Carpet not carpeting.

Wookii

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I apologise for being twitchy about giving a FTS. It has an aquarium bonsai, which I saw described by someone on these forums as "naff" in a way that suggested that all would obviously agree, and I'm frankly hypersensitive- I've felt very embarrassed about being the sort of person who would want something "naff", so I'd resolved to keep it to myself so I can enjoy it without someone making fun of me. I'm very embarrassed to admit that in the open, but there it is.

I have to say, it really is sad to read that, and a real shame that you feel that way.

Like many things in life, aquaria are absolutely a matter of personal taste, and if you enjoy what you have created it doesn’t matter one jot what anyone else thinks. We’re all hopefully well past being the embarrassed kid in the playground wearing the Dunlop trainers our parents bought us when everyone else has Nike’s.

I do get it - I look at the wonderful creations some very skilled people come up with on this forum, and then look at my own pitiful hardscape attempts, and have to double check the gin cupboard to make sure I didn’t accidentally drink a bottle whilst trying to do it.

But then, once it’s all grown in, and the plants take charge, it become much less of a factor. Then when my kids peer into the tank in awe, and my daughter starts trying to count baby shrimp or name all the fish, it really doesn’t seem to matter at all, because ultimately it always should be about nothing more than the pleasure it gives to you and those close to you.
 

alto

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@lilirose
Important Shrimp Fact
- not all colour lines are equal, even within the same variant so I strongly recommend NOT following anyone else (even Mr Barr) blindly :)

I suggest doing some background reading on sites such as
https://www.shrimpspot.com/

Unfortunately it’s not as active as it once was and some awesome very experienced shrimp keepers have “retired” but the forum has maintained older content through site upgrades

You’ve already observed your shrimp displaying stress behaviour wrt CO2 levels so even though Chris Lukhaup (who I consider a much more authentic arbiter of aquarium shrimp husbandry (and more) than others mentioned here :cool:) considers shrimp keeping to be compatible with high tech, you are the only person actually observing your shrimp IRL

And it’s much easier to gradually add “more” (water changes, fertilizers etc) than to frantically react when you observe your shrimp in distress after following some distant advice (that your shrimp should be fine with)

 

alto

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Mixing moss and anubias on the tree was, in hindsight, an awful idea when CO2 is part of the equation- the moss keeps trying to overgrow the anubias and it's extremely dense. Should have picked one or the other but they're well intertwined now.
Rather than scissor trimming the moss, just use your fingers to “pull” trim the moss - this should encourage more compact and lateral growth giving a dense mat, which you can easily thin out using the same hand method, as long as the Anubias is healthy it should manage decent growth ... though how well your moss responds depends somewhat on the moss species

It’s fine to trim the moss frequently (daily even)

You can even remove most of the moss, leaving only tiny amounts stuck to wood/crevices etc and let it regrow with more training this time
 

lilirose

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@alto , very excellent and useful tips, thank you. I'd been thinking earlier this evening that I'd very gradually increase ferts/nutes and watch very carefully, as regardless of which shrimp keeper you listen to, they likely would all agree that shrimp prefer stability above all.

So I won't do anything sudden, besides taking a pair of scissors to the MC and the moss. The moss (which is Christmas moss transplanted from another one of my tanks) has grown into something that reminds me of felt, but I guess the solution for it is to train it be a little more "open" again.
 

alto

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I really had my heart set on Caridina in this one.
MC can grow quite nicely without CO2, and low levels of CO2 are a nice luxury - I don’t notice any plants in your FTS that I’ve not seen grow quite nicely without CO2 - albeit more slowly
Low levels of CO2 should be fine as well

In terms of water parameters for these shrimp, go back to the shrimp source for how the breeder is keeping them (or shop that hopefully has some details from the seller ... or not, depending on how shrimp were sourced)
If you can’t obtain any specific parameters, look at general species information, and then The Shrimp Spot for general and personal reports
I’d also suggest reading through Forum Archives over at Mustafa Ucozler’s Petshrimp.com

Possibly worth a listen
http://scapeclub.org/forum/showthre...entation-w-Mustafa-Ucozler-quot-Jan-2014-quot
In case you missed this wonderful journal from @Iain Sutherland

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/taiwan-bee-not-so-nano.53779/
 

alto

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besides taking a pair of scissors to the MC
I’ve not read through all the comments yet, but rather than scissors, I’d slowly, gently WITH syphon running as this is Amazonia! lift a couple sections of MC, and split into bunches to be planted out

(I do any plant “processing” inside a shallow bin with water, to minimize leaf etc trauma)

Then do a water change after planting - I’m always careful of Amazonia releasing ammonia etc when disturbed - or add 5-10X Prime dose (prediluted as I’m a Shrimp Conservative) just in case

Then small daily water changes for a few days (though if you’ve a Seachem Ammonia Alert I usually just follow this, changing water as soon as there’s any color change)
 

lilirose

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@alto, thanks again for all the lovely tips and links. I actually did the maintenance before I read your post today, but I both replanted and trimmed the carpet plants all over the tank. Did more trimming than replanting this time but when it thickens back up I will transplant to more bare spots. I removed loads of matted moss from the tree, was stunned at how much needed removed. Then did a water change.

I forgot to mention that my source water is RO remineralised with Salty Shrimp.

These shrimp are very much cheap LFS stock, low grade, etc. The guy who sold them to me is mostly a Discus enthusiast, not a shrimp person. Tried to tell me that me CRS and CBS could not interbreed, so I'd consider any advice suspect.

I think my biggest mistake was thinking I needed to be hands-off until it grew in, that's been remedied and I'm glad of it, I actually wanted a tank that needs a lot of plant maintenance.

