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From the Green Machine tutorials worth watching

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by keithgh, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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  2. sfsamm

    sfsamm New Member

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    Love their videos! Some of my favorites!

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  3. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    It can be achieved with plenty of hard work many hrs of research and learning it will not happen over night unless you are lucky enough to have all the natural skills. Today its I want it "NOW" and not prepared to put in all the hard work over many years.

    Aquascaping is not a cheap hobby never has and never will if you want quality you have to use all quality materials.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    sfsamm
    Which ones are they and would you like to create something similar.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  5. sfsamm

    sfsamm New Member

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    My all time favorite of his is "Spontaneity", I don't forsee myself having time, patience or funds for anything even comparable at all in the foreseeable future. Big dreams though right!

    I'm working out how to do something similar to his "Through the eyes of a child" in a 5 gallon betta tank. I've got a knack for turning my crypts red and they aren't terribly expensive, and will quite obviously be making some adjustments to the scale but ultimately I'm hoping to plan and implement something "visually similar".
    That tank currently has grown out too far and as it was my first heavily planted tank, I should have more throughly thought it through. But being only a 5 gallon it's fairly inexpensive to use as a learning platform as even gutting and completely redoing the tank can be done on a budget. It's a Fluval Spec V so the stock lights are pretty good and seem to suit my purpose well. But I can upgrade and change and test and try and make serious mistakes with costing myself to dearly.

    Someday when my little boy grows up and I need some new big multi year project to devote myself to, I hope to move into a larger than the 50-55 gallons scale. More detailed, more maintenance, more money required, so for now the kiddo gets at least 10 more years!

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  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Sfsamm

    That is not a difficult Aquascape to do, to start of with rocks with plenty of Character will do the same job, the same substrate all over a lot easier and certainly far easier. Fancy tools a cheap wooden kitchen tools will do the same job
    [​IMG]
    Make up a mock tank from a cardboard box and cheap sand and play with this first and you will be very surprised with a little help what you can achieve.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  7. sfsamm

    sfsamm New Member

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    The rocks I think are my toughie! I'm hoping to head out and gather some obsidian this weekend for another tank. And I'm hoping to get inspired while I'm out hounding around for that for just which what is going to fit the bill for me on the 5 gallon project. Got the research down for making sure they are safe and even a couple hacks for better acids than standard vinegar to test with. Maybe I'll even find the perfect fit and end up dragging some home! Having moved to the high desert and now my go to ideas for rocks are about 700 miles away, so I'm hoping to at least get some local inspiration. Shipping rocks is crazy expensive.

    And I totally use kitchen tools for aquascaping lol I used to sell Pampered Chef so I have an unholy amount of different gadgets and gizmos and use many of them more outside my kitchen than inside it lol. Awesome to see measurements on a standard wooden spoon that is handy information.

    I never considered just working up scape in a cardboard box, that's a fantastic idea so I can stop struggling to hold up slopes in different fashions. I've finally figured out how how to get stable different levels and great substrate division through the use of rocks or driftwood I'd like to hammer in on a good slope technique. I'll probably build out in a Rubbermaid so if I get confident I can fill it and see what happens. And I wouldn't worry a bit about sand we've got millions of tons of that stuff around here so I'll go fill a tote or a bucket and play with that until I get it right. It's finer grained than I like in my tanks so it'll be more of a challenge to keep it placed but I'll know when I get it right that way!

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  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    sfsamm

    Do you have any local safe rocks always go out with a little vinegar or a garden/builders suppliers.

    Mounds and slopes fill used ladies stocking or a similar product even pieces of polystyrene foam will work.

    Some even use rocks but the weight could be the problem.

    If its a sharp slope a open/nylon plastic mesh over every thing cut holes for the planting once its completely covered no one will know.

    Have fun in the Mock up.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    sfsamm

    How is the rock collecting and the Mock Tank going?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  10. sfsamm

    sfsamm New Member

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    I actually ended up doing something a bit different for right now in the tank I as hoping to do that build in. Lol ended up with an injured 1" syno that was getting bullied. So tossed in some smooth gravel on most of the tank and siliconed some small aquarium rock together for a wall and it's lightly planted in that area. And about 15 minutes into my rock hunting my power steering pump went kaput lol so it's all on hold until after I get back from vacation, I leave this Thursday! But for now it's presentable until I get everything together and do what I wanted.

    The mock tank was tremendously helpful. It's actually why I had that particular gravel I put in the tank lol. Fills a stocking nicely and will be for sure how I try my live mounds in the future. At least in my smaller tanks! I found it seems to work better if I make many smaller lumps and kinda wind them together to a mound. Making one big mound allows the cap to slide off quite easily. Little lumps wound up cap stays better and leaves area to settle those plants in.

    I must say that for sitting down one day and deciding I had to get this tank back up my impromptu design idea worked out alright lol [​IMG]

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  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    The Mock Tank is one very simple aid that actually works. Is that Anubia on the edge of those rocks, if it is I hope their roots are not planted if so they will rot?

    When all your plants get established your tank will look totally different.

    To be perfectly honest I am not sure about those small rock piles I would rather see a few rocks scattered over that area then pushed into the gravel to give it the more natural appeal.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  12. sfsamm

    sfsamm New Member

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    The longest of the roots are under some of the gravel (they came with extensive roots actually) none of the rhizomes are at all buried though and mostly they are just kinda held down by the roots but have floated up due to current and my dorky betta in that tank squeezing through everything lol though still not free floating.

