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New Manzanita scape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by Gerryd, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    After much effort over the last year to improve the HARDWARE of my tank, I now have time to work on the FUN part of scaping and gardening, and making it look nice :)

    So, I got some nice Manzanita from Tom and redid my scape. Please note that the wood is not finally placed. The left side esp. Two pieces are held in place by loc-line outlets until they stop floating :)

    They will be placed closer together and look more like a 3 way trunk split outwards....if that makes sense..The right side will pretty much stay as is....

    I also want to build up the sides higher with more substrate and have the sides slope towards the middle. This will set the wood and rocks a bit higher than they are now. I have two bags of black flourite in the trunk and will add one bag to each side this weekend at water change time and see how that looks and if more is required.

    I want to have a 'hedge' of Blyxa with the Stauro 049 in the middle and as the main 'carpet' plant. With the higher sides, I want this to look like a lower bowl of stauro.....

    Only stem left is my L. Aromatica (which I can't part with it is so pretty) in the back on the right side. That will grow and stay taller than it is now. 2-3 weeks will look good.

    The school of cardinals now sweeps from side to side and are much more visible :)

    A few weeks of good growth and it should look much better.

    I want to thank Tom for the wood and the Staur 049, the majority of the Blyxa, and a nice big bunch of Bolbitus.

    I want to thank Troy (trong) for the Blyxa, a very nice bunch of Bolbitus, and the very nice porto voelho on the left side. Tom sent some also, but that is in the non-c02 tank...

    All quality and well priced. Worth every penny and still saved much $ over retail....Hobbyist trade rules!

    Also thanks to Tom for wood placement suggestions.

    As always, I welcome all comments, thoughts, and suggestions.

    I am also thinking of another schooling fish. One that will inhabit the upper layers and NOT mix with the cards..... I have an open top some hatchets are out,literally and figuratively...Suggestions are welcome. I like smaller fish, but have already had congos and bosemani rainbows. Both magnificient fish!

    View attachment 1304 View attachment 1305 View attachment 1306 View attachment 1307
     
    #1 Gerryd, Mar 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2010
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    That looks good Gerry. I like open designs so the fish are much more visible. Maybe it looks good to put some moss on the tip branches of the wood that makes it look like it got stuck there because of the current. What about a nice school of danisonii's?

    Regards,
    dutchy
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi dutchy,

    Thanks. I like the open design more than my previous scapes and the fish seem to really like it.

    Yes, I am placing moss on some random tips now...........good idea

    They had some rose line barbs (Puntius denisonii ) at the local Big Al's, but were $20 each. They looked good though.....I also see they are red listed and possibly endangered in their native habitat??

    Nice suggestion but not now I think........I don't want to copy everything Tom does :)
     
    #3 Gerryd, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2010
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Gerry,

    I really didn't know Tom has them. It's just that I like them and are pretty fish, nice schooling behaviour, but kind of expensive. I've heard about the red list. My personal opinion is that the shops should stop selling them if they want to be strict about that. As long as the shops sell them people will buy them.

    Keep the pics coming.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  5. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Imagining your ideas with that last, slightly darker, pic makes me think of an interesting yet spooky tank. I like!
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    A couple new pics..

    Right side has been raised a bit by the addition of more flourite.. just one bag and I repositioned the wood and rocks. The wood and rock color on that side match quite well, much better than I had hoped.....Just waiting for the java narrow and bolbitus to fill in. You can see the L. aromatica has grown 6-8" easily since the rescape and is touching the surface at the very right.

    The left side I will raise in a week or so. Having a lot of family in town the last couple weeks..I am happy to let it grow in. The java fern lace and narrow are spreading and the C. wendti is doing very well in the shade....I still need the wood to sink and final placement....I really need to increase the back height where the wendti is. It is totally hidden now by the wood and java fern narrow in front....I should be able to raise the back and lowertwist the wood a tiny bit....the wendti is really very nice and I would like to see some of it :) it is pretty tall but is dwarfed by the branchy wood....

    The Blyxa hedge is coming into focus and the porto and stauro 49 are now beginning to spread and grow. They are now very firmly rooted with plenty of nice long white roots (I replanted one or two and saw the roots) and are sprouting new branching/leaves all around....Blyxa is all recovered and a nice green and getting thick like I wanted....

    Tom, that reddish color blyxa is now back to green, btw....40-70 PAR and nice green, but the 100 PAR area is a lighter green..........

    My c02 was low at first as I was adjusting it due to other plumbing changes and I had some GSA and lost some leaves, but is back to snuff now. I think 3-4 weeks from now will look much better....

    6-12 weeks from now and it will look more like the final product I envision. Will also give me a good idea of growth rate and such and how much maintenace it is.

    All new growth is very nice and no algae....

    So, getting there bit by bit... I really like this look and the maintenance is much simpler.....the aromatica still grows like a weed and I think I will eventually elimate or replace it.....We;ll see how the java and bolbitus grow into the scape....

    I can't wait until the stauro and porto hygro really take off...the next 2-4 weeks will be fun to watch....the tank is now at that 'take off' point after all my changes and am doing two 80% WC weekly now as well....Heavy EI and trace as well as tweaking c02....

    Still thinking about the second fish species.......

    Thoughts and suggestions as always are welcome...Looks much better than the pics indicate IMO lol

    View attachment 1336 View attachment 1337 View attachment 1338
     
    #6 Gerryd, Apr 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2010
  7. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Gasteropelecus sternicla

    Hi Gerry,

    That is going to be a wonderful tank! :cool:

    For small top dwellers, I do not think you can beat fifty or so Common Hatchetfish, Gasteropelecus sternicla, sometimes called Silver Hatchetfish just be sure they are G sternicla and not Thoracocharax secures, which are nice fish, just larger.

