Edge of the Jungle

Andrew T

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Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
04/12/2020
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03/30/2020
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03/16/2020
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Hi everyone,
It is time to start a new journal and this one is going to be a little different than my previous attempt at nature aquarium.

Lately I’ve been really captivated by the diorama style aquascapes and decided to go for it this time around.
I played with the rocks for the past 7 days or so, and I think I have finally got to the point where I’m just going to stop touching them and just glue them in place.

This tank is built in-wall(face frame not done yet on living room side as you can tell - ugly, I know but it wasn’t priority), has a 20g sump that houses return pumps and other equipment.

Tank: ADA 60P
Sump: 20 gallon long
Flow: 2 Eheim return pumps via loc-line
Lighting: Twinstar 600S
Filtration: Eheim 2217 canister
Co2: pressurized via in-line diffuser
Hard scape: Mexican pot rock / tree roots
Soil: Used Amazonia
Sand: Colorado sand

I was thinking to get some spider wood or other root type of wood and break small pieces and glue them individually on to the rocks for a very dramatic scape look; just like jungle vines /roots creeping down the mountain...you get the idea.

The front will be filled with either LaPlata sand or Colorado sand.

Plant list:

HC Cuba or Monte Carlo.
Small crypts.
Buces
Anubias nana petite(already have some).
Hydrocotyle tripartita
Hydrocotyle verticillata
Eleocharis Accicularis sp.
Weeping moss

No stem plants.

Left side up on the plateau there will be either HC Cuba or Monte Carlo; I’m trying to achieve a draping effect with either of those hanging off the ”cliff”.
I’m also thinking weeping moss for all the rocks; trying to achieve the same effect. I bet I’ll need a lot of moss here.
Hairgrass and H verticillata around rock base to soften the transition between rock/sand.
H tripartita serving its purpose on the left steep cliff as a jungle vine going up to meet the grass(Cuba or MC in our case):)

That’s about it for now.
Will have more updates for you guys as soon as I source the wood and finish that part of the scape.
For now, here’s a picture: Not sure if you guys can spot the cave on the right side but there’s a rock “in the cave” or beyond it so to speak and I’m planning to glue anubias petite to it and with the light shining down on that rock behind the cave I think it will look great.
If you have any comments/questions/opinions don’t hesitate to share them here.
I want to take my sweet time on this scape to make sure I’m building what I really want and what I envision in my head.
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Andrew T

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
This is the final rock arrangement.
I glued everything in place and poured substrate around to stabilize the rocks. Also glued the anubias nana I had laying around to the “cave rock”.
Next step is to somehow get my hands on senngani root to finalize the scape. It’s exactly what I’m looking for.
Seems like Fishy Business in Singapore might have them. I’ll have to call when they open.
Below I uploaded a pic of the roots for reference:
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Andrew T

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
I watched one of Green Aqua’s videos and Viktor was saying that for the new tank they set-up, they need to go with a reactor because the in-line atomizer will not cut it.
Now that tank is big, but still, didn’t deter me from building another co2 reactor for my 60P.
It is installed and ready to mess with the drop checker!View attachment 131329View attachment 131329
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Andrew T

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
Exploring my backyard at the property line....
Sometimes we get so caught up with day to day tasks that we forget how beautiful the nature God created really is.
Moss everywhere, some really cool rocks that I might use in the next scape, and a refreshing cold stream.
The best inspiration is sometimes taken from places like these.
I collected a couple different moss species and put them in a bucket under an LED reading light.

I want to see how they do underwater since they’re terrestrial moss species. I did however see some moss underwater and I bet it was there for quite some time and was as fresh as it can be. See pic..

If all goes well, and it grows just fine, I’m gonna use it to cover all my rocks. Unless there’s a reason I shouldn’t use it besides the obvious.

Some pictures I took:
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Andrew T

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
Food for thought regarding reactors vs other types of co2 diffusing methods.
I used the same injection rate I had going through the in-line GLA atomizer on the previous scape.

GLA atomizer got my drop checker yellow.
The DIY Tom Barr reactor gets my drop checker green.

The drop checker is placed low in the tank but still, looks like the atomizer co2 bubbles got under it giving false reading. And the fact that the ceramic got dirty in between cleanings could mean fluctuating co2 levels as well...at least in theory.

To me the main advantage of the reactor is crystal clear water across the whole photoperiod. Mist in the tank was not my cup of tea.

I’m doing all these tests with lights off since tank is full of water and just turning it on when needed for just a minute to check the drop checker to dial in the co2 just right.

I’m doing a 5g water change daily in a 30 gallon total system for the next 2 weeks or so to just get stuff out that might be leaching from the rocks and have better success overall when I finally add plants...again just my theory but it gives me a fuzzy feeling that I’m doing things right .
 

