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Discussion Starter #83
I decided to go with the moss wall instead of the anubias. Currently debating whether I should keep my mini christmas moss attached to the stainless sheets they came on or try to spread them out more.



I really wish my lobelia cardinalis was growing faster. I need more but can't find anyone selling it in submersed form and this pitiful portion is all I got from buying emersed-grown pots.



The syngonanthus macrocaulon really contrasts well with the lily and the rotala, so it got moved there.



I'm not sure about the Java fern yet, but I don't know what else I'd put there. Maybe blyxa japonica? It just looks kind of messy and doesn't contrast well with the pogo erectus.

On the plus side, the pink crypt spiralis are looking great! They are starting to grow super long leaves.



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Discussion Starter #84
Currently thinking of adding a reactor as a weekend project, as the level of CO2 mist is pretty distracting. Most likely going to to with a Griggs reactor as it looks like the easiest to make. Any suggestions? Things to watch out for? I'm not very handy...
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Well, I didn't make a reactor. Got 4 yards of mulch delivered so I've been pretty occupied in the garden the past couple weeks.

In aquarium news I'm seeing some algae and slight yellowing on the syngonanthus, so I increased ferts to previous levels. I've been lazy about maintenance so I cleaned the filter, lily pipes, substrate etc. Otherwise not much to report. I'm waiting on more lobelia cardinalis that I accidentally sent to an old address on the other side of the country, hopefully it arrives alive. I also still don't know what I'm going to do on the far right foreground. Maybe move the staurogyne over? Maybe some blyxa japonica? I don't care for the rotala bonsai.


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Lookin more filled in! Perfect clean lily pipes :D

The back moss wall is coming together nicely too, will be great when it is wall to wall!
 

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Discussion Starter #87
Lookin more filled in! Perfect clean lily pipes :D



The back moss wall is coming together nicely too, will be great when it is wall to wall!
I took the moss off the stainless steel mesh and attached it straight to the background, but it doesn't seem to be attaching well... When the stems grow out it hopefully will block some of the bare areas!

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Discussion Starter #88
Before and after. Thinned out the s. repens, moved the syngo, and ditched the lobelia cardinalis. It just isn't growing well in this setup, the water might be too soft for it. Going to try for a hydrocotyle tripqrtita street between the lotus and the syngo, which I'm sure is going to be a huge pain to maintain...

This nymphaea micrantha is kind of driving me crazy. It's super up and down on if it wants to grow or not and stunts for no apparent reason. If I can't get it growing soon I might trade for something like lagenandra meeboldii.


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Discussion Starter #89
(Semi) exciting news- after a brief foray as a terrarium, the 12 gallon is ready for water again. This time as a low-tech epiphyte only tank. I want to go with a minimal hardscape style- top picture is with spider wood I had on hand and bottom is is some madrona I picked up at the park today. Leaning towards the madrona since it's less busy and looks like mini manzanita. The colors look different because the second was taken in "sunset" mode.


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Discussion Starter #90


Things are getting too dense now, I need some more separation between groups. The nymphaea micrantha is still struggling, it's close to getting the boot.

The 12 gallon was flooded and a little anubias nana petite added yesterday. The general idea with this tank is to make a nature style aquarium that is as pretty as possible with the least number of components- to practice simplification. It still needs more plants IMO but it's on the right track and I think with a single betta in there the whole tank will look very serene.


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Discussion Starter #91
Fiance said it looks too empty. The work paludarium had some extra needle leaf Java fern and bolbitis, so I brought that over to this one. I still want to plant in kind of sparsely to let it grow in naturally.

On the far left side I've considered adding either mini Christmas or fissidens to the branches, but that also means more trimming work. I also think the betta will eventually hang out in that side for food and attention so it might be nice to have it empty...


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That looks good, I would only go bushy at the base on the right and not really tall since you have the driftwood going higher on the left. Over there I would only go moss on wood in addition to the low stuff you planted in front of rock.

A school of small size schooling fish would round it out and work much better for scale then a betta, although a betta could work as well. That's just the way i see it with my scapers hat on.
 

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Discussion Starter #93
I was hoping the filter outlet would push the Java fern leaves to the left so everything would "flow" from right to left. I can try moving them by hand but another option would be to use trident fern rather than the needle leaf do a little bushier of a shape. Did it seem a little TOO empty with just the nana petite?

From a scapers perspective I'm with you on the small fish. But due to the strange location in the kitchen I'm worried there would be nothing to draw the eye in with a small school. My fiance also works from the kitchen and specifically asked for a betta so I'm trying to be diplomatic!

