35l Riverside

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I've got so many aquascapes planned, but before I dive straight in at the deep end I want to make sure I've got the simple side of things sorted - how to grow plants properly and the like.

So I thought I'd set up this simple little tank just to get things started. I want to get a nice aquascape out of it, but that will come in time. I'm ultimately considering this my first actual aquascape, because all of the others have failed for one reason or another. I'm determined to stick with this one and get it right (with the help of you guys of course :))!

2dietz5.jpg


That's what I've got so far. A 35l tank, 50cm long, 1.5WPG T8, AquaSoil Malaya, Bright Sand, TGM graded gravel and a couple of small mini landscape rocks.

I want this tank to have a 'river' feel. I'm using saintly's ''opti-white take 2'' as a basis and inspiration for this tank, that's the sort of thing I want to achieve.

I'm thinking mainly Crypts, haven't decided which ones but Parva is a definate. I would like to get a bit of Vallis in there (probably 'mini twister' because it's such a small tank), maybe some Ferns and Bolbitis, a little bit of moss and a few stems.

I will decide on stocking later, but I would love to get some Dwarf Cories in this one.

I also want to use this tank as an opportunity to improve on my photography skills.

That's the plan. The main thing I'm looking for advice on is the planting, but all comments are appreciated. :)
 

samc

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i think your tank would look great with a piece of redmoor in to give it some height but with planting it will too. when i think of rivers i think of vallis too
 

Mark Evans

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brilliant thomas. great start mate.

you've got everything in order it seems. just take your time on everything, planting choosing plants etc. i think i know what your going for though. lighting should be fine for crypts too. on my set up i had intense lighting, which was my downfall due to the stems growing WAY to fast! but with lower light, you stand a chance of a longer term scape.

one option, maybe is to use Cyperus helferi instead of vallis?...slower growing, not out growing the tank. not sure on the growth with the lower lighting though. vallis still might be your choice. others will enlighten you maybe.

moss thomas, get some moss! i can give you some if you want.
 
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Hi Sam, thanks for the advice. I do have some redmoor that I could use, but i'd prefer to keep it how it is and let the plants give the aquascape height.

I didn't think of Cyperus Helferi, saintly. I thought it needed higher light levels and CO2 injection, although I could be wrong. I think I'll stick with Vallis to begin with, and maybe give the Cyperus a go when the tank is more mature.

Thanks for the moss offer, I'll let you know if I need some but I have a tank literally full of Java so I should be sorted. I only need a really little and thin layer on a section of the wood and some on pebbles at the edge of the foreground anyway.

Thanks again for the comments, guys. :)
 

Mark Evans

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Thomas McMillan said:
I didn't think of Cyperus Helferi, saintly. I thought it needed higher light levels and CO2 injection, although I could be wrong.
it was the bit i was thinking but wasn't sure if it could be grown without. stick with vallis.
 

GreenNeedle

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Looks good Thomas.

I remember when I first started and indeed for probably the first year, I was going faster and faster with failures all over the place and it wasn't until I stopped fiddling and slowed things right down that I actually started to understand how to grow plants.

I guess when we try to go too fast too early we don't give ourselves the time/space to understand what is causing the failures (and successes.) A case of walk before you can run I guess ;)

Keep us posted.

AC
 

samc

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i got an aquaball its a good filter you may find they are a bit too powerful to start with tho rather good filter :)
 
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That's good then, I'll get the 30-60l one rather than the 45l because it's cheaper and so most likely has a lower lph rating.

Thanks again, guys. ;)
 

aaronnorth

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I like the title :)

Perhaps you can move the gravel into a 'bunch' rather than having it scattered along the whole surface area of the sand?

because all of the others have failed for one reason or another.
You never give them long enough to develop/ overcome issues :lol: One of your tanks was looking nice and just stating to take off and you ripped it apart :lol:

Photography is very hard on fish tanks i am finding, i have been out on a few walks and some macro's/ shots around the house which is pretty easy.
 
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I know! I'm pretty impatient when it comes to things like this, my perfectionism comes out and as soon as it doesn't look right then that's it. I'm determined o stick with this one though.

I know what you're saying about the foreground. I was going to do it that way originally, but I didn't think I'd be able to do it successfully so I just did it the way I knew I could for it to look decent. This way, even if the substrate gets a bit mixed and mashed (which I'm sure it will) then it'll still have the same kind of look.

I've decided I'm just gonna have Crypts in this one. I'll probably still get a bit of Vallis and maybe a bit of R Roundifolia but that'll be it apart from the moss which is still going in.
 

beeky

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I like the river idea. I agree with Aaron though, about the gravel. If you think of how sand and gravel move in a flow the heavier pebbles will be nearer the strongest flow getting smaller until you get to sand furthest away. Depending on where your ouflow is, you could group the bigger stones around the wood on the 'sheltered' side and then graduate them away towards the other end of the tank. Might be worth having a play, see what it looks like. Paradoxically, making anything look completely natural takes alot of effort.
 
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Thanks beeky, but as I said before this what I'd like to call my first scape that I'm taking semi-seriously and want to stick with for a while, so I'd just prefer to keep it as it is rather than fiddle like I usually do and muck it up. I might change elements of the layout around as the tank progresses though. I'll see how it goes.
 

beeky

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I know what you mean. I can't leave things alone and always regret spending those extra two hours making things worse when I should have just left it well alone!
 
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