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Aurora project.

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by Aurora, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Aurora

    Aurora New Member

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    Hi

    Firstly I wanted to think of a name for this tank. But I can't so it's just called the aurora project.

    So far all the equipment I have is

    Tank
    Dennerle Scaper's 50l
    IMG_0006.jpg

    It came with its own filter and light.
    • Hang-On external filter: Scaper's flow with swivel and height-adjustable Lily-Pipe 360 l / h, Prefilter and high-performance filter materials
    • Energy saving lamp: Scaper's Light, 24W/8000 Kelvin, integrated high-gloss reflector with 360° horizontal adjustment

    Ideally I'd like to muddle on without any co2.
    I am new to this and want to learn from trial and improvement as well as forum input.
    Although the art form is well established I do feel beauty is different for everyone, I will try to stick to the rules but I can't promise anything ;)

    These will be my inspiration.
    images (1).jpg
    5369724290_fa48baefde.jpg

    So far I have seen these rocks....

    received_10154624499596040.jpeg

    Which I think are lovely. (Or as lovely as rocks can be lol)

    I'm thinking some grasses and sand?

    Also I was reading about liquid co2 this morning but am not 100% on its merits. Seems to be a mixed review.

    ThaNHS for tanking your time to read this. Looking forward to getting started!!!:love:
     
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  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice tank to begin with.

    I think you will need more stones. Those two small ones will most likely get swallowed up in any scape and they really shouldn't count.

    Rocks and Sand: http://www.thegreenmachineonline.com/shop/category/aquatics/d-cor-materials

    I'd recommend getting 10 kg so you have enough with which to scape. Having a little extra is not a bad idea.

    Try to get sand that matches the color of your stones.
     
  3. Aurora

    Aurora New Member

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    Yes I did thino I'd need extra stones for the scattering. Just not seen anot that have caught my eye.
    As for plants. (forgive me in don't know all their names yet) dwarf hair grass, sagitaria sub and vallis caught my eye. I also just love those cute little miss balls!!
     
  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Once you have your stones and arrangement chosen it will be easier to make exact recommendations for plants.

    Vals are going to be large for your tank and generally create a more enclosed feeling. Nice for tropical forest look, but your inspirations have an airy open feel that the vals would destroy. An alternative with better size would be Echinodorus tenellus. It would look neat in a single bunch growing behind the focal stone or even serving as a primary focal point. The problem with this plant, and vals for that matter, is they send runners everywhere, thus require some regular trimming of the runners to keep the plant tamed and in its place. E. tenellus however, sends its runners above the substrate so they are actually fairly easily snagged and trimmed back, whereas vals send them below the substrate and can be hard to find.

    I'm personally not a fan of sagitaria sub...I think there are better options that give a similar look. But if you like it I think it could be used effectively in small bunches.

    There are many versions of dwarf hair grass that mainly differ on their length. So depending on the stones and style we can choose one that will work best. Both inspiration scapes are probably using Eleocharis acicularis. The first hasn't trimmed it much and the second has done a fair bit of trimming to keep the stones from being obscured.

    Moss balls...is there anything I can say to talk you out of an algae ball. Yes, it is not moss...it is algae and will eventually most likely invade your grasses getting caught up in everything and become unsightly. Please, for the love of aquascaping...do not use a marimo moss ball :cry:
     
  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Aurora

    See if a Landscape garden suppliers have suitable rocks they are far cheaper and should have a huge range to select from.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  6. Aurora

    Aurora New Member

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    $_57.JPG I was given this from my neighbour. He breeds tropical fish.

    What do you think?
     
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  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice neighbor. That will be good for your hairgrass. Are you planning on using some sand too?
     
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  8. Aurora

    Aurora New Member

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    Yea he's great. His fishhouse is impressive! He gave me my first few fish.

    Yes I think I will get some sand and have a play about.
    post-1974-0-03107400-1352189064.jpg
    I like how the sand and rocks are layed oup.
    here.

    So a layer of soil deeper on one side with a small sandy beach on the other.
    What are the plants here?
     