    Marbled Hatchetfish, Carnegiella strigata are nice as well.

    Any of the above needs a screen or something over the top they are accomplished jumpers. In fact if you do not mind lowering the water level five inches, they are quite entertaining. :)

    Biollante
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Bio,

    Many thanks for the suggestions.......

    Hatchetfish have been the fish I have wanted all along, but I like the open top tank and do not want to lower the water level or screen the top for aesthetics mostly....

    I think a large school as you suggest would be perfect........Except I don't want to use a cover....

    I saw a thing on Discovery where wild hatchets were escaping from a predator and they JUMPED and flew.....

    Easily can see where I would lose them...

    Thanks for the compliments as well........

    Have to have something that will stay IN the tank lol
     
  9. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Gerry,

    What about Aplocheilus Lineatus Gold? Tank looks great and will even look better when plants grow in more.

    Regards,
    dutchy
     
    #9 dutchy, Apr 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2010
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi dutchy,

    Very nice suggestion... I had these several years ago and liked them...yes I really anticpate the end of the 'grow out' stage and it looking mature. 6-9 months from now should look pretty awesome I hope....

    Unfortunately, as you may know they are jumpers and thus are ruled out.

    New caveat:

    Must not require a cover or screen. Tank will remain open top!

    I want something in the mid to upper third level.....but does not have to be a strictly surface fish....

    I do want a big noticeable school and schooling behaviour.......since the cardinals are on the more sedate side I want something a bit quicker to contrast.

    I am thinking maybe some of the lampeyes....they tend to stay in the upper strata, school well, and are quite attractive. Plus most are small which I also like.

    I know an online retailer that does lampeyes and I will ask him for suggestions.....

    Thanks much for the compliments and suggestions....I would not have been able to achieve this w/o the help of many on this forum.....

    Thanks again!
     
  11. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    A link with some pics from today....

    Starting to shape up nicely I think. The porto voelho on the left is coming in very well....

    The blyxa has really done well and the stauro is spreading and growing...new shoots on the bolbitus and the other java varieties...moss is expanding...

    The aromatica on the right is now several inches on the surface..the cards love to hide in the shade, so will have to keep that shorter or I never see them.. amazing how >200 fish can look like 10-15...lol

    I added a bunch of reg java fern on the left side in front of the wier wall as I thought there was too much space there behind the branches..

    I am now thinking of the following for my new fish school:

    An oldie but goodie....drum roll.....

    Harlequin rasboras... I had them years ago and liked them.. pretty, active, good schoolers, good community fish, should stay in the mid to upper strata... I think the mood of the tank would suit them well, and I think they would look very good in there.

    Maybe a school of 50-75 to start and see if they breed.......I know the cards won't :)

    Comments and suggestions as always are welcome..

    http://s248.photobucket.com/albums/gg182/gerrydirish/Progress/
     
  12. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Good looking tank Gerry. But a nice background would make it even look better. (See my answer in my blog). Why don't you post your pics in your Album under your profile, like I did.

    What about emperor tetra's?

    Regards,
    dutchy.
     
  13. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Screen options? Fairly open black screen mesh say in the 1/4 to 1/2" square size might work. Eggcrate maybe? I think you could get it in black and cut out sections of it if you needed to. Cutting out sections leaves relatively sharp edges and there's not a lot of give when they jump and hit it. The other stuff would be more of a netting to "gently" catch them and toss them back in. However, I see your point about having it remain open if at all possible. I'm not really sure what you could do otherwise. Maybe the lighter mesh and drape it over the top like a mosquito net. Might look ok, but probably be "aesthetically challenging" to say the least. :(

    -
    S


     
  14. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Dutchy,

    Thanks..

    I forgot about the album thing...I will upload to an album later.

    I like Emperors (didn't you already suggest them?) but only had 10 or so last time. I remember they like the upper strata, but the males established small territories and they did not really school as a group.

    I want a group that will always be together :) The cards are already too loosy goosy for me lol

    I only have a few inches behind the tank and the wall and installing any type of light is going to be well nigh impossible. Not like I can sit in the cabinet with all the plumbing in there...

    I love your background and others like it, but can't figure out an easy way to light it, as it seems to need...I like the clear look better than a black background though for sure...

    S,

    A screen or guard of almost any type is out. I like the way the tank looks now and don't want to add this just to keep jumping fish in. I would rather forgo the jumping fish for something that stays in the tank...

    Nice ideas though and I will peruse the stores while I am out and ponder the possibilities...
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Hatchets= flying fish chips

    The tank will look pretty nice once it fills in and Gerry gets a good pic.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    :) :) :) I can hear them sometimes hit the reflectors when they jump out of the water. Very funny.
     
  17. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    flying fish chips = pretty much what I figured. They look so cool though....

    -
    S
     
  18. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Tom,

    Thanks.....

    Are you disrespecting my apparent LACK of photography skills :) I was hoping noone would notice lol I don't see my pics making the cover of Aquatic Plant Monthly anytime soon.....

    Seriously, any photo tips are appreciated.. My lights are so high that they cause reflections if I get too close to the tank, but using the zoom I don't have enough room to back up enough to get the whole tank...
     
    #18 Gerryd, May 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2010
  19. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    At least Tom says "when", not "if". ;)
     
  20. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    http://aquatic-photography.com/

    No association or real knowledge of them but they're in the TFH magazine and appear to be associated with the MFKeepers network so they likely will have some decent advice.

    -
    S

     
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