The Accidental Aquascape

Discussion in 'Journals' started by The Accidental Aquascaper, 2 Mar 2019.

  1. The Accidental Aquascaper

    The Accidental Aquascaper Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Hi All

    First scape and first journal, so all advice and guidance is welcome.

    This started a couple of years ago, when my daughter decided she wanted to keep fish. I obliged and bought her this 12 litre tank with a few guppies.

    SmallTank.jpg

    I think she forgot she even had fish by the 3rd day, so very soon we had some dead fish. After watching a few videos on fish keeping advice, I stumbled upon aquascaping. I was totally blown away and knew this was something I had to do….hence my moniker…and the fish are fine by the way.

    We're gonna need a bigger boat.

    With my appetite whetted, I wanted to put a large tank in the lounge, since this is where it will be viewed the most and there’s a sturdy sideboard just where the tank should go. The tank size would be 100cm wide, 40cm high, but only 35cm deep, as the sideboard is only 40cm deep. Low iron, clear silicone, rimless and braceless.

    Sideboard.jpg

    The sideboard wasn’t as ideal as I thought, so after some levelling off of the top and strengthening of the structure, my need to over-engineer things is satisfied.

    Silicone.jpg

    Tank in situ and leak test passed, it’s time to add the lighting. I made the stand from 28mm galvanised tube and used gold leaf on the connectors, with the aim to tie it in to the rest of the light unit and the rooms decor.

    TankInSitu.jpg
    Lightinig1.jpg

    The light itself is made from floor boards, metal wire and RGB LED strip that came with controller etc… Had to buy a few connectors, but it’s surprisingly easy working with LED strip.

    Lightinig2.jpg
    Lightinig3.jpg
    Lightinig4.jpg

    The filter is an Oase Biomaster 250 thermo, modified as per Pondguru on YouTube. I’ve added Purigen to the top compartment instead of carbon. Outflow is a standard lily pipe and the intake is a surface skimmer. Co2 cylinder with Co2art Pro-SE regulator and inline inline diffuser. I’ve had to use an inline bubble counter to get it to fit. This sideboard is proving to be more hassle than it’s worth.

    Cabinet.jpg

    …and that is where I’ll end my first post.

    Next update will be what’s going in the tank ;)
     
    Last edited: 2 Mar 2019
  2. Mitch

    Mitch Member

    Joined:
    15 Jan 2010
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    Looks Great, Love the Light bracket very unique.
     
  3. Polly

    Polly Member

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    23 May 2009
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    Love this, looking forward to watching your journey :)
     
  4. Kalum

    Kalum Member

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    Location:
    Scotland
    nice tank size and looks like there's a lot of thought being put in already, will keep an eye out for the next update
     
  5. Edvet

    Edvet Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice DIY job on the light:thumbup:
     
  6. The Accidental Aquascaper

    The Accidental Aquascaper Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Thanks all.

    Part 2
    Substrate and Hardscape.

    I went round and round in circles with the substrate, as I initially wanted to use a normal soil and cap it with gravel. Mainly because I'm not keen on the look of the regularly shaped dark aqua soils. In the end, I chose the Tropica Soil 18kg and Tropica Soil Powder 9kg, since it would mostly be covered up anyway and looks like it's easy to maintain.

    Substrate.jpg

    The hardscape will be rock only and is Seiryu Stone/Mini Landscape Rock (mostly) and some will say Seiryu is not Mini Landscape etc... but lets's not get bogged down with that.
    There are a few rocks that are show stoppers, but a fair amount of duds too. The top left large rock will be used as a base, so although it's very different, what you will see of it blends in quite well.

    Hardscape1.jpg
    Hardscape2.jpg
    Hardscape3.jpg

    Here's my inspiration for the hardscaping. Some of you may recognise this from the critique section.

    Inspiration.jpg

    Mock-up

    MockUp.jpg

    Plant plan
    I've bought a few more rocks since this was done, so although the overall idea will stay the same, there will probably be a few changes. I'm trying to get the line of substrate flat at the front too.

    PlantPlan.jpg

    Next update will be the hardscape in the actual tank.

