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A Rocky Garden

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by Culprit3, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I set up my 20 gallon long about 3 months ago and now realize my aquascape really isn't any good. I want to do an island or triangle style aquascape. Any suggestions how, or what materials I should focus on getting? I will be gathering more hardscape and focusing on growing and propogating my plants right now.

    IMG_20170424_130735.jpg
     

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  2. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I do have rotala rotundifolia behind the rocks but they are struggling right now for some unknown reason.

    Why do you say they need to be replanted with different types of plants? Hopefully when the sword grows in it will help...
     
  3. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Culprit
    A few questions first if you do not mind.
    Are you a beginner and is this your first attempt at Aquascaping?
    Is your tank viewed from both sides if it is this can make it more difficult to do an Aquascape, in my opinion it certainly limits you choice of what you would like to do?
    What are the dimensions of your tank cm preferred LxWxH?

    What ever you do there is not need to get any thing yet, the first task is to plan every thing in detail first with as little disruption possible to your tank.

    Can you list every plant you have as this will certainly help later.

    Hardscape I can see two large rocks is there any more hidden also looks like plenty of small rocks mostly hidden?

    Substrate what is it and how deep have you got it?

    Am I correct you are working Low Tech no Co2?

    Your lighting and filtration what do you have?

    When you say "Triangle" style what are you referring to?

    Once we get all of this out of the way then there is the selection of what you would like to do and we are on our way.

    The most importing point is do not rush into any thing reason being the more time you spend on getting every thing right can be very rewarding when you can sit back and enjoy your wonderful Aquascape.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  4. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ok, this was kind of what I was looking for. I don't know if I said it earlier but I was planning on focusing on growing and propogating plants, gathering hardscape, and planning my tank.

    1. Yes and yes.

    2. Just from the front. I sleep on the right side with my head back from the tank about 5-7 feet. But that doesn't really matter as I don't see much anyway. I'm fine with just seeing plants when I'm going to bed.

    3. 72.6 x 30.48 x 30.48 LxWxH

    4. Ozelot Sword, Hydrocotyle Sp. Japan, Staurgyne Repens, Dwarf Sagittaria, Water Sprite, Rotala Rotundifolia, Flame Moss.

    5. Kind of. There is the one big one on the right, the flat one embedded in the substrate. Then there's about five little rocks on that side of the scape. The left side has one large, and one medium. (I'm not counting the big ones)

    6. Seachem Flourite and PFS. It varies... In the back where its stacked up its about 3 inches tall, then it slopes down to about 1 inch where the sand is.

    7. Yes... To some degree. As I have a finnex stingray I've been thinking about doing a DIY citric acid Co2 injection. I've read that the citric acid is far more stable then yeast and it lasts a lot longer. Would adding Co2 help my plants or is my light too low?

    8. Finnex Stingray. 1 AC 50, 1 Aqueon QF 30. Both baffled so I'm not swamping the tank with flow.

    9. You know what the island style is right? For the island I was thinking two islands, one big and one little. When I say triangle aquascape I mean this:

    Except probably with less driftwood. I can definitely buy more plants though.


    Thank you!
     
  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Culprit

    Is that Pool filter sand?

    To be perfectly honest I would learn as much as possible long before you start thinking Co2 particularly DIY many have started this way and soon discover a good Co2 unit is the way to go.

    Lighting is a different subject again its as simple as is it required or not plus the costing are you going High or Low Tech?

    I hunted the WWW for Two Island Aquascapes and no luck plenty of SW tanks but no FW Aquascapes.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  6. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Yes pool filter sand.

    I have been researching Co2 for about a month. The yeast is not very good because its so variable but the citric acid is constant flow. You can get higher pressure too. It also lasts a whole lot longer.

    Just look up island aquascapes. I like those. The thing is, with my long lengthwise but short height I would need two to balance the scape. So one big island off center, then a little on one the other side to balance it.

    Well, would I have to buy more lighting? I have a finnex stingray... I would like to be medium tech. Kind of like this one except heavier planted and not as much driftwood. My tanks a lot longer then this too so shorter islands with more sand space in between.

    [​IMG]

    My big island would be like this roughly. It would be off center. Then I would have a little island. Again off center. Again less driftwood, more one main piece.
    [​IMG]

    I do like seeing hardscape, not just completely planted over. Less gloomy on this one and more space in between.
    [​IMG]

    Get the gist of it? And when I say triangle... I don't like dutch looking scapes where there is a hardscape but you can't even see it. That being said I do like lots of plants.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
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  7. Zeus

    Zeus Aspiring Aquascaper

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    If your thinking CO2 skip the DIY IMO and go for a decent system, cheaper in long run and much better control

    Sent from Mountolympus via neural interface
     
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  8. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I really don't have $200 to blow on Co2. I'm only 14.
     
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  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Zeus this is possibly one the best advice a beginner can ever be given.

    Problem solved wait until you can buy a quality unit. I never used Hi tech at all in 50 years and I managed very well.
    A photo of one of my tanks was published in a Calendar and that was an all Low Tech tank.

