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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my first aquascaping project. I've been interested in it since stumbling onto a Green Aqua YouTube video in December.

I really like the minimalism and Zen-ness of Iwagumi so I used that as a starting point even though I'm not fully following all the tenets.
This tank is a Tideline 23.7 gallon low-iron tank and measures 39.4in X 12in X 12in, or more precisely it is 90 liters and measures 100cm x 30cm x 30cm. I chose this tank because I really like the panoramic view and is still somewhat affordable. I built the cabinet myself.

Currently, I have a draft of the hardscape. Plants from Buceplant.com. The carpet is mostly Hemianthus Callitrichoides 'Cuba' and some other low-growing plants for accents. I plan on dry-starting the tank. It is going to be a high-tech tank. The lamp behind is just temporary.

I plan on stocking it with my existing black phantom tetras and some other complimentary tetras as well, maybe cardinal tetras. Also I will have a few nerite snails. I would do shrimp but I think my black phantoms might try to eat them. Not sure on that...

Let me know what you think of it so far! I like constructive criticism.

Thanks,
-Brad
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This is my first aquascaping project. I've been interested in it since stumbling onto a Green Aqua YouTube video in December.

I really like the minimalism and Zen-ness of Iwagumi so I used that as a starting point even though I'm not fully following all the tenants.
This tank is a Tideline 38.7 gallon low-iron tank and measure 29in X 12in X 12in, or more precisely it is 90 liters and measures 100cm x 30cm x 30cm. I chose this tank because I really like the panoramic view and is still somewhat affordable. I built the cabinet myself.

Currently, I have a draft of the hardscape. Plants arrive tomorrow from Buceplant.com. The carpet will be mostly Hemianthus Callitrichoides 'Cuba' and some other low-growing plants for accents. I plan on dry-starting the tank. It is going to be a high-tech tank. The lamp behind is just temporary till my Fluval Plant 3.0 arrive on Thursday.

I plan on stocking it with my existing black phantom tetras and some other complimentary tetras as well, maybe cardinal tetras. Also I will have a few nerite snails. I would do shrimp but I think my black phantoms might try to eat them. Not sure on that...

Let me know what you think of it so far! I like constructive criticism.

Thanks,
-Brad

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Nice setup! I think it looks good, but if it were my tank and I was going to change anything, I'd take out the two oval/round rocks in the middle of the left most clump, and put the rightmost rock in their place. Then maybe put the smaller round rock where the rightmost rock used to be. Or maybe put the bigger oval rock under the tallest rock on the left to elevate it further and allow it to sit above the waterline even higher, but I think that would require more substrate to hide the oval rock. All that said, I still think it looks good as is. Nice work (y)

One thing I've always done with new tanks is water test them, just in case. It would be a huge pain to scape, commit to a dry start, only to find out the tank leaks once you flood it. Hope you watertested! :)
 

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"This tank is a Tideline 38.7 gallon low-iron tank and measure 29in X 12in X 12in, or more precisely it is 90 liters and measures 100cm x 30cm x 30cm"

This has me throughly confused. 100 cm is much longer than 29 inches, and neither of those dimensions would have a volume of 38.7 gallons.

On their website the dimensions are 47.3" x 13.8" x 13.8", is that what you got?

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"This tank is a Tideline 38.7 gallon low-iron tank and measure 29in X 12in X 12in, or more precisely it is 90 liters and measures 100cm x 30cm x 30cm"

This has me throughly confused. 100 cm is much longer than 29 inches, and neither of those dimensions would have a volume of 38.7 gallons.

On their website the dimensions are 47.3" x 13.8" x 13.8", is that what you got?

Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk
Sorry for the confusion. I wrote those numbers from memory and got some digits wrong. I corrected it in the original post. The current DFW Aquarium website does not list the size I bought. I think I got one of the their last two in stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice setup! I think it looks good, but if it were my tank and I was going to change anything, I'd take out the two oval/round rocks in the middle of the left most clump, and put the rightmost rock in their place. Then maybe put the smaller round rock where the rightmost rock used to be. Or maybe put the bigger oval rock under the tallest rock on the left to elevate it further and allow it to sit above the waterline even higher, but I think that would require more substrate to hide the oval rock. All that said, I still think it looks good as is. Nice work (y)