    This should happen in the next couple of weeks. ;)
     
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2019
  7. Edvet

    Edvet Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice PS skills too:thumbup:
     
  8. Jayefc1

    Jayefc1 Member

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    Swadlincote
    Like this a lot looks like it will be very nice the tank looks beautiful with the light and the thought gone in to it
     
  9. rebel

    rebel Member

    Joined:
    4 Aug 2015
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    Wow your mock up PS diagram is unbelievable!!

    Very nice scape as well. Some accident to get that sort of skill to set stones to look very natural.
     
  10. Keith GH

    Keith GH Member

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    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    The Accidental Aquascaper.

    Looks like you have done plenty of research in planning your Aquascape. It should look fantastic when it's fully established.

    Keith:wave::wave:
     
  11. soggybongo

    soggybongo Member

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    Location:
    Bradford
    Looking good.
     
  12. The Accidental Aquascaper

    The Accidental Aquascaper Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Part 3
    Video and Build

    Hi all, I've been busy with my iPhone pretending to be George Farmer.
    You can check out my efforts here, on my new YouTube channel.
    I'll take some stills with my SLR and upload once I've had 10,000 views.

    Enjoy ;)
     
    Janci, Nubias, Kezzab and 2 others like this.
  13. The Accidental Aquascaper

    The Accidental Aquascaper Member

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    Part 4
    Planting

    Since doing the hadrscape, there's been a few tweaks to the rocks on the left hand side and I've added some Dennerle Grey Quartz Gravel. It's got a slight pinkish hue, but would have preferred it to be blueish like the rock. Any gravel experts?

    The plants arrived at the weekend, minus the Eriocaulon Cinereum, but that's coming soon and I've got a bunch of plants to deal with. Have I over ordered or is that not possible?
    Used the dry planting method and it worked a treat, no floaters! However, a few had started working themselves free and I could see the roots. I’ve tidied up some of it, but it’s bloody fiddly when there’s water in there. Think I'll leave it until I have the water very low, maybe I'll do a massive water change after the first cut. I've been told to wait 2 weeks.

    I've added a Jebao circulation pump, as the flow from the Oase 250 seems pretty poor. Has anyone used the Jebao? It's reasonably quite, but would be nice to know if there are pumps as small as this that are quieter. I was told to place it on the same side as my outflow, is that correct? I thought I was doing the sensible thing by creating a circular flow.

    I've got zero experience, so everything I’m doing is mainly learnt from the “internet”. I would appreciate all advice, no matter how basic. It’s been quite overwhelming at times, as I had no idea how complex it was going to be. I am having fun though and I’m looking forward to relaxing in front of it and watching it develop...or maybe stress about the algae. I’ll have you guys to fall back on at least ;)


    Day 1
    28th April 2019

    Day1Front.jpg


    Day1LeftAngle.jpg


    Day1RightAngle.jpg
     
  14. The Accidental Aquascaper

    The Accidental Aquascaper Member

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    I forgot to take a picture of the hardscape before it was planted, but here's a still from the video.

    HardscapeLayout.jpg
     
    LondonDragon, obsessed, Ady34 and 6 others like this.
  15. rebel

    rebel Member

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    Wow that hardscape is so nice. Almost don't want to cover it up.

    Consider removing the anubis (is it?) under the big rock. You don't want to obscure that detail. It's too nice.
     
  16. PARAGUAY

    PARAGUAY Member

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    Not sure on the front gravel ,but hey the overall stone layout is so good
     
  17. Marc Jackson

    Marc Jackson Member

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    Fantabulosa as they say in the trade. :)
     
  18. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Looks grand. The straight line created by the gravel will soften as the plants grow in and should start to look more natural.
     
  19. The Accidental Aquascaper

    The Accidental Aquascaper Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for you comments all.

    Correct, Anubias Petit, but it's pretty Grand at the moment. It pained me to cover it up too, but I'll be trimming everything quite harshly as I want to make the leaves smaller. I might end up removing some, but probably not all of it.

    Yep, it was something that I deliberated over for some time and it does look a bit awkward at the moment. I'm hoping that I can shape the carpet to make it look more natural, as it will be a nightmare to remove. I'll also introduce a few rocks to break it up.
     
  20. Filip Krupa

    Filip Krupa Member

    Joined:
    13 Oct 2016
    Messages:
    473
    Location:
    Liverpool
    Looks fab!
    I do appreciate a good DIY light fixture :D
    How powerful of a LED strip are we talking?

    Looking forward to seeing how it performs!

    Fil
     

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