    Lol and I'm not sure how I feel about the rocks either, it was more of a means to help keep the plant substrate separated from the inert gravel and hold up a deeper volume of the plant dirt. It's presentable, at least I think it is. The setup though is temporary until I iron out what I wanted to do as mentioned initially. It was looking very ragged and over grown before the remodel so maybe I compare to that look! I do appriciate the feed back. I'm always open to suggestions to improve all aspects of my tanks!

    The anubias I didn't tie off as it won't be in the setup I want and it actually has a home coming it'll just be a while. So it'll drift through tanks a while if needed once this one goes to my desired look. Tbh I think the only thing I'll keep in this tank is possibly that crypt as it and some crinum natans are my favorite plants I have. Though I do have some lovelies. (nothing really fancy though)

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  13. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    These rocks will eventually be over grown by the Anubia and you will not have an even shape. I was referring to the two rock stacks on the LH end, sorry for the confusion.

    You can tie the Anubia to any of those rocks using a fine fishing line, the plants will grow over it and the roots will slowly travel across the gravel and the planting medium.

    Can you move the airstone to the back RH corner for two reasons, it will give you a better circulation plus hide the tubing.

    Here is a suggestion for you to think about the rocks look to much like a circle give it a bit of shape. The rocks front RH can be moved back to allow the Anubia to grow over them and hide them at the same time they are used as a separator between the gravel and the planting substrate.

    [​IMG]

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  14. sfsamm

    sfsamm New Member

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    The rock stacks were my young sons contribution and actually now that he showed them off too his friends they have been relocated to more discreet locations lol

    The air stone has also been replaced by a small one, I only had 6" on hand at the time but now it's just the standard ugf type and is secured in that back corner. And in all honesty that airstone is only there in what is probably a futile attempt to prevent the diatoms from returning as I never could kick them completely in the old setup.

    As for the rocks being circular they aren't but the photo definitely makes them seem more so than they are. The tank is only 7.5" wide and looking straight on at the tank in person it actually looks a bit bulky and almost shaped like two and a half sides of a pentagon... Flaaaat, corner, flat, corner... It's an akward idea that in my mind worked out with more space to the front of the tank for the gravel... Which ultimately in the tank was too restrictive to surround the crypt with the ludia. As it is the front ludia is planted in a space about 1" wide and towards the back that black capped planting area grows too nearly 3".

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  15. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    sfamm

    Working with such a small tank you have done a very good job, it looks like you have learnt plenty along the way.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  16. sfsamm

    sfsamm New Member

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    It's the third scape in that tank first lasted until I decided to actually do a planted tank instead of just have plants in the tank like I usually did before. I have learned a LOT in that tank lol

    I upgraded another nano from 2.5 to 5 gal and it will look great when I actually finish putting the plants where they belong but it's to be ultra low tech ambient light tank (its in front of a window that gets indirect sun all day). It was to be reminiscent of the river in my stomping ground back home. After I finish my final touches I'll have to share a photo. I've still got to add a cap to the substrate that doesn't suck all the light out and my rivers edge sunk lower than my river so it's gotta be built back up.

    The picture attached is with it holding the plants for the spec v (other tank photo) while I himmed and hawed about what plants I wanted in it. Now it's got the creeping Jenny, my Anacharis tree (hiding stuff), and some dwarf Lilly and anubias narrow and coffeefoilia. Anacharis and creeping Jenny will be removed as others grow in. I don't particularly care for either other than for fast growth. [​IMG]

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  17. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a very interesting tank you have.

    Am I correct in saying you do not have a light over the tank you are relying on natural lighting?

    To give it a more natural appeal sprinkle some of your light coloured substrate over the stones RH front.

    What heating are you using?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  18. sfsamm

    sfsamm New Member

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    It does have a light but it's pathetic really lol natural light is stronger I don't even turn it on.

    The heater is a little 50w Aqueon (I think).

    I did have some if the sand over the stones initially but between the bladder snails and my gravel vac it falls through. The assassins need sand to hunt effectively so I keep adding it back as it sifts through. About once a month I muck it back away from the sponge filter (mostly to give the filter a squeeze) and now I'm about due to take a scoop out... That back LH side is starting to look very low from settling vs the front and RH side of the tank. I'll have to get an updated photo, maybe you have some suggestions to keep it in shape.

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  19. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    As you only have one fish you possibly have a low bio load (low fish waste). When you do a water change take it out and clean it in the old tank water. To get the best filtration you might have to lift it above the Substrate.

    As soon as you post the photos I will see what I can do to help you.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  20. sfsamm

    sfsamm New Member

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    Alright Keith... Lol
    I rebuilt this tank again, diatoms returned and I'm over being frustrated with them anymore. It's been designated as shrimp tank, shrimps arrive in the morning! Yay. Now it and the diatoms that won't quit can have a purpose.
    Love to hear your opinion. Although no major overhauling as I'm too short on time before they (shrimps) land on my stoop. I'll also be adding moss for the dw. If you have a recommendation there I'm also interested. I don't generally place moss in my tanks but it's by far the most highly recommended plant for shrimp so I should accommodate that. [​IMG][​IMG]

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