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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello TPT, just thought I would start up a journal, not only to show you fine people my journey in this hobby, but also to help myself keep track of my own progress.

I started this hobby in July, 2012 with this:



Knowing little to nothing of the planted tank world. That is how it stayed for about half a year, as I read many a thread from this very forum.


After ordering new substrate, wood, plants, I was ready to give this tank its second life.

As it exists 2/11/13:




Obligatory breakdown:

55 gallon tank
Flourite dark
Odyssea T5HO
AC70 HOB
350gph powerhead
Driftwood (thanks Tom)
Seiryu stones
Pressurized CO2

Plants:
Dwarf clover
Jungle vals
Hydrocotyle japan
Blyxa japonica
Dwarf hairgrass
?Stems??

Fauna:
2 Angels
20 Rummynose Tetras
9 Cardinals
3 Cherry Barbs
3 African Butterfly fish
2 Ottos
Ghost/ Cherry shrimp



I will be updating as I plant the tank, and re-introduce the organisms into their new environment! Always looking for advice, critique, etc.

Wish me luck folks, this should be fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Picked up a 10lb CO2 tank this week and hooked it all up. Running with a HOB for now so I will just pump the gas up for a little to compensate.

Diffusion is through a fluval ceramic diffuser a couple inches under the powerhead.

Got some new plants in from pweifan, thanks!




First FTS:


Ordered about 30lbs of Seiryu stone, should be here by next week when I will begin to scape the left side of the tank!


Comments/critique would be appreciated, thanks for looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Got about 30lbs of Seiryu stone in!!

Thinking about making the title "Nature's Strife" as in the mountain vs the trees.

Here is the updated FTS



I want to use a different foreground plant for the left side, specifically HC on the mountain. Anybody have experience planting HC in Flourite?

Anybody have any comments?

Critique?

Anything?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the comments, planted some Rotala rotundifolia behind the stones today, and ordered a sunsun canister...hopefully the co2 will not be gassed out this way.


Any suggestions for plants on the left side?

I am really liking the hydrocotyle japan so far, and will be adding more riccia onto the driftwood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fantastic job on the new side of the tank really adds to the tank. Great choice in fish too. Nothing beats watching a tight school of rummy nose tetras
Thanks for the comments! Well I wasn't getting much action here so I started a thread in the Aquascape section.

You can read it here:http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=255362&highlight=


The result was that my thoughts were confirmed and the left side just did not seem right, the scale was just off, it did not mesh well. So it had to be changed.

Here is the new iteration, right before a water change:





Some updates:

Recently got rid of my Aquaclear 70 and replaced it with a Sunsun canister, putting out 265 gph...a little low, but the flow is nice, and along with the powerhead, I think the combo will work out fine.

Still trying to figure out the CO2 dosing...came home today to find a ghost shrimp in its back and the fish acting strange. After the water change, I went to look for the body and was surprised to find it had scuttled away, so no casualties.

Looking to add more plants soon, things are growing very well so far.

Thanks for looking, and as always, comments/critique are very much appreciated!
 

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I actually like the way you have the wood framing the mountain here... and the wood is very dynamic with an interesting flow. The mountain just needs to be planted. Using similar planting from the right would bring in even more cohesion, although you could use a different stem plant for the background

eg:



Lastly, you might consider letting the soil behind the mountain on the left continue to rise toward the back of the tank (pushing a few of the stones towards the back as well so the mountain appears behind the wood portal). This would help improve the perspective. If possible, move/adjust the intake(?) in that corner to allow the deeper soil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I concluded that the scale was just not working with the right side of the tank. Since the tank is so narrow its a little more difficult to pull off one of those "perspective" scapes.

I am pretty happy with the current state of it.


Added some new inhabitants:





3 African Butterfly fish.


Riccia starting to take off:

 

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Love the final version and the butterfly fish are sure adding to the effect. Reminds me a bit of the fighting dragons tank in the 2012 IAPLC contest. Not quite sure what creatures I see but there is something there!
 

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i like the way you have it now. it lets the right side create a focal point and the left accents it well. once its all planted its gonna look great. You have done a great job, especially considering the dimensions of the tank.
 

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I actually like the way you have the wood framing the mountain here... and the wood is very dynamic with an interesting flow. The mountain just needs to be planted. Using similar planting from the right would bring in even more cohesion, although you could use a different stem plant for the background

eg:



Lastly, you might consider letting the soil behind the mountain on the left continue to rise toward the back of the tank (pushing a few of the stones towards the back as well so the mountain appears behind the wood portal). This would help improve the perspective. If possible, move/adjust the intake(?) in that corner to allow the deeper soil.
I still don't like the LHS that high. Maybe it's because the rocks are looking so 'white' but it's just a big focus puller in my opinion an detracts from the beautiful texture and movement the wood provides.

Lindsay
 

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I concluded that the scale was just not working with the right side of the tank. Since the tank is so narrow its a little more difficult to pull off one of those "perspective" scapes.

I am pretty happy with the current state of it.


Added some new inhabitants:





3 African Butterfly fish.


Riccia starting to take off:

I love your butterfly fish. I want to get some but I don't want a cover on my aquarium.

As for your new scape. I like it better. But I still think you could improve.

I think now you have a pile of rocks and sticks in place of the rocks. Don't get me wrong, I think it is an improvement. Perhaps planted it will be better.

I think it's that you have lost a focal point. I think the wood you had on the left framed the tank.

I tried another layout with what you have but this one is harder.

123.jpg

hmmm, so the line on the left is the line one focal point 'should' be on the other circle is a spot you could put another focal point. But I'm a little stuck with changing this around.

If you want have a play with changing the wood on the left would be my suggestion now.

Farmer
 

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had to look at the new fts a few times and had a thought. i think if you shifted the larger driftwood and the entire section on the right more towards the center then relocate the left section to the right and flipping it to face outward, it would be in better balance. Lots of work tho... but even more work once your plants get more established.
 

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I actually like the way you have the wood framing the mountain here... and the wood is very dynamic with an interesting flow. The mountain just needs to be planted. Using similar planting from the right would bring in even more cohesion, although you could use a different stem plant for the background

eg:



Lastly, you might consider letting the soil behind the mountain on the left continue to rise toward the back of the tank (pushing a few of the stones towards the back as well so the mountain appears behind the wood portal). This would help improve the perspective. If possible, move/adjust the intake(?) in that corner to allow the deeper soil.
I still don't like the LHS that high. Maybe it's because the rocks are looking so 'white' but it's just a big focus puller in my opinion an detracts from the beautiful texture and movement the wood provides.


Lindsay
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you for the comments all.

I do not have a problem with re-arranging things now, before the tank starts to mature.

However, I think that I will have plants do a lot of the work in terms of framing, and making the tank flow better.

Here is a FTS I took today:



I look through the wood I have and maybe pick a piece to put on the left to help bring the focus more towards where the ideal point should be.
 

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I really like the idea of the tank (wood on one side, stone on the other). My constructive criticism would be to scape the rock on the left without the wood on the left covering it up. That stone is very dynamic, covering it up with the wood doesn't allow it to express itself.

Also, it might just be the camera, but the tank looks a little dark. Am I crazy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was messing with exposure for effect..the tank is actually brighter.

After leaving the tank alone for a week I decided I was not content with it. I had spent a great deal on those stones and it would be a waste to cover them up. Besides,they add a different character to the tank.

Still thinking, here is how it looks as of today.

I plan on planting some nice colorful stems behind the stone and letting the dwarf hydrocotyle spread. Adding more riccia to the driftwood as well.
 

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