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Glenda Steel

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2 Jul 2014
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Lincolnshire England
I would like some help if I may please? I am planning on rescaping our 46L Fluval Edge (the tall one) and absolutely love this aquascape by Oliver Knott.
upload_2018-5-10_18-50-8.png


I would still consider myself a beginner as I set our first aquarium up 4 years ago and it has been a very steep learning curve. I would like to ask whether the scape pictured would be manageable for someone with 4 years experience as a long term aquascape, in particular the care of the plants. I have had a bad experience with a vallisneria taking over the tank below as I hadn't realised it couldn't be trimmed! I also have never grown a carpet plant before. The planting list is as follows: Eleocharis parvula mini, Hydrocotyle sp. Japan, Juncus repens. Can the Juncus repens be trimmed as you would do with a stem plant? As far as maintenance of our current tank, I religiously do a thorough weekly clean (glass, vacuum the substrate, filter clean, pruning dead leaves etc) plus a 50% water change. Unfortunately I made the mistake of using inert sand/gravel as a substrate and coupled with the design of the Fluval Edge the weekly maintenance takes me over one and a half hours. I am keen to now rescape and follow Mr Knott's stunning design! This photo
upload_2018-5-10_18-55-7.png

is my first attempt at an aquascape and has many things wrong with it (in particular the Vallis took over and ended up as a 'comb over'!) which is why over the 4 years I have gradually changed it to this but it's still not working!
upload_2018-5-10_18-58-26.png

please excuse the terrible photos of mine
 

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Edvet

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Photo's aren"t terrible. Inert sand can work no problem, just feed through the column.
Perhaps it is an idea to get some pots of the new plants and incorporate them in the "old"scape to see if you can grow them and how they behave. Maybe even trim and plant the trimmings out and gradually change the scape.
 

Glenda Steel

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Thanks Edvert! I do feed daily with a complete liquid fertiliser (The Aquascaper Complete) which is doing great things! However what you don't see on the photos is that the wood has fallen apart after 4 years with just separate small bits left and the plants are pretty much balance on top of one another. Every time I do the tank maintenance I destroy the scape and have to rebuild it! There really isn't any hardscape left and I'm desperate to create something fresh as I've been struggling so hard with the layout as it stands.
 

alto

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I'd do a complete rescape :)
- so much more fun :D

The soil will look "cleaner" than white sand, as will other darker sands (I like the greys though they are uncommon locally), if you go with Aquarium Soil, I'd suggest Tropica Powder as particle size will look nice in this tank, it's easier to plant in than the larger, less uniform soils (just physics, it fills in about the newly planted stem more uniformly), no ammonia release so you can return stock to tank, it's well liked by plants ;)

Oliver Knotts scape looks fairly straight forward
Eleocharis parvula mini, Hydrocotyle sp. Japan, Juncus repens
Grass options - check out Tropica write ups for each plant to see which is likely to work out best for you
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis - this has the greatest light, CO2 requirement to obtain reasonable growth rate, otherwise it can be very slow & prone to algae, but as it is slow growing, it's lowest maintenance
Helanthium tenellum green
Sagittaria subulata
Eleocharis acicularis 'mini' - this can be reluctant to establish in non CO2, low light (ambient light can help overcome the Edge limitations, also you may be able to upgrade your Edge to the new LED)

H tripartita - happy enough with low CO2, but does prefer moderate light

Juncus repens - flowgrow.de has a good write up & photos, just clip at the node, you can replant these "tops" in increase density, it likes to grow up so the Edge would suit it

Stones - just find shape, texture that's interesting
 

Glenda Steel

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Thanks Alto! Funny you should mention "cleaner", the sand drives me crazy at it only looks clean in the evening! Thanks for the recommendation re the soil, I've been looking at the Tropica Powder as I will need to put the fish/shrimp/snails back in as soon as it's finished so that's now definitely on the list! As far as the lighting is concerned the Edge that we have does have the new LED lights so will stick with those and it's a very light room so ambient light adds a lot. I will take a look at your suggestions re the plants, thank you. With the trimming of the Juncus repens, should I trim them below the level of sight to allow for the increased stem density? Re the stones: I'm planning a trip to Aquarium gardens so feel sure they will have something wonderful! I would like to stick to the Oliver Knott scape as closely as possible as I feel it's a good way to learn about plant care when the uncertainty of the aqauascape has been taken care of!
 

alto

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I suggest just growing the J repens & see how it goes, I've not grown it in ages (not readily available locally)
As I recall, the new growth is usually "nicer" than old growth, so try for a mixed bed as your J repens allows
(ie replant the trimmed stems at ground level, occasionally removing older plants or trimming all older leaves back to ground level)

Take a photo with you to AG - even better email in advance of your trip & make sure suitable stone & plants are available
 

alto

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:)
Just take loads of photos

