Discussion in 'Featured Journals' started by George Farmer, 23 Jan 2011.
Re: [IWAGUMI] Scree Evolution - uber lighting
something to be proud of!
This 'scape is coming to the end of its life now.
I've managed to squeeze all the equipment into the cabinet as well with suits the overall minimalist look I like with any aquarium set-up.
It's been a really nice aquascape to have over the last year or so. I get tired of most Iwagumi layouts quite quickly but the new planting has given me plenty more interest. I've learnt a lot, giving me plenty lessons to take forward for future creations.
Here's a few key learning points that I'd like to share. For some they won't come as anything new, but for others, they may come in useful.
1. Inert substrate is perfectly fine for long-term plant growth, providing decent nutrients are provided in the water column.
2. LED lighting can grow plants very well.
3. George Farmer can't grow red Ludwigia arcuata.
4. Open sand foregrounds are easy to maintain and keep clean.
5. A metal-wire toothbrush is great for cleaning rocks.
6. Mini Landscape Rock (Seiryu Stone) increases hardness significantly.
7. Spezial-N and Flowgrow Mikro from Aqua Rebel are superb fertilisers.
8. Fluval G filters are brilliant and incredibly easy to maintain.
9. Glassware breaks too easily for clumsy people.
10. Keep your hoses clean to maintain good flow rates.
some valuable lesson for us all.
I don't know how you manage it!
Pity to see this come to an end, but each scape reaches a point of plateau.
Some good points raised for others to learn from.
I can relate to clumsy hands and glassware, plenty of cuts along the way over the years.
very tidy, George. Have you found that the glass outlet worked? I can only imagine that the C02 gassed off at a massive amount with that?
State of the art setup with some state of the art scaping. A classic indeed George. Awesome.
The poppy-style lily pipe outlet alters a few things -
1. More CO2 consumption. I've raised from 2 to 3bps.
2. Less overall lower-middle water column movement.
3. Great glitter lines with LED lighting (or MH).
4. More O2 (especially at night).
1 and 2 may present issues for some set-ups, but I've noticed nothing detrimental in the 4 weeks or so since I've been using it.
I was wondering do you have a scape that you keep for the long term, i.e years and watch how it evolves and changes with time. I just notice that like with you and Mark they seem to go on for maybe 6 months or so. I understand that it means you guys get alot of experiance always trying somthing new, but just that well what happens with a 5 year old scape.
I usually plan mine for longer term, but always get interuppted, like now moving house.
Anyway very nice evolution scape that you did there, very clean looking and lush. I think id feel quite bad taking it apart though.
Thats an interesting topic Sanj.
In terms of long term scape, it's something I'd like to do, but currently, I don't have the room.
I think also, for certain groups of scapers, there's always the want to improve on ones skills.
My viewpoint is, when I do a layout, to some degree, I can see where it's going to end up and when it's reached that point, I need to continue with my development as an aquascaper.
I tend to find a scape can develop pretty quickly, and when you're confined to a 60cm lets say, it's actually quite hard to maintain for long periods. However, in a much larger aquarium, you're in a better position to overcome this situation.
From the artistic perspective, a 60cm or even a 90cm tank can be a great canvas for quick scapes, which can help us develop our skills.
Over the last few years, I've learned plenty from the short term scapes, which if they'd been a long tem scape, I'd be a couple of years behind in terms of knowledge.
I've found recently, that a 120cm tank can be costly, re-scaping every 4 months or so, so cost is a valid part of the 'long term' scape viewpoint.
There's of course, pro's and cons for both.
Great topic for discussion, as Mark says.
The short answer is 'no'.
I have my current nano that's been evolving over the last 3 years or so with the odd re-plant but keeping the same hardscape.
I created 'The Shade' a few years ago that lasted about 2 years.
I think different hobbyists approach aquascaping from different perspectives.
For me the biggest rewards are the both the learning and sharing of my plant growing and aquascaping experiences through the likes of UKAPS, PFK, interviews, contests (participating and judging) etc.
To do this effectively, and with credibility, it's important to experience the aquascaping and plant hobby with as much breadth and depth as possible.
Whilst there is a strong case for learning a significant amount through long-term 'scapes, I think the learning curve is steeper with the more aquascapes one creates, along with the greater quantity of associated plant species and the utilisation of a wide range of equipment-types, methods and techniques.
The champagne solution would be to have something like you - a 1,600 litre, that I would certainly keep as a long-term 'scape. The finances and potentially hard work, especially on start-up, that is associated with such a large aquarium would make short-term 'scaping rather foolish, unless you have lots of spare cash and spare time! Along with a huge tank, a 60/90/120cm would be perfect as a 'play' tank to churn out new 'scapes.
As Mark alludes to, keeping a 'scape for several years in smaller aquaria brings about practical challenges. Epiphyte plants would have to be the order of the day, and from a personal viewpoint, I would probably get bored after a year or so. A good example of this are the tanks in the ADA NA Gallery, that get maintained meticulously every day. Beautiful aquascapes that are kept running for years, but to keep the standard up the maintenance required in smaller tanks is incredibly high, and beyond what I can achieve.
