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That wall is SWEET! Also, I don't know if I said this yet.. but both of your tanks are gorgeous. The layout of the 47g is perfect with the variety of colors and stems, especially the red blotches! Nice job.

Is the wall in your house?! Also, how many CPD do you have? They seem pretty comfortable.. I noticed they are hanging around the middle-top of the tank within your pictures. From what I gathered, they tend to shy towards the bottom layer of tanks.
 

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Omg please give details on your plant wall like how you set it up. Are they growing in planters or on a mesh? and full plant list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
That wall is SWEET! Also, I don't know if I said this yet.. but both of your tanks are gorgeous. The layout of the 47g is perfect with the variety of colors and stems, especially the red blotches! Nice job.

Is the wall in your house?! Also, how many CPD do you have? They seem pretty comfortable.. I noticed they are hanging around the middle-top of the tank within your pictures. From what I gathered, they tend to shy towards the bottom layer of tanks.
Thanks man, the red AR minis are really performing ha. The CPDs do tend to be more shy, at least at the start. I find that mine tends to cluster at the surface when they sense you're gonna feed them. If I mess around the tank very regularly, pruning etc, it makes them more shy also. If water parameters are off, they become much less active quickly. So quite sensitive in that sense. I have about 16 of them in the tank, along with about 10 micro rasboras as dither fish. I think rising to the surface may not be the most natural thing for them, as they usually pick around the mid/bottom, so nowadays I try to feed them sinking stuff that hits the mid/lower regions to not disrupt their natural tendencies so much.

The wall is a fabric with pockets sewed into it; with a drip system with timer at the top that waters the entire wall twice a day, the water drips off at the bottom into a trough that flows into the drain. The pockets are filled with soil/peat and the fabric wall is mounted onto a steel grid for structural integrity. We had the contractor do most of the construction together with the rest of the apartment. Its basically a vertical terrarium I guess; and for a start we chose hardier plants that can creep and attach onto the fabric (The one with heart shaped leaves is the common money plant, the longer leaved ones with white edges is Chlorophytum bichetii, and there is also some sygonium mixed in). Might introduce some colors etc when I get a better sense of how well the system is working. Has been running for about 3 months now and I've done quite a bit of pruning to keep it even. The fabric wall can get a bit unsightly if exposed, but dense planting hides it quite well. Compared to planters, a fabric wall with pockets is flatter, but only allow smaller plants. Its flatter and lighter construction is easier/less costly to mount than having a frame for larger planters . The watering system is also relatively simple; water drips quite evenly through the fabric background from the top. I think if larger planters were used, each horizontal panel may need its own drip system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
We need some updates dude! Maybe a video?
Haa I do have a description vid, if you don't mind my odd accent at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXWdlaz16RI

I'm thinking of changing out the staurogyne repens for something else though, so maybe that'll be a major update. Else stuff looks quite the same except more grown in; and the bushes are quite big by now.
 

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Haa I do have a description vid, if you don't mind my odd accent at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXWdlaz16RI

I'm thinking of changing out the staurogyne repens for something else though, so maybe that'll be a major update. Else stuff looks quite the same except more grown in; and the bushes are quite big by now.
Great video. This tank is one of my favorites on this site. I really like everything about it.

What are you thinking of putting in the place of the Staurogyne repens?
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
What are you thinking of putting in the place of the Staurogyne repens?
Hee thanks! I'm thinking of either Limnophilia Vietnam, or maybe blxya; the long leaves would be a better contrast and blxya has a yellowish/reddish tinge, which I prefer to staurogyne's green in this case. Just got hands on some new rocks and can't resist tweaking the hardscape as well. I removed the medium left rock and replanted the entire mid. I realized that my foreground was unnecessarily large, and thus intend to push out the mid, with some additional layers for added complexity. Replanted the arcuata at the back to match the growth rates of the now-redone mid ground. Will post pics when the dust has settled.

