"Oasis of Saturnalia" - My first planned aquascape! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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Smile "Oasis of Saturnalia" - My first planned aquascape!

“Oasis of Saturnalia”

I stumbled upon some videos on facebook about aquascaping and wow! I have played around with aquariums for a long time. This form of art has really changed my outlook on aquariums and my hobby. About three years ago I started using live plants in my aquariums but never to a degree that I could call "aquascaping." In my next threads I will show the evolution of my other two aquariums but wanted to see what the community thought of my first planned/executed aquascape. I really like it and am pleased with the result. I am open to any criticism and recommendations for future builds/renovations. I am about to set up a timed air pump to turn on at night so I can pump more CO2 into the tank.

Here we go:
Tank:
Petsmart 15 gallon long reptile tank (24"x12"x12")
-this was pretty much just a grow tank I had in my closet, but I had enough plants to scape so I decided hey why not.

Filter:
Tetra internal filter with about a 200mL bag of purigen tucked inside.
-I recycled an older turtle tank for a lot of the build

Light:
AquaticLife Dual T5HO 24" Fixture
-2x Hagen Lifeglo bulbs
-3.2 wpg. Set on timer for 8 hours a day.

Heater:
Aqueon Pro 100watt heater

CO2:
DIY Yeast Reactor with Boyou glass diffuser
-No bubble counter, mix- about .75 teaspoon yeast, with two cups of sugar, and .75 teaspoon baking soda. I bubble the diffuser below the intake of the filter.

Ferts:
Seachem Flourish
Seachem Trace Elements
Tetra Florapride
Seachem FlourishTabs

Substrate:
2 bags CaribSea Floramax
1 bag CaribSea Eco-complete
- I used Coroplast sheets to build up the height I wanted in the tank.

Hardscape:
6 pieces of petrified wood from LFS

Plants:
Alternanthera reineckii
Bacopa caroliniana
Eleocharis parvula
Hemianthus callitrichoides
Ludwigia arcuata
Ludwigia repens
Limnophila hippuroides


Fish:
13x Tanichthys albonubes
3x Otocinclus sp.

---Pics:
Cell phone pics for now, soon I will take nice pics with my camera.

Layout confirmed with a few plants placed. My theme was two create two islands inside of the tank with one being higher than the other.

I planted the alternanthera at the very center of each island which was surrounded by bacopa. Ludwigia arcuata was sparsely planted against areas of the rock.


Over the top view of the tank. Here you can see the ludwigia repens place in each back corner which is surrounded by the limnophila. You can also see my islands and the dwarf hair grass and baby tear patches.

Da Dah! This was about 3 weeks into the tank, just added the fishies.

2 of the Oto’s

Enchanting is the only word that comes to mind when I view the tank.

About 4 weeks in.

Thanks for looking.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 04:37 AM
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Fantastic start! I really like the bigger mountain then the step down to the smaller one. Well done, I can't wait to see it progress!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 04:44 AM
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Looking good! Enchanting is right, keep up the with the photos as this fills in.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 05:52 AM
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Nice job! I think the title really fits. Seems to have a sci-fi/fantasy vibe to it.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 06:54 AM
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Awesome! A beautiful stray from the norm using a rock scape.

the addiction continues...


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchfish9 View Post
Fantastic start! I really like the bigger mountain then the step down to the smaller one. Well done, I can't wait to see it progress!


Yeah I used multiple different heights of coroplast to acheive the heighth on the left side of the tank, the corner is a little over half of the tank about 7". In terms of progression I am somewhat curious as to how the dwarf baby tear and dwarf hair grass are going to mingle. It seems like the baby tear is really taking off and I am afraid it may invade the dwarf hair grass. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerSaint View Post
Looking good! Enchanting is right, keep up the with the photos as this fills in.


Yeah I am kind of stuck on that word- it just comes to me when I am staring at the tank. I wanted to incoroporate it into the name of the tank but...yeah.....sounded a bit fairy Thanks I will definetely continue the pics.

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Originally Posted by kwheeler91 View Post
Nice job! I think the title really fits. Seems to have a sci-fi/fantasy vibe to it.


