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20 Gallon 24"x14"x16" - First Aquascape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by roach, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. roach

    roach New Member

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    Location:
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    Hello.. I thought I would start a thread for my first serious attempt at an aquascape! I am 25 and live in BC Canada.

    After falling in love with some of the tanks at the local pet store(around a year or so ago) I started doing some research. I have had aquariums in the past but nothing like I have seen on this site, which I am now trying to do. I first started by purchasing a 36g bow front, I got nearly all the equipment for it together and it kind of hit a dead end.

    So I wanted to go for something more manageable, I decided to "update" my 10g that has been in my room for a long time! I wanted to purchase lights, c02, make a stand, and so on.. well after getting carried away and seeing a rimless 20g at the store I said to myself why not go for the 20g! Well I purchased the tank, made sure it didn't leak, purchased a Fluval 105 canister pump, a fluval 88 c02 kit, used my old GLO light from the previous tank(36g that never got used), two 20lb bags of black eco complete, I went out and found some rocks and tested them... also went out and found some drift wood to use too. All of this after a lot, and I mean a lot of research and looking at the forums and reading on lot's of plants and problems to expect and so on. I could probably go on for a while but that's boring :)

    The old 10g I have, as you can see it's in quite a sorry state. Last year in the same tank I had many plants I was trying to grow and thought it would be cool to have a lobster too... well he kept making salad out of my plants and I finally got rid of him(taken to the pet store) and this is the aftermath.

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    I wanted to build a stand for the new tank that would still be able to hold the printer and be at a much better viewing angle(with that old white stand you would have to sit on the floor to really get a good look). After seeing this stand: Stand inspiration I knew I had found the look I wanted to go for.

    So I picked up some material(cedar) and started cutting :)

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    I don't have more progress pics just the finished product..

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    I'm happy with the way it turned out, did everything myself :D
     

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  2. roach

    roach New Member

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    Location:
    Canada
    Kitty approves!

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    I needed something for the tank to sit on.. so I picked up this "kid's craft foam" at the art store for .99 cents a sheet, perfect! Just had to cut it to size.

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    Got everything cleaned and lined up before attempting to fill. Also at this point my eco complete was still on order and I had to wait to pick it up..

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    It finally came in so I went and grabbed it along with a bunch of plant's

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    This was a week ago I set this up, some of the plant's I got were a bit unhealthy so I hope at least some of them survive. I got a hardscape setup but my wood is still buoyant which is annoying, but I think I like the look of the rocks and where about's the plant's will go(I will have to snap a pic later but I am a bit ashamed :() I've got good scissors, cleaning pads, pfertz fertilizer kit, just need tongs.

    Anyway, right now I am hoping that the cuba comes back to life, some of it look's to be melting away.. I have tried adding 2 t8's to see if that helps out(the glo fixture is 2 t5 HO 24w). More updates to come..
     
  3. pupa

    pupa New Member

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    Location:
    Indonesia
    hi, roach.
    why the left plant still inthe pot?
     
  4. roach

    roach New Member

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    I had just left all the plant's as I bought them from the store so that I could figure out my hardscape before planting everything. I think I probably only ended up stressing them out, but due to the circumstances it was a better choice then keeping them out of water or moving them repeatedly.
     
  5. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
    California
    TOP notch stand! My jaw is on the floor! :proud:

    -John N.
     
  6. hamza

    hamza Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Wow! I adore that stand, super DIY.
     
  7. roach

    roach New Member

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    Thank you for the comment's, I appreciate it :D

    Some shots of the tank, this is close to one week after setup.. a major unfortunate is that my wood is still floating so I haven't been able to put it in and get my plant's where I want them. So for now the background plant's are just there roughly until I get the wood in(still soaking)..

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    As you can see the cuba is in poor shape, but most of it pearls quite well.. so I am hoping for the best. I found that it was very hard to bury the root's without ruining the plant's so a lot of it is mostly "sitting" and I don't think that is helping :( I also purchased 3 small o-cats today, we'll see how they like things.

    I don't think the slope is where I want it but when I originally did it with wood it looked much better. Tomorrow I am going to do a large maintenance, trim a few thing's, maybe move a few plant's, water change, clean glass etc. I also purchased a powerhead so that I can get a better flow to the carpet area.. so I have to sort out the direction for that.

    Comment's, suggestions, and any help would be appreciated. I also have a question that I don't think I've seen a reply too(could of easily overlooked it though), when is the "optimal" time to put in my fertilizers? During the week I am only able to dose before I go to work(and the light's don't turn on for a few hours after that). Should I be doing it in the morning? Or when I get home(the light's are still on for about 30 mins after I get home. I logically thought to do it before work so that way they would get consumed by the end of the day.
     
