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Critique my hardscape Is it too much?

MrMarlow

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26 Apr 2022
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Leicester
Hello everyone,

This is my first aquascape, so it seems to be harder than anticipated and I’ve moved it around a thousand times.

The wood can’t lean more to the front without cutting it - the Fluval Shaker 252 doesn’t seem to have the most depth.

That said, after multiple different layouts, I’m torn on this.

1. Im not sure I feel it has enough foreground.

2. The wood feels too big, but then I’ll look at it again and like it. Im torn here.

3. I don’t feel the 2 sides tie together, but then, I don’t know if I need them too.

Thoughts, feedback, suggestions?
 

MrMarlow

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Helps to add pictures, I think 🤦‍♂️
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mlgt

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I think with time the dragon stone will change colour. A suggestion is to use some smaller pieces of rock or debris below the large piece of wood to aid a transition. As I find the different colours from rock vs the dragon stone too much of a contrast. Fill up the tank and then everyone can offer a better response :)
 

MrMarlow

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Filled it 30 minutes ago, and it’s still murky water, but right now;



Used half the media from my current tank to put bacteria in, plus used prime and stability.

Going to let it get to temp, then add some neon tetra or something hardy just to help it run the process.
 

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Please don't use fish, however hardy, to cycle an aquarium. It's unnecessary when all you have to do is wait for the plants to start growing. As you have used some old filter media it shouldn't take too long but the new substrate could still leach ammonia which is not good for any fish.
 

mlgt

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As above. Test parameters after a week once the tank has settled. Also worth stirring or using a chopstick to move the substrate to remove any air pockets. I would add another small filter inside the tank and have some wool as filter media. This will polish the water somewhat and make it clearer quicker. Keep it up :)
 
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You've started out well. Personally I'd add some smaller rocks and stones rights across the front to blend the scape in a bit more and choose ones that reflect the colour if the existing hardscape. Once you plant in the foreground it will all soften a bit too.
 

MrMarlow

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Please don't use fish, however hardy, to cycle an aquarium. It's unnecessary when all you have to do is wait for the plants to start growing. As you have used some old filter media it shouldn't take too long but the new substrate could still leach ammonia which is not good for any fish.

I must be going a little crazy because I'm certain I replied to this previously, but alas, here we are with no post from me.

I'm hoping it's quicker than I'm anticipating as the sole reason that I upgraded was that, for my birthday, my kids decided I needed more fish, which pushed my old 60L tank over capacity and it's been a nightmare to even keep close to "okay". To the point I've been using RO water for some changes, just to drop the parameters.

I have done daily water tests since I've had it done, and ammonia and nitrites have dropped to 0.3 and below (JBL Combiset plus NH4 - liquid test).

As above. Test parameters after a week once the tank has settled. Also worth stirring or using a chopstick to move the substrate to remove any air pockets. I would add another small filter inside the tank and have some wool as filter media. This will polish the water somewhat and make it clearer quicker. Keep it up :)

I have no problem adding another, but I am curious what benefit it would add over running the 307 alone? I have considered grabbing a 407 (or higher) as the 307 doesn't really throw the water around much, and there's not a huge amount of flow around the plants etc; Unsure if this is due to the fact I'm running an inline heater and that's restricting access, whether the dual output lowers the velocity somewhat, or the 307 is just not that good.

You've started out well. Personally I'd add some smaller rocks and stones rights across the front to blend the scape in a bit more and choose ones that reflect the colour if the existing hardscape. Once you plant in the foreground it will all soften a bit too.

I did consider smaller rocks/stones, but since I'll have plecos, loaches and corys, I didn't know how much they'd just move the substrate and potentially cover it.

I added the grass with the intention it would spread over the front, but I suspect that might take a while? Any suggestion on plants for the front? I don't mind grabbing some more :)
 

mlgt

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Have you thought about replacing the outlets and use spray bars? Or perhaps a powerhead at the back to create more flow around the tank?
Plant wise for the front or at least simpler carpeting I have always had success with parva as a middle transition and then Sagitaria/Lilaeopsis with no co2. But my go to has always been tenellum as its slow growing but requires very little care. But if you are running co2 then hairgrass or glosso is always nice to have.
 

MrMarlow

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So, I added some smaller plants at the front, and slowly added my fish after it cycled (9 days using filter media from other tank), and it currently looks like this.

Not sure what the plant at the back right corner is, but that’s just growing far quicker than everything else. I plan to let it grow out some more, until I can ship at 8 inch or so, then replant and hope it takes root at the back.

I’ve started to like it more with the forefront in plants breaking it up a little
 

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Fluval sell spray bars now for their filters. This should increase velocity much more. The dual output does allow full flow of the filter but it's softened massively due to the larger area of the holes.
That's the only issue I see as it will be difficult to get flow round this set up.

A spray bar on the right side panel flowing across left, down and back along should be great then.
 

MrMarlow

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Fluval sell spray bars now for their filters. This should increase velocity much more. The dual output does allow full flow of the filter but it's softened massively due to the larger area of the holes.
That's the only issue I see as it will be difficult to get flow round this set up.

A spray bar on the right side panel flowing across left, down and back along should be great then.
Do you know where I would be able to get one from? The issue I see is the fact the filters actually run through bottom drilled fittings;



Seems someone else has the same issue before with the Roma, which has the same fittings as the Shaker.
 
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Do you know where I would be able to get one from? The issue I see is the fact the filters actually run through bottom drilled fittings;



Seems someone else has the same issue before with the Roma, which has the same fittings as the Shaker.

Why not try the fluval g3 or g6 spray bar. They were designed to attach onto the ball socket you have, blank the one that shoots across the back off (you should have got a full circular blanking connector, then attach g3/g6 to the right side pane of glass??

I'll find the bits
 

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