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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I set this up some time ago when there was a lull, and with covid slowly going away, I went hunting for hardscapes, and everything else in between.

Tank:
Waterbox 10g, the "Clear Mini" -- 19.7"×9.8"×11.8"

Hardscapes:
  • Seiryu Stone (broken up into pieces from a 5lb stone)
  • Dragon Stone (nano pieces)
  • Malaysian, Mopani, and Spiderwood all mixed together.
  • Cholla wood
  • Mixture of Tropica aquasoil, Fluval Stratum, Imagitarium white sand, and Indian almond leaves.

Inhabitants:
Cherry Shrimps, mixture of pond, and ramshorn snails, majority of it are RCS.

Plants:
  • Above the water column: the parlor palm above water, it did not make it, not a fan of the water in the roots, removed. Replaced with: Rabbit's Foot Fern. Java moss under the fern to keep it moist. Floaters are: azolla, tiger-striped frogbit, salvinia oblongata, and red root floaters. The azollas are kept above water, not even touching water, except the roots, they have become extremely red.
  • In the water column: anubias nana 'petite', bolbitis heudelotii, and difformis 'mini', so many kinds of buce from brownie ghost, to mini coins, to belindae, and other species (way too many to find, and name!).

Hardware:
  • Chihiros Series II A - very above, raised on a bracket, this model does not have a bracket mount, but I made it work by holding the rims together. So far, it's been pretty stable.
  • Nicrew clip on light - it's probably 45W or so, mainly for the plants, which is below the Chihiros.
  • Dennerle corner internal filter with air tubing out of the outtake so the water sprays onto the java moss that's underneath the fern, giving it enough water to stay 'moist' but not overly wet.

The idea of this scape was going to be a terrestrial plant above the water, and then epiphytes in the water column, a LOT of buce, and a LOT of anubias nana 'petite' that I have grown emersed for a good portion of 2020, and 2021. I wanted it to look sort of like an off-center island for that one plant, it was initially going to be a ginseng ficus, but I later opted for a fern-like plant only because I did not want it to be top-heavy, more than what it already is currently.

Hope you enjoy my adventures with this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
There was a lot of things I was doing, and with spring approaching, and then ending, and summer right around the corner, I wanted to begin figuring out what I would enjoy, and what I would look at in the morning. Let's continue with our build journey.
Plant Window Flowerpot Houseplant Grass


I tried SO many different things, tried to make it really ramped up on one end, etc. Underneath, I used mesh bags of gravel, the really small kind that you use for fish tanks from Petco.
Plant Botany Houseplant Lighting Grass


I was beyond excited when my wood started coming from the mail...

Hand Food Ingredient Gesture Cuisine


You can sort of see me trying a lot of different things
Plant Flowerpot Houseplant Green Grass


Plant Flowerpot Houseplant Grass Flooring
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I started making monstrocities at one point, this came out pretty good I think. I kept changing the wood, making different layouts of it.
Wood Cabinetry Bottle Plant Tree


Bottle Drinkware Glass bottle Fluid Wood


Wood Fluid Gas Twig Motor vehicle


Using some rocks, and some plastic to create a bank, looks pretty good to me, don't you think?
Plant Houseplant Terrestrial plant Flowerpot Grass


Added the white sand, hiding the plastics, etc.
Plant Grass Wood Twig Tree


With most of it looking "done," started to add a black background.
Plant Houseplant Countertop Room Glass


Ash Automotive tire Gas Asphalt Cooking
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Huge image dump coming along... you can see the parlor palm, I tried to acclimate it slowly from dirt to water but yeah, it definitely didn't like it, I initially had some aquasoil, inside a mesh, and the roots inside the mesh bag on top of the driftwood, seems like it just did not enjoy that at all.
Plant Bonsai Houseplant World Flowerpot



Plant Wood Water Twig Trunk


Cholla wood madness!!!
Plant Wood Twig Trunk Formation


Once I figured out what I liked, I took the driftwood out, and started wedging the buce into place.

