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Hello, I'm still a newbie so I have a lot a questions and appreciate a lot your help.
I haven't started because i want to know everything I need to know before, i had a 200litre tank in Portugal where I did water changes with tap water but the water was so diferent.
My idea is to do a planted paludarium (maybe, might be just a "normal" aquarium until i gain more experience) with a small waterfall and some neocaridinas.

Tank: Width 20", Depth 10 1/5", Height 12"

1. Because of the water being so hardy here in London, i have no idea if i can use tap water and put some kind of product on it? Should I test the PH first?

2. For substrate what should i use? I was thinking Fluval Plant & Shrimp Stratum but i also saw Seachem Flourite Black, ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia and UP AQUA Sand for Aquatic Plants.

3. Regarding faune i was thinking to have a carpet with hemianthus callitrichoides cuba or micranthemum monte carlo and some eleocharis acicularis mini and Nephrolepsis Mini Russels (open for suggestions).
If the paludarium goes forward I need some suggestions for the transition between water and air and I love Ficus pumila Quercifolia for the air part. (if any of this don't make sense please explain me)

4. Should I put something under the substracte? i read somewhere that some plants need it for the roots.

Thanks in advance
 
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1. You can use the tap water. You'll need to find out the water hardness so you can either a) use fish from hard water areas that match your local water parameters, b) calculate how much TO water to use to dilute you local tap water by to reduce the hardness.

2. You want something with a high CEC rating (cation exchange rate) which will take in ferts from the waters column and release them tongue plants as efficiently as possible. Quite a popular one you should be able to find locally is the tropica soil.

3. Before we get into the detail, are you planning on injecting co2?

4. If you get a good aquarium soil you dont NEED to put anything under the soil. I personally would recommend not doing so and using root tabs only if growth of a particular plant species is not good.
 

Goncalo Oliveira

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Hello Matt, thanks for your help.
1. Could it affect plants aswell?
2. Will look into it.
3. I wasn't planning to because its such a small tank.
4. That's good.
 

Goncalo Oliveira

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Hello guys, so I went to The Aquarium Design Centre today and bought some Dragons Stone and Tropica Aquarium Soil.
Working in the hardscape atm

I though I needed more substrate so I bought Fluval Shrimps and Plants Stratum, is it okay to mix them or should I put one on top of the other?
?temp_hash=3134cebc21983b77fda7b3b9079f82d6.jpg

Thinking about lights now, can I have a nice carpet without co2 just with lights and maybe fertilizers?
On the little area on the corner I'll put some white sand.
 

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Goncalo Oliveira

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Changed the hardscape a little bit. Going to post new photo later.
Do you guys have any strategy to put the rocks on the left together without looking so fake? Maybe with moss ?

I didn't want to have co2 because of the cost, I'm thinking of putting easy/medium plants like:
-Eleocharis acicularis Mini (close to the rocks and maybe the glass)
-Micranthemum Monte Carlo or Marsilea Crenata
(carpet - I love hemianthus callitrichoides cuba but they're harder)
-Hydrocotyle leucocephala (background)
-Bacopa Caroliniana (background)

Would love some suggestions on plants aswell.
 
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Take a look at
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis for your carpet.

I really like Bacopa, it is so underused. Especially in nano aquariums where the small leaves work well. The areal roots of hydrocotyle are really off putting after a while.

The rocks need to have the strata aligned in the same direction to look more natural
 

alto

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Especially in nano aquariums where the small leaves work well
:confused:
Bacopa caroliniana small leafed?

There varieties have smaller leaf structure but more demanding requirements to thrive
Bacopa australis
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Bacopaaustralis(043A)/4466
Bacopa ‘Compact’ (form of B monnieri)
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Bacopa'Compact'(044A)/4467

You might consider as a background plant, it’s more delicate in appearance (though still may have aerial roots depending)
Cardamine lyrata
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Cardaminelyrata(024)/4441

I find E aciculari mini grows rather faster (in my soft tap water) than L brasiliensis (Filipe Oliveira uses this often in his aquascapes)
 

alto

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Tropica Aquarium Soil.
If you purchased the Powder, I’d layer this over the Fluval (which usually has larger particle size)

If this going to be a tank for expensive shrimp, I’d approach Fluval Stratum with some caution as despite the name, there have been numerous reports on US Shrimp forums of issues with this soil (poor breeding to complete colony losses)
 

Goncalo Oliveira

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Take a look at
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis for your carpet.

I really like Bacopa, it is so underused. Especially in nano aquariums where the small leaves work well. The areal roots of hydrocotyle are really off putting after a while.

The rocks need to have the strata aligned in the same direction to look more natural

I like the lilaeopsis aswell so I'm probably going to mix a little bit of carpet plants.
Aerial roots doesn't look great IMO
I understand the aligned strata but the only way I can cover the filter I think is to put it like this, it's been a pain in my a** ..
Thanks for replying!
 

