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3ft of Uncertainty... Now Planted!

LancsRick

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18 Apr 2012
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Right, this is going to be a very slow journal, but I may as well make a start!

The equipment?

Rio 180 in dark walnut
2x T8s, 2x T5s
External filtration, circa 2000lph
No CO2
Weekly dosing of James' Planted Tank ferts, recipe 3

The criteria..

- Will be a community tank, so there is a need for either caves or overhanging foilage to give cover
- Will be low maintenance - Otos and Amanos will feature
- Will use soil (not used this as a substrate yet and want to give it a go)


I'm wondering about doing an Iwagumi style tank, but with caves under dragon stone, so that there are still hiding places. A variation on this might work? - http://www.thegreenmachineonline.com/gallery/3950

Still in the research stages, so recommendations on both plant types and scape ideas are more than welcome - this is the first tank I will have designed from scratch, since my Trigon has "evolved" gradually as I've put things in, so a different undertaking.

I'm excited!
 

LancsRick

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LancsRick

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

Ok, slightly revised plant list, I'm hoping to get my hands on rock next weekend, at which point I can begin scaping in earnest, and then only plants will remain!

Pogostemon Helferi
Eleocharis sp. 'Mini'
Blyxa Japonica
Staurogyne Repens
Hemianthus Micranthemoides

3 questions in my mind:

- What mosses would be good to go on rocks? I'm intending for this to be mainly hardscape, with plants to just accentuate it. I'd like something that stays fairly flat ideally, so I can superglue to the rocks and then let it spread naturally

- I'm wondering about including a couple of red plants for dashes of colour, but not sure whether this would be eyecatching or just look out of place - any comments from experience?

- Finally, if you take the hardscapes in the 3 "Inspirations" above as the level of rock vs plants I'm going for, how many pots do you reckon I'm going to need for a 180l tank?

Cheers guys!
 

Piece-of-fish

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

Hi, the only mosses as far as I know to attach and creep over the hardscape naturally are Java or Taiwan.
Both will be quite flat also. I would go for Taiwan although they do look quite similar.
 

JenCliBee

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

Hey mate, out of curiosity..... how did you attach the second set of lights?... any pics.


Ive done it in the pat but always found the wire position a nightmare while removing the flaps for maintenance.
 

darren636

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

you will need a few pots of each, split them up and spread them around. great title btw.
 

LancsRick

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

JenCliBee said:
Hey mate, out of curiosity..... how did you attach the second set of lights?... any pics.


Ive done it in the pat but always found the wire position a nightmare while removing the flaps for maintenance.

No pics, but if this explanation doesn't suffice, I'll happily take some!

It's an Arcadia set that has been added, and I've just drilled holes through the front and rear flaps to take the tubes. I've offset them far enough that the ends of the luminaire acts as a "guide" for the wires. Needs a bit of fettling just to ensure the wires retract when you lower the lid, I'll probably just put a bit of lead weight on the wires hanging from the back of the tank.

Make sense? If not, I'll snap away!

@darren - Cheers for that, by the time I've bought a few pots of those I'm going to have spent a pretty penny! I wish I found cheaper hobbies interesting :lol:
 

JenCliBee

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

LancsRick said:
JenCliBee said:
Hey mate, out of curiosity..... how did you attach the second set of lights?... any pics.


Ive done it in the pat but always found the wire position a nightmare while removing the flaps for maintenance.

No pics, but if this explanation doesn't suffice, I'll happily take some!

It's an Arcadia set that has been added, and I've just drilled holes through the front and rear flaps to take the tubes. I've offset them far enough that the ends of the luminaire acts as a "guide" for the wires. Needs a bit of fettling just to ensure the wires retract when you lower the lid, I'll probably just put a bit of lead weight on the wires hanging from the back of the tank.

Make sense? If not, I'll snap away!

@darren - Cheers for that, by the time I've bought a few pots of those I'm going to have spent a pretty penny! I wish I found cheaper hobbies interesting :lol:


Makes sense but some pics would be nice to get a sense of what your saying ;).... no rush though mate... just when you get time.... and only if you dont mind :thumbup:
 

LancsRick

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

Hardscape!! Apologies for abysmal pictures...

IMG-20120728-00255.jpg

IMG-20120728-00253.jpg


Ok, so what's the plan on this? Very top left and very top right will be carpetted, with the right had side having that piece of rock poking out as a bit of a peak. The plateau just off the middle towards the right will be a white "lake", with a stream coming down into the canyon and then a beach along the front. The very front right has a cave built, not as a visual point of interest, more to provide shelter for inhabitants.

Planting will be iwagumi style.

Thoughts?
 
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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

Hey,
Looks like a nice layout pal. Only thing worrying me is that I believe you have used aquatic compost for substrate?

Without a gravel cap, doesn't this stuff cloud up with the slightest movement?

I haven't used it before, so I can't say for sure, but someone will be able to elaborate I'm sure.

Keep it up mate,
 

LancsRick

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

Spot on, I'm going to cap it with dark gravel, and light gravel for the stream. Wasn't going to screw around with that until I was happy with the structural scape though.
 

darren636

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

i did experiment with just a soil base... Looks just like a river but turns cloudy if you even think about looking at it.
 

LancsRick

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

I used the Fluval Edge as my trial with this, and got away with minimal soil disruption when filling, so I think it should be ok. I've cut bits of gravel tidy so most of the large areas are covered, although the downside is that the gravel tidies make planting harder as you don't have the depth of substrate to trap the plant in.

Pictures to follow tomorrow hopefully :).
 

LancsRick

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

Ok, gravelling now complete!

The two black areas at either end will be carpetted with hairgrass or blyxa (not decided yet).
The slope on the right hand side from the black area to the white "lake" will have a bank of stauro repens on there.
Rocks will have a variety of riccia/spiky moss on them.
Boulders along the shoreline will have some hairgrass sp. mini as odd tufts.

Focal point will be the stream leading up to the lake, as this will be unplanted and therefore a bit of white space in the scape (tried to follow the golden ratio and photography principles there).

Thoughts?

P1010145.jpg

P1010147.jpg
 

darren636

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

get some plants in ! will be very nice.
 

LancsRick

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

Never thought of that darren :p. I have a tendency to dive into things so forcing myself to go slow on this one!
 

LancsRick

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 1 - Ideas)

Thinking of these as the plant order - any comments?

Eleocharis acicularis x4
Pogostemon helferi x1
Staurogyne Repens x1
Riccia fluitans x1 (1-2-Grow)
Spiky moss (large Tropica portion)
 

darren636

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Re: 3ft of Uncertainty... (Stage 3 - Plant Selection)

i was going to suggest eleocharis vivipara. so tall yet transparent
 

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