Bort's Spec V - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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I got the Home Depot black lava rocks. 10 lb bag shipped to the local store for $14.40 before taxes. The pieces are supposed to be 4 - 6 inches in size. I read about it here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...lava-rock.html

No idea what it will look like and I can't pick but I'm not looking for rocks that look a specific way. I'm just thinking of a rockpile with ferns growing on it. Buying the wood in person was more important to me.
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post #17 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 09:21 PM
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I got the Home Depot black lava rocks. 10 lb bag shipped to the local store for $14.40 before taxes. The pieces are supposed to be 4 - 6 inches in size. I read about it here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...lava-rock.html

No idea what it will look like and I can't pick but I'm not looking for rocks that look a specific way. I'm just thinking of a rockpile with ferns growing on it. Buying the wood in person was more important to me.



Oh, okay!

I love the look of @Jamo33 's tank here. It was inspired by another members tank that I am now forgetting... maybe he can tell you who it is. Such an interesting look with the black lava rock and driftwood. @somewhatshocked also has an amazing looking tank with the black lava rock that he is putting Hawaiian shrimp in. It is a tank that he placed on a red stand that he painted. The red and black contrast is amazing. Have you seen this tank yet? Look at post 104-- https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ra-tank-7.html


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post #18 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 09:56 PM
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I'm confident you'll be able to come up with something that looks nice - even if it's smaller pieces. Just spend some time stacking them different ways until you hit upon something you like.

One thing you may want to consider when you pick up the bag you ordered: see if there's a bag of smaller pieces available in the landscape section for cheap. If there is, may want to grab it. Smaller pieces come in handy for creating depth and transitioning from larger pieces. Also great for attaching to ferns and anubias in order to keep them in place.
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post #19 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 10:04 PM
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Thank you for the kind words. Based my 20gal design on @Ventchur 25gal cube. That's some darn hood design there.
Off to a good start mate, patience and time, all things will come together with your tanks!
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post #20 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 10:08 PM
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@Discusluv

Thank you for the kind words. Based my 20gal design on @Ventchur 25gal cube. That's some darn hood design there.
Off to a good start mate, patience and time, all things will come together with your tanks!
Yes, thats right! Both amazing looking scapes with black lava rock.


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post #21 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 03:36 PM
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Ugh. @Ventchur's cube is my absolute favorite. I covet that Riccardia chamedryfolia something fierce.
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post #22 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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@somewhatshocked has the journal that gave me the rock pile idea. He's just using it to hold down driftwood in one of his current builds but I kind of liked the look. I am thinking of a small rock pile on the side that has the filter compartment. I'll wedge or glue ferns to the rocks, so that part of the tank will be the 'fern jungle'. The open side will have the driftwood and I'm thinking of a few crypts in that section as well. I didn't make it out to the local box stores to grab more plants last night, maybe I can this evening.

I am still thinking of some sort of moss since I'd like to add shrimp to the tank. I just need to see what is available in my area. Same with floating plants, the local box stores don't seem to carry floaters. I'll also have to figure out how to get some snails eventually. My tank in Maine had pond snails that came on a plant from the local Petco. Only the local Pet Supermarket keeps it's plants in water and I have not seen any 'pest' snails in those tanks. Pet Smart only has the plants in gel. I'm all for biodiversity.

Did another ammonia test this morning and there may be a small change, it seemed a lighter green than yesterday, but not enough to say it dropped any. I think I test daily and try to keep it around 2 ppm. Once it goes from 2ppm - 0 in 24 hours, is when I start looking at nitrite.
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post #23 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 01:01 AM
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@bortass: I'm going to leave the large rocks, for the most part. A few of the smaller ones will remain. And I'll add some rubble here and there to even things out. So I guess it will remain kind of a pile.


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post #24 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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The rocks came in and it wasn't quite what I expected. There was one large block that is probably 6 x 5 x 3 and it doesn't have the texture of lava rock. The rest of the bag was what I expected the rock to look like but there were only a couple pieces that were near 4 inches. The rest were all 2 - 3 inch pieces. So I'm kinda bummed that most of the rock was taken up by a piece I can't use in the Spec V ( I may use it if we set up a larger tank in the future though). The rest wasn't the size stated but I think it's fine for the Spec V. I made my little rock pile and did my first gluing of java fern ever. It went okay and I think it looks okay over all, outside of where you can see the glue, lol.

I planted some DHG, no idea how it'll do, and the reddish crypt. These are tissue culture gel packed and planting them was a mess. No idea how they will do since they may be planted a bit deep to get them to stay put. Also the DHG still has some gel that didn't wash out when I rinsed them. I assume it'll go away eventually.

Ammonia was holding steady at 2 PPM until this morning, hence my post. It was about .25 PPM. So things are starting to move at last as far as the cycle goes.

There's some algae on one of the ferns, it was there when I bought the plant. I may end up cutting those leaves off to get it out of the tank. My light cycle is around 8 hours a day.

Current picture:
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Last edited by bortass; 10-24-2019 at 03:45 PM. Reason: I can't spell it seems...
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post #25 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 03:47 PM
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very nicely done!


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post #26 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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very nicely done!
Thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing how things grow out.
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post #27 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 04:10 PM
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Looking very good.
I apologise for the differing experience with the rocks. Feeling guilty.
I think the fact I bought 2 of the bags gave me better results. I too had varied sizes throughout, but the amount of rocks allowed me to construct the tank while leaving the unwanted rocks alone.
You've got a nice scape here mate, good work!


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post #28 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Looking very good.
I apologise for the differing experience with the rocks. Feeling guilty.
I think the fact I bought 2 of the bags gave me better results. I too had varied sizes throughout, but the amount of rocks allowed me to construct the tank while leaving the unwanted rocks alone.
You've got a nice scape here mate, good work!
Don't feel guilty! It's rolling the dice whenever you order stuff like this. It worked out fine and probably even better with all the smaller pieces since the tank is small as well. I can use the big piece in a larger tank in the future. Overall, I'd order again.
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post #29 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 07:42 PM
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Don't feel guilty! It's rolling the dice whenever you order stuff like this. It worked out fine and probably even better with all the smaller pieces since the tank is small as well. I can use the big piece in a larger tank in the future. Overall, I'd order again.
Well I am glad you feel that way! I suppose the reason this is an overall cheaper method is also that the rocks haven't been aesthetically chosen. That is, it is less important for them to be 'pretty' rocks if they are used in fire pits. Though the disparity in sizes is slightly annoying.


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post #30 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 05:58 AM
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Looks great so far. Wonder how the DHG and crypts will do in the sand though. Tissue culture is also fairly delicate (learned that the hard way hahaha) so I would expect some melt before they bounce back.


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