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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, this was a while in the making, but finally used my summer break to setup a tank.

First scape - Day 1:


Second scape - Day 1:


Day 72:


Equipment:
Fluval 206 canister filter with filter sponge, ceramic bio-media and Purigen
Up Aqua 3L CO2 cylinder
Chihiros A601 LED
Ocean Free solenoid regulator
Intense inline diffuser
VIV 13mm Lily Pipe outflow and surface skinmer inflow


Substrate:
First scape -
Aquasoil Amazonia Powder type and normal (some new and some used)
Power sand (used)

Second scape -
ADA additives: Bacter 100, Clear Super, Penac W & Penac P
Aquasoil Amazonia normal

Hardscape:
First scape -
Rhododenron root/Spider wood
Ryu stone
Flow cells

Second scape -
Rhododenron root/spider wood
Ryu stone

Plants:
First scape -
Anbuias barteri Var. nana 'Petite'
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Brown'
Pogostemon erectus
Hemianthus callitrichoides
Rotala rotundifolia 'Blood Red'
Bucephalandra 'Catherine'
Bucephalandra 'Brownie Ghost Red'
Microsorum pteropus 'Narrow'
Fissidens fontanus
Hydrocotyle tripartita

Second scape -
Cryptocoryne parva
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Brown'
Cryptocoryne walkeri
Cryptocoryne walkeri 'Hobbit'
Cryptocoryne x willisii
Cryptocoryne beckettii 'Petchii Pink'
Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini'
Hygrophila pinnatifida
Bucephalandra 'Brownie Mini Coin'
Bucephalandra 'Brownie Red'
Bucephalandra 'Brownie Midnight Blue'
Bucephalandra 'Brownie Amanda'
Bucephalandra montyleana Var. Pink Lady 'NK Series'
Microsorum pteropus 'Narrow'
Rotala 'Vietnam'
Rotala rotundifolia 'Blood Red'
Vesicularia 'Triangle'

Animals:
12x Celestichthys margaritatus (Celestial Pearl Danio)
14x Pseudomugil luminatus (Red Neon Rainbows)
Neocaridina davidi Var. red (Red Cherry Shrimp)
Neocaridina davidi Var. fire red (Fire Red Shrimp)
Caridina multidentata (Amano Shrimp)
Caridina cantonensis 'Crystal Red' SS grade (Crystal Red Shrimp)

Water Parameters & Dosing: (Tested 24/08/16)
22-28 degrees celsius
1-2 dKH
3 dGH at tap, dosing GH builder to increase dGH to 4
pH 6.5~ (not that pH really matters anyway)
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
1/5 EI Dosing

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Opare's ADA 60P

So, the scape is a basic triangular scape that I'm actually pretty happy with.
Before planting:

After planting:

Some of the substrate fell when I filled so lost some HC, and the used power sand-aquasoil combo I had got knocked up which pissed me off a bit.
Not quite sure whether having that huge open space on the right with just HC is the best, but couldn't find any decent ideas to fill it with other plants or hardscape. A bit worried the C. wendtii 'Brown' might get too big, but we shall see how it grows. I also wanted to find somewhere to put moss, but just nothing really called out to me unfortunately.
A lot of the plants are in emersed form so I'm expecting some serious melting. The stems have to do a lot of filling in before this scape looks close to where it should be.
Currently running the lights for 5 hours, and am gonna dose EI, but I might modify the regime slightly. I'll figure that out later. Gonna skip dosing today, and start tomorrow just to give the plants a bit of setting in time.
Came back home this morning and saw the tank has also cleared up somewhat, I'm using Purigen so I'm hoping that would be the case. I'm planning to do daily water changes for the first week, and from then on more maybe every other day, and eventually space them out more till I'm doing one once a werk. But, I'm going on holiday for a few days next week which will mean I'll have to leave this alone for a while. A bit dangerous but I have no choice.
Any comments, criticism and suggestions are very welcome!


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Looks like a really nice setup! It's hard holding back, but I think anything other than the HC would take away from the main area, but you could always decide as the scape matures. Stay on top of your lights and water changes, good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Opare's ADA 60P

Excited to see where this goes....great job Opare!
Looks like a really nice setup! It's hard holding back, but I think anything other than the HC would take away from the main area, but you could always decide as the scape matures. Stay on top of your lights and water changes, good luck!
Thanks guys! I was actually surprised that I managed to pull off something decent scapewise.
Yeah I agree House, the HC area may calm things down from the relatively intense focal point. Also I'm gonna do daily water changes till next week, then I'm going on holiday for a few days, and may do a water change every other day from then on, until I decide things are stable enough to start doing water changes less frequently.
Here's a picture from the water change I literally just finished doing. Water is a lot clearer now.

