The 12 gallon long lava rock scape! (Now also a high-tech 22 gallon long) - Page 7 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #91 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Fiance said it looks too empty. The work paludarium had some extra needle leaf Java fern and bolbitis, so I brought that over to this one. I still want to plant in kind of sparsely to let it grow in naturally.

On the far left side I've considered adding either mini Christmas or fissidens to the branches, but that also means more trimming work. I also think the betta will eventually hang out in that side for food and attention so it might be nice to have it empty...

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post #92 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 01:15 PM
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That looks good, I would only go bushy at the base on the right and not really tall since you have the driftwood going higher on the left. Over there I would only go moss on wood in addition to the low stuff you planted in front of rock.

A school of small size schooling fish would round it out and work much better for scale then a betta, although a betta could work as well. That's just the way i see it with my scapers hat on.


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post #93 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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I was hoping the filter outlet would push the Java fern leaves to the left so everything would "flow" from right to left. I can try moving them by hand but another option would be to use trident fern rather than the needle leaf do a little bushier of a shape. Did it seem a little TOO empty with just the nana petite?

From a scapers perspective I'm with you on the small fish. But due to the strange location in the kitchen I'm worried there would be nothing to draw the eye in with a small school. My fiance also works from the kitchen and specifically asked for a betta so I'm trying to be diplomatic!

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post #94 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 05:31 PM
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Yeah I don't think the nljf is going to give that effect. You could use a val or a plant like Cyperus helferi that can flow toward the driftwood. I don't think it's too sparse. You could add some moss covered stones around the base to give it a slightly fuller look. Also a nice shcool of colorful fish will make a big difference. The one thing with minimalist scapes are that most of the time less is more. Every time i go to far with planting you start losing the look of the hardscape and I didn't like it as much. I guess it's a personal thing.
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post #95 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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A couple random plant questions: this was sold to me as mini Christmas moss. It's dense, but the fronds are pretty big. Is this what mini Christmas moss looks like? I like it, I've just heard a lot about it being misidentified.


There's also some GSA on my staurogyne repens and it's looking a little pale. Maybe an ammonia deficiency? I'd love to hear some diagnoses.

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post #96 of 112 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Big trim this week on the Dutch scape. I had to get rid of some root mass so all the groups except the cryptocoryne got uprooted, trimmed, and the tops replanted. I'll be adding some blyxa japonica, I was just never able to get that nymphaea micrantha looking like I wanted it.

You might also notice the moss wall is missing. I started trimming it, but it just wasn't well attached with the fishing line and I ended up with big bald patches and moss going everywhere. I'm trying the "sandwich" method to get the between two sheets of needlepoint mesh. Hopefully the moss grows out of it! It's definitely going to be at least a month before it looks alright again, but it will hopefully be a much more sustainable moss wall.

The 12 gallon long got its betta as well. Let's hope this tank is as easy as my low tech paludarium at work! I like the look at least, and I'm hoping that with super low light (Fluval 3.0 on at 20%) I can keep the algae at bay.

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post #97 of 112 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 07:18 PM
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just read the whole journal and love the combination of the two different tanks and all the rescapes
it's so hard to only have 1 or 2 tanks, you always end up with different ideas, plants, and fish but seems like you've managed to get it all working

I am so jealous of your naturally soft water up there in seattle, i've got rock hard water here in San Diego
I noticed at some point you had the dosing pump, do you still use it?

PS random question, I've noticed you keep the water line a half inch or so under the rim, is it just natural evaporation or is that what you normally keep it at? see less jumpers?

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post #98 of 112 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I'm lucky in that we have the GSAS up here that allows me to trade fish and plants pretty cheaply and easily. I suppose I've been doing this for two years now, but I still consider myself a beginner and I'm constantly learning. It's one of my goals to try all the different aquarium styles (nature style, iwagumi, dutch, diorama, ryoboku, biotope, Brazilian style) so I can eventually find out what MY style is. So basically once a layout looks as good as I think it's going to get, it's time for a rescape.

I would like to eventually have larger tanks, but I don't know if I'd want more two tanks at once. I think maybe the 90U size (36"x22"x22") or 90P (36"x18"x18") and the 120P (48"x20"x20") would be my dream tanks. I like the way Dennis Wong has one "scape" tank and one "farm" tank. It is nice to be able to give two tanks the attention they deserve rather than having more tanks that don't look as good or aren't doing as well.

I'm very grateful for the soft, clean water around here. It's super impressive to see the dedication of a lot of the hobbyists on this board with their R/O sheds, mixing stations, etc... I'm glad I don't need to do that.

I was using the dosing pump, but as an experiment I tried mixing up a batch of all-in-one fertilizers and dispensing out of an old Easy Green bottle. Since I feed the fish every day I've just been using my little all-in-one mix. I still have the dosing pump and I might set it up again in the future though!

