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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've had planted tanks off and on for the last 5+ years, but really gotten back into it in the last 6 months. I credit it fully to the start of my buce addiction. I got a few of these plants and fell in love, and been focusing mostly on them ever since, collecting many types to see which I liked best. For the most part they were tied to rocks and just put in tanks to grow.

I finally think I have a good feel for the species and what the different characteristics they can bring to a scape. So I'm finally doing it and started a tank which will be buce dominated.

Here are the quick details

Tank: Custom 11g acrylic tank which fits just right on a bookshelf I own. dimensions are 33x11x8.
Lighting: 2 ecoxotic panorama 16w LEDs (with dimmer)
Substrate: Black sand in the center, ecocomplete on the right. Rocks are mostly granite
Filter: Aqueon 10-Gallon QuietFlow Internal Filter
CO2: Injected, 5# tank
Ferts: EI dosing, osmacote+ under sand

Fish:
Koi swordtails (2 months old)
Apistogramma cacatuoides "Double Red" (2 months old)
Red Ramshorn Snails

I plan to eventually clear out most of the fish and make this a shrimp tank, but I got a great deal on a lot of these really nice fry, so they're living in this tank for now.

Plants:
UG
Elatine Hydropiper
Red Root Floaters
Bucephalandra Giant Sword
Bucephalandra Black Achilles
Bucephalandra Mini Cathrine
Bucephalandra Brownie Phantom


Currently there aren't any buce in the tank! But that will change, I am just starting with the hardscape and ground cover. As you can see, a main focus of my initial attempts is creating a LOT of space to attach buce to rocks. I used the granite rocks to create a wall with a lot of places to attach buce in the cracks. The goal is to have nearly all the rocks covered and the wood coming through the plants and then disappearing into the UG.

In time, I plan to actually replace the ground cover with some really small buce as well, to create an all buce tank.

Ok, enough talking, here are the shots of the first few days of setup:

April 4


April 5


April 6


Feedback appreciated! It's obviously going to be an evolving work in progress.

Thanks!
Eric
 

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Love that hardscape!! Really can't wait to see this come together. Do you already have your buces picked or which ones you want to go with in which areas, or just gonna spread a bunch of species around?
 

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I've always been a fan of large rock formations, especially with fish and / or shrimp that love to hang out in them.

Do you have something against the glass to cushion the rocks, or are the rocks leaning against the glass?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I think I know vaguely what I'm going to do, and I'll try to get some photos of the options soon.

For the stone wall I was thinking to use a medium leaf type, and I have a couple options, Brownie Blue, Brownie Phantom (which is rather new it seems), Catherine, or Biblis (which looks a lot like Catherine, just a bit larger). I figure it needs to be a medium sized option so it covers the rocks, but not the roots.

While I have UG in the "river" at the moment, I plan to change that out for Mini Catherine one I get enough of it grown out to fill the area. Which is something to keep in mind since it's small leaf, but narrow and slightly ruffled, so will need to be distinct from the buce on the wall.

On the rocks to the far right, I was thinking something larger, since it mostly needs to get bigger and nicely cover the filter and CO2. I could put a couple larger Achilles Black there, but they might be too large. The other larger options I have are Giant Sword, which is longer and narrow, or Aurora Grey, which has larger leaves that grow closer to the rhizome, which would end up being bushier than the other 2 options.

Where the Elatine Hydropiper is currently planted I'm at a loss about. I could do something medium sized...or maybe something medium just along the edge of the "river" and then another small type on the plateau area like Mini Penelope or Icarus Velvet, or Theia 5 (which is a relatively mini form of Theia).

I have a a feeling it will be a rather long evolution...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it was a glass tank I would have done something to protect it I imagine, but it's acrylic, so no fear of breaking, and if it scratches it'll be in the back.

I love the large rock formation style as well. I've found with shrimp it gives them a TON of places to hide, which turns mostly into a ton of places to breed! And of course it gives a ton of room for buce to live and root.
 

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Very nice layout and very nice looking buces.

Since you have had some decent experience with buces, have you tried growing them in low tech tanks? Or you think high light and co2 is required for them to grow best?
 

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I think it would look cool if on the left side (larger wall) you did small along the bottom a third of the way up. Then medium on the rest of the wall, but with a few of the larger buces staggered throughout the wall. That would provide some depth/contrast. You could do black achilles staggered on the left wall among the others, and on that right side structure do your larger greener buces with some smaller along the bottom. Here is a very ROUGH sketch of what i mean for that left side. Orange are your small, green medium, and black plants larger buces. Just throwing some ideas at ya!

