Martins Rio 125, help please!

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Martin Osmond, 11 Apr 2013.

  1. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    Well its been a long time coming but i am finally ready to set up my new tank, which is a juwel Rio 125.
    I bought this tank at the back end of last year but for various reasons have not been able to set it up until now.
    I must say a big thak you to Nathaniel Whiteside as i put this whole set up on here in the for sale section as i didn't think i would have anywhere to put it in our new house, but he persuaded me to 'not become a statistic!' so thanks mate for changing my mind!

    I had a play around with the hardscape last night and ask for your opinions but please be as harsh as possible as you all seem to be too nice on here and i want this to look as the best it possibly can.


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    I am certainly no photographer so sorry for the rubbish quality of photos. Also will give the tank a clean as i didn't realise how dirty it had got! The wood is only 2 pieces so do you think i would be better cutting it into single branches for a bit more flexibility?
    I have added one bag of ADA Amazonia, have another one if i need it so let me know what you think.
    Please be as honest and critical as you want!
     
  2. sa80mark

    sa80mark Member

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    I am very far from a knowledgeable scaper but to me its looking like a great start the wood looks fantastic the only thing I would do if it was my tank would be to build the substrate height up more in the rear right behind the wood and twist the middle rocks slightly as it looks to straight on. I like the open space you have to the left of the tank I will be watching with interest
    Mark
     
  3. Ady34

    Ady34 Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Martin,
    i agree with what Mark has just said, a really nice start, but maybe a slight tweak to that flat, head on rock second from the right will make it look a little more natural. Id maybe try placing one of your smaller rocks further out to the left just to add a little hardscape continuity to the area your likely to be carpeting.
    Perhaps one thing to also consider is that the rockwork is a framework for planting, they will mostly disappear once the palnts grow in so its about creating dividing lines and defining areas for plant groups etc which i think the current positions already do well. You just end up getting a hint of their existence later down the line with a dash of colour and a line of seperation between plant species.

    I personally wouldnt cut up the wood as the 2 pieces go together really well, have a great balance and already achieve the look your aiming for :thumbup: Maybe for future scapes its something you can do to try something else.
    Also like Mark said, id add a bit more substrate to the rear behind the main wood and rock formation. This will help reduce any awkward detrius build up there, but more importantly imo will help alleviate any distribution issues. Its something ive been thinking more about lately, but it makes sense to build the levels up behind hardscape to give a more even substrate line for the flow to follow. Obstacles just create dead spots so its best to minimise their effects.
    Great start, im also pleased you didnt sell up :)
    Cheerio,
    Ady.
     
  4. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    Thanks for your comments, that rock you both mentioned didn't look right to me either but i only have one other which is far too big, was considering trying to smash it up into smaller pieces but didn't know if this was possible?

    Interesting that you mention the rockwork being a framework for the planting as i wasn't aware of this whilst i was positioning it and was just putting it where i thought looked good, so might take it all out and start again.

    In terms of the substrate how high could i go at the back? I have a whole bag of aquasoil left that i am happy to use. Also what would be the recommended depth at the front?

    Thanks in advance
     
  5. Nathaniel Whiteside

    Nathaniel Whiteside Member

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    Hello martin,

    Glad to see you got it all sorted, Happy days!

    As for hardscape, i would be inclined as others suggest,to slightly raise the soil under both the rocks and the wood ( which is a really nice piece by the way .'Love your wood' :eek: :lol: ).
    I would also be inclined to, if possible, tilt the whole wood toward the flat very slightly, as I think it looks a little too 'regimented' or upright, if you can understand what I mean. Then it will tower over the scape, probably throwing some really nice shadows too.

    Ady has an amazing eye for hardscaping, and possesses more insight into how a grown in scape would look than many.

