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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's been almost a year since my last post and stripping down two of my planted tanks to combine them all into just the one 4'x2'x2' 105g, so I thought I'd post an update of how it turned out.

For those who recall, I decided to strip the two smaller tanks down,

this 2'x2':



and this 4' foot 48g:





and combine as many of the best bits and pieces and plants with and into this 4'x2'x2' (shown here with the original aquascaping which I later changed):

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And this is the result in August 2006, two days after initial setup. I lost a few plants as they had an extended stay in a dark bucket for almost a week, so all of these plants in the tank are still basically recovering from the trauma. I could only take a picture of the left side of the tank as I had a 2' goldfish tank on my desk blocking the view of the right side.





It all grew well, but I let it go a bit and it turned into an absolute jungle, with 7 large Amazons putting out hundreds of runners, I couldn't see the fish! So two months ago I did a big rescape of the rear area and removed five of the Amazons, leaving only two now.



And this is it yesterday. The Anubias growing well enough that they're obsuring all the hardscape and pot almost completely now. There are over 120 piscine inhabitants, including 20+ Cardinals (all those little babies in that 2nd pic are now all grown up), 20+ Rummies, 20+ Glass Catfish, 20+ Cories (Sterbae, Bronze and Panda), 10+ Black Neons, 8 Silver Tips and 30+ Harlequins.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PS. This tank is viewable from both sides, so I'm in the process of scaping the rear view, whereas before I had it scaped to be viewed mainly only from this side. There are some stem plants there temporarily to fill up the space while the crypts etc grow in.
 

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Very simple, but gorgeous! By simple I mean on the plant selection. I love the tanks :)

I like the last pic on the first post the most forsome reason.
 

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I love your scapes, they are very simple looking and "clean cut"
Nice job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Petey, jebarj and Rodney. I liked the simplicity of scaping with only two types of plants in that photo too. As you can probably tell, my favourite plant of all was dwarf hairgrass, but unfortunately the chronic hair algae issues that comes with it was too much of a nuisance. So now it's dwarf anubias!

I prefer to just keep to rooted plant varieties rather than any stem plants (the ones there now are just temporary), so the tank doesn't need as much maintenance and trimming. Apart from the recent rear re-scaping, I haven't touched any of those plants you can see there at all for 10 months.
 

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Gorgeus, that big anubias is breathtaking!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Petey, you can't tell from the photo but some of the older anubia leaves have a layer of diatoms on them from when I let the tank go for a while and got lazy with the ferts. But the ramshorn snails are slowly clearing it all, and the newer leaves are all nice and pristine now I'm on top of the ferts regimen again.

Thanks Devin! I'm really pleased with its growth. Maybe because its higher position means it gets more light. From farthest leaftip to leaftip, it's about 2 feet wide. And it's gone from a single branch to about eight or ten now, so I could break it into a bunch of individual plants (if I actually had the space to do that).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I should mention the details.

The substrate is Caribsea Ecocomplete. I have substrate cabling if not for anything but just uniform heating.

The lights are an Arcadia 4x54W T5 fixture with T5 Grolux tubes, and a cheapo Catalina 4x55W PC fixture with GE 9325K tubes. They both have the crappy flat square type reflector, so light delivery is not as good as it should be. With one ban of PCs turned off, it's been 3.1W/gal up til now, but I've just decided to switch them all on and make it 4.15W/gal. See what happens.

50% water change every 8 days along with ferts, which are: JBL Ferropol (containing no NO3 or PO4), Flourish Excel, Flourish Iron, with NO3 and PO4 dosed separately to Tom Barr's 7:1 ratio.

As soon as I can find a plant wavelength LED light fixture, I'll get one, and not just because they'll be better for plant growth than what I have now, but also a lot of the fish like the Cardinals would prefer much softer lighting.
 

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The setup sounds great. My anubias are in the worst condition but on some of the leafs have a the hard rock type BBA on the trim of the leafs. I have pretty high levels of co2 levels but Im guessing it coming from the excess nutrients in the water column.

Im thinking of spot treating the areas with flourish excell. Have an experiance in that area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yep, I had that problem originally but Excel cures it. Just dose your tank with it at the same time along with your other ferts.
 

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I just love the way your swords look. You have inspired me in finding some swords now and get a couple crowning again.
 

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Wow. Just WOW! I LOVE the way you've laid those square stones. In the first "tank incarnation" with the dhg, it looks like a well kept lawn with immaculate flowerbeds. In the redo with the anubias, it reminds me of jungle ruins a la Macchu Picchu. I'll bet it makes for a nice two-sided tank.

Also, the statue in the first pic ~ just stunning with the plants thick behind it and a few stray leaves in front of it.

Why do the swords in this picture look "softer" than the ones in the previous and later pictures?


Are they a different kind of sword than the majority in the rest of the pics? What kind is that? I really like that plant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Cheers, Duck. Good to see you still around. I'll have to drop into aquariumlife as well. You've got a good community growing there now I see. I checked it out briefly the other day and realised my first post while you were still setting it up was exactly one year ago to the day, give or take four hours! It's like I have an internal annual clock saying a year is long enough, lol.

PS. I'm going to have a first attempt at a small reef tank (3 foot) shortly, so I might be in touch about some Caribsea sand if I can't find any locally. The small round type caught my fancy on my first quick research of them all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks Conduct. You'll have to keep us posted on how they turn out. The swords seem to do a lot better now with the extra 2' depth as well as height. In the previous tank (and even in this tank where they were overcrowded) they were crushed up against the glass or each other and constantly breaking the surface, but now they're nicely spreading out their leaves in every direction without getting cramped.

Thanks Ikuzo. I was originally hesitant to get Harlequins as I had never had them before, and I wanted to try and stick with all Tetras, but now I've got them I think they're brilliant! Highly recommend! They occupy the top half of the tank while the Rummies and Cardinals stick to the bottom half, so they make a nice visual balance. And they school really well too! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Linda, I'll say WOW right back at you for your wonderful compliments. You actually got it right on the nose as that's exactly the feel I was trying for. First a formal garden, and then one that's been left to the jungle. You can't see in the pic, but there's moss creeping along part of the wall and attached to it like a vine (and growing nice and slow due to the dimmer light under the anubias). I even toyed with the idea of a Mayan statue at one point. Thanks! :)

Those plants you're asking about are Hygrophila Corymbosa, which is a stem plant, but a woody one as opposed to soft stems in that the stems are more like branches. I guess it's the closest thing to a typical terrestial 'bush' I've found. Unlike a sword, corymbosa branches and eventually grows tall like a tree if you let it (the lower leaves drop off as the upper ones shade them). If you want to propagate it, just pull a branch off and plant it. It really takes off with nice big green leaves with CO2.
 
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