Jay's New Re-scape

jay

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Well last night I finally felt like I had everything I needed to start up my new tank.
Its a Seabray custom tank which I managed to get from a local little pet shop.The silicone is rank! but I can't complain for just £100. Its 48x15x18in Just over 200 ltr I think.
Put it on a Black Fluval Roma stand, nice, neat, conspicuous.
Finished off with Fluval 405 external filter and 48in Arcadia luminaire(in the big time now) ;) ;)
Image326.jpg


So here it all started, building the back up using old (good)bacteria riddled substrate from an old tank.
P1000235.jpg


Started playing about with a couple of ideas mainly with just wood. Got some good pieces from MA@Morden, nice and branch like.
Didn't like this too much but could see potential, as I'm mostly using ferns and mosses etc..
Although my girlfriend said they look like a pair of spiders :rolleyes:
Really liked the form on the left though.
P1000238.jpg


So I kept the left the same and tried out turning the other side in the same direction(took a while to come up with that one :p )
P1000239.jpg



Update soon....
Need to find the USB lead to my phone :mad:
 
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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully

Great pieces of wood! The left is spot on but I preferred the first attempt with the right. Just keep working on it until you find something you're happy with!
 

jay

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully

Thats the aim of the game I suppose :)
Just trying something a little different, keep seeing ADA tanks with branchy wood jutting out everywhere like a death pit :lol:

Really happy with the wood though. Reminds me of Old Black Wood... without the price tag.
 

jay

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully

Well I just can't find my charger to my camera and I cant find the usb lead to my phone so.... no pics! :mad:
The scaping is done and I've done something a little different to the right side and added some mini landscape rocks. Really happy with it, I'll show you soon honest.

I've almost finished decorating the wood with anubias nana, java fern 'narrow' although I'm sure one of them is 'Philippine' judging by the well stamped leaves. Bolbitis heudelotii (need a bit more) I love this stuff so much, and some java moss.
Would've love something more compact like Taiwan but can only use what I can get I suppose.
I've got a mass of space behind the wood thats crying out for stems but I won't be getting them till tomorrow.

I'm thinking, Rotala sp... maybe rotundifolia. But I may go for a whole green scape.
Hemianthus micranthemoides is a favourite of mine so I think thats got to be somewhere.
Vallis nana for the rear left corner also.

I did save all my plants from my old scape but most of the foreground plants died. All my HC Cuba gone :( and most of the Downoi and tenellus turned to mush.
Managed to plant out some tenellus, downoi and eleocharis accicularis. Don't think the downoi will stay as it doesn't fit into my idea for this tank. The middle will be a high meadow at the back with hairgras, leading down to a mix of tenellus and HC with tufts of hairgrass leading to the sand front.
Very low plant mass at the minute so I've got a clump of bacopa floating at the moment and also some Amazon frogbit.

Anyway, I'll get some pics up soon and stop with all the long winded posts :D
 

jay

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully(update pics13:9:08)

Well I changed up the wood on the right so its facing the left side and.... ah whatever, heres a pic
Image334.jpg

The AS Amazonia is leaching out ammonia like a gud'n but no real signs of algae. Got ammonia remover AND carbon in the filter with mature media. Just need a few good water changes I guess.
 

jay

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully(update pics13:9:08)

Got a few pots yesterday (12 tropica) of mostly foreground plants.
Got the usual, HC Cuba, Glosso and eleocharis parvula for the hills either side and the middle.
Got a couple pots of Hemianthus micranthemoides to see how they would fair in here. Put them at the back so won't really see them for a while.
Got a couple of odd pots too, of Didiplis Diandra?? Liked the look of the needle type leaves in the Tropica book, thought it may suite the primevil forest (Nods to Ray :D ) look I'm going for. Its suppose to be a tough one so see how it fairs :?
P1000249.jpg


Bit of Vallis 'nana' at the back mixed with crypt balansae.
P1000248.jpg


Another one I got was a pot of Hydrocotyle verticillata which I've stuck in the low areas, hopefully end up poking out of the glosso/HC carpets.
P1000247.jpg

You can see the yellowing of the old hairgrass and tenellus :( A real mess, but they had good roots so should be fine.
Decided to keep the Downoi in there as I think it will go with the style of this set up.

Anyway, critics and comments more than welcome guys. I'm keeping this for a while so want it looking good.
 

LondonDragon

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully(update pics13:9:08)

Looking pretty good, when it fills in I am sure it will look great :)
I would just place that heater at the back by the inflow, so when the stems grow it would be hidden ;)
keep us posted :)
 

jay

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully(update pics13:9:08)

Thanks guys.
Can just imagine how the middle is going to be (hopefully), but know its going to be a while to fill up nicely.

The heater? Its such an eyesore!! Going to invest in a Hydor external soon, would have one now but I've spent so much already this month, I can't reeaallly justify anymore spending to my lady :rolleyes:
Next month!!
Anyway, I've started dosing. More guess work from me as I've no idea what I should be dosing with AS.
I'm pretty much doing EI with the Tropica+ doing around 8ml a day, with 5ml Excel. I've got ADA Brighty K... but I lost the instructions!!!! So not sure what I should be dosing so I'm just doing 5ml a day. I'm getting pearling so It seems ok.
50% WC a week, straight from the tap. Shut off and seal the filter to protect the bacteria and de-chlorinate, then turn the filter back on.
 

jay

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully(update pics13:9:08)

Well I've done 2 water changes over the last week since filling up and the ammonia levels are around 2mg/L.
This normal? I've got carbon AND Fluval ammonia remover bags in the filter.
 

