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New Decade, New Decadence...

Geoffrey Rea

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Impressive trimmings…and plant health! I would love to own an tank this size one day, congrats for the maintenance on this beast mate, this must take quite some time. :)

Would love to see you scape a 1200 Thierry, said this before, pretty darn sure it would be world class 😉

This 1200 isn’t bad at all on maintenance. It really is all in the planning though. The right hand side had Rotala’s before and the wood leans towards the front of the tank - plenty of room for the stems to creep. This buys 1 to 2 weeks extra if you’re feeling too lazy to trim, bit of flexibility.

The species that are intolerant of Co2 fluctuations are close to the lily pipe that puts out the Co2, particularly the R. Macrandra. There’s also the inlet drawing backwards through that corner. It’s locally high in available Co2 mist. Again, when this area gets overgrown you don’t lose the plant form too quickly and you’ll get 1 to 2 weeks of creep before anything punches through the water surface - more flexibility.

All this means is you can plan out all the jobs so it’s restricted to one hour or less. For example, cutting all the stems back one week, then when everything is low down cut the eleocharis carpet the next week (all the hair grass sits on the clear surface and doesn’t end up stuck amongst the stems).

Front of the tank… quite shaded but good circular flow anti-clockwise with the remaining Co2 mist that curls around the wood on the right. Nothing grows quick at the front but neither is it getting unhealthy. Just the epiphytes and moss without soil access to take care of with some freebie N and P when feeding the fish isn’t enough. Time this implementation after resetting the stems so it only affects the lower growth of the stem colouration and form.

All adds up to savings in your effort…


Thank you! Yeah it's a lot more resourceful haha.

Compost the trimmings to feed the vegetable beds next year here. Cutting out the middle man and picking straight from the tank is a whole other level though 😊
 

Ady34

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Epic.
That is all.
Wouldn’t say I’m enjoying my tanks at the moment :oops:
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Butterflies:

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The veg growing season has been kiboshed by the mild August weather. But planting out a lot of cottage plants has brought a lot of visitors to the gardens. Hoping others have had better luck growing this year. Onions went well here but not much else:

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Managed six bags like above but even strawberries have been hard to yield with the variability in the weather.

On the tank front…

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Got lazy. Got a non-Dutch confusion and an even more confused 1200.

9 months:

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MC gone, half the Araguaia gone, big wedge of trident fern removed, a load of bonsai gone, three types of mosses removed and Pinnatifida thinned out to a few sprigs. Was only walking passed the tank 😂

Slowly bringing the hardscape back into play, less is more. Almost peeling this scape back into shape.

Background stems are hard at work. Two more cutting sessions and should hit a good moment in this scapes life:

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R. macrandra, L. palustris, Alternanthera Reineckii, R. wallichii, L. hippuridoides and L. arcuata should provide plenty of colour at the back. Would be nice to honour this scape with a decent photo before the twelve month mark.

As ever, hope everyone is enjoying their tanks 😎
 

Ady34

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Looking great Geoff, wish my tanks were so confused 🤪🤣
 

Geoffrey Rea

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@Saman

Rather than bomb your journal with photos will post on here. Total reset of a stem section in pictures…

Gently cut below the substrate to sever roots:

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Area cleared:

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If the stems are correctly cut from the roots you won’t get any growth reappearing. The roots will breakdown and replanting into the soil will be unobstructed by old growth.

Know the height you want to reset to. Add an inch for burying:

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Pick your best stems:

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Lay them down so all tips are at the same height:

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Cut to desired height:

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Replant the section and water change:

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This example is with Limnophila hippuridoides that always requires tops replanting to keep it under control.

With H’ra plant in bunches of three, spaced 1-2cm apart. Prune back the top third of growth to encourage side growth and maintain the desired shape. Once cutting back the top third no longer keeps growth beneath the desired height, reset the stem section as above.
 

Libba

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@Saman

Rather than bomb your journal with photos will post on here. Total reset of a stem section in pictures…

Gently cut below the substrate to sever roots:

View attachment 174143

View attachment 174144

Area cleared:

View attachment 174145

If the stems are correctly cut from the roots you won’t get any growth reappearing. The roots will breakdown and replanting into the soil will be unobstructed by old growth.

Know the height you want to reset to. Add an inch for burying:

View attachment 174146

Pick your best stems:

View attachment 174147

Lay them down so all tips are at the same height:

View attachment 174148

Cut to desired height:

View attachment 174149

Replant the section and water change:

View attachment 174150

This example is with Limnophila hippuridoides that always requires tops replanting to keep it under control.

With H’ra plant in bunches of three, spaced 1-2cm apart. Prune back the top third of growth to encourage side growth and maintain the desired shape. Once cutting back the top third no longer keeps growth beneath the desired height, reset the stem section as above.
I like this technique in theory. I'll give it a go next time I reset my stems. Ripping out all of the roots isn't ideal.

Thanks for sharing. I don't see a lot of content about long term scape maintenance.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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I like this technique in theory. I'll give it a go next time I reset my stems. Ripping out all of the roots isn't ideal.

Not keen on disturbing the substrate if it can be avoided. Figure there’s a whole lot we depend on that would rather not be upheaved.

