The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 20 of 91 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Whew, it's been a while since I have posted here! I have still been very active with the hobby, but went to Facebook for sometime due to ease of posting, but was frustrated with the lack of methods to document progression. To summarize my journey thus far, I started with a 15 gallon high tech planted tank in April of 2016, added a 5 gallon high tech bonsai scape, added three more ten gallon tanks for shrimp, mosses and buces, won a 20 gallon planted tank from an AGA raffle in spring of 2017, got married, and had to decommission/rescape several of my tanks! At present, I have 5 planted setups, a 22 long, 20, 10, 5 and 2.5. Please see the images below and thanks for stopping by!

Link to Photo Gallery:

Hybrid Dutch/Iwagumi 15 gallon Aquarium Photo Progression
Duke City Aqua's Fish Room
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
I like the rocks!

I would try to angle the rocks a little more, maybe into 45 degree angles relative to the ground. Also, I would create larger mounds of substrate under the rocks. It looks very level and a little too even and symmetrical, not natural. Maybe play around with several layouts and placements. This is the best time to try different things.

The left, tallest rock is definitely one you'd want more towards the middle than on the outside border since it's the biggest and strongest rock of all. Also, more of a slope would help expose the smaller rocks more because once you have plants, they could easily get swallowed up by them. It's happened to me so many times. heheh

Good luck! Amano is definitely inspiring!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestion. i do have a DIY CO2 setup that I had been using before, so I was planning on using that until all the parts came in the next week or so... I am really having trouble finding all the parts to make my own regulator though merp...

Bump:
Don't order the plants until you have everything needed. In addition to the co2, you'll need ferts as well.
Thanks for the suggestion. i do have a DIY CO2 setup that I had been using before, so I was planning on using that until all the parts came in the next week or so... I am really having trouble finding all the parts to make my own regulator though merp...

Bump:
I like the rocks!

I would try to angle the rocks a little more, maybe into 45 degree angles relative to the ground. Also, I would create larger mounds of substrate under the rocks. It looks very level and a little too even and symmetrical, not natural. Maybe play around with several layouts and placements. This is the best time to try different things.

The left, tallest rock is definitely one you'd want more towards the middle than on the outside border since it's the biggest and strongest rock of all. Also, more of a slope would help expose the smaller rocks more because once you have plants, they could easily get swallowed up by them. It's happened to me so many times. heheh

Good luck! Amano is definitely inspiring!
Thank you so much for the suggestions! I have been tinkering with the layout for the past day and agree that the larger stone needs to be more of the "centerpiece" I have more fluorite to play with from my low tech aquarium so I will get so more substrate to create mounds. I did receive another larger stone but it had almost no character and resembled a tomb stone...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
I think you are off to a great start!
Why have you come to the conclusion you need to build your own regulator? There are plenty on the market and some aren't too costly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think you are off to a great start!
Why have you come to the conclusion you need to build your own regulator? There are plenty on the market and some aren't too costly.
Based on the general consensus of this website, building a regulator will get you better components at better rate. I have looked at CO2 art , GLA and Aquatek Regulators but the claim is that the needle valves are not the best and finnicky or just over priced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
Based on the general consensus of this website, building a regulator will get you better components at better rate. I have looked at CO2 art , GLA and Aquatek Regulators but the claim is that the needle valves are not the best and finnicky or just over priced.
That makes sense :)
Will definitely be interested to see your build when its done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That makes sense :)
Will definitely be interested to see your build when its done.
I decided to heck with it. I just got my tax return so i busted a move and got a GLA regulator and drop checker. I decided to get a 5lb. co2 cylinder so that I would not have to refill it as often. This hopefully will last me a significant amount of time in the long run!

GLA Gro CO2 Regulator | Green Leaf Aquariums

CAL AQUA LABS Nano Drop Checker | Green Leaf Aquariums

Amazon.com: 5 lb. co2 Cylinder - New Aluminum Tank CGA 320 Valve: Industrial & Scientific
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
Very nice choice of equipment!!!!
I hopefully will be able to save the pennies to invest in something like this, but being a student makes luxuries like this seem impossible!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Very nice choice of equipment!!!!
I hopefully will be able to save the pennies to invest in something like this, but being a student makes luxuries like this seem impossible!
Haha i feel you, i had a low tech 12 gal. For 4 years in the dorms and i have to say it was a godsend for my sanity.... Plus it was a really good talking point for any visitors!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Ah, this second layout already looks very much improved! Also, don't be shy about using more stones since you've already spent the money for them. Maybe you could add more of the smaller rocks (the five in front in the spare pieces pic) somewhere.

Even if you don't add any more pieces, this looks pretty nice to me. One thing I would do is change the substrate slope slightly. I like the slope from front to back, but I would slope the back part more towards the center since you have this more centered layout. I also think that one of the outermost rocks could either be smaller, or put into the substrate more. It currently looks a little too balanced. Maybe the left-most rock could be adjusted to be lower to make the strongest rock look bigger.

Also, great choice on the GLA regulator. It will last you a very long time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I see what you mean now. Thanks for the help! Iteration three here we go!

Ah, this second layout already looks very much improved! Also, don't be shy about using more stones since you've already spent the money for them. Maybe you could add more of the smaller rocks (the five in front in the spare pieces pic) somewhere.

Even if you don't add any more pieces, this looks pretty nice to me. One thing I would do is change the substrate slope slightly. I like the slope from front to back, but I would slope the back part more towards the center since you have this more centered layout. I also think that one of the outermost rocks could either be smaller, or put into the substrate more. It currently looks a little too balanced. Maybe the left-most rock could be adjusted to be lower to make the strongest rock look bigger.

Also, great choice on the GLA regulator. It will last you a very long time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here is iteration three. I reduced the height of the leftmost rock and added some more sacrificial stones. I also moved the gravel more towards the center and it made a huge difference. Sorry for the potato quality photos, I am using my phone and the lighting is terrible where I am!
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,942 Posts
I think you got some really good advise from bereninga. That looks much better. Building up the substrate to the center works well and will add a lot of depth and interest once the ground-cover fills in. Hard to tell with the newspaper, but the 2nd largest rock right center maybe can be more on an angle, but overall it looks good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think you got some really good advise from bereninga. That looks much better. Building up the substrate to the center works well and will add a lot of depth and interest once the ground-cover fills in. Hard to tell with the newspaper, but the 2nd largest rock right center maybe can be more on an angle, but overall it looks good.
I was trying to use the paper to block the background but i will make those adjustments as soon as i get off!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Version 3.1 With LED on

I adjusted the angles of the rocks slightly and worked out how to best take a photo with my phone. I think that I will plan to add more substrate to raise the rocks up slightly more (about 2") and the hardscaping is done! Then onto plants :D
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
I'm liking it mate!
You're definitely making a lot of progress with your hardscapes!
Its great that you haven't rushed your design and planted and flooded the first chance you got.
That being said....cannot wait till you plant and flood :thumbsup:
 
1 - 20 of 91 Posts
Top