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planted tank on the right track


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So my 95L 2 foot tank has been planted up for a while now, maybe 5 or 6 weeks. I think I may have not got the best layout, all stem plants and no real foreground plants as yet but that can change. I have put a pic on here before but will do a more recent one soon.

since setting up I have progressed to using nearly all of the seachem range, I have used their dosing chart and for now have changed it so that I dose daily each of the products, not that long to do this and it is helping me get my nutrients where they should be as I feel like dosing daily I won't forget what day something needs to go in. Essentially if I was dosing twice a week 3ml each time I now dose daily 1ml for 6 days then water change. All works out the same.

Daily dose in ml

flourish 0.7

iron 2.3 - dosing for 7 days and still hardly any reading on test kit

potassium 1.3

phosphate 1 - dosing for 4 days still no phosphate reading on test kit, had GSA which I attributed to no phosphate so this one I am watching closely

nitrogen 1.3 - dosing for about 10 days and nitrate seems to be sitting around 5ppm, not sure if I should be aiming higher but as long as it not zero am happy

This week I added a second bottle to my DIY CO2 set up - now running 2 x 2L bottles

mix of 2 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp bicarb and 1/2 tsp yeast

Yesterday I pulled down my smaller tank to get it rady for the stand I am building

http://ausaqua.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=6043&hl=

took the light from this and added to the 95L which now has 55W of T8 flouro light on it.

Got home today from work and had pearling for the first time, I guess combination of ferts, light and CO2 coming together.

Anyway here are my pics

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Edited by mjd271169
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here is the full tank shot.

FT.jpg

rotalla waliichi on left was trimmed and moved from another tank, it is just starting to get new growth - once this gets a little long will trim off new growth pull out the old stems and replant the new growth to get the colour in there.

ambulia moved as well and I may have to move this somewhere still as its now getting quite tall, I thought of keeping it trimmed down but it seems to be growing well so dont want to stunt it. this is in front of my piece of DW that acts like a cave for the ottos and cories.

back left corner has the val that you can't see too well yet, what has grown is bending over in the current. Not sure what the large leafed plant in front of the val is but its going great whatever it is. there is also a red leafed plant there thats not doing great maybe not enough light

in the middle i have hygrophillia with pink baby tears in front then DW with java moss. The hygrophillia is growing very very well as is the baby tears.

behind the rock wisteria, right hand side of the tank bacopa of some description that seems to be going OK, not sure how tall this will get

in front of rock I put an amazon sword that was struggling in another tank, this one worries me as I know they get big but can I just remove outer leave to try and maintain this smaller?

so any ideas on improving this tank? still hoping to get pygmy chain swords along the front one day to fill it in.

Heavily stocked currently

8 rummy nose

4 harlequin rasbora

5 white cloud

1 dwarf gourami

1 SAE

4 otto

2 cory, one julli and one pepper

still trying to get on top of GSA.

Edited by mjd271169
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ohh yeah and filtration

bought an eheim 2215 that is running on the tank

I also still have an aqua one CF700 and aqua one intrenal 102F

massively over filtered but the CF700 has a flow problem only getting about 180-240L an hour though it so once the eheim is cycled I will be using the aqua one canister on the 20 inch tank that is going on my stand as per the link above. Evemn at 200L an hour that should be fine for a 40L tank.

combined filer output of 1320L per hour in a 95L tank

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Lookin good there, mj. How the hell do your fish not get blown out of the tank with that much flow??!! Duuuuude!

I like your Flame Gour'i, all flared up and angry :((

Nice work, wish my tank was pearling like that...

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I was worried at first too but the flow isn't that bad really. seem to have good circulation and in another week I will pull the aqua one canister off.

no pearling today but I did not put the lights on my wife did and she only switched on the 2 foot light not the extra light I added so I will check on that in a few hours to see if anything hasoccured

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bit of a re shuffle

P7050002.jpg

trimmed wisteria as it had a lot of GSA to decided to just have healthy leaves, it will grow back quite quickly

trimmed bacopa a little and added trimmings to the right hand side of the tank between bacopa and wisteria

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gave the val a trim - not happy with it as the flow just pushed it over and it does not look nice then that happens. Might not be the best spot for it

trimmed hygrophillia and moved it more to the back slightly

trimmed the pnk baby tears and then used the trimmings to replant and have thickened it out now so that it covers pretty much the middle 5 inch of the tank.