My lights are raised pretty high, so I decided to keep them on 60% intensity rather than 50%.



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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Opare's ADA 60P

Last night I started dosing, and dosed a round of macros, just cus the plants would probably like that more than micros. I'm only dosing half of what I should for EI right now, and I calculated for a 12 Gallon tank to account for the substrate and hardscape.
I just wanted to share my schedule and see if anyone sees any issues. I'm planning to dose EI so my target PPM's are: 7.5 for NO3, 1.3 for PO4 and 7.5 for K.
This means I dose for Macros:
555mg of KNO3
85mg of KH2PO4
152mg of K2SO4
or (since I have some leftover Seachem fertilisers from when I convinced myself you couldn't get dry fertilisers in Malaysia)
5.2ml of Flourish N
14.7ml of Flourish P
2ml of Flourish K
For Micros:
Still an unknown amount of CTE, I posted a thread on the Fertiliser subforum asking for help on that.
or
7.1ml of Flourish Comprehensive
My schedule would be 3 days macros, 3 days micros and one day would be a rest day.
Does this look okay? Just to reiterate the amount I listed would be what I would be dosing at full EI, currently and until I see a need to, I will be dosing half those amounts.
In other news, seeing some melting on the HC, Rotala and very heavily on some of the Crypts which was to be expected. The epiphytes all look good. The Pogostemon and Rotala are already growing which is nice. Once there is enough growth on them I'll cut away the emersed sections and replant the tops. Also, getting some serious pearling from all the plants, which doesn't mean much but it's pretty. Getting a little bit of fungus on the wood, but much less than I expected to get. Tonight at the water change I'm gonna reposition the B. 'Catherine' and stick some more Anubias on.


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Might wanna hang your light with something a little more secure than zip ties :eek:

Looks good so far, any plans for stock?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Might wanna hang your light with something a little more secure than zip ties :eek:



Looks good so far, any plans for stock?

Hahaha they've been glued in as well, the zip ties were just for the intial securing. Seems stable enough eventhough it's a bit janky.
Ummm gonna test my parameters next week to see what I can get. Already had a look at my temperatures and they range from 22-28 degrees C. The range is because I don't use a chiller and I sleep with air conditioning at night.
Definitely gonna get some shrimp to clean up, was looking at something hardy yet pretty. Will probably go for Bloody Mary shrimp. As for fish I'm leaning towards an ember tetra school, but they might not contrast so well against the R. rotundifolia. Also, I could probably fit in a few more fish besides the main school, was thinking a Pseudomugil species (probably paskai) or Rosy Loaches, but according to Seriously Fish I would be a little out of their temperature range. I doubt I could find Rosy Loaches where I live though (easily that is). Just thinking of something that would patrol different areas than the school. I also read Takashi Amano's Complete Works and he recommended fish with fluttering swim patterns for scapes like this. Not quite sure what he meant by that, but P. paskai does seem to flutter.



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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Opare's ADA 60P

So, just finished a water change and played around with plant placement a bit. The Crypts are in full blown melt mode, which is not surprising considering they were grown emersed. Also got a new Bucephalandra species today, it is Bucephalandra 'Pinky Mambo'. The name itself was reason enough for me to get it.

I apologise for the poorish photos, I don't have a proper camera so my phone's one shall have to suffice. Anyway here's a full tank shot as well.

I also ordered Some Riccardia chamedryfolia and more Bucephalandra 'Brownie Ghost'. Planning to put the Riccardia on the branches that don't reach into the ground.


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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Looks good. If you can throw as much light as possible over the tank for the pic. I should help getting more detail and lightening it up.

Ah I'll do that tonight(well my tonight) when it's dark outside as well. Thanks so much for offering help! Figures things are a bit harder to see when I'm not on 100% intensity.


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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Opare's ADA 60P

The tank has been running for a week now. Just finished a water change and some maintainance, which was basically pulling out melted Crypt leaves. So far the tank isn't looking great, which is totally expected to be honest. It will take time for the plants, especially the Crypts to grow in and let the scape come together.

I'll be on holiday for the next 3 nights, so fingers crossed a giant catastrophe doesn't occur whilst I'm away (In my tank and globally). I dosed for the day I'm away, so that means instead of a half EI dose of Micros today, it was a full EI dose. Hopefully everything will be fine by the time I'm back!