Another thing that I realized along the way is that the variegated AR gets quite large. Not sure to force-prune it to be smaller or limit it to only perhaps a couple of stalks on the left side.
 

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This thread was very enjoyable. I like your plant usage and how your tank has evolved over time. Very nice work.

On another note, I'm very interested in your low-tech tanks. I'm sure other members are curious as to how you created the low-tech tanks as well. Maybe create a new journal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Thanks guys...

On another note, I'm very interested in your low-tech tanks. I'm sure other members are curious as to how you created the low-tech tanks as well. Maybe create a new journal?
Hmm I should do this, been a bit tardy in keeping track of the low tech tanks. I think the setup matters quite a bit, because there are fewer factors to manipulate in a low tech setup, but I also wanted to do a bit more experimentation before giving recommendations to people; so I've been trying on tanks with slightly different dimensions and soils.
 

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All these tanks are so nice looking. I have a question about the Ludwigia sp red in the 47 gal. How do you keep it so small? I understand it's probably not that way all the time, just looking for any tips in general on how to prune L species. Mine get so out of control! Do you just re-plant the tops on a regular basis, or what exactly? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Thanks for stopping by! Hmm It's a combination of trimming off the tops to a height that I want, and pre-emptively pinching/cutting off tips that start to grow towards a direction that I don't want it spreading to. For L. sp red, the rooted stem is quite strong if its healthy, and the top can be trimmed off repeated; side shoots sprout fast. The whole bunch in the 47g are branches that come off from about 4 mother stems that root into the substrate. I felt that the trimming for the L. sp red is actually poorly done in the pics compared to the L. Arcuata; it can be contoured in a very exact manner, but I must have missed it when I took this set of pics.

About every 4 months I allow the current batch to grow longer, then do a replanting of tops (where the top node to bottom has no branching).

I think that trimming and allowing side shoots to sprout allows more self-organization (because the plant will grow in a way that doesn't shade itself that much), it makes for a neater, denser bush. Replanting tops kinda resets the plant form to be competitive against surrounding plants. In the search for neater tanks I've been doing alot more pruning and almost no replanting for tops (until after many months). Just a theory based on observation though. It seems to apply to other plants as well. The effect is most apparent in the Ludwigia arcuata (orange background bush); where the dense bush must be achieved through trimming and allowing the side shoots to self-organize to fill up the space. If I just grabbed a bunch of them and planted them side by side, they'll grow in a vertical competitive manner instead of spreading out. I've been wanting to do a video to demonstrate this (because people don't seem to talk about it much) , so I've replanted the entire middle of the tank (start from scratch with sparse stems) and pruned it into a bush like in the pics over the past few weeks. The bushes have grown back in over the past month though, so in a week or so I'll finish my video.

Using an older set of pics to illustrate:
When background stems are planted individually, abeit densely... they each struggle to outgrow the neighbour:


After allowing it to grow out further, before doing a very aggressive trim:


After it has grown out; with self-organization with respect to neighbouring plants:


I know you were asking about L. sp red. But the pruning technique is similar, except that Sp red spreads sideways quite abit more than L. Arcuata. I'm thinking of trying a large pruned sp. Red background for the next tank though Hmm...
 

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That last post was very useful information. You right, people don't really talk about this but I think it's the secret to make a "good" tank "great". I would love to see a video demonstrate along with a time lapse show the plant behaviors.

Great topic!
 

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Great info man, thanks. Effective pruning for various looks is the main skill Im trying to learn right now, and you dont see the finer points discussed very often. I never realized the part about side shoots re-growing in a non-competitive manner, but it makes perfect sense (and is obvious now that I know what Im seeing) I look forward to your video on the subject.
 

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Dude, that was one of the most helpful posts on pruning I've ever seen.

And I've never overly thought about it but it seems like it's make sense. I take it as well that using side shoots as opposed to replanting tops would also serve to make trimming easier, as if the plant isn't becoming multiple competing plants it probably does not grow upwards as much or shade everything ever right?
 
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