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Tidy Jungle II & III

alto

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cryptocorynes and I've separated them for replanting.
I’d suggest trimming back the roots for replanting - easier to place in substrate and seems to stimulate new roots growth (often the previous roots will die back as it’s difficult to uplift plants without damaging fine root structure)
 

Courtneybst

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I’d suggest trimming back the roots for replanting - easier to place in substrate and seems to stimulate new roots growth (often the previous roots will die back as it’s difficult to uplift plants without damaging fine root structure)

Thanks! Yeah I trimmed the roots pretty short, maybe an inch or so. Hopefully they don't melt. They didn't melt when I pulled them from my old 200L so fingers crossed.
 

Wookii

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I like your box scapes @Courtneybst - I think the central piece actually works really well and adds a lot of additional tension and drama to the scape - don’t forget you can remove any apparent symmetry with your planting.
 

Courtneybst

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I couldn't even post an update yesterday as I was so exhausted (still am lol). But once I drained/cleaned the tank and moved the fish here are some of the things I did. I'm going into a bit more detail because I like to see the details in journals, even the bits nobody cares about.

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Laid a layer of Alfagrog on the base, hoping it will stop the substrate being too deep again. Also I'm guessing it'll contribute somewhat to biological stability with all those pores. I opted not to use the haggis method in the end as these rocks are quite bulky and got in the way of the hardscape.

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Put a decent layer of Tropica Substrate down, a bit thicker than what is suggested but there's some heavy rooters going in here so I'm sure they'll appreciate it. Interestingly, the two bags I had looked completely different. One was very fine brown powder and the other was coarse and grey.

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I broke up some Easy Life root sticks to provide some extra initial nutrition.

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I put the hardscape into position. This actually took a long time even though I had already planned out the layout. I can't begin to imagine what would have happened if I hadn't. Admittedly I should have bought more dragon stone as I ran out and my stupid brain didn't account for the fact that the tank is bigger than the replica so there would be more spacing. I had to use some old random rock pieces as stabilisers, but they'll be covered up in no time.

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Planted that baby up and then flooded it! I don't know if I got a dodgy bottle but in my experience the Gorilla Super Glue Gel was very temperamental. I'd use it and it would stick instantly and then another time it would barely hold, but it all worked in the end. I used regular low viscosity super glue with cigarette filters, filter floss and black sponge for the tougher bits.

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It looks lightly planted in the pictures but I think it's just because the plants are small. It's actually quite dense and there isn't much planting room left. I left a space in the back next to the sword for Cryptocoryne Balansae which is due to arrive.

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No floating plants or wood so I'm happy The water was actually clearer than I expected considering how dusty the gravel was and me sprinkling aquasoil liberally on super glue.
 

Courtneybst

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I like your box scapes @Courtneybst - I think the central piece actually works really well and adds a lot of additional tension and drama to the scape - don’t forget you can remove any apparent symmetry with your planting.

Thanks Wooki! I tried to plant in a way that there was a lack of symmetry when compared to the hardscape which I'm hoping will become more apparent as they grow in.
 

Courtneybst

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Full Plant List (Some are arriving shortly):

Microsorum Pteropus Trident
Microsorum Pteropus Narrow
Lindernia Rotundifolia
Ludwigia Sp. Super Red
Vallisneria Spiralis
Echinodorus Parviflora
Cryptocoryne Balansae
Cryptocoryne Amicorum
Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green
Cryptocoryne Wendtii Brown
Nymphea Zenkeri Red
Hydrocotyle Leucocephala
Hydrocotyle Verticillata
Hydrocotyle Tripartita
Hemianthus Micranthemoides
Anubias Nana Paxing
Anubias Nana Petite
Bucephalandra Green Velvet
Bucephalandra Red
Bucephalandra Kedagang
Utricularia Graminifolia (tiny sprig, I just want to see what happens)
Eleocharis Acicularis

There's a lot of plants that I haven't grown before so I don't know how it'll go but they're pretty much all in the easy/medium category. I'm preparing for widespread melt .
 
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Courtneybst

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Bit of back to basics here; I am still using my existing filters on this new scape and this afternoon the ammonia and nitrite is currently reading 0. Would it be safe to assume that my filter bacteria is still working well enough to add some of the fish back? Or should I wait a bit? I also added some Seachem Stability just in case.
 

Earlscapes

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Bit of back to basics here; I am still using my existing filters on this new scape and this afternoon the ammonia and nitrite is currently reading 0. Would it be safe to assume that my filter bacteria is still working well enough to add some of the fish back? Or should I wait a bit? I also added some Seachem Stability just in case.
I say you'd be fine to start adding in, not to teach you how to suck eggs but just a few at a time. Amazing how a planted tank absorbs alot more than standard aquarium.
 

alto

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Bit of back to basics here; I am still using my existing filters on this new scape and this afternoon the ammonia and nitrite is currently reading 0. Would it be safe to assume that my filter bacteria is still working well enough to add some of the fish back? Or should I wait a bit? I also added some Seachem Stability just in case.
When rescaping I always include filter maintenance - important as I only open my Eheim canisters every 3-6 months or even 9-12 months - so there’s always some debris in all the baskets, fine filter pads gets tossed for new, sponge is usually just rinsed, same for the Eheim Mech & Bio Substrats

Cleaning the filter is one of the first jobs once fish are out, it then sits clean and damp (with a few cm water in the canister and lid slightly ajar, inlet/outlet open so high humidity and good oxygen) - biomedia seems stable with this treatment for several days (and possibly rather longer)

Get planting etc done, filter running, everything tidied up (now usually 5am), sleep for awhile, water change with extra Prime, then begin returning all tank inhabitants - shrimp first, give them a good hour to reorient, then various fish gradually in (mostly) species groups ... of course sometimes all the fish end up getting returned in 10min or so as they refuse to cooperate with a more orderly migration plan

I’ve not had any livestock losses with this method (note that I keep shrimp in separate bins from fish)
Daily water changes are done the first while anyway so this should balance any upsets in the filter bio-activity

Note if you’ve any more territorial fish (cichlids, gourami etc) this get reintroduced after shoaling fish are already in, giving the more retiring fish a chance to get sorted first
 
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