  8. roach

    roach New Member

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    Long time no update. I've managed to get water changes and general maintenance down quite well. I have also added some fauna over the past month at different intervals, amano shrimp(a few orange), some oto's, some cherry shrimp, bee shrimp, and a few harlequin rasboras. I have also picked up a few other plant's of which I am unsure some are but look nice haha. I also purchased a 10lb bottle for co2 and a regulator from a nice admin here :)

    So the driftwood I have had finally managed to water-log after months of soaking, finally! While this was happening I was constantly trying to figure out what it is I wanted to do with the layout but even then it changed once I put thing's in place. I should of got a picture before I changed thing's but I was excited and thinking about the job at hand. It was a serious operation for me and also my room being very hot did not help.

    I started by removing the plant's and putting them in separate dishes, then I removed everybody to a container full of the aquarium water and powerhead with a few rocks to hide around. After that I took out the rocks and set them aside. I purchased a large bin to hold all the remaining water so that I could use most of it when the time came to fill it. I really wanted to get progress pictures but it was crazy haha so I only have where it is at right now.

    Here's the new look:

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    I am not sure which one to use, it's very easy to switch so I may rotate. I would also like to get a light to illuminate it and help make it "pop"

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    Everyone is active and busy doing their thing, which is nice to see.. it was a pretty long and stressful move yesterday. I also am having trouble keep the tank at a consistent temperature because it get's so hot during the day(30c+) and no a/c! It usually ranges from 24-28ish. I have to put together a flora and fauna list at some point, I am pretty happy with how it turned out and looking forward to watching it grow in. I also purchased a glass diffuser and a co2 drop checker which should be here soon, I may also get another light.

    Thanks for looking!
     
  9. Sank999

    Sank999 New Member

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    Location:
    Kerala-INDIA
    just mind blowing.........
     
  10. roach

    roach New Member

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    I think it has a long way to go before you can say that haha, but thank you for your kind words.

    It's going to be slow going for a while I think.. but I'll post update photo's every week or so.
     
  11. flake

    flake New Member

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    i am very impressed with that DIY stand.. very nice:113:
    and the scape looks very promising as well
     
  12. CatfishSoupFTW

    CatfishSoupFTW Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
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    where do people always find these amazing pieces of driftwood! me jealous.
     
  13. octopusone

    octopusone New Member

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    me too, excellent post
     
  14. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Location:
    Miami, FL USA
    Remind me when I need an aquarium stand built, to fly you down to Miami. That is awesome! Can't wait to see the tank fill in too. What happened to that red plant. It was very red.

    llj
     
  15. roach

    roach New Member

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    Thank you for the comment's!

    I actually drive on the highway a lot and through various river areas. I always drove past this very large pile of drift wood on a beach and finally stopped there one day.. these piece's were root's on a tree that I found(brought the whole tree home because I didn't know what to do but I liked it haha). They are very twisty because of the rocks they had to move around to expand/grow.

    Thank you for that :D

    As for the red plant, yes it was very red.. right now it's in the back behind the wood on the right side. It went from that amazing red/pink, to lighter and then even greenish.. at the moment they are sort of a rosy pink but not near the colour they were. I have to figure out what they need so I can get that amazing colour back!

    It seems I need to go into the stand business haha, thank's folks :)
     
  16. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    this time your tank got the lookB-)
    HC is best planted at 1cm afar from each and better if you have lots of them on hand during the planting stage.mho.
     
  17. roach

    roach New Member

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    Thanks!

    I would of planted much more HC but this is all I have so thats why it is so sparse. The store that carries it is about a 5 hour drive(one way) away from me.. if they have it. So I will have to wait a long time for it to grow in, but at least I have some so I am happy.
     
  18. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    you could take a little and do an immersed culture in a small seedling greenhouse from a garden store.

    It would grow much faster in there and then you could take cuttings to fill in the tank.
     
  19. roach

    roach New Member

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    I thought about this but, say I were to grow it for a month or more and get a good healthy batch. Once I put it in the tank and submersed it, most of it would die off in order to create new growth correct? So how much would I actually need to plant in order to compensate for die off/melting? Seem's like an open question but... it would be nicer to see a carpet in a few month's instead of a lot longer!

    I think I will start looking up some thread's on how to do it, thank you for the suggestion. Any link's would greatly be helpful.
     
  20. roach

    roach New Member

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    In regards to my last post, I looked into a bunch of thread's and there was a lot of info. I may end up trying to do that once I have enough HC to take a chunk or two off.

    I also said I would post an update weekly or so but I didn't really see much progress.. that is until I looked at the last picture I posted.

    This picture was the previous day before a small trim(grass) and white background.

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    This was today, I like the black.

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    It's good to see the plant's are recovering and growing too. Although I am not totally sold on some of the placements.. we'll see when it grows in a bit more. I also purchased a glass diffuser(which seems a bit big but oh well haha, I can rotate them now) and two co2 checkers(broke one :(). I have been trying to get the pH right but it seem's when it's too high the HC starts to pearl and when I back it off till it's ok the HC doesn't pearl. I am also having a bit of a battle with hair algae, and I can't pull it off of most thing's or it will just uproot(HC). I've also purchased a few more cherry shrimp and fish this past week, I think there should be enough for now. I also switched out one of my power-glo bulbs to a life-glo(it was 2 power before), I like the colour now.

    Sorry for the picture quality.. suggestions are welcome.
     

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