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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Opare's ADA 60P - 'Unmastered'

Brought myself to finally cleaning the lilly pipes and wow...

Was quite a painless experience and was totally worth it. The tank just looks so much better without big brown pipes in it hahaha.
Other than that the tank is not doing as well as I was hoping by this point. Starting to get BBA in spots, and had to replant a large portion of the HC, because I pretty much uprooted it whilst removing Riccia from it. So basically the carpet is back to square one.
Rotala was getting some colour at the top before I trimmed it, and I've increased the light intensity since then so that is looking promising. I've also seen what it can get to in my emersed setup, so if it gets even half that red I will be pleased. Will probably need to lower my light as well, but baby steps for now. The P. erectus is slow (for a stem) but it's been growing really nicely, gave it a trim before I took this shot.

The Bucephalandra 'Brownie Ghost' is just so awesome. Love the colours on the submerged leaves.
Rainbows have another week in quarantine then they will be in the tank. Next batch of fish will be Boraras briggitae! Decided to stick with all Asian species of inhabitants.


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Clean pipes always make me feel good :p What are you co2 levels and ferts like, seems like your battling a bit of algae, personally by pushing the co2 to the limit and making sure i dose high levels of ferts I have been able to keep most algae at bay. I am sure your tank will turn the corner soon, the whole layout is really nice, should look great when it really grows in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Opare's ADA 60P - 'Unmastered'

Clean pipes always make me feel good :p What are you co2 levels and ferts like, seems like your battling a bit of algae, personally by pushing the co2 to the limit and making sure i dose high levels of ferts I have been able to keep most algae at bay. I am sure your tank will turn the corner soon, the whole layout is really nice, should look great when it really grows in.
Thanks! The nice comments help keep the commitment into making the tank looking good. :)
Algae isn't actually that bad, it's just even a few small tufts of BBA make me flip. I'm only getting that and some Green Dust Algae which I can wipe away easy enough. The CO2 I think is the main culprit. I still haven't found the sweetspot where I'm not gassing the shrimp and it is also sufficiently high.
Fertilisers are at 3/4 EI so I don't think that's the problem.
Gonna spot treat the BBA then cross my fingers from there. Also, keeping my CO2 at a pretty high level and gonna watch out for casualties.
But, I agree with enough time and effort the tank should come out on top I believe! Tanks always have to mature then things tend to go steady and they look good.


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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Opare's ADA 60P - 'Unmastered'

wow very very nice. This set up totally makes mine way more outdated. haha I feel like I'm using old set ups
Hah thanks! Your tank is pretty up to par with mine TBH. But I know that feeling, I see some tanks on here and in places like the ADA gallery, and I think 'Those are so much better than mine!', but it just makes me strive to be a better scaper and improve my skills.
Speaking of which, this thread hasn't been updated in a while I'll hopefully do one this weekend while I have some time. There has been some ups and (MAJOR) downs since I last updated. The downs were mostly caused by my own impatience/stupidity, but I'll leave that for later.


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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Opare's ADA 60P - 'Unmastered'

Okay MAJOR update time, the long and short of it I'm rescaping.
This decision was caused by a Lemony Snicket-esque series of events (also I actually wasn't entirely happy with this scape but that was a more minor reason). All beginning waaaaaaaay back to when I added the Bucephalandra 'Pinky Mambo', just looking back on the journal you can see that was a while ago. Well turns out the plant also brought along some BBA, which started to pop up in quite a few places (as I've mentioned before) due to me being a dingus and messing around with the tank's light and CO2 quite abit. So to combat this I decided to spot dose with some Excel. This is when things really took a nose dive.
This is probably one of the stupidest things I have done in the hobby to date. I decided to spot treat during a water change, but being in an algal induced stupor I forgot when you have half of the tank's water out this effectively doubles the concentration of Excel present in the water. This is on top of me using the recommended amount of Excel 'for the first time using it' which is like 5x more than usual. It got rid of the BBA, so that's good right? Not quite... This one bone-headed move managed to send my Crypts back to melting, caused a huge die off of the snails, and knocked out a fair few of my shrimp, all the Amanos and a lot of the Bloody Marys, although a majority of the CRS are still kicking it. This meant huge amounts of organic waste into the water column and it was really hard to try and remove all these damn dead snails.
(As an aside the time this all occured I added the rainbows to the tank, and got some CPDs and more rainbows that have just been sitting in quarantine and are all good.)
So basically I upset the balance of my tank GREATLY, a balance I hadn't even managed to get yet so yeah things did not turn out great. The BBA came back and then I started to get BGA as well, and at that point I knew a rescape and fresh start was the best way forward.
So that brings us to where we are today.

