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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
1st off this is a great forum. I orginaly got into another planted forum http://www.fishforums.net but the issue there is so many of the users are from overseas that it is hard to get live time post responses (time difference) and trading plants becomes very hard.

I got my 1st tank in late July - early Aug 06. I wasn't a member of this forum and knew basicly nothing about fish. I got the tank, filter, heater and a stock light for free. I then went to a LFS and got what would be the "orginal set-up"

20 gal 24x12x16
15 watt light
plastic plants
Ocean background / Rofl at not knowing the difference between freshwater and saltwater images
3 Platies and 6 blue neons
note the blue gravel


So then I joined a forum. I scaped the background, changed the gravel, got some plants, and a single piece of driftwood
20 gal 24x12x16
15 watt light
2 x Hygrophila difformis (water wistera)
1 x Echinodorus uruguayensis
2 x Crinum thaianum
1 x Echinodorus amazonicus
driftwood
black background
2 neons and 1 platy (the rest of the orginal fish had died and not been replaced when this was taken)
switched to a more natural gravel


So as I learned more I realized that I needed to let the tank finish cycling before trying to finsih stocking. However I couldn't stop trying to make it look better. So I added some more wood

20 gal 24x12x16
15 watt light
2 x Hygrophila difformis (water wistera)
1 x Echinodorus uruguayensis
2 x Crinum thaianum
1 x Echinodorus amazonicus
2 pices of driftwood
black background
2 neons and 1 platy
natural gravel


Ok now all of that happened in the 1st month and a half. Now I went and bought a new light, new plants, and center piece of driftwood.
20 gal 24x12x16
110 watt light
3 x Hygrophila difformis (water wistera)
3 x Myriophyllum matogrossensis
1 x Echinodorus uruguayensis
2 x Crinum thaianum
5 x Ludwigia repens
1 bunch of Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae
3 pices of driftwood
black background
5 neons, 1 golden Gourami and 1 platy
natural gravel


Then I began to move things around, changing almost 1 time every 2 weeks as I learned. I got a 55 gal tank which came with a lot of anabus and java fern/java moss. I began to work on making a nice scape including lots of colors. some plants died and were then replaced.
20 gal 24x12x16
110 watt light
3 x Hygrophila difformis (water wistera)
3 x Myriophyllum matogrossensis
1 x Echinodorus uruguayensis
1 bunch of Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae
1 x Anubias barteri v. ‘Nana’
5 x Alternanthera reineckii
3 x Ammannia gracilis
3 x Microsorium pteroptus (java fern)
lots of Vesicularia dubyana attached (badly) to driftwood
3 pices of driftwood
black background
5 neons, 6 black neons , 6 black skrit tetras and 1 platy
natural gravel


This is when life changed. I added CO2 and the plants took off. The scaping went through so many stage (due to rapid plant growth) that i don't even have most of the tank shot anymore. But this will serve as 1 of them

20 gal 24x12x16
110 watt light
5 x Hygrophila difformis (water wistera)
10 x Myriophyllum matogrossensis
1 x Echinodorus uruguayensis
1 x Anubias barteri v. ‘Nana’
5 x Alternanthera reineckii
5 x Ammannia gracilis
6 x Microsorium pteroptus (java fern)
lots of Vesicularia dubyana attached (badly) to slate and driftwood
2 x Cryptocoryne wendtii
2 pices of driftwood
black background
5 neons, 6 black neons , 6 black skrit tetras and 1 platy


I had been running this set up for awhile, and the only thing I really wanted to do was switch to sand, so I decided it was as good a time as any to do a rescape, the scape was refined becuase after I shot this pic I had some issues and the plants took a little beating
20 gal 24x12x16
110 watt light
DIY CO2
5 x Hygrophila difformis (water wistera)
10 x Myriophyllum matogrossensis
1 x Echinodorus uruguayensis
1 x Anubias barteri v. ‘Nana’
5 x Alternanthera reineckii
5 x Ammannia gracilis
6 x Microsorium pteroptus (java fern)
lots of Vesicularia dubyana attached (badly) to slate and driftwood
2 x Cryptocoryne wendtii
2 pices of driftwood
black background
5 neons, 6 black neons , 2 platies, 2 rubbernose plecos, 6 ammino shrimp



Now the many sorted tales of my tanks scape are no longer forigin to you but this is my journey from beginner to the next level. I wanted to do plants that are less like weeds are more planned out. I have been slowly working toward this but now was the right time.