P7050004-1.jpg

moved the ambulia behind the DW as it was getting very tall for the front of the tank and pulled the red plany forward (sorry do not know name) The red plant is not growing at all it has been in for around 7 weeks and done nothing, I am dosing ferts now and figure move it the front for a while where it will get more light including natural light and see what happens, if nothing doing then I will pull it out and look at small pygmy swords to run along the front

P7050004-2.jpg

I am going to do my best now to leave this tank alone and stop fiddling with it. Does anyone else have the lack of patience problem :D

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I think I may have not got the best layout

I'm not being mean but I think you might be right about the layout. :D Seems that you're going to a lot of trouble with this tank what with all the equipment, CO2, daily dosing etc, but the layout really isn't doing anything for me.

There doesn't seem to be any real plan about the placement of the plants. They don't lead the viewer's gaze anywhere. There's no proper focal point. Well I suppose the big rock is acting as the focal point but not in a really positive way. And the r.wallichi being reddish is acting as a second focal point but it's way off to the side so it has a rather irritating effect like an eyelash stuck in the corner of your eye. The best place for the focal point is to divide the tank according to the Golden Mean(1:1.618) and put the focal items there. In your case, the tank is 60cm wide, therefore the golden mean is 22.9 cm from the side of the tank. It can be from either the left or the right side. Actually now that I've done that calculation the big rock is pretty much in the focal point spot but it's just too big and oppressive. You also need to arrange the other plants so that they make lines towards the focal point. What's behind the ambulia? Driftwood? Or another rock? It's too small and unrelated to the big rock. Maybe it would improve things if you put the tallest plants in the back right corner and get progressively lower heading towards the left front corner. You could leave the rock where it is then. But put more plants in front of it so it's not so dominant.

Sorry if I'm being harsh. I'm actually trying to help. ;)

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Ahh... new photos posted while I was writing that. Most of what I said previously still stands though. I'm not sure the new layout has improved things all that much. Sorry. :D

Edited by Bettarazzi
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Don't worry about sounding harsh, I am not happy with it myself either, the only real change in the new layout was moving the ambulia

And in all honesty you are right, bought plants and put them in without really planning it out very well.

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This tank for me really is getting used to looking after the plants, lights, CO2, ferts etc so I am happy to play and change it as much as I need to just to get some experience. Some of the planted tanks on the next take your breath away and are masterpieces.

As Bettarazzi has indicated though there are rules of symetry and placement that the best tanks follow, when I sit in front of this I can't quite relax because I know something is not quite gelling in there. its like an itch, you can ignore it but you know its there :D

All said and done though I do still like it and love having the real plants, considering my first plants are probably only 6 pr 7 weeks old I can live with my efforts so far but there is always room to improve which is why these forums are so great, lots of more experienced people with advice and suggestions.

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Firstly I think you should fix up the background paper. Cryptocoryne types of Plant with big leaves is very hard to match into a layout. Before the NA style of ADA is so popular, most people have planted their tank just like this one and I think this is a very classic layout to me. Is this your first planted tank?? Plants are pretty healthy in this tank..My first iwagumi tank didn't do that well too ><...Don't give up ! keep us updated :P

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You have at least tried very hard to create something, which is all part of the learning experience of it all hey!

It's looks lovely to me, but then I only have 2 plants in my tank atm, and they have been just placed randomly..(so I'm defiantly no expert LOL ) Plus I'm not personally keen on heavily planted looking tanks, altho there are some that are truly inspiring to look at ! :)

Like everything in life it takes time, skill and knowledge to get it all perfectly set out . Which is good reason to be part of a forum like this ! :)

I think it's an individual thing too, layouts.

It's all part of the hobby as well, improving it all and getting it too look just 'right' :)

'Happy planting !' :P

Edited by Jules
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I'm the opposite to Jules. I really love heavily planted tanks. So my comments have to be taken in that context. You have to bear in mind my bias towards those kinds of layouts. It could be a single ground cover look or the dense jungle look. But I like to see a lot of plants.

Your whole set up is geared towards serious plant growth. And you're putting in a huge amount of effort into looking after the plants you have which is really commendable. I think with just a little bit of adjustment to the layout you can have a pretty kick-a*** planted tank that you could show off anywhere.

