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Tim Harrison

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Finally got round to stripping down my existing low-energy scape and starting a new one...Scape-Horn; so called 'cause of the pointy rocks...did you see what I did there?:D
I'm using my usual mix of 1:1 moss peat and aquatic compost. Its 60mm at its deepest and the sand cap is a similar depth at the back, so I'm pushing the boundaries of what's often considered sensible.
The cap is Unipac sand - Limpopo Black, and the rocks are exotic Coniston Slate - most have a vein or three of quartzite running through them which adds to their aesthetic appeal.
I've set it up for my eldest son in his bedroom, and it has to work from two angles. I've got as far as the hardscape below...

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Tim Harrison

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Thanks Alastair...I'm gona keep the planting simple and not so dense this time, with more open space and sandy areas - so probably some cryps, and vallis, or hygro and Ludwigia, maybe some ferns - plants that have been tried and tested in my low-energy scapes over the last 2 years or so. I also need to source a good carpet plant for some of the foreground...know of any? I'll have a play tomorrow and see how it goes.
 

Ady34

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Hi Troi,
really like that slate, normally it looks a little uninteresting, but that has plenty of texture and like you say, the veining adds to the aesthetic.
Would look really nice with just different grass like plants, eleocharis parvula, eleocharis ecicularis, e. sp. mini, tenellus, dwarf saggitaria etc...or even just one species of grass, bit like Georges Project scree?
Be interested to follow what you do with this.
Cheerio,
Ady.
 

Tim Harrison

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Hi Ady, thanks. The slate ain't bad at all is it - I was surprised when I saw it, and only £1.00 a chuck from Frosts, slightly cheaper than the Gucci stuff...so I couldn't resist. And you're absolutely right about the planting...but I'm a bit wary of trying an igwami style layout in a low-energy tank, and I've kinda got igwami plans for a high-energy shallow anyway - but that could change...Either way I still plan to use tenellus or saggitaria for the foreground. And who knows what it'll metamorphosize in to over time...
 

Tim Harrison

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Below is a closer image of the hardscape and then the scape planted but not quite finished. I decided to go with the Cryps and ferns, and I've just got to sort out some Bolbitis for the right hand side to balance the scape and give it that triangular perspective. At some point I want to replace the Vallis with Cryptocoryne retrospiralis, and then maybe I'll think of doing something more with the foreground. The water is still quite cloudy so perhaps not the best time to take photos.

Plant list so far:
Aponogeton natans
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green'
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Tropica'
Cryptocoryne becketti "petchii"
Cryptocoryne nevillii
Microsorum pteropus 'Narrow'
Vallisneria spiralis

To come
Cryptocoryne retorspiralis
Bolbitis heudelotii
and maybe something else for the foreground?

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Tim Harrison

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Thanks Tim you've obviously got great vision:) It looks a bit unbalanced at the moment but once the planting is complete and the Cryp Tropica grows between the rock valleys it should look a bit better, at least. I'm still not sure what to do with the foreground though, but I'll ponder it a little while longer and hopefully come up with something inspirational.
 
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Tim Harrison

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Thanks, that's very nice of you to say so. I brought some more crypts today and ordered some others so hopefully it'll start looking a bit more filled out sooner than later. I've put some bolbitis in and taken some more quick snaps with the compact.

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Tim Harrison

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Finally the plants I ordered arrived and I've finish the planting...for the time being at least...

Cryptocoryne becketti "petchii"
Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green'
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Tropica'
Cryptocoryne willisii/nevillii
Cryptocoryne parva
Anubias barteri 'Nana'
Bolbitis heudelotii
Microsorum pteropus 'Narrow'

Still looking unbalanced but hopefully when the new plants start to fill out, the scape will achieve some sort of harmony. I've planted C. crispatula var. balansae in the back right hand corner - you can see it just peaking over the rocks in the image below. It should eventually obscure the heater etc, grow along the surface to provide some shade, as well as giving that densely planted NA look. I'm not sure how well the C. parva (light green, foreground) will do low-energy but I thought I'd give it a go anyway, I can always replace it with C. Willisii if it doesn't work out.

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Tim Harrison

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That looks good, nice selection of fish to go with the plants as well. How's your back? Hope its getting better.


Thanks flygja, almost missed your post. It's all good, thanks for asking...I'm getting there.
 

Tim Harrison

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It's been a while (over 4 months) so I thought an update of my low-energy effort would be in order. Gone is the C. parva...it didn't look right. It's been sort of replaced with Alastair's magic carpet plant Ranalisma sp. 'mini' (well that's what I'm calling it anyway). It seems to have settled in and I'm hoping that it'll cover the foreground...given time.

I've also been meaning to get some more C. willisii/nevillii for the bottom right hand corner/side - it's a bit dark there, and the plants haven't done as well as I'd hoped. I think that'd finish the scape off nicely...especially when the Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae fills the upper right corner/side.

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OllieNZ

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Looking very nice Troi:cool:
 

Tim Harrison

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Hi Guys...thanks Ollie, and glad to be of help Mark.
I know what you mean about the Ranalisma sp. 'mini' Tim...my water is hard and I think it's had a hard time adjusting, but what's left is well rooted and throwing out new leaves too, so I'm hoping it's turned a corner.

Crypts are great plants, most do extremely well in my uber hard water maybe something to do with similarities with their natural limestone habitat (they are complete thugs with CO2). Although mine are healthy it's not all been plain sailing. I occasionally loose some leaves to crypt melt, but the plants are always quick to recover...so far.

Similar angle showing the (low-energy) growth in 4 months. Although there has been some additional planting, it's pretty clear the growth rate has been amazing...

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foxfish

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My Ranalisma sp. 'mini' did not like my water conditions much either as most died!
I put about 10 plants in an immersed tank, they all died but, the other plants I put into my Co2 tank - only half died!
However now, after several weeks of looking a bit grim.... I have positive growth from the few left & they are stomping out plantlets left & right. :)

Edit I have just checked & in fact, it seems that at least one, is still alive in my immersed tank.
 

Rob P

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I've also had similar experience with the Ranalisma (hard water/hi tech), did nothing and looked sorry for a few weeks, but lots of new green growth emerging now :)

Great looking tank Troi, love it ;)
 

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