Mjenner's Juwel Rio 125 Planted Tank

mjenner

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Cheers Sam,

I've removed the large clump of rocks to the right (as was visible in my first set of photos prior to pruning the wood), but I was still planning on having a few smaller rocks leading down to the sandy area front-right (I haven't put the sand in yet as I'm still fine-tuning the layout first, once the sand is in it'll be harder to change things about).

The idea with the rocks to the right of the wood in the bare patch was to lead the eye up from the sandy corner, up to the wood and connect the two areas, otherwise you've got the wood, then you've got the sandy patch in the front-right and a plain bank area inbetween. Once the plants grow up around the rocks they should be a bit less pronounced anyway.

If you mean the rocks around the base of the root, well, I tried it without but it looks a bit like the root has just been plonked there rather than being part of the substrate bank. But I guess you can use the same argument that I just used for the smaller rocks on the right, once the plants grow up, it might look better?

I might reduce or fiddle about with the rocks on the right of the root directly as they do look a little blocky, but I'm not sure if I can get a better effect there.

I'll have another tweak when I get home, but I think we're getting pretty close to finalised hardscape.

Thanks for the input,

Matt
 

mjenner

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Thomas McMillan said:
That hardscape looks great, nice one!

Cheers Thomas! :)

stuworrall said:
i think that looks great, all the better for the chop. what plants are you planning to put in the tank? going for moss on the wood?

Yep, I think I might put some moss on the wood, but I think Java Fern might look pretty effective as well as-per David Airey's tank design (which my Missus approves of and we seem to be leaning towards something similar at present).

I might try a combination of both ideas, I do really like some of the mosses but I think seeing the structure of the wood as well might look effective?

I think we might modify my interpretation of his Design by possibly including a few more stem plants at the back behind the wood, the final planting is still evolving at present in my head, the additional stem plants might be added later once I see how it's growing.

So far I think the plants I think I'd like to include (that suit the 'scape) are:

- Hemicanthus Calichtroides "Cuba" (foreground)
- Pogostemnon Helefri (foreground closer to the roots)
- Java Fern 'Narrow' (on the roots and in the root pile)
- Possibly some other mosses on the wood (need to investigate options)
- Hemianthus micranthemoides, Rotala rotundifolia or some other low-ish green bushy stem plant. (mid-back on the right to behind the wood pile)
- Echinodorus tenellus (mid, maybe used sparingly around the base of roots)
- Some form of bushy stem plants behind the wood pile.

I'd love Limnophilia Aromatica, but I'm not sure it'd fit in this scape, it might devolve/evolve (depending on your POV) into a jungle scape, but I think I'll try and be a bit disciplined at least initially :).

Cheers,

Matt
 

mjenner

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Possible Use of More Moss in Aquascape

After Stu's comments about using Moss on wood, I've been doing some thinking and after I just saw how Dan Crawford's used moss in this Aquascape on branches/roots in this aquascape (http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/featured_aquascaper/Dan_Crawford.html), after seeing this I'm thinking I might try to use more moss on my roots! :)

On the page, there's a closeup of some moss with a shrimp, I'm not sure of the moss name but I like the way it's almost got little leaves, it looks really nice, I'll have to do some more hunting about and find it's name tonight.
 

LondonDragon

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mjenner said:
On the page, there's a closeup of some moss with a shrimp, I'm not sure of the moss name but I like the way it's almost got little leaves, it looks really nice, I'll have to do some more hunting about and find it's name tonight.
Its Fissidens Fontanus, I have actually sent a lot of this to members over the last couple of weeks, so it will take sometime to grow back again otherwise I would send you some, have a look in my journal for some photos, later pages.
 

mjenner

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Cheers Paulo, I'm looking forward to the day I'll be able to be so kind to others, when I had my old setup, I was literally throwing away tons of plants every month or so as I had noone else who'd like them. It'll be nice to pass them on to good homes (providing I can keep them Algae free! :D).

I think I'm pretty much there with the plants I want, I've just got to work out the cheapest supplier that has all the plants I need as I'll want to get them all at once before filling the tank so I can plant in one sitting.

