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George Farmer

Founder
UKAPS Team
Thread starter
Joined
30 Jun 2007
Messages
7,079
Location
Cambridgeshire
Hi all,

It's been a couple of weeks since a comprehensive update, so here we are... :)

Quite a lot has happened in the last week. Not all good news, but no major dramas either.

First the not so good news....

The Ammania refuses to grow in my set-up for some reason. Maybe it needs harder water (more Mg, Ca?), as I'm using 100% RO which comes out at about conductivity 50.

The Hottonia looked dreadful after its big prune, so I removed it completely. It was never really going to be a long-term plant, so I'm not too fussed. At least it lives on in a fellow UKAPS member's tank! :)

I've moved some pruned Ludwigia to fill in the gap on the right, and a few E. tenellus off-runners to fill in where the Ammania was. The Ludwigia can't seem to make its 'mind' up with reagrds its colour - changing from red to green, and now back to red! As I've already said, I doubt it will be a keeper.

I've been experiencing small amounts of BBA, presumably due to me fiddling with CO2 so much, and doing large water changes in the middle of the photoperiod. Hopefully this will die off with some liquid carbon dosing and better CO2 management. We will see...

And the better news....

I've decided on a name for this aquascape - "Rooted in Nature". It speaks for itself really, with the wood replicating tree roots growing over the rocks, amongst grasses and moss. And the whole aquascape concept being based on the Nature Aquarium philosophy.

The grasses and mosses are all doing well and mixing like I hoped. I'm still considering my longer-term plan for background grasses. Maybe E. acicularis and Echinodorus latifolious (like a bigger tenellus), or some C. helferi.

I've added a few more cherry shrimp from my LFS to diversify the bloodline (don't I sound clever!?) lol

And I've decided on fish... I've always been a fan of Ember tetras and their small size gives them a good sense of scale, and colour harmonises with the stone. I've added just eight for now.

Anyway, enough words...

Full-tank shot
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Day 28 by George Farmer, on Flickr

Left
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Day 28 situ by George Farmer, on Flickr

Above
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Day 28 above by George Farmer, on Flickr

Ember tetras through left side
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Embers side by George Farmer, on Flickr

Grasses mixed and Riccardia on wood
8544701784_4a119fc25f_o.jpg
grasses1 by George Farmer, on Flickr

Grasses, wood, stone and moss
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grasses wood stone by George Farmer, on Flickr

More mixed grasses and hardscape
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grasses wood stone2 by George Farmer, on Flickr

Close-up of Fissidens and Riccardia
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riccardia macro by George Farmer, on Flickr

Ember tetras
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Embers shoal by George Farmer, on Flickr

Another shot of the Embers
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Embers shoal2 by George Farmer, on Flickr
 

Dave Pierce

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2013
Messages
195
Location
England
Hi George, Big fan of this layout.

I agree it's a very natural layout. The root looks old, and the grass looks fresh and green, like grass you see starting to grow during spring. A great contrast and for the time of year! Everything looks in proportion and to scale, and as it would look in nature.

I must say its great to look at work like this, I've learnt a lot with my current aquascape and from people on this forum. I have already made a million mistakes with my 1st scape but only to be learnt from in future. Hopefully one day I will be able to get it right first time as you have!

Looking forward to more updates.

Cheers,

Dave
 

Ian Holdich

Member
Joined
18 Feb 2010
Messages
3,286
Location
lincoln uk
Looks great, and the embers suit this scape really well. It's a shame about the amania, but that's just a small thing as tbh this scape looks good without stems at the back tbh. Just to echo what Dave said, it looks very spring like. The best time of the year.
 

Gary Nelson

Member
Joined
20 Jan 2011
Messages
1,292
Location
Leicestershire
Lovely photos, and it looks great! The tank looks like a cube of nature with the water full to the brim.... The green neons would of looked nice, but the embers look fantastic! and like mark says, it looks so natural - when the mosses fill out its going to be a show stopper :)
 

Ady34

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UKAPS Team
Joined
27 Jul 2011
Messages
4,947
Location
Co. Durham
Hi George,
have to say the 'grasses' are looking great and very natural. The title suits perfectly and because of this i feel that, although you are against the idea, some larger leaved plants will work well at the rear to give a sense of dock leaves or nettles in amongst the grass, as in nature :) Maybe too old school or simple but hygrophila compact, even a small echinodorus like reni or such like would look great, maybe as you say with some taller grass like species to blend and some cyperus growing emersed would finish things off beautifully imo. Ideally if you could think of a stem with a slightly darker green oval leaf form that would be perfect to mimic the look i mentioned....maybe even anubias mixed in amongst the wood and rock tops with grass backdrop again could work even better. Just my thoughts, of course, everyone sees things differently.
Great that your being so honest about the not so goods....the rest looks superb though! I love the embers, ruby tetras go so nicely with these ;)....i wish i could get a decent photo of mine.
Cheerio,
Ady.
 