As you can see the glass is filthy, this is cause I knew I was gonna rescape for a while, but I had to wait for the holidays, so during weekly water changes I didn't bother cleaning the glass.
I moved all the fish and shrimp to the quarantine tank, as well as the media from this tank's filter. It probably isn't the best setup but heyho, it is temporary till I get the tank up and running properly.
As for the plants they are currently sitting in tupperwares.

I'll probably reuse the stems, but not the epiphytes as they are carrying a few tufts of BBA, which I just do not want to deal with, as well as other reasons. I didn't keep any of the HC, cus I have tonnes of it emersed and it is just a pain in the butt to take out individually.
The next scape I'm planning to do will be in the Island style, so stay tuned for that. I've learnt a lot from the past few months and I now have an idea what I need to change to have more success. The biggest lesson has probably been the value of patience and never making huge changes. It's something you always say to yourself and others, but at least in my case, I did not put it into practice. Do everything as small steps, as your tank is a delicate system, which does not like huge changes. Gonna try a few new things, as well as have some husbandry focuses for the next tank.
Anyway, I doubt most of you read that as it was mostly rambles about me being an idiot, and the most interesting bit was said at the start. My bad for not updating the thread more often, and then just unloading with all of this, school work was piling up as Term 1 tends to be pretty busy towards the end. I still have some cleaning up of the tank to do, and I shall update once I have a hardscape plan ready. That should be before the week ends. Thank you to anyone who has read all of this! Have a good day.


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Nice can't wait to see how this turns out
 
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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Opare's ADA 60P - 'Unmastered'


Here we go again...
Everything has been cleaned, although the tank needs one final scrub.
Picked up some hardscape today, was having trouble arranging the wood coherently in the store, although managed to get a good layout on the supporting rocks. I'm more willing to chop up the wood this time around to get more workable pieces, as last time my stubborness to not mess with the hardscape hindered me.
Gonna play around with it tomorrow once I get some Aquasoil. Didn't get the soil today because I didn't have enough money to buy it oops... Spent it on a Madvillainy (my favourite Hip-Hop album) vinyl instead. Don't regret it to be honest.
Exciting times ahead let us see how this goes.


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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Opare's ADA 60P - 'Unmastered'

2 steps forward 1 step back.
Scrounged up the money to buy Aquasoil and the store gave me a discount, so it didn't hurt the pocket that badly. However, the Aquastop Valve on my Fluval 206 which I have been having trouble with for the past few months finally broke, so I have to go shopping for a new one or a new filter all together. I could order it online but I don't really wanna wait and shipping anything to my country costs as much as the item or more.
Other than that everything is cleaned up including the tank. Just gotta boil the driftwood to clean it/waterlog it and we are cooking with gas.
Planning to hardscape a bit tomorrow so watch this space.


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Why not clean up the epiphytes now that they are in their own little tuperwares? Should be easy to spot treat without worrying about fish/shrimp dying or anything else.

Enjoy the rescape! The initial setup is so fun/exciting in my opinion. Although its the kind of thing where ill tell myself "Yeah this will just take an hour or so" and then 4 hours later, ill be finished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Looking forward to seeing the new scape! Sorry that you had to go through that disappointment.
Hah wasn't really dissapointed, I probably could've fought through the algae, but I think I just wanted a fresh start and do things better from the get-go. Also, another major factor was that I didn't like the scape a lot.

Why not clean up the epiphytes now that they are in their own little tuperwares? Should be easy to spot treat without worrying about fish/shrimp dying or anything else.