The low water level due to a few factors. When the water level is at the very top, I do get more jumpers. It also makes it impossible for me to reach my hands in there without causing the water to slosh over the sides if I need to replant something, trim a dead leaf etc. On the 12 gallon, I need to physically pull it out from under the cabinet it is under for maintenance and that also would be difficult if it was filled to the brim.
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post #99 of 112 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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The aforementioned super low maintenance paludarium

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post #100 of 112 (permalink) Old 06-08-2020, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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The blyxa japonica arrived in terrible shape, but it has some new growth so it looks like it will bounce back. The new growth is redder than I expected, but that may just be a stress response from shopping and adjusting to new conditions. I also did some maintenance on the staurogyne repens to trim the horizontal shoots and plant the tips. The horizontal stems turn yellow close to the base instead of that nice deep green.

Usually Pogostemon erectus grows in the classic big, wide, steady shape but every once in a while a stem that has had the roots trimmed will stunt at the apex and start sending off side shoots like crazy. I haven't figured out why that occasionally happens.

The 12 gallon is going pretty steady, my fiance already loves the betta and has taken to feeding him. There are definitely diatoms and I thought about adding an otocinclus but I think I'll just see if the problem resolves itself as tank conditions stabilize. I noticed a small patch of BGA on the substrate and and some BBA that came in on some plants as well. Given the low bioload and low light it shouldn't explode over the next few days. I'll give it to next week before doing a more thorough cleaning.

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post #101 of 112 (permalink) Old 06-09-2020, 05:09 PM
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ahh, thank you, yeah maybe I'll lower the water line on mine when I introduce new fish to keep them from jumping. that's the main problem with being rimless ( oh and the evaporation)

Yes, those dimensions would be awesome. I love the 40 breeder dimensions but wouldn't mind if it was a bit deeper both width and height. 36x20x20 would be very perfect.
Tank looks good, I've found that my pogo also does the same thing, I've been ok with it since when the stunted plant starts side propagating it does a bit more bushy but they're also nicer when they're straight up. I've found if the stem gets too old then it starts growing a bunch of side roots and makes it messy looking.

yeah, the 12g should cycle itself and diatoms should die down. I guess patience is the best thing
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post #102 of 112 (permalink) Old 06-09-2020, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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ahh, thank you, yeah maybe I'll lower the water line on mine when I introduce new fish to keep them from jumping. that's the main problem with being rimless ( oh and the evaporation)
On the 12 gallon I actually cut my own lid out of glass that covers everything but the filter inlet/outlet. It's almost invisible.
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post #103 of 112 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Trying out some new locations. I wasn't wild about how Myriophyllum Guyana looks when it gets tall so I moved it to the midground and moved the Pogostemon erectus to the left side. Now I have a big section available for a new group on the right hand side. What should I put there?


The left side looks pretty good but kinda crowded where the Myriophyllum now is. I might move everything off to the right a bit to give everything more space.


The right side looks too contrived/symmetrical with streets of both syngonanthus and hydrocotyle tripartita, so I'm planning on turning the hydrocotyle tripartita into a bush instead of a street.


The moss wall is still growing in but it looks fairly even so I think it's gonna be nice and lush in a month or so.

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post #104 of 112 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 08:32 AM
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Trying out some new locations. I wasn't wild about how Myriophyllum Guyana looks when it gets tall so I moved it to the midground and moved the Pogostemon erectus to the left side. Now I have a big section available for a new group on the right hand side. What should I put there?


The left side looks pretty good but kinda crowded where the Myriophyllum now is. I might move everything off to the right a bit to give everything more space.


The right side looks too contrived/symmetrical with streets of both syngonanthus and hydrocotyle tripartita, so I'm planning on turning the hydrocotyle tripartita into a bush instead of a street.


The moss wall is still growing in but it looks fairly even so I think it's gonna be nice and lush in a month or so.

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Can't think of any specific plants for the right but... I think you need something red for sure.
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post #105 of 112 (permalink) Old 06-18-2020, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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@chicken.nublet I'm going to try out your red plant suggestion with some Ludwigia super red I had in a wabi kusa. Convention dictates you shouldn't have a red plant on the edge of your tank as it makes the corners seem darker and the whole tank a little smaller.

That said, I would agree that the whole composition is lacking color. And maybe with the hydrocotyle tripartita in the foreground it will balance out.

I also picked up some water wisteria to try out. I'm not sure if I'll keep it but it's cheap so might as well.

The corner in question


This is the blyxa japonica with adjusted white balance so you can see what I see better. Pretty nice subtle reds and browns, it's gonna be fun to see how this grows out long term.


Final pic is just the view of my little corner of life. Our apartment is not very big (865 sq ft for two people over 6' tall) but I do love how this tank fits in the space.

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