284L low tech with dry start

alto

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Looks grand :)

HC isn’t all that keen without CO2 ... and it likes Aquarium Soil for its tiny roots ;)

MC will grow fairly easily stuffed between rocks etc as long as CO2 and suitable water column fertilization (it will grow without CO2 but seems more particular)
HC can be grown similarly but is definitely less forgiving

Just cut back any melting crypt leafs, they’ll regrow sooner (the melt can “infect” new shoots)
 

Bon MotMot

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Yeah I think I won't bother with a carpet for this tank. Things are starting to gel with both the 110 and the 284; I will have all my substrate and hardscape plus some lights for the big one soon. I went with a cheaper light system to get started: Finnex CRV 48" which sounds like it will grow plants and is about 15% of the cost of the Kessils. I am still drooling over twin Kessil A360X Tuna Suns but they will have to remain aspirational for now :greedy:

I put 4 Cherry shrimp and one Amano shrimp in the tank last weekend and realized after the fact that they went in too soon in the initial cycling process. One Cherry is confirmed dead but at least 2 are still alive and the Amano is doing fine. He found the wafers today and was NOMNOMNOMYUMMYGOODSTUFF. As bad as my cat with her treats.
 

Bon MotMot

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Forgot to mention-I did get two bags of Tropica AS to supplement the substrate in the 284. I will try to place it strategically for the rooted plants since it is so expensive, and supplement the other areas with root tabs. I got 9L of regular and 9L of powder for the carpet areas.
 

alto

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Finnex CRV 48"
This will grow plants just fine in a 30cm wide x 36cm high aquarium
But
substrate PAR will be fairly low in your 53cm high and I suspect you’ll observe significant shading as you move away form directly below the light - I recommend buying 2 of these for more even lighting across your tank width

To increase PAR, I’d run with a lower water level (36 - 40cm) to establish plants, and then slowly increase water level after a couple months (depending)
 

rebel

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Looks grand :)

HC isn’t all that keen without CO2 ... and it likes Aquarium Soil for its tiny roots ;)

MC will grow fairly easily stuffed between rocks etc as long as CO2 and suitable water column fertilization (it will grow without CO2 but seems more particular)
HC can be grown similarly but is definitely less forgiving

Just cut back any melting crypt leafs, they’ll regrow sooner (the melt can “infect” new shoots)
100% agree with above. Growing HC without CO2 can be done as long as there is no other competition in the tank. It's a bit of a drama queen requiring full attention. Similar to some Instagram people these days.
 

Bon MotMot

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Progress report. Have all the hardscape and substrate together now; added 9L of Tropica AS, 9L of Tropica AS powder and some sand on top of everything else so I will have a mess when I rescape but that shouldn't be for awhile. Rock is all dragonstone; some broken up into smaller pieces. Ordered some manzanita branches, so all the wood is soaking right now as most of the pieces are small and very floaty.

General layout:
general layout.jpg


Detail of the sand area:
sand area detail.jpg

Meanwhile the little tank is keeping me entertained. It now contains one cory, three blue wag platies, 5 fancy guppies, two cherry shrimp and one Amano. Still want to add two more corys, a couple of otos, a shoal of neons and/or black neons, more shrimp and a group of Kuhli loaches.
20190704_140147.jpg

(I may or may not ever learn how to take good pics with my phone)

Cheers, all!
 

Bon MotMot

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Wood soaking, some here and some smaller pieces in a bucket out back. I'm tweaking the layout and sitting with it some; things look so different when flooded!

20190708_222834 .jpg
 

alto

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things look so different when flooded
Precisely

The more you practise, the better you get at that translation ..... at least in theory, I rescaped my 60P recently and after a few days decided it was my worst :eek: in years :rolleyes:
Not only were the aesthetics terrible but it didn’t even have the shadows and crevices I’d intended for a particular fish :oops: :oops: :oops:
I finally pulled everything out, washed the soil a bit better (as in Filipe Oliveira rescape video) and began again :cool:

I like your substrate hollows and path :)
(though it’s easier to plant, then add the sand last - keeps it much cleaner of soil particles)


Your phone pics look better than mine :D
 

Bon MotMot

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The other thing I am excited to learn about is how to translate my plantings into something that grows and develops in the desired way. I love browsing through the other journals to see how all these fantastic scapes first started out.
 

Chris Tinker

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taking shape, jealous! my tank is wet but no filter (leaking) and new coming tomorrow and some plants yours is coming along nicely
 

Bon MotMot

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Thanks, Chris! Now for the hard part; getting everything to grow while keeping the moss on the tops of the branches from drying out. I haven't even bought the filter for this tank yet; going to drystart for a couple more paychecks;)
 

Bon MotMot

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DSM Day 15
Trucking right along. I mist the tops of the wood once or twice a day if they look dry, and enough water trickles down everywhere else to keep things moist. Some tiny white fungus on the drier areas of the wood that are hard to spray without popping the glass lid off completely; the tank is still mostly sealed with plastic wrap covering the gaps in the lid. Second Finnex 24/7 came today so the whole tank will be well-lit; right now the support cross-pieces cast a shadow. Temps are pretty high; around 28 or 29 deg. This could turn into one of the world's longest dry starts since I might not have the time to flood it until late Sept or Oct. I could grow an oak in there.

1b_20190801_210015.jpg
DSM_2_20190801.jpg
 

alto

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I suggest draining out the accumulated water at the sand zone, you may need to do this regularly if continuing the dry start for an extended time

You want to mist the plants rather than just the wood (or perhaps I’ve misunderstood your technique)

There’s a Journal here somewhere of a gorgeous extended dry start
 

Bon MotMot

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Good evening Alto, the nocturnal one.:) I mist the plants (moss mostly) on the wood, I just direct most of the mist towards the top parts that dry sooner. I was wondering if there was too much water in the sand area, but there doesn't seem to be a problem with mold elsewhere in the tank at this time. However, it has been breeding the occasional mosquito. I try to catch the larvae because the fish in the other tanks love it, but I don't get them all.

I loved Tim Harrison's dry start in his Return of the Shallows journal. I think that one went on for awhile.
 

Bon MotMot

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DSM Day 29
I'm leaving town for 3 days and hope things don't dry out too much; I can mist tomorrow morning and again on Sunday night. Thinking of covering the highest branch tips with plastic wrap while I am gone to keep them from drying out too much. The substrate shouldn't be a problem for that short of a time.
1d_20190815_220545.jpg
DSM_3_20190815.jpg
 

Bon MotMot

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Until I have time for all the water changes after initial flooding. I have 2 jobs right now so that might be awhile; the DS might easily go into September. The growth has really taken off just in the last week.
 

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