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New Decade, New Decadence...

😲 i am shocked someone reacted that way for you trying to help and show them information they asked you for, i know what you mean if ever we need the information or advice or what has previously worked we can ask on this forum 😉 great bunch of people without any of the keyboard warriors 😁
 
if ever we need the information or advice or what has previously worked we can ask on this forum 😉 great bunch of people

And that is just one reason why UKAPS is so special 😊

Final post on this tank for a while now. It’s getting gratuitous seeing it on the thread board.

Ten days on from the initial mess after Co2 and autodoser were switched off for three days.

Hair algae evicted:

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Switching to EI has required removing and moving some plants to improve distribution.

At the back there’s the draw towards the inlet and push to the back right corner:

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Moved a lot of species that we want emersed to the back wall, so ongoing there’s a channel for flow to travel along. A lot of species have been replanted low but will make an appearance soon enough:

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The front now has improved flow with the trident fern gone and Bolbitis cut back:

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Now that debacle is dealt with it’s just a matter of letting things grow out again.

Did discover on this little journey that underneath the eleocharis carpet, the soil is pretty much gone! There’s just a thin layer of dust and roots.

Debating whether to do something about this, replace the soil and replant. Alternatively, could carefully remove the carpeted area and replace with a sand bed. Put some small lava rock to add interest at the front. Something to consider for early next year maybe.

Anyway. Some wanted to know how the hair algae would be dealt with. That’s all folks. Next…
 
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Committed to the idea of sand on the base of the 1200 with root tabs for the background. Remove the eleocharis carpet and soil entirely from the foreground through to the valley to the back.

Dose the column with Tropica TPN+ for the best middle ground. Can still get decent form and colour then on the background stems. Epiphytes can get along with Tropica dosing.

Something to do over the Christmas break in time for the new year. New year, new look and no carpet to trim - winner.
 
Carpet removal:

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Lights off today, high surface agitation and second water change later.

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Sand is deliberately high, let any debris settle and siphon out the top layer.

Few plants to sort for tidy up but can do that anytime. Will trim the back and add root tabs in another week.
 
Looks great!! Really good idea with having the sand be thicker at first so you can siphon some out that gets all filled with crud. I have this problem all the time 😅
 
Looks great!! Really good idea with having the sand be thicker at first so you can siphon some out that gets all filled with crud. I have this problem all the time 😅

It was easier having a super thin layer and replacing like in the last scape:

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Always clean then. But a thicker layer that you can skim is a close second.

The sand is holding back the soil in the current scape now. Will always need to be reasonably thick, no escaping it. But it is a good excuse to add some corydora catfish potentially 🤔
 
It was easier having a super thin layer and replacing like in the last scape:

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Always clean then. But a thicker layer that you can skim is a close second.

The sand is holding back the soil in the current scape now. Will always need to be reasonably thick, no escaping it. But it is a good excuse to add some corydora catfish potentially 🤔
Yeah I love the super thin look tbh, especially right at the front glass. You guys have turned me into a sand snob! Although of course for corydoras I would have thick sand then, the way they snort it in huge volumes is just so funny. Love my pygmies but would love to keep the big proper sort one day.

What kind would you get? 👀
 
You guys have turned me into a sand snob!

😂😏😁

It does have the aesthetic value without collecting all the crud. Downside is it offers no habitat. Do find that the Green Neons are much more bold when there is a sand base. They’re patrolling the boarders now which is nice to see. The White Clouds try to herd them but it never works 😂 Power in numbers.

Although of course for corydoras I would have thick sand then, the way they snort it in huge volumes is just so funny. Love my pygmies but would love to keep the big proper sort one day.

What kind would you get? 👀

Regular Corydora sterbai are a favourite, they just look so dapper. They live a relatively long time though to what most in the hobby are willing to care for. The old man had a set of sterbai that were with us through most of my childhood.

To be honest @shangman probably won’t add any more stock as nice as it would be. The purpose of formatting the current setup is to let the White Clouds and Green Neons live out their days. The change to sand was to limit maintenance so the tank gets the consistency it deserves.

To answer your question though… If I were to commit to a forever ever tank it would be a full brigade of sterbai, 80 plus of them in a large setup so they shoal and show off their true nature. Point source like the Kessils as they have been more relaxed in dappled light from experience. Clever flow pattern with breaks and eddy’s to encourage them onto the sand bed for the chance of a bonus morsel of food. Probably river style, outlets all on one side, inlets on the other.

Anyway, Corydora Sterbai… Final answer 😂 Once you’ve seen them in a large shoal, it’s hard not to love them.
 
All cleared up:

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Will have a tidy up this weekend so the background stems grow in at the same rate. They are all back there, just need to show their faces. Will pop the root tabs in before next water change see if we can get things rolling again.

Also, some new additions:

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Popped in those 1-2-Grow pots and trimmed the back so it grows in at the same rate. Think the tank is planted out now, just needs to grow out for a month. Everyone likes the new sandy look here which is a plus.

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Put the tripartita in the sand towards the edges in the foreground for a different texture, reinstated the pinnatifida on the wood on the right and proserpinaca in the sand at the very back centre.

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Should just leave a ‘tunnel’ down the middle rather than a valley. The tripartita will round off the immediate foreground and edges hopefully. Never been much of a ‘proper’ scape but should add some depth from the front.

Pinnatifida can break up the middle right and the moss will thicken on the wood on the right to remove those straight edges. Will see how it all turns out in another month.

Also… there are fish in there despite their absence in most pictures 😂 They all scarper when you get your phone out (unless there’s food as part of the deal):

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I had tripartita at the front in one tank, never again. Couldnt keep up with cutting it back, just grew so fast 🙂 Hope it behaves better in this setup! Looks great, even better with the sand then before.
 
I had tripartita at the front in one tank, never again. Couldnt keep up with cutting it back, just grew so fast 🙂 Hope it behaves better in this setup! Looks great, even better with the sand then before.
This I had it before until the sae grew up l. Now there is no way to grow it, it just get eaten right away. After that it was the moss the was the target.
 
I had tripartita at the front in one tank, never again. Couldnt keep up with cutting it back, just grew so fast 🙂 Hope it behaves better in this setup! Looks great, even better with the sand then before.

It should be pretty restricted in the sand, reliant on the water column for all nutrients. It is also planted next to a lot of established plants and shaded by them. Most of what you see is growing very close to the front glass, light is being reflected back off the front panel rather than direct:

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Can hopefully train it to grow out onto the sand for light and access to nutrients in the flow. Any vertical growth will need planting back into the sand or need pinching back, hopefully not too frequently. That’s the theory… We’ll find out though.

If it does pan out, planting all the way out to the front glass on the left and right can add a layer of depth. It’s less than two centimetres of growth front to back but somehow helps fool the eye. Exchanging the valley for a tunnel by crowding growth should also help. Lots of shadows always helps create depth, even more so along the path of the focal point.

This I had it before until the sae grew up l. Now there is no way to grow it, it just get eaten right away. After that it was the moss the was the target.

They do like to munch 😂
 
I think the sand and new style of the layout looks great Geoffrey, love how you have kept the scape going with some slight changes changing the forground etc , my last scape was over a year so love a long term scape and i dont have time to be rescaping often maybe when kids are up a bit 😉, looks great though and hopefully a bit less work and a bit easier.
 
A methodical and calculated victory over the hair algae.
Great job and explanation.
 
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