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

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Aeropars, 24 Mar 2008.

  1. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

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    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:
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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!
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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!
    [​IMG]

    While I was at it i took a quick photo of the coldwater tank:
    [​IMG]

    Finally, I have the wood in and had to float the plants because I had to go away for the weekend.
    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Major tank overhauls are a nightmare! What crypts are those?

    Good luck!
     
  3. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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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.
     
  4. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

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    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...
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    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 :)
     
  6. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

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    If its a small plant then I normally keep a bit of the rock wool on as it helps keep it anchored in the substrate. I think its impossible to get it totally off of the smaller carpeting plants like HC.
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    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,
     
  8. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

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    I mean separating the plants into individual plants as they are so overgrown.
     
  9. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

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    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.
     
  10. nry

    nry Member

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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.
     
  11. nry

    nry Member

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    And as for permission, I'd suggest my wife's shoe's cost more per annum than my aquarium does!
     
  12. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    Love the wood arrangement you achieved.

    Sam
     
  13. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

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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:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A closer shot of the center:
    [​IMG]

    A peek at whats running the tank:
    [​IMG]

    When the tank is fully clear and the water level filled up i'll make another post.
     
  14. mindscape100

    mindscape100 Member

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    Love the setup as it is a f weeks maturing that will be great....Good work man
     
  15. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

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    Looks great Lee, what CO2 reactor are you using, and is it easy to setup. :D
     
  16. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

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    The reactor is one from a German Ebay seller but i'll be buggered if I can find it again. James C has the same one I beleive, he might be able to post a link. On top of this I'm using JBL pressurised CO2 with a PH controller as a failsafe.
     
  17. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    Love the scape and the system set up in the cabinet very neat :)

    FYI one of the German ebay sellers is no longer on ebay, lunapet sells these reactors though.
     
  18. JamesC

    JamesC Member

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    Looking good. Glad the blyxa got to you safely. The CO2 reactor comes from Aquamas and is the bees knees IMHO. Aquamas don't sell on ebay anymore but now run a website shop - http://www.aquamas.de/Reaktoren.

    James
     
  19. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

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    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.
     
  20. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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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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