65 gallon tall planted

JoshP12

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Well, most of the things are in place; it is now time to start the hard scape.

I am keen to use a substrate beneath my soil (which I am not sure what to use yet) as a platform and am thinking of using fluorite. I’d appreciate any feedback on this idea.

The problem is, I need to put the soil choices down before I can plunk the hard scape in properly —> yet the hard scape layout will dictate the soil choice/gradient — oh the cyclic process!

I will post a picture later this evening, but I am thinking of using both pieces of wood that I have and dragonstone; all of the scapes I see with dragonstone do not use my kind of driftwood —> so I am at an additional crossroads.

Please weigh in, if you have any ideas.

i uploaded a photo of a random placement of the one piece of wood — I’ll upload a second photo with the second chunk shortly.
 

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JoshP12

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Adding some more photos now.

The pieces are just sitting in the tank to inspire me.

I’ll add close ups, if anyone has any neat intuitions.

I will be adding more to the collection as time passes.

V comp, island, triangle, side ...? Do these pieces speak to anyone?
 

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JoshP12

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AHA!

The dragonstone placement is meh — it will move — but the wood!! Imagine it a bit higher though with the substrate.

I need some input though: do I go island, do I go off centre; where do you think I should place those?

Time to buy more hardscape :).
 

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PARAGUAY

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The last piece added (last picture) might look better with a branch or two coming off it just my opinion OC. Could look different again with moss and something like java fern on
 

Kezzab

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The last one with the wood emerging i.like best. But that big piece of wood just looks like a stick you found, with bark and stuff still on? If it is its likely to cause you ammonia problems as the bark rots (been there). Id try and find a replacement bit thats consistent with the other pieces you have.
K
 

JoshP12

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The last one with the wood emerging i.like best. But that big piece of wood just looks like a stick you found, with bark and stuff still on? If it is its likely to cause you ammonia problems as the bark rots (been there). Id try and find a replacement bit thats consistent with the other pieces you have.
K

Haha! Yes- I have actually found them all; I plan to pressure wash and boil that long branch and potentially crack it in half - will that reduce ammonia leech? I have used the smaller of the two woods in a tank and had no leech after this procedure (but maybe it is just the nature of the wood?).

Josh
 

JoshP12

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The last piece added (last picture) might look better with a branch or two coming off it just my opinion OC. Could look different again with moss and something like java fern on
I was thinking the same thing —> I will probably snap it down the centre and see what happens.
 

Kezzab

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Haha! Yes- I have actually found them all; I plan to pressure wash and boil that long branch and potentially crack it in half - will that reduce ammonia leech? I have used the smaller of the two woods in a tank and had no leech after this procedure (but maybe it is just the nature of the wood?).

Josh
Hi - in my experience it's the bark that's the problem, get that off then pre-soak the wood and you should be fine. I'm not sure boiling is necessary, i never have for any wood i've found 'in the wild'.
K
 

JoshP12

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Hi - in my experience it's the bark that's the problem, get that off then pre-soak the wood and you should be fine. I'm not sure boiling is necessary, i never have for any wood i've found 'in the wild'.
K

Got it! Thanks. I was just impatient to try it out (still had my work gloves on from bringing it inside from outside — haha).

Side note: you brought up a good point about finding another bit that is consistent (going to be very challenging to find the same genus of wood) - can the wood be close enough and it won’t break that “rule”? I mean, I think that big stick fits, (minus the bark) but it is “different”.

Josh
 

Kezzab

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I reckon you're thinking too much. Get scaping. You'll learn from your mistakes and if you're like most others on here you'll be irching to rescape it differently in a few months! If you like how it looks, go for it.
K
 

JoshP12

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Got some more rocks!

I’ll keep updating as I collect more!

Thinking of a sand bank deep into the left - potentially around the rock with hair grass exclusively - and tapering around the woods into the corner.

Further thinking:
1) get more height in the back
2) maybe reposition to get a deeper perspective and push for some more layers.
 

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Kezzab

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Sounds good. Dont make sand too deep, it can get compacted and create anaerobic conditions underneath which when disturbed can put nasties in the tank. If you want height and banking use an aquasoil.
K
 

JoshP12

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Ok - was able to take advantage of some height on the left - I think it definitely gives a deeper feeling.


Thinking about what to do with the right side.

Would love to know, if adding that on the left cluttered it or actually made it better.

Note that soil is not in yet and that factor on its own may change the placement of several things: but I think the idea stays valid.

Josh
 

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JoshP12

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So I scrapped it. Time to start again.

What are other people’s process here (I’ll obviously document the continuation as I am excited for this tank)?

I have learned why taller tanks are challenging (you need to get that hardscape to the top and that’s tough with 3 feet of height) and how depth is extremely important as it makes it easier to establish depth and how you need to have lots of hardscape to choose from .

Do I just go for a layout plant and stock OR continue this loop collecting woods/rock (I am thinking of switching to granite/inert rock chunks including, but not limited to, dragonstone) and re-scaping until I am happy?

Part of my trepidation, is that in this current house, I will only have room for this one tank (I have my old 10 gallon growing plants right now - like a baby farm), so I won’t be able to scape this and move on to the next project (unless it’s a 10 gallon that I hide - haha).

I am trying things out with regards to dosing regimes etc in the 10 gallon so I can make some more mistakes before the 65.

Cheers.
 

Kezzab

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It's up to you how long you practice the scape for, i run out a patience pretty quick others take months planning hardscape.

I think the thing you really need to do is get some substrate which you can then use to create tje overall shape of your scape (incliding building height) and then start placing hardscape. At the moment you're placing hardscape flat on the base of the tank and it's hard to get anything looking great like that.

Check out any of the ADA or Green Aqua vids on youtube to see how they use substrate.

It will make a huge difference if you do this.

K
 

JoshP12

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Thanks @Kezzab !

Ironically, I do have some bags of substrate laid out that I was going to place in as a temporary place holder, I just haven’t decided which brand of Aquasoil to go with ‍♂: fluval or Tropica ... I can’t get ADA here. It probably doesn’t matter, so I should just buy one and go for it.
 

JoshP12

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I dumped in some old gravel (about 10kg) just to play with the height, and I noticed that scaping with the substrate makes a huge difference (obviously right?). Unfortunately, I don't have enough.

The natural idea would be to go buy the soil, layer it in, and then scape; but, for some reason, I am reluctant to use the aquarium soils! I am not sure if I am cheap or having fun; or, the most likely alternative, the less I spend, the happier my wife is, the longer I can keep the hobby, and baking soil extends the enjoyment of the hobby into other disciplines.

So, all that to say, I may try to mineralize top soil and cap it black diamond blasting sand. The cap with sand is something I have never done -- If I just use the soil, I feel that the slopes will be difficult to keep -- a sand cap, that facilitates the slopes will be easier (at least I have read that), but will the cap become anaerobic if it is too high? (I could always layer the MTS higher and add supports in the aquarium to hold it strong.

The MTS link (https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com...-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html) - although from another site.

If I can get some advice on this route, then I will most definitely go get a bunch of the sand and I can practice scape with it while I mineralize the soil, empty it, fill up the soil inside, and then rescape.

Any thoughts? Do we have any threads like this on UKAPS that I have not seen? I always appreciate everyone's input.

If this would be highly unsuggested, let me know and I will just get the aquarium soil.

Cheers,
Josh
 
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Kezzab

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