How far/long is the trip?
(don't forget you may be able to coincide your visit with George Farmer maintenance day ;) )
 

Glenda Steel

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incorporate them in the "old"scape to see if you can grow them
Edvert, I've been having a think about your advice and I have now decided to stick with the plants I already know work well in the Fluval Edge but introduce new varieties and one new plant species: bucephalandra. I already know how well anubias works in our tank and love the clean, neat lines. I originally tried an Anubias cogensis in my first setup but thought it too large, however having see this beautiful aquascape ("Hidden Paths" by Urban Aquaria please see attached photos) using Anubias angustifolia (which I think is a similar size to the cogensis) I think that may work for the background height. I am still intending to use a dark soil but will welcome advice as to whether it would look better with a small area of white cosmetic sand in the foreground.
upload_2018-5-14_15-18-17.png
 

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alto

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Any white cosmetic sand will have same issues you're currently facing - in the photo, tank is open & sand is easily stirred, syphoned, replaced (refreshed ;) ) as needed,
Sometimes you'll hit the sweet spot & sand can remain quite clean with minimal intervention - burrowing snails, sand sifting fish (corydoras, gobies, botias etc) & shrimp will all help to keep sand relatively free of debris/algae

I suspect flow is part of of the challenge with this Fluval Edge

I have now decided to stick with the plants I already know work well in the Fluval Edge
Don't give In so easily :D
That Oliver Knott Edge does look as if the plants have grown in - & not just done up for a photoshoot
Do you have the link to the tank (rather than just the photo)?
 

Glenda Steel

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Don't give In so easily :D
Not so much giving in re the Oliver Knott scape but changing my mind :happy: which my husband will concur is something I do a lot!!!! The sand is only causing issues in areas hard to reach in the Edge, however the front sand is manageable/reachable so I was thinking of having soil in the majority (held in place with rock) with sand just towards the front if I do opt for sand that is!
Yes I think you're right re the Oliver Knott Edge plants having grown in (this is a link to the planting:
http://www.pbase.com/plantella/fluval_edge_2_by_oliver_knott_2) and I'm sure he wouldn't design anything that wouldn't work. However, this is a youtube video of the "Hidden Paths" by Urban Aquaria and I ADORE IT!!! This is more the "tropical" feel I would love to capture and reminds me of holidays to Thailand and Malaysia which would be so nice to have in our sitting room!
 

alto

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Not to dissuade you from this scape - but OK's is likely an easier combination to "balance" re healthy plant growth & minimal algae (due to the combination of plants chosen)

I assume you followed the setup & progress of this tank (60 weeks was the last update I found, I much preferred the scape at 16 weeks with Buce & more open substrate)
Also note the use of fairly high CO2 30ppm (this is a more useful # than the bps - which seems contradictory to the posted CO2 level)

I'd not add any aquarium soil - all these plants are epiphytes
Note the initial density of planting, that's a considerable outlay as slow growing Anubias (& Buce) tend to cost more regardless of supplier (generally cheaper supplier means fewer or lower grade rhizomes, eg, several rhizome pieces with a couple leaves attached rather than 1-2 well established rhizomes of several leafs each, also outdoor/pond grown plants rather than nursery plants)

As you can observe from the tank's progress, nutrient balancing is not the easiest, Anubias are slow to show deficiencies, & even slower to recover

You might try addding in some H pinnatafida &/or H tripartita when establishing the scape
(I'd also use Tropica or similar commercial fertilizers to establish the scape, trialing EI type methods only after plants are established ie transitioned to immerse culture)
 

Glenda Steel

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Thanks Alto for your helpful advice and taking the time to help I really appreciate it. I perhaps should have said that I intend to re-use the anubias I have in the new scape. All have done exceptionally well (far more growth now than in the photo shown at the top) low tech with a daily dose of The Aquascaper Complete Liquid Plant food which has micro and macro nutrients including Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK). Much easier that EL powders and has performed far better for me than Tropica and Seachem Flourish with plenty of new growth and I even have had flowers! The soil was to help with nutrient storing as I want this to be a long term set up. I have been following the progress of the above tank and can appreciate both the 16 week and 60 week planting so will be happy if I could achieve either! I'll look at your suggestions re the additional planting thank you.
 

alto

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Sounds as if you're doing very well with your Edge now :)

The soil was to help with nutrient storing as I want this to be a long term set up.
Just take care to thoroughly baricade soil from sand area :p
(have you seen the rock + filter wool technique?)

You could lalso use Juncus repens as an auxiliary plant at startup - though I suspect it's slower to get going than H tripartita
 

Glenda Steel

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Sounds as if you're doing very well with your Edge now :)
Thanks Alto I think I could do better though! I have seen the rock filter wool technique and also the substrate suppports, however.....I've decided to keep it all soil, as you said previously it will look cleaner! Thanks Alto I'll look at the plant suggestions.
 
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