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Working on it

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by Gerryd, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    So….planning the next scape and here’s what I have….

    a) I have all of my new Manzy wood from Tom and it is soaking. Plus tons from the original shipment..

    b) I went to the AGA convention and got REALLY some nice plants at the auction. Deliberately did not bring too much cash or I would have spent $500 easy. Great stuff available that I have NO room for 

    c) I am getting 4 more bags of black fluorite. I want to have some higher ground/mounds for some of the wood structures.

    d) I have a good idea of the plants I will use in the scape.

    e) I THINK I have an idea of how the wood and rocks will go. I may have some new rocks incoming from CL that I may use, but I already have plenty of hardscape.

    f) I am on vacation from 11/20-11/29 so I have 10 days off to work on it.

    The new scape will have 3 main show pieces of wood and I want to use many grass like looking plants. I think of a cross between a branchy mangrove swamp and the native eel grass beds in Lake Okeechobee..I will substitute for the val..

    Wood will be mostly unadorned to show the branches, but will use cyperus, narrow java, and bolbitus to highlight them I hope. I want some open space as well.

    I will use mostly darker green plants but one or two brighter species for contrast. Not sure which I will use yet but I hope to be using the following plants:

    Darker plants

    Cyperus helferi – I got some really nice specimens at the auction. I hope I can continue to grow them that size!
    Java fern varieties: narrow and windelov
    Anubias minima – eventually this may become my carpet plant over time. As in years to cover 12x15”
    Bolbitus heudeloti – this is starting to take off and I hope will do real well with the good current, c02, and low light.

    Lighter plants

    C. parva – I got a nice potted plant from Ghazanfor Ghori with great spear like leaves. Awesome if I can keep it like that! Very bright green and nice!
    C. lutea – unsure if this will be used, but have always liked it and had good luck with it.
    Downoi – growing slow but steady. Will stay small I bet with such low light as I use.
    Stauro repens – growing well but not enough light for the bottom leaves. May not use this for this reason alone.

    I have some dark myrio from the auction I may use in the back or side as needed. I want to try and limit plant species..

    I will post some pics later of the wood and plants I have. The tank is stuffed now with all these plants and an extra large manzy branch but I really like the way it looks, just needs more structure.

    More to come and comments and suggestions are always welcome.
     
  2. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    I'll be interested to know how the Cyperus helferi does for you. The only issue I have with it is the leaves turn yellow/brownish and have to be pruned. I think I'm right on a threshold with it: a bit too much light and not enough carbon. I can't go to lower light without suspending the fixture which is not something I'm crazy about, or buying a new fixture which I cannot do atm. If you don't encounter this issue, then I'll know it's probably a carbon issue since you use pressurized. If so, I'll probably take the easy route and replace it with h augustafolia.

    On using c lutea, what I like to do is mix in a bulb of undulata to grow within the lutea to give the bunch some color. The leaf shape between the two is so similar is works quite well.
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Ekrindul,

    Yes, I very much like the look of the cyperus and will advise of my luck one way or the other.

    Well, luck has it that at the auction I also got a nice pot of undulata as it was really nice. Will most likely lose some leaves at first but I expect it to do well. I will try and see...

    Here are a few pics and I hope to post a quick video later. Please note the large wood in the right front is just there to be completely submerged and not float around loose:)

    Plant growth is nice and steady, slow but I want that, so is very fine indeed..

    I like that the substrate in the front is unseen and curves a bit. I can see where substrate slopes can enhance the look a great deal..

    These two pics show what it would look like if I had a canopy of some sort. It DOES make it easier to see into the tank, as the glare from the lights is eliminated...any ideas to shield this but still have the open look would be MUCH appreciated. I am thinking some dark cloth strips for now. I used some cardboard and tape as a prototype (lol) and it helps my view very much, so will pursue this..

    The netting over the wier walls is to keep the cardinals out...am working on a better looking solution :)

    Comments and suggestions are welcome.

    View attachment 1925 View attachment 1924
     
    #3 Gerryd, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2010
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Pics...

    Remember that I have very low light atm 50 micro moles max at surface....so growth will not be as large....

    1 = Pogostemon helferi - slow but nice so far.
    2 = c. parva - I like this a lot and hope it does well.....always wanted it too....
    To the back left of it is rotala macrandra 'japan' that claus brought over from Europe as a tissue culture retail sample. I may not have enough light for it but we'll see.
    3 = c.undulata - very nice take my word for it
    4 = stauro repens, anubias petite (minima?), java fern
    5 = c. lutea
     
    #4 Gerryd, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2010
  5. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    Your undulata looks like it's emersed growth, but I may be wrong. It's a dark photo. They are resilient plants though. I found a small crypt growing in my stauro field today. No idea how it got there. All I can think of is a bulb got left behind during an old rescape.

