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Discus playground tank - rescape


28 Feb 2008
The tank is rescaped after just about a month of dosing dry powders and EI. The glosso and Riccia grew so healthy after NPK added; however Java ferns and moss were not doing well in the tank. Algae presenting, lack of water circulation, and a crowdedly plant scape are among the reasons why I decided to rescape.

This time, as you might guess, water circulation must improve, understand and prevent algae blossing at the beginning of the task, plus a simple scape are the main objectives. Hence a powerhead is introduced to increase water circulation, only uninfected or very minor infected plants (if applicable) are going to be replanted. The Riccia fluitans play the main role in this scape’s foreground. NPK doses using EI method. The UV unit will be turned off completely as after my experiment it proved the UV caused the Fe disappearing for unexplained reasons.

Here is the link to a final shot of the previous Discus playground tank:

I split this journal into three parts as the process took a lot of times and a lot of photos taken. First part is below, more photos to upload on the second part of this journal, showing the selected healthy plants, replant them and final shots after the scape done. On the third part of journal will show photos took on first day and second day of the tank.

Removed Glosso:

Drawing tank water out half way:

Tank with subtrates:

A new 5kg slate and a new piece of wood washed before putting in the tank:

Some equipments:

And plants outside the tank:

Removed algaes and infected leaves:


A AquaClear 802 powerhead output of 25l/min. 400 gph

Putting the decor together for a preview scape:

And while looking at the tank with new design, have a break and watching a live football match Arsnal vs Juventus

After a quick break and happy with the preview design, take the wood out and spread Riccia on it, insert few small Microsorum pteropus ''Narrow'' in a whole of the wood to create a center point, tighten together with black cotton threads.


Wood with Riccia is placed back to its position. There is a empty place behind the wood so this will fill with another portion of Riccia. Cut a small plastic net from B&Q to fit in that corner

A closer look at the empty place filled by a small square plastic mash:

Take out the mash and spread Riccia over and tighten with cotton thread. To hold down the mash add four small white pebbles at each corner of the mash. Some glosso add to create a natural look when the plants have established

Place a mash with Riccia back to its position:

Use two green pebbles and tighten with Riccia. Place them in front of a slate to hide the gap:


Positioning Anubias and small ‘ferns on wood’ just behind the slate and next to a join between a wood and slate to cover up the gap.

After a quick preview, carefully remove the slate and place a small portion of Hemianthus callitrichoides (not sure I got this plant name correct) on a top of it, add small ferns next to the Hemianthus and tighten them together with cotton threads. Some of small ferms have been infected black hair agleas (not much on them). I wanted to leave them in to find out whether the algea can possible be gone by adding nutrients & CO2.


Part two to follow.


Thread starter
28 Feb 2008
Re: Discuss playground tank - rescape

Only problem with SkyHD is there are not many channels at the present, plus £10 per month extra add-on.
It's worth to have it.


Thread starter
28 Feb 2008
Re: Discuss playground tank - rescape

Part two - plants selection and a final layout of the tank, and a brief summary why i think I chose Riccia over Glosso for a foreground this time.

I got a bit frustration when looked at a huge mountain of Glosso, knowing that they're very healthy and greenly but do nothing about it. Few months ago i purchased a punch of Glosso from LFS and planted them by plantlets, now they are all over the tank. It was NPK doses that made them grew so well. By dosing Seachem liquids I was almost given up on keeping them at first as BBA/BHA grew over them. I had to prune the infected leaves like every two days or so. Since introduced NPK dry powders and EI method I can see few leaves got infected.

With Riccia IMO it is easy to maintain as I can prune whenever I want, or just let them grow nature which creates a better look and feel and more natural. Like Glosso I ordered a portion from aquaessentials.co.uk (it's a bit expensive) and spread them on a plastic mash. When the order arrived, by looking at them contained in a hard plastic container I blamed myself why I should not ordered few more at the time as a portion was very little, and thought OMG I ordered wrong plant as I’ve never actually see the real plant before ordered. But now I am very glad I did make a right choice. A portion of Riccia after two months they reproduce a large amount, greater than 10 times.

When coming to tank maintenance or if want to reproduce another portion, simply cut them like doing a haircut and spread the top part on another object like a pebble or a small portion of plastic basket. If like repositioning the layout just simply remove the objects that they were tied on. However, they create massive mess up to the surface and everywhere. With Glosso, it is less messy but I have to uproot them or they will grow thicker every day which is to bring hassles when picking out the dead leaves. Another reason I decided to use Riccia over Glosso for the tank foreground is by their natural look.

Before starting a plant selection I water the plants in the tank to prevent them being dried out:

Next i pick out the healthy Glosso:


As Glosso is not the main foreground, I only select a big portion. It is about three times bigger a portion from LFS:

Started with a small portion of Sagittaria subulata in last July, and they died gradually by times, except a tiny plant which I could not believe it would ever survived. I was wrong once again. Like Glosso and Riccia, after introduced dry powders a tiny plant started to reproduce up to 50 of them.

