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130Ltr - Rescape - Fake plants!


16 Dec 2011
Hi all,

After a lot of thought I have decided to tear down my current scape & redesign my tank.

The reasons are:
1. the scape is circa 18 months old & is in need of a big clean
2. maintenance is just not possible any more due to time constraints

I have decided to go down the route of fake plants - I have seen some decent scapes done using the Sydeco range of plants from Rosewood.

So I have ordered the following:

http://www.rosewoodpet.com/catalogue/de ... 4ewg%3d%3d
http://www.rosewoodpet.com/catalogue/de ... 4ewg%3d%3d
http://www.rosewoodpet.com/catalogue/de ... 4ewg%3d%3d
http://www.rosewoodpet.com/catalogue/de ... 4ewg%3d%3d

along with:

http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/unipac- ... -3012.html
http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/unipac- ... -3014.html

I'm hoping it will look decent enough & with no light required & a strong filter it should require very little maintenance.

I'll update with pics when I do the scape next weekend.

PS. Does anyone have any tips on how to clean the tank out once its emptied? I have algae on silicone that just won't scrub off!
Right so I emptied the old layout today and was left with this:


I won't be adding the gravel/sand/plants until the weekend so I had a play with the Okiishi rock I ordered & thought about this:


I don't think theres enough rock there so I have ordered another piece of the one on the right - will rotate it another way round and place in the top left. Also I ordered O/R1 which is a small piece - and will place that on the right hand side.

Won't really know how to do it finally until the plants arrive & I can have a play around.

Anyone have some advice on what sand I should use? I was thinking a fine white ish sand?
Hi mate. Fake plants huh ? Good for you :thumbup: I reckon with decent fake plants it can look really nice. Having said that I hope the ones you ordered look less plasticky in life than the images seem to be. o_O :shifty: (no offence). Some of the silky ones I have seen were quite good. Either way I reckon you will be able to make it look pretty decent and I am looking forward to more pics as it progresses.

As far as removing stubborn marks, I have heard that hydrogen peroxide is good as long as you rinse and dechlorinate afterwards. I hope I am not giving bad advice suggesting that but I know some people have used it on planted tank glassware. I actually used cillit bang to remove stubborn marks on a drop checker and then washed and washed again with no problems.

LOVE that stone. Its amazing what you can do with resin.

Don't forget that you will still have maintenance to do... cleaning the glass and washing the plants.

As far as sand goes, I think that a whitish sand would be a tad bright. Have you considered Unipac Samoa ?
The sand you've linked us to there skeleton is called Unipac maui sand, i have it and it looks great IMO :thumbup:

But really, PLASTIC plants on an Aquatic PLANT forum? Not really mate haha, ive seen a few scapes that look totally outstanding with plastic plants :lol:
Haha yes it is a bit blasphemus isn't it!

I just honestly don't have the time/interest to keep a planted tank looking healthy anymore. So i thought I'd give a scape a go where i have no plants. To be honest if these plants arrive & look crap then I may even just attempt some sort of rock only scape.

I just want an easy to maintain scape that always looks good & can have some pretty fish/shrimp in :)
I dont think fake plants would piss me off. At the end of the day its all about what the tank owner is happy with and has time for. Low tech still requires more input than "no tech" LOL.

If that is Maui sand, then I would say go for it. You could mix and match to get exactly what you want, but seeing that AE pic I agree the maui looks good with that resin rock.

I dont see why the resin rock will look out of place with plastic plants tbh. I think that rock looks as real as real rock does :thumbup: I am very much looking forward to seeing it all. If you dont like the plants, theres a home for them here as Im setting up a w. african breeding tank and may just go no tech with that ;)

You know rock and Manzy (or any wood but esp manzy) looks REALLY nice too....
Is the maui sand very fine? I don't want it too thick.

I was thinking about something like play sand? I will also add gradianted pebbles to make it more natural around the rocks
The problem with plastic plants is algae, now you have no real plants in your tank the algae will have "first dibs" on any nutrient in the tank, this I suspect soon be coating everything. Been there, done that got the tee shirt.

I have tried numerous times using plastic plants, as previously my big plecs either ate or ploughed up real plants, but I always quickly ended up with BBA covering the silk plants, thread algae sprouting off everything else and glass coated in green dust. Yes easy enough to clean off, plastic plants wipe/scrape clean and bleach solution restores the silk plants but really quite a "faff" having to remove the all plants every couple of months and then put them all back.

Been much better and less fiddly maintenance since I went CO2, attack of diatoms when tank first started but virtually no signs of algae at alll, just lush green quick growing plants. :D
I would highly doubt I'll be getting algae when i won't be running any lighting (except when viewing)?
skeletonw00t said:
Is the maui sand very fine? I don't want it too thick.

I was thinking about something like play sand? I will also add gradianted pebbles to make it more natural around the rocks

Hi, if the maui is done on the same principal as my samoa you can get fine and coarse. Fine is about 1mm and coarse is about 3mm. I like the idea of graduated pebbles around the rocks regardless of the sand. Dont forget without real plant roots in your substrate, fine sand will be more in jeopardy of compaction so stick to a thinner layer as much as possible. :thumbup:
HarryRobinson said:
I'd go with the coarse, with your tank being much larger than mine, im sure it should look fine ;) I'm not fond of sand imo but thats just me :D

Hey Harry. The fine grade unipac "sand" even is still nothing like playsand. Even though they call it sand I think of it more as "fine gravel" personally.
HarryRobinson said:
Oh yeah i know that ;) It's just playsand in general looks terrible imo :lol:

And I think its a very personal taste issue because you say it looks terrible yet lots of others love it ;) It is also the most suitable substrate for some setups :thumbup: Stick coarse gravel in a tank for sand loving cichlids and they will not thank you for it. Cories also do better on finer grain stuff to prevent damage to their barbels.