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BigAL's 60cm mountain peak scape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by BigAL777, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hey all, I thought I would finally share one of my aquascapes since I haven't really taken many pictures of my past scapes. I just tore down and cleaned up from my last scape that I let go unmaintained for too long. So here is actually my third aquascapes in this tank. I built the tank to fit my aquarium stand so the dimensions are 24" x14" x14". I just received my last shipment of plants and planted right away. I hope you all like my mountain peak scape.
     

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  2. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Here is a list of the plants I used and how they are separated in the tank by color:
    Blue: micanthromum Monte Carlo (I spelled that wrong)
    Green: HC Cuba
    Yellow: staurogyne repens
    Red: a mix of 4 different plants; dwarf subulata, staurogyne repens, pogostemon Helferi, and my LFS said it's called baby tears, I don't know what the actual name is
     

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  3. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    The lone peak needs more visual weight around it. I'd move the stone in the Front Left corner and put it near your peak in a complimentary way.
     
  4. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    With how thick of a carpet the Monte Carlo gets, it won't look that naked, I'm hoping the repens gets bushy so that will fill the void space. I'll probably do some more work on it soon.
    I just checked on the tank and it's now towards the end of the day's light cycle and the HC Cuba has a ton of pearling going on, so I'm feeling happy that I've gotten the plant health down on day one

    I have ei dosing fertz on the way, they were supposed to arrive today, but that's not the case. I just bought a bottle of seachem flourish, can I use that in place of the CSM+B?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
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  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    BigAL

    That is an interesting Aquascape very basic yet it has plenty of good features.

    My only concern (not Aquascape) is do you have any thing under the substrate to stop the slippage?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    BigAL
    That looks like one of my quick sketches but it does show what you have done.

    I will any planting comments up to the plant experts.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    BigAL

    That is great to hear a happy Aquascaper.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  8. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I have large rocks under the substrate to help with the elevation, I packed down the substrate pretty well but am still dealing with slippage, but I am open to suggestions.
     
  9. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I actually bought a new light as well (three clamp lights with cfl looks ugly). I picked up this: http://www.adana-usa.com/index.php?...id=818&zenid=0217de1118898768befe2dbe2457a8bf
    If anyone has any comments on the lighting, I'd like to hear em. The color is almost purple, my CFL bulbs were almost blue.

    I was thinking about taking the big rock on the left out and relaxing it with either driftwood (which I've never done in an aquascape) or maybe a smaller rock instead, it looks rather distracting.
     
  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    BigAL

    You can construct an underground retaining wall using pieces of slate pressed deep into the substrate leaving a few mm exposed then you can see if its still slipping.
    There is a smaller rock extreme left I would consider removing that rock certainly not the larger rock as it blends in so well with your Aquascape.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  11. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Alright, I'll leave the big one and pluck out the small rock on the left.
    I have a few odds and ends questions:
    When is the best time to add ferts to the water? Before the light cycle starts? An hour into the light cycle?
    If I keep my lights and co2 on for more than 8 hours, will my plants grow more everyday?
     
  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    BigAl

    I never had Co2 I will leave that one to the Co2/plant experts.

    For my Low Tech tanks I always added the ferts about an hour after the lights came on except on water change days and then 3-4 hrs later.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  13. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Is 264 gph too much flow for a 20g tank? I'm worried my canister filter isn't strong enough, but the next step up to my filter is 264gph.
    Anyway I took this picture Sunday, not sure if you can tell the difference yet.
     

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  14. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I prefer to add ferts at the start of the day. Basically before I head off to work. One thing I have to be careful of in my fish room where it is dark until the lights come on at 10 am is startling fish. I had a few jumpers die the other day because I flipped the room light on walked in did a few things and left. Moving around in front of a tank when they are still "sleeping" can cause them to panic and some fish will jump out. Used to be a big problem when I had my main display in a spot my wife walked by every morning very early...jumpers all the time. No more jumpers in my new home because the tank doesn't get startled.

    Timing the ferts probably doesn't matter too much, but having it available at the start of the light cycle makes the most sense to me. If you are dosing EI there should be some luxury uptake meaning the plants have stores of some nutrients.

    The more light the more growth. This means in duration or intensity. ADA runs their tanks at 10 hours of light. I think that is probably as long as you want to have the lights on. 8 hours in the beginning isn't a bad idea, since things are just getting established and cannot take full advantage of any extra light. Some folks will even cut it back to the minimum 6 to ensure they limit growth of things like algae or diatoms when a tank is first starting. In hindsight I probably should have done this on my 45 cm. Once plants have grown in well extending to 10 hours is easier than from the get go.

    More light also means more demand for other things like CO2 and nutrients as well as greater risk of algae. Try to remember that when balancing the pros and cons. My light cycle is from 10 am to 8 pm. I find I get the most viewing time that way. If the tank is in a dark room you can get weirder with the light schedule since natural light doesn't mess with things. Noon to 10 pm for example.

    You'd be amazed at how much stems will bend to a window across the room or house if you delay the light from turning on until like 12 pm if there is a source of natural light. The contortion looks weird and annoys me, so I try to keep it to align with natural light schedule.
     
  15. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    264 is plenty for a 20 gallon. When I was running my 20 gallon I used an eheim 2215 (164 gph) and it worked nice. You must be looking at 2217, that might be a bit much even though the rule of thumb is 10x tank volume. If you don't feel it is enough you can easily add a small pump to pick up the flow.

    You get by with less than 10x, particularly in open scapes. A really thick planting of stems would benefit from a flow rate closer to 10x.
     
  16. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I use the sunsun 602 model and it is a great little canister, but by the end of the light cycle there is a layer of film, so raising the flow should add surface agitation, right? I think with my co2 diffuser and the heater plugged into the outflow line it cuts that 105gph waaay down.
    The sunsun 302 is what I was looking to buy, under $60, and more than doubled the gph rate.
    My lights are on a timer that starts at 11 and goes off at 6 and I have one 13w cfl bulb that I plugged in off the timer and I turn that on at noon and off at 7. Could I extend my light cycle from 11-9? My earlier question was more like: is there a way to grow plants in like an extreme way? Could you run a light cycle for 14 hours, and do a daily fert dose and water change with success?
    I was concerned that the LED I have wasn't bright enough, so I run it + two 13w CFL fixtures, it looks ugly, but I'm just trying to get everything to grow. Once the plants show a decent amount of growth, I'll take the CFLs off, cut back the co2 a little, and add shrimps and fish
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  17. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    As far as the light goes, you are doing it backwards. You can add more light as it gets more dense.

    Patience is the key to a successful aquascape. There is no way around that. The longer the light cycle the more growth, but generally going more than 10 hours is not a wise idea. 11-6 is too short. 6 hours minimum 10 hours max. Extreme plant growing usually ends up with extreme algae growth.

    Considering all the algae you saw in the last scape you probably have more than enough light and going for more wouldn't be a good idea...you may get the same results. LEDs can look dim while still putting out enough PAR. What type of LED? Judge the light by the plants response to it not by how bright you see it. If you see good root growth you are in good shape. If you see plants shedding lower leaves or the monte carlo growing vertically you do not have enough.
     
  18. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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  19. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you will keep on the right path with Shawn.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  20. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    You will get more pearling with extra light, but it doesn't mean it's beneficial. I like to see bubbles collecting gradually on the plants but not have bubbles streaming out every where. Pearling is a little over rated IMO. That LED is enough for your tank. I've carpeted Monte Carlo with the 30 cm version

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

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