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Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by J Art, Jun 17, 2016.
2 week update:
I notice the fish have a slight difficulty swimming into the fast flowing water, other than that every thing is looking all OK
They do a bit in some areas but it isn't overwhelming.
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Flow is very good. As the stems grow in it will get cut back, but you will still have plenty. Good flow in the beginning like this should help them grow in thicker.
In my opinion, you need more CO2. You can see the leaf tips of some of the stems appear to be tapering. That smaller size is stunting from lack of CO2. My guess is you are off gassing a bunch through the HOBs. It isn't a flow or distribution problem. I'd up the CO2 on a day you can hang out and watch. Are you using a drop checker? how are you measuring the CO2?
Once you get the CO2 increased...I'm going to make another suggestion you wouldn't expect....I think you can increase your light. The red ludwigia has greenish/yellow growth in the tips. This is a good indication of light on the lower end and you have some room to move it up.
I'm surprised the myrio mattogrossense melted on you. Usually very hardy and weedy plant. If its growing well now, you will have a bunch before you know it.
Things look clean and relatively algae free. How long has it been up? My friends tank has had a wonderful bloom of filamentous diatoms and some rot in his anubias. I told him it will take some time. We are at week 3, so just added shrimp and ottos. Next week we will either stock it the rest of the way or wait until the algae period is over.
as long as there are places for them to shelter or rest you are good.
This made me just think of something interesting. I measure using the KH/PH method, and shortly after planting I lowered the CO2 a bit because I saw a rise in apparent CO2 levels.....but that was the same time I added in the driftwood, which probably accounted for that slight PH drop, not the CO2 level.....
Time to start lowered the lights a bit towards the surface. I raised them up as high as I could for startup purposes as to not overdo it too quickly.
Went to total mush....but the few that I saved are growing faster than anything else in the tank. You can see a difference in growth from AM to PM.
Has been up and running for 2 weeks. The only algae I see is a little bit on the java fern, but I'm not even sure it's algae. There is some African Water Fern that had some rotting. I just snipped off the bad section and the remainder is doing fine. Been doing my usual startup water change routine. One of the filters moved directly from the old setup along with a few handfuls of substrate to kick start the nitrogen cycle. Between my Otto, the shrimp, snails, and swordtails...any bits of algae are likely snacked on before I see it.
@ShadowMac , was just thinking also....I can turn my HOB's down considerably with a little lever on the top of the filter. An option would be to turn down in the AM and then back up in the PM to keep degassing to a minimum during the light cycle. The trade off would be reduced flow during the day.
As long as you do not turn the HOB off completely it should work out very well for you.
Did my first trimming today on basically all the stems plants, so they are a bit low. The myaca fluviatilis that the cherry shrimp is sitting on is actually one of the trimmings. They had reached the water's surface since planting. It will likely take a couple months to fill everything in the way I want, but it's heading in a more refined direction than it started in. I'll post a more front facing shot once things fill back in a bit more.
Regular trimmings will thicken it up over a period of time.
Grew like crazy the past week. You can see from the last photo that the myaca shot up to the surface again in about 6 days. I'm thinking it might be time to start reshaping a bit.
Now that the right side is bushing out a little, maybe it's time to chop down that hairgrass in the back to create some open space in the middle?? Need some suggestions....
Lowered the lights and dropped the one on the right down lower than the others to get a bit more light on the stem side. Still having trouble keeping those ludwigia red and orange, but growing well. Could it be lacking in light spectrum? Maybe this is where the floods fall short.
No algae so far except a tiny bit of brown on the tips of the ferns close to the surface, may need to trim away those or spot treat.
Added a powerhead for increased flow to the lower/middle portions of the tank.
Swords and platys possibly migrating to another tank and being replaced with neons soon.
Suggestions on improving welcomed.
Experimental Jungle could very easily become a controlled planted Aquascape and then it will lose the special some thing it now has, there is nothing wrong with a trimming or experimenting with other plants providing it works in with the Jungle appeal.
If you can get Cardinal Tetras they are usually a hardier fish and certainly far more colourful.
I would also consider a very strong red coloured Cherry shrimp, it would give the tank another feature of the Jungle.
Good point @Keith, it's easy to sometimes over manicure and lose the natural feel.
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Its like our garden it has that wild appeal and when spring arrives we have new colours in the flowers simply because they cross pollinated and gives it that open bush with flowers every where.
Things look good. I think the scape is still settling in. Are you seeing the stems putting out side shoots after trimming? Hopefully, they will start to bush out. The tips look better in this most recent photo, they look full in the myaca. It also looks like the myrio mattogrossense sprung back to life for you.
You seem to be getting a fair amount of bending in the stems towards the center of the light source, which indicates a spread issue if it they stay that way throughout the light cycle. Next time you scape...or if you consider moving things. A center island design would work well and prevent the bending of the stems.
In the end you may get a scape that looks like two separate scapes in here. The left and the right are very different. One thing that comes to mind for me, is creating a triangle design with the stems tapering off towards the low part of the tank on the right, the ferns and driftwood reaching out that direction into a field of grass. Off setting the light so that it centers over the wood might be an interesting way to achieve this look. Layering the tapering stem groups would add dimension. This is of course a more drastic rearrangement and I wouldn't do anything like that until you are pretty confident in the growth of the plants.
Keep on Aquascaping!
Yea they're splitting at the place I trim or lower on the stem. The lugwigia and rotala seem to bush out a little easier and are more controllable than the myaca, which can end up looking kind of funky, so for those I trimmed off the side shoots and planted as new and discarded the wacky mother stem.
The myrio mattogrossense sprung back really well thankfully. I love that plant.
The stem bending is I think mostly due to it being in a south facing room with a lot of window light that's entering the room (camera left) during off-light hours. But may also be from the light positioning as well.
I completely agree on the 2 seperate aquascape thing. The plan is to keep propagating the myaca leftward and hopefully start shifting that slope the opposite direction towards the right. The right most front corner of rotala may be better suited in a middle layer of the stems opening up that space for DHG.
The left side of the driftwood is really just a large clump of weighted hydrocotyle leuccephala and a few ferns tied to lava rock, which can be easily moved and opened up for some stems which might balance things out a bit.
Give the tank another few months and allow the backing plants to grow and thicken up it will look completely different.
5 Week update.
Did some trimming yesterday and rearranging. The Myriophyllum is populating nicely, so I'm going to start letting it win the battle for space against the myaca fluviatilis, which is more weedy looking and now occupying the background.
Not in love with the rock I put in there, so it's a place holder at the moment until I find something more interesting and darker. But I needed to somehow define a midground on that side, so it's a step in that direction.
Can't wait for the ludwigia red mini to bush out more. It's one of the slowest growing in the tank.
Started noticing some spots of BBA on some ferns and a couple leaves here and there, so I raised the lights up a bit. I doubt I'll ever throw enough light in there to turn those other ludwigia orange, but I would rather stay on the safe side than risk more algae at the moment. CO2 is up around 4bbs.
It's slowly evolving....
Its starting to go from a Jungle looking tank to a quality planted Aquascape.
Are you referring to the rocks 0.34 into the video?
I would suggest some very rustic black rocks and let them age.
If you covered those original rocks with a moss would they grow in that area?
Can be seen from the front view. It's on the right side among the stems. I agree, black rustic would likely work well.
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