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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On Saturday my plants from Aquaspotworld arrived (in great shape!) so I was finally able to finish planting the 60cm. You may remember that I did a thread for the initial hardscape, here:

Well lesse . . . - Aquatic Plant Central


This is a formal after setup thread though, now that the tank has been planted. The water is still a bit murky but I hope you can still see it alright!



This has got to be one of the most annoying set-ups ever, with moss, riccia, glossostigma, small stem plants and even utricularia gibba (hitch-hiked on some others) all in there. o_O

I got inspired to do this lay out when I went to Japan this last summer. In the summer, the hills (well everywhere really outside of Tokyo) are packed with dense swollen forest of deep green as both the maple and sakura are green in that season-- and this deep green is beautifully highlighted by enormous groups of bamboo. I was mezmerized by those beautiful forests, and wondered how I could re-create them. After many hours of staring out the windows of the shinkansen, with nothing else to do or see or think about but those forests outside the window, the idea of combining Rotala sp. Najenshan with moss to recreate the texture of bamboo and trees came to me. That's when I decided that I'd definitely do a layout like that some day.

When I got back from Japan, I made this aquasketch:



I was tempted to do this as soon as I got back, but I decided it was best to sit on the ideas and let them develop longer. So, I did Hau Coast, a layout based on Hawai'i since then. I'm glad I took those 3-4 extra months to think about this layout, because in that time I realized a bunch of other things:

1) My original idea of attaching moss to a large piece of wood and them planting rotala around it was no good-- it could never give me the sense of "trees" that I wanted. From that I made the decision to go with many sticks instead of blocky wood. I think this will better help me get the two elements to mix.
2) I wanted a grassy plant in the foreground, but e. tenellus (used in Hau Coast) ended up being too freaking huge. There are other grassy plants, like Utricularia grammnifolia, but I decided its texture is a bit too "strange" for what I wanted. In the end I decided to go with riccia. I remembered the feelings of when I first got into aquascaping, and an aquarist in Hawaii had used riccia to make a lawn that, for a person who'd never seen a planted aquarium before, gave the magical sense of a crisp meadow. Because the Nature Aquarium books are also a big inspiration to me, I decided to go with riccia for nostalgia's sake. Glosso also was included for nostalgia's sake.
3) I really wasn't sure if I wanted to include a river or not, but in the end I decided too. The most common site for me from the shinkansen window was to see rolling fields of rice in front of the forests. I wanted to have the sense of water in this layout, and decided that a stream would also give an idea of "size" to my forest.
4) Bringing a tree to the front to give a sense of perspective has always been a part of this idea, but after considering branchy pieces to be used in the foreground, I decided that there just wasn't enough space front to back in the 60cm, so instead I decided to make another "wood" in the foreground with thicker sticks.

Well, I'm sure I'm forgetting some of my other ideas and thoughts, but I think that's enough about what I was thinking for now.

edit: This should go without saying, but do to a recent . . . ahem . . . anyway, I want to make it clear that I truly invite any type of commentary and criticism-- bring it on. :D Just be ready to discuss your opinions.

I hope you guys enjoy this one because I don't think I'll do another like it . . . ever . . . it took 4 Hours to tie moss to all those sticks!!!
 

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It looks great Steven, those four hours really paid off! I hope everything turns out how you invisioned it.

How do you like the ADA Step series? I'm thinking about using them on my next tank. Do you use the LIGHTS formula at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, and I think I've truly mastered the art of tying cotton around wood now. ;)

Can't say much about the ADA ferts yet dude-- this'll be a first shot trying them. I'm going to only be using step 1. I never have a layout that lasts more than 3 months anyway so buying step 2 seems pretty unimportant to me. :hihi:

There is a LOT of aquasoil in there, and IMO not a lot of plant-matter. Especially not that much considering a lot of it is moss. From that I think I can take my time before I start dosing anything, but to be honest, I haven't quite figured out a schedule for anything yet. :hihi: If anyone's got suggestions, I'm all ears.

I am trying green gain though, so if it does miraculously cause plants to bounce back faster and revive from stress, I'll let ya know. :)
 

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Are you doing Brighty K?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmm, no. From reading through scolley's thread, I get the impression that Brighty K is basicaly a de-chlorinator + potassium source? The tap water around claremont is just bleh, so I basically get all my water from an LFs supplier so I'm not worried about chlorine-- and I have K2SO4 in my room if it's necessary . . . what do you think Fresh?
 