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Yeah I don't think the nljf is going to give that effect. You could use a val or a plant like Cyperus helferi that can flow toward the driftwood. I don't think it's too sparse. You could add some moss covered stones around the base to give it a slightly fuller look. Also a nice shcool of colorful fish will make a big difference. The one thing with minimalist scapes are that most of the time less is more. Every time i go to far with planting you start losing the look of the hardscape and I didn't like it as much. I guess it's a personal thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #95
A couple random plant questions: this was sold to me as mini Christmas moss. It's dense, but the fronds are pretty big. Is this what mini Christmas moss looks like? I like it, I've just heard a lot about it being misidentified.


There's also some GSA on my staurogyne repens and it's looking a little pale. Maybe an ammonia deficiency? I'd love to hear some diagnoses.


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Discussion Starter #96
Big trim this week on the Dutch scape. I had to get rid of some root mass so all the groups except the cryptocoryne got uprooted, trimmed, and the tops replanted. I'll be adding some blyxa japonica, I was just never able to get that nymphaea micrantha looking like I wanted it.

You might also notice the moss wall is missing. I started trimming it, but it just wasn't well attached with the fishing line and I ended up with big bald patches and moss going everywhere. I'm trying the "sandwich" method to get the between two sheets of needlepoint mesh. Hopefully the moss grows out of it! It's definitely going to be at least a month before it looks alright again, but it will hopefully be a much more sustainable moss wall.

The 12 gallon long got its betta as well. Let's hope this tank is as easy as my low tech paludarium at work! I like the look at least, and I'm hoping that with super low light (Fluval 3.0 on at 20%) I can keep the algae at bay.


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just read the whole journal and love the combination of the two different tanks and all the rescapes
it's so hard to only have 1 or 2 tanks, you always end up with different ideas, plants, and fish but seems like you've managed to get it all working

I am so jealous of your naturally soft water up there in seattle, i've got rock hard water here in San Diego
I noticed at some point you had the dosing pump, do you still use it?

PS random question, I've noticed you keep the water line a half inch or so under the rim, is it just natural evaporation or is that what you normally keep it at? see less jumpers?
 

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Discussion Starter #98
Thanks! I'm lucky in that we have the GSAS up here that allows me to trade fish and plants pretty cheaply and easily. I suppose I've been doing this for two years now, but I still consider myself a beginner and I'm constantly learning. It's one of my goals to try all the different aquarium styles (nature style, iwagumi, dutch, diorama, ryoboku, biotope, Brazilian style) so I can eventually find out what MY style is. So basically once a layout looks as good as I think it's going to get, it's time for a rescape.

I would like to eventually have larger tanks, but I don't know if I'd want more two tanks at once. I think maybe the 90U size (36"x22"x22") or 90P (36"x18"x18") and the 120P (48"x20"x20") would be my dream tanks. I like the way Dennis Wong has one "scape" tank and one "farm" tank. It is nice to be able to give two tanks the attention they deserve rather than having more tanks that don't look as good or aren't doing as well.

I'm very grateful for the soft, clean water around here. It's super impressive to see the dedication of a lot of the hobbyists on this board with their R/O sheds, mixing stations, etc... I'm glad I don't need to do that.

I was using the dosing pump, but as an experiment I tried mixing up a batch of all-in-one fertilizers and dispensing out of an old Easy Green bottle. Since I feed the fish every day I've just been using my little all-in-one mix. I still have the dosing pump and I might set it up again in the future though!

The low water level due to a few factors. When the water level is at the very top, I do get more jumpers. It also makes it impossible for me to reach my hands in there without causing the water to slosh over the sides if I need to replant something, trim a dead leaf etc. On the 12 gallon, I need to physically pull it out from under the cabinet it is under for maintenance and that also would be difficult if it was filled to the brim.
 

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Discussion Starter #100
The blyxa japonica arrived in terrible shape, but it has some new growth so it looks like it will bounce back. The new growth is redder than I expected, but that may just be a stress response from shopping and adjusting to new conditions. I also did some maintenance on the staurogyne repens to trim the horizontal shoots and plant the tips. The horizontal stems turn yellow close to the base instead of that nice deep green.

Usually Pogostemon erectus grows in the classic big, wide, steady shape but every once in a while a stem that has had the roots trimmed will stunt at the apex and start sending off side shoots like crazy. I haven't figured out why that occasionally happens.

The 12 gallon is going pretty steady, my fiance already loves the betta and has taken to feeding him. There are definitely diatoms and I thought about adding an otocinclus but I think I'll just see if the problem resolves itself as tank conditions stabilize. I noticed a small patch of BGA on the substrate and and some BBA that came in on some plants as well. Given the low bioload and low light it shouldn't explode over the next few days. I'll give it to next week before doing a more thorough cleaning.


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