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Discussion Starter #1
I am currently trying a technique often used by Amano to create a more natural looking aquarium. The two plants I chose to mix were Ranalisma rostrata (similar to E. tenellus v. Micro nit smaller and green) and Glossostigma elatinoides. Unfortunately, this technique is not quite working for me. For some reason or other, this batch of Glossostigma elatinoides is very persistent at leaping over the poor crowns of the Ranalisma plantlets, stressing these grassy plants and inhibiting fast growth.

This Glosso is being grown from a bunch that came to me emersed, and it has been very persistent at producing shoots that want to grow straight up. What's more, the leaves are very large with the horizontal runners about 1" tall (usually the height I see when I grew it totally shaded in my 55g). However, this tank has 3.95 wpg, and the foreground is totally unshaded. I have never seen glosso grow like this for me before.

Also, I'd like to see everyone's experiences mixing other combinations --glosso and hairgrass, glosso and micro-tenellus, anubias nana and sagittaria, etc. What species did you use? How did you achieve it? Any special tips?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Carlos
 

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tsunami,
I used to have dwarf hairgrass and glosso as foreground in my 10G. Initially, everything was fine. The hairgrass grew slowly and stayed toward the back (of the foreground), where as the glosso grew fast all over the front. But the hairgrass soon took over the entire foreground and the glosso began to grow up instead of across. Pretty soon, it was impossible to separate the two, and now, the foreground is all hairgrass. IMO, it's best to separate them from the begining, possibly by using a thin plastic strip. But I don't think Amano uses any kind partitions, since his hairgrass is (strategically) all over the place. HTH.
 

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I find when mixing foregrounds that they have to be very different in order to be effective. Else they just look like a jumbled mess. R. rostrata and Glosso are OK as long as the Glosso is manicured to a very thin, flat field. If it gets too thick it'll just blend with the small green swords. E. tenellus is a better choice as it grows *slightly* taller than Ranalisma and has a much different color. The rusty red helps to distinguish it.

The key here, IMHO, is contrast.

I find hairgrass has to be thinned too regularly when combined with Glossostigma, as Magnus hinted at. Glossostigma will grow intertwined with Java moss or Riccia for interesting effect, though.

Other combos I like are: Hemianthus micranthemoides and hairgrass, Hairgrass and S. subulata, Glosso and Blyxa japonica, Riccia and Java Moss, and tenellus and java moss.

I also find that intricate foreground combos look best in smaller tanks where close inspection is expected. Viewed from afar as in a large tank, mixed foregrounds need to be very carefully manicured or else they look messy.
 

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I have a 10g with just Glosso and tenellus that's *about* 3 weeks from being photo ready (+or- a week). If you're still interested, I'll post pics then.
 

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Please do! I have a ten gallon also that I am trying to get something done with :) It would be nice to see another small tank and get some ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
All right, Wheeler. I will heed your advice and switch the Ranalisma out in favor of the E. tenellus v micro. :) Any offers?

Please do post your ten gallon when you can.

Carlos
 

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I've had quite a bit of success with regular E. tenellus and glosso. The trick was keeping the tenellus out of the glosso, but when they did grow together the tenellus tended to grow between the glosso rather than choke it out. It all ended up in a hugely tangled mess when I pulled it out though.

A razorblade run around the areas you want to keep clear of tenellus every few days is a good way to keep things clear. For this aquascape I ended up pulling the tenellus out of the glosso area and transplanting it to the back until the glosso started getting too thick to do that. By that time everything was pretty much in place and I just let it go for a month or two before taking the pics.

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/?&op=showcase&category=0&vol=2&id=66
 

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Blending

The key in mixing foreground to me is to created a wild untamed look.

The above picture.
Just using glosso in as a foreground looks too neat. I added patches of hair grass to give it a more natrual look and feel to it.
The hard part is to control the direction of the growth. So stay on top of it and trim.
That is the 10 gal I used also in the 2003 ADA. I let the hair grass get out of control and lost the depth of the foreground later on in the AGA pictures. Those pictures can be seen in my gallery.

That method of blending foreground can also be used in mid to background plants.
This technique is a way for me to combine Dutch and Amano to create a control between natural wild and a tame garden.

Ken
 

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I think it is a very good looking style, but i cannot imagine finding a way to make it look right throughout a year. I always thought the foreground was planted so it would grow in like that and then have to be replanted.
 

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That one looks nice in larger tanks, aboslutely. The light green of the Sag goes very well with the darker moss.
 

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nonamethefish said:
Makes it look more natural, I agree. Has any tried sag. sublata with java moss?
Not purposely. :wink:
 
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