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Kinabalu (60 x 40 x 40)

Wookii

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So, a little change of plan, as SWMBO has decided she'd like to move house now, my intended 150 x 45 x 45 tank has been dust sheeted.

The current tank in my sons room (journal Roots) has gotten to the point where the plants are choking it despite regular trimming, and it desperately needs rescaping. Plus the bedroom location is a PITA, essentially isolating me from the rest of the family for hours at time during maintenance or general viewing of the tank. So as part of the rescape, I've got a new tank, and plumbed it in downstairs in our kitchen/diner instead.

Combining the fact that the current tank is very heavily grown in, plus the fact I was also growing on a load of buce and anubias cuttings in another tank ready for the 150cm, I have a shed load of epiphytes to use up. I've also been gradually acquiring a good stock of second hand Seiryu stone that's popped up on the classified here, and on eBay, also in preparation for the 1500 - so I figured I've have a stab at a rock heavy/mountain style scape.

The rock scape design I've settled on was partially inspired by the look of a jungle covered mountain - hence what I've chosen to name it. I have never been to Malaysia myself, but my wife has actually climbed Kinabalu - it is only a loose inspiration, I'm certainly not going for a diorama look so the finished scape will probably look nothing like the real mountain:

1602074989732.png



I have to apologise that I got so quickly carried away with trying to create the scape, I completely forgot to take the traditional empty tank photo :banghead: (i'll add a tank and stand photo later tonight)

Added:

FCA17EFF-924C-4DDE-A36C-2374FF2F0CCA.jpeg


Anyway, kit list is as follows:

- APS 60 x 40 x 40 (96 litre)
- Aquaone Nappa Oak Stand
- Oase Biomaster 600 Thermo
- Twinstar Nano
- Chihiros WRGB II 60 (though Twinstar 600S used for initial set-up)
- JBL CristalProfi inlet/ outlet with RFG head and shrimp guard
- CO2 ART Pro Regulator
- JBL Proflora In-Line CO2 diffuser
- Custom 20" CO2 reactor
- EcoTech Versa Doser (TBD)
- Vyair RO-200 + 30 litre holding tanks (automated water charges via in-tank overflow)

I'm not 100% decided on exactly which plants I will use, but this is what I have available from the existing tank, plus some purchases order that I definitely want:

Rocks and wood:
- Anubias Nana Petite + Bonsai
- Anubias Pangolino
- Bucephalandra (Lamandau Mini Red / Lamandau Purple / Red / Mini Theia / Mini Coin / Mini Catherine / Mini Biblis / Catherine / Biblis / Crocodile King / + some other unknown species)
- Dwarf Bolbotis Heudelotii (courtesy of @dw1305)
- Mini Christmas Moss
- Hygropjila Pinnatifida
- Fissidens Fontanus
- Cameroon Moss

Mid-tier:
- Eleocharis Acicularis Mini
- Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis
- Hydrocotyle Verticillata
- Staurogyne Repens
- Alternonthera Reinechii pink/mini
- Cryptocoryne Petchii
- Cardamine Lyrata
- Myriophyllum Guyana
- Blyxa Japonica

Top plateau:
- Rotala Orange Juice
- Rotala Ammania Bonsai
- Rotala Hong Kong
- Pogostemon Erctus
- Ludwigia Palustris
- Microsorum Pteropus Trident

+ some Amazon frog bit floaters to start

. . . and onto the scaping . . .
 
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Wookii

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The aquarium will be viewed from both the front and one end, so I wanted to maximise the visual perception of height in the tank so planned on an initial thin sand layer at the front and side, a then rather than have a solid straight rock wall, create some layering and transition - so essentially a terraced area midway with lower level plants transitioning to a top plateau that will house higher step plants. I then wanted some over hanging branching wood and root structures in an attempt to tray and make it look a little more natural.

I made a cardboard 'scaping' box, to try out some ideas, and settled loosely on this kind of design:

Test scape.jpg


I have changed my mind several times on rock and wood positions, and also had to get some more smaller pieces of Seiryu stone, hand picked courtesy of @Seige, in order to get the bottom run of rocks to look anything like right.