On the other hand, some species need tearing out roots and all, otherwise they can become unruly. Pogostemon erectus being a common one:

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That’s less than three weeks worth of fresh rooting. If you tried just cutting roots each time with it you would find replanting into the soil quite challenging. The root system can become so dense in a localised area that it’s a struggle to push the pinsettes in without damaging the top you’re trying to replant.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Interesting month. Was feeling pretty puzzled about the hobby of late so pulled the reigns in on everything. Stopped to have a think. Thought joining the 21st century with an Instagram account might help inspire… mistake. If I see one more slow-mo shot of a pair of scissors, or the widely used slow-mo of a pump bottle dosing a tank, my eyes may in fact projectile vomit all over the screen 🥱

Back to the drawing board… We’re nearly at ten months with this setup and it is usually about now that the rescape thoughts creep in. But funnily enough, not this time around.

Instead focused the thinking towards how you can run Co2 injected indefinitely. For the most part this tank has been running a traditional ADA dosing regime. About a month ago you could see the beginnings of the balance shifting, soil not quite providing and some plants looking tired.

With the unloved Dutch coming down and the White Clouds needing a home they’ve been shipped into the 1200:

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Feeding times are much more impressive:

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The Green Neons have dropped their shyness and they mix with the minnows quite happily. No aggression, tank is alive with activity and feeding is a joy as not one bit of flake/pellet/live food gets to the substrate.

Back on dosing though and we have a very decent fish load now. Moved to a different fert mix using ammonium nitrate as the N source combined with feeding the stock handsomely and it seems to be going well:

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It appears more efficient at this point to shift towards a more Tropica style of dosing and account for fish feeding into the regime, rather than persist with ADA’s lean daily K and micros with frequent application of root tabs.

The epiphytes are also consistently happy, now that they’re not relying on infrequent mercy dosing of KNO3:

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There was a bit of transitioning needed with the shift to NH4NO3, some stem plants shed their older leaves with newer growth coming back in its place pretty quickly. This is why the growth is all over the shop at the moment, nothing has been trimmed in earnest and just leaving everything to adjust. Also won’t be bothering with colour up sessions of stems anymore, consistent daily dosing should format the whole tank to set colours for the foreseeable. Trading colouration for consistency.

Nearly all the plants from the Dutch takedown went to a friend. Did keep some Hyptis lorentziana, Ludwigia tornado, Rotala Pearl and Syngonanthus macrocaulon though:

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Looking forward to seeing them grown in and apparent, still tucked away for now and recovering from the disruption.

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So… It’s no scapers tank but it’s a joy to maintain thanks to access, the stock are happy and it’s a nice mix. Seems as good a scape as any for the Green Neons and the White Clouds to live out their days. Majority of the Green Neons are from a batch introduced in 2017, seems only fair to give them a permanent home moving forward.

The whole house is going in the direction of permanence rather than ceaseless upheaval and transformation. Setting up a simple long term reef setup, the UG project is hopefully going to keep trucking for as long as it lets and the little 10l Dennerle terrarium will be left to grow.

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A good spread of projects to keep the heart content.
 

Tim Harrison

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Your scapes have really come in to their own, all look amazing and really healthy.
Hope you're going to start a journal for the reef setup. It might even be an idea to add a dedicated marine forum to UKAPS.
 

John q

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It might even be an idea to add a dedicated marine forum to UKAPS.
You'll get no complaints from me 😃

So… It’s no scapers tank but it’s a joy to maintain
You obviously have the knowledge and skills to maintain healthy tanks,that's a fact. Sometimes we need to look, take stock, and enjoy what we've created... so... enjoy 😉
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Hope you're going to start a journal for the reef setup. It might even be an idea to add a dedicated marine forum to UKAPS.

You may find me on a very popular reef forum posting photos to see if they can be brought over to the freshwater side 😂😝😂

Would be lovely to be able to chat marine with this lovely community. Finding that a lot of folk do both sides of the hobby. There’s a lot of methods to be traded from both sides also, so a marine section on the forum gets a vote from me… You can never have too much knowledge and experience on a forum.

Sometimes we need to look, take stock, and enjoy what we've created... so... enjoy 😉

It may seem silly John but when putting this latest scape together it was for the 30 minutes you get at sunrise and sunset in spring and autumn. The house is east/west facing and each side catches the light in morning and evening. Whenever possible I grab a coffee and watch the tanks from the kitchen doorway at these times. This is what you get:

1632677620488.jpeg


Lights are off at these times as they’re set to be on when the solar is producing to run them. Natural light only. Never gets old and the fish are at their most beautiful to watch. Not apparent in this photo but they shoal around the tank in one big group during this limited time.
 

bazz

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You may find me on a very popular reef forum posting photos to see if they can be brought over to the freshwater side 😂😝😂

Would be lovely to be able to chat marine with this lovely community. Finding that a lot of folk do both sides of the hobby. There’s a lot of methods to be traded from both sides also, so a marine section on the forum gets a vote from me… You can never have too much knowledge and experience on a forum.



It may seem silly John but when putting this latest scape together it was for the 30 minutes you get at sunrise and sunset in spring and autumn. The house is east/west facing and each side catches the light in morning and evening. Whenever possible I grab a coffee and watch the tanks from the kitchen doorway at these times. This is what you get:

View attachment 174771

Lights are off at these times as they’re set to be on when the solar is producing to run them. Natural light only. Never gets old and the fish are at their most beautiful to watch. Not apparent in this photo but they shoal around the tank in one big group during this limited time.
And to think I've been sitting here in the dark until the the tank lights come on at 12.00 before opening the blackout curtains for the last 16 years.
 
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