Yeah it was going to be Saturnal Oasis but it turns out Saturnal isnt a word...hahah. Saturnalia is apparently a festival for the planet Saturn and is a big hum bug of good times. I chose the planet Saturn because it is considered the golden planet, and I feel that the tank kind of glows/shimmers. I also think it has a spacey style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.D.D.i.c.t. View Post
Awesome! A beautiful stray from the norm using a rock scape.
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.D.D.i.c.t. View Post

the addiction continues...


Yes the addiction. If some good news comes here soon and we move I will potentially be building a new tank in the new place. Thinking about doing about a 30-50 gallon and would really like to do a DIY LED fixture. Compressed CO2 )))


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 08:38 PM
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good start to be honest being your first build. But wanted to point out a few for your next scape :

1) Substrate line towards the front glass should always be flat - it does nothing but increase the perspective depth of the scape.
2) The wood are too pointy and there is no defined position where my eye gets fixed to find a flow. Please be aware i'm myself not a 'rule of third' follower guy when it comes to scaping (as I believe that nature is random not too defined) but a definite flow is needed to show the scape's progression.
3) now coming to plants - as i believe you must have already read about it as you dipped your hand in scaping world that there are three sections were planting is divided FG(foreground),MG(mid ground) and BG(background). Now you did good by leaving a pasture land infront for your FG plants but parvula looks out of place, ie, again the flow of planting is lost as the rise in plant height suddenly shoots up. Same with BG - stems looks in good health but the leaf symetry is incorrect as it's too drastic.

So my advice - keep the points in mind - the whole point of scaping is to give a sence of depth by complementing the hardscape, so plant choice becomes that much important to hardscape choice and practice trimming if you love BG plants they respond very well to them as well as gives a very nice shape. Sorry was very critical I guess, but let me tell you my tanks (10yrs back when I git into the planted hobby) were terrible in comparison to what you created in the first attempt. looking forward to the other tanks.

Abhradip Choudhuri

Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.



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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zico_aqua View Post
good start to be honest being your first build. But wanted to point out a few for your next scape :

1) Substrate line towards the front glass should always be flat - it does nothing but increase the perspective depth of the scape.
I will definetely play around with that. I am going to play with the gravel before I take my next pics I think. I sloped it to try and raise each island. Kind of like big and little island, both have the same symmetry in terms of planting and hardscape for the most part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zico_aqua View Post
2) The wood are too pointy and there is no defined position where my eye gets fixed to find a flow. Please be aware i'm myself not a 'rule of third' follower guy when it comes to scaping (as I believe that nature is random not too defined) but a definite flow is needed to show the scape's progression.
Thats a good point and this is some of the criticism I was actually looking for. See I am hoping that when it grows out that the bright hues of red as that reinekii breaks through the mass of bacopa that I will have two nice focal points on each side of the tank with the connection of the hair grass in between. The pointyness was my aim as I was trying to create beacons of growth in the dessert. The two points on the backside will eventually be lost when the tank grows. My headache is that I should have just purchased another 20 gallon so I could have had the extra height in the tank. I feel that the hardscape would have looked better and less drastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zico_aqua View Post
3) now coming to plants - as i believe you must have already read about it as you dipped your hand in scaping world that there are three sections were planting is divided FG(foreground),MG(mid ground) and BG(background). Now you did good by leaving a pasture land infront for your FG plants but parvula looks out of place, ie, again the flow of planting is lost as the rise in plant height suddenly shoots up. Same with BG - stems looks in good health but the leaf symetry is incorrect as it's too drastic.
Yeah to be honest I really have not been that happy with the parvula either and am a little stuck on it. My style was definately meant to be more creative and non-biotope and I have also been experimenting with different plants. I tried to have something that carpeted the outside of my "beacons" and this is what I chose. I kinda feel what your saying about the flow of plants as it rises but when looking at it in person that really gives the tank depth.