1st we have the tank in it's complete overgrown state.



So in this rescape the 2 biggest goals were to remove all of the Hygrophila difformis and to add a substate so a ground cover could be sucussful.

The 1st step was to completely empty the tank, I did this method for 2 reasons, 1 I had previously put about 1" of gravel under my sand (thought it would help with roots) and since I was adding substrate I wanted just put the sand back. I also wanted to create some different plains in the scape and not just have 1 level (thought when the plants grew in it would add some depth)



I stored the plants in a clean sink while I got my other suplies ready, and the fish were put into a 5 galon bucket with the filter running off the side



The next big step was tp clean the sand of all the gravel.
"Drity" sand



I did this but using a strainer, and a extra bucket. 1st I put some water in the bucket, then I would put a couple of handfuls of sand into strainer, 1/2 submerge in the water and rapidly sway it from side to side ( kinda like sifting for gold) the gravel would get cought in the stainer while the sand would sink into the water

The process and result



Notice just gravel in the strainer


and the clean sand



next I got together my materials

the substate ( I ended up laying a 1" - 1 1/2" layer on the low areas and a much thicker under the raised portion)



I pulled some slate out of my 55 gal to make a devider between the high spot and the lower area



After I added the substate and the slate to my design, I added my sand and put the driftwood into the tank for placement ideas ( excuse the pic it was extremely sunny in the room)



Then I added all the plants. current set-up is

3 bunches X Microsorium pteroptus (java fern)
All driftwood covered in Vesicularia dubyana (java moss)
1 X Anubias Nana
3 X Ammannia gracilis
4 X Alternanthera reineckii
1 X Cryptocoryne wendtii
6 X Blyxa aubertii
6" X 6" bunch of Lilaeopsis brasiliensis


this was the way the tank looked right after that set up



this is way to much typing for now so I will finish later
 

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Man lol ur tank looks nicer then mines, but why didnt you use the Florabase Alone? i jus rescaped mines, atfer i saw this, it looks better then blue gravel =D

nice bright colors, ima have to get my self some 10k tubes
 

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I did enjoy the evolution and changes in your tank, makes me wish i'd have done that with a couple of my past tanks. Right now i just have one planted tank and its kinda embarrassing atm lol. Great work.

How well did the crinums take to being relocated every few weeks? Did the grow well and hold up to it? I've been thinking about giving one a shot but have read they dont enjoy being moved much.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Man lol ur tank looks nicer then mines, but why didnt you use the Florabase Alone? i jus rescaped mines, atfer i saw this, it looks better then blue gravel =D

nice bright colors, ima have to get my self some 10k tubes
I didn't just use the florabase alone becuase I wanted the look of the sand. Also the rubberlips that are in there now like it for gathering their food.

I did enjoy the evolution and changes in your tank, makes me wish i'd have done that with a couple of my past tanks. Right now i just have one planted tank and its kinda embarrassing atm lol. Great work.

How well did the crinums take to being relocated every few weeks? Did the grow well and hold up to it? I've been thinking about giving one a shot but have read they dont enjoy being moved much.

Jason
The crinums have always done great with the transplanting, but some of the others have not done so well, but with time they always come back as well. Since that last pic I have traded some of the plants and added some new ones. When I get off of work I am going to post a pic taking this morning with all the new plants, fish and layout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
9 X Microsorium pteroptus
1 X Anubias Nana
3 X Ammannia gracilis
6 X Alternanthera reineckii
3 X Cryptocoryne wendtii
2 X Crinum thaianum
10 X Ludwigia repens
6 X Myriophyllum matogrossensis
Carpeting Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
All driftwood covered in Vesicularia dubyana or Selaginella uncinata



this was as of tonight, but lord knows what tomorrow could bring ROFL.......
 

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What a terrific post! If truth was told, I think that most of us have gone (or are going) through a very similar evolution. I think that it is great to see how much you have learned. This is very inspiring! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I like the nice progression of the tank!
Thank you, I actualy have about 20 pics of this tank at different stages that I chose not to post as it was all getting a bit silly, but the tank has certenly changed quite a bit. It still has a fair amount of filling in to do, maybe in hindsight I should have waited then done a complete thread
 
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