    I was working after school and Sat mornings when I was only 14 a delivery boy for a local Chemist.
    For many years I had two jobs.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  10. Zeus

    Zeus Aspiring Aquascaper

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    If a decent CO2 is totally out off reach, then the best DIY system would be your best option OFC. Just don't rush in for one ;)


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  11. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I'm only 14, and yes I do have a job. I work over the summer and make somewhere from 300 to 500 dollars. However, I am saving up for a car and I think a car is more important then spending 300 dollars on a Co2 unit when I can just diy one for 20. I do have a regular job at 50 to 75 a week but again, car first.

    thats what I thought. I have been researching for about a month now and finally decided to go ahead. I will be doing citric acid Co2. Its far better then yeast. Its very consistent, you actually build up pressure before starting to release, it lasts way longer and it doesn't have a ramp up and ramp down period. For me its definitely the best option. I don't need high pressure Co2 for what I'm doing. All you need is two two liter bottles, drill a hole in the caps, run one tube in between. It works by the citric acid dripping into the baking soda creating Co2. You keep the valve closed until you build up about 2 kg of pressure. Then you open the valve to the amount you want and the pressure going out of the bottle creates a suction, pulling more in. You can even shut it off at night without a problem.

    https://fishyjoe.com/2014/08/17/hands-diy-co2-baking-soda-citric-acid/

    I'll probably be getting the D301 http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Model-DIY...hash=item567a61b6b0:m:mLMbMH_9zs32AdShYYbVhxQ

    With this setup that I will have, with the citric acid Co2 and finnex stingray, will I be considered medium tech? Can I grow harder plants with this?

    that done with, lets resume the aquascape part.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  12. Zeus

    Zeus Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Think you have done your research well. Always good to post just in case you have missed something.
    Looking forward to updates :)
    Think we are going to see great things.
    Spend plenty of time with the hardscape - weeks - J. findly. Does.
    Keith might of never used CO2, but his hardscape critique I found very useful. He's not affended if you don't follow has advice either. Small changes in hardscape make I big difference in the final scape. But your call OFC as long as your happy with it.

    Sent from Mountolympus via neural interface
     
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  13. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks! Yeah, I'm planning on slowly gathering hardscape, then I'm gonna lay out a towel in the shape of my tank and build the hardscape. Since I do have fish in the aquarium I don't want to leave them indefinitely while I mess with it. And this way I can lay it out, leave it a day or two, come back and see what I did wrong and what could be better.

    Speaking of hardscape... what do you guys think I should look for? I can get a decent amount of that granite stuff that I already have, and then I can probably get river stones. For driftwood I live by a river so I can scope that out but if not I can buy some. I might be able to go to a rock yard and look there as well. Do you think I should go for slate or more hard edged.... uhhhh, imposing pieces?

    I certainly hope it looks good when I'm finished with it. Its gonna be a long process though :).
     
  14. Zeus

    Zeus Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I would advise doing a cardboard cut out of tank size. Cut out the top and front allowing a lip at the front to hold substrate in, line it with black bin bag. Presso great for playing with hard scape.

    Sent from Mountolympus via neural interface
     
  15. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Heyyyy thats a good idea! There probably won't be a box the size of my tank so I'll cut one out and tape it together! DIY ftw.
     
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  16. Zeus

    Zeus Aspiring Aquascaper

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    As for rocks DW and your budget, getting it from the environment can be tricky as it may contain a multitude of things and will need treatment, but doable. A few good size rocks with character is what you should be looking for. If you find a good one then that's the type to follow with the others, don't really won't different types of rock as will look less natural.

    Sent from Mountolympus via neural interface
     
  17. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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  18. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I know about treating stuff from outside. I've used rocks and DW. I know about calcete testing and cleaning and boiling them. Thanks lucas! So yeah I need a few big rocks with character.
     
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  19. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    On a 20 gallon long a stingray would be medium light which should be good enough to grow almost all plants. If you wanted higher light you can upgrade to the planted plus. Since the tank is long you might also like a single island placed to the left or right with open space. It looks really good when you have a school

    . 10391399_817374121668495_4858026248042295511_n.jpg
    20120511-231732.jpg
     
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  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Culprit
    I have been posting this Mock Up tank for a long time the big difference its been made of a solid board where making some thing similar will do as long as it works for you. The substrate can be any thing from garden soil to cheap sand.
    [​IMG]

    Lucasgg
    Thank you for posting that link Re the DW many complain buying DW on line as its often not the piece shown. Looks like Lucasgg has found a very good seller.

    Boiling rocks can be very dangerous unless you know your rocks I have seen rocks explode around a camp fire lucky no one was injured.

    Soaking in hot water will be sufficient to clean the outside a steam cleaner will even do a better job.

    Or a long single island as long as the focal points are in a good position, It can have hills, one hill or sloping towards one end. Every thing will depend on what you can get remembering you might have a fixed idea then when its done in the Mock Tank it just does not work, also when you have every thing perfect in the Mock Tank try to imagine it with plants, green garden/tree cuttings will help you here.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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