Ray

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully(update pics13:9:08)

Hi Jay,

So wrapped up in my own worries I only just found this. I really really like this - I like what you did with the wood and the choice of plants is quite superb, love the sand foreground, the landscape rocks, its very very cool. Makes me want to tear down my primevil swamp and start again ;)

jay said:
Well I've done 2 water changes over the last week since filling up and the ammonia levels are around 2mg/L.
This normal? I've got carbon AND Fluval ammonia remover bags in the filter.

Yes. Its normal. I had purigen and Zeolite and it was the same thing, masses of ammonia and later nitrites - you go through a full blown cycling like you are chucking neat ammonia in the tank, you come out of the woods on day 21. Is your filter media mature? Keep your lighting short, your flow, CO2 and dosing high. Watch your ferts don't fall too low with the water changes. Don't be complacent, I went through a phase first 2 weeks when the water was crystal clear and plants pearling then I started to increase lighting and it was too soon.

Your dosing is identical to mine - you might want to get dry salts, the TPN+ goes very fast.... You should do better than me - you have more plants, no crypts and a more mature substrate and filter.
 

jay

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully(update pics13:9:08)

Ray said:
Hi Jay,

So wrapped up in my own worries I only just found this. I really really like this - I like what you did with the wood and the choice of plants is quite superb, love the sand foreground, the landscape rocks, its very very cool. Makes me want to tear down my primevil swamp and start again ;)

That is awesome to read Ray, cheers very much. You know you ain't touching your scape mate, too much potential 8)

Ray said:
Yes. Its normal. I had purigen and Zeolite and it was the same thing, masses of ammonia and later nitrites - you go through a full blown cycling like you are chucking neat ammonia in the tank, you come out of the woods on day 21. Is your filter media mature? Keep your lighting short, your flow, CO2 and dosing high. Watch your ferts don't fall too low with the water changes. Don't be complacent, I went through a phase first 2 weeks when the water was crystal clear and plants pearling then I started to increase lighting and it was too soon.

Your dosing is identical to mine - you might want to get dry salts, the TPN+ goes very fast.... You should do better than me - you have more plants, no crypts and a more mature substrate and filter.

Brought some Purigen today, feel like the Fluval ammonia remover wasn't too good. Co2 @ about 2 bubbles per second, drop checker almost yellow. My filter media is very mature, I was worried about the ammonia remover starving the bacteria but its obviously getting through... Nitrite test is showing too.
You're spot on with the lighting mate, decided to up it yesterday as all was well.... ALGAE!! hehe lowered it back down to 6 hours.
My TPN+ is near gone already so definitely need dry salts.
Thanks for the encouragement though, already een thinking of a 'slight' re-scape after seeing the ADA finalists :D

Going to keep at it though.
 

jay

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully

Almost forgot! I added some Utricularia graminifolia today to some little areas... Know the 'meadow' areas are getting a bit crowded but just have to see what can grow in hi-tech environment. I'm still learning :) Got flame moss in some nooks and crannys too. would've loved this for the branching wood but don't want to start pulling stuff about now.
 

jay

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully

Did yet another large water change yesterday, tested the water about 10 minutes ago.

ammonia barely detectable almost at 0.25mg/L
Nitrite is off the chart at over 5.0mg/L
and nitrate is around 15mg/L But I am adding that daily with TPN+

So when should the nitrite subside and when should I be taking out the Purigen packet?

Also, should I only add my clean up crew when the nitrite is totally dispersed or could they handle a small amount?
Guessing no way for the ottos but not sure with the shrimp... don't want to put them under any unnecessary stress.
 

aaronnorth

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully

take out the purigen after a few days once all planting is done, it will make sure tha no NH3 is releaesed while the substrate is being disturbed.

dont add add anything while NO2 is detectable.
 

Ray

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully

jay said:
Did yet another large water change yesterday, tested the water about 10 minutes ago.

ammonia barely detectable almost at 0.25mg/L
Nitrite is off the chart at over 5.0mg/L
and nitrate is around 15mg/L But I am adding that daily with TPN+

So when should the nitrite subside and when should I be taking out the Purigen packet?

Also, should I only add my clean up crew when the nitrite is totally dispersed or could they handle a small amount?
Guessing no way for the ottos but not sure with the shrimp... don't want to put them under any unnecessary stress.
That's a normal cycling - I hit 20mg/l nitrogen 3 days after a 90% water change! Basically your bacteria that break NH3 into NO2 bread exponentially. Now the bacteria that convert NO2 to NO3 have to catch up with them. Its interesting you still get this with a mature filter, for me the process took 21 days which is about standard for a new filter.

Nitrites are as bad as ammonia and will kill shrimps and Otto's - you have to wait for it all to subside. I think 3 weeks is the minimum. Ed added Ottos to his after that long.

Why remove the purigen? Why not run with it for good?
 

jay

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Re: New 4FT. Low maintanance. Hopefully

Yeah I'll do that... bit of a "n00b" question now I think about ti :oops: :)
Leave it empty until its well cycled.
Don't think you can keep Purigen in permanently as it exhausts and even if if didn't, it still strips other elements good for plants I think. Like leaving carbon in. Just isn't needed for a good planted tank, the plants purify the water.
 

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