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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone.

I would like to share my journey for this 1st attempt at aquascaping. I started small as I'm still unfamiliar with this hobby back then. But the main reason is to gain support and approval from my wife :p So I have to get it right. So much pressure >__<

Anyway, it's a small tank

40cm x 25cm x 21cm crystal grass tank
HOF
Clip on PL light
No CO2 (in the beginning)
Bog wood
Substrate - Can't recalled, but it is not ADA Amazonia

The tank. I started with a leak test by adding water in and too eager to see how things will look like hence I put the bogwood in to see how it fits.
Bog wood is carefully selected by me and I actually modify it but cutting and reattaching it back with aquarium safe silicone. The intention is to create an arch onb the mid part of the wood and have a small "stream" running under the arch. Well that's the intent anyway.


I left it for a 1 day to let it sink as well as to flush out tanins in the wood. Some floaters and plants were there as I do not have space to house them.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Although this is my 1st attempt, I did spent quite a huge sum of money on plants :O
I wanted small plants as my tank is small, but I realised, the smaller the plants, the higher the price.
Below are just some of the plants for the start up. This list grew as my tank progressed.


My most expensive purchased for a plant at that time :OO And plants not even very healthy  Fe;t cheated at 1st, but this plant became one of my most favourite and beautiful in my list.


Us fissidens on mesh. Not in a very health state too :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Close up of the Xmas moss in pack. This was bought from Biotope, the local distributor for ADA products in Singapore. I later changed this it Mini Xmas Moss as I wanted to have a smaller frond for my scape.


Some close ups of the floras. Can you name any of them?


 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Started with the Tenellus for background.


Then HC followed next for the foreground.

Front view of the completed planting.

A slight top view.

Top view
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now beginning the back breaking work of tying the fissidens on the bogwood.


The fissidens are in really bad shape. Some of the green fronds are completely gone, with only the main stem remaining. But I still tied them up as they were very expensive and I would like to see if they grow. Feeling hopeful.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Testing how the Philippine Ferns will look like on the bogwood.


After looking at the arrangement, I proceed with the tying of nana petite and Philippine Fern to the corners of the bogwood.



Even the missus lend a helping hand! This hobby is contagious! Lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Continued on to tie more plants to lava rocks. The Xmas moss was tied to the top of the bogwood "branches" in the hope to get a tree like scape.

And then, the flooding begins&#8230;&#8230;.


Flooded!
 

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That wood is really really nice. Do you have a picture of where you reattached it with silicone?

Great job for your first time. tank looks awesome :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Rusty. Thank you for the kind words. Took me a while to select a wood to my liking. Was looking for one with a unique distinct character and can fit int9 my small nano, but unfortunately unable to get it. Hence I have to make do with this. Will try to depict in pictures where the joint was made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Circled in red is where the joints were made. The green area show the main trunk with the distinct arch that I wanted for it to arch across the "stream". Blue demarcated the path of the "stream".


Closed up view of the joints. The original bogwood was cut; some parts sanded down and then rejoined backed to be sculpted into the shape I wanted. Aquarium safe silicone and fishing lines were used to join them together. The joints look untidy, but I planned to tie Nana Petite and the Philippine Ferns to those areas hiding away the joints.


Closed up view of the main trunk with the arch shape. This bogwood was selected because of this charater. I should have taken a photo of the original bogwood before cutting it to see the tailored difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Some more images of planning that I did. I tried shaping the substrate with the "stream". I planned to put in light coloured sand in the "stream" area. This turn out to be an unwise decision. Why? Stay tuned to find out.

Added the sculpted bogwood in to see how it fits in the tank.



I even tried putting in various plants to see how the layout and proportion will look like. This pictures show me trying out the layout with the Taiwan Narrow Leaf Fern. Oblivious at that time that it could grow huge :p Oh well, this is all part of the learning journey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well yes. Just like how the art of bonsai is training the tree into a certain shape, I'm training the bogwood to do the same. :p
 
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