Side note, those koi swordtails look really nice from a far. I have been looking for nice koi's for some time but dont see them often. Got any closer shots :D :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cape - I did have some in a medium light tank with only excel for carbon and the plants did just fine. Their growth was definitely a lot slower and I got very few side shoots/new plants. I did however see a LOT more flowering plants, which was actually really fun.

Duck - I think the 3 size idea is a brilliant one. Black Achilles is probably too big for this plan however, since they are nearly as tall as the entire tank (the tank is only 8 inches high). I think my Giant Sword would work great though, as it's a bit less huge. I am leaning toward Brownie Phantom for the medium size one. It's a lighter green so if I mix in a small size option which is a darker leaf, it would add even more to the depth. I think the line between small and medium probably will be less straight and there will be a mix for a bit as it changes over. But great idea, I'll have to play with this.

I am thinking that the black achilles could work on the right side, and just put them in at the base of the rocks there, and then mix in some small type up the rock wall to get some depth on that side as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ps Duck - If you're looking for Koi sword tails, I know someone local to me who is breeding them, I can probably figure out a way to get you some. I know they're hard to find, which is why I grabbed these 11 fry when I saw them even though I didn't have a good place to put them. I'll get some closer photos this evening when I get home.
 

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I really can't wait to see this thing come together. I keep forgetting how small this tank actually is compared to how LARGE it looks! Just a testiment to your hardscape :D I think waivering that line is a good idea also.

As for the swordtails, cant wait to see more pics :D I'll have to shoot you a PM about working something out :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I decided to try to include some of the biggies first, just to see how it looked. So I stuck in my Black Achilles and my Giant Swords. Turns out I only really had 2 nice plants of each (I have several of each recovering from losing most of their leaves, but the big leaf types seem to take WAY longer to recover). I did stick the rest of my recovering Giant Swords in there too, just to give them a place to be.

Anyway, I spread them around some, and figure the rock wall could use couple more good giant swords. But here's the look. I'm starting to think that Catherine behind the giant sword will work best...

April 9


And here is a closer look at the fish, as requested

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Spent the evening finding places for ~60 Buce Catherine (they are pretty small!) and a few Brownie Phantom.

Decided to go all the way to the top with the Catherine to make it kind of the background layer, and then with the lighter green Phantom in front and the 2 larger Giant swords mixed in as well.

It's a bit messy for now, since it's now all about waiting for all the plants to take root and start filling in and growing towards the light. We shall see!

April 9


 

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It's so awesome you just "have" all those buces lol this is looking great. This is going to turn into a JUNGLE in no time!! I cant help but think of king king's jungle or something prehistoric.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
JEden8 - The rocks are all just stacked. They're (mostly) fairly rough granite chunks so they kind of locked together pretty well with a little patience. I'm hoping that since I filled all the cracks with buce that the roots will really anchor them together. I did have a few avalanches in the process though.

Thanks Crazy4discus, Joshua and Duck! Yeah, It's amazing how much of a relatively small buce like the Catherine I had it takes to fill this in. I counted closer this morning and it looks like it's around 70 plants in there! And it still needs to fill in a LOT.

Still need to finish the other side, but there are some options. I've been collecting and growing and splitting a long time now all to prepare for a little 11g scape, lol.

Duck, I think you're right, it really looks like that all buce wall with the hardscape is going to end up looking a lot like a jungle wall. I guess we'll all have to be patient now, lol.
 

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Great job, will be following your progress, what kind of wood sticks are those in your tank? Love the koi swordtails, I'm am the process of trying to aquire some myself for my new tanks and hopefully breeding them down the line, I have one so far lol from the LFS, but there spendy...
 

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I decided to try to include some of the biggies first, just to see how it looked. So I stuck in my Black Achilles and my Giant Swords. Turns out I only really had 2 nice plants of each (I have several of each recovering from losing most of their leaves, but the big leaf types seem to take WAY longer to recover). I did stick the rest of my recovering Giant Swords in there too, just to give them a place to be.

Anyway, I spread them around some, and figure the rock wall could use couple more good giant swords. But here's the look. I'm starting to think that Catherine behind the giant sword will work best...

April 9


And here is a closer look at the fish, as requested



I love those clear orange fish.
 
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