Only picked the healthy Sagittaria:

And only some of them need to replant:

Is it Eleocharis parvulus or Eleocharis acicularis, below? I don't know. But what I know about this kind is that it is very difficult to grow. Algae seem to like over them and I don't see them look healthy at all. But don't want to give up on them just not yet. I want to keep in for a trial. Ordered a bunch of them (about 30 plants) online in April. If you know the secrets to make them thrive and look healthy I would like to hear from you. Here are few plants I picked out. They are in unhealthy state and been infected:

Pogostemon helferi, I like this kind of plant a lot. However, since they were in the tank the greenly look seems disappear, instead the colour changed to darker. They've been infected and had to prune very often. They spawn very good but very crispy, breakable.

As they are one of my favourite plants so I tried to replant them all except heavily infected plants:

Nymphaea zenkeri, I would not recommend this to plant in a small and low tank. It looks very nice when it is at small, but when they grow up the wide big leaves properly cover the surface. I purchased one from LFS with few baby leaves on a bulb, and ordered one online. After about three weeks, the leaves grow bigger than as it is imagined and I had to prune big leaves to make rooms for feeding and water circulation. They spawn very well even the bulb was separated from the stems. Thrive very well in high lights and CO2:
Here is a photo of a bulb which was separated from the stems:

Amazingly Anubias nana on wood and Anubias kinds love the shadow of this plant. I wasn't lucky with Anubias as BBA was on them a lot before, since i move Anubia and place below Nymphaea, Anubia growing strong and thrive without algae or hardly see any. I don't know whether laying the Anubia out away the shadow this time with high light and long illusion period would create algae or not. But let's see.

And here is a photo of an adult with some big leaves removed:

Echinodorus Ozelot Red.

Echinodorus Ozelot?

Lotus tiger. Ordered in e-bay when it arrived in a bulb:

Nymphoides aquatica. This plant is commonly known as Banana Plant:

Sword plant:

Cryptocoryne wendtii, and Vallisneria from my previous collections now are excluded from the rescape.
Here is a photo of unused plants which to throw away:

more to come...
28 Jun 2008
Spalding, S.Lincs
Re: Discuss playground tank - rescape

Part 2 was excellent and yes ,Echinodorus Ozelot, was the plant displayed. Not that I'm an expert but it's im my tank :D


Thread starter
28 Feb 2008
Re: Discuss playground tank - rescape

Yes there's a mountain of them...I should have offered them on ebay or to ukaps members for free. :D


Thread starter
28 Feb 2008
Re: Discuss playground tank - rescape

Ok...had have some priorities to do last week so couldn't continue the journal.
Today I continue where I’ve left and liked to show steps of planting the plant, accompanying with photos.

In brief at this stage a slate already tied up with Hemianthus callitrichoides and small ferns. It is ready to put back in the tank. I also adjusted the pebbel/bogwood in the front of the slate and on the left hand to make a good viewing point. And I started with Sagittaria subulata and Eleocharis.

This photo is showing a slate position and plants ready to plant:

And start planting Sagittaria using a tool (ordered in Ebay):

I plant them around the tank start at front, one plantnet is at about 5 cm gap, then plant them along to both sides of the tank and also at the back.

Next, Pogostemon helferi, each plant is planted in about 2-3cm gap. I plant them in the front of the slate, and along to left hand side. I also plant them at the back of the slate and few of them at the back right hand side.

The leave is very crispy and breakable; hence it's hard to prevent them from being damaged:

And now Glosso:

Planting along Pogostemon helferi at front, both sides, and at back:

Not sure about sword plants when put in the tank whether they create a good view or will block a good view. I plant them in there anyway and then adjust the layout at later stages. There are only four of them.

Now plants and decors have been laid in the tank so it is ready to fill water in. I don't use prepared HMA water not just yet. First tap water is drawn in the tank, and then use a fish net to pick out Riccia and other damaged plants. Only fill a half tank. Once the tank is cleared off rubbish, I start to draw HMA water in. The HMA water was prepared in two bin containers, 80l and 100l, a night before. Water in a 100l container is heated using a heater, airstoning at the same time. I start this first before carry out the tank scape..

Drawing tap water first:



And use fish net to pick out riccia and floating damaged plants:

The tank is now cleaned and ready to replace HMA water. I draw the water out and replace with preheated HMA water. The temp. level also matches near to the previous temp level in the tank, between 76-78F.

And the final layout of the tank with water filled:

A closer look:

In a final layout photo above, the powerhead is hidden behind the lotus and Nymphaea zenkeri, for now. I place it half way in a vertical position. This makes water move around easily. I noticed this powerhead a bit strong so its operation and purpose are in a question mark. Let's see what this powerhead can do in a week or so.

Not very pleased with a final layout, especially the swords behind a branching wood, and lotus position is a bit close to the powderhead. The layout is definitely to be reviewed and I expect this to be happened in a few days.

Fishes were moved back in the tank and before closing the tank I dose 1 tsp KN03, 1/4 tsp KP04, 1/3 tsp KS04.

Any commends & suggestions are welcome.

Part three of journal will show photos of the new scape in a first week and see how the plants doing in this new environment.


Thread starter
28 Feb 2008
They are white small stones...i expect in few weeks the front will be filled by Gloss and Riccia...and the stones will be invisible i guess... :D


21 Aug 2007
Chippenham, Wiltshire
Looks quite mature already! Feel it needs some more height though. How about Cyperus helferi around the middle ground for the discus to swim through?

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