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Ugly Duckling to Beautiful Swan

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by trenac, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    Location:
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    I Hope :daydream:

    This is a 55G tank with pressurized C02, Rena Filstar filter, Coralife 2X65 watt light fixture.

    In the last 6 months I did nothing but water changes, filter cleaning & dosing ferts. The reason was because the plants I really wanted was not avialable locally & I did not want to order any due to it being winter. So I lost interest in the aquascaping aspect of it & just let it go. So here is the pic as of today before I tore it down. Beware it's not pretty!

    [​IMG]


    I know that was bad! :eek: I gladly tore it down. I used Seachem Black Sand & pool filter sand as the substrate. I left some of the old substrate in the bottom for the bacteria & nutrients. The driftwood came from the previous setup & the stones was some I had laying around. I know people say that river stones look un-natural, but I thought they looked better then the petrified wood I tried first. So here is the substrate/hardscape...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I was too lazy to wash the sand off so the tank is cloudy after planting and filling with water. I'm going to wait and put the fish back in tomorrow. So far I have Crypt b, Blaxa j, Anubias petite, Anubias b, dwarf Baby Tears & mixed moss. Here it is right after filling...

    [​IMG]

    More to come ~:>
     

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  2. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Nice betta in your "un-aquascaped" jungle tank!

    I'm liking the sand and islands. I noticed your using the Hagen CO2 ladder with your pressurized. You don't see that piece of equipment used that often these days. Anyways, I can't wait to see what results when the dust settles.

    -John N.
     
  3. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    I feel sorry for Betta fish when I see them in the store. I keep females so I can have more than one in the tank. I now have 3. At one time I had 5 in there.

    I guess I'm old school when it comes to diffusers. I've been thinkng of trying a glass one. They look better & disappear into the scape.

    The tank is still a little cloudy but looking much better. I added the Hydro v. I had & a little more Crypt b. I had more plants then I thought I did. I forgot to mention I have some Gaint Hairgrass planted, which is never really taken off for me. I also added some extra flow via a Rio 50 pump. I placed over top the C02 ladder, which I heard would dispense the C02 bubbles through out the tank. This little pump really help the flow issue on the left side.

    Here is a pic as of today...
    [​IMG]

    Don't mind the breeder net I have to pregnant Endler's in there. Once they have the babies I'm moving them to my 50G tank. They just out compete the Bettas for food.
     
  4. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    I'm also open for suggestions on plants to put in front of the Crypt b.. I need some reds in there I know. I really like to stay away from stem plants, but maybe something I could prune into a hedge. I like the look of Henigraphis traian. I've also was thinking of a row of Lobelia c. (small form) in front of the Crypt b.. Some other plants I have been wanting is Blyxa aubertii, Cyperus helferi & Pogostemon stelbitus. But I have only 2.36 wpg.
     
  5. stlfishlover

    stlfishlover New Member

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    I really love the look of the white sand in the middle. Did you have to use anything under the sand to help keep it separated? Will the stones and the plants keep it that way? How did you fill it without mixing the 2? Sorry for all the questions, but I might decide to try something like that later down the road.
     
  6. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    Thank you Michelle... I just used the stone to keep both colors of sand separated. I put the stone n first then the sand. I used a cup to put in the pool sand & just poured the black sand in directly out of the bag.
     
  7. iam_koi

    iam_koi New Member

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    im sure this would be a great tank.. looking forward for this. is it difficult to maintain its whiteness? i mean the substrate..
     
  8. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    I hoping for "greatness" to [-o<

    In my past experience with pool sand, it does tend to get a little brown on top. You can fix this by just turning the sand over.
     
  9. iam_koi

    iam_koi New Member

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    i see.. thanks for the info. :)
     
  10. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    Anytime ;)
     
  11. Pat7676

    Pat7676 New Member

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    Looking good. Looking foward to seeing what you are going to put in front of the crips.
     
  12. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    Thank You!... I'm still trying to fiqure what plant to use in front of the Crypt b.. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
     
  13. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    1 week later...
    [​IMG]

    Added a bunch of Neasaea red. Not sure how it will grow since I don't have high light...
    [​IMG]

    Also added some left over Four Leaf Clover to the right side foreground. Depending on how my Dwarf Baby Tears do, I may replace thr FLC with the DBT.

    I'm also not feeling the driftwood on the left hand side...Any suggestions?

    The breeder net is now full of baby Endlers! The moms have been moved.
     
  14. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Looking very good. I actually like where the scape is headed. I also feel the left driftwood piece could be replaced with a better piece. You could replace it with a longer (yet still robust), twisted piece of wood, and cover it with moss. Place that in front of the crypt, and you watch it grow. You can try to mimic what John (turtlehead) has done in his past scape 40 Gallon Aquascape.

    Another direction you could go with is to wrap/frame the crypts with a forest of anubias on both sides. You kind of have this started on the right side, but I think it could look really good if the anubias formed a dense hedge in the front of the crypts.

    I love the white sand, the placement of the rocks, and the plants that are around the rocks. What exactly are those mini spikey plants planted next to the rocks?

    -John N.
     
  15. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    Thank you John for the pointers. I actually like your idea of Anubias in front of the Crypts B... Which species of Anubias would you go with for the frame?

    I'm definately going to replace the wood. I would like to get a branchy piece that I could have extend over the stream (pool sand). I know I can't find any around here, so I guess I'll have to order on-line... Any suggestions where to order?

    The plant around the rocks is Blxya j..
     
  16. Roy Deki

    Roy Deki New Member

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    Beautiful Trena, You are showing some very good techniques.
     
  17. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    Thank you, Roy 8)
     
  18. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    I've always been a fan of Anubias barteri var. nana. I think the dense growth and somewhat horizontal growth of the leaves of this species will do nicely. If you like more leaf texture you could go with Anubias barteri ''coffeefolia'' but I think a smooth leaf would match the wispy-ness of the Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae better.

    -John N.
     
  19. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    Thanks John... I was actually thinking about both of those.
     
  20. trenac

    trenac New Member

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    A few updates... Things are going well, plants have grown a bit. Starting to get a little GSA & dust algae on the glass. These are two algea I always have issues with when starting a new.

    I have Manzanita wood, Cherry & Amano shrimp on the way. I also bought me a drop checker, which I have not installed yet.

    Here is my baby modeling it
    [​IMG]

    I'll get some updated pics up soon.
     

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