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Ray's 90cm Rescape

Mark Evans

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Ray, here's A. reckinii in an old scape of mine....

whitebackgroundtest-1.jpg
 

Ray

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Mark Evans said:
Ray, here's A. reckinii in an old scape of mine....
Oooo, I like that :lol:. But too late - I ordered already!

6 Eleocharis parvula
2 Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides (martitima)
1 Ludwigia arcuata
1 Bacopa caroliniana
1 Bacopa monnieri
1 Didiplis diandra
1 Marsilea hirsute

Lets hope he can get them (he wasn't so confident when I faxed the order) or I'll be dashing around all the Dennerle outlets here trying to scrape together a few pots of E. Parvula - everything else is optional.

So I have rocks on the way. I have plants on order. I have 4kg of bright sand left over from my first scape. I have a free weekend coming up. All I need is some stones to blend with the sand and rocks, I'll wait for the rocks to arrive before buying that.
 

Ray

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Rocks have arrived safe and sound. I went to collect my ordered plants, but unfortunately it was incomplete, so I have:

6 Eleocharis parvula
1 Bacopa caroliniana
1 Rotola rotundifolia
1 Ludwigia repens 'rubin'

Then, on the way home I stopped at Qualipet (Swiss equivalent of Pets at Home) who stock Dennerle and as luck would have it I found in the bargin bin, 75% off, perfect condition but lost their pots:

3 Eleocharis acicularis
1 Alternanthera reineckii ( :lol: Mark!)

Perfect! Dennerle give a much more generous portion of grass than Tropica so I have easily as much in 3 portions as 6 of the other. I think I can do something with this, although I'm pretty disappointed not to have the Hydrocotyle. I might order some from somewhere, I can always pop it in early next week.

I'm not sure if this will be enough, it depends if I do a line of rocks with grass behind, or more of an island effect (my preference).

So Saturday is the big day - watch this space!
 

Mark Evans

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with I-phone in one hand, glass of something in the other, I'll be sure checking out what you design Ray, from the little bar in the Italian sun... :lol: Oh yeah baby.
 

Ray

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So here is what I ended up with:

DSC_0003-2.jpg


Filling up:

DSC_0006-1.jpg


At this point it was 1am and I went to get the filter ready (with hard plumbing and my CO2 reactor you need to prime while the drain feed is underwater but the return isn't). Then I decided while the tank was dry, I'd replace all the 2 year old tubes underneath. Job nearly done when while disconnecting the old tubes from the bulkhead the 22mm reducer came out in my hand. That is this bit here on this old photo:

CIMG1646-1.jpg


Bother! I glued back with PVC glue, left it to cure and went to bed.

This morning I test the seal and it is leaking. I pull the pipe out and basically is is no longer quite round in cross section so its hard to be sure the PCV will fuse. This explains why it came out in my hands, and given how critical this seal is, I really want to put in a new piece. I'm really messed up, in Switzerland nothing is open on Sundays but it looks unless I'm feeling lucky everything has to wait until monday.
 

Ray

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So, it took me 3 days to get fully up and running - long story but I couldn't get the PVC cement to make a watertight seal in situ, so instead there is a 19mm tube coming off the main shank of the bulkhead taking the reducer out of the picture. Said tube comes down to 16mm via a 19/16mm reducing tap.

So far so good - think its a lot easier with mature substrate and filter. We are running 5 hours light, 72w (but old 1 year old bulbs). Dosing standard EI. Phyton Git as per instructions. CO2 in the lime green but I throttled it back slightly today as the rummies loose colour towards the end of the light cycle & I'm guessing it is the CO2. The only algae so far is some BSG in the sand, darn it. I've added my Hydor Koralia nano back in to increase flow and see if that licks it - I was hoping to get away without it but its here to stay, the fish seem happier with - better oxygenation I guess?