Alastair

Member
Joined
27 Dec 2009
Messages
4,402
Location
Denton, Manchester
There's a lot of shrimp in here but they're quite tricky to photograph.

I like this shot because you can see tiny pieces of Riccardia starting to take hold, as well as the shrimp looking nice and red.

8544373485_e793d652d9_o.jpg
RCS 1 by George Farmer, on Flickr

This shot is fantastic George. Very natural. Tanks looking great
 

Mark Evans

Expert
Joined
13 Jun 2008
Messages
6,483
Location
newark notts.
Somehow, I've missed the photos on page 22. That was what I was expecting...with the stems.

I've imagined this layout being quite 'sporadic' when it comes to plant placement...especially the stems. A few sprigs here and a few there. A bit wild almost.

The Amania sp. bonsai is a great plant for this. It works great in the foreground, what with its small size. Nip the tops out and put 3 or 4 together to accent certain areas.

It's also pretty rapid to recover after trimming.

I see the red turning green! Welcome to my world. Recent discussions with Michael @ Tropica still leave me confused about how my red plants turn green.

There's a layout at Tropica which Michael has produced, which contains amazing hues of, reds, oranges etc. here's a sample of that tank.

I have to be carful in not showing the whole thing, as there's a few 'secrets' in their. :)

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red by saintly's pics, on Flickr
 

George Farmer

Founder
UKAPS Team
Thread starter
Joined
30 Jun 2007
Messages
7,079
Location
Cambridgeshire
Thanks for all the lovely feedback all, it's really appreciated, as always. :)

Ade - you're such a thinking-man's aquascaper. I really love the way you have a different perspective to stuff and make me consider other options. Thanks very much for your input mate.

Mark - thanks for your reply mate. You may have not read about my bad experience with Ammania - it simply refuses to grow in this tank! :( BTW, those reds are flippin' unreal - almost too red!

One of the advantages to having this tank in my kitchen is that I can get a sneaky photo shoot done whilst pretending to be preparing the Sunday roast. Don't tell the missus - she thinks I was working really hard in there! lol

Note the shrimp poo in the 3rd photo... :)

8545411183_d75403225b_o.jpg
RCS 2 by George Farmer, on Flickr

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RCS 3 by George Farmer, on Flickr

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RCS 4 by George Farmer, on Flickr

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RCS 5 by George Farmer, on Flickr

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RCS 6 by George Farmer, on Flickr
 

LondonDragon

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UKAPS Team
Joined
21 Feb 2008
Messages
11,545
Location
London
Looking great George :) :clap: :thumbup: you just need some better quality shrimp in there ;)

You may have not read about my bad experience with Ammania - it simply refuses to grow in this tank!
I had the same issue with this plant, it was growing ok after planting and then after the first trim it just died off, very bizarre.

Close-up of Fissidens and Riccardia riccardia macro by George Farmer, on Flickr
This is my favoutite photo, just love how the mosses are growing in the wood :)
 

Deano3

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2012
Messages
2,343
Love the shrimp pics and looks great and very coming with time of year like others have said, keep the updates coming as learning so much

Thanks dean
 

Keith Parry

Seedling
Joined
16 Feb 2013
Messages
3
Hi George,
I am new to aquascaping, still at the research stage, having kept South American Cichlid's for the past few years. I have been in touch with TMC and they have given me some very valuable information. I have a query regarding light levels and they suggested I contact you via this forum. I am probably going to invest in the 60 x 45 x 45 Signature aquarium with 2 x 1500ND TMC tiles and I am curious to know more about this Par reading. In an earlier conversation on this forum you said....... ' I'll check the PAR before deciding what power and height to run them'......... How do I check PAR, I assume I will need a specialised meter of some description to do this and also, what is the optimum Par reading for an aquarium of this size. I will start with the easier plants to grow but would like to think that I can progress to the more difficult ones at a later stage. Thank you.
 

George Farmer

Founder
UKAPS Team
Thread starter
Joined
30 Jun 2007
Messages
7,079
Location
Cambridgeshire
Hi Keith,

Welcome to UKAPS. :)

You could probably grow most plants with just one 1500 tile at 100%, suspended using the MountaRay mountain bracket (see Ian Holidich's excellent journal, "A New Adventure".) If you're suspending by other means then have it fairly close to the surface.

You check PAR with a PAR meter. The Apogee models are the 'standard' and cost around £300 I believe. However, the Seneye Reef has a built-in PAR capability (you need a PC too) - I think these are about £90.

The configuration above would probably give you about 20-25 PAR at the substrate, enough to grow most plants if other conditions are ideal.

Cheers,
George
 

Bufo Bill

Member
Joined
5 Feb 2009
Messages
114
Location
Wolverhampton
George, I love it when we get offered a big juicy post like above, and when it's a tank like yours it's like when your favourite band brought out a new song when you're a kid! Your photography is great and those lovely natural mosses make my heart sing to be honest.
You watch those cherry shrimp, I was able to upgrade my filter from the numbers I flogged to the LFS. It wasn't one like yours though!

Many thanks from Bill. :)
 
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