In terms of back ground------ its already been switched about three different times, the ludwigia has stayed but limnophila was originally bacopa monnieri, and after that it was some ludwigia cuba. I settled on the limnophila because I liked the how it transitioned the bright green forground into the red peachy back ground. Please elaborate on leaf symmetry I am not sure quite what you mean. I think that the problem may be is that all of my background plants were trimmings from my cichlid tank, and that as I make more trimming the plants will appear to fit better. Please tell me if you agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zico_aqua View Post
So my advice - keep the points in mind - the whole point of scaping is to give a sence of depth by complementing the hardscape, so plant choice becomes that much important to hardscape choice and practice trimming if you love BG plants they respond very well to them as well as gives a very nice shape. Sorry was very critical I guess, but let me tell you my tanks (10yrs back when I git into the planted hobby) were terrible in comparison to what you created in the first attempt. looking forward to the other tanks.
Hey dont be sorry, I appreciate it. I have been in the planted tank hobby for about 3 years but have just got into aquascaping. I will definetly link my other tank threads. One is a semi-scaped tank that was originally to house some cichlids that I have tried adding some scape style to. The other is a turtle tank that has a bunch java fern in it. That is about the only live plant that will survive in the tank. Both of my other tanks are 20 gallon high's. Look forward to hearing back from you and thanks for the pointers.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 02:41 AM
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anyitme man! With regards to the leaf symmetry I mean - see you already have petrified wood which is pointy,next your FG is again grassy and pointy - so the whole thing becomes pretty much aligned. So ideally your BG should have nen someting which had softer leaf structure such as rotala's, or something with compact leaf structure such as myaca fluviantis or rotala waliachii.. the whole point in scaping is it should look natural. I have few of my works enlisted in a post check signature to view what I mean, you should have an idea from page 1 of the scape itself..hope it helps..

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 02:43 AM
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one more thing to hold intermediate substrate slope - try using small plastic cuts of any plastic soda bottles..they work the best..
And yes, one more thing - your hardscape choice should be dependant of your tank size not the opposite way around, again if you check out my scapes you'll find that I did a scape in 8 inch cube..so it's your imagination...

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zico_aqua View Post
anyitme man! With regards to the leaf symmetry I mean - see you already have petrified wood which is pointy,next your FG is again grassy and pointy - so the whole thing becomes pretty much aligned. So ideally your BG should have nen someting which had softer leaf structure such as rotala's, or something with compact leaf structure such as myaca fluviantis or rotala waliachii.. the whole point in scaping is it should look natural. I have few of my works enlisted in a post check signature to view what I mean, you should have an idea from page 1 of the scape itself..hope it helps..


Great explanation. I see/understand exactly what your saying. Dont know exactly what I am going to do but I will strategize. The limnophila seems to have pretty dense leaf structure so I will play around with the ludwigia.

Yes, I have looked through your journal. You have a knack for those small tanks. The cub version 2 was definitely my favorite of yours. Everytime I go to the LFS I am tempted to pick a little tank to play around with. The aquajapan rimless’s are very attractive for the price. The tank with lillies made me laugh, because my turtle tank used to be covered in lillies like that. The turtles couldn't eat them fast enough they grow like crazy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zico_aqua View Post
one more thing to hold intermediate substrate slope - try using small plastic cuts of any plastic soda bottles..they work the best..
And yes, one more thing - your hardscape choice should be dependant of your tank size not the opposite way around, again if you check out my scapes you'll find that I did a scape in 8 inch cube..so it's your imagination...

Yeah ill check out the soda bottle trick. Yeah I feel that the hardscape fits the tank pretty well, my main want for the 20 gallon is the fact that my other two tanks are 20's. When I built the stand for this tank it was on christmas so I couldn't go out and buy wood. So I used all the recycled 2x4's so the tank is not very high off the ground you kinda have to kneel to really see it, another reason I want the larger tank. Actually I just purchased another 20 gallon at Petco since their 1$ per gallon sale is on right now. The girlfriend kind of flipped when I brought another tank home.....but i dont plan on setting it up anytime soon, just figured hey 20 bucks.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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So I decided to pick up a dehumidifier after seeing some of the stories on here about all the humidity created by open top tanks. I only have 3 tanks in the room, 2 20 gallon's and 1 15 gallon, but figured its better to be safe than sorry.

More importantly.... I picked up a new filter since the tank has developed quite a film ontop of the water. Da Dahhh. I was looking for a eheim bioball internal filter but all they had was the aquaball, so I decided on an external. Im super excited about setting this up tonight.
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