For me there's so much 'scaping I want to do, so many new plants, new ideas, and limiting myself by 'tying' up an aquarium for years would drive me crazy once the 'scape had reached a certain level.
This brings about another interesting point.
I usually have an end-game for an aquascape. I visualise what I'm after during the planning stage. Once my visualisation has been achieved, for better or for worse, it's time for the final photo shoot (another very important aspect for me). From then I'm itching to create something new, something that I've probably already been planning for the previous few weeks before the final photo shoot... The timescale for this is rarely over 6 months, due to the relatively fast growing nature of aquatic plants in the types of set-ups I run.
Finally, when my wife gives-in to my nagging, and after I've left the RAF, I will set up an 8x3x3 (2,000 litre), that I intend to keep running for years - probably quite similar to your 1,600 litre actually...
Ooh excellent!! I think that you would have to, I am sure the wife will see the light in the end. I recommend acrylic if you go that way mainly because of the strength and clarity, the seems will be better too (no silicone). Ive kept away from 3ft high only because of the practicality of maintaining a tank at that height, but it is possible.
I do undertand both of your reasons and I think that is what it comes down to...what do you want to get out of it.
My reasons are different also, while I do want to improve on aquascaping, my main drive is a lush planted tank creating a pleasing more stable environment for the fish i keep. As you might know I keep and breed rainbowfish many of which are either very rare here in the UK or not found here at all.
Emptied today ready for the next project. Unfortunately I can't make the next one public for a while.
Spent about 30 minutes scrubbing the algae off the silicon with a toothbrush and bleach! Came up as good as new.
Hi George. We are bringing in the TMC LED lights and I wanted to see how these were doing for you thus far.
I think the comments about long term scaping vs shorter term are important here. Newer folks will gain a great deal from scaping and redoing tanks often.
This is how you learn, by experience.
The more you do, the more you learn.
As you age in the plant hobby, your taste change as well. So do you goals.
Longer term, slower growing, less work, less input become more important.
The new thrill of redoing a tank might lose its allure.
However, for many, myself included, I allow the scape to change and evolve and then let it go to it's fruition, then change it and break the tank down and redo any parts I was not happy with prior. Each reincarnation allows you to get closer to what you seek as you change as well :idea: I was not happy with the tank shape, or the quality of the tank etc, so I upgraded and then took the opportunity to redo the scape as well.
Any chance to redo is a good learning experience.
By redoing his tanks many times, George gained a lot, he spent the time to do this, many folks often do not.
Some fall into algae plagues and never make it to this part of the hobby, which is the sadder part of things. Others do not want to put in the time(or say they do, but do not).
I'm in the planning stage of a new scape. Over the past couple of months have veered towards a minimalist rock only hardscape and tonight thought I'd spend a n hour (or 5) googling scaping pictures to see if I could find any inspiration or ideas.
Up comes a picture, instantly like it, the lighting is perfect as it resembles mine and lo and behold its a George Farmer scape
You are going to have to stop inspiring me George. You seem to have the monopoly over the past few years. Every time I move onward with a different idea in mind you've already done it for me. lol
Now I have a major problem. How to use your inspiration in both Scree scapes without copying it. Very hard to do. Going to be hard now. Hmmm.
To sidetrack a little I have read through the whole journal (not something I normally do) and find the PAR data pretty interesting.
Those LED tiles are 21.5W each at max? = 43W total? and at 30cm the PAR at substrate is 60-80. The 2 x 18W T8 was 40 although I guess much closer than 30cm from the surface and the 96W T5HO is over 100.
On the TMC site it claims 12W LED is up to 33% more PAR than 24W compact flourescent.
Now I know compact flourescents are probably the worst of the flourescents for efficiency however if 36W of T8 even closer to the water is achieving 66 - 50% of 43W of LED it sounds pretty poor to me. It would mean that equal W of T8 would match or nearly match the LEDs!!! Any thoughts? Or maybe my mind calculator has gone wrong again!!!
Now I'm off to try and not copy a scape (although it will have Needle Fern in it. lol)
Glad you like the 'scape.
The lighting data is interesting. The T8 was almost touching the water surface, with the LED suspended above. I guess this accounts for the results.
The light spill is also significant on the 1000ND as they're not lensed, where as the 12w units you reference may be lensed, thus improving efficiency.
I believe the 1000ND are 30w.
I think the total consumption is 30W. so the power to the actual output will be less. I'm just roughly translating the 21.5V to 1W per V which is a very bad crude figure Maybe I'm reading the info incorrectly there. lol. If it were 30W that would make it an even worse statement of comparison meaning the T8s were doing better than the tiles.
I suppose the height would account for some of the difference but the 12W is a 'general' statement on the header page of the Aquabeam range. they don't seem to put that statement on the individual units' pages.
Not to worry. Just trying to glean some useful comparison data
I'm off to see what rock I can find in the garden centres
Congrats on the PFK feature George, another good read
Have spent a while scanning through all of these two threads. Really helped me a lot, these in detail threads are so informative on so many points and subjects within Aquascaping, Thanks a lot George.
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