My local mAQ will order from Tropica but I need to work out if their costs are a rip-off or not, it's a shame you can't order from Tropica directly and cut out the middle-man and some of the cost but I don't think they'll deal with the piddling quantities I need! :)

I'll have a bit more of a think and try and draft up a list of prices for the plants at the various suppliers.
 

Tony Swinney

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Hi Matt

The wood looks great now !

Rich at MAq has told me the same re Tropica - maybe we should order together for more discount !!!

Having said that, the Aquafleur plants I got at Shoots last week looks good, quite big plants in the pots, and 5 for £12 :wideyed: They wont order in specially for you, but Richard at AE is stocking AquaFleur now.

Cheers

Tony

AquaFleur_1.jpg
 

mjenner

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Thanks Tony, I'm a lot happier with it now, and I'm glad it looks (at least slightly) convincingly natural, it was worth the cursing and the bloodshed in the end! (cut myself with a screwdriver a bit whilst trying to force a split to break open to make a more convincing natural cut in the root, probably a bit of a silly thing to do but it kind-of worked. Still, you're supposed to suffer for your art aren't you? ;) )

Nice plants btw :).

Hmm, I wonder how large the order would have to be to get a discount? :) I popped into Shoots on Saturday, there certainly were a lot of plants in but I didn't see enough that I would use in this scape I think? I'll look at pricing an order with mAQ tonight/tomorrow and look at trying to match a similar order with several online suppliers.

If you're serious about getting a bulk order together I'll PM you once I've done the sums if it all adds up for me. I won't be able to order till this Sat at the earliest though, as they wanted me to be in the shop to order and I couldn't do it over the phone. Unfortunately, West Horsley's a bit too far to go in my lunchbreak seeing as I work up in London! :))

Cheers,

Matt
 

mjenner

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Initial Plant Order

Well, I decided to go ahead with a plant order from Java Plants last night, I priced up what I thought I'd need from Tropica with mAQ's price list and with AE and GreenMachine, all WAY too pricey... I ended up going with Java Plants, they did well with my last order, here's hoping they do just as well this time! They're also cheap enough that I could actually order a little extra just in case and buy a few plants to see how they look (any leftovers will be going on the swaps page I think if my cube tank doesn't need them). I'm still going to have to buy my HC elsewhere, and the Pogostemnon 'Helefri' as I think Pogo is a Tropica only plant and HC seems to be sold out everywhere!

I've ordered two 'nets' of HC from Java plants, we'll see what state it's in when I get it, but I think I'll probably have to order some HC to bolster it up and Pogo from Tropica via mAQ, but at least it brings that order to a more manageable cost.

My Plant list so far looks like:

  • Small Helzine (think this is Hemianthus micranthemoides)
    Crypt Wendtii (Cryptocoryne Wendtii)
    Crypt Becketii (Cryptocoryne Becketii)
    Crypt Nevillii (Cryptocoryne Willisii)
    Ambulia Aquatica (Limnophila Sessiliflora)
    Rorippa Aquatica
    Didiplis Diandra
    Micranthemum Umbrosum
    Hairgrass (Eleocharis Vivipara)
    Java Fern (Microsorium Pteropus)
    Hemianthus Calitrichoedes

I also get a free moss-ball (which I don't think really belongs in this scape, so I'll try it in the cube or it'll go in the swap section :) )

I think I'll plant this, get it up and running then add any extras as required (I still need to investigate mosses as Java Plants didn't have a very good selection).
 

a1Matt

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mjenner said:
I also get a free moss-ball (which I don't think really belongs in this scape, so I'll try it in the cube or it'll go in the swap section :) )

I think I'll plant this, get it up and running then add any extras as required (I still need to investigate mosses as Java Plants didn't have a very good selection).

