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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I have submitted this tank in other fora looking for suggestions and advice, but given the short lifespan of individual posts on a forum, I am submitting this here and hope to get some comments/suggestions on this tank (If you've seen it before please dont mind, I hope I dont come across as fishing for comments, I really want to improve this as I am a newbie).

Here is my 18g tall tank. The lighting is 1 65W 6700k coralife, 1 10w Coralife screw-on cfl and 1 10w all glass 5,500k screw-on cfl. co2 is diy through 2 2.8l juice bottles dissolved in an internal reactor powered by a fluval1 (the only filtration unit) - 36ppm co2, dose kno3 and kh2po4 to maintain 10ppm and 1ppm of no3 and po4 respectively. also dose mgso4 and k2so4 once a week after water change, 0.6ml flourish, 1ml flourish xl and 0.6ml flourish iron everyday. substrate is mix of ecocomplete and flourite on top of a thin layer of laterite and some floursih plant tabs.



I also had a question on the H. zesterofolia, initially it had a vibrant green growth (the above pic is was taken on the 14th of this month), today I noticed transperant creases running across the leaves. I read that the plant becomes pale if nitrates decrease and that it gets white or black creases if there is an iron and/or micrnutrient deficiency. I dont know how I should correct this, increasing the fe/flourish dosing or increasing the nitrate level (its presently 10ppm) or both? Right now the tank is algae free, so I am a little wary of tipping the balance.
 

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Stargrass doesn't like to be shadowed at all so make sure it's not that. What are your phosphate levels? It might be asking for P.

The tank looks good. I like to balance of color you have going. The only suggestion I have is to let the tall stem plant in the back get taller and bushier if anything to hide the equipment in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think it might be a phosphate problem, my tank is going from 1ppm to 0.1ppm of PO4 in a day, is this right? I didnt think it would go so fast, maybe the tests are a bit screwed? I will repeat the test tomorrow and update.
 

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If the plants are starved for P that wouldn't suprise me. Try dosing it to 2 ppm one day and see if it doesn't stabalize at a desired level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The new leaves are much healthier, the changes I made were to dose phosphates to maintain 1ppm everyday (earlier I was testing for phosphates every 3rd day) and change flourish dosing from 2ml every 3rd day to 0.6ml everyday. I think it has to do with low micros more than low phosphates.
 

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It looks like you're on the right track, baj. I would get the Rotala rotundifolia to continue to grow in more densely (you can do this by pruning off the tops and replanting the tops inbetween the rooted portions. Use tweezers!

The upper right hand corner looks a little empty -- perhaps it would be a good place for a fluffy bush of the pink Rotala.

Keep us updated,

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Carlos, thanks for your comments. I was initially reluctant to place anything in that corner, I didnt want to put in stem plants as there is some shade from the driftwood and the moss forms an umbrella (which IMO looks nice so dont want to trim it). Thats why I put in some H Difformis in there hoping that its legendary growth rate will quickly swamp the area and the driftwood (whose branches pretty much define and restrict the corner) will confine the difformis from spreading all over. Unfortunately the plant hasnt lived up to its reputation as yet.
You bet I would keep you guys updated, if I were learning the guitar this would be like getting training from eric clapton, john mclaughlin.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Updates on my two tanks:

18 gallon:



10 gallon:

 

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nice. i like the rock formations on the 2nd one, but the plants look misplaced. it's either too bare on the right side or too much on the left. maybe it's the plant selection. i don' t know if you were going for a "natural" look, but i'd rethink the plants possibly? the rocks and plants don't jive together. perhaps removing some of the rocks?

i like the first one, too. the splash of red in the mix looks great.

i'm a relative beginner myself and u're still one up on me (ur plants look great). so hope you don't mind the critique. =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Of course not!! Thanks! In my defense though the second one has been set up for 3 weeks now and I am just throwing plants in it from the other tank to let them grow out a bit and then scape the tank, but you are right at present it looks meaningless.
 

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The 18g needs continuous pruning to get those stands of stem plants more dense and compact. The "wisteria" on the right seems to actually be water sprite (Ceratopteris thalicroides). I would replace it with a bushier -- perhaps the Heteranthera zosterifolia in the center midground. Take out the errant stem of Bacopa monnieri, too.

I am not entirely convinced by the direction the 10g is going. The rocks in the background are far too massive to create a positive impression, and they will hurt your aquascaping skills on the long run by consuming valuable tank width.

Hope this helps,

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Points taken Carlos! Thanks!!
 

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16 gal. aquascape

Hi,

Here are a few points to look at from my view of your 16 gal. aquascape.

There is a balance issue with the right side and the left side of your tank.
The driftwood is either too large or too far to the right to help connect the whole tank together.
The easy way is to remove it and spread the plants on the left to both sides.
But what's the fun in that.
I would shift the stargrass to the right more away from the center. I would then place the driftwood on its side with the back branch along the lines of the didiplis pointing to the left corner. The thinner branch will lay in front between the stargrass and the hairgrass to form a upside down V.
The reason for that is there is no need for the wood to cover the height of your tank by standing the branches up. You have stem plant to do that job. It also taking up space in the back right side and cause too much shadow on that side of the tank. The space can be use to move some cutting over to that space.
The diftwood now on its side helps create a middle height to connect the foreground and the tall stem plants in the back.

On the foreground, you need to trim down the front hairgrass pushing into the glass or slope it better since you are loosing your depth. Compare the 1st picture and the latest one and you see what I mean.

A driftwood that size can hinder you overall design, if placed in the wrong spot.

Good luck with the 16 gal.
I can't see your 10 gal. picture so can't comment on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ken thanks, yeah I have come this close >< to chucking the driftwood and growing stem plants in its place, but laying it on the side may be more useful, I'll give it a try. The images are hotlinked so I am not sure why they didnt show, its showing for me but it may be cached.

Carlos, I must respectfully disagree about the 10g though. Its too early to call it and I havent yet scaped it to match my plnas for it, but I am looking fwd to the comments on it once its near to done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
update

Updated:

I rearranged the driftwood to lie on its side, moved back the stargrass, removed the bacopa, added a java fern, added diandra(thanks to travis s for the donation), took out the cwendtii and hacked down the water sprite.



Here is a updated pic of the 10g:



two otos:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Robert,
Its a plastic mesh, siliconed to a piece of glass to make it sink, with riccia on it.
-b
 

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the 10G looks a lot better with more foliage covering the foreground. the rocks don't look so overpowering of the whole scape. the plants on the left side might look better if they were bunched closer together or when it grows out more. i like to see the riccia piece in the foreground also after it's grown out.

the rescaped 18G looks a lot better. i like it. 8) i'd like to see how the diandra looks when it grows out a little more and some of the red comes out.
 
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