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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Fellow Fish nerds,

I am a consistent voyeur of this forum and do the occasional post when the laptop comes out and I don't have to deal with the annoyances that come with posting from the phone. Currently I am studying at college, unfortunately since moving to Florida I haven't been able to keep up with the hobby, so happily my return has come!

Previously my tanks haven't been as well kept or designed as I'd hoped (hence perpetual mediocrity), so for this tank I am really putting in all I can (effort wise...financially I may have strung myself out a bit). Decided to go for a nano tank to start with, yes harder to stabilize etc but I cannot afford to go big and keep up with co2 and what not.

My aims for this scape have seemingly taken the path towards iwagumi, but that isn't what I want. I don't know what I want...but not pure iwagumi at least, one day I will but not this tank. Let me know any plant suggestions etc once you've waded your way through my dense and utter nonsense (spaced nicely by photos).

Well we all know that photos talk better than words (and much better than my gramma and vocabulary), so without further adieu.

You have to start somewhere, so I used a sheet of 3/4" ply to build the stand base.
Holding it all together, glued and nailed in place


Frame for the front of the box, this will not only hide those unsightly exposed plywood ends, but also allow for some more rigidity.



Smack em' all together and what do you get? A box, you get a box. Granted there was a couple extra pieces created before this photo, take note of the beautiful kickboard styling. There is a story behind that. The fiance said that "if there was going to be a fish tank in our place...that it damn well better be pretty." So, pretty it is I guess. More pretty to come later.




That right there my people, is a fish tank stand made special to fit a very small tank...




Okay now I know what everyone is probably thinking at this point, this is a long post already to have not seen a single flipping fish tank photo or some plants! Well, too bad there's more to come.

In place with tank on top, first glimpse of the tank oh so exciting!




Let's leave that stand there for a quick second and look at the rocks I picked up at the LFS. Not the greatest LFS, but the staff seems eager to please, just not happy with the condition of their fish. White spot contracted throughout all freshwater tanks, yet they are run entirely separate with individual sponge filters... pity that cross contamination etc is that easy to cause so many fish distress. Anyway, I digress.
Pics of the ohko I picked up! $2.89/lb



Pics are deceiving... but those aren't tiny rocks. So I went ahead and chiseled them down until I was happy with them looking both natural and appropriately sized for my tank. Ended up with around 8 individual rocks, 2 being the very large main rock and the rest making up the 'off cuts' I guess you could call them.


This was the first scape attempt and I landed pretty close to the final outcome... however, I am open to suggestions when we get onto it later because I want to improve as much as I can.





Well it's later on now... scape opinions and suggestions? Added another final piece in front, I think it holds its own but softens the shear face of the main rock.




Well here is this with things and stuff. Notable changes, PAINT!!!! with a little love from my DIY LED floodlight



Fooling around with the camera.









Is that all I have? Yes I believe it is, until I get it flooded and filled with plants I have nothing other that words to please.

So specs.

Tank: Aquamaxx 9.1 gallon rimless

Hardware:
Filter - Sunsun 603B
Heater - Hydor 200W inline
Lighting - 20W LEOpower LED floodlight
Co2 - 5lb tank & Ista dual regulator
Diffuser - fleabay star something cheapness.
Dropchecker - NilocG

Hardscape and Substrate
Rocks - Ohko Stone
Substrate- Aquasoil & Carbisea sand



Alright well I guess that's all I have for today.
Once again, I really want some suggestions for planting... thoughts are a carpet (HC? or MC?) to fill in the surroundings, possibly some buces and anubias for the shadowed areas and then something taller to sit behind the rocks (vals?) oh and some moss on top of the rock and on parts would be killer!!!

Cheers

Jamo
 

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Perpetual Mediocrity - Jamo's 9 gal long journal

It all depends on your preference, HC requires high light and lots (I mean lots) of co2. MC can be grown on liquid carbon and moderate light. MC has a larger leaf size vs the HC having the smallest in the hobby. They look very similar.

Something like Christmas moss on the top of that stone immersed growth would look sweet. Most any type of moss will work. If you wanted you could have buce emerging on top as well.


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Discussion Starter #5
It all depends on your preference, HC requires high light and lots (I mean lots) of co2. MC can be grown on liquid carbon and moderate light. MC has a larger leaf size vs the HC having the smallest in the hobby. They look very similar.

Something like Christmas moss on the top of that stone immersed growth would look sweet. Most any type of moss will work. If you wanted you could have buce emerging on top as well.
Thanks for the response!
Perhaps what will decide the carpet plant could end up being the other plants I plan to keep? Or vice versa I suppose.
Leaf size is an important thing to consider also, to make this look right I will need to keep that in mind.

I was thinking mini xmas moss, hadn't thought of a buce. That is a great idea, would love to do that and very well might!
Thank you very much!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow outstanding woodwork there. Great stand and cabinet.

Can’t wait to see more developments!
Thanks Williak, well here is a small update.
Decided the layout wasn't exactly what I wanted and after watching some aquascaping videos I added some more stone.



Excuse the crappy photo, but i think this shows the newly added stones and how it somewhat pulls the design closer to the sand and less dramatic and eclectic I suppose?
Let me know what you think.
 

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Thanks Williak, well here is a small update.

Decided the layout wasn't exactly what I wanted and after watching some aquascaping videos I added some more stone.







Excuse the crappy photo, but i think this shows the newly added stones and how it somewhat pulls the design closer to the sand and less dramatic and eclectic I suppose?

Let me know what you think.


