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Forest by the Spring - 55g

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by chocological, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. chocological

    chocological New Member

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    Location:
    NYC, NY
    Introduction
    Thanks for stopping by! The following journal is a record of all the blunders and slip-ups and trips and falls that I will do in the lifetime of this scape. It is also my very first scape (so be gentle!) I have kept aquarium plants before, though not to much success, and I have done literally years of research for this one. This tank started in the summer of 2013 when I purchased it, and it is just now filled and planted as of early spring 2015. This whole time I've been collecting stone, wood, equipment and information about the hobby. I knew I wanted to do things right, and I wanted to have a slice of nature in my home.

    ~~
    ~~~~~~~~

    Inspiration:
    As you can see from my info, I live in NYC.
    I lived in Florida for a decent portion of my life and I've grown to miss the picturesque natural springs in and around central Florida. Most think Disney when they think of central Florida, and not this:

    [​IMG]

    Or:
    [​IMG]

    Crystal clear fresh waters, cold and crisp with lush vegetation and roots covered in mosses. Schools of small fish, tightly packed for protection against the larger fish prowling the rushes and underwater forests of red-tipped wild ludwigia. Then the sudden drop of 30 feet as the white sandy bottom abruptly ends into the blue mouth of the spring.
    These memories invoke a sense of wonder and adventure in me that I yearn to visit them once again.
    This was the inspiration for my Forest by the Spring.


    Tank:
    Standard 55 gallon
    Filter:
    Eheim 2217
    Light:
    Catalina 4x54w Solar T5HO 48"
    CO2:
    10lb pressurized, custom built SS regulator assembly, custom reactor w/venturi
    Substrate:
    ADA Aquasoil
    Hardscape:
    Seiryu Stone, Ryuoh Stone, manzanita driftwood, ADA La Plata sand
    Ferts:
    EI dry dosing
    Other:
    Koralia Nano powerhead, Taam Rio 1000 powering the reactor, Eheim Skim 350

    Flora:

    Bolbitis heudelotii
    Microsorum pteropus 'Trident'
    Microsorum pteropus 'Narrow'
    Cyperus helferi
    Hygrophila pinnatifida
    Rotala rotundifolia
    Ludwigia inclinata 'Cuba'
    Hydrocotyle japan
    Anubias petite
    Willow moss
    Fissidens fontanus
    Eleocharis parvula

    Planned fauna:

    Rummynose Tetra
    Galaxy Rasbora (CPD)
    Panda Cory
    Amano Shrimp
    Otos
    Blue velvet shrimp
    Nerite snail

    Hardscape:
    [​IMG]

    Planted:
    [​IMG]


    Information:

    As of this post (3/31/2015), the tank has been planted for 6 days. Growth has been pretty good. All of my plants have been sourced from hobbyists, and they came to me in various levels of health.
    In another week or so, I plan on adding my inverts. I'm doing water changes every other day while the Aquasoil is leeching ammonia.

    Oh! I want to share something that is a matter of pride for me, my CO2 setup!
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Chocological,

    Your images are not coming Up ?? :(
     
  3. chocological

    chocological New Member

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    Hey, I'm not able to duplicate your issue across devices (mobile, PC, work PC, tablet) and browsers. It's working for me..
     
    greenfinger 2 likes this.
  4. isla

    isla Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
    Reunion Island
    i see pict too.
    i prefer planted :love:
     
  5. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Chocological, Must have been my computer ;) Love the photos looks like a magical place.

    Your research has paid off congratulations on a fab Scape(y) I really like your rock and DW placement :love:
     
    chocological likes this.
  6. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn New Member

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    Nice job on the scape. I have a lot of the same equipment. What are you using as a diffusor and are you using s heater?
     
  7. chocological

    chocological New Member

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    Michael, I have a reactor set up on it's own line. The heater is a hydor inline heater hooked up to the outflow of the filter.

    Thanks for the comments guys. Today is maintenance/water change day. Will post a new pic of growth.
     
  8. chocological

    chocological New Member

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    Location:
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    As promised, here is the first week's worth of growth. Compare and contrast!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, I've changed the stick in the mid tank to a different angle. This one works better for me.
    My driftwood has many nooks all over it, and a small part of it comes out of the water. I decided to put a small bunch of HC (since removed, replaced with fissidens) and hydrocotyle tripartita 'japan'. It does really great, have a look:
    [​IMG]

    Here I've included a view from the couch:
    [​IMG]

    Fissidens:
    [​IMG]

    New willow moss growth:
    [​IMG]

    Ramshorn (oh no!):
    [​IMG]


    Seems I brought in some nasties from other hobbyists. I've noticed bladder and ramshorn snails, a bit of cyanobacteria among the fissidens (which I've since cut away).
    I've trimmed a ton of the bolbitis away, because of dying leaves. I was unaware that bolbitis hated to be moved, and now a lot of it is melting away. Good news is that I see new growth, so all is not lost.

    I've also decided to remove any HC from this tank. I've got mini pellia and micranthemum 'monte carlo' in the mail, hopefully delivered by the end of the day.

    The reactor was giving me trouble today, with low flow. I plugged up the venturi and it's back to normal. Apparently, the venturi was working too well, and the pump was just getting full of gas.
    I don't think I need the venturi anyway. It's actually working better for me without it because I should have set the tubing for the venturi further into the reactor. Oh well.

    Thanks for reading, all!
     
    greenfinger 2 and keithgh like this.
  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    chocological

    I like your Aquascape very much it has two concerns that seem to attract my attention most of the time.

    First is the rock pile front LH side I hope the plants grow fast and hide it as it does not look very natural compared to every thing else in the Aquascape.



    Then there is the white substrate is very glary and at the moment its nice and clean once it ages it will start getting dirty and look very untidy.

    Keith:):)
     
    chocological likes this.
  10. chocological

    chocological New Member

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    Glad you like it.
    The rocks on that side are one of my favorite features! :(
    Anyway it's too late now. I have thought about it though, and there is some hydrocotyle 'japan' placed at the top there that should grow quickly. You also cannot see, but there is moss and fissidens placed in the cracks that will soften that side up some. Just give it time! :sneaky:

    It is my first aquascape, also my first time using sand. What would you recommend to keep it clean? Should I vacuum the sand? It is looking a bit... dirty in places. Tips are appreciated!
     
  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    chocological

    I have many with years of experience still have no idea on aquascaping.

    In your case its a credit to you what you have done, you must have an excellent eye for design layout.

    Yes the plants will cover those rocks and certainly soften them up.

    Cleaning any sand can be a problem if its disturbed very much the fine particles can get into your filter and cut the Impeller up very quickly.

    I would consider gently waving the Syphon over the sand and remove all the loose gunk.

    The other method is remove it all and replace it with a more suitable substrate.

    Keith:):)
     
  12. chocological

    chocological New Member

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    I went with the sand for the corydoras, mostly. Originally, I was going with a glosso carpet but was persuaded by others. I must say I like the look of the sand though..
    I may eventually convert some of it to a grass carpet. We will see. :cool:
     
    keithgh likes this.
  13. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    chocological

    Apparently sand is best for Cories and nice white clean sand does look nice until it gets dirty and the concerns keeping it clean, plus can be vary glary.

    Keith:):)
     
  14. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Looking very nice and healthy :)
     
  15. chocological

    chocological New Member

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    I haven't updated or been around in forever, but I thought I'd share this tank as it is now.
    [​IMG]

    This is the FTS taken last week. It's three weeks into the newest scape.
     
    Orlandog7 and BBogdan like this.
  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    chocological

    Fantastic growth for a new tank.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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