One thing I've always done with new tanks is water test them, just in case. It would be a huge pain to scape, commit to a dry start, only to find out the tank leaks once you flood it. Hope you watertested! :)
Thanks for the fantastic feedback and scaping ideas! I ended up getting my plants in the mail around noon. Having them sit around while I was working (and considering if I wanted to move any of the stones around) was giving me anxiety. I was thinking the plants wanted to be planted ASAP so I just ended up rinsing and planting them. Pictures of that should be posted within a day. I was glad to have just the right amount of plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here is a day 6 update:

This does not seem to be going well. I thought a dry start was a pretty bullet-proof method of starting your carpeting plants but I'm seeing yellowing on all plants and the rotala bonsai and helanthium tenellum are doing especially poor. The rotala seems to be melting and drying and the helanthium has browning and curling leave tips. I am using quality aqua soil and lighting. I am opening up the saran wrap for about two hours a day and the rest of the time it is covered and has fine condensation on the walls. I detailed the issue on this post:


Here is a day 6 picture. I'm actually on day 8 now.
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Why? Mold isn't an issue on submerged plants

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Doesn't appear to be an issue on this tank either 🤷

Mold can certainly be a concern with dry starts, but I'd argue that they aren't "overrated" because it's the fastest way to get a carpet going. There are a lot of benefits to a dry start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hello all, thanks for your input.

I filled the tank with about a centimeter of water; that stopped the HC "Cuba" from yellowing. The rotala bonsai, however, got much worse and did start to mold so I pulled it all out. I have an order in for staurogyne repens to replace it. It is much less finicky than the rotala bonsai and should result in a bushy look that I want with the high light and injected CO2. I'm feeling a lot better about this now, especially after I took a day 11 picture and compared it to day 1. There is a lot more growth than I was noticing.

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I will probably go another week with the dry start after adding the new plants then I will flood it. I've been cycling my Fluval 307 filter by dosing a tub of water with ammonia daily so it should be ready to go as soon as I flood it.

Thanks all,
-Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey, while we are at it, do any of you have any thoughts on my plan to stock it?

I have 3 black phantom tetras, an ottocinclus, and a nerite snail that I want to transfer to this tank.

Should I just get more of the same fish or should I add another species of tetra like a cardinal tetra? I like the cardinals because they almost look like little sunsets. In either case I plan on getting about 4 more ottos any maybe another nerite snail or two.

I like the idea of stocking it with about 10 yellow shrimp too because I think they will make it look like the fields of HC 'cuba' has yellow flowers in it but I've never kept shrimp and I'm worried that my bf tetras will not play nice with them.

Thoughts?
-Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Time for an update. The tank has been flooded for 3 weeks now. I stalked it with 10 neon tetra, 3 otocinclus, and 4 amano shrimp. I did a fishless cycle on the filter so I added the livestock 3 days after I flooded it and did a drip acclimation for 2 hours. One otto lasted a week, the next lived two. I still have one. My shrimp were fine for the first two weeks but two of them then died. All my neon tetras are fine. I've been doing 50 water changes every week and 20% changes here and there. I had a bad cyanobacteria problem the first week and a half and that stuff grew really fast but I used Ultra Life Blue Green Slime Stain Remover and that cleared it up 90%. I'm starting on my 2nd treatment today since there is a little left. I also have some green beard algae issues and since my CO2 is as high as I think is safe for the livestock I reduced the light a little bit since the algae I have seems to indicate low CO2 levels. Tips/tricks are appreciated; this is my first scape. Anyway here are some pictures.

After Flooding:
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Orange and Green Cyanobacteria:
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Algea:

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Today after maintenance:
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This picture is 4 months in. I had to replace all of the HC 'Cuba' with Micranthemum Monte Carlo. I think I couldn't get enough CO2 saturation to support it without affecting the fish. It is doing much better now, though my dwarf hairgrass was having a rough time for a while. It got covered in diatomes and I couldn't stop if from getting worse so I pulled it out and replanted it. More picture to come soon. I'm 5 months in now.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I had a lighting timer malfunction when I was on vacation and came back to a lot of Staghorn algae. Other than cutting off the affected leaves and correcting the lighting issue are there any thoughts on how to get past this? The Staghorn algae seems to keep affecting new leaves each day even though I'm cutting off visibly affected leaves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Photo at 6 months in. Still fighting staghorn algae but I think I have a path forward. I lowered my drop checker and it is showing that maybe my CO2 flow isn't high enough. Made an adjustment and time will tell.
Plant community Water Natural landscape Plant Vegetation
 
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