Critique my hardscape Seiryu stone & Slim Wood

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by MattW, 17 Apr 2018.

  1. MattW

    MattW Member

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    Hi all,

    I've finally got all the materials needed to begin scaping my new setup with a Flexi mini scape tank & light.

    I've never really tried to aquascape with both wood & stone, my previous attempts with both being somewhat dull rocks & standard drift wood so I thought that with this new tank i'll give it another shot - only this time with better materials.

    I've picked out what I think are the best stones that I purchased online and individually bought the ADA slim wood from TGM. So i'm just looking for the opinions from you guys who are undoubtedly more experienced.

    IMG_0279.jpg
     
  2. Kezzab

    Kezzab Member

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    Hi Matt,

    i have the same set up and i think it's quite tricky to scape such a small tank.

    I think at the moment there's a few things you could do to develop your scape:

    - it seems very flat at the moment, I'd try and get some gradient so the scape feels like it has a direction. You could literally stick some diagonal lines from corner to corner on the front glass to help guide where you place stuff.
    - the rocks seem uniform in size, can you break some up so you can get a variety and create some gradient/transition?

    That make any sense??

    If it were me id try and shift everything left and up, with the wood orientated so it feels like its flowing down and to the right.

    Have fun experimenting.
    k
     
  3. alto

    alto Member

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    Go back & work with each scape material independently

    I'd begin with the stone - try various heights & angles, look at the strata of the rock, try for most pieces flowing the same dx, maybe 1 opposing
    Take photos

    Then look at various wood options - is it a single piece?

    I really like the long curving piece towards back left, seems at odds with the right side ...

    Note that once plants are in, hardscape is mostly obscured unless iwagumi style, so choose your favourite pieces for longterm scape visibility & use others as more structural blocks

    Also note that camera perception can dramatically differ from IRL
    Scape based upon your veiling angle/zone
     
  4. MattW

    MattW Member

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    Hi guys, appreciate the responses!

    I do have some more rock I can play around with, I chose these because they had the best colouration & pattern - a few of the others are somewhat flat and unappealing. With the wood it's actually 3 separate pieces, the main piece being the large piece which flows up toward the left side. I'll have a play tomorrow with a fresh approach, I think i'd benefit from sloping the substrate slightly more and as you guys mentioned adjusting the rocks slightly. I have since adjusted the top right rock to be slightly more angular upwards, I agree it's almost as if the rocks are all flowing horizontal making it seem flat.

    Many thanks
     
  5. alto

    alto Member

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    Also consider what livestock you want to keep in tank - sloped substrates look grand but often decrease tank volume significantly, then add hardscape ....

    You can fake the slope with plant species & trimming & hardscape :)
    (also camera tends to flatten the image)
     
  6. Keith GH

    Keith GH Member

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    Matt

    This is where I would start go back and have fun using a Mock Tank its a lot safer and easier when working with rocks. The substrate can be either cheap sand or even garden soil.
    I would get the substrate levels right first.
    Place the DW every way you can try not to place it centrally.
    When you have that perfect start playing with the stones.

    One word of warning it's something you are not going to do that is finish the Mock Aquascape to perfection in a week or so.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Keith:wave::wave:
     
  7. Kezzab

    Kezzab Member

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    Regards livestock, total tank volume is 15 litres. Plus substrate etc and you are looking at 12 liters max. So in my opinion shrimp is all you can stock anyway. And in that case i don't think it matters too much.
    k
     
  8. alto

    alto Member

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    Possibly a Wild Betta pair (often kept & bred in small tanks)
    Unfortunately it's a case of wild Bettas OR shrimp :(

    Broke down my Betta hendra tank today as no signs of any fish for ages :arghh:
    :wideyed: juvenile
    :wideyed: :wideyed: the female
    :wideyed: :wideyed: :wideyed: the male
    Few hours later, saw the male & female dancing together ... I suppose this means they liked the new digs
     
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  9. MattW

    MattW Member

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    Hi Keith, appreciate the response

    It's a good point, I think like you suggested i'll go back to the drawing board and make sure I take each step on its own to make sure i'm happy before proceeding instead of just trying to cobble it together and adjust as so. Also an interesting idea about placing stones after, when creating this scape I went rocks first then wood to make it look as if the wood was growing along the rocks.

    Cheers for the suggestions guys - the plan is to stock with shrimp only, I was originally thinking about doing some harder to keeps shrimp like CRS however i'm now thinking I should keep it nice and simple with RCS which I already have experience with. Though we'll see!

    I should mention i'm not intending to use CO2 or liquid carbon in this tank - perhaps only using LC if and when algae problems arise. I will be dosing some ferts however, I've gone with evolution aqua complete liquid plant food as I've used it in my other nano tank with good results.
     
    Keith GH likes this.
  10. Kezzab

    Kezzab Member

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    As mentioned, i have this light/tank combo. In my experience of running it for the past 3 years you will have major algae problems if you do not either inject Co2 or reduce the intensity of the light. The light is bright and there is no dimmer switch. I have used baking paper to physically reduce the intensity. I would definitely think about this!
     
