First ever scape - New beginnings

Ruskie

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28 Apr 2020
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85
Location
Sheffield
Thanks again for your help!

Lets address the issues.

Hardscape- Appreciate more rocks and wood would make things easier but with the current situation and nobody local I’m loathed to just randomly buy bits from the internet without seeing then so I’m having to try and do the best I can with what I have. I guess that’s all learning anyway.

Substrate- I was waiting on additional soil so the pictures were never truly accurate, more just a rough layout guide. 2nd 3l bag arrived today and I have a 3l bag of soil powder to go on top of that too so that will be fixed today. Slopes incoming!

Lighting- Its become painfully apparent that was my biggest mistake when ordering kit so I’m looking to remedy that.
Options- (Cheaper) Order a 2nd light same as the one I currently have but is that just chucking good money after bad?
Or do I just bite the bullet and go ahead and buy a proper light, Twinstar etc.
What light would you guys recommend for a 50cm tank?

Sorry for all the questions, I imagine I’m becoming a bit of a pain :oops:
 

Ruskie

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28 Apr 2020
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Sheffield
Thanks @Claire that looks an option, are you happy with it?

On another note, 2nd bag of substrate added ( soil powder still to go on top) and after another couple of hours playing this afternoon I think I may have settled on my hardscape!
It’s nothing compared to some of the pictures I see on here and I feel my poor photo skills don’t do it justice but overall I’m kinda pleased with it for a first go!

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Claire

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18 Apr 2013
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Cumbernauld
Yes I am, the one I have linked is very slightly different but I imagine it would be as good. My tank has just been set up for a week but I am seeing good low spread and pearling of the Monte Carlo already and the tips of my rotala are turning orange, so it must be giving out a decent amount of light.
 

Big G

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20 Apr 2020
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Location
London&Thanet
To elevate the back of the tank put some soil in a cut up pair of tights and place where you wont it then the soil wont all fall forward and you can still plant in to it


Apologies to Ruskie if I’m at a tangent or highjacking but I’m thinking of using this technique with Tropica substrate under inert substrate, in this case sand, in order to enjoy a sand cap without the risk of mixing the two media. Do you think stem plants’ developing roots would be able to get through the weave of the ‘denier’ in due course to access the nutrition offered by the Tropica underneath?

I did think of pm’ing you with this Jayefc1 but thought others might be interested in your answer.

I’m watching your ‘scape with interest Ruskie. I’m a couple of weeks behind you on my first attempt myself so I’m watching closely how you take it forward. All the best. BG.
 

Nick potts

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25 Sep 2014
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276
Good start so far Ruskie.

The first thing to remember when aquascaping (unless it's for comps etc) Is that critique is great and certainly helps improve layout skills, but always settle on the look that makes you happy :)

Not sure if non-sponsor links are ok or not but this is very similar to the one I have on my 50cm
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/142951464851

I use this light from all pond solutions, you can pick it up on amazon which will save international postage and gives you a warranty etc.
 

Ruskie

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Joined
28 Apr 2020
Messages
85
Location
Sheffield
Exciting times. Placed a plant order today so should be receiving those sometime next week and I can finally get planting :thumbup:.
Feel like I’ve ordered enough to plant heavy from the start (as advised) and chose a varied but easy selection to see what works. I feel like I made a mistake though and forgot to order any floating plants :facepalm:.
This leads me into my next barrage of questions.

Ive ordered the light listed above (14w led) so hopefully I should have adequate lighting or at least better than I had but I don’t believe this has the ability to dim so.....

1) How long should I run this light for at initial setup?
2) Should I really look at getting some floaters if I can’t dim the light?
3) Should I be dosing ferts immediately?
(Tropica specialised nutrition. I have Tropica soil and soil powder plus nutrition capsules as well)

Thanks in advance :thumbup:
 

Claire

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18 Apr 2013
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333
Location
Cumbernauld
If you are finding you are getting algae issues with not having co2 despite heavy planting then you have the choice as you said of floating plants, raising the height of the light from the tank or decreasing the photoperiod.
I’d start with a 6 hour photoperiod for now and increase it if things are ok. I have mine on a 8.5 hour photoperiod but I have injected co2
 

Ruskie

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28 Apr 2020
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Location
Sheffield
Busy day today and the tank is now mostly planted! Still a few more pots to go in as the supplier didn’t ship my entire order in one go :banghead:
New light fitted and filter setup and running but I’m having a few issues with the positioning and seating of the inflow/outflow pipes - mainly because I bought cheap eBay ones that don’t have suction cups on so I can’t get them seated properly :rolleyes:

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Made a complete hash of glueing the moss on so there’s quite a bit of white showing I’m hoping once it grows out this will be hidden.