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  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Plants in that photo are hard to say but I think the main plant is HC. I'd steer clear of that until you get more experience and CO2. The back grass is a hair grass, judging by the scale compared to the fish I would say a larger variant.

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
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  10. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    You could try Monte Carlo instead of HC. Easy to grow and similar look.

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
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  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Aurora,

    That is an interesting layout.

    Have you made a final decision of what you are going to do or are you still looking for ideas.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  12. Aurora

    Aurora New Member

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    So some of the stones arrived. I used the bag of substrate my neighbour gave me. But obviously need more. And some gravel.

    *not final layout*
    Here they are. I had a play
    20160310_155815.jpg 20160310_155937.jpg
     
  13. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Remember to study the entire setup as a unit. I made the mistake of always focusing on one detail, and not the entirety. Also getting a feel for natural flow, visually and how stones are scattered in nature will help tremendously.
     
  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Sorry to say your "Playtime" looks like that, the rocks do not work together they just look like rocks placed on a flat uneven substrate.

    Now for the plus side all of the rocks have plenty of character.

    Dont get disheartened keep trying but whatever you are thinking is not just working for you.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  15. Aurora

    Aurora New Member

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    I wonder if you read what I said correctly?

    The rocks are in no sort of position let alone final position. Everything that has arrived is mearly poured into the tank.
    The purpose of the pictures were to show the substrate and rocks of. I am still waiting for some more rocks and sand, so there is no point in even attempting to position these rocks yet.

    While I appreciate honest feedback, I would also appreciate my posts being read properly.
     
  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Aurora

    I read that as you were requesting help to create your final layout.

    It is extremely rare that a early post is perfection and assistance is required.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  17. Aurora

    Aurora New Member

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    Ok I got another bag of that 6 in 1 stuff and I'm waiting on gravel. So impatient!!

    I had another play with the stones. Ideally I'd like a clear gravel area in the front right corner and a built up green stoned area in the back. Basically making it up as I go along lol!

    Any layout ideas welcomed. I doc have more rocks coming. But I'm working with what I've got atm

    20160311_150842.jpg 20160311_150846.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
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  18. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    The stones are great, more will be even better.

    One of my suggestions is to consider carrying the clear sand area all the way across the front. It is a personal taste thing, but I do not like the cross sectional look you get from an incongruent front viewing edge. I think it ruins the perspective.

    I'd recommend maybe sketching out an overhead look of the substrate regions to help with arranging it. There are some youtube videos about how to go about placing the substrate and rocks to get good separation. The basic idea is to use a piece of cardboard or other rigid yet flexible material to create a border, hold it up with some rocks then place the substrate in to create a smooth divide. You can then remove the rocks and the divide and arrange your rocks. Remember that in order to keep the two separated (which may not be that big of a deal with the sandy colored planting substrate) you will need stones or something along the border.

    I would arrange the stones in layers. Your foremost group I would put down first, then add some more substrate behind to get building the height to the rear. Then arrange another group of stones and add more substrate. It will help build your height and ensure it stays in place while also giving the stones a natural appearance in how they lay in the substrate.

    Depending on how dramatic you want your slopes, you could consider using the Dry Start Method (DSM). With big slopes of substrate the DSM lets the plant roots grow in to hold the substrate up before flooding. If your stones will do a good job of this no need. Hairgrass goes slow in a DSM though. I know I'm getting impatient with my DSM.
     
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  19. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    If you really want to build a dramatic looking slope you can use standard cheap aquarium gravel or even more substrate within some nylon stockings to create an enhanced slope and cover in substrate.

    Your inspiration photos don't have this dramatic of a slope...so probably not needed.

    Several folks have stated that Micranthemum "monte carlo" will grow in low tech tanks. My plant recommendations for you are that and eleocharis acicularis ( a taller hairgrass variant..roughly 10 cm height). Lots of MC in the front with the HG behind some rear stones and along the back. You can then trim to give tall and shorter lengths to your liking.
     
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  20. Aurora

    Aurora New Member

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    Some great advice there thank you. My ideas and visuals keep changing and evolving!
    My neighbour gave me some plants from other people he knows. I'll check the variety and get back to you.
     
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