    Cheers,
    N
     
  6. Ady34

    Ady34 Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Martin, maybe just adjust it slightly rather than swap it...twist and tilt approach?
    You can break rocks up, but its a hit and miss approach and you may end up with pieces you dont like the look of. If your going to do it, do it outdoors and wrap it in a towel or sheet before hitting it with a hammer to prevent shards damaging yourself or anything nearby :arghh:

    Dont get me wrong, rockwork still needs to be positioned to be pleasing to the eye, but for scapes such as this which are using it as a base surround to a more focal piece of wood, they generally end up disappearing. Iwagumi's are different again as they depend on the rocks for the main focal points.
    You have photographs now of the current rock positions so if you want to try something else you can without the worry of not creating anything you like more. I think what you have now is good, but you will know what your plans for planting are. At the end of the day, its what you like the look of that is the most important thing as you will be viewing it :D

    4-5" or more at the rear if you like, depends on your hardscape. The front could be as little as 2cm, although i find that a little too difficult to plant in...again depends on your choice of plants, some have shallower root systems like gloss or hc or hairgrass so need less to get a hold and can be planted in very little.
    A trick some use to reduce the amount of soil they have to buy/use to add height is to fill tights (or other retainer) with molar clay, large grain gravel etc to build height and then just cover with the soil...but your happy to use your other bag of ada so no worries there.

    Cheerio,
    Ady. :)
     
  7. cookie3985

    cookie3985 Member

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    This seems like good advice. I just wrapped mine in a sheet and smashed it off the floor until I had small enough pieces. A lot more violent and out of control than your sugestion Ady :)
     
  8. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    Have taken what you have all said on board and tweaked the hardscape slightly. I think it looks much better and will post some pics shortly.
     
  9. tim

    tim Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    You can use a hammer & bolster to break the rocks it's still a bit hit and miss unless you work with stone for a living but I've found you end up with more useable pieces breaking up bigger rocks this way. Good start to your scape mate will follow your progress
     
  10. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    Think i'm quite happy with the wood but still not sure about the rocks, never realised how difficult it was to place rocks in a tank, or is it just me lol!
    Please criticise away!
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    LondonDragon likes this.
  11. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    A couple of quick questions, firstly can i remove the black plastic thing going across the middle of the tank, sorry don't know the name of it!
    Also is it worth buying a substrate scraper thing as i cant seem to get mine smooth?
     
    tim likes this.
  12. Gary Nelson

    Gary Nelson Member

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    You could remove the centre brace, I know others have done on here and things have been ok, I'm not sure I would have the bottle to risk it myself, but that's just me.

    You could smooth the substrate out nice and flat, but I always think when it's not perfectly level it adds to looking more natural... Sometimes a bit of uneven substrate adds character and more to looking just how it should :)

    PS, I'm sure there is an article on the forum somewhere of how to remove the brace, I think Paulo (London dragon) did it? I maybe wrong though...
     
  13. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    I have put some cling film over the top until I can order the plants as someone on another thread advised me to do this to prevent getting loads of dust in the tank. I now have condensation, so should I just take everything out until I get my plants or is this ok?
     
  14. NanoJames

    NanoJames Member

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    Easy, a ruler!:lol:
     
  15. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    After some advice on planting ideas please!

    I want a nice big carpet of Eleocharis sp.mini and was wondering how many pots of the tropica 1-2 grow I would need for this.
    Im also pretty sure I want some blyxa , ammania bonsai, starougyne repens and a nice stem for the far right cornet.

    Im not sure whether to go for pogostemon erectus as sometimes I look at it and it just doesn't look quite right, a bit fake maybe, and other times I think it looks amazing so can't really make my mind up on it.

    If not that then I really like limnophila aromatica but in some pics I have seen if it it looks like it might be too big fir the area I want it to go? I like the look of both these but a open to suggestions on anything else similar.
    Cheers
     
  16. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    Had another quick bash at the hardscape, opinions please.

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    Thanks for looking.
     
    LondonDragon likes this.
  17. t.doyle

    t.doyle Member

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    To me, I personally like how you have it now. There is something that isn't quite sitting right though and I can't make my mind up on what it is...
     
  18. t.doyle

    t.doyle Member

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    Maybe it's because in the bottom quarter of the tank, all the wood is linear along the substrate... I don't know. Someone will be able to advise better than me!
     
  19. bridgey_c

    bridgey_c Member

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    hmmm, I think the very front rock, in between the two branches, isnt quite right......... maybe too big, maybe wrong angle... maybe doesnt need to be there at all....

    everyone has an opinion though so if it looks right to you then that's all that matters! Overall I think its great.
     
  20. Martin Osmond

    Martin Osmond Member

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    Your right have removed it and it looks better, thanks.
     

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