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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
NEW PICS on page 2!


Been working on this tank for over 3 months now. I realize the scape looks pretty crowded but that is the look I was going for.

Tank: 40B
Filtration: Eheim 2215
Light: 2 Current satellite plus strips (need two because


of the shadows cast by the rocks). I have dimmed them a bit to reduce algae and photoperiod is only 6hrs for now.
Low tech with daily excel dosing and Seachem ferts
Substrate: layers of worm castings with osmocote plus Eco-complete and Caribsea sand.
Hardscape: flagstone
Fauna: 8 otos, lots of neo shrimp and some nerites and other snails.
Hardware: inline heater and two pumps to add flow because of the rocks.
Flora: Water sprite, AR mini, Anubias of various sizes including Anubia gold (in front), Monte carlo and downoi in the "valleys". Fissidens nobilis and fontanus and mini-pellia. Also some java fern.

Started tank with dry start for the Monte Carlo and Downoi for over a month and then flooded. Added the water sprite at that point. Been adding the buces over time. Have at least 10 different varieties in there that I will list later. Growth is very slow but that is to be expected since it is low tech and these are buces. The tank has been a phosphate hog, because the levels are low and I have to add phosphates every 2-3 days. Otherwise going well so far. So far algae is present but under control. I expect it will take months for the tank to mature because of the slow growth rate of the buces.

Original Tank
20150321_003153 by miclino, on Flickr

Dry start
20151216_182712 (1) by miclino, on Flickr

Full tank shot
2.24.D by miclino, on Flickr

2.24.E by miclino, on Flickr

2.24.C by miclino, on Flickr

2.24.B by miclino, on Flickr

2.24.F by miclino, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Agreed about the AR. The problem is that to get it to stay red without CO2, I have it in rich substrate at that spot. Harder to replicate in other spots but I can try using osmocote perhaps.

There is more AR mini in the tank but it is hidden by rocks. Perhaps should plant regular AR in those spots. It would need to be at least 6 inches tall to be seen though.

The background would be tricky as the tank is in a corner. I could put in a hard background but not sure I want to go with black since the "valley" is supposed to give an illusion of depth when you look at it from the right angle
 

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Agreed about the AR. The problem is that to get it to stay red without CO2, I have it in rich substrate at that spot. Harder to replicate in other spots but I can try using osmocote perhaps.

There is more AR mini in the tank but it is hidden by rocks. Perhaps should plant regular AR in those spots. It would need to be at least 6 inches tall to be seen though.

The background would be tricky as the tank is in a corner. I could put in a hard background but not sure I want to go with black since the "valley" is supposed to give an illusion of depth when you look at it from the right angle
Not sure you have to have a rich substrate to keep AR mini red -- I don't and mine seems fine... I fertilize the water column, use Excel, and have good light, so maybe that's all that's needed. Worth a try if you have some extra.

Maybe a frosted background then, if you get back there and apply it. The cords in the back take away from the cool look a bit. But if you don't mind, that's all that matters!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Missed the cords. They are easy to keep out of actually but a frosted background does sound good. I'm going to move some of the AR mini today

Will post a list of the buces later as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Buce list
Black label
Mini Godzilla
Sintang mini
Acentana
Lamandau various types
Dark Catherine
Mini dark catherinae
Green wavy
Kapuas adinda
Phatam mini
Arrowhead mini
Aldinda mini
Bilblis blue
Isabelle mini

There are a couple more I am missing. A few just melted and died. These were the ones that were grown emersed. I would recommend onky buying those grown submersed. Some of the ones that melted are slowly grwoing back from the rhizome. Growth is slow, even slower than the anubias in the tank but they are slowly putting out new leaves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Open to suggestions on stocking. I would like to keep the sense of scale so large fish are out of question. Plus there are the shrimp to keep in mind. Would Boraras be too small for this tank?
 