  11. MattW

    MattW Member

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    From what I've heard some people have experienced both ends of the spectrum - some with major algae problems however some without these problems. I intend on possibly using some floating plants to reduce lighting, if need be I'll also possibly invest in a nano CO2 kit (I was going to buy an ADA one in the TGM closing sale but unfortunately they've sold out). Definitely think what you're saying is a concern so i'll have to see how it goes. As far as dimming the light physically using your idea, do you think the frosted privacy film I've put on the tank could also serve the same effect as the baking paper, if so I might be able to put a thin piece over the LEDs to maintain the aesthetics. I know it will do some dimming just questioning how much as compared to baking paper.

    I'm not sure if it makes a difference but from what I've read (actually was suggested by alto on someone else's nano tank thread) there's now a 2nd generation light which I believe is mine considering how recent this tank was purchased. The only physical difference I know of is the fact my light is black with flexi mini printed on the side of it as opposed to the other sets I've seen where the light fixture is silver - wondering if they possibly reduced the power of the light in the second revision?

    Many thanks
     
  12. Kezzab

    Kezzab Member

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    Mine is same light as yours it sounds. If the frosting can cope with the heat from the light it could work. And as you say, floating plants are a good move.
     
  13. alto

    alto Member

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    Black or silver was always an option for these lights - both generations

    I'll take a look at mine to see details, as I recall the 2nd gen is ~15% brighter, slightly different color (Kelvin), it's been out at least 2 years (though many shops still had the first gen for sale when I searched out mine)

    Rather than adhering anything to the light surface (glue residue may become permanent, also check that heat won't impact the film), someone (in a journal ;)) modified the clamp to raise the light

    George Farmer has some recent videos (setting up client tanks) with wood & stone :)
    Each time he's put down wood first

    If you look at Crystal Mountain by Nuno M, the stone has obviously gone first with the wood fallen atop the stone much later (again well worth looking at his journals - & others in the group)
     
  14. MattW

    MattW Member

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    Ah maybe it's possible they are the same, in that case i'll just keep an eye out for any problems developing an will likely stock floating plants right off the bat.

    Good to hear about the wood, wont be able to play around with the scape today but will take note of that technique - might make it a little more natural and not forced.

    The film I've used is held by static and doesn't have any adhesives on it which is why I like it, i'll have a think because you both bring up a good point about heat. If I may ask how is it you're able to tell between 1st and 2nd generation lights?
     
  15. alto

    alto Member

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  16. alto

    alto Member

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    Note above link is for the 2nd gen Flexi-M
     
  17. MattW

    MattW Member

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    So just a side question regarding CO2. One idea is to use one of the Tropica nano CO2 systems since this tank is so small so I am definitely thinking about it, one of the Issues i'm debating however is the fact there is no solenoid so either i'll go through gas fairly quickly or i'll end up having to adjust the bubble rate every day, to get around this I'm thinking about buying an inline solenoid (Sold by Co2supermarket or also on ebay) which have the 4mm fittings for CO2 hosing. Do you think this will work, have you heard anything about these inline solenoids or know anything about them? I could get the entire setup for £80-£90 including a gas bottle so it's decent.

    Solenoid link

    Reason i'm considering these nano kits rather than a large setup is I don't really have the space in the area this tank is placed for a large bottle w/ regulator so a kit which can stay all on the same cabinet would be ideal.
     
  18. Kezzab

    Kezzab Member

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    To be honest i have no idea!

    I bought a co2 Supermarket set with solenoid that uses 600gm welding bottles from Machine Mart. They are £15 and last about 6-7 months, running roughly 1.5bps for 6 hours a day. My tank in on a windowsill and the gas bottle is flat on the floor, stuck under a kitchen unit out of view.

    With your £80-90, i'd factor in the cost of replacing the gas bottles - the tropica bottles are £15 for 95gm - basically 6 times the cost of my approach - so £30 a year in gas versus £180... That's a pretty big premium for having a dinky wee bottle.

    K
     
  19. MattW

    MattW Member

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    Appreciate the response. I've had a think over the past couple of days and agree with you, at the same BPS you have i'll be looking at replacing the canister every month and a half which would be quite painful! Also considering it'll cost me around £120+ to do the nano kit w/ solenoid while the setup i've just bought I managed to get it under £100 (Including FE). So i've just purchased the stuff needed to do a full-sized fire extinguisher setup. I thought it's best not to risk not adding CO2 and experiencing the algae problems a few people report with this tank/light which could potentially write off a costly amount of plants.

    I purchased the single stage regulator (non-adjustable working pressure) from CO2 supermarket: https://www.co2supermarket.co.uk/co...id-magnetic-valve-horizontal-valves-p181.html. Managed to find the drop checker & regulator bubble counter on ebay for £6 total whereas Co2supermarket wanted to charge over £20! - i'm fairly certain they're the exact same products as well and finally a 2kg FE for £16 on ebay.

    Many thanks
     
  20. Kezzab

    Kezzab Member

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    Good thinking batman.
     

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