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21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi im new here, this is a journal rescaping my previously set up tank and neglected scape.

Im looking at going towards a semi-dutch scape. Lots of plant species in groupings and streets. Less focus on hardscape - thus I'm lowering the height of my hardscape, and removing some of the bulk. I find it is difficult to plant densly when there are buried rocks blocking planting space.


I really like the feel of this tank. Lots of thick, bushy, healthy plants. Its also planted in a similar shape as what im after as my tank will be viewable from 1 side and the front. It is also using a similar number of plants and colours as I am hoping to have.

Im hoping that once my plants grow in my driftwood will look a bit like this scape. Very soft and not over powering.

I have made a few adjustments to hardware
- No more LEDs
They make plant colours less vibrant
Speed of growth isnt fantastic
- Re-plumbed filtration
Used less piping to make water flow more direct

Tank Specs

Tank: ADA size - 90cmx45cmx45cm 10mm glass

Cabinet: ADA Style - Black polyurethane painted - 80cm tall

ATI Sunpower 6x39w Dimmable unit
3 Giesemann Midday
2 Giesemann Aquaflora
ATI Purple Plus
Cade Light stand

Filter: Fluval G3
Cade Lily pipe set
Here's the filter I will be using. Ill be replacing the grey hosing with clear. I will also be using an additional external pump to combat loss of flow rate due to the inline reactor.

CADE lily pipe set to go with this (unfortunately will have to use a stainless steel strainer on the intake to avoid losing any little shrimplets):

Additional inline pump: Hydor Seltz L30

Heater: Hydor ETH 300watt inline heater

4.5kg KegsonLegs
Aquamedic regulator and solenoid
Sera flore CO2 pressure diffuser
4.5kg CO2 bottle. I will also be using the sera inline diffuser:

Auto Dosing:
MarineColour MC-03-S 4 channel control unit with MC-03-M 4 channel extension unit
Dry Fertilizers for EI dosing
6x Dosing Chambers
Clear tubing
Here are the dosing pumps I will be using. There are a total of 6 programmable channels.
There is also a 6x tube holder that will connect the tubes from the dosing pumps to the tank.

I am going to be doing using the EI method.
There is around 750g-1kg of each dry fertilizer. I believer it is important to keep them well labeled and air tight, so I have placed them in plastic containers.
I have purchased 2l of dino spit and 50small dino dung pellets.

2x ADA NEW 9l Normal Amazonia
1x ADA NEW 9l Powder Amazonia
1x ADA 6l Powersand Special-M
1x ADA Penac-P 200g (Plants)
ADA Tourmaline F 250g
Acrylic divider with suction caps

Manzanita Diftwood
Yingshi rocks

Soil layout plan:

Here's the steps on how I laid out my aquasoil initially;
Although I have made a few adjustments to this second scape
- thinner line of soil at the front and side of the tank
- blended the powder ADA further into the normal ADA for a more natural look and easier planting.

Step one:
I laid out my substrate line creating the overall curve of the tank. I used suction caps with acrylic sheet (3cm x 2mm) slotted in. I worked on the shape I wanted for quite some time.

Step two:

I carefully filled in the ADA powder using a scoop. I poured it towards the glass so as not to put too much pressure on the divider.

Step three:

I carefully kept filling until the powder was approximately a few mm from the top of the divider. I had a little bit escape under the divider but not enough to cause me any concern.

Step four:

Next was to add the powders; penac p, penac w and touramaline bc.

One whole container of touramaline bc was added

Then the penac w (10 scoops)

And the penac p (10 scoops)

The powders were then pushed away from the edge of the tank, about 1cm.

Step five:
I then added the powersand using a scoop. I didn't quite use a whole bag.

This was also pushed away from the edge of the tank, about 1cm.

Step 6:
To keep the powersand and aquasoil from mixing, mesh was added over the top and cut to size.

Step 7:
I then added the ADA normal using a scoop. Only one bag initially until my hard scape was done.

I blended the boarder between the two soils and covered the acrylic divider.

Planted 27/10/12
Took about an hour. There's still quite a bit of space to be filled in as not all the plants I ordered arrived.
The tank is still a bit cloudy unfortunately, i have added some accu-clear but the cloudiness remains.
My ATI sunpower light unit and cade stand has not arrived yet, so I'm using an old tank hood with 4 T5HO globes.

7 days since planting
Plants still adjusting a bit, not too much growth.


21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone :)
looks fantastic, what LED fixture did you switch from?
I was using the Maxspect Mazarras. They just really arent suited to planted tanks. The plants were all growing, but all the colours were just dull, red plants just didnt colour up the way they do with T5's.

