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My Tank setup

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by deanc8159, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello Dean. Just some observations and I hope I don't step on anyone else's toes as some of my advice will contradict others here :)

    Firstly.....unless you are dosing EI then Lush Macro is not what you want unless you are also adding traces. Lush Max is the one you want :) Great choice of fertiliser ;)

    Onto the nitty gritty. There is no problem with using sand in a planted scape rooted or not. Not the best option if you want to maintain slopes though as it will naturally level itself from water moving across it. I use it in some tanks when I want a cheap and light coloured substrate. I don't use it in scaping tanks though due to its ability to level.

    I also don't worry about anaerobic conditions in it. Thats a myth really in the planted hobby unless there are no rooted plants. In a planted tank roots will be transporting oxygen into the substrate anyway.

    As for the cobbles. What's wrong with cobbles. Check out the picture at the end. This is one of my shrimp breeding tanks. It isn't scaped as such. Just arranged in a pleasing way so it doesn't look a mess in 'shrimp town'.

    The tank below is an 80cm 125 ltr and has been as it looks for about 18 months. So some tips for cheapness :)

    The substrate is playsand. £3 for a big bag. (Nearly a full bag in that tank.) = £2.50
    The hardscape stones are a big bag of cobbles for £5 from B&Q (about half a bag in that tank) - £2.50
    The Mopani pieces are from The range and are £1.99 each = £5.97

    That is the substrate and hardscape for an aesthetically pleasing tank for £10.97 :)

    If you are wanting to scape with slopes etc then you do need a better substrate that can hold its shape better but if you are just using it to learn things and try things out then I would stick with the sand and concentrate on hardscape and plants :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hey, firstly thanks for the input, I love hear in people's opinions and suggestions. And contradictions are sometimes great. I value everyone's opinion when people differ it makes things more interesting :)

    Thanks for the concern. I chose lush macro as I am dosing a micro fert (florido g7 If I remember correctly) otherwise I'd have gone for lush max. I dose about 2-3 times a week depending on whether I remember/ have time in mornings (I assumed dosing in mornings is way more beneficial as plants the have a whole day to photosynthesise? I'm actually surprised to find someone else using the same ferts!

    While sand can work, I find myself putting so many root tabs to keep plants alive that I think a more porous substrate will help a lot, I'm just torn because I love the look of pale sands. I like the contrast it gives with the wood and plants.

    As for anaerobic conditions. I have that covered :p my army of Malaysian trumpet snails ensure the sand is light and fluffy. And debris free (I honestly recommend these to anyone!)

    While the granite cobbles themselves are nice, I just don't think they match my sand etc well. They looked a complete different colour when I bought them (dry) which is a shame.

    The pebbles I like as they were collected from a beach and boiled etc. When scrubbed up they look nice with the sand..

    Wow, I never knew the range sold Mopani! I may have to nip there sometime and have a look. My LFS have a nice collection of hard scaping. But the prices aren't so nice :(

    Thanks for the info. I'll have a look in a few more shops and see what I can find,

    [​IMG] ive just seen this scape. I really like the idea! I'm wondering if I could attempt something similar with the sand against the hardscape and plants :)

    Thanks again
     
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  3. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    [​IMG]

    Spent last night swapping substrates, still need to move plants (just put them in roughly as water went cloudy even after washing the Aqua soil thoroughly )

    Any ideas what to do next?
    I need to find some nice hardscape and plants.
    Thanks
     
  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    deanc

    Here are a few suggestions for you.

    1 Remove those white rocks completely either use a red similar colour to the substrate or a neutral earthy tonings.

    2 The DW looks OK and has possibilities for low planting in the circular area at the front, I would like to see it closer to the back but remain the same distance from the LH end of the tank.

    3 Planting keep the tall plants at the back.

    4 Is there any chance of building up the substrate in the back LH corner 7-10cm and tapering it to the front of the tank?

    Using that one piece of DW and keeping it simple KIS you have the start of good aquascape.

    Keith:):)
     
  5. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hey. Thanks.

    1. I'll remove the pebbles when it's all finished. They have algae on which the snails and fish graze on

    2. I've moved this back (see photo) what plants would you suggest?

    3. Moved these too now I can see

    4. I have a little bit substrate left so I'll add that see if I can slope it up this weekend

    I'm more stuck on what sorts of plants to have especially now my top area of the tank is so bare.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. bobi

    bobi Aspiring Aquascaper

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  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Deanc

    That looks a lot better it now opens up the front for more planting.