    I took a few pics of undulata mixed in with lutea. You'll see it's a very subtle addition of some color. The undulata stays a rusty red or maroon for me. The leaf shape is almost indentical.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I wish I could get mine to color like the ones pictured here:

    http://www.aquahobby.com/garden/e_Cryptocoryne_undulata.php
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    You have some really nice growth......

    I have found crypt runners from various species years after I thought they were gone. Tiny little things lost among larger stems and such, There are very resilient..

    Yes those pics are nice. Bronze wendti IMO is just as nice....as far as color...
     
  7. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Gerry,

    I like the Cyperus in the corner. I'm curious how your plant growth is going to be. I always like closed canopies, just because of the enourmous amount of light flooding the room. Also less water evaporation and Ca deposits ;)

    Don't forget a nice group of stems somewhere...

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi dutchy,

    Yes, I did not get as much c.helferi as I wanted, but am reasonably sure it will reproduce and I will soon have more....Let's see what type of gardener I am, no??

    I think my growth is going to be just fine and is doing well now. Perhaps smaller in some respects, but am still doing full EI and c02, so will be interesting to see long term. Not sure too many stems are going to be used if any. I do have some stauro repens and some myrio both of which may have a place. The myrio is dark and fluffy and is a nice counter to the many rosettes..esp the crypts..

    yes canopies can look nice and block the light. I will just get some velcro and dark fabric and cut to length/width required...The cardboard/scotch tape prototype (version 1.00001) worked as expected...

    Still waiting for that stupid manzy root in the front to sink already!!! I know I can secure it with rocks, but I like it when I can position the wood INDEPENDENTLY of the rocks w/o using the rocks to secure a piece... I am hoping that maybe next Sat all will be ready for the next scape.

    Plants are growing well, fish seem healthy, just need to decide what else to put in there fish wise, and scape it already!

    Speaking of fish.

    1) heading out to the old Big Al's to see what they may have in their many display tanks.. give me an idea maybe I still think tiger barbs would look awesome as a species tank as well. would be right up there alley, a school of 100-250...

    2) I did see on aquabid an auction of 250 cardinals for $125 usd. Over in Tampa, so just 3-4 hours on the other side of the state.

    I am so tempted to just buy another 500 and be done with it. One last time/attempt with a nice dark tank with ONLY cardinals as the lone species..

    With the wood and lower light, it WOULD look awesome....admit it...

    BTW, what do you think of the black background and unseen substrate level???

    Sigh, I have no idea what to do next....actually plenty of ideas, but we'll see. I will like it at the very least, and the fish and plants will be healthy, so at least that part will go well..

    later.
     
    #8 Gerryd, Nov 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2010
  9. TLe041

    TLe041 Junior Poster

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    If I just read it correctly, you're considering as many as 500 cardinal tetras in this tank? Or as many as 250 tiger barbs?

    Considering cardinals can get as large as 1.3" and tiger barbs 2.75", I personally wouldn't.
     
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Yes, you read correctly.

    I have had >300 cards and >400 total fish in there already long term so I know the tank can handle it.

    There are several LARGE canisters underneath all of this.

    I would build up the barbs more slowly if I went in that direction as they are a deeper bodied fish as well and require more room. I am not sure I would get that many (250), but is a goal to build towards. I did say 100-250, so I would start with 50-75 and go from there...

    Since these would be the only fish in the tank other than 6-8 small corydoras, I think they will be fine. I have a spare tank that I can put them in should that become an issue. The local LFS will be happy to take any extras I can't keep. I would do daily 50% water changes for the first 2-3 weeks while the bio bed increases due to the extra ammonia. Slow and easy does it...

    Thanks for your thoughts and advice. I am a fish person foremost, and their health is job #1.

    I have had this many already and know the config can handle the load..
     
    #10 Gerryd, Nov 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2010
  11. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Even going for 500 cards would be done in 2 steps of 250 at a time....
     
  12. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Gerry,

    500 is a LOT of fish. We use a rule here that indicates 1,5 inch of fish per gallon. When I apply this using cardinals on a 180 it's around 1,25 x 180 = 225 cardinals. Seems a fair number to me. 500 would probably look like an ant hill ;)

    of course, it's your tank, your decision...

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    300 looked better than 225, but not too far off.
    Attrition might knock 500 down to 300-400 after 6 months.
    My tank is more open though, so there's more space for them.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Slate bottom that driftwood asap.
    Ceramic drill bit.
    Slate from Home Depot etc.

    Pre Drill the hole for the wood as well, 2"-2.5" screw etc.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Tom Barr
     
  15. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Yes, 500 is a huge number. It is more fantasy than reality and I will NOT get that many..

    If I go that route, I will get 250-300 as I will expect some losses as Tom states.

    Tom,

    Yes will drill it, but I HAD to see how it looked :)

    Off to HD in a bit...I think I will only need the ceramic bit and slate..
     
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