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Simon's 1st aquascape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by chiangstar, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hello all,

    I've spent the last year or so with a planted tank learning how to grow certain plants and which plants I should avoid. Now it is time for me to try and make it look good. This is my first effort with a couple of small revisions. I think I might have to purchase one or two smaller stones and try again. The cluster on the left is made of 2 stones and the cluster on the right is 3 stones.

    I'm also considering putting more soil at the back and creating a larger gradient to the back right.

    I would appreciate your thoughts, opinions, and constructive criticism.

    Cheers

    Simon

    P1020716 (Small).JPG P1020717 (Small).JPG P1020718 (Small).JPG P1020719 (Small).JPG
     
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  2. Ohly

    Ohly Aspiring Aquascaper

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    With the only point of view you post its hard to say if you really need other stones, but with this view I would keep it like this.

    Edit: I finally took the time to look closer at the hardscape, I prefer the fourth picture.

    The hardscape looks nice though

    As it seems like an iwagumi style, which plants will you put ?

    Edit: personally I suggest a carpet of HC cuba..

    Ps: please share with us other specs of the tank and equipment
     
  3. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hi Ohly,

    Thanks for your reply. My preference is also for the 4th picture at the moment, however you are right in that the front view creates a bit of an illusion. I am not completely happy with the placement of the rocks on the right hand side. When I look at it from top-down, you can see that the rock on the right hand side is very large and seems a bit out of place. I will try to get a photo tonight. Perhaps I need to sink that rock lower into the soil to stop it looking like its 'sitting' on the substrate.

    I am planning HC in the front and Dwarf Hairgrass in the back. Perhaps something growing out of the rocks also. Not completely decided yet.

    The tank itself:

    Size: 60cm x 40cm x 40cm.
    Substrate: Mr Aqua soil
    Filter: Eheim Classic 2213
    Fauna: Nothing planned yet
    CO2: Pressurised - Soda Stream bottle with solenoid
    Lighting: also undecided. I have a T8 lamp (18w) as well as a T5HO lamp (24w) that I'm choosing between. Also trying to find a nice stainless steel stand to hang a lamp without much success

    More hardscape revisions to come

    Cheers

    Simon
     
  4. Ohly

    Ohly Aspiring Aquascaper

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    i learned it from someone, if you really choose to plant hc and DHG, it would be good to use something to block the DHG from spreading all over the HC area, my eleocharis did not spread at the time but i expect it will spread quickly once i'd add pressurised CO2...



    lighting, if you plan to plant HC, you know you'll need high watt, so i would got for the t5ho..


    fert..? any ?
     
  5. InfinityMinus1

    InfinityMinus1 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I really like the second scape! just get some more smaller stones to add to the detail. Ill be looking forward to the tank!
     
  6. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks guys!

    Yes the main difference between the 2nd scape vs the 3rd and 4th is that I moved the right cluster of rocks forward in the tank. I also liked the 2nd scape but felt that the front of the tank was missing something - hence why I was thinking of adding some smaller stones. I was actually very happy with the second scape but I am unsure whether adding smaller stone(s) at the front will help or be too distracting.

    Re: putting in dividers to separate HC and DHG, I totally understand what you're talking about. In my existing planted tank, the DHG has invaded my HC despite my efforts to separate them.

    Re: ferts - I think i will cross that bridge when I get to it. I was originally using ferts in my existing tank, but I got lazy and wasn't disciplined enough with water changes and didnt have a good CO2 solution at the time - resulting in algae. So I haven't been using ferts in my existing tank and things seem to somehow be going ok.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
  7. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ok

    So this is my latest change. Just swapped some stones around.

    I will most likely add some more soil towards the back right to increase that gradient

    Thoughts?

    Thanks

    Simon

    Front View:

    P1020721 (Small).JPG

    Top View (Phone Camera):

    Top-View-Small.jpg
     
  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Simon
    The previous ones for some reason did not appeal to me at all sorry.

    Then along comes this one and now I can visualise what you are trying to attempt and I like it very much

    Here are a few little suggestions.

    LH rocks
    I have moved the small one away from the large rock and gave it a little twist towards the front LH corner

    The RH rocks

    Again I have moved them apart and the front one also a little twist.