21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's a quick pic of my hardware in action:

I had some issues with some weird melt in this tank. I have lost all my Staurogyne sp "Tropica", Ludwigia Glandulosa, Limnophila aromatica "Red" and Rotala sp "Green".

I also had some major issues with the Rotala indica aswell, i believe it was grown emersed and melted when i planted it. Although I left it for a week after it melted and it sprouted new shoots - I have since removed these (1cm long) and replanted them away from the rot. Here they are 3 days after being replanted:

My UG is struggling also, i think that may be a lighting issue (Ill get to that in a moment). I also lots 80% of my Hemianthus micranthemoides. Im also getting patches of BGA. I have treated it with H2O2, so hopefully that will slow it down.

I receieved my ATI 6x39w Dimmable unit and cade light stands last week. The light stands attached really well and everything was hung in 1/2 an hour. I left the light unit covered in plastic warp until the globes arrived 3 days later. This is where all the problems started...
I ordered the following globes:
3 Giesemann Midday 39w globes 6000k
2 Giesemann Aquaflora 39w globes 5700 K
1 ATI Purple Plus 39w globe.

I received the following:
1 Giesemann Midday 39w globes 6000k
3 Giesemann Aquaflora 39w globes 5700 K
1 KZ New Generation 39w globe 14000k
2 KZ Fiji Purple 39w globe.

Well to say the least I was confused... I contacted the supplier and he's going to send me the CORRECT order this week. I unwrapped the unit and removed the 0.5mm acrylic cover over the reflectors and i was horrified. The reflectors were dented and bent in several places.

Not impressed in the slightest. I put the globes into the ATI unit - they weren't the right spectrum, but i just wanted to see if the damned thing even worked. I switched the unit on and turned both channels to 100%. 2 globes lit up, 2 globes flickered and 2 did nothing. Great so the whole unit doesn't work, even after hours of moving the globes around. So once again, I contacted the supplier and hes going to arrange a replacement.

(note the colour of the globes - also wrong!)

Ok so, moving on.
Ive had some fairly good plant growth and everything is colouring up. i did a big trim, didn't cut everything as low as i should have but i didn't want to risk any more melt.

My Rotala sp Colorata is growing like crazy and is colouring up really well. Persicaria sp. 'Porto Velho is growing really quickly and producing better quality further up the stem, so i pulled them up, removed the older, lower stem and replanted. I also did this with Tonina fluviatilis. Ludwigia sp Cuba is developing a rich yellow leaf with a orange center, really nice and hygrophila pinnatifida is sending our runners.

3 weeks FTS - Everything is still very messy but its growing. Ill need to shuffle some plants soon.
Note how purple the light is, hopefully when my new globes arrive, the tank will look less purple (marine)!

I finally have my lily pipe at the right depth and its got some nice whirlpool action going on. Its also a good indicator of when i need to clean my filter.

Im having a bit of trouble with deficiencies/overdosing in the plants. So i have cut all channels in my auto doser and am only dosing KNO3, glut, and trace (additional iron as well) until i can figure out the problem.
hygrophila pinnatifida has small brown spots/holes plus yellowing in the old leaves and the new growth looks stunted and curly. Im guessing trace deficiency or mg over dose. I doubt it is co2 as everything is pearling like crazy.

21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I bought this gorgeous hunk of spunk Last week.

And im going to be upgrading my hardscape with this new piece. Im still aiming for most of the wood to blend in and have the plants as the main focus but i feel the bulk and colour of the anubias will really help my scape.

Im already having thoughts (and dreams - yes ive been dreaming about aquascapes all night!) on how lovely the contrast will be having streets of plants meeting with this grogeous piece of DW. Also i think my cyperus helferi will look awesome growing out from behind this as well as mixing in some mini java fern. Im also going to transfer some US Fissidens.

21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thats def going to change the whole look of the tank very nice. were r u thing about putting it?
Haha well i couldnt wait to put it in, here are some updated pics!
I pulled up all the plants, removed dead leaves and trimmed everything.
took me a good few hours but this is how it looks.

Dust cloud! Yay!

So I did a 50% water change on the tank to remove some more dust particals and also cleaned out the filter.
Front of tank

3/4 view

Side view

And a close up

Now just have to wait for it to fill in a bit :)

Im still waiting for a bunch of plants that should arrive early this week. The back right hand corner is still empty.

21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
yea once u get ome plants in the back corner its guna look sweet, looks much fuller then it did before. what kind of fish r thos, chili rasboras?
Ember tetras and hengels rasbora :)

Im really happy with how much it has thinkened up the look of my scape :)

21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Haha I have Limnophila aromatica red on order for that back corner - theres actually some planted there but its only about 1inch tall as the rest of it melted. I also have some Ludwigia glandulosa, Najas Roraima and some more stems of Tonina fluviatilis. Should arrive early this week :)
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