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Not sure why I don't like design

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by crystalview, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. crystalview

    crystalview Guru Class Expert

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    When the tanks is not what you want but sort of, it's like asking Gods what they would do with this mess. You guys can be overwhelming with your talent. But I like what you say here.
    I have raised my light 3", My Diatoms came back after a week being gone. There is something off in my design. I know I need more plants. Want low growers for front.

    Does the wood need to be taller or removed?
    Maybe replace wood with another pumas rock or rocks?

    I use the wood and rock for the Discus. The room is active and they need a place to feel safe.

    I will now try for different plants then the fast growers I started with.

    Would this be a lightly planted tank?

    I like the red lotus but what they call red lotus on the left is not the same leaf or color. My red lotus use to be very red. Wish it was that way again

    Have HC in pots because it must have been emersed it is now trying to grow back. I want it to grow out a pumus hole on a flat rock up front. The wisteria look odd but did not know if I should keep it or give away.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Have you seen the 60 Cube I did?

    I redid it some yesterday.

    resized60cube101908.jpg

    [​IMG]

    Might give you some ideas...........
    For the shape of the tank and the fish you have chosen, such a design is well suited.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. crystalview

    crystalview Guru Class Expert

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    Your tank is nice as always. I like when you share.

    When you are doing the design for the hardscape do you tend to stick to a single media? Or do you join or blend say two media's like in the pic? Maybe it is that I have mine vary separate of each and not a blend. I don't have a bio-type I am aiming for so my tank will be a miss match of plants. I like a mixture of textures.

    I have noticed that the wood most of you use is stick-like instead of thicker pieces like I used. What is the thought for this?

    In a smaller tank like mine would a flat twisted piece (like a slice with wholes) covering most of the back be to over powering. I thought this might show the wood off and allow my fish to swim behind it. I could then plant various height plants in front. I would keep this wood bare.

    I do have tiny branched pieces of wood with fissiden on them, but the wood seems to be wasting away faster then the bigger pieces. The fissiden does not stay as nice looking. I really don't want a carpet over all the gravel. I like things growing out of small chunks of wood or rock.

    I know Discus are not your thing but I wonder if they feel safe in a heavily planted tank.

    I think the biggest problem I have is that I have never seen in person planted tanks with good designs or very nice plantings. I do notice that most choose more plants then fish. I would like a balance. I know that designing a tank is a real personal thing. You have tried different ideas and can suggest what works and doesn't. When all you have seen is pictures with no prospective of the growth pattern or lay out it is hard to choose.

    I know my next tank will be deeper so I have more options with depth.

    We are pretty much house bound. This tank keeps me sane. I have to get my idea's here and in books. Do you know if UCD Library has planted tank books to check out (like Walstead or others). I have been reading about varies styles (nature vs dutch). The problem is that some of the nicest books are two expensive for me to get and not everything is online.

    Is there a time when any close clubs have their tanks set-up for display so I could get a look at different styles?


    Wish I had been at your open house. Would have been nice to see a variety of set-ups, even your vacation tank melt down.
     
  4. Chiya

    Chiya Prolific Poster

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    Hi Crystalview,

    I think your tank looks nice too. Quite serene if you ask me.

    Whenever something goes wrong in my fish tank, I always go back to the basics.
    Light, CO2, nutrients.

    Why dont you go slightly lesser light.. like 1.5wpg?

    Seen in your signature that you have Anubia nana. They can be used as a focal point.

    I tied my Anubias barteri var. nana to pieces of wood.
    They make quite a nice focal point.

    I tied java ferns to coconut husks cut half and place them at the back to soften the edges of my tank.

    Try glosso instead of HC? IMHO, glosso is easier to manage than HC.

    Lastly, all planted tanks look good when the plants look healthy.
    Tom's tanks always look excellent because all his plants are healthy.

    Dont give up.. With so much to learn from this forum and so many good people who are willing to share, your tank will be the 'right way up' soon. :D

    Regards,
    Ryan
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'm not sure what is meant by "media"?

    The sediment is all dolomite in this tank, there's just wood, sediment and plants.
    It's an African theme.

    All big blocky pieces of wood do is take up valuable space:p
    Don't use it.

    No character either.
    The pointy parts stick out through the attached plants in the above, same for other pieces I chose. These are both aesthetically much more p[leasing, but they also serve to create more hiding places for fish, better current, better sites for planting plants both on the wood and in the sediment behind.

    This tank is a vertical planting, only a few vals are in the sediment, the rest is on that single piece of wood.

    Consider adding moss to it, say Xmas moss.
    Very easy to care for, will make the wood look aged much more.
    I almost never cover the wood entirely, always leave some wood showing in most all cases unless it's a small planted piece with a single species for plant display of moss, fern etc.

    Then this general design is likely to your goal and liking.
    I use the Anubias and just allow the Fissedens to get entangled in their roots.
    No planting really required.

    CO2 is key, and manging the light will help more there.
    Less light = easier to hit a good CO2 level. The other issue is that most of the species you like, are lower light tolerant plants.

    They breed/grow just fine in a bare bottom tank with nothing else in it, seems they would be a lot more happy with lots of cover and wood. They are not my thing now, but I did raise and breed blue Diamonds about 15 years ago.
    Some one mess up, they said I "could not grow Discus in my planted 90 Gallon"....:D

    I have far far more fish in here than perhaps most anyone's planted tank.
    This is a 60 gallon tank.

    I have 24 Congos, full size and they are voracious eaters, far more than say 7-9 full sized discus. There are 9 good sized Synodontis species(multi, petricola, Albverti, birchardi, angelicus etc), 5 Nanochromis, 5 rubber nose plecos, 5 otto cats, 2 True bird beak elephant nose.

    That is a lot for a 60 gal tank.
    I make sure to leave a nice open space for swimming in most designs, not just a solid jungle wall.

    That requires a little forethought and trimming perhaps.

    Such a design in the 60 applied to the 140 would make the fish swim out front and offer a better darker background to view the fish.
    The sand foreground, easy to care for and allows them to grub and eat easily.

    Also, good circulation, but if they want, the fish can move and get out of the current.

    No library books to speak of there:)
    You can borrow some of mine, I do not read them much anyway, but I do need them back. SAPS and SFBAAPS have open houses often.

    SFBAAPS has a nice meeting planned for Sunday, 10-12 am in SF at Aqua Forest, they will detail their trip to Japan and the training they did at ADA.

    Might be worthwhile.

    I'll say this, you learn by doing.
    But you can learn far far more in person, faster, easier etc.
    I try to do a different design for each tank.

    Many folks do that have more than one.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    When you say that the diatoms came back, do you just mean on the glass? I have found that the angle of the light striking the glass can have a big effect on how much algae grows on it. When you raised your light, you may have changed the dynamic of the light so that it strikes the glass directly rather than being directed into the bottom of the tank. Changing or adjusting reflectors may fix this.
     
  7. crystalview

    crystalview Guru Class Expert

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    Wow You maybe right about the change in the light. It would make sense.

     
  8. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    I saw a change as soon as I put different reflectors in my tank. The existing ones only cover the inside 1/4 of the bulb, thereby actually reflecting much of the light out the front and back walls instead of down. When I put in aluminum foil to create an actual 1/2 circle instead of the 1/4 circle, the algae on the glass stopped. Took them out, back to algae on the glass again. I would think that raising a light fixture would have a similar effect, since the pattern of light would widen out the further down you would get from the light itself.
     
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