Enjoy the rescape! The initial setup is so fun/exciting in my opinion. Although its the kind of thing where ill tell myself "Yeah this will just take an hour or so" and then 4 hours later, ill be finished.
Yeah I could and was considering just using some H2O2 on them, but I don't actually plan to use any of the species I already had again, so that was more of a factor. The narrow leaf Java Fern just gets way too big for a 60P IMO, and I'm gonna try and use only Asian plants this time, so the Anubias is also gonna get dropped in favour of Bucephalandras. This is basically an excuse for me to get more Bucephalandras which I really like hahaha. I may reuse the Bucephalandras I already have.
I'll probably chuck the leftover epiphytes in the emersed setup, or treat and sell them.
Yeah I definitely will enjoy it, my willingness to give up on the last scape was probably thanks in large part to how much I love the initial process, it just gives such a rush of excitement. Not to say maintaining it isn't fun, but I don't think I let myself enjoy the scaping aspect the first time around, as I was in a rush to get it setup. But yeah you think you'll just mess around for it with a bit, and then you look at the clock and you've been at it for hours.




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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Opare's ADA 60P - 'Unmastered'

Managed to track down a store which sells the part that I need, but it is a bit of a drive from my house so I didn't get time to pick it up today, so I will do so tomorrow.
Also ended up not having time to hardscape today, as it was the mother's birthday so had all the celebrations etc. and was just a bit too tired to play with the tank. I'll definitely play with the hardscape tomorrow.
Currently trying to get a good source of some Crypts, especially some of the rarer ones like C. wendtii 'Green Gecko'. Well probably not rare for y'all, but plant availability is so inconsistent in Malaysia. Already managed to find some C. 'Flamingo' so may pick up some of that, either for the 60P or just to collect hah.
Already have an idea of what plants I wanna use, tryna use a lot more than last time, as one thing I found with the last scape is that it felt 'monotonous', as Takashi Amano liked to put it. Also, I may actually be able to locate all the species I want fingers crossed. Anyway we will find out in the coming days.
Have a good day guys and gals, thanks for reading.

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How's the inline diffuser working for you? Is the CO2 dissolution 100% and is there any bubbling sound? I was thinking of getting one but then saw something cheaper which would work with a tiny modification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
How's the inline diffuser working for you? Is the CO2 dissolution 100% and is there any bubbling sound? I was thinking of getting one but then saw something cheaper which would work with a tiny modification.
It produces little bubbles, so not 100% dissolution if that's what your definition of the word is. I like the micro bubbles though it sort of looks magical IMO. Also, I think it was a Dennis Wong video where he said the micro bubbles are actually a good way for plants to uptake CO2 or something along those lines, and that's why he uses inline diffusers over reactors. So I followed his advice, and I'm pretty happy, not had any problems with the diffuser.
No sound from the diffuser that I've noticed, not that I've actively put my ear to it to have a listen. Only noisy thing from the tank (when it was up) are the timers which whirr, but that is only noticeable when I'm really close to them.


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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Opare's ADA 60P - 'Unmastered'

Scapes for your consideration:

Attempt 1 -

Attempt 2 -

Attempt 3 -

Attempt 4 -

Attempt 5 -

Attempt 6 -

I sort of know which ones I prefer, but interested what y'all have to say. The hard part of this style if trying to find balance. To not be too sparse, but not too cluttered either.
Another issue I ran into is that, eventhough the Spider Wood looks fantastic, and it really suits this style with all its branches, the branches can sometimes really get in the way when trying to put the wood together. The wood will definitely be seeing the chopping block to make them more user-friendly.
These are just mock-ups of the wood by the way, there definitely will be stone used in the scape too. I just didn't want to start messing with substrate and getting too messy tonight.


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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I think 6 is good, it's a nice balance.

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Thank you, latest and greatest I guess? I probably will just go ahead and say it is one of the scapes I prefer as well.
Another thing, today I managed to track down all the plants I wanted for the most part, and fingers crossed the Crypts I want are available from my store's supplier. So things are coming quite close to fruition.
I'm breaking the bank a bit on one specific species as a Christmas present to myself, but I'll reveal that when it comes ;). To be honest if I start propagating it myself I may be able to start making money back on it.


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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
I really like #4 and #6. I've also enjoyed reading this entire thread, you've done a fantastic job on your posts (entertaining, well written and I've learned a lot). Can't wait to see the new progress.
Thank you so much, it means a lot to me! I'm surprised someone has read through all the posts, as some of them are quite verbose. But it's really nice to hear that you enjoy reading through the posts, as it reminds me that continually updating this journal is important. Keep your excitement going proper hardscaping and planting will be done within the coming week for sure!
Most people tend to be leaning towards the last 3ish, and I can kinda see what parts of each are probably preferred so I will try and combine all of them to get the final scape.


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