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Nice tank, i loved the layout, and still do.
What light are you using?
 

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Dude you have so much talent, all your tanks and aquascapes turn out amazing. and this one is probably one of my favorites for the reason that your trying to get an image of an aquatic forest of some sort. I'm keeping an eye on this one, can't wait for whats to come :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
dufus-- I have a Jalli fixture that is 2x 55w, but I try not to run it long at full light.

Blackeyes-- Thanks dude. I'll try extra hard to get this one to work out then. ;)
 

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It's beautiful Steven! Your aquasketch...lovely. :) Let me know when you start selling some these. I would definitely be interested in buying one!

When you get the chance, can you take some close-ups of this tank?
 

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Hey Steve it looks good. Hardscape owns!

I want to see some better pictures before I decide on your plants:proud: .

But one plant suggestion off the back is you might want to ditch the glosso, it looks too big... Maybe some fissidens? I'm going to be trying a nanomoss lawn in my 10g so I'll see how that looks its a REALLY REALLY thin moss that grows up... Could be a very fun plant to shape:icon_bigg

But yeah, those rocks own!

-Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Fresh-- I wanted something that would give some constrast to the riccia, but we'll see. I agree that the glosso's kind of big, but I want to see it after it's flattened out. It might actually better (perspective wise) to have the largest leaved plant in the very front. ;)

Here are some photos I took after the water cleared, I hope these help though I didn't put a lot of effort into taking 'em.

Shot from my lofted bed (the other tank is actually under my bed!):



Rotala Najenshan:



Close up of "forest." You can see micropea, riccia, and how thin my taiwan moss is. I heard it's better to plant it thin?



Full tank:

 

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I like how they is a lot of hardscape. It looks really good. Although I never saw more hardscape then plants, this is better than a lot of "jam packed with plants" tanks. Good job!
 

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great job on the hardscape!! but it is going to look tons better when that moss grow in on the twigs on the front right of your aquarium!
 

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awsome work, I really like your layout. Where did you purchase the Rotala Najenshan? I am anxious to see this plant once in full growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
smalltank-- I hope the hardscape is less prominant as moss grows in . . . :(

thabeeg-- I think so too. Looking forward to that!

PeetyPob-- Aquaspot World! :D Great dealer . . . I've had great experiences with them so far . . . BTW-- if you don't like ordering overseas, Robert will probably take the risk for you. Aquabotanic has had Rotala Najenshan before and he can special order it from what I understand. Otherwise, there are plenty of rotala collectors among our plant fanatics. AaronT and turtlehead come to mind . . . or else hit me up in a while ;)

Rotala Najenshan is probably the easiest rotala next to rotundifolia . . . In Japan, it's as common as Rotala rotundifolia, so when I studied abroad in Japan I kept a bunch of them in a 5gallon desk tank I won by raffle from Aqua Forest Tokyo (apparently they're not affiliated with San Francisco's though, too bad). No offense to the san Fran guys, but the Shinjuku (Tokyo) shop is prettier. :) Anyway, the tank was 9watts lighting, no CO2, no ferts, with some aquasoil. In the 1 month I lived in Tokyo, I had to trim R. Najenshan 3 times. It's a great plant.
 

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I can't wait to see how that moss is going to grow in. :) Thanks for those close-ups. I was wondering how you placed the moss on the sticks. The Rotala Najenshan is a very nice looking plant too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Glad you like the sticks Snapple :)

Christin-- I've read somewhere that when initially planting moss, it's best if one can spread it out so that the mosses have room and reason to grow, and are not crowded. The moss is tied by thinly distributing it over the sticks, and lots of effort in tying it on with cotton. XD Go try the R. Najenshan! It's a very easy plant in addition to its beauty. :)
 

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I really like the riccia at the base of the sticks in the from, it gives a nice emulation of brush in a forest. I'm really interested in the river area, could you take a bigger picture of it? so you did a study abroad in japan, どこにべんきょうしましたか。I think this setup has a lot of potential and I am also very curious to see how the "trees" fill out.
 
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