I'd post it up in the swap section and ask to exchange it for some moss ;)
There are lots of people in this forum with mosses so I do not think you will have any problem swapping for some once your other plants have grown in and you get around to taking trimmings...
 

mjenner

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Yep, that's a good plan, but I'm not sure if anyone would find a use for a moss-ball, I imagine it'd look out of place anywhere (at least in any of the tanks I've seen they've looked pretty odd) :)

I think at least some of the cuttings will be going to refurbish my small cube tank first once the main tank is back up and running but they'll definately be finding their way to the swaps section once I have enough worth swapping :)

Getting empty-tank fever at the moment, Java are taking forever to send my plants.... Still the wait is almost (hopefully) over now... :)
 

mjenner

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Worried About Plant Delivery

Well, I haven't posted on here for a while, this being largely due to twiddling my thumbs waiting for my plants to arrive, by the timeline on Java-Plants website, they should have been dispatched on Wednesday, the timeline goes something like this:

03/03/09 - Plants Ordered
05/03/09 - Java-Plants fax order to supplier in Singapore (this occurs weekly)
08/03/09 - Singapore Supplier Dispatches Plants to UK
09/03/09 - Plants arrive in UK (Manchester and are Collected)
10-11/03/09 - Plants are sorted and packed for delivery.
12/03/09 - Last Plants Dispatched for the week.

So (providing my order was fulfilled this week, should be, they took my money!) it should (in theory) be arriving yesterday (which it didn't) or today, or worst case, Saturday... when no-one's in the office, so I'll come in to a nice box of dead plants on Monday.

It doesn't help that at the moment, my company has some insane security screening thing on all post this week (for a number of reasons) so I'm having to keep checking with the post-room and security and I've got everyone looking for a box with "Java" and my name written on it.

Well, I'll know in about 45mins (16:30), the time the Post-Room receives the post... fingers crossed! :)

Incidentally, I've also ordered a cheap dosing pump (rinse-aid dispenser for a commercial dishwasher) and I've bought the dry ferts required, still waiting on the Potassium Sorbate, but I've got the Vitamin C, so I'll be taking Paulo up on his earlier offer of help with getting the EI dosing right for my tank.

Well, that is if I ever recieve these bl**dy plants! :)

Bye for now,

Matt
 

George Farmer

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Healthy plants should be ok for a good few days if they're packed well.

I had a large qty. of Tropica pots held in my garage for 2 weeks until I planted them in Matt Clarke's tank. They looked new when I unpacked them.
 

steve2tanks

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Im in the same situation,ordered plants last week but havent got them :rolleyes:

Have you tried emailing them as im going too,ill let you know what the reply is when i get one ;)
 

mjenner

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Hi Steve,

I expected it to take two weeks due to Java-plant's shipping cycle, it ensures you get good quality plants, but it's not too quick.

I called Java-Plants at about 5ish after I couldn't find the post-boy, they were really helpful and confirmed that the order was dispatched Wednesday morning, so it should have got to me by today or tomorrow at the latest.

As expected (I didn't really feel like luck was on my side today) the plants weren't there at our department in-tray, nor at reception (where larger parcels are left), and the post-room boy wasn't anywhere to be found (due to the security problems, there might be a backlog in the post-room). I tried my best to catch him (chasing round the building on a wild goose chase) but no luck.

This raised another issue, I don't work on a Saturday! :( However, the security guard is working tomorrow and he's gone above and beyond the call of duty and promised to check the post and call me if it does turn up tomorrow!

However, the worst-case is that if they were received today but not processed, they're sitting in the post-room.

So, I'm in the unusual state of crossing everything hoping that the post is late for once! If I the call tomorrow I'll have to drive up to London to collect it but hopefully some of the plants will be ok! :)

Cheers for the advice George,

I've kept crypts and Amazon Swords out of the water for a while bagged too (for a few days after I moved) and they were fine, I'm a little worried about the HC and the stem plants though as from memory of my last order, they didn't travel too well (most made it but some went a bit mushy).

Although I'm always a bit of a worrier about live deliveries (plants or livestock) I guess I'm most miffed as I was hoping to have spent a nice evening finally planting the tank up and getting it looking really nice :) (which was just what I needed after the week I've had at work! :D).