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Open to suggestions on stocking. I would like to keep the sense of scale so large fish are out of question. Plus there are the shrimp to keep in mind. Would Boraras be too small for this tank?
To me, for some reason this setup seems aesthetically well-suited to Asian species. Since you want to keep a sense of scale, why not go with nano-sized fishes? Microdevario kubotai or any of the tiny Boraras species for schooling fish, a group of flavus or Hara jerdoni catfish for bottom feeders (I've wanted these species for a long time), and a small group of a Dario species (Dario dario is my favorite) as the feature fish.

One note on scale though -- it's killed a little bit with the big pieces of driftwood sticking out from the back and the large anubias species. I still like it, but just a thought if you re-scape a bit.

edit: On second thought, the one on the left looks like a tree and fits the scale fine. It's the one in the middle that's throwing it off for me -- I think because it gets fatter at the top. Maybe try flipping it around?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
20160226_220559 by miclino, on Flickr

Updated pic with some AR mini moved to the front. You can only see one of the spots here though. Good suggestion.

Those are some great fish listed. The Boraras and Microdevario are on my list. I would love to consider the Scarlet Badis but am nervous about their eating habits. I do travel for work sometimes and that could be a problem for such picky fish. On the other hand the shrimp population might sustain them who knows.
That Hara Jerdoni is also very cool looking but the need for fresh food is also a problem here.

The large driftwood at the back left is meant to look like a large tropical tree type. The middle one too only appears thick and will eventually (I hope) be covered in mini buces. I agree about the larger anubias. I have a lot of anubia petites in there but the larger anubias were my way of getting a lot of green at the beginning. Perhaps I will slowly replace them with buces as they grow in.
 

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I like the hardscape. Well executed, but the wood in the middle is very distracting. I suggest you move it together with the one on the left, as if its the end of a forrest. Een add a third in the same area. Also the gey stone on the left could be replaced with the same stone used throughout. Just my opinion and what i would do. but itlooks great overall.
 

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20160226_220559 by miclino, on Flickr



Updated pic with some AR mini moved to the front. You can only see one of the spots here though. Good suggestion.



Those are some great fish listed. The Boraras and Microdevario are on my list. I would love to consider the Scarlet Badis but am nervous about their eating habits. I do travel for work sometimes and that could be a problem for such picky fish. On the other hand the shrimp population might sustain them who knows.

That Hara Jerdoni is also very cool looking but the need for fresh food is also a problem here.



The large driftwood at the back left is meant to look like a large tropical tree type. The middle one too only appears thick and will eventually (I hope) be covered in mini buces. I agree about the larger anubias. I have a lot of anubia petites in there but the larger anubias were my way of getting a lot of green at the beginning. Perhaps I will slowly replace them with buces as they grow in.

Looking good. If you decide to go for some of those fish, msjinkzd.com usually has a nice supply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here is what the tank looked like minus the driftwood. I agree that it has now become the focal point, but without it, felt like something was missing. I have since moved the one central large anubias and replaced it with anubias petite

minus driftwood by miclino, on Flickr

Also agree about the odd colored rock, But the problem of working with flagstone is limited shape options. My hope is that the buce will eventually grow down and cover it up.
 

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Maybe you could throw some floaters in there with nice root masses. They might fill that empty top space nicely, still giving it a "ruins"-vibe with their roots overhanging and darkening the scape. They would be cutting some lighting down, which may be a downside, or it just might be a good thing, as you don't want too much light on slow growers like the Anubias and Buces you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's tricky like you said. I have Monte carlo, downoi, AR mini and cyperus helferi that could all benefit from higher light. However, I have the led dimmed right now to precent algae. After 2 months only have a few spots of black and green algae.

I also have quite a bit of surface agitation from the spray bar which helps me prevent surface scum building up.

Keeping all this in mind, is there a floater I could try that is manageable (unlike what I hear about duck weed)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Alright so I took the driftwood out and realized the tank did look better without it. However, I feel like the wood serves to connect the rock piles. Plus I already have quite a bit of buces superglued on the wood. Worst case scenario, I could remove them but would like to try an alternative approach. I cut the wood in half and replaced it as below. Going to let it sit for a bit and see how I feel about it.

20160228_2352205 X by miclino, on Flickr

20160228_222740(2) X by miclino, on Flickr
 
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