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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Everyone,

Have wanted to start a journal on my 90g for some time now and finally getting around to it.

This is my first aquarium and it started out as a fish only tank (~20 tiger barbs) w/ some rocks, bright green gravel and a few fake plants back in 2006 (2007? can't recall right now--will try to post some "before" pics later).

After seeing a few planted tanks online and at my local LFS I was hooked. After some initial failure, I found this site (and took the plunge and went to pressurized CO2) and have really been enjoying the hobby ever since.

Here are some pic's I took a few weeks ago--I think this is the best it has looked for me to date. More of a "plant collection" than an aquascape but I enjoy moving things around and trying to always find room to squeeze in a few new additions from time to time. Any comments are welcome.

Full front shot


Right hand side


Center


Left hand side


Specs
Eheim 2217 filter w/ Aqaumedic 1000 CO2 reactor on outlet
Magnum 350 filter w/ 9W turbotwist UV on outlet
2 x 54W T5HO (Nova Extreme w/ SLR's)
2 x 65W CF (Current Satellite)
2 x 250W visitherm stealth heaters
Eco Complete substrate
Dose dry ferts every other day--modified EI (50% WC weekly)

Fish
Scalare angel (6)
Dwarf neon rainbow (12)
Odessa barb (6)
Swordtail (3)
Harlequin rasbora (4)
Clown pleco (2)
Clown loach (2)
Zebra loach (3)
Flying fox (1)
Otos (~5)
 

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It looks like you've got the plant growing part down pat; everything is so lush and healthy. It's really not a bad layout considering the number of types of plants in there. It's well grouped with different types of leaves and colors contrasting and creating interest. The only thing that bugs me is the front center where the foreground (a moss?) and mid ground plant (E. vesuvius?) are planted across the same width. Any possibility of staggering them so the edges aren't so close together?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the comments cs_gardener!

I agree w/ you about the vesuvius and the moss--and have been considering options. The moss just grew there from a small piece that fell of one of the manzanita pieces. I plan to transfer it to my shrimp tanks after they are finished cycling and I get a better light for them.

I put the vesuvius there when it was very small to observe it's growth--I only started w/ one small plantlet from the F/S section of APC (jazzlvr123) and now it is growing like a weed. I have been thinking about moving the whole stand of it but haven't had any good ideas yet. I would like to move it back to get a better view to the plants behind it.

I am considering moving all of the rotala vert. to the rear left and allowing the rotala sp. currently behind it to bend around from the back and fill this space. This may allow me to move the vesuvius back to the right.

We'll see. . . any other comments/suggestions?

-Roy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did a trim recently and moved some stuff around.

Removed a large E. ozelot sword from the back left (which wasn't visible and was not growing well).
Moved the L. aromatica to the back left.
Moved the R. verticillis (old name) from back right to back middle left.
Moved the E. vesuvius from center to mid back left.
Trimmed Rotala's in back right and planted to extend the bush around the Magnum intake and the heater.



Not sure what to do with the front center--I am going to keep this open for a bit and see what happens. Am hoping this will look good when the background stems grow in--we'll see. . .

Thanks for looking.

-Roy
 

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You know I would say put a nice piece of driftwood or rock set up there...but that's just me...
 

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It looks a lot better without the E vesuvius front and center. I'm looking forward to seeing how it fills in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the comments!

Will keep updating this as it grows out and I continue to move things around. I have ordered a new moss from the F/S section which I plan to attach to rocks/DW for the front section--hopefully it isn't ruined by the cold weather up here. I was hoping the cold was over!

-Roy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks crispy0 on the compliment--the Althernanthera is really looking good IMO.

Time for a quick update:

I originally wanted to go for a V-shape w/ the plants but the Blyxa Aubertii grew taller than I thought. I decided to move it to the right side and have removed the E. vesuvius completely (didn't have a place for it and it spreads quite quickly--once I didn't realize it had spread into my rotala bush and ended up up-rooting my whole bush when I tried to remove it!).

Am going to try to create a rock/moss/crypt path starting on the RHS and going to the back through the middle. We'll see how it comes out. At least I can see my crypts better--quickly becoming my favorite. . .

Here's a pic


The stems on the LHS are growing in nicely behind the anubias.

Thanks for looking!

-Roy
 

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The path sounds like a great idea. Your current plant moves and trimming are already adding a lot more depth and interest. It's a lot of fun watching your tank evolve.
 

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Roy,
That's a beautiful and well-balanced scape! I personally liked the 'vesuvias' in the first pics, but cs_gardener is right, now it has much more depth and is much easier for viewing (my eyes are more naturally drawn around the tank now) . You've done great so far. Can't wait to see what happens with the path.

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone for your comments! I too love watching tanks evolve w/ time on this site--one of the main reasons for me starting the journal. And getting feedback, ideas, etc. . .

Here's a quick update from the weekend. Didn't move anything--just trimmed a few stems and removed some old leaves.

Will probably trim the HM in front as well as the rotala's on the back right next weekend to open things up a bit more.

The stems on the back left are growing well--quick trimming question for those w/ L. Aromatica: do you pull the plant and add back only the tops or do you trim and remove the tops? I have been pulling and replanting till now but wanted to see if the other way works for others.

Here's a recent pic after the trim and before the weekly 50% water change (trying to learn how to take better pic's as well):



and my photogenic assistant (who prefers to remain anonymous):



Thanks for looking!

-Roy
 

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Looking very nice. For the L aromatica I've trimmed it both ways. It looks nicer when you pull and replant but it will grow back well just trimming off the tops and leaving the bases. It's gotten very thick and bushy when I've done this. The only time I've had trouble with it is when it became shaded by another plant while it was trying to get reestablished.

Love your assistant. Does s/he like watching your fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well--time for a quick update--no photos yet but will hopefully post them later today or tomorrow.

Last week I did a pretty major trim of the rotala's on the back right and also thinned out a few stems of the tall plants on the left.

This week I received some new crypts from jmontee (cyrpt. undulata) and while planting them uprooted a few other plants and then noticed that my rotala bush on the right back side was only rooted by a few stems--basically just a big mass floating w/ a few stems holding it down. When I tried to anchor it better the whole mass just floated to the top. . .:-x

Well. . . you can guess what happened next--a big redo of the RHS. Didn't really move things around too much but pulled most of the plants and trimmed and replanted. Everything is only a few inches tall now on that side--looks very lopsided compared to the left.

I didn't mess w/ the stargrass as I have had a hard time getting this going after doing this in the past. Previously it was growing great but I made the mistake of pulling and replanting and it still hasn't recovered. Does anyone have any ideas/similar experience concerning this plant?

Will post some pic's later--starting to get the itch to do a major rescape--maybe add some big pieces of DW w/ moss and add alot more crypts. . . trying to resist. . .we'll see. Now that spring is here it is difficult to resist ordering new plants again after the looooong winter.

-Roy
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh forgot about my assistant :p. His name is Buddy and he doesn't really care about the fish--just likes to curl up and nap on my fish towels! And get in the way when I am taking pictures. Can be a problem during a trim--good thing I have lots of towels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the compliment Tex Gal!

I have enjoyed watching your tanks as well over the last year or so--yours is fantastic btw!
Thanks for your dedication to the hobby and this site--it has definitely helped me a lot.

Things are growing pretty well after the big trim. The new crypt undulata's have a few leaves melting but I think they are doing pretty good overall. Looking forward to seeing how things develop. . . one of the coolest things about planted tanks IMO is that things are constantly changing.

-Roy
 
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