I freely admit, despite considering myself relatively 'artistic' when it comes to design etc, this scaping 'lark' isn't something that comes naturally to me at all. It's also somewhat frustrated by the fact that whenever I deconstruct a draft design, I never seem to be able to get it to go back the way it was when I rebuild it. Despite my best attempts to make it look 'natural', it still looks entirely man-made, but I figure most of it will end up covered by plants so I'm not too concerned.

Anyway, transferred to the aquarium:

Tank rocks 1.jpg


Tank rocks 2.jpg


Tank rocks 3.jpg
 

Jayefc1

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Looks good @Wookii
Hardscape frustration 😤 should be a recognised medical condition lol I think we all suffer from it and as perfectionist its hard and why can we not recreat the scape from the box to the tank there the same size same rock and even with a copus amount of pics and even numbered rocks they won't fit in how they where almost like a scape fairy comes and changes every thing around 😀
I think what you have in the glass looks better than the one in the box great hight and depth in the stones then added interest from the wood cant wait to see it planted 👍
 

Wookii

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Looks good @Wookii
Hardscape frustration 😤 should be a recognised medical condition lol I think we all suffer from it and as perfectionist its hard and why can we not recreat the scape from the box to the tank there the same size same rock and even with a copus amount of pics and even numbered rocks they won't fit in how they where almost like a scape fairy comes and changes every thing around 😀
I think what you have in the glass looks better than the one in the box great hight and depth in the stones then added interest from the wood cant wait to see it planted 👍

Thanks man - it’s reassuring to read it’s not just me that’s afflicted with these magically morphing rocks.

I’ll chalk up my inability to ever fit the same two stones together the exact same way more than once, up to scaping fairies then, rather than my own incompetence :D

Anyway, I managed to finally get them in an acceptable position and locked them together with cigarette filters and superglue, so fairies be damned!!

I’ve pulled the main pieces of wood out and put them in water to soak, and added some detail ‘twigs’ to the rocks in an attempt to make them look a little less ‘manufactured’.

Plants will be placed to cover the starting points of those to make them more seamless, and I have a box of smaller stones which I’ll add loose onto the sand once that’s in place.

1612B179-48FB-45A4-80E8-75ECB8BA19D6.jpeg


F043158F-CA94-487C-B124-6B4ECD60B3BA.jpeg


FB0F5C8B-A823-4B10-BC8E-760CA341D762.jpeg


Tomorrow I tear down the old tank, and I should also (hopefully) be in receipt of some plant deliveries form AG and @Roland, so I can start planting tomorrow and Friday hopefully.
 

Jayefc1

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I’ll chalk up my inability to ever fit the same two stones together the exact same way more than once, up to scaping fairies then, rather than my own incompetence :D
Oh yeah every time I do a scape they are there looking over my shoulder waiting to change things
Anyway, I managed to finally get them in an acceptable position and locked them together with cigarette filters and superglue, so fairies be damned
That is a sure fire way to stop them
added some detail ‘twigs’ to the rocks in an attempt to make them look a little less ‘manufactured’.
Really like these they look natural
 

Wookii

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Took the old tank down today - long time since I’ve had to do this - what a ball ache deconstructing a scape is!

It was really over grown, from this:

1602190234222.png


To this:

F4A1B470-D023-4942-98FE-22132945F81B.jpeg


But I didn’t really appreciate just how much some of the plants had grown

14ED29A8-01E7-4C93-8720-3FECC75BB1BA.jpeg

8CAA9680-C011-4A53-9228-7EBFAE827BFA.jpeg


This is the plant mass I’m left with - technically far far more than I need (the tub is just over 2ft long) - and doesn’t include some large crypts and a large piece of Schismatoglottis prietoi which are in with the fish!:

A2214E8C-F31C-4DBD-A031-BE1A66D08944.jpeg
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
It was really over grown...... I didn’t really appreciate just how much some of the plants had grown
That is a very informative set of photos, it shows just how quickly even "slow" grower like Aroids, Fern and Mosses grow in optimal conditions.