Oh well, fingers crossed for tomorrow eh? :D

Cheers,

Matt
 

mjenner

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The Mystery of the Missing Plants (Solved)

Well after worrying that my plants order hadn't made it through the bowels of my office mail system, it turns out it never even got that far! :)

I received this email yesterday evening:

Dear Matt

Sorry in the delay getting back to you on your order, but we have had to send this e-mail to 23 other customers as well,

It appears as of this morning that we have had a bag of our outward mail go missing, as 23 consignments sent out the same day in the same batch have not arrived with our customers.

As we only found this out this morning as more and more customers have been on to us advising us they have not recvd the plants, we will have to re order the plants in for next week, as to have them available now to send out we would have had to put the order in with our supplier last Thursday, and we were not aware a full bag of mail had gone missing at that point.

Your order will be one of the first ones to be sent out next week, and also we would like to offer you £10.00 worth of free plants on your next order with us as a small token for the delay in your order.

If you would like to take us up on this, when you order again, just drop me a quick e-mail as well adv me you have ordered and just adv me you would like to claim your free plants.

We are sorry once again that your plants did not reach you on time, but it was unfortunately out of our hands.

Kind regards

Mark

I can only assume Steve was one of the others affected by this mail-pilferage... (although what the average mail-thief is going to do with several hundred pounds worth of plants I don't know... eat them? :D)

Ah well, I'm a little bit peeved that I haven't got my plants still, but I'm kind of relieved that they've not gone missing in my office somewhere (this shouldn't happen now the security restrictions have gone as things have returned to normal again).

On the plus side... £10 worth of free plants! I wonder if they'll start stocking Pogo? :)

While I'm waiting, I'm in the process of wiring up my dosing pump (it came with bare wires, just need some mains cable, a soldering iron and some heat-shrink tubing to do a proper job, probably do this at the weekend), I've also got all the ingredients for the all-in-one mix now, just need to work out what my initial mix needs to dose when I get my plants.

As well as this I'm going to try and build a shower-head to hozelock adapter for easier tank filling, so should be enough to keep me busy! :)

Cheers,

Matt
 

mjenner

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The Operation was a Success - 25/03/2009

Just a quick entry today, the plants finally arrived last night (in really good shape) and I spent from 8pm-1:30am putting them in and filling up the tank (didn't get my water-changer built in time, it's a tedious business with buckets!). Looks like I got the order about right in size, although I actually think I overdid it on the HC!

As a result I've got one mat of HC (approx 10cm2) that'll be going in the swap section for some moss once I let it recover from the journey in my tank for a bit.

About 50% of the way through filling the tank, I did have a minor catastrophe as the wood had dried more than I thought and decided to float, taking most of my plants with it, so I had to try and hold it down with one hand, balance a plate on it (was using it to deflect the surge from the buckets of water), then rush to my leftover rocks for a counterweight and try and re-plant the scape.

It's now got a massive stone on top, and this'll probably remain that way for a week or two until I'm sure it's properly soaked again.

Equipment-wise, everything from the old setup still works, the new Koralia Nano's are really good and the flow looks great (you can see the flow crossing from each corner and the flow from the spray bar at the back tumbling it round across the top and down the front of the glass to the HC and pogo at the front.

I cranked the CO2 up as there's no fish in there at the moment (drop-checker showing a very yellowy-green at present) and the plants responded by pearling nicely this morning (I didn't count all the bubbles last night as those were "fake" pearling from the fill-up).

I still need to adjust the lighting period from my original setup (need to reduce the duration a bit), and I need to put the CO2 back on a timer along with the Koralias but I was rather tired by this point and decided sleep was a good idea seeing as I needed to be up at 6am!

This morning, still looking good, it's still a little hazy but clearing, I've had a few bits of plant uproot themselves in the flow, and I think this might be a continuing theme for a few days until things start to root and I've dosed 5mm of TPN+ (proper stuff initially, I'm going to do my DIY mix as soon as I can get more accurate scales (eBay I think)).

Not looking forward to the water changes this week, but it'll be worth it I hope! :)

Took some pics and I'll try and upload them tonight once I get a chance to process the RAW files.

Bye for now,

Matt
 
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