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Frankenstein

Courtneybst

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5 Sep 2016
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441
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London
The cat is out of the bag!

So I'm setting up another scape, this time a nano. I was planning to do this at a leisurely pace but when I realised I needed to rescue some cherry shrimp from my main tank I hit fast forward. And c'mon, does anyone really need an excuse to set up another scape?!

It's a bit of a Frankenstein tank as it's a mashup of very old jerry rigs and brand new spanks and they've just collided beautifully like a supernova. I've also never done a high energy nano so this is more skill building for me.

I also completely clowned myself into thinking this was going to be an iwagumi. I should know better that I just love plants too much to choose just one! I kept the iwagumi layout but it'll have a nature/jungle/dutch vibe (we hope).

Tank: Dismantled Superfish Home 25
Filter: Oase Filtosmart Thermo 100
Light: Chihiros C2 RGB
CO2: 2KG Fire Extinguisher
Hardscape: Galapagos Rock
Substrate: Tropica Substrate, Alfagrog, Cal Aqua Labs Black Earth Premium, Fluval Stratum


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shangman

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13 Jul 2020
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London
I was planning to do this at a leisurely pace but when I realised I needed to rescue some cherry shrimp from my main tank I hit fast forward.
Whoops! Wonder if the you-know-whos had anything to do with that? 👀😂

This looks lovely already, really like that rock and how it matches the soil. Can I ask where you got it?

Love that you've gone from lowtech to two hightech tanks rather quickly!
 

Courtneybst

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5 Sep 2016
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Whoops! Wonder if the you-know-whos had anything to do with that? 👀😂

This looks lovely already, really like that rock and how it matches the soil. Can I ask where you got it?

Love that you've gone from lowtech to two hightech tanks rather quickly!
They definitely did! 😅

Thank you! I always thought the rock was blue but I realised I just had it under crappy LEDs. I bought it from Maidenhead Aquatics years ago, I just picked up something nice looking lol.

I got hooked on the lush growth. I even kept some of the floating plants that were in the container and you can clearly see the difference between the ones that have had good light and CO2 vs the windowsill ones.
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shangman

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13 Jul 2020
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London
On the upside, if you ever have cull shrimp you know what to do with them! 😂

I think I did see something similar in a Maidenhead a few months ago, I really like how natural it looks, was thinking of using it in my pond tank to mimic soil/clay banks. Looking forward to waht you do with this one, do you have a plant list yet?

Aw man, that sweet, sweet lush growth, I can't wait to try it!! Can I ask where you got your fire extinguishers/CO2 tanks from? Wondering if it's local.

Good that those floaters are doing so well, lovely shades of green. Sorry for the greenfly, they are the BANE OF MY LIFE!! I chucked a 2L jug full of floating plants today that covered the 180L to try to get rid of them, now squishing every tiny one I see. The apistos don't even eat them, and they're usually so greedy! If at some point you want extra of that fancy salvinia sans flies I've got a few bits in another tank that are greenfly free I'm growing out, luckily that plant grows crazily quickly.
 

Courtneybst

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Joined
5 Sep 2016
Messages
441
Location
London
On the upside, if you ever have cull shrimp you know what to do with them! 😂

I think I did see something similar in a Maidenhead a few months ago, I really like how natural it looks, was thinking of using it in my pond tank to mimic soil/clay banks. Looking forward to waht you do with this one, do you have a plant list yet?

Aw man, that sweet, sweet lush growth, I can't wait to try it!! Can I ask where you got your fire extinguishers/CO2 tanks from? Wondering if it's local.

Good that those floaters are doing so well, lovely shades of green. Sorry for the greenfly, they are the BANE OF MY LIFE!! I chucked a 2L jug full of floating plants today that covered the 180L to try to get rid of them, now squishing every tiny one I see. The apistos don't even eat them, and they're usually so greedy! If at some point you want extra of that fancy salvinia sans flies I've got a few bits in another tank that are greenfly free I'm growing out, luckily that plant grows crazily quickly.
Indeed! Plants should be:
Monte Carlo
Marsilea Hirsuta
Hydrocotyle Tripartita (stealing from the main tank)
Eleocharis Acicularis (stealing from the main tank)
Ludwigia Super Red (stealing from the main tank)
Cryptocoryne Albida Brown
Hydrocotyle Tripartita
Bucephalandra Kedagang
Rotala H'ra
Pearlweed
Lindernia Rotundifolia (hard maybe - stealing from the main tank)

Don't ask me how I'm going to fit all of it in haha, some might have to get relegated. The space is smaller than it appears. I got the FE from eBay, I can PM you the link unless others want to know too. Made friends with a place in Morden that will do cheap refills.

The greenflies don't seem to have caused any issues with me but I have to say I'm surprised they're surviving in a closed top tank, almost submerged a plastic breeding box. I find that you don't noticed its really growing, just one day you're like oh its covering the whole surface. :lol:
 
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Kogre

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14 Apr 2013
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Derby
I like the layout of the rocks, already looks great. Having said that, I can't wait to see the transformation once it's planted. A great backbone to work on.
 

Courtneybst

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5 Sep 2016
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Scape Day!

Today was full on! Woke up earlier than I have in probably a year to beat the traffic and get a new FE. I'm running a 2KG on this so as long as there's no leaks or faults it should last ages. Speaking of faults... I've had to temporarily use some old Tropica Plant Growth System CO2 tubing as my new check valve was faulty. I won't name and shame 😅. I'm using the new style Twinstar diffuser which I think is now replacing the old style entirely.

