nano scape help!
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:21 AM   #1
chilligirl
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nano scape help!


okay, so I want to rescape my 2.5 gallon. I want to make it look "bigger" and more lush. Inhabitants of the tank are 3 harlequin rasboras, 7 cherry shrimp, and a few ramshorn snails (I'm constantly picking them out).

The pics aren't great, as I threw some cuttings and a clump of moss in there to use when I rescape it, lol, but you'll get the idea.

I'm thinking that the most important thing is going to be to lose the big rock on the left (too bad, 'cause it's a cool rock!). However, I'd like to keep the anubia from that rock in the scape if there's a way to do it. Current plants are the anubia, some java fern in the right corner, java moss on the rocks in the right corner, a bit of hairgrass that never really took off, and a lonely strand of a local native plant I stuck in there months ago (looks a bit like hygro, but isn't).

Ideas? Suggestions?



btw, this is a very low-tech tank. It sits in a south-facing window, so gets a lot of natural light, plus has a 7 watt cf over it. No CO2, and I only throw in ferts when I see signs of a deficiency. Once in awhile I'll add a couple of drops of excel if things are looking blah. I top it up every couple of days, and do a water change when there's enough mulm on the bottom to be an eyesore. The plants do well and pearl - the anubia is flowering right now. Fish are healthy, I never have any problems with the tank. It does have a little heater in it right now, just because it gets too cold in the window otherwise. Filter is just a little HOB from a one gallon azoo kit.
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:37 AM   #2
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You sure those are harlequins? They look more like espei's to me, but it could just be the pics.

If you want to make the tank look bigger, you need to use all small-leaved plants. That's the only real "trick" to doing nano scapes. This means the anubias should probably go. The hygro looking plant should go. You should try to keep it to moss and grassy plants, at that low-light level. It's much more natural looking in the end anyway when you only have 2 or 3 different plants in there.
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:12 AM   #3
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hmmm - you're right, I looked it up and they're espei's. Sold to me as harlequins, didn't realize there were espei's and hengel's to get them confused with

It's hard to get any fine-leaved plants here - the selection stinks! The only moss I can get is java moss - BOOOORING. Once in awhile I can find some rotala willichi in the next town over. The dwarf hairgrass I lucked out and found almost a year ago in one of the better fish stores that's an hour away. I've never seen it since, but it grows well, so I just keep cultivating what I've got.

Plants I have access to (either in my tanks or in the stores) are:

hygro polysperma
hygro corymbosa
rotala rotundifolia
ludwigia repens
cabomba
asian ambrulia
anubia (mostly barteri and nana, but sometimes others)
various crypts including parva
various swords
various vals
wysteria
moneywort
java fern
java moss
aponogetons
nymphaea lotus

Other than the hairgrass, the next smallest leaved plant in my tanks is the rotala rotundifolia. I do have a skinnier val, who's leaves are probably only 1/4-1/3" wide. And I've got crypt parva. And java moss of course.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:12 PM   #4
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Why do you need to find these plants locally? There are Canadian members here and you guys have your own swap n shop forum! I recommend you use it! I guarantee someone close enough to you has what you're looking for and can ship it out to you with a heat pack. It's just an idea.

But if you really are limited to what's on your list there, I would say you can't go wrong with moneywort, rotala, vals, and some crypts. Wendtii (the most common crypt) leaves are just too big for a tank this size. It messes with scale. What crypts do you have available? Balansae? If so, you could make a tank out of just java moss, crypt balansae, and crypt parva. Parva makes a nice carpet. I wish it was available to me!

But ideally, IMO, your tank would look good with baby tears (hemianthus micranthemoides) as a background, with maybe a brush of color in front, like rotala, and a carpet. Also, your rocks would look way better covered in moss.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church View Post
Why do you need to find these plants locally? There are Canadian members here and you guys have your own swap n shop forum! I recommend you use it! I guarantee someone close enough to you has what you're looking for and can ship it out to you with a heat pack. It's just an idea.
Where is the Canadian swap n shop forum? I just see the main one, which is pretty much all US...
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:13 PM   #6
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/canada-swap-n-shop/
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:24 PM   #7
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Also, you're tank is a little too small for the Espeis. This in turn will result in the tank looking small.
Espeis should be kept in schools of at least 7 or so, and that tank is too small to support that many fish.
Remember, that 2.5gl is the empty volume. Once you add some substrate, the volume is decreased.

What you might want to do, is look for smaller fish that can be kept in a small group- this in turn can add to the effect that the tank is bigger.

Multiple groups of different small/fine leaved plants will also help in creating the image of a bigger tank.

Also, depending on what Province you live in, check out www.abaquaria.com or www.bcaquaria.com (I'm on bcaquaria, same username too).
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Old 12-24-2008, 01:41 AM   #8
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thanks for the links!

Yeah, when I bought the fish, the lfs insisted these were small fish, suited to the tank. They sold them as harlequins. Went home, looked them up, and saw that they'll get to be about 2" each.

There are no nano fish in the lfs. Unless you count neons, which I don't, as they should be in larger schools.

What are some smaller species, and does anyone know a reliable source in BC's Lower Mainland for them?

Believe it or not, I'm not an idiot, although I'm sure I sound like one, lol. My fish experience is just primarily with dwarf cichlids and semi-aggressive fish. I've never been into community fish before...
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90G Planted Community, low-light & low-tech
29 Gallon Coldwater, moderately planted
20G planted community tank, high light, CO2
2.5G planted nano
coming soon, 1gallon planted
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Old 12-24-2008, 06:48 AM   #9
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If you live in Vancouver, you need to go to April's. She's on bcaquaria.com.
She has lot's of fish and plants and they are all really really well priced.
Also, check out www.canadianaquatics.com They are based out of Richmond and I have dealt with them many many times and have nothing but good things to say about them.
Check out bcaquaria.com in the classifieds section if you are trying to find stuff really really local.
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