Andrew T

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
Great news.
Moved the mosses from the bucket to the sump and all of them that I picked up from the branches show new growth after 1 day in co2 and weak light over them in the sump.
The growth is visible and I couldn’t be happier.
Tank is at 75 degrees. Let’s hope these are staying healthy cuz they’ll save me a ton of money since this hard scape is moss dominated.
 

dw1305

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Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,972
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
it is a Fontinalis sp
Just had a look at the Washington State Flora and it looks very likely to be Fontinalis antipyretica.

I think you might have some joy with any of the mosses that are growing along the stream on rocks, or tree roots. A lot of mosses occur right across the N. hemisphere, so species like <"Calliergonella cuspidata"> are as much N. American as European.

The leafy liverwort is really nice, it may be Porella sp.

cheers Darrel
 

Andrew T

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
Hi all, Just had a look at the Washington State Flora and it looks very likely to be Fontinalis antipyretica.

I think you might have some joy with any of the mosses that are growing along the stream on rocks, or tree roots. A lot of mosses occur right across the N. hemisphere, so species like <"Calliergonella cuspidata"> are as much N. American as European.

The leafy liverwort is really nice, it may be Porella sp.

cheers Darrel
Awesome thank you for looking into it Darrel.
I decided to actually do the same thing you suggested; stick to mosses found submersed on rocks/tree roots.
What is your experience regarding terrestrial moss/liverwort submersed long term given lower temps 22-24c max in an aquarium setting?
Is there a chance for them to flourish?
From my research the only truly aquatic moss is fontinalis antipyretica but yet we have all these mosses growing just fine in our tanks.

I guess what I’m most afraid of is gluing it to hard scape just to have it die months down the road and making a mess out of the scape.
In my situation, working only from behind the tank is no walk in the park.:eek:
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,972
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
From my research the only truly aquatic moss is fontinalis antipyretica
There are quite a few aquatic mosses in the UK (and my guess would be plenty more in N.W. America), but they don't tend to be commercially available. <"Platyhypnidium riparioides"> is a really common one around where I live.
I guess what I’m most afraid of is gluing it to hard scape
I'd leave it loose for a while and see what happens.

I've got a few native cold water mosses and they seem to survive OK in relatively warm water. The problem with mosses in the tank is that they don't tend to produce spores, and often grow im much slimmer forms, meaning that they are almost impossible to definitively identify.

I've definitely got Fissidens and Fontinalis in the tanks, because they are really distinctive, but I also have a number of other mosses, possibly as many as eight, where I don't <"know their name, or exactly where I got them from">.

cheers Darrel
 
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Andrew T

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
Interesting. I’ll definitely keep an eye on them and go out and collect more willow moss this afternoon since I left it in the stream.

On a totally different note, I get my water from an underground well on our property.

I haven’t done a water quality test but now I’m thinking maybe water from the stream is better to use for water changes given proper temp adjustment before dumping in the tank.

Any idea? Either way is easy for me , more so getting it from the kitchen faucet but bringing a 10 gallon jug twice a week from the stream is no big deal either.

Ideas?
 

Andrew T

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
Went out again and to my surprise I found some submersed plant that looks like H. Verticillata. Looked it up and indeed it is native to NA and SA.

Lots and lots of willow moss but I have to cut the healthy parts and glue them down. I did notice they were anchored very strongly to rocks where the current was strongest.
Picked up another type growing on some partially submersed rocks.
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Andrew T

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
First part of the roots glue down was done last night.
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I also added Amazonia light in the front instead of the sand I was planning on; only reason is because I now decided on a carpet of some sort. More plants -less algae.
And the light version of the Amazonia matches the rocks pretty closely.
More root gluing tonight...
 

Andrew T

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
Oh the ever changing mind and ideas of an aquascaper....lol
Ran out of roots so I have to go pick up some more.
Pushed the Amazonia to the sides and towards the rock. I’m gonna cap it with some Colorado sand and run a path to the right of the moss rock all the way into the cave and to the anubias in the back.
Should make everything more interesting; at least in theory.
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Tucker90

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Joined
28 Feb 2016
Messages
308
Location
Derby
That won’t be everyone cup of tea but I love it pal! Very natural. Too many folks doing the same thing over and over again!

Watching this one!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Andrew T

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
227
Location
Seattle, WA
That won’t be everyone cup of tea but I love it pal! Very natural. Too many folks doing the same thing over and over again!

Watching this one!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks!
I understand your point...not many willing to spend days after days building a scape that on top of everything is hard to get around and maintain but to me is well worth it.

Tomorrow I’m planning to finish the scape . I’m going to introduce a floating rock on top of the right overflow with roots hanging down from it. That way I can plant this tank from top to bottom.

Hygro Pinnatifida will be a plant used very heavily in the foreground and mid ground and as far as gluing it on the roots going out of the tank.
 
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