Fitted the lily pipes and man they really do just melt into the scape, its a shame I can't use glass ones on my main tank. If you know me in person you'll know that I'm incredibly bougie 😂 and so of course I drilled holes into the "stand" so the filter pipes and CO2 tubing runs straight down into it. There's probably only 8" of completely straight filter tubing. It looks incredibly clean and there's surprisingly enough wiggle room to disconnect the pipes to clean the filter. The flow is a bit strong and there's not really enough room to fit a tap so I'll see how it goes and maybe I'll need to get a poppy. Time will tell.

I got an ADA garden mat and the feeling of it is so satisfying, it's hard to explain. As well as the tubing, it's the only ADA products I've ever owned so I'm intrigued now...

Plants are all in and it is TIGHT. There is virtually no ground uncovered. The stratum has a relatively large grain size so you can't get too precise but it held much better than when I tried years ago. I was also winging on here to another user about not being able to get Rotala Blood Red for less than £30 imported. Well my prayers were answered because a few hours later I managed to bag some!

I've gone with a totally mixed carpet; Monte Carlo, Marsilea Hirsuta, Dwarf Hairgrass and Hydrocotyle Verticillata. I've also mixed the stems in the back and will continue to do so as they (hopefully) grow. In the back there's; Pearlweed, Rotala H'ra, Rotala Blood Red and Ludwigia Super Red. The middle ground is; Hydrocotyle Tripartita, Cryptocoryne Albida Brown and Bucephalandra Kedagang. It's a complete mashup of in vitro, potted and trimmings so it looks odd right now.

Rotala has never done well for me but also I've never had a setup like this so I'm hopeful! I'm also dosing TNC Complete on this, not sure of the dosing yet but I'm starting with 1ml per day as everything has just been setup.

Thanks to @Aquarium Gardens and @Horizon Aquatics for the great supply/service as always.

Thoughts and prayers?
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Kogre

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Absolutely beautiful! Good work mate. Looking forward to seeing this grown in. Good work though on plant choices and layout. I personally think it looks amazing already.
 

Courtneybst

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Absolutely beautiful! Good work mate. Looking forward to seeing this grown in. Good work though on plant choices and layout. I personally think it looks amazing already.
Thanks mate, I appreciate that! To think this was sat in the garage for over a year because I was planning to throw it out. 🙃
 

shangman

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Looks awesome!! Love the drilled holes so it's nice and clean. Love the mix of plants and the colours, will look lovely with the shrimp. 😍
 

Courtneybst

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So it's been a week since I set this up and things are going good.
  • Monte Carlo is looking very um...straggly but it's bouncing back slowly. Lots of the leaves melted but you can see fresh green shoots. Similar story for the other foreground plants, none of them melted but they're showing new growth.
  • The Hydrocotyle also melted back hard, probably worse than the Monte Carlo but it's grown many new leaves and is starting to look in good shape. Same story for the Pearlweed, some melt but also plenty new growth.
  • The Ludwigia is doing grand, showing off as usual with no struggles.
  • The Rotala is very interesting. Both are growing but the H'Ra is very narrow looking and growing straight up. The Blood Red is making lots of side shoots and aerial roots but is arcing over heavily.
  • The Buce and Crypt are being their beautiful selves. I wish I bought Cryptocoryne Albida Brown sooner because the colour and leaf form on the plant is stunning.
  • I've adjusted the lighting configuration so the colour is more appealing to me; currently 55% R, 35% G, 55% B.
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Welearn

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15 Sep 2019
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Stunning mate:clap: taking shape, have you up the blues 55% because on ours we have ramped up the whites to 75% and the blues to full and started now to 8 hours. Also we have added some rotala indica bonsai and is doing ok no mmore melt yet. Hydrocotyle doing well too. What I think about yours is its focal point straight away it draws you to the rock formation. Love it mate:thumbup: what does MTS stand for ?
 

Courtneybst

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Stunning mate:clap: taking shape, have you up the blues 55% because on ours we have ramped up the whites to 75% and the blues to full and started now to 8 hours. Also we have added some rotala indica bonsai and is doing ok no mmore melt yet. Hydrocotyle doing well too. What I think about yours is its focal point straight away it draws you to the rock formation. Love it mate:thumbup: what does MTS stand for ?
Cheers mate, I don't actually have whites on my light unit, or if I do it's not configurable. I've just kept it low whilst things settle in to keep algae at bay. I turned it to this setting because ironically when I had the green on higher it made the leaves look kind of washed out. Still on 6 hours myself, with 30 minute ramp up/down.

MTS is Multi Tank Syndrome, it's highly contagious and you don't have any symptoms until it's too late.
 

Courtneybst

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I really like how this scape is taking shape.
Some interesting observations;
  • Rotala Blood Red seems to be colouring up a lot more than the H'Ra. The H'Ra is pretty much still green with pink under the leaves but I wonder if this is because it was from an in vitro cup and the plant isn't mature. I just thought it was interesting considering I'm not nitrate limiting at all. It did mention on 2hr Aquarist that it doesn't appear to require as much nitrate limitation to colour up. Still being realistic, it's not going to turn blood red in this setup.
  • If you give Hydrocotyle Verticillata desirable conditions to grow it actually grows pretty fast. Who'd have thought? 😂
  • I thought I read that Marsilea Hirsuta grows single lobed leaves in its submerged state? These ones are growing anywhere from 1 lobe to 4!
  • Bits of Monte Carlo are still breaking off and I've trimmed it to encourage some lateral growth. I think I might have to be patient with it, the larger grain stratum doesn't help. Next time I will 100% use a powder grain, even if it's just on top.

 

Deano3

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8 Feb 2012
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This tank looks great got to love a nano then stems filling in nicely and montecarlo is one you will have to wait hopefully growns back great stunning nano mate

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