Plants:
2x lilaeopsis brasiliensis
2x marsilea hirsuta (still to add)
2x staurogyne repens (still to add)
Cryptocoryne wendtii green (still to add)
Anubias barteri nana
Limnophilia sessiflora
Heteranthera zosterifolia
Hydrophilic siamensis 53b (still to add)
Anubias petite
Java moss
Spiky moss

Fingers crossed it all works out!!
 

Claire

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18 Apr 2013
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Location
Cumbernauld
Looks good! The moss will cover the glue, don’t worry.
Light looks bright! Keep an eye out for algae and be prepared to choose between adding floating plants to reduce the light intensity or adding co2 if it appears.
 

Ruskie

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28 Apr 2020
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Sheffield
I’m a week in now so a quick little update. Nothing massive as all my plants STILL haven’t arrived which I’m a little annoyed as they were all supposedly in stock when I ordered.

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Limnophilia sessiliflora in the back right is growing really well. I’m hoping to trim these soon and replant the stems to bulk out this section somewhat.
Heteranthera zosterifolia has started to grow in the back left over the last couple of days.
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis is not showing any signs as yet but appreciate it may take a while. Actually thought I’d butchered it breaking up the 1-2 grow pot so the fact it hasn’t died on me is a plus.
Mosses not really doing much yet apart from floating around the tank and being a pain when it comes to cleaning :lol:. Butchered that too trying to glue it tho so we’ll see

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Been running the light for 6 hours a day and doing daily 50% water changes. So far no algae issues that I can see as yet but I am getting the white funk appearing on the wood. I’ve read this is normal tho and nothing to be concerned about? Something for shrimp to munch on once the tank is mature enough to house them?

Wish my other plants would arrive.......:confused:
 
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Ruskie

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28 Apr 2020
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Location
Sheffield
Closing in on 2 weeks now and finally all the plants are in! Changed it up a little from the original plan due to the first supplier letting me down.

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Marsilea hirsuta added to the (non existent) carpet.
Staurogyne repens added around the base of the rocks with some crypt wendtii brown in between.
Ludwigia palustris red added in the back left corner.
And finally, my new favourite plant Buch sp. red added in places to the rocks. Hope this takes as I love the look of it!

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Still no signs of the dreaded algae just the fuzz on the wood. I’m hoping if the plants keep growing nicely over the next couple of weeks and my carpeting plants actually take hold properly (keep uprooting them doing the big water changes :banghead:) I can order some shrimp as my first inhabitants to clean that up!
 

Ruskie

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28 Apr 2020
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Location
Sheffield
3 weeks in now and I feel we are still ticking along nicely. Trimmed the L Sessiliflora a couple of days ago as it had reached the surface, my first ever prune! :thumbup:

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Got my first new inhabitants today!

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Loving these little guys already!

Maybe my first bit of algae appearing tho on the moss on the right of the pic

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Is this something the little fellas will take care of or do I need to keep my eye on it/do something?
 

Ruskie

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28 Apr 2020
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Location
Sheffield
Hi @Karmicnull

Thanks for checking in! Completely forgot about this thread :oops:

I'm 4 months ahead of you time wise but sadly probably not 4 months ahead in terms of development. I had a severe case of Cyano which set me back no end, a warts and all account of which can be read here Do I have BGA

Long story short I pulled quite a few plants and planted new once I had cleared it. With it being a non CO2 tank its slow progress and obviously not where I would like it but I'm learning to be patient and have learnt a hell of lot by going thru the trauma.

A quick pic of where I am right now. Nothing to write home about but I'm now classing this is my 'training' tank. Already have plans running through my head for the next scape incorporating everything I've learned so far. :)

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Karmicnull

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6 Sep 2020
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70
Location
Cambridge
Thanks for the update -read thorough your BGA trial - respect for coming out the other end. And the tank looks lovely. I am waiting patiently for my first big challenge; I'm sure it's a matter of when not if....
 

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