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Cookster

My First Aquascape

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Cookster

I decided to have a go at putting together a planted tank/aquascape back in Dec 2012...

Lot's of research and patience collecting all that I needed and this is what I came up with.

Setting the Hardscape

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2 Days after Planting

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9 Days after Planting

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16 Days after Planting

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1 Month after Planting

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At around day 9 the tank experienced an algae explosion, it had pretty much covered everything in the tank.

It did however provide for some interesting photos of O2 bubbles forming on the algae.

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Current Day ... Before and after Trim

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Squiggle

I've said it before & I'll say it again, it just blows my mind that it's your first scape dude, the pearling looks absolutely stunning, great work dude :encouragement:

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torface

This is amazing! Can you please give me details on your lighting, ferts and co2? My tank has been running for months and I can't seem to get much growth, it's so frustrating!

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Gbang

Wow that is awesome!!!!

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Cookster

Cheers Squiggle... I still have a hard time believing it was me who made it too .... But once again I will thank ALL of those more experienced people that unselfishly and patiently answered my questions, sent me some 'spare' plants and gave me encouragement along the way. :victorious:

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Cookster
This is amazing! Can you please give me details on your lighting' date=' ferts and co2? My tank has been running for months and I can't seem to get much growth, it's so frustrating![/quote']

Ok torface, here goes .. lol

For the first 3 weeks I had 4 x 37W T8 Growlush fluros and 2 x 28W T5 Daylight fluros resting across the top of the tank for around 16 hrs per day.

During the second week I introduced DIY CO2 and just let it run 24 hrs a day.

No ferts ... from what I had read the Amazonia II and Benibachi soils had sufficient nutrients to 'kickstart' the growing process.

My intention with this tank was always to have shrimp eventually... but not until the plants had grown in and the parameters had settled.

Having said that .... I also had to deal with a massive growth of algae ... it virtually covered everything in the tank. So it was back to the research phase and what I found was that the tank was very unbalanced with CO2 vs Light and this is why the algae took hold.. To defeat it (and it was VERY effective) was to cut the lights by 50% and Double dose Liquid carbon (I used Excell Flourish)... daily along with a small water change (to help expel the excess nutrients). I did this for about 4-5 days and it really did smash the algae, including some BBA that I inherited on privately bought plants.

Now that I have shrimp, I use 2x37W T8 growlush for 16 hrs a day. For the last 6 hrs of this time period I turn on the 2x28W T5 daylight.

I also water change once a week about 20 litres (tank is 120 ltrs) and redose Liquid Carbon at half dose..

So far no detriment to plants or shrimp using this method. Oh and still haven't used extra ferts :)

Hope this is of some help :encouragement:

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Cookster
Wow that is awesome!!!!

Thanks Gbang ... appreciate the comment :)

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K9932

Looks beautiful 'cookster' ;)

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Cookster

I will just add here that I have designed and built an LED light fixture customised for size and shape to suit this tank. But that will be another thread when I have installed and tested it :p.

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Cookster

Touche' K9932 .. lol

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torface

Wow some pretty intense lighting and co2 then. Now I dont feel so heartbroken that mine doesnt look the same lol!

Love the look of your diy light. I'll be interested to know how you did it. I had major issues finding a light to fit my tank as itd a weird length. In the end I went with led floodlight s which seem to be ok so far...

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Cookster

I will put together a DIY thread soon for the LED light. It will include materials, method and hopefully some trials data.

I have looked at those LED floodlights myself, just for general lighting over my South American Cichlids Tank...

If it's a warm white led... it may explain why you are not getting good growth. Cool white on the other hand gives a much better light spectrum wise.

You want to be aiming for 6500K output at least.

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torface

No I have the cool white ones. I have 2x20w lights. I don't think lighting is my issue, I think my lack of significant growth is due to not being able to pump co2 (there's shrimps in the tank)...

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Cookster

Ahh ... appologies for the assumption torface :stupid: ... always gets me in trouble... You can run CO2 with shrimp but in small qty... which is hard to regulate with DIY set-ups.

I have heard of people using 1 bps successfully with CRS/CBS but it's always a risk... Low dosing of Liquid carbon can be of assistance as well, the plants will love it and its hostile to algae as well.

Like I said earlier I am half dosing once a week and I have Cherrys , CRS/CBS and Native Paratya.... no probs so far. :)

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torface

I have a small co2 set up which I do approx 1 bubble every 3-4 secs with. I might have to get some liquid carbon. I also dose daily with Ada green brighty.

The stem plants at the back have grown really tall and skinny (with the exception of blue stricta) but my hair grass and hc doesn't want to spread much :(

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Cookster

Can I ask what substrate you are using torface.... Not familiar with the ADA green brighty, is that a fert suppliment? I am a bit weary of adding ferts only because they usually contain copper in some small amount.

I'm too scared to give it a try .. lol .. Also how deep is the tank (height) ... you may find the light, although by the sounds of it is ample, is not penetrating to give the HC what it needs to spread ... and would also explain

why stems are 'reaching' to the surface. (( I do remember reading something recently that said plants aren't reaching for the light so much as reaching for the CO2 in the atmosphere above the water)).

I am very new to all this and certainly not an expert. I can only relay what I have read and been informed about since starting my research... the only experience I can draw on is this first attempt.

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torface

Ada Amazonia is my substrate. Probably is the depth of the tank as its deeper than a normal tank. Maybe 50cm? I don't really like the tank much now it's running but I can't change it now!!

I tried trimming the tall plants and planting the stems to get more thickness. I'll see how that goes...

Yes the green brighty is a liquid fert. The guy at the shop I bought it from said it would be ok so I naively used it. I've been using it for maybe months now with no ill effects on my shrimps whatsoever so it must be ok!

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Cookster

Well that's good to hear about the fert... it gives me a little more confidence to try something like that down the track...

I'd love to see a pic of your tank torface ... it does sound like the depth may be an issue.. especially when you consider reflection and refraction

as well as any suspended particulates in the water column! We may not see them but they are there all the same. :sour: Researching and studying

lighting has all but done my head in trying to understand it while building this LED for myself. I just hope it grows the plants.. haha

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torface

This is the only photo i have right now :)

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Cookster

I see what you mean now with the stems being thin ... But they all look healthy... just not phat! lol

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torface

Yeah maybe its just the types of plants i have, i dont even know what those ones are!

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ineke

Mine have grown quite tall but I usually just cut them back and replant the new cuttings with quite a good success rate.

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BlueBolts

torface, what type of lighting do you have.... The growth resembles lack of penetrating light, rather then a fert deficiency.

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Cookster

BB .. on first page of this thread, torface said he was using the LED floodlight style 20W x 2..... I have been researching LEDs and lighting in general to design and build a LED fixture for my planted tank. (also on page 1)

Even if you take into consideration reflection, refraction and suspended particles in the water... I would have thought the 2 x 20W would be ample for a 50cm high... but maybe the light is spreading too much and being

that led is a point source light, too much is being reflected... what are your thoughts on this?

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BlueBolts

Apologies, should have re-read the thread from my original read before..... My research 2+ years ago, suggested that the degree of penetration on LED's are not suitable for deep tanks.....the tank originally came with 2 x PLU 18w, and showed similar growth to torface plants.....but as soon as I upgraded it to 4 x 20w T5's the plans thicken up, and I had to trim the plants every 2 weeks. Not a light/plant expert, just my experience.

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