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Lee's new start.... 180L Island scape

Aeropars

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Joined
9 Jul 2007
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791
Location
Leicester
Well I decided I wasnt at all happy with my current look in the tank and infact, it was a bit of a mess so I decided that I'd start to try a new approach and decided i'd chop my redmore wood into a way I can create an Island look. I am recycling all my old plants and thinning them out a lot but I'm going to attempt to carpet using something like HC and I'm working on a way to prevent my angel fish uprooting the new plants.

I'm running 4 x T8 (30w each), Substrate of Tropica base substrate with Seachem Onyx sand on top. I'm going to be dosing a PPMD style fert schedule running JBL pressureised CO2.

Now on with the pics!

First, heres how the tank looked:
Misc+012.JPG


I then uprooted all the plants and almost instantly regretted it! The tropica substrate made a right old mess. If i had the cash i would have gone from scratch with Eco Complete but unfortunatly, the missus wont allow.
Misc+013.JPG


After doing no less than 6 water changes throughout the day, I decided to play around outside the tank with the hardscape. I decided to keep the Anubias that were already tied to the wood.
Misc+014.JPG


I had 3 bits of dragon rock in the tank as well which I bought a while back to see how nice it was. I'm really impressed with it but cant get permission to buy a 10-20kg order of the stuff. I think it would make the scape look a lot better with more in there and it woudl help me to build a multi level scape.


After 3 water changes the water is starting to get clearer!
Misc+018.JPG


Some of my crypts were enormous and needing thinning badly. As i tried splitting the roots a lot of them got damaged but i was really surprised at how many new plants had been born from what was once a single Tropica pot.
Misc+019.JPG


3 hours later..... another water change. I really could have done with some Seachem Clarity to help clear up this mess as it was a real problem for the filter to grab the bits. This shot is after doing a gravel vac to clear up all the sediment that settled.
Misc+020.JPG


I decided to put the wood in the sink to keep it wet and so I didnt have to take the Anubias off it as well. I ran out of water dechlorinator so poped to Ocean Commotion and got some more and picked up some more Anubias as well. they are small but when grown in will hopefully give a great effect.
You can also see my water change device. A 10 metre hose that runs from the tap to the tank in the living room. I just syphon out water into the drain then attach to the tap to refill!
Misc+022.JPG


While I was at it i took a quick photo of the coldwater tank:
Misc+023.JPG


Finally, I have the wood in and had to float the plants because I had to go away for the weekend.
Misc+024.JPG


When the camera is charged I'll get a better shot of how it looks now. Plants are still floating but I intent to get cracking as soon as I can.

I'll keep you updated.
 

Ed Seeley

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3 Jul 2007
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I agree with DevUK, lots of hard work and then everything looks a mess! They come alright in the end though so don't get dis-spirited! I'm thinking of doing a major overall myself on a tank, but thinking maybe not now...

I'm liking the centre arrangement you're planning, should look good.
 

Lisa_Perry75

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17 Oct 2007
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Southampton
Yeah if anyone knows how to separate stuff from tropica pots like these crypts it would be handy. I really tried but it was damaging the rootstock...
 

Steve Smith

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Lisa_Perry75 said:
Yeah if anyone knows how to separate stuff from tropica pots like these crypts it would be handy. I really tried but it was damaging the rootstock...

I use the pointy end of a wooden skewer to get into all the hard to get too spots. After doing a few pots you get the technique down :) A skewer and lots of patience. I actually find it quite theraputic :)
 

ceg4048

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Lisa_Perry75 said:
Yeah if anyone knows how to separate stuff from tropica pots like these crypts it would be handy. I really tried but it was damaging the rootstock...

Lisa, do you mean you have difficulty removing the plant from the black plastic mesh pot that the plant comes in? If that's what you mean then just get a pair of scissors and cut the black plastic away. The roots that are wrapped around the plastic should be cut back short anyway.

Cheers,
 

Aeropars

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Leicester
Well tonight I got around to planting up. I never realised it would be so difficult with fully grown, yet trimmed, plants. It looks like it will turn out well from early signs however i'll let you guys be the judge of that.

Waters a bit cloudy at the moment so i'll post a picture tomorrow when the water has cleared.
 

nry

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23 Oct 2007
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Tropica plants require patience. Don't worry about damaging the roots a little, some suggest cutting roots down a little to encourage growth anyhow.
 

nry

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23 Oct 2007
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And as for permission, I'd suggest my wife's shoe's cost more per annum than my aquarium does!
 

Aeropars

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9 Jul 2007
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As promised I took a couple of new shots today. The addition of some of James' Blyxia makes it look much better but whether I can keep this growing or not I have no idea. Only time will tell.

All plants are relativlly old and have big difficiencies so my new fert regeim will show its true colours! The only thing i plan on doing is trying a carpeting plant again. Something like HC would look good in my opinion. Exisiting plant are a little twisted as I floated them for a few days while I was away but i hope this wont make them grow any different to how they did before.

Apologies for the cloudiness, i only just finished planting the Blyxia!

Heres a full tank shot:
tank+001.jpg


tank+002.jpg


A closer shot of the center:
tank+005.jpg


A peek at whats running the tank:
tank+006.jpg


When the tank is fully clear and the water level filled up i'll make another post.
 

Aeropars

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9 Jul 2007
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Leicester
Thanks for the comments guys. I hope it turns out as well as I hope it will. I came down to a floating Blyxia plant this morning but it didnt look like the stem was melting which is good. Also found out that the time I put on for the CO2 doesnt work so my first day of co2 being on before lights on has been done manually.
 

Dan Crawford

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It looks nice mate, i bet your well pleased with it. The only critique i would give is to move the c. balensae? in the right corner along with the lilly? to behind the mound to try and stick to the "island" composition that you have achieved very well.
Good work, i'd be chuffed with that.
 
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