What was the date of the first set-up photo?

cheers Darrel
 
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Wookii

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Hi all, That is a very informative set of photos, it shows just how quickly even "slow" grower like Aroids, Fern and Mosses grow in optimal conditions.

What was the date of the first set-up photo?

cheers Darrel

Cheers Darrel - everything was planted on Boxing Day, so about 9 months growth - though also those Buce and Anubias pictured were also trimmed to seed the growing on tank for the previously intended 1500, which is here:

884DAF14-077E-4931-894E-838D7291DB54.jpeg


Yeah, the Christmas moss I had in the tank, originally from @Siege was a real fast grower. I’d literally rip it off back down to the brown dead bits attached to the wood, and within two weeks it’d be fully greened again.

I plan to use a fair bit less of it in this tank so it’s easier to manage.
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
everything was planted on Boxing Day, so about 9 months growth - though also those Buce and Anubias pictured were also trimmed to seed the growing on tank for the previously intended 1500, which is here
Yeah, the Christmas miss I had in the tank, originally from @Siege was a real fast grower.
Found that myself sometimes slow growers really take off
If you want a long term set-up it shows exactly what these plants can manage in a relatively short time period.

cheers Darrel
 

Tim Harrison

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Took the old tank down today - long time since I’ve had to do this - what a ball ache deconstructing a scape is!

It was really over grown, from this:

View attachment 155059

To this:

View attachment 155055

But I didn’t really appreciate just how much some of the plants had grown

View attachment 155056
View attachment 155057

This is the plant mass I’m left with - technically far far more than I need (the tub is just over 2ft long) - and doesn’t include some large crypts and a large piece of Schismatoglottis prietoi which are in with the fish!:

View attachment 155058
Very nice.
it shows just how quickly even "slow" grower like Aroids, Fern and Mosses grow in optimal conditions.
That's been my experience too.
 

Wookii

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Finally planted. Started at 8am, and only broke briefly for lunch and to cook dinner. Finished at 11pm - either I make things for too difficult for myself, or I’m really slow 😅

Haven’t fitted the filter or CO2 yet, that’s tomorrow’s job - along with tidying up the sanding and adding some ‘detail’ stones - but the skimmer is running and providing surprisingly good circulation.

99BCE5D8-35B0-4827-B16C-0747297DDDDA.jpeg


F9583F29-0C08-4FD8-A3B6-950DCEFFB56F.jpeg


838B8CF3-7060-47E8-8711-AC9EA9456F04.jpeg
 

Tim Harrison

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Wookii

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No that's a good thing, trust me it looks great :)
It does look great @Wookii and very well balanced from both the viewing angle really nice

Thanks guys - I’m about 80% happy with it I think.

It is a little annoying how the perspective changes once the water goes in - I’m not experienced enough to be able to visualise that upfront and account for it in the design.

I think some of the hard lines I’ve inadvertently created whilst worry about retaining the soil and minimising loss of planting space, should gradually soften once the plants grow in.

I remember feeling initially a little disappointed with the last tank when I set it up, but it grew into a beautiful tank once the plants got chance to do their thing.

My main objective was a) to house all the Buce I have, which I’ve managed to do apart from two big ones, and b) create a lot more free swimming space for the fish, which I’ve also done - they’ll probably crap themselves when I put them in it - it’ll be like moving from the jungle to the suburbs! :D
 

Wookii

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I know test kits aren’t thought of very highly on this forum, but I was going to do the first 50% water change last night, 24 hours after set up, and thought I’d do an ammonia test purely for academic purposes to see if the Tropica soil powder was leaching much.

I’ve seen some people mention that Tropica soil doesn’t give out much ammonia, but if anyone was in any doubt:

A49E3CF8-6137-40EC-A94E-D27D4558D57D.jpeg


I know test kits like this are in accurate, so let’s forget about trying to name the exact ppm, and just call it “a lot”. Needless to say, my 50% water change became 100% :D
 
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