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Ashbury Scape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by youjettisonme, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. youjettisonme

    youjettisonme Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
    San Francisco
    Ashbury Island (Major RESCAPE)

    UPDATE:

    Lots and lots of updates to this tank.

    I had three Garra rufa. However, I wanted lots of shrimp, and they are just too uppity with the shrimp. Plus, it is impossible to plant HC with Garra in your tank. These doctor fish have amazing personalities so maybe I will try again someday. Here is the last pic of one before I gave them away. If you make a loose fist, and place it in the tank, the Garra will literally swim inside your grip. If this is true, why was it still so hard to catch them once I needed to give them away?

    [​IMG]

    Sorry in advance for the quality of this pic. It's blurry because I had to move the camera in order to follow the Zebra Otto. I have 3 of them in the tank now, and they are quite boisterous. At Aqua Forest, they were still as can be, and I never saw them move. In my tank, they may as well be snorting 8-balls. I have to say, I love these fish. It's also a big bonus that they like to play with the regular Otto.

    [​IMG]

    I added a couple of Hygro Kompact to the scape, and after some initial melting because my diffuser was heavily in need of a bleaching, and nothing was getting CO2, they seem to be making a nice enough recovery. I turned the lights way down to combat an algae bloom, going from 9 to 5 hours a day, and that's when the brown algae struck. Worse, it blocked off my CO2, and then plants started melting. Luckily, now cleaned, everything is pearling again, and we're getting back to normal.

    You can see where I ripped out the glosso and replaced with tiny HC plantlets.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, a clean CO2 diffuser. It makes all the difference. The brown algae has really subsided as well. 3 new Amanos are also on the job.

    [​IMG]

    Here, you can see many new additions to my tank. Currently, I have 2 tiger shrimp, 3 cherry shrimp, 2 mutts, 3 Zebra Otto, 7 Otto cats, and 6 pea puffer. As many of you already know, keeping any kind of puffer with shrimp can be an ordeal. I keep these puffers well fed with frozen blood worms, and they have pretty much stopped bothering the shrimp all together. This is good because I have 3 bumble bee ninjas and 4 green shrimp, and 10 blue pearls on the way.

    In this pic, you can see all of the pea puffers and Ottos playing together. They all get along really well, and they are endlessly playing in the outflow glass, and swimming vigorously, back and forth across my 90p. A few of the Ottos are really fond of flying back and forth, up and down across the tank, and I actually witnessed the puffer watching them intently, and then copying their actions. In fact, the puffers adore the Otto and constantly try to mimic their actions. I raised my outflow tank a bit to create more surface agitation, and in turn, more oxygen in the tank so I could raise the CO2 bubble count. In turn, all of the plants are now pearling, and none of the fish are having any difficulty or gasping. It's a nice balance now.

    [​IMG]

    I am very happy with the growth of the HC and glosso. I've already had to trim quite a bit, but I am now going to let the glosso on the right run wild (it will get quite tall) so that the shrimp have even more places to hide while they're molting. I've picked up a molt carcass at least every other day. I'm also pretty happy with the Xmass tree moss which has made a nice transition from simply spraying it with a water bottle during DSM to submerged, and finally to fantastic growth.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a closeup of one of my puffers. One of the shrimp had babies (wasn't even aware of the pregnancy), and there were lots of tiny offspring jumping about on and in the HC. The puffers obviously got a taste for them, and they have been constantly stalking, scouring the substrate for signs of movement ever since. I even saw them make a go at one of the sub-millimeter shrimps, and the shrimp managed to escape... for now. Too late for quarantine.

    Maybe some of you have seen the flick where these alien space ships, shaped kind of like a puffer, hover in the air around apartment buildings, peaking in windows, hoping to exterminate the humans. Well, this is my pea puffers with baby shrimp. Relentless.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    /end updates.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------





    Hi all,

    Here is my first ever aquascape. I couldn't really decide on what kind of scape I wanted to do, so I split the aquarium a little bit on this one. I am going DSM, and we will see if I have the obvious problems occur. ie, How am I going to maintain the emersion for the roots on the taller sections? No way the Christmas tree moss survives on the end of those branches, etc.

    From a style perspective, I can't tell yet if there is too much going on. It's easy to point out that I have two focal points instead of one, sometimes a no-no, so we'll have to see how it turns out once grown in a little bit.

    Tank: 90p ADA

    Plants: HC and glosso for the base. Blyxa japonica around the edge of most of the rocks (haven't planted yet). A little anubias nana petite at the base of the manzanita wood. Christmas tree moss at the end of the branches (we'll see if it survives until submersion).

    Rocks: I found some nice ones at the bonzai store in Japantown.

    Filter: Eheim pro3 g90

    Lighting: fishneedit MH with ADA Nag bulb

    Filter system: all aquatic magic glassware

    Substrate: amazonia, amazonia sand, amazonia powder, bacter 100

    ETC: Hyder ETH. Dry ferts will be introduced after submersion. 10lb CO2 tank. My apartment had a natural place to put the aquarium, with several inches on both side of the glass to fit the lily pipes, etc.

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. Mojojojo

    Mojojojo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Very nice. That's going to look cool when it matures.
     
  3. youjettisonme

    youjettisonme Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks mojo! It's going to be fun to see how many mistakes I can rack up as this thing gathers traction. No matter how much reading you do, and how much patience you think you have, there is always a well in which to fall.
     
  4. Mojojojo

    Mojojojo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Tell me about it. I am doing my first scape as well and it's taken me a week to put get the rocks right. Patience seems to be a virtue in this hobby!
     
  5. Karlo

    Karlo New Member

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    Scape is excellent! Can't wait to see it grown.
     