Goncalo Oliveira

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:confused:
Bacopa caroliniana small leafed?

There varieties have smaller leaf structure but more demanding requirements to thrive
Bacopa australis
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Bacopaaustralis(043A)/4466
Bacopa ‘Compact’ (form of B monnieri)
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Bacopa'Compact'(044A)/4467

You might consider as a background plant, it’s more delicate in appearance (though still may have aerial roots depending)
Cardamine lyrata
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Cardaminelyrata(024)/4441

I find E aciculari mini grows rather faster (in my soft tap water) than L brasiliensis (Filipe Oliveira uses this often in his aquascapes)

I picked the caroliana because it was easy, but I prefer the compact, probably going to use it and the cardamine looks really good thank your for your suggestions!

The tank is still dry so I haven't tested tap water because I think the soil will alter the parameters but I'm pretty sure my water is hard.
 

Goncalo Oliveira

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If you purchased the Powder, I’d layer this over the Fluval (which usually has larger particle size)

If this going to be a tank for expensive shrimp, I’d approach Fluval Stratum with some caution as despite the name, there have been numerous reports on US Shrimp forums of issues with this soil (poor breeding to complete colony losses)

I'd really love to have shrimps, but I have to see if my water lets me. What do you consider expensive shrimps? I was thinking yellow sakuras, bloody Mary sakuras, tiger and amano shrimps (I don't even know if they can all live together )
That's not good, but I'm hoping my will be okay.
 
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They can all live together fine. Some might try and breed and if they cross breed they can loose their colour. Neocardinia and cardinal shrimp cannot cross breed so you can still have 2 colours of smaller shrimp. Whether you think they are expensive is down to you, all I'll say is don't knock the 'standard' red cherries, they look great in a planted tank :)
 
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Yes if you Google Images shrimp breeding charts you will see what can interbreed. They don't mix colours so much as revert to natural state (mud brown).
 

Goncalo Oliveira

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Hello guys,
Filter: interpet pf1
Heater: Fluval e50
Lights: nicrew RGB LED 24/7 automated
So this is how the tank is looking now, I gave up on the idea that the stones should cover the filter and the heater so I'm thinking it will be easier to cover them with plants.
IMG_20190626_184327.jpg
I pretty much have decided which plants I want and I'm going to make an order soon.
Monte Carlo for most of the carpet mixed with some Marsilea Crenata.
A. Reineckii mini in some spots aswell.
For the background ludwigia palustris and lindernia rotundifolia.
And 2 nano moss balls in the sand.
I don't want to use CO2 injection so I'm thinking of using liquid co2 in the beggining and then just the fertilizers. What do you think?

Thanks.
 

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cbaum86

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Hey,

Nice work so far and great that you are considering the final vision of how the hardscape and plants will work together. For me (in my amateur opinion o_O), the hardscape doesn't quite sit right.

The vertical stone on the right contradicts and 'blocks' the flow.
For me, its the beginnings of a triangle composition with things flowing down from your filter towards the sand area. Whether you do that with levels/terraces of stone (a bit like this) or angling them and using the stratum of the stone (similar to this) - if that makes sense.
I'd try to integrate that stone on the right with the others to create a flow which leads your eye around the tank.
If you wanted to create a bit more of an 'aggressive' scape you could try create an almost 'V' with the stones but continuing the lines of the stone work so they all meet at a certain point.
One last point - which may not matter as much when planted - but try to bury the stones a little more as they kinda look like they are floating at the moment rather than naturally being embedded in the substrate.

Wow - that was hard to explain in words. Hope it made sense and wasn't offensive.

Looking forwards to seeing it develop.
 

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Goncalo Oliveira

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For me (in my amateur opinion o_O), the hardscape doesn't quite sit right.
Thank you for your opinion, I actually feel the same and don't know what to do. I kinda wanted to take it all apart and start over but unfortunately I was to eager to put the sand in there and now it's going to be a bit problematic to take it out if I want to.

I really like the rock on the vertical and the colour is different from the others but maybe I'll try to put it horizontaly but I have no idea how to fuse this different stones so it looks uniform.
Idk if any of this makes sense but it's how I feel right now :///
 
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Keith GH

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Keith GH

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Goncalo Oliveira
I kinda wanted to take it all apart and start over but unfortunately I was to eager to put the sand in

This would be the biggest mistake by many beginners make in the beginning and in the long run it can take more time to improve the Aquascape.

img_20190626_184327-jpg.jpg


now it's going to be a bit problematic to take it out if I want to.

Personally I think you have taken several steps backwards and created this Aquascape .

What to do next leave it alone knowing you rushed it or make several changes and create an excellent Aquascape.

Keith:wave::wave:
 
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