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'Cozen' - Journey to IAPLC '22

Courtneybst

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Joined
5 Sep 2016
Messages
774
Location
London
I simply couldn't bare it anymore.

I'm currently working on my (first) IAPLC entry and it just felt totally wrong not sharing it with my UKAPS family. It's like having some kind of secret affair! I'm aware that there's some stuff I can't show you but I'll share what I can. Also I'm a total contest novice so I need the help haha. I'll do my best to condense the last 2 months of preparation in 2 minutes. 😬

This is my canvas...
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It's an All Pond Solutions 60 x 40 x 40 that I picked up from a now friend who's lurking on here somewhere...

I couldn't face having another generic stand and being cooped up inside drove me to a bit of creative madness. So I decided to paint the stand again. Covered the whole thing in white paint and then acrylic pour on the front door. I did a practice run on a mini canvas (which I actually prefer) but it's much harder to control on a bigger scale! I'm quite happy with the outcome however. I also decided to spray paint the Chihiros WRGB2 I'm using to match the stand and the surrounding area.
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Sometime in September/October I made several trips to Riverwood Aquatics and once to Aquarium Gardens to source mainly hardscape but plants too. I chose Frodo stone for the rock and a mixture of Manzanita, Talawa and Spiderwood for the wood. It sounds like too much wood going on but when you see them together it makes much more sense. A friend and I took bets at Riverwood how much all the Frodo weighed in and I guessed 15KG literally on the money. It was 15.00KG so I'm hoping that's good luck (I'll need it).
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I spent just shy of 2 months playing with hardscape, repositioning and experimenting and finally settled on a layout I am happy with. The theme is a creepy but mystical woodland inspired by Tulgey Woods in Alice and Wonderland. Pretty, but not everything is as it seems...This is probably the time to ask for layout feedback but I've already glued it all together. 😂 Dark start began yesterday!
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Toby C

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Joined
19 Mar 2021
Messages
36
Location
Warwickshire
The doors to the tank look really cool! I’m thinking of making an ADA style cabinet and that acrylic pour on has settled it. How easy was it to do?

The IAPLC contest tanks are always such teases! The hardscape looks great in the out of focus shot - good sense of depth.
 

Courtneybst

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Thread starter
Joined
5 Sep 2016
Messages
774
Location
London
The doors to the tank look really cool! I’m thinking of making an ADA style cabinet and that acrylic pour on has settled it. How easy was it to do?

The IAPLC contest tanks are always such teases! The hardscape looks great in the out of focus shot - good sense of depth.
Thank you!

It wasn't too difficult but I'm extremely inexperienced with acrylic pour (AKA never done it before this 😅). It wasn't too difficult but some of the paints I mixed too thin and some too thick so it's a bit skewwiff in places. The most difficult part was waiting for it to dry! It was well over a week...
 

John q

Member
Joined
6 Jan 2021
Messages
876
Location
Lancashire
Cabinet looks fantastic, very dreamy.. I'm sure the blured out tank shot and forest of mushrooms pic will leave folks feeling Curiouser and curiouser. Lol.
 

GTomas

Member
Joined
18 Apr 2020
Messages
51
Location
West Yorkshire, UK
I love the cabinet door. I can’t wait to see your entry next year. I have also started planting my contest scape last week. Planting is also usually the longest stage for me as I constantly plant and replant until I am happy with the result. Good luck 🤞 Cheers!
 

Courtneybst

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Thread starter
Joined
5 Sep 2016
Messages
774
Location
London
I love the cabinet door. I can’t wait to see your entry next year. I have also started planting my contest scape last week. Planting is also usually the longest stage for me as I constantly plant and replant until I am happy with the result. Good luck 🤞 Cheers!
Thanks mate! I think it'll be a long journey.

When you say plant and re-plant do you mean before or after you've flooded the tank?
 

GTomas

Member
Joined
18 Apr 2020
Messages
51
Location
West Yorkshire, UK
@Courtneybst I always flood the tank first as flooded scape looks different with all the reflections, then work out where what plants go. Once I have decided plants positions I drain water, plant, refill and repeat with every water change until I am completely satisfied.
 

Deano3

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Joined
8 Feb 2012
Messages
2,343
Love the cabinet very different, also scape looks very interesting cant wait to see it properly thanks for sharing, keep us up-to-date best you can 😁
 

Courtneybst

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5 Sep 2016
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774
Location
London
My plants arrived yesterday and so I planted up the scape a tiny bit earlier than planned. There's a few more arriving today I think but I wanted to get the bulk of it done. I was nudging the process along in my head because I have a holding tank that's irritating me and was very happy at the thought of dismantling it.

I acquired some new equipment from IKEA, suggested by @CooKieS and my God are they useful! They're essentially bathroom trays but they're being used to prepare plants on and as a waste bin. Definitely changed the game.

I got mostly in-vitro plants for this with the exception of some of the rare plants I added. The reason behind that was to minimise the introduction of pests and to start with healthy plants. No matter how many times I do this I always seem to forget just how much you get in the cups and pots and so it's densely planted for sure!

The whole process took around 5 hours. Things I learnt in the time; my plant glueing technique needs work lol and bloody hell I just need some ADA tools. I recently bought some angled tweezers from a brand I won't mention and they probably pull up plants worse than any other tool I've used. Luckily this didn't happen much, it was just at the end when I tried to readjust some things after flooding.

Also what's exciting is this is the first time I've been able to grow emersed plants in a scape because of the wood. I know they don't count on the competition but it's just for my pleasure. I've attached some Aridarum Caulescens with some strange moss that came attached to it that grew quite well in the buce box. I think I'll add some buce there too so I can get some flowering action, although it may be too close to the light.

So now we wait! I've got my lights on 40% and it seems plenty bright, CO2 is pumping and the filter is raging. Take on me!
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Karmicnull

Member
Joined
6 Sep 2020
Messages
522
Location
Cambridge
this is the first time I've been able to grow emersed plants in a scape because of the wood
Lovely! I've got a bit of 'tidal' wood that starts the week submerged and ends about a centimeter proud of the waterline. It's been colonised by moss but until I read your post it hadn't occurred to me that I could do something more adventurous.
 

Courtneybst

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Joined
5 Sep 2016
Messages
774
Location
London
Ooh, can you provide us with a link to this tray, they sound very useful
Yeah sure! The top link is for the tray and the bottom link is for the waste bin. Both clip on really well to the side of the tank (even my rimmed tank) and it's soooo useful.
Everything looks and sounds so good already Courtney, can't wait to see it when it's grown in! 😍
Thank you Rose! The emersed section is only small but I'm going to try as much as possible 😅
Lovely! I've got a bit of 'tidal' wood that starts the week submerged and ends about a centimeter proud of the waterline. It's been colonised by moss but until I read your post it hadn't occurred to me that I could do something more adventurous.
Absolutely! I originally bought the Aridarum thinking it would go in the scape but when it arrived it was quite obvious that it is more of a terrestrial plant. Nevertheless, it has a home now! You could try all sorts of plants, I just added some Terra tape on the sections where the wood doesn't wick up enough water.
 
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