Agree with Kitz about the background. If you have a neutral coloured wall behind the tank you could get rid of the background completely. Or perhaps an idea would be to stick the background on the wall behind rather than directly to the glass. That way you avoid the air bubbles.

I think you have more filtration than you really need in that size tank. Especially if you're going for a heavily planted tank. Once the plants are established they'll do a lot of the filtration for you. I think you should remove everything except the canister filter. Then put the tubing, heater and anything else you're trying to hide in the back right hand corner.

Now move all your tallest plants into that corner. This will help make that rock look smaller than it is. In fact at the moment I think it looks bigger than it really is because the plants closest to it are short and small leaved. Move the r.wallichi closer to the rock, behind the baby tears. Move that red plant to the right a bit so that it's sitting about 1/3rd of the way in from the left. Move the tallest plant (stricta?) you have to behind the rock and put the second tallest to the right of it.

I made a quick and dirty sketch of what I'm talking about. Might have got some of the plant names wrong. Just guessing that red plant might be alternanthera. Not sure really. And wasn't sure what the plant in the bottom right corner is. Is it bacopa?

Just a few suggetions. Feel free to take it or leave it. :P

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Firstly I think you should fix up the background paper. Cryptocoryne types of Plant with big leaves is very hard to match into a layout. Before the NA style of ADA is so popular, most people have planted their tank just like this one and I think this is a very classic layout to me. Is this your first planted tank?? Plants are pretty healthy in this tank..My first iwagumi tank didn't do that well too ><...Don't give up ! keep us updated :P

Hi, yes the backing is an eyesore and needs fixing and this is my first real go at a planted tank

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thanks bettarazzi, nice sketch

the tank is at the end of the kitchen worktop, no wall behind it

I will be taking away some of the filters, one of them is detined for my other tank - the one that will be on the stand I am making

the main viewing angles of the tank are front and right hand side so based on that maybe I should re-do the tank with the tallest things to the left, mirror image of your sketch

Is this the idea? I only have val in one spot in this, you have it in 2 but this took me ages to do so did not want to do it again to add the second val, I guess once it is growing then it is a matter of keeping the front stem plants trimmed down to keep them low.

Untitled.jpg

Edited by mjd271169
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Yeah, that's looking more like it. Why didn't I think of that instead of actually drawing out the plants? Just old fashioned I guess. :lol: I'd move the red plant a bit to the left so it's one third of the way in from the right. Because it's red and will draw focus. Are you saying you don't want to replant the val? Because the way you've got your drawing you are going to have to replant to get it in that position. It's in the back left corner at the moment, yeah? If you rotate the tank, the val will be in the front right corner not the back right.

But I had another thought. :lol: See what you think of this. If the tank is at the end of the kitchen benchtop. How about making it viewable from 3 sides? Now there's a design challenge. :lol:

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moving the val is fine, in your drawing you had it in 2 spots I only had it in one

I had thought about having this viewable from 3 sides but that could be even harder to set up lol.

this is how much of the tank would be visible from the back

P7070003.jpg

Edited by mjd271169
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still struggling with GSA so did a big tank clean today and re-shuffled/trimmed plants. Time to let it grow now and see how it turns out

moved rock and DW and followed bettarazzis suggestions. Also lay the rock on its side so it was not as tall.

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I think that's a big improvement. Well done. Turning the rock on it's side was brilliant. It's so much less dominant now. The focal points are in the right place. I'm impressed at how well the background has been fixed up. And the nice thing is that this tank will continue to improve as the plants fill out and you keep replanting the trimmings. When the bacopa has grown a bit, planting some on the right hand side will balance things out more. I think the back left corner is looking excellent. The middle and right hand plants have some growing to do. But that should take no time at all given the CO2 and ferts regime you're doing. Looking forward to seeing how this tank progresses. Some pygmy chain swords along the front would be perfect. I've got some but I neglected the tank they're in and they've suffered rather badly. I might set up a little nursery and see if I can push some along and I might be able to give you some in a little while. Good job!

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Its cleared up a bit today and the plants look heaps better, I will take another pic and post it . It certainly helps laying out a tank when somone else draws it out for you lol thanks bettarazzi.

As soon as my wife looked at it she liked it more and her parents came round today and they even commented that it looks better. It must be an improvmenet if the outlaws made a positive comment :dontknow:.

Still GSA problem and some problem with ferts but I throw a seperate thread up for that.

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