Okay, pictures:

DSC_0260.jpg


DSC_0261.jpg


DSC_0262.jpg
 

Mark Evans

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Very pretty Ray.

I somehow feel though, the red plant should be more central? :D

I do like the central grass idea. A very inviting part of the layout. :thumbup:
 

Ray

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Mark Evans said:
Very pretty Ray.
Thank you Mark, its a big hit with my wife too - much more so than my first scape.
I somehow feel though, the red plant should be more central? :D
Actually, the red plant (A. Reiniki) is a bargain bin fragment there for fun, next to it is Ludwigia Repens 'Rubin' - now that should go red, if I get the light right! The rotola rotundifolia should transition from emersed too, but no sign yet... Actually I don't want it to - it is beautiful just as it is...

Any advice on when to trim them - I was thinking to take 2/3 off once they hit the surface?
 

Mark Evans

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Ray said:
Any advice on when to trim them - I was thinking to take 2/3 off once they hit the surface?

The rotala? Take it to any height you like ray. It's a tough cookie. Maybe trim it to the height of the stones, doubling the mass from that point. If you trim higher, you'll end up with the unsightly opart of the stem visible.

A bit like this.

before.jpg


then pick your height, and hack!

after.jpg
 

Ray

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Mark Evans said:
Take a look here to

http://www.vimeo.com/11403285

I've made the clip quicker, i'm not that quick really :lol:

Thanks, already saw that clip - but didn't know you sped it up :lol: What do you think of the sandy area on the left hand side? My better half thinks it throws things off balance.
 

Mark Evans

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Ray said:
What do you think of the sandy area on the left hand side? My better half thinks it throws things off balance.

honestly?...yes, it does throw the eye a little, and the A. Reiniki in it's current position exaggerates it. The later problem can be sorted.

To make sure the balance is maintained to some degree, keep the right side plants real low.

But hey, ray! This is how we learn. No big issues really :thumbup:
 

Ray

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Mark Evans said:
Ray said:
What do you think of the sandy area on the left hand side? My better half thinks it throws things off balance.

honestly?...yes, it does throw the eye a little, and the A. Reiniki in it's current position exaggerates it. The later problem can be sorted.
Ha ha - so you were holding something back? Well let's see what happens, easy enough to add a terrace back LHS if necessary.

BGA in the sand is annoying me - flow and dose nitrates, right?
 

Mark Evans

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Ray said:
Ha ha - so you were holding something back?

sorry mate. yes, a little. When I judged 2 comps recently, the hardest part for me was being honest. it did induce a bit of anxiety when writing truthfully.

it's a case of being tactful I guess.

But who's to say, the layout wont be a success as it is. :thumbup:
 

Ray

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Excuse the snaps just done with my phone camera and uploaded with the photobucket app for speed.

5e8d7e40.jpg


Saintly makes it look so easy with his pruning videos. But don't let that fool you, its not - he's a genius (as well as a rock legend, journeyman leadworker, master photographer, father, husband, etc etc...). I pruned the stems like a hedge and threw all the nice tops thinking it would grow back, I think this was a mistake because the lower half of the stems, particularly the ludwigia, were in poor shape. I guess I should have planted the tips and thrown the bottoms? I am, of course, a complete newbie with stems.

79d333e3.jpg


Also I still have BGA all over my sand. Now, we know BGA is triggered by low nitrates and oxygen so to try and combat it I've even added an internal so we have Eheim 2028 (1050lph), Koralia Nano (900lph) and internal (400lph). Flow in this tank is now 12x and quite awesome. I'm also dosing Nitrates at treble dose so we should be running well at over 50ppm. Phyton Git at 40 drops/water change. So far, it won't give up - I clean the sand and it grows back. Again. And Again.

Any suggestions? Would coarser sand help? I'm in the States next week and I plan to pick up a Vortech MP10 pump (750-6000lph) and some Maracyn - surely these two items will do for it? I really don't want to hit the stems with a blackout if I can avoid it.
 
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