The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
Looking good so far! Points to you for trying a serious Dutch setup. :proud: On first inspection it looks like all of your plants are aquatic so you probably won't have to worry about issues there. Now, on to your questions.

3. Walls- I answered that in response to your question my thread. ABSOLUTELY make walls. They're considered an essential component of this type of aquascape/aquarium in the Netherlands. True Dutch aquascapes as they're done to conform to the NBAT rules are pretty much required to have them.

4. Number of species- In my conversations with past NBAT national champions they've said that the 1 plant per 10 cm of length includes ALL plants in the tank, not just stem species. There's a little wiggle room there but in general, don't go over more than 2 above the 1/10cm rule. Sticking to the rule is best.

6. It looks like you've got a good start on the street and focal points. Figuring out how fast things grow, what would be best to place where, and all that comes with time tinkering with your tank. Don't freak out if you need to move things around and adjust the size or shape of a grouping to get it just right; that's all part of the process (and fun!). :)

It looks like you've got a couple different plants in there that would traditionally be used as a focal species; the sword and banana plant lily(lilies?) especially. For now it's probably a good idea to put them both in the middle open spaces so you can see how they'll grow in a more appropriate location.

Take a look at my 60 gallon thread for some ideas. Right now it's just packed with plants in a vague semblance of an aquascape so it's worth looking at while I learn how the plants do in my system. It'll be changing a lot with time, as yours probably will be too.

7. Some plants will flower under water, but most stem species flower above water. Chances are good that the plant you're talking about was grown above water in the nursery and came with buds. It's common for those buds to open when first put into an aquarium.

Points to you for taking the Dutch Challenge! I look forward to seeing your tank grow and change with time.

Regards,
Phil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
MamaJu,

The best advice I can give right now is to just let the tank be for a while. Let the plants grow out until the tank's full and then start seriously considering aquascaping. Unless you're willing to drop the $$ you need to fill in all that empty space at once, that is. :)

The awesome thing about Dutch tanks is it's ok to tweak things over time as you learn how the plants do in your tank. Just don't move things around every day. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
Looking better, now for another challenge- don't touch the plants for three weeks. Can you do it? :D

As far as the wall thing goes, if you don't want to tear the tank all down and let it sit dry for a few days while the silicone cures I wouldn't go with a foam wall. Poret foam will work if you can get it in 1/2" thickness, paint it, and find a way to stick it to the walls. It'll probably be cheaper to get plastic mesh and coconut fiber matting from a garden center to make the walls out of and should serve the same purpose.

If you're looking for something more rigid you can zip tie plastic mesh to egg crate and paint it fairly easily. That sort of thing is easy to super glue ferns, Anubias, or other epiphytes to if a moss wall isn't your thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
Suction cups! :thumbsup:

If you're able to move the fish to a different tank long enough to use Holdfast, you may as well use silicone and styro board. That's a better solution if you're willing/able to make a more long term/semi-permanent change to your tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
MamaJu,

I just checked out that video and that setup is a bit fancier than is really needed for making a plant wall. All you really need is a piece of sturdy foam board (again, I prefer the solid core plastic stuff, not the boards made from compressed balls/beads), some way to keep it where you want it, and a way to make it the color you want.

In the past I've done this two ways:
1- Painted solid core foam sheets with black Rust-O-Leum (NOT the spray; it'll melt the styro). This was easiest for me and worked well in a large tank where I'd intended it to be permanent. This one got a lot of silicone all over to seal it and make sure it didn't lift up.

2- Eggcrate, spray foam, suction cup, and Rust-O-Leum wall. This is probably the better choice for making a removable wall. When I did this one I covered a sheet of the cheap white eggcrate with expandable spray foam (I used Great Stuff brand), let it dry, trimmed it to my desired thickness, painted it with matte black Rust-O-Leum and attached it to the walls. Again, I intended this to be a permanent solution so I siliconed the whole thing to the glass.

To make it removable, simply decide on how you want to do it (suction cups, magnets, etc) and attach them to the eggcrate before foaming. I used cheap suction cups with metal hooks used for hanging stuff on glass and zip-ties on an egg-crate and plastic mesh moss wall with great success. Depending on the type of hooks, you may need to do a little modification with plyers to make more of an L shape rather than a J shape hook for easier attachment.

A point worth noting is that regardless of the method of attachment you use; if it's meant to be removable make sure you use many magnets/suction cups along the bottom as that's the most likely place for lifting to occur. For safety's sake, figure out how many magnets/cups you want to use then double it. The more points of contact across the whole area of the wall, the better.


The universal rocks background will be difficult to attach plants to without using super glue. It also looks a lot more expensive than the DIY options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
Oooooh, I like that. How much was it and is it soft enough to be able to push staples into? I may give that a try in one of my tanks. I'm curious to see how well it stays in place without adhesive and if it turns out to be toxic. Let's hope not on the last point.

If the fishing line's holding the moss down then it's good enough. :) If you want/need to add more moss give the mesh trick a try…if it's soft enough for staples. I used two plastic grids and suction cups for the moss wall in the 75. If you can get grid sheets attached to the wall that should work nicely. I typically use staples or bent framing brads to attach ferns and Anubias. I've used super glue/cyanoacrylate on ferns and Anubias too. The only drawbacks to the glue is you have to make sure both surfaces are dry first and gluing makes it harder to move plants around as needed.

As for the spaces and side walls, that's totally up to you. NBAT tradition and rules dictate covered side and back panes. If you want to stick to "How It's Done For Real" then yes, you need to cover the sides. A space in one corner for heaters/filter pipes is easily covered by a tall bunch of stems and shouldn't pose an aesthetic problem over time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
The walls are looking great! I can already see the mosses growing and can tell those walls are going to be nice. Thanks for sharing the tip on the pegs, that's an awesome idea. I think I'll give those a go myself when the time come.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
Look at that! It's coming along really well MamaJu. Love the pic of your girl on top of the tank now that she can't see through the wall. LOL

A couple things to consider:
1. Salt may harm and or kill your plants depending on concentration and how long you let it stay in there before changing the water.

2. CO2 gas + crushed coral = a large increase in Ca, Mg, and CO3 input into your tank. Keep an eye on your GH and KH; especially KH. If they start getting above 5-6 degrees, take the crushed coral out. That being said, I bet the sword plant, rainbows, and livebearers love the increased hardness.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top