Introduction and a glimpse of my first planted tank - ADA 45C

infopimp

Junior Poster
Jan 19, 2009
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Hello everyone!

My name is Steve and I live in Los Gatos, CA (Northern CA). I recognize some of you from the other planted tank forums, howdy!

I decided to "pony up" and became a paying member to this site recently when I saw the type of work Tom has been doing on fertilizers, substrates, etc. It is great to see the scientific method being applied to a subject that seems otherwise full of "sketchy" information and... frankly, voodoo. :)


My story quickly... after walking into "Aqua Forest" in San Francisco a few months ago, I was instantly "sold" on the planted tank design concept. The tanks remind me of Japanese Zen paintings - everything in its place & no more and no less than what is needed or natural. Even the glassware and tanks were so clean.

I hate to say it... but now I have become a snob in a way - any "normal" aquarium looks so artificial that I can't stand it - even kids tanks. I don't say anything, I just hope they come over and see what I'm working on sometime (see below, 6 weeks in).

One other detail: I'm a big "shrimp head" - I'm breeding CRS and Cherry shrimp, that is really what drove me toward understanding water parameters... and then I learned about ADA soils... and then... well... here is what I'm working on now:

latest_2699.sized.jpg


High-res: http://www.imageseek.com/sven/gallery/albums/ADA_45-C/latest_2699.jpg

ADA 45-C Garden Cube (#102-871) - 24 gallons
EHEIM Professional II External Canister Filter ([HASHTAG]#202[/HASHTAG] - (rated to 158 gallons)
ADA BIO RIO (#105-001) - replacing stock "coco puff" media
ADA Power Sand-M (2 x 2L bags)
ADA Aqua Soil - Amazonia (one 9L, one 3L bag)
Archaea lamp fixture - w/36w ADA CF bulb x2
ADA Rock (hand picked at Aqua Forest)
Petrified Wood
DIY CO2
ADA Glass Pollen 20ø Diffuser
Glosso
Riccia
and ____ mystery plant.

Here is a simple question for the experts: what is that nice red/green plant I have in the background?

Any suggestions? Aesthetic or otherwise.... I'm open to input.

Best Regards,

-steve
 

ccLansman

Guru Class Expert
Jan 22, 2008
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Vista, Ca
The plant in the back looks like:
Didiplis diandra
or
Ludwigia brevipes (most likely this one)

Your tank looks great! I hope the riccia on the pads fills in a bit more. The rock work would look a lot better if the plants were partially hiding them. I have seen a few people who let the glosso overtake their rock work with stunning results.
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Steve stop by the local plant group, SFBAAPS.
We have a meeting Feb 28th in Albany, at Albany Aquarium Sat afternoon.
You'll meet folks who can help and learn a lot more vs on line.

Steve, many of the so called research is not really some high grade peer reviewed thing. But most of the time, for our purposes, that is simply not practical.
What is practical, is applying some common sense, using some simple methods to answer and confirm questions we might have.

Just because a method "works" does not imply why it works, or those that developed the method, are in anyway "correct" about their conclusions.

Many seem to think so however.

Let me show an example: diet pills.

Some slanky gal is on TV and shows her "Fat" picture 8 weeks ago and now her hard tanned body today saying it was all due to the diet pill she took. Now if it was really the diet pill and there where not other factors involved, there'd be millions of folks buying and hardly a fat person around.

But we know that's baloney..........and for those same type of reasons, much of what is said about limiting nutrients, algae etc, is also baloney here.

Plenty of paths to success, but explaining why you have success(or the corollary: failure) is more important when it comes to helping others and achieving different goals.

So this is common sense, social human factors, more than it is "Science".
And we all know how messed up things can get with those:cool:

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

infopimp

Junior Poster
Jan 19, 2009
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1
ccLansman: That sounds good - letting the Glosso take over seems pretty much inevitable anyhow, given how it is spreading!