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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Opare's ADA 60P

Sorry for the novella of a post, I guess I had a lot to say hahaha. The more interesting bits are in the second half, so skip to there if you want.
Got back from my holiday today and the tank was looking good. Did a water change and filter clean as well tonight, here's a shot from after it was done.

Hah realised it's probably not the most interesting read to see the same shot of the tank with minor differences each post. But I digress, the R. rotundifolia is bouncing back and has some good growth, the P. erectus is also starting to show some submerged growth. Gonna top them in the coming weeks to get rid of the ratty emersed bottoms. The HC is starting to fill in, and the Crypts seemed to have finished their shedding.
Saw a couple of snails climbing up the glass, chucked one in the water in the emersed tub, and left the other one be. They were climbing up the glass to try and get out of the water from what I could see, meaning my CO2 was a bit high, prompting me to bring it down slightly.
Tomorrow I'm picking up another Bucephalandra, and hopefully some Fissidens, because the LFS couldn't get any R. chamedryfolia.
And the game of waiting for the tank to fill in continues...
On another more interesting note I've been thinking a lot about my livestock stocking the past few days.
Here's a run down of what I was thinking:
A group of shrimp just to clean up algae and such. Might go Amanos or some of the smaller more attractive ones (or both). Could probably start a small colony if I go with ones that can breed in freshwater. Gonna check what my exact parameters are and then I'll make a decision.
20 or so small schoolers - Ember tetras or B. briggitae were what I had in mind but I'm open to other suggestions. I've had both of these fish before so I'm actually quite keen to try other species. Maybe T. espei, P. simulans or CPDs. Just afraid the CPDs may be too shy. I also know the Espeis like to jump making them a bit of an iffy decision.
A small group (10ish) of fish that would swim along the bottom area or around the whole tank - My thoughts for this were Pygmy Cories or another small Corydoras species, Otocinclus or Rosy Loaches. My preferance would be the loaches, but they may be hard to get hold of.
A small group of really pretty fish OR a pair of Dwarf Cichlids - I want something really eye-catching just for my own amusement. The 2 that came to mine were a Pseudomugil species or a pair of Dwarf Cichlids. I've never kept either so both will be a new experience for me. I find the Pseudomugils more attractive, but the Cichlids would be really rewarding as they are quite personable. If I was to go for the Cichlid pair I was thinking about Apistogramma cacatuoides.
None of this is set in stone so please suggest away!
Things to keep in mind for your suggestions:
- My water is soft and acidic. I haven't tested it, but my tap water is pretty soft and I'm using Aquasoil, so it's safe to assume that it is.
- My temperature ranges from 22-28 degrees celsius.
- I don't have a lid. I know all fish jump, but some are more prone to than others, those that don't jump as much would be preferable.


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Sorry for the novella of a post, I guess I had a lot to say hahaha. The more interesting bits are in the second half, so skip to there if you want.
Got back from my holiday today and the tank was looking good. Did a water change and filter clean as well tonight, here's a shot from after it was done.

Hah realised it's probably not the most interesting read to see the same shot of the tank with minor differences each post. But I digress, the R. rotundifolia is bouncing back and has some good growth, the P. erectus is also starting to show some submerged growth. Gonna top them in the coming weeks to get rid of the ratty emersed bottoms. The HC is starting to fill in, and the Crypts seemed to have finished their shedding.
Saw a couple of snails climbing up the glass, chucked one in the water in the emersed tub, and left the other one be. They were climbing up the glass to try and get out of the water from what I could see, meaning my CO2 was a bit high, prompting me to bring it down slightly.
Tomorrow I'm picking up another Bucephalandra, and hopefully some Fissidens, because the LFS couldn't get any R. chamedryfolia.
And the game of waiting for the tank to fill in continues...
On another more interesting note I've been thinking a lot about my livestock stocking the past few days.
Here's a run down of what I was thinking:
A group of shrimp just to clean up algae and such. Might go Amanos or some of the smaller more attractive ones (or both). Could probably start a small colony if I go with ones that can breed in freshwater. Gonna check what my exact parameters are and then I'll make a decision.
20 or so small schoolers - Ember tetras or B. briggitae were what I had in mind but I'm open to other suggestions. I've had both of these fish before so I'm actually quite keen to try other species. Maybe T. espei, P. simulans or CPDs. Just afraid the CPDs may be too shy. I also know the Espeis like to jump making them a bit of an iffy decision.
A small group (10ish) of fish that would swim along the bottom area or around the whole tank - My thoughts for this were Pygmy Cories or another small Corydoras species, Otocinclus or Rosy Loaches. My preferance would be the loaches, but they may be hard to get hold of.
A small group of really pretty fish OR a pair of Dwarf Cichlids - I want something really eye-catching just for my own amusement. The 2 that came to mine were a Pseudomugil species or a pair of Dwarf Cichlids. I've never kept either so both will be a new experience for me. I find the Pseudomugils more attractive, but the Cichlids would be really rewarding as they are quite personable. If I was to go for the Cichlid pair I was thinking about Apistogramma cacatuoides.
None of this is set in stone so please suggest away!
Things to keep in mind for your suggestions:
- My water is soft and acidic. I haven't tested it, but my tap water is pretty soft and I'm using Aquasoil, so it's safe to assume that it is.
- My temperature ranges from 22-28 degrees celsius.
- I don't have a lid. I know all fish jump, but some are more prone to than others, those that don't jump as much would be preferable.