  6. shriraj

    shriraj New Member

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    79 somwarpeth tilakwadi belgaum karnataka india
    awesome!!!
     
  7. arjundogra

    arjundogra New Member

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    nice....like the composition....
     
  8. okayplayer

    okayplayer New Member

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    look really neat. I can't wait for some grow up
     
  9. Garuf

    Garuf Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    It's very nice but it feels like it's two scapes in one tank, I'd be inclined to go for a mountain or wood, not both, but that's just a personal thing.
     
  10. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    Usually it is a mistake to mix different styles, but if nobody tries - we will never evolve.
    Last scapes from Amano show he is mixing too, he uses wood on left and right front areas with stems and big leaf plants etc and a mountain of seriyu with hc behind it. This creates an illusion of a real mountain you can see from out a forest, big plants in front let the the mountain look bigger than it is
     
  11. J House

    J House Moderator Staff Member

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    Although it is very nicely done, I have same impression that there are two scapes (two focal points), but might be too early to tell.
     
  12. youjettisonme

    youjettisonme Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Yes, as I mention in the original post, this was my concern from the outset. It is also very difficult to find pictures of brilliant aquascapes that successfully use both mediums at once. It's either an iwagumi or else it isn't. As Juri points out though, there are a few good examples out there, especially more recent ones, and his description is exactly my aim. A mountain scape in the distance with a more dense forest below. I think it's too early to tell whether I'll effectively be able to convey that message, but the plants could go a long way to making that happen.

    Either way, I didn't want to just copy the same old thing since we already have millions of those. No matter how beautiful they all may be, and they absolutely are, I feel like this hobby will look so different in 5 years. When I drew the sketches of this out on paper, I knew it would be a risk. I also figured that if it just absolutely didn't work, I could always jettison the manzanita wood and still have a great scape so it wasn't an all or nothing proposition.

    Anyway, I concur. It is combining two, difficult to combine elements, and perhaps it will fail in the end. We shall see, but I will keep you all posted!
     
  13. youjettisonme

    youjettisonme Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I think it's not just a personal thing. I think it's the bible in this hobby, and that aesthetic certainly exists for a reason... because it works. I definitely had half a dozen other sketches all ready for a layout, and they were much more traditional. I also think that there's another way to potentially tie this together even more - some even smaller tree scapes in the foreground to the left, two more actually. It will give it still more depth, and there will be some better lines for the eye to draw across the scape. Additionally, one rock scape flanked by three tree scapes puts the main focal point back in exactly one place - the mountainous rocks. Anyway, those are my thoughts: either jettison the manzanita or else add two more.
     
  14. Garuf

    Garuf Moderator Staff Member

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    An exemplary retort.
    I'll be watching closely it has all the makings of an interesting scape, compositionally it is brave and I hope that you carry it though with the planting to the last.

    This scape almost begs to be planted like Amano's reverse scapes with forced perspectives bringing the midground/background right close to the front pane and pushing the foreground out to the back of the scape.
     
  15. globali

    globali Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Very interesting layout.
    More visuals please.
     
  16. youjettisonme

    youjettisonme Aspiring Aquascaper

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    These are pics at 7 days in. Thus far, everyone is playing nice and enjoying themselves except for, not surprisingly, the Christmas moss. I am contemplating replacing the leaves with Staurogyne repens, but likely not until the tank is submerged. The Christmas moss is browning a little bit, but I expected as much.

    1 week DSM pics.
    [​IMG]

    The HC reaching out for friends.
    [​IMG]

    The glosso, jettisoning the anchor, feeling right at home in the ADA amazonia.
    [​IMG]

    The HC and glosso, making fast friends.
    [​IMG]



    I have added a third section of manzanita wood to balance out the scape and make it less yin/yang as promised, but I don't have pics yet. Really thinking the addition of Staurogyne repens along with a denser ground cover will go a long way toward bringing this scape together. My goal flood date is March 1st.

    I should also add that the metal halide is 42 cms from the top of the tank. I have been watering with a 32 oz spray bottle treated with a few drops of Prime and 5 drops of Flourish, once a day. I figure taking the saran wrap off for 10 minutes a day helps with air circulation as well. Additionally, I actually saturated the substrate using only the water bottle, about 3 32oz bottles worth the first day, and 1 to follow for the next two days.
     
  17. youjettisonme

    youjettisonme Aspiring Aquascaper

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    And finally, a pick from today, covered with some new manzanita and some stauro repens in the substrate, underneath the branches.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. youjettisonme

    youjettisonme Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ok guys, this is two weeks post-plant:

    First, we have this unique perspective that's hard to get minus a DSM.

    [​IMG]


    Mountains in the distance.

    [​IMG]


    Mountains through the trees.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Looks like a safari.

    [​IMG]



    From the helicopter.

    [​IMG]



    The HC is definitely taking off in some places.

    [​IMG]


    It's still Christmas time, as somehow this moss is surviving my DSM.

    [​IMG]


    The next plans...

    I am currently soaking my other piece of manzanita for two weeks just to make sure I don't have a floater. No rocks to hold it down. The stauro repens is going to get a lot more action in my tank soon, and I am going to combine it with something red and leafy to compliment the Christmas moss. I want to combine 3 or 4 plants at the end of each branch once finished. That's it for now, but inspired a little more every day.

    Thanks for looking!
     
  19. kevin_4u2nv

    kevin_4u2nv New Member

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    Good scape that you have created, but the driftwood disturb the focal point. may it can be replace by another set of rocks with few plants underneath.

    Looking for the filled tank.
     
  20. youjettisonme

    youjettisonme Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Not going to be an iwagumi.... Only have components of an iwagumi. It's not a full picture yet because I still have driftwood soaking. Think mountain scape background, lush forest foreground.
     

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