Tom: Thanks. I requested to join SFBAAPS about a week or so ago, and never heard back. My zip code is within 100 miles of San Francisco - perhaps I'm on a secret waiting list or something and you can pull some strings... Or... perhaps I should just crash the party in Albany! :)

Thanks for the insight on hype versus reality... and all along I was buying those diet pills and just getting fatter and fatter. Do you think washing them down with Twinkies was a bad idea? ;)

Panda: I agree... it is a bit out of place. It will be moved. My goal was to make this look like a mountain had been carved down over time by a river of Riccia.... :)

I will keep you posted.
 

captain_bu

Prolific Poster
Nov 7, 2007
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SF Bay Area
infopimp;34173 said:
I requested to join SFBAAPS about a week or so ago, and never heard back. My zip code is within 100 miles of San Francisco - perhaps I'm on a secret waiting list or something and you can pull some strings... Or... perhaps I should just crash the party in Albany! :)

There was a problem with the code for the SFBAAPS site for the last week and a half or so that was finally fixed today. That may be why you didn't receive an answer. Give it another shot. I am sure there is no problem with you coming to the meeting in Albany...no ID or secret code required to get in...

Stephen
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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infopimp;34173 said:
ccLansman: That sounds good - letting the Glosso take over seems pretty much inevitable anyhow, given how it is spreading!

Tom: Thanks. I requested to join SFBAAPS about a week or so ago, and never heard back. My zip code is within 100 miles of San Francisco - perhaps I'm on a secret waiting list or something and you can pull some strings... Or... perhaps I should just crash the party in Albany! :)

Thanks for the insight on hype versus reality... and all along I was buying those diet pills and just getting fatter and fatter. Do you think washing them down with Twinkies was a bad idea? ;)

Panda: I agree... it is a bit out of place. It will be moved. My goal was to make this look like a mountain had been carved down over time by a river of Riccia.... :)

I will keep you posted.

Riccia is PITA, grows fast, fills it, then take the picture etc.
This takes maybe 2-8 weeks.

Then you are done, otherwise plan on lots of upkeep work.

It's more a temporary thing for many set ups, lower light helps keep it from becoming a terrible weed. I still am trying to remove the bits from a 60 cube(7 months ago).

I think it works fine with some nice rock foregrounds etc, with some on small horizontal branches etc, but that's about it.

And you'd better trim often.

Come to the meeting, there's no membership dues.

Regards,
Tom barr
 

infopimp

Junior Poster
Jan 19, 2009
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tank_090312_3284.sized.jpg


I still love my Riccia... maybe the honeymoon will wear off eventually... just cleaned about 200 riccia hairs from my sponge prefilter. :)
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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See how the stem plants grow? Think about placing the rocks under those. Would that look better to you? More natural?

the stem plants grow up and around the rocks, creeping over them, this is good use and looks nice as well, since the stems cover the rocks and shade the rocks some.

This means no straggly plants under the stems due to low light etc.
Riccia is a chore, I used some of the same plants on a 25 gal tank for a few weeks a number of years ago.

They all work well together.

Riccia can be moved around and it also makes a good CO2 gauge, when it pearls well the last 1/2 of the day, you have good Co2.

I often just retired the Riccia once every 2-4 weeks, instead of trimming.
Got old fast though.

Moss stones was a better option, or you can mix moss/riccia together and if the riccia falls off, there's always some left tangled in the moss to restart.

The dark green moss and light green Riccia also make a decent contrast.
You can move some of the scape around and see what you like best.
Wood, placement of rock etc. Plant health is doing well, so might as well garden more.

Regards,
Tom barr
 

infopimp

Junior Poster
Jan 19, 2009
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Great input Tom!!! That totally helps me visualize how to improve the scape - I can now see how the tall stems would look coming out from behind the rock (looking like the forest)... vs what I'm doing now with fighting them in the current spot.

I'll have to meditate on this more but I have some easy ideas already close at hand... thanks again!

-steve
 

Tom Barr

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Just mull it over and give it some thought, I do not like to impose rules or tell folks how to do things, they must come to their own conclusions about aesthetics and art.

I've never taken well to the mumbo art talk on line about scaping myself.
Nor judging, never will do that job. Not much in it for myself either;)
Lots of pain, pissed off folks etc.
Gets personal.

There's a better way.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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I chose thin tall stones(actually burnt, then petrified sequoia) to avoid shadowing and taking up more real estate.

If you take a look at various scapes, see what elements you like and look where they placed things to get those looks.

Note the slope also of the gravel etc.

What plants will do well at the stems overshadow them etc(crypts, Java fern, moss etc).

You can use rock, wood, low light plants for those spots.

Regards,
Tom Barr