeping with a typical rock lay out. Based on the plant choices, it looks like you are doing something similar to an iwagumi. The purposeful slope also makes me think you might have been influenced by Filipe Oliviera (spelling?) who is a good aquascaper as well.

The left side, with its more sparsely layed out rocks is interestng. At a gut reaction level, I tended to prefer the consistency of the right side but I'm not quite sure where you are going with this so I can't really made a guess.

For more visual interest, I'd consider sloping the substrate front to back in addition to the already obvious middle sloe. Having more levels will help you create depth/visual complexity.

Hope that helps
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:28 AM   #5
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i like it so far and i agree with Steven_Chong, adding the front to back slope would make it killer!
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:06 PM   #6
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Steven, I can tell you've had to do some art critiques .

I very definitely like the right side, I'm having trouble with the left for some reason. I believe it looks a bit too symmetrical perhaps? Something to do with the two smaller rocks on the very left and front center of that group. You might try playing around with those two positions a bit.

Looking forward to seeing it planted!
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:17 PM   #7
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I'm gonna jump on the right looks good left looks bad bandwagon. Try to create a bit more variety in the angle that they are protruding from the soil. they're pretty much all up and to the right.
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:20 PM   #8
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Thank you all very much for your feedback.

mrbelvedere - Yes! Rotala mini will work well. I'm also considering doing something with cabomba that I haven't seen done yet, especially in a nano. We'll see how it pans out.

Steven - I love Filipe Oliveira's scapes, but this idea came from a footbridge we have here in San Diego. You can hike under it through a bamboo forest and I was looking up at it thinking "wouldn't this be prettier if all this was green?" (San Diego is pretty dried up and brown in the late summer), so I figured I'd make my own. Ha. And yes, the front to back slope does make for a much more dramatic effect. Thanks for that!

RoseHawke and ianmoede, after reading your comments I couldn't have agreed with you more. I like the new layout much more. Thank you as well.

So here's attempt 2. I promise next week I'll bring my camera to work and get some better shots....

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90gal non-planted - gone - It sprung a leak and shattered
10gal planted hex - 6 neons, lots of RCS, a few CRS, 3 Ottos, oogles of snails
3gal nano - 100+ CRS, Red Ramshorn Snails

Questions about dosing nano tanks? Please see this thread.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:15 PM   #9
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Much better! Plant away my friend. The sparkling gourami's are going to look great. Stocking list looks good, and i'd have to reccomend rotala. It's light yellow/green/red leaves look great in my opinion. If you wanna wait another week or two i'll have some trimmings of it for postage. Let me know.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:38 PM   #10
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Let me suggest 2 stem plants for small tanks:

Micropea minima
Crassula helmsi

These are very small thin-leaved green stem plants. They may be able to give you the impression of bamboo, since it sounds to me like this is not meant to be iwagumi.

As of now, I'm not a big fan of Rotala sp. mini. I tend to think of it as in the same class of plants with tonninas that I think, "pretty, but just not useful for an over-all lay out."

That said, I invite anyone who thinks otherwise to prove me wrong with an effective use. R. mini isn't commonly available, but Tonninas appear in advanced hobbyist's collections world over. And yet, Tonninas fail to appear in any lay out in the top 60 or so in the ADA contest while Rotala rotundifolia will appear well into the top 20.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:40 PM   #11
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The sparkling gourami's will eat your RCS. Trust me I know from expierence that they love to eat them whole. I watch one hunt down a RCS. They are surprisingly quick when they are going for live food.
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Old 12-01-2006, 05:31 PM   #12
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ianmoede
Thanks for the compliment and the offer. I think I just might tank you take you up on that! I'm going to play around with some different plant layouts in my head over the weekend, but I'll check back in with you.

Steven
I love the look of the Cassula helmsi, but I can't find any images of the Micropea minima. I need to check into the growth height of the Cassula but it's definitely a top contender. I'm not going for true iwagumi as I don't want to limit the design to stay within the school, but it will be 95% iwagumi if such a thing is possible. There will be no background on the tank and quite frankly the cables for the 4 computers I have at my desk that have to run behind the tank are ugly, so I want a little backdrop to help hide them. The HC will be the only plant except in the very back of the tank.

saint27
Bummer. I figured the sparkling's mouths would be too small for a shrimp. I guess I'll be looking for different fish as there will definitely be shrimp in this tank. Any suggestions? Requirements: small, colorful and does well in a pair.
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90gal non-planted - gone - It sprung a leak and shattered
10gal planted hex - 6 neons, lots of RCS, a few CRS, 3 Ottos, oogles of snails
3gal nano - 100+ CRS, Red Ramshorn Snails

Questions about dosing nano tanks? Please see this thread.
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Old 12-01-2006, 05:33 PM   #13
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I really like the layout! Great work with the hardscape. Can't wait to see it up and running with plants!
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:57 PM   #14
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wood
Just for you buddy, here's a pic of it filled up with the lone aquatic plant I had in the office - a tiny piece of java moss I had in the tetras old tank under a whopping 5w incandescent.



My HC is getting shipped tomorrow so hopefully it will be here Monday or Tuesday and I can start planting it.

On a side note, this little Azoo Palm filter puts out A LOT of flow for such a tiny thing. Luckily it's adjustable, so I've turned it down to about 1/2 flow....

Better pics next week. Promise!
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90gal non-planted - gone - It sprung a leak and shattered
10gal planted hex - 6 neons, lots of RCS, a few CRS, 3 Ottos, oogles of snails
3gal nano - 100+ CRS, Red Ramshorn Snails

Questions about dosing nano tanks? Please see this thread.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:53 PM   #15
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Nice setup Sol, It will look amazing with HC !
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