Will post another pic of the tank when the water clears (yes I am a bit of a shrimp potion aficionado, but it's only a biofilm enchancer that works well in my other tanks).
 

Siege

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cheers For the photo. Helps massively -

- Yes CO2 looks very low. The Monte Carlo looks like it is growing without any CO2. Turn this up slowly. The shrimp should be fine.

- You don’t have to go full on light green / yellow on the drop checker. A light moss green will be fine.

- water level is very low. The massive surface movement is Probably gassing off loads of co2. More than is ideal.

- The Twinstar diffuser is brilliant. Put that on and clean it bleach whilst running regularly to keep it clean with a fine mist. You’ll find a video on YouTube if you donot do this process already.

Tree looks cool. Love that shadow!

cheers.

s.
 

lilirose

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Thanks @Siege -

The CO2 was off in the first pic, needed to swap cylinders, have done that today. Drop checker is still straight blue, but as I said, the current diffuser is not working properly and is being replaced as I'm not pleased with anything about it. I can get it green but will fix this when I have the new diffuser tomorrow-ish.

Also did the maintenance, PWC, topped it up, cleaned the glass (why do I often forget what a huge difference that will make?)

Twinstar diffuser was due today but is late, will hook it up as soon as.

New FTS plus one of a little shrimp which aten't dead yet...
 

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sparkyweasel

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I'm one of those that doesn't care for the kind of bonsai that looks like a tree on a hill. But I wouldn't call them naff, - some people like them and it doesn't bother me what they put in their own tanks.
But I really like your bonsai, it looks like the entrance to a forest. Possibly an enchanted forest. :)
 

rebel

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I would increase CO2 by 10% and do nothing else. Carpet is looking good; just need a nudge to spread.
 

lilirose

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Twinstar diffuser installed, now will begin the process of dialling in the CO2 again. It diffuses much better, like night and day compared with the glass one. It looks like all the CO2 is diffusing into the water (the bubbles circulate whilst getting smaller and smaller). I have it at 1bps today, will raise or lower if needed tomorrow.

Thanks to all for the encouragement, I think I needed it even more than I needed help with the tank!

At this stage the biggest thing that bothers me about the tank is how high the substrate is at the front. Can I do anything about it at this late stage? Will it look better when the MC grows in? Or should I put it down as a lesson for next time?
 

Wookii

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Twinstar diffuser installed, now will begin the process of dialling in the CO2 again. It diffuses much better, like night and day compared with the glass one. It looks like all the CO2 is diffusing into the water (the bubbles circulate whilst getting smaller and smaller). I have it at 1bps today, will raise or lower if needed tomorrow.

Thanks to all for the encouragement, I think I needed it even more than I needed help with the tank!

At this stage the biggest thing that bothers me about the tank is how high the substrate is at the front. Can I do anything about it at this late stage? Will it look better when the MC grows in? Or should I put it down as a lesson for next time?

Whilst it always helps to slope the soil at set-up - personally I think you should be able to create a sufficient impression of height with plants. Once your pogostemon grows to a better height at the rear, you could look to add some mid-ground plants to smooth the transition between that and your carpeting plants.
 

lilirose

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Whilst it always helps to slope the soil at set-up - personally I think you should be able to create a sufficient impression of height with plants. Once your pogostemon grows to a better height at the rear, you could look to add some mid-ground plants to smooth the transition between that and your carpeting plants.

I'll be honest- I was kind of going for almost Iwagumi, except I couldn't resist putting in the Pogostemon because I love the way it looks in tanks with CO2- I thought it might look like trees in the far distance or something like that.

This is literally my first ever high-tech scape (no really? :lol: ) so I am happy to take advice and change directions so I end up with something that looks good.

I'd also like someone to tell me if I'm better off starting a tank journal, because it's going to be a journey, I can see that.
 

Wookii

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I'll be honest- I was kind of going for almost Iwagumi, except I couldn't resist putting in the Pogostemon because I love the way it looks in tanks with CO2- I thought it might look like trees in the far distance or something like that.

This is literally my first ever high-tech scape (no really? :lol: ) so I am happy to take advice and change directions so I end up with something that looks good.

I'd also like someone to tell me if I'm better off starting a tank journal, because it's going to be a journey, I can see that.

Lol well, I'm not expert, but I think you kinda need rocks for an Iwagumi :D . . . so maybe add some decent side pieces of stone in the midground instead then.
 

lilirose

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Lol well, I'm not expert, but I think you kinda need rocks for an Iwagumi :D . . . so maybe add some decent side pieces of stone in the midground instead then.


Okay, I see that "Bonsai with carpet" doesn't count as Iwagumi, I think I used the term wrong. I don't want to add rocks.

However, there is a bare spot right in front of the Pogostemon. Was trying to fill it in with MC, but maybe something else would be better?
 

Wookii

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Okay, I see that "Bonsai with carpet" doesn't count as Iwagumi, I think I used the term wrong. I don't want to add rocks.

However, there is a bare spot right in front of the Pogostemon. Was trying to fill it in with MC, but maybe something else would be better?

As I say, I think if you added some mid-ground plants, it would smooth the transition between the carpet and the height the Pogostemon will eventually get to.

As for what mid-ground plants, the world is your oyster there. I'd go on the Tropica site, and filter by Midground as a starting point: https://tropica.com/en/plants/search/?mode=search&sew=&dif=&pgr=&ori=&use=Mellemgrund#

Then check out other journals on here, and look for lower level plants you like the look of.
 

Jayefc1

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If the soil hight bothers you that much when the mc grows in and the roots give the soil more structure and stability you can use a credit card pushed down the glass to the hight you want and the gently push the soil back a little giving the impression of it sloping more than it is if you get what I mean i guess its not pushing the soil back more creating a angle away from the glass
 

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