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I love B. briggitae due to their "hunting" behavior. They are constantly hovering over a spot checking it out and pecking at things. They are EXTREMELY small how ever and tend to disappear very easily due to their size.

My CPD took forever to lose their shy nature. To be honest it sucked at first. They are beautiful fish but I never saw them. After a few months though they weren't afraid anymore and behaved just like the rest of the aquarium. Coming to surface whenever I approached, swimming out in the open. If you are patient, I believe they all eventually come around but it can be very frustrating if these are your "main" show fish.

With dwarf cichilds I only have experience with rams, they do have great personalities and exhibit that "hunter" behavior I was referring to earlier. Very curious and always checking out all the nooks and crannies in the aquarium.

Pseudomugils add a lot of life to the aquarium, the males are constantly sparring, extending their fins and chasing each other around the tank. They jet around constantly, looks like they are always playing around. I have furcatus, which I think are the biggest species. They are supposed to be known for jumping, but I've had pretty good luck with them.

As far as jumpers, unfortunately it is something you just have to expect to happen. When I kept a 60p style aquarium with a very high water line, I lost a few fish of all species. They were especially prone to jumping when the lights suddenly shut off, it really freaked them out.

Now I have a water line thats about 1.5" from the rim (much larger tank) and my lights ramp down over a long period of time, no sudden shut off and I haven't lost a single fish to jumping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Now I have a water line thats about 1.5" from the rim (much larger tank) and my lights ramp down over a long period of time, no sudden shut off and I haven't lost a single fish to jumping.
I hear you on the B. briggitae, I had them in my last tank and they coloured up so well. I started another thread on the Fish subforum to ask about my stocking, and it convinced me to go against the dwarf cichlids as I don't have anywhere for them to dig.
Here's a stock list I came up with:
20x Ember Tetras or equivalent schoolers
12x CPDs or 8x Pseudomugil paskai
10x Pygmy Corys (other small Corys are also fine) or Rosy Loaches or 8x Otocinclus
A colony of shrimp, will probably start with 10 and let them do their thing. They will be in for a month before any fish.
Like you said the CPDs are quite shy so they would be a 'pretty fish' group, and I would have the main school to be their dither. They really are a beautiful fish, and one of the ones that pulled me into the hobby. Maybe it's time to finally get them...
I probably would follow what you did and lower my water level when I get fish. Unfortunately my light doesn't have a controller for ramp up and down. :(
In other news I got some F. fontanus and another B. 'Brownie Ghost Red'. Was gonna take a picture but have some homework to do (LOL) that I left to the last minute. And my first day of school is tomorrow yikes...


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Opare's ADA 60P

Hi everyone, my LFS is getting a shipment of Triuthria sp. 'Blood Vomit' and I am really in love with the plant and want to know if anyone could see a place for it in the scape. The problem is a lot of the midground area is taken up by the Crypts which might shade it eventually, and if I place it in that small lane in the left it might not be as visible. Thoughts anyone? I could put it in my emersed tub, but for how expensive it is I dunno if it is worth it.
EDIT: Also, spent today pulling Riccia that was intwined in my carpet. Moral of the story - buy tissue cultured plants... Expecting to see more Riccia sprouting out of the tank for pretty much eternity.
Update: I reserved 2 pieces of T. sp. 'Blood Vomit', I couldn't resist hahaha. I think I know where to put it as well.

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