    Here are more suggestions for you to consider.

    1 I moved the large rock it looks like it has a pointy end try to position it so it points to the RH front corner.

    2 Added a second rock (medium size) below the original rock.

    3 Now rocks 1 & 2 that makes 4 rocks in all a nono.
    You have a choice use 1 or 2 only that makes 3 rocks OK
    One piece of DW plus two rocks also makes 3

    Try these rock movements take photos and see what looks good and is well balanced.

    As you can see I am trying to keep is simple.

    Working on the design rule "Less is More and More is just More"

    Keith :):)
     
  8. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hey. Thanks for all the replies, I got some more driftwood today cheaply so I might try tangle it amongst the other piece already in the tank.

    I've also been looking at getting some jasper rocks to suit the soil colour?

    The pebbles are only temporary until I can get more hardscape.

    As for carpeting im thinking of dwarf hair grass, any other small bigger leaves carpeting plants I could used too? I'm also wanting to add more height what could achieve this?

    Also sloped the LH side more.
    Thanks for the feedback

    Thanks again :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  9. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I tried rearranging things a bit. Also planted the few bits of hair grass I have. See if they bounce back :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  10. bobi

    bobi Aspiring Aquascaper

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    already better, remove the stone and find a timber mouth longer and thinner, and buy more weed
     
  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    deanc

    I think by adding that piece of DW and in that position has just complicated your Aquascape.

    I personally would not use it or see how it looks when it is laying down like I have suggested.

    The original piece of DW and the sloping is a great improvement.

    Keith:):)
     
  12. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    This is what the piece looks like.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not sure if this is what you meant.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks again
     
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  13. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I think those 2 could be tied together around the top section and give the impression of 3 roots running down the slope.

    Turn the white stones over so the algae dies off them.

    Don't worry about root tabs in substrates. If you are dosing in the water column root tabs are a waste of money.
     
  14. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I was thinking that too. Will try tomorrow. Would it be worth sawing the new piece thinner at the top?

    The White stones are there primarily for algae. The fish graze from it

    [​IMG]

    I haven't used any root tabs since adding new substrate. But if plants start to struggle I'll pop a few in
     
  15. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    deanc

    Supercoley has given you another alternative try as many as you can, post all the photos and in the end you small tank will look great.

    Keith:):)
     
  16. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    [​IMG]

    I tried this way. But the new piece is a lot thicker. I could saw it thinner. But it wouldn't look as natural.

    I may take that out completely and save it for a future project?

    Thanks
     
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  17. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    deanc

    Keep trying with all the bits and pieces of DW you can find now you have an idea what does not work.

    Keith:):)
     
  18. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    [​IMG]

    I like this arrangement. I'm thinking of tying the moss around the other piece at the top to blend to two together nicer?

    Any input? Thanks
     
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  19. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    What I was meaning is the top sections together. If they don't fit together all you are after is so that from the front they overlap in terms of view so they look like one piece.

    Then the 'roots' try not to get them all pointing the same way. I don't mean to offend so please don't take my comment the wrong way but the pic above is like a bird's foot. If the left '2 pronged' piece was turned clockwise about degrees and the upper part pointing more upright. Then put the other pieces upright part behind the first one's upright and turn it degrees anticlockwise.

    then from the front the 2 uprights look like one piece and a root comes forward on the left side, another straight toward the front and the other out to the right.

    The moss will block any gaps in the upright once it is grown in.

    You shouldn't be surprised to find someone else using the same fert. You bought it from me. lol.
     
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  20. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    My plan was to hide the thicker piece behind the other. But it brings them too close to the front,

    I get what you mean sorta.. I'll have a go tomorrow when I do a water change. Planning to take the smaller pebbles out too.

    Yeh unfortunately I have the moss a little trim today. Should have waited haha.

    Ahh that would explain it! Small word eh? Does that mean I get super good discount rates?
    Still only used about half, not been dosing as often as I don't have many plants yet. But I will definitely take another bag soon :D

    Thanks again guys. Hopefully it'll all be sorted soon :)
     
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