Food Ingredient Recipe Cuisine Seafood



Wood Plant Art Trunk Terrestrial plant



So far so good, well, not really for the parlor palm... really thinking about ditching it at this point.
Water World Fluid Organism Gas


Added the driftwood back into the tank, putting it in place gave me visuals of what I liked, and what to adjust.
Plant Wood Grass Trunk Root
 

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Very cool!!! Azolla is my no.1 fave floater, but I can’t source it around here.... one day!! ⭐ Super interesting how it actually grows above the water for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Super interesting how it actually grows above the water for you.
If you can get the roots touching the water, it creates a 'wick' effect where it'll just soak itself whenever it is needed. It's definitely a neat floater, a lot easier to maintain than duckweed as it will connect to each other in hexagonal shapes. It's unfortunate you cannot source it locally, and you're in Canada!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another day, another update, I'm glad I took these pictures even though it took so long to actually make it as a "journal entry" might as well just be a journey at this point. I experimented with a few floaters before trying out what I ultimately wanted. Below is salvinia oblongata, looks kind of adorable, sourced from another tank of mine.

Plant Leaf vegetable Terrestrial plant Houseplant Groundcover


Caught a nice picture of a cherry!
Wood Organism Marine biology Fish Decapoda


Also tried ricciocarpos natans.
Hand Plant Flower Terrestrial plant Finger


Enjoy the next series of pictures.

Water Nature Leaf Table Rectangle


Water Fish supply Pet supply Fluid Plant


The rabbit's foot fern up close, had to source it from eBay since my local plant stores did not have'em. The parlor palm is long gone now.
Plant Houseplant Flowerpot Terrestrial plant Grass


Plant Terrestrial plant Aquatic plant Grass Groundcover


Water Water resources Liquid Fluid Terrestrial plant


Plant Natural environment Botany Organism Terrestrial plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I’m late to the party but wow. I really love the fern. You’ve done a great job on the tank. Do you dose any ferts ?
You are still early my friend! Thanks a lot, I did a bunch of Googlin' before I wanted what I liked that was not going to be too heavy. Occasionally I would dose some micro/macro but that's really once in a blue moon. It's filled with epiphyte plants so I don't need to dose it at all. Overall, I think I only dosed it twice.
 

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Do your shrimp ever "escape"? Is a lid a good idea generally (would you use one)? Do the shrimp climb out of the tank? What's your experience of an open-top?
Neo’s don’t really climb but they can jump by accident if they get spooked. You may lose one or two every now and again but it won’t be a constant thing in my experience.

Amanos will most definately escape an open top tank and maybe a lidded one. They’ve been known to climb up wires and pipes.

I find if they are trying to leave the water somethings usually wrong.
 

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Do your shrimp ever "escape"? Is a lid a good idea generally (would you use one)? Do the shrimp climb out of the tank? What's your experience of an open-top?
I've had an adventurous neo shrimp who was always hanging out in the baffle basket.... once I added some stalks of peace lily in there she did actually climb out and ended crispy up on the carpet. My amano never tried to leave, nor did my other shrimp. I don't think this one would have gone either if I didn't have the specific setup of baffle basket with stalks growing out of it, all extremely climbable... normal open top tank won't have many neo shrimp losses I don't think. Fish yes. People with open tanks usually lose some fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Do your shrimp ever "escape"? Is a lid a good idea generally (would you use one)? Do the shrimp climb out of the tank? What's your experience of an open-top?
I've had amanos jump all the time before I introduced a hefty amount of floaters, however, this is mainly cherry shrimps. I have shrimps that would crawl up on where the internal filter outake is, I had attached tubes so it would give my plants, and emersed floaters, etc some water periodically but other than that they don't really jump. In my experience they DO jump, but not in this tank. I've had it setup for about 3 or so months now, and have been introducing more, and more shrimps into it from my outside tank.

I'm going to definitely take some pictures of the tubing so you guys will have an idea of what I mean by it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So it's been a few days, we're pretty much caught up on the progress, and essentially, the completion of the build. I bought more buce, I know, the hole in my pocket is still red hot!

Liquid Road surface Water Asphalt Terrestrial plant

Another feeding frenzy, up close, sorry for reflection, it's super close to the window, and it's surrounded by glass all around.

Water Plant Organism Wood Pet supply

Far shot of the frenzy.

Water Green Nature World Rectangle

A night shot. You can slowly see the progression of the white sand slope, or rather, slowly not sloping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Plant Wood Bonsai Leaf vegetable Groundcover

Cholla wood, more buce.

Water Vertebrate Fin Fluid Organism

Shrimp on buce.

Plant Light Green Nature Azure

FTS.

Plant Wood Twig Grass Fawn


This is how I am moisturizing the fern, I mist it day to day, but all in all, under the fern is a clump of java moss, and that keeps it moist on the bottom with water trickling from the internal filter. Sometimes I have to readjust it to flow better. There's some yellow leaves at times which I manually clip. And with that, we're done with the build!
 
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