    By doing that your water flow should be greater plus now you have a small area to grow a few more plants to soften up those rocks.

    Nothing major but something for you to think about.

    Yes a bit more height would not hurt at all in fact it would give the RH side a bit of a lift (no pun intended).

    Keith:):)
     
  9. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hi Keith,

    Thanks for your comments. I attempted what you suggested but it created a couple of unforeseen issues

    LH rocks - I moved the smaller stone out a bit and it revealed a raised sharp edge that I wasnt fond of. (edit: I guess I could fill that hole with plants)
    RH rocks - I twisted the front stone around and attempted to move the rocks apart, but the tall stone at the back was resting on the one in front and would not stand on its own.

    Perhaps more tweaking required

    Thanks for your help so far. Much appreciated

    Simon

    P1020737 (Small).JPG

    P1020738 (Small).JPG
     
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  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Simon

    That is one reason I often say "suggest" as only you can see.

    With yours there is no way you can see that big rock is resting on the other rock.

    Any way like what you have done so far, what is the next step?

    Keith:):)
     
  11. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks Keith.

    Next step is to empty the tank :eek: and move it to the actual desired location in the house (where my existing planted tank is) and then try to recreate this design. More pics to come when this actually happens

    Question about placing dividers in the soil to stop HC and DHG invading each other - can I just put anything in there? Like a thin sheet of plastic? Or will certain things degrade in the water making a toxic environment for the plants and animals?

    Cheers

    Simon
     
  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Simon

    Slate can be used with safety but it will be in short straight lines.
    Plants naturally blend in together just keep the invaders pruned back it might make it look more natural.

    Keith:):)
     
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  13. Ohly

    Ohly Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Simple as this!
    --------- ----------
    Why do you need to empty the tank?
     
  14. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Because I'm not strong enough to move it with soil and rocks in it! :D
     
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  15. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    You got a nice setup. Can't wait to see it put together.

    John
     
  16. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hey guys,

    So I finally got my light stand and was able to move my tank over to the desired spot. A problem that I encountered is that when I did the original layout, I didn't take into account the position it would be in the house. It turns out that it is more appropriate for my soil slope to be facing the other direction, so I had to try and recreate the design...but the opposite.

    Again, I'm not really that happy with it (I'm beginning to think that I'm rarely going to be happy with my designs) and I would welcome your input.

    Front View

    P1020767 (Small).JPG

    Just looking at the image now, I'm not sure if I like those rocks seemingly pointing straight up. (Please pay no attention to the stands in the back... I'm going to have to get a background or something)

    Top View

    P1020768 (Small).JPG

    Also this is a front shot of my tank with the stands... just have to figure out how to attach the light.

    P1020758 (Small).JPG

    Cheers

    Simon
     
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  17. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I'm just going to fill some holes in my tank journal.

    I had the idea that I wanted to create a base for my new tank and that idea started with 3 pieces of wood that I found under the house. I've never done any woodwork before so I wrecked those 3 pieces of wood up and bought some new ones :D

    IMAG0198 (Small).jpg

    The idea was simple - build a base to hide the foam that the tank sits on.

    IMAG0199 (Small).jpg

    And moments later...

    IMAG0200 (Small).jpg

    After staining and attaching the skirting boards, the end was result was this

    P1020748 (Small).JPG
     
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  18. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Chiangstar, Like your rock work :rolleyes: Things are starting to come together now. Love the stand build and light bars :cool: Looking forward to your next update ;)
     
  19. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks Roy!

    After the agonizing wait, more of my equipment arrived over the past couple of days.

    Inline CO2 diffuser, Glass bubble counter, Glass pipes (imitation lily pipes), Hydor inline heater...

    P1020740 (Small).JPG

    P1020745 (Small).JPG

    P1020779 (Small).JPG

    One would think I could make a decent scape with all this swish equipment haha :unsure:

    I have read things about the imitation lily pipes being poor quality and not being too effective. I guess I'll soon find out

    Cheers

    Simon
     
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  20. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Simon , Well you been spending :) Imitation Lily pipes;) Look ok to me Well worth giving them a go:D Was thinking along the same lines myself ;) One thing when you fit to the filter tubing warm the filter tube end in a cup of hot water first ;) It will just slip on And less chance of braking The lily pipes :D
     
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