I like it a lot more tbh. It’s still simple and will make a big statement price if planted well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
So after some time deliberating and truly deciding what plants I wanted I finally bit the bullet and ordered from buceplant.
I've had the tank flooded for three days, trying to get the nitrogen cycle started and avoid some huge ammonia spikes. Had a few blunders during the flood, the scape decided that it wasn't in the right place. Came back to a dirty mess as the stones had completely rearranged themselves.
Picked up a second hand co2 tank and got it replaced and refilled, came the half the retail price. Can't say this enough, second hand tanks can be so much cheaper for that initial purchase and save a lot of money.

Unfortunately I made a wrong purchase and didn't realize until it turned up. Ahhh stupid but thats okay. Intended on getting the anubias nana petite but just ended up with the nana. Stupid me.
Well here's the list.

Flora:
Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo'
Black Angel
Christmas Moss
Anubias Nana
Ludwigia Arcuata


When shipment arrived, pretty happy with it overall. Tad annoyed about how the Ludwigia turned out, broken stems left right and center but that's life.


Next was planting, drained the water level down
Planting went okay, only a few loose stems floating up.

All planted and flooded. I had a short video of some planting...but one I couldn't upload it and two it's not the most interesting thing ever.


Put some christmas moss on the top of the main stone. To keep it moist I put a piece of rope under the moss with half in the water, the intention is that it will wick up the water and feel the moss with moisture. The buce that I put up there obviously couldn't survive which I am a tad bummed about, but I'll figure out another plant I can grow on top as I really love the idea.



The Ludwigia is placed in behind the main stone and is actually completely invisible from the front view. I would have preferred a different stem plant and will possible swap to one soon. Something with a smaller leaf size and brings in some reds. I was stupid and just forced the issue when ordering and have to deal with that. Actually want some rotala species in there. Anyone feeling generous and can send me some?

Monte Carlo is hopefully going to carpet (it is a bitch to plant by the way). Buces are scattered around and will be moved every now and then I think as I'm not settled on the placement. Anubias is now poking out from both sides on the main stone and finally the xmas moss (which I over ordered) is placed in numerous places on the rocks.


FTS.



Comments and suggestions welcome. Obviously it hasn't had the time to grow in yet.
Sand has since been cleaned up and replaced.


I like it a lot more tbh. It’s still simple and will make a big statement price if planted well.
Looks like a nice start. Clean cabinet! :)
Thank you for the comments everyone, hope you like the planting.
 

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Nice tank and layout, really like it! The sand part will probably require some maintenance to keep it separately, but you can always just extend the AS all the way with the carpet and it would look very nice as well.
 

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Perpetual Mediocrity - Jamo's 9 gal long journal

Wow, I love that scape, that’s really cool and it looks even better than what I had envisioned. I think it would be cool for that to have some tangled roots going up with a really bonsai on. Top. As is looks quite nice, can’t wait for it to fill in.


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I no, back to backs aren’t good, sorry tech guy. We do you say the buce will not grow emerged? When bought from buce plant almost all the buce are grown in low light no co2. What I’m saying in it will adapt to the outside living conditions.


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Discussion Starter #16
nice start and echoing @Williak, awesome woodworking! good luck!
Nice tank and layout, really like it! The sand part will probably require some maintenance to keep it separately, but you can always just extend the AS all the way with the carpet and it would look very nice as well.
I love the look. Can't wait to see it mature.
Thanks everyone!!! I know the AS and sand will be annoying to keep separate and I've already considered changing it, but I'm going to persevere for now! I think the MC all the way through the tank could look great as well, so Ill keep that in mind House.

Thanks again Ipkiss and little robin! Now comes the wait to see if it will grow in right.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow, I love that scape, that’s really cool and it looks even better than what I had envisioned. I think it would be cool for that to have some tangled roots going up with a really bonsai on. Top. As is looks quite nice, can’t wait for it to fill in.
Thanks Skye. That bonsai idea is awesome!!! I may have to have a look at that. Only problem I would have would be clearance between the rock and the light to be able to put a bonsai.

I no, back to backs aren’t good, sorry tech guy. We do you say the buce will not grow emerged? When bought from buce plant almost all the buce are grown in low light no co2. What I’m saying in it will adapt to the outside living conditions.
Don't worry about the double comment, I'm not worried!
So my only concern is that the when I placed the buce on top of the rock, that close to the light somewhat dries out the plant at a rapid pace. Unfortunately with air con as well there is low humidity so I feel like it will just instantly dry out.
I have no experience with buces either so... let me know what you think.

Had a few looks around at some terrestrial plants I could use, people use things like mint and other herbs. Kind of a cool idea, but I'm sure it would steal the light from the MC down the bottom.

Let me know what you think everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Shadowed areas causing grief

Hey all,

Latest update with a few questions.

Here is the picture I am going to reference.




Everyone, what do I do about this?
I know this sounds stupid, but what could grow in that shaded/shadowed area? Plants need light that's obvious I know. Being that there isn't much light there as we can all see the monte carlo is failing and even a buce wasn't too happy. So... any suggestions?

Perhaps new lighting all the way across the tank would light it up, like with a finnex bar light. Unfortunately I do not have the funds for a new light though.


Despite this dilemma everything seems to be going okay. Some buces aren't taking as well as I'd like, but I am attributing that to a stupid heating error. Had the tank set at 84 degrees, took it down to 78 now though. Otherwise I think they are doing a bit of a melt, leaves rotting and as they do I remove quickly. MC has decided it loves the light and is taking to carpeting real quick, that plant has go!
Stems and anubias are doing great also.
Annoyance... some hitchhikers made their way into the tank in an egg sac. I hate snails. At least I hate pest snails, so doing some squashing as they turn up.

Update photo as of